More than Just Teeth

By Scott L. Rose

Before I was a dentist, I was very fortunate to have worked for a man in the hardware business who was all about customer service and developing relationships. He ingrained in me that it’s not about selling, it’s not about fixing, and it’s not about doing what you think is right for you. It’s about listening, understanding, and doing what is right for them.

So when I started out in practice, I did not have to struggle with who I wanted to be as a dentist. I just needed to adapt these philosophies into a different setting. I was also very fortunate to be able to go into practice with another dentist who was very open to other ways of practicing and allowed me the freedom to practice in a way that reflected me and what I believed in, and not stuck in a set practice model that was created and used without my input. The other dentist left after a few years, and being the captain of my own ship really afforded me the opportunities to explore, learn, and incorporate technologies, techniques, materials, and new treatment modalities into what I did and do.

In all of our daily lives, regardless of what we do, we gravitate to what is familiar, what is routine, and what is easy to get done. But the fruit does not live on the trunk; it lives out on the limbs. To get to it, you need to journey onto places that are not as familiar and are out of your comfort zone. That is where the rewards lie. I think this is true for what I do. It would be really easy to do basic dentistry and stay on the “trunk” so to speak. But I feel that in order to give people what they want and need, and to give them options they may not have even thought about, it is my job to venture out, learn, and offer long-term healthy options.

Another part of this “wholistic” philosophical approach is to take the time to look at things beyond teeth. Someone who comes to me with a toothache, but also has cervical neck issues, may have an undiagnosed bite issue. Maybe some other medical problems may be influenced by oral infection or broken down mercury fillings. So while it is important to always address dental issues, it is just as important to look at other health issues people have and see if there is a connection. I don’t think a week goes by where a patient tells me about headaches and I tell them it is from their bite. They look at me with a sense of relief and say no one has ever told them that before. I try to look at dentistry as a vehicle to help people improve their health, not just fix their teeth. I look at dentistry as a doorway to developing relationships, not a repair shop.

For many people, a visit to the dentist may seem benign in nature; to me, every visit is a chance to help a person move their health in a positive direction. It is the opportunity to bring to the table things that they may not have thought of. It is the opportunity to show them that we are here for them: here to help them, here to counsel them, here to explain things to them, and here to help them live a better life. We take a “human” and “wholistic” approach—one that is non-toxic, gentle, and safe.

Meet Dr. Rose

A graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Dentistry, Dr. Rose is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, with his research published in many professional dental journals. His outstanding work has been lauded by colleagues and patients. Recognized as an expert in dentistry, he has been featured in Cleveland Magazine, Avenues, The Plain Dealer, the Sun Newspapers, and is a guest contributor of The Cleveland Women’s Journal magazine. Dr. Rose has been on Channels 3, 5, and 19 as well as cable television. He was featured in the book, “Unleashing the Power of Dentistry: An Introduction to Neuromuscular Dentistry,” as well as in “Secret Service,” a book about excellence in customer service.

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