I'm the dentist referred to by "Loyal Patient" below (people are so fickle with their love. I'm crushed, but will learn to bear up). Dr Luong is a wonderful dentist. I met her when she bought my practice. Other than having lunch with her and her staff on occasion, we have no other personal, financial, or business relationship. No one asked me to write this. Out of curiosity I scanned sites like this to see if there were any reviews of her office. In her resume I recall the words "Valedictorian: and some level of "cum laude" (honor), so she's smart. She has working for her two of the best employees I had over the last 25 years, and she has a third who is superb, but didn't work for me. But she did work on me dentally. My last cavity was 1971. I know because it was done right before I left for Officer Training School. Many of my fillings go back that far, but I do break some from years of clenching. Dr Luong offered to fix two broken fillings. Of course I mentally graded the procedure every step of the way (how was the injection, how proficient was the assistant, how good did the final restoration look and feel?). Everything went very well, and I was very pleased.(Who's better to judge a dentist than another dentist?). I highly recommend Dr Luong and everyone there, and I don't give recommendations easily;not for specialists, physicians, ex-employees, etc. As to the patient that thought they were oversold, second opinions are logically bogus. How does an untrained person decide which opinion is the best opinion? And you certainly can't trust an insurance company to be looking out for your best interests. No, for them it's all about their bottom line. I never had an insurance company call me to demand I give their client a crown when all the patient wanted was a humongous silver filling because that's all they could afford (or were willing to pay for). A lot of dentistry and medicine is philosophy: what to fix, when to fix it, and what to fix it with? It's not a right or wrong kind of thing. To keep a mouth and teeth in tip top condition with the very latest dental materials could cost a patient thousands and thousands of dollars. And some dentists do $50,000 dental plans. It becomes a matter of needs, wants, dentist training, and finances.
I've never been to a management seminar that didn't say, "Treat the patient, not their insurance plan." Probably every dentist in the audience thought, "Yeah, right, tell my patients that." Another teaching rule is to tell the patient every single thing you think they need (for medical and legal reasons), and let them decide. Perhaps the patient below is a long time patient of mine that I knew wanted to hold off things until absolutely necessary. Like driving on tires below recommended tread wear until they're bald and smooth. Everyone hates going to the doctor only to be told they're too fat. And going to the dentist, and being bored with speaches about brushing, flossing, and taking care of fillings so they don't have to be replaced every few years instead of every 20 years. But they're legally obligated to tell you, and that's what you or your insurance is paying them to do. Dentists in the latest survey were rated #2 behind nurses as the most trusted profession in the U.S. I've seen some bad dentistry in my career, but never blantant over treatment. More than one patient has told me the dentist pulled teeth that didn't need to be pulled. So I'd ask the logical question, "So why did you let them be pulled if they didn't need it?"
Of course there was no logical answer to that. Dr Luong has worked closely with the landlord to upgrade the interior of the office as part of the new lease negotiations. She's taken training in new areas of dentistry that I avoided because I was too close to retirement to want to spend the time and money. I'm very proud of where she is taking the practice. All of the people there are smart,warm hearted, conscientious, hard working, and honest. Many of my patients there have been loyal to me for up to 25 years, and I feel an obligation to them which she is meeting beyond expectation. Even the one that used to love me, but now loves her more.
by Tom Williams, DMD
January 03, 2013