Wearing masks has been a hot topic, and I hope you give this article a chance. I am not going to argue the “science” or mandates for or against masks, or personal rights. We have heard them all, and have set our beliefs for or against. I would like to give you 3 perspectives, as it pertains to being the owner of Live Well Dental Center, and my responsibilities to my staff, patients, and family.
Many of you know our staff members by name. They greet you by name. This is no accident. Most of my staff have been with me for over 10 years. The staff and I share the common goal to deliver great care and service to you. Over time, like great friendships, we create trust, and understanding that we take care of one another. Through many staff meetings, we all had to agree on how to open the office and have everyone feel safe and comfortable. Do you ever recall being in a toxic work environment? Or visit an office where there is obvious tension between staff members? or between doctor and staff? It is not healthy…for anyone. Bottomline: some of our policies are to maintain balance, trust within the office, and in turn, you, the patient can feel that harmony as you recognize those familiar faces time and time again.
To our patients, our philosophy is to provide the most conservative treatment, and to do no harm. In controversial topics like: amalgam–good or bad. Fluoride–good or bad. Root canals–good or bad. I have approached these topics with this thought. “At the end of day, when one side is proven to be 100% true, which side would I feel better apologizing for? For example, if we used fluoride, but it was proven to be 100% poisonous, I would have to say, “sorry I was poisoning you”. Or on the flip side, if fluoride was really good and we didn’t use it I would have to say “sorry for not using fluoride, I had my doubts about using it.” So in essence, when in doubt, I choose the conservative option, the do no harm option. With 20 years experience, and over 2000 hours of continuing education, I have seen many presentations on both sides of the mentioned controversies above. In the case of masking, I have not seen any presentation on the hazards on wearing a mask, prior to COVID. Dental staff, operating room staff we all have to take courses on proper PPE use and be aware of occupational hazards. I also see numerous winter Olympic athletes compete with their faces covered. Individuals following their religious beliefs also have their faces covered with no major health issues. Kids wear ski masks and Halloween masks. Based on that, I believe the conservative option is to mask. Bottomline: Choosing to mask follows the same do no harm treatment philosophy I used to create the Live Well Dental treatment philosophies. The same philosophies you choose for you and your family.
We have seen what COVID has done to local business. For us, we were shut down for 2 months last year, and are still down 20% of capacity to follow social distancing. No staff has taken a reduction in pay. No staff layoffs (this relates to paragraph one above, we take care of each other). I have not added any patient surcharges for PPE like many other dental offices have done. The math is easy, revenues are down, expenses are up. How does a dentist that doesn’t believe in doing dentistry, make money? If you know, please pass it onto me, I’d be interested in talking.
Kidding aside, I am trying to say that I cannot afford to get sick and have to shut down, and still be able to take care of my staff, patients and family.
My hope is that you see our mask policy in the light of my 3 perspectives, and that is it consistent with why you choose to get your dental care at Live Well Dental Center in the first place. So I ask for your partnership in this endeavor, to help us, so that we can help you on your path to a healthier you.