First Impressions (You don’t get a second chance)

Harrison-1st-mpressions_343967693-smMaking an excellent first dental impression is Dentistry’s most critically learned clinical skill. The degree of difficulty is high and demands strict attention to the details of correct technique. The costs of doing it over because of any flaw are damaging not only to the confidence of the patient but also time and money lost within the practice. Doing things right the first time eliminates costly mistakes and excellent impressions mean excellent dentistry is possible. It is even more necessary to be accurate and precise in restorative dentistry where the fit of crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, precision partials, dentures, and implants have to be exact to microscopic tolerances. It take a pro not an amateur to get it right and no lay person should ever try and take their own impressions for dental appliances by getting caught up in the wave of do it yourself (DIY) dentistry. One college dude, Amos Dudly, at New Jersey Institute of Technology ,made himself famous of late by fabricating his own orthodontic appliance using the schools multiple $100,000+ 3D laser scanners, printers, graphic design computers, animation software and other exotic products and telling the world that it only cost him $60 to straighten his front tooth. Oh the foolishness of youth, who by the way was on a scholarship paying his very expensive education with no sane idea of what his out of pocket $60 dental appliance really cost to fabricate. Dentistry is not something you try out at home to save a buck thinking that you can perform as well as a highly trained professional, yet there are on line companies ready to send you questionable impression material, in ill-fitting trays, for you to gag yourself mushing the gook over your saliva laden teeth missing all the important soft tissue landmarks for them to make you an questionable ill-fitting orthodontic appliance sent in a beautifully colored box with a picture of a gorgeous model’s million dollar smile. The choice is first or worst with dental impressions. The latter is called malpractice. Must we be permissive and tolerant of incompetence and crime? The media apparently says ” yes”!, The Dental Practice Act says “no”!

Part two of first impressions has to do with meeting and greeting all people in general,Harrison-1st-mpressions_249027679-sm especially potential patients in a very competitive world of multiple choices. You do not get a second chance to make a first impression and nobody has their hospitality act down better than Ritz Carlton Hotel personnel who are trained daily in providing superior service to their guests. It was my privilege to listen to Horst Schulze the founder and CEO of Ritz Carlton Hotels at a recent leadership meeting beamed by satellite to 167 sites across the USA from Willow Creek Church in Chicago to thousands of attentive listeners as Mr. Schulze in a thick German accent told the crowd the secret of business success. He said with Prussian authority: “Believe vat I tell you, it es trooth, I know it es trooth because I say so, (you think I am going to argue with this man?), Vee treat every guest at Ritz Carlton as if they vere Jesus Christ” . Those were the first words out of his mouth, the head man of a very successful high end enterprise. Quite a different Inn Keeper from the one in Bethlehem that condescended to give his divine guest a rough cut food trough bed in a dark cold smelly stable. Another comparison with the first and worst in making impressions whether it be mixing material or meeting people.

If you are looking for some good old fashion Southern hospitality while achieving a lifetime beautiful smile, please call John Harrison Orthodontist at 727 822-3156 and take a look at our web site: We’ll treat you like a number: #1

John B. Harrison DDS, MSc

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