I really like my dentist office.
I still don't particularly like going to the dentist, mostly because I fear pain like any normal human, but if I have to go...
I started taking The Kid there when we first moved out here, since that's where her grampa goes and he liked them. They won me over by being friendly and not at all mill-ish despite having several locations, and they always remember us despite only going in twice a year. It says a lot about the employers when a medical/dental office keeps the same staff for years and years.
I chose to go with a different dentist at the time, just because their hours worked better with my then work schedule, but in the end I found that every time I went there was different staff, and never a smile or feeling of "we are here to care for you" - which really, isn't that why we go to doctors and dentists? That kind of "we don't care if you come in or not" makes it hard to trust their expertise, so a year ago I switched over to The Kid's place, and happily so! They're very comprehensive and do things like testing your taste-buds to see if your diet needs attention, a litmus test to see how acidic your saliva is, and a blood pressure check before anything to see if you're nervous, and if you are, a little Rescue Remedy to help calm your nerves.
They also set out organic truffles and cheese, keep Vitamin Water stocked and cold, offer a treasure chest for the littler kids to grab something fun after thier visit, and have *awesome* posters for old spaghetti westerns on the walls. I appreciate the little things.
This brings us around to yesterday, when I went in to have my bi-annual cleaning and "why aren't you flossing more" chat.
I have a few fillings that have been needed for awhile, but haven't been able to afford to get them done - it's hard to shove a few hundred dollars into the budget all at once, and though I had tax refund money awhile back, it was fix the car or fix my molars. The car won.
After a cleaning, the dentist that's in the office that day always comes in to see what needs doing and to chat awhile. Yesterday it was Dr. Perry, who proved himself to be not only a pleasant dentist but also a model human.
I had been discussing my lack of ability to do a payment plan with the hygienist (they require up-front payment, and rightly so, I don't blame them at all), just figuring I'd do it when I could. When Dr. Perry came in, she asked him what he thought about putting one together anyway.
"Well," he said, "why don't we just make it easy. Don't worry about paying, just come in and get it done. You do something nice for 3 people at some point in the future."
I didn't quite know what to say other than "Seriously?!", to which he replied...
"Yes. In these economic times, we all have to pull together, or we're all going to sink."
It sounds hokey, what was truly thrilling wasn't the free dental work, but the optimism, and the faith in humanity. I've always believed that people are generally good (it's just that the bad ones make better news stories), but it's lovely and inspiriing to see it in action.
I'm getting my teeth fixed, but more than that I suddenly find myself looking around a little more.
I know that I will keep that promise to "pay it forward". I don't know how, but I know it will happen.
And you know, it's the least I can do...
If you need a dentist, and live in the Longmont area, give them a try! And actually their practice is in 8 locations in northern Colorado, so even if you're not in Longmont, their methods extend to all their locations, so if you're looking for a dentist you can find their practice in Denver (3 locations), Arvada, Aurora, Greeley and Boulder.