She immediately guided me back to the examination room where Dr. McCann was waiting. After a quick but thorough examination—not only of the broken molar, but of the area around it—Dr. McCann informed me that I needed a crown to repair the damage.
'Fantastic' (can you feel the "biting" sarcasm?). I'd never had a crown before, but it sounded like an awful experience. My mind flooded with questions: How long will this take? How painful is the procedure? How much will it cost?
Dr. McCann answered all of my unarticulated questions thoroughly, patiently and gently anticipating my cares and concerns in the process. She explained that her office had the newest in dental technology and that they would be able to mill the crown in the office while I waited.
"From beginning to end, you'll be here about an hour and a half, but you'll never have to come back for us to check the fit again. We'll take a digital impression of the area. We'll construct a new tooth. We will 3D mill it, and then we'll insert it and check for a proper fit. We'll make sure that everything is working well and is fully seated prior to you leaving our office."
I couldn't believe it.
Getting a crown was once a complicated medical procedure that took weeks to complete. Now this new dentist was telling me that everything could be accomplished in an hour and a half? It felt too good to be true. But Dr. McCann didn't stop with the explanation of the crown creation/installation procedure. She went further.
She offered me payment plans (crowns aren't cheap), described her in-house insurance option (which was so much better than any dental insurance I had ever heard of), and shared other ways to reduce the cost of this dental emergency. When I agreed to the procedure, Dr. McCann said, "That's great. We'll get started right away. Prior to that, I just need you to sign this consent form for us to do the work."
Suddenly, the screen attached to the examination chair, which up until now had shown X-rays of my mouth and the damaged tooth, displayed a simple, straightforward consent form. She presented an electronic signature pad and stylus, which I hadn't noticed attached to the dental chair, and I signed the consent form electronically.
When I was finished, Dr. McCann turned the screen back around, once again brought up the image of the area that she would be repairing, and set to work. Dr. McCann offered me the opportunity to listen to music during the procedure, but I decided to stay "in the moment" and be present. I thought this would help me react faster if something went awry. As the old adage observes, this wasn't my first rodeo.
Throughout the procedure, Dr. McCann made pleasant conversation—a difficult task when I had a series of tools in my mouth and was struggling to talk. Her ability to artfully navigate asking easy yes/no questions to advance the conversation left me feeling that I was in the hands of a trained professional.
An hour and a half later, I left Dr. McCann's office with a new crown and a newfound appreciation for the fact that an industry notorious for creating horrible patient experiences could easily upend those beliefs.
This dental office anticipated my needs, made the interactions seamless, and at every step of the way managed my emotional state. I entered the office with a broken tooth and left a lifelong client and a huge fan. My first visit to Dr. McCann and Aurora Modern Dentistry completely changed my experience with the entire industry of dental medicine.
Two hours after I returned home, I received a call from Dr. McCann's office. The receptionist greeted me like an old friend and said, "We just wanted to call because by now the numbing agents are surely wearing off and we wanted to assess your pain level."
Wow. Dr. McCann knew that how I was "feeling" after the procedure would worsen as time went by, and she wanted to make sure I was managing the pain. I told her I was feeling good, and the receptionist said, "That's fantastic news. Did you pick up your painkiller prescription?"
The receptionist asked every necessary follow-up question to make sure I would continue to feel good going forward. She then shared Dr. McCann's personal cellphone number and told me to call Dr. McCann directly anytime in the coming days if I felt pain, experienced more bleeding, or wanted to check in about anything I was experiencing or anxious about.
Have you ever had a medical professional offer a personal cellphone number after a procedure and invite you to call if you needed anything? Neither had I. And I had just met Dr. McCann for the first time a few hours before!