Frequently Asked Questions
What's unique about my practice is the personalized service. In my personal life I have had plenty of experience in other medical or dental offices, and when you're greeted by a grumpy front desk staff, it just puts a sour taste in your mouth from the very beginning. My staff has been with me longer than I've been in this office and they are just wonderful. I routinely get compliments on my staff. They’re very warm and welcoming, and they put people at ease.
In addition, we really prefer to to set a non-formal environment, it’s just more comfortable that way. We really put people at ease from the very beginning, and we do a really good job at making everyone feel like they are the only patient in the practice.
With the rise of corporate dentistry, people are becoming marginalized. They’re just a number or a chart or a name on a piece of paper. When you come to our office, you are reminded of how things used to be. We treat people like people, and we build relationships with them. Patients often come in early just to catch up with me or with the staff, and many of them stay for an hour or more afterward just to keep chatting.
I approach dentistry from a very broad view. As a general dentist, I am quarterbacking each patient’s care, following a team approach. Treatment plans are coordinated with the patient and with specialists as needed. The most important aspect is that I evaluate each patient and formulate each treatment plan in conjunction with the patient, which in my experience is a different approach that many patients are used to. I am not the type of dentist to dictate a single option to someone and claim that is the only way to do it.
I truly believe that there are many ways to treat any problem and that every person is unique, so each patient needs a customized treatment plan. I have patients with different dental anxieties, different financial issues…there's never one single way of doing anything. Each patient needs to be treated as their own person, so when I approach a treatment plan, I take a very macro view. We look at the result we want, and then we talk about how we can get there.
It’s very important to me for the patient to feel comfortable throughout the entire process, so I explain every single diagnosis in great detail. We might use X-rays, a hand mirror, intra oral cameras…I’ve even made drawings on paper. We do whatever we need to do to make sure the patient fully understands what his or her dental needs are.
From there, I present three or four options, along with the pros and cons of each choice. I take the time to fully educate the patient about each procedure, and ultimately it is the patient’s decision. As long as I am confident that the patient fully understands each option, I will be entirely supportive of his or her choice.
In my opinion, every day is about learning. Every single patient presents with unique circumstances, so even though they may be the same procedures, there are never two procedures performed exactly alike. Everything we do is a learning opportunity.
As far as continuing education, with dentistry taking such huge leaps in the last 5 to 6 years, dentists need to constantly be out there taking more courses and learning new techniques. From implant courses in Charlotte, North Carolina, to helping out a dental charity in the Dominican Republic, I am always learning new things. In the past two years alone, I have spent about 200 hours in continuing education for dental implants.
I have also spent hours upon hours in digital dentistry classes, making sure I’m at the forefront of new techniques as they come out. In our office, we offer digital treatment planning, 3D Cone Beam technology, 3D CEREC services, and 3D-printed surgical guides for implant placement. Dentistry is evolving so fast that if you’re not out there taking courses and learning as much as possible, you will quickly become a dinosaur and be left behind.
Call Barkoff Dental at 516-921-1133 to schedule your first appointment.