What Does Proactive Dentistry Mean Anyway?

If you are a patient at either our Sturgeon Bay, Sister Bay or Algoma practice, you may have heard us refer to our type of dentistry as ‘proactive dentistry’, well what does that really mean anyway?  For us it means honestly addressing potential issues before they become painful and problematic.  Getting to the root of the problem and taking care of it in the best way possible for long-term success.  Yes, many times this puts the expense on the front end, but in the long run it saves you from being in pain, spending more money than you need to and more time in the dentist chair than you should. It’s definitely a different way of approaching your dental care.

Let’s put it into perspective. If you come into our office for an appointment and we notice that you have some separation between your tooth and its filling, we see it as our responsibility to inform you of this and make a plan of action to correct it, even if it is not causing you pain or discomfort at the moment.  By replacing the filling when the problem is found, you remove the opportunity for bacteria to slowly creep into the opening over time and cause infection.  Once infection has set in the procedures to correct the problem are more in-depth and costly then doing a replacement filling when the separation was first noticed.

 Cycle of Dental Neglect Dentistry By Design Door County Dentist(Infographic courtesy of Smiles in the Gardens)

Often we have patients come to us and say “Well, why didn’t my previous dentist see that?” To be honest, there are many factors for this. Did it happen in the time since you were last seen by a dentist?  Do they use an inter-oral camera that can see what is hard for the human eye to see?  Was your dentist keeping an eye on the issue in an effort to save you money at the time? Dentists have different beliefs when it comes to diagnosing and suggesting treatment, it doesn’t mean one is better than the other, patients just need to be on the same page with their provider.

At our practices we feel it is essential to long-term oral health to be proactive as opposed to reactive.  It is our practice policy to tell you upfront what we see, give you a plan of attack and suggest steps to have it addressed.  Of course the next step is always up to our patients, but we are always going to passionately suggest doing what is best for your overall oral health.

Community Benefits from DBD Volunteer Workday

Our volunteer workday utilizes the skills of our team members as a means to give back to the wonderful communities we are apart of.  The volunteer workday occurs three times a year at both our Sturgeon Bay and Sister Bay offices (Algoma will begin in 2016).  On each of those days our amazing team members, who previously agreed to volunteer a half day, come in on their day off to see patients for dental cleanings and various procedures.  What makes this day different from any regular clinic day is that not only is our team volunteering their time, but they donate two-thirds of the funds they receive to the community.

Boys&GirlsClub

DBD team members drop off a donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Door County.

“When the team donates their time, it eliminates our greatest expense.  We then take two-thirds of that half day’s production and donate it back to the community.  We retain a third to cover expenses like lab fees and supplies that pertain to that specific day, but nothing more.  With donated time and expertise and only having to cover costs we incur from outside sources we are able to make a more impactful donation.” states DBD Accountant, Teri Hooker.

Our volunteer workdays were established as a result of an unsuccessful attempt to help build a house with Habitat for Humanity.  Dr. Paul Feit states, “Originally we wanted to get a crew of DBD team members together to help build a house for a family in need, but due to conflicting schedules and weather challenges our team was unable to help build in 2014. We all felt strongly about giving back so we decided that the best way to do so was to utilize our professional talents.  We presented the idea and our amazing team jumped onboard right away.  It is a great way to help organizations like Habitat and individuals in our area in need in a way that fit into our busy schedules.”

Presenting a donation to Southern Door Elementary teachers.

Southern Door Elementary teachers receive a donation from DBD.

Our volunteer workdays are a collaboration between our team members and patients, with our team members collectively agreeing on who the funds are distributed to. Since the inception of the program in 2014 we are proud to announce that we have donated approximately $29,000 to individuals and families in need and various organizations in the Door County community. Organizations that have benefited include Backpack Buddies, Bark for Life, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin, Door County 4K & 5K Teachers, Door County High School Senior Banquets, Door County Veteran’s Council, Go Bo Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Loaves & Fishes, Neighbor to Neighbor, Northern Door Childcare Project, Special Olympics, The Boys and Girls Club of Door County, and The Ronald McDonald House Charities.

We would like to thank our amazing patients for helping us with our Volunteer Workdays. We couldn’t have done this without your continued support and patronage to our practices.