Bill Zortman: Dr. Lou George, Dr. Denis Miller – Siouxland Oral Surgery. Gentlemen, good morning.
Denis Miller: Feliz Navidad.
Lou George: Good morning, Bill.
Bill Zortman: Very nice, I didn’t expect that out of you.
Denis Miller: I taught that to my little girl the other day. Took her about five tries.
Bill Zortman: You know, also what we don’t expect are emergencies during the holiday, and as we look at the sands of the hourglass passing through before the end of the year, one of the things we know is people wondering if they did have an emergency during a holiday period, can they get in? You know, kids have their school holidays. You got farmers that have had their harvest, and they’re not planting yet. There’s a lot of reasons to consider this. What would you say?
Denis Miller: Well, our practice has always tried to take care of emergencies because we know that if we were in pain or infected or had a broken tooth and just needed someone to see us that we would really appreciate that, so we try very hard not to put anyone off. Our office policy is if you have an emergency or your dentist thinks you have an emergency, give us a call, and we’ll take care of it for you. We do have to be careful on a couple things to do our due diligence – if you have a significant past medical history, we’ve got to contact a medical doctor, cardiologist, or if you have kidney failure, liver failure, things like that, we’ve got to be careful with. But the vast majority of people we can take care of in our office. A few, we have to go to either one of the major hospital centers and take care of them there. And the other thing is in certain patients, things hurt just too bad to do under just local anesthetic, and we do have to either sedate them or put them to sleep, and the only caveat to being able to do that on an emergency basis in the office setting is whether or not you’ve had anything to eat or drink in the last eight hours. So if you have a broken tooth, and you know it’s hurting you, and you want to be seen, and you go and you have green eggs and ham an hour before you come, and you want to go to sleep, that’s probably not going to work. We’ll have to try it under just local, which in our line of work, let’s face it, it’s surgery — sometimes that hurts — and if you want to get it done so it doesn’t, then we have to put you to sleep, then we have to delay it by about a day, but you can count on one hand how many times that happens. We try very hard to take care of everyone in a safe way from a medical standpoint and a humane way from a surgery standpoint so it’s as pleasant as it could possibly be.
Lou George: That’s right, Bill, because in our practice, it’s very straightforward to us. There’s no such thing as too busy, so if somebody needs to be seen, if somebody’s having a problem, it doesn’t matter what our day looks like. Dr. Miller and I — we’ll find a way to make sure that they’re seen, that the proper attention is paid to all of their medical details, and to them, of course, as human beings, and to get it done for them. I can honestly state that no one else can really match that guarantee that we put out there that it will get taken care of no matter what. So we really pride ourselves on that, and we’d like to really drive that home to the listeners. We wouldn’t want to sit around in pain, and we don’t expect a patient to either.
Bill Zortman: You guys have worked very hard on your dental network, and we know that that dental network wants to make sure that they get the best care that they can. My guess is the majority of those a part of the network would say, “Have you considered Siouxland Oral Surgery?”
Denis Miller: Well, of course, we work hand in hand with our referral base, and they’re all our friends. So, as friends, they’ll give us a call on the phone, say, “Hey, Lou, you’re a dentist, can you help me out here? I’ve got this patient I think they need to be seen right away” for whatever reason that is, and we’ll take care of it for them. There’s just no ifs, ands, or buts about that.
Lou George: Absolutely. There’s no — honestly — circumstance I can think of where we wouldn’t be willing to see the patient, get them out of pain, and help our referral base out. I mean, the promises that we put forth to our referring physicians and referring dentists and dental specialists mean a lot to us, so when we put our word on something, we hold ourselves to a higher standard maybe than anyone else will, so that’s something that we take very seriously – the trust that is put in us.
Bill Zortman: Dr. Lou George, Dr. Denis Miller — Siouxland Oral Surgery — and one of the things that you guys have done is to bring in speakers, make sure that the dental network that you work with is kept up to date. Changes are always made, whether it’s stem cell or it’s something else, those are things that are important, and you’re making sure that the culture with dentists in this area is different.
Denis Miller: Right, and one of the things, because we are surgically oriented, is the CE courses that we have, a lot of them are medical management. We’re getting one coming up on anesthesia, sleep apnea; we’re going to have one on facial rejuvenation, BOTOX, facelifts and how dentistry and oral surgery fit into that in the wider medical field. A lot of what we also talk about are the surgical aspects, and one of the up-and-coming fields that we just see growing and growing and growing bigger and bigger demand for is dental implants. We’re hosting a one- or two-day symposium in April on the restoration of dental implants, treatment planning, patient types, what can be done, what should be done, and definitely what should not be done, because I think that as you come out of dental school, you’re trained on the restorative aspects, but as you come out, you’re not trained on any of the surgical aspects — that’s what you go to oral surgery for — and I think it’s important for the people that we work with to understand what are some of the problems that we encounter and have to think about before we even start, from a surgical perspective, and that’s all kind of wrapped up in this symposium. So, we try to have about six CE courses every year on different topics, but we kind of stick with this one on dental implants every year so that we can stay abreast of the new and up-and-coming things, because that field is developing quite quickly.
Lou George: And that works very well to help kind of share knowledge with our peers, and basically, they can educate us, we educate them, and we work together as a team. And that’s one of the reasons also Dr. Miller and I always do free implant consultations at our offices so that we can educate the patient base too, because we know they’re not going to show up to a five-hour symposium on the science behind dental implants, but that’s where we have them for that 20–30 minutes in our office where we can sit down, go through all the different treatment plans with them that are options for them — even ones that don’t even concern us — but that way, they have the full plate of information in front of them. They know why we’re recommending what we’re recommending, and most patients decide they want to go forward. But even if they don’t, now they leave the office with that information, and they can be better informed moving forward.
Bill Zortman: 2017 about to shut the door. As we do, what new has happened this year that you’d like to share?
Lou George: Well, we’re very positive about our year as it’s coming to an end. We’ve seen an increased number of patients from all over the state and from other states, so we’d like to say thank you to our referring dentists, and just word-of-mouth from other patients for insisting that your family members be seen by Denis and I. That really means a lot to us. We’ve also been able to break through on some facets in the sports industry. We’ve been very blessed to have some professional athletes decide to travel from the East Coast, and now coming from the West Coast as well, to come see us for our consultations and surgery. So that’s something that we’re very proud of, just because it puts us on the national map as well, and Dr. Miller has something he would like to add too, going into next year.
Denis Miller: Yeah, going into next year, I think we had a segment on stem cells, so more and more people are beginning to ask those for their kids that didn’t have a chance to bank their stem cells from umbilical cord. Wisdom teeth and deciduous teeth seem to be a gold mine for stem cells in that patient population that they can bank for future use, so I think that that’s a really nice up-and-coming field. The hope is at some point over the next few decades, if you lost a tooth, you can just regrow it, which will be good for people, but not really good for the dental implant industry, but that’s okay — it’s about people. The other thing, and along that same line, is that one of the newer things that’s coming down on dental implants, you might have heard of All-on-4, or All-on-6 and Teeth-in-a-Day. Those are great technologies. The All-on-4/Teeth-in-a-Day — it’s made with a plastic denture that is bonded to four implants or sometimes six implants, and that works out nicely, but the problem is it’s plastic, it’s acrylic. So, over time, you’re pretty well buying a maintenance policy because it’s going to break, the teeth chip off. It’s just a material that needs some stronger material underneath it as a framework. A couple of companies are coming out with things. The best one is Nobel Biocare, which we tend to use the most of, that has a titanium bar that links three implants instead of four through, of course, a proprietary process that they own. But you can use that as a substructure to place your teeth on, and it’s much, much stronger, and because all of these are commercial-grade, industrial-grade parts that are made again and again and again, the cost of that goes down substantially. So moving into next year and the year after, being able to offer that kind of a service to people to lower the cost of dental implant care and give them a better product at the same time, I think that’s very exciting for us to do.
Bill Zortman: Dr. Denis Miller, Dr. Lou George — Siouxland Oral Surgery. If people need to reach you, how do they do it?
Denis Miller: They can give us a call at our office — (605) 335-1080 — and they should watch Bill’s show, otherwise they’ll be on the naughty list with Santa. No Feliz Navidad for them.
Bill Zortman: Merry Christmas to you.
Lou George: You can also check us out on our website too, Bill. www.siouxlandoralsurgery.com. And thanks to the wonderful staff and advertising crew that we have working with us. We’re all over Facebook too, and you can get to see the real us and kind of see what we’re all about even before you step in the door.