The Biggest Red Flag for Dentists Issuing Oral Surgeon Referrals
When it comes time for a wisdom teeth removal or a tricky maxillofacial procedure, a dentist will issue an oral surgeon referral. This involves a patient being sent to a specialist who will choose how to proceed. Dentists have a vested interest in selecting the absolute best oral surgeon for their patients. When you experience excellent care, both the dentist and the oral surgeon benefit. Reversely, if you’re displeased with your care, you may become frustrated with both the surgeon to whom you were referred, and the dentist who did the referring.
When dentists are choosing an oral surgeon to see their patients, they should be sure this surgeon meets a series of qualifications: Is the surgeon implementing the best tools in the industry? Do patients typically come back satisfied? Would the dentist be comfortable sending his or her own kids to this surgeon?
When it comes to comparing oral surgeons, ability isn’t really a part of the equation. To be certified, they undergo a lengthy educational and residential program. So in a field where all oral surgeons are created equal in technical abilities, what makes the difference between a good oral surgeon and a great one?
According to our own Dr. Kooning, it comes down to one thing: Personality.
When it comes to oral surgeon referrals, attitude plays a surprisingly big role in a patient’s experience. As Dr. Kooning notes, all oral surgeons go through years of education. Between undergraduate school, dental school, and residency, studying oral surgeons can spend 12 to 14 years before owning their own practice is even a possibility. Even while in school, an oral surgeon’s rank in their class can influence their career. Graduating at the top of your class in dental school is a coveted achievement.
This can create a sense of entitlement in some practicing oral surgeons, Dr. Kooning says.
An industry so competitive can foster a high-and-mighty mindset in some individuals, and this comes as the detriment of a patient. When making an oral surgeon referral, a dentist should seek a practitioner who can level with his or her patients. No one wants to be talked down to. An oral surgeon who is friendly and inviting will always trump one who lords their experience over their patients.
“It can impact on some people’s personas,” said Dr. Kooning. “For others, it rolls off of them like water. I’ve found that being engaging and being friendly and treating [others] as equals is much more inviting.”
For a dentist issuing an oral surgeon referral, the single biggest red flag in a practicing oral surgeon is simply arrogance. Patients want a professional who will talk to them transparently, never rudely. Surgery is an anxiety-inducing experience. A friendly face can make all the difference.
The burden then comes down to the dentist. A dentist and oral surgeon should encourage consistent and committed communication to ensure their joint patient is experiencing the best care possible. When a patient is happy, everybody wins.
Beaverton Oral Surgeons strives everyday to curate a comfortable atmosphere to its clients. We are proud to be ranked by our patients as the best oral surgeon in Beaverton and to hear back from satisfied members of the BOS community.
We believe Dr. Kooning put it best:
“At Beaverton Oral Surgeons, we aspire to provide the kindest and best service to those patients and referral community.”