31 Dec V SMILE FAMILY DENTAL: CHANGING SMILES ONE PATIENT AT A TIME BY DEBORAH DOVE
V Smile Family Dental isn’t your typical dental office, and Dr.Vijaya Tippireddy isn’t your typical dentist. Radiating a warmth and professionalism that immediately puts her patients at ease, Dr. Tippireddy’s focus is on building relationships with her patients. She strives to ensure that in addition to providing the best quality of care to her patients, she is also listening to their needs and concerns—whether they’re anxious about going to the dentist or concerned about how they’ll pay for their treatment. Having just celebrated the two-year anniversary of opening her practice in Frisco, Dr. Tippireddy sat down to talk about some of the most common concerns people have about visiting the dentist, how to handle them, and about the more personal nature of her practice.
Dealing with Dental Anxiety
Most people have some sort of dental anxiety . . . just a fear of being in the dental chair. Some have had bad experiences, but most can’t pinpoint exactly why. Helping a patient overcome their dental anxiety usually comes down to two things—giving them control and understanding where their fear is coming from, getting to the root of the problem, and addressing it.
Before I even start, I tell my patients to raise their hand if they need me to stop for any reason; I don’t care how many times I have to stop. Once they realize they have control over the situation, they feel much better about it. We also offer nitrous to help people with anxiety, which helps quite a bit, although many times patients find they no longer need nitrous as they become more comfortable with me. It all boils down to trust.
Also, patients should realize that advances in technology have changed the dental field, making most procedures less invasive and less painful than they used to be. Root canals used to have the stigma of being very painful and taking multiple visits, but now it’s no more painful than getting a filling, and can usually be done in an hour. However, the biggest game changer in the last five to ten years has been with implants. There are a lot more options when taking care of your teeth and it’s a lot less expensive as long as you take care of what you have.
What to Ask Your Dentist before Starting Treatment
Sometimes, when a dentist informs a patient of the work they need, the patient becomes overwhelmed and doesn’t come back for ten years! However, there’s a misconception that it all has to be done at once. Usually, the work can be broken down and completed over time.
In my office, I look at the big picture and tell my patients what they need, but there’s no pressure to “sell” you anything. My job is to educate you about what you need. A picture speaks a thousand words. That’s why I take numerous pictures, so the patient can see for themselves the “what” and “why”: what is wrong, and why I’m recommending the treatment I am.
I suggest patients ask the following questions when deciding on a course of treatment:
1 What is the top priority?
What should you be doing first? Is there anything, such as an infection, that needs to be treated immediately?
2 What will happen if I don’t do this?
It’s important to know the ramifications of waiting to treat a specific problem. For example, it’s often easier, faster, and less expensive to fill a small cavity. But if you leave it for one or two years, it might worsen and turn into a situation where you need a root canal and a crown. Obviously, taking care of it earlier would have saved you time and money.
3 What would you do if you were in my place?
This should come from the dentist without the patient even having to ask, but don’t be afraid to speak up and ask this question before determining your treatment plan. At V Smile Dental, we help patients’ budget out what needs to be done to ensure a healthy mouth, and set up a schedule that fits with their budget and time frame. We are in network with most PPO insurance companies, and take Care Credit. We also offer a discount plan for people without dental insurance.
What do you enjoy most about owning your own practice?
Delivering quality service with a sense of care for the patient was what first motivated me to start my own practice. I’m not going to work because there’s a corporate, monetary goal. Every patient that walks in counts; they aren’t just a number to me.
I also love that I’m able to provide a healthy work/life balance for my team. For example, we always close for two weeks over the Christmas holidays to allow everyone to spend time with their families.
What inspires you to go to work every day?
Changing people’s smiles and their confidence. Just the other day, after treating a patient, she gave me a big bear hug and said, “You have no idea how happy I am.” That’s what makes you realize you’re doing something that is changing people’s lives. It warms your heart. It’s really inspiring and is what motivates me each and every day.
What’s new at V Smile?
We now offer Zoom Whitening, which gives more instant results in whitening teeth. The technology is more advanced than it used to be. We have also gone to a completely paperless office, so even when patient’s check in, they use an iPad and the information is immediately transferred to the system, making it easier for the patient and better for the environment. We have also added new team members to our V Smile family, which is very exciting.
Privately Owned Family Practice
Evening & Saturday
Appointments Available Call to schedule your appointment (214) 872-2700
12388 FM 423 I Frisco, TX 75033