“I understand my patient’s fears and provide him comfort through communication. Besides, being a dentist, I love acknowledging the transition from analog to digital dentistry since the advancement of technology”, says Dr. Phil, a renowned dentist from Portland, Oregon.
Oral health is indeed as much important as the overall health of the human body. Dr. Phil Han from the Cedar Creek Dental family has been interviewed by Business Tech about his dental journey and ever-changing dental technology, including dental discoveries, especially since the change of lifestyle during the pandemic. By catching up with Dr. Phil, this interview proved to be an insight into how dental businesses are run and other healthcare system challenges.
What made you choose dentistry? How did your professional journey actually start?
Growing up, I was always that kid who had many issues and experiences related to oral health. This made me develop an interest in dentistry and stir the passion of adopting it as a profession. My dental journey started when I graduated college back in 2013. After finishing my hospital residency in 2014, I continued to work in this noble field.
What’s your philosophy on oral health’s relation to the body? What is your knowledge of current dental technology and emerging procedures?
Oral care is as important as bodily healthcare; it has a deep relationship with the human body. I enjoy taking the latest in continuing education and am excited to see the transition from analog to digital dentistry. With the workflow improving rapidly, we can provide even more predictable and higher quality of care. To nourish my knowledge on the current status of dental tech, I’ve signed up for classes in Kois Center. Besides, I am actively involved in my local spear study club, which arranges monthly meetings that help me develop an insider on the latest in scientific dental research by helping me gain more practice and provide the highest quality of care to the patients. In the past years, these opportunities have helped me to gain more knowledge of the dental world.
How to deal with an unhappy and uncomfortable patient? Is that challenging? What about working with children?
Fear, pain, and discomfort come along with dental care. Dealing with stressed-out patients is part of the job, and I do it by connecting well with them. Accomplishing that connection makes the patient comforted. So no, it is not challenging for me at all. Our motto from Cedar Creek Dental, ‘building lifelong relationships with a great smile,’ speaks in this regard.
Children are always a greater source of learning by a professional as their bad habits can turn into a regular visit to their dentists. I love to interact with kids during work and teach them good oral hygiene principles.
What’s your experience in the administrative side of running a dental clinic?
Before buying practice a few years ago, I had no experience running a business or administrating it. Thanks to my mentors and colleagues who put a great deal of effort into assisting me. With it being a steep learning curve, I can say that I have accomplished much at this point.
How do you monitor your staff related to Covid-19 SOPs? How do your patients achieve their maximum safety level if they visit your clinic?
As far as monitoring the staff is concerned, all the members are fully vaccinated and follow all the essential SOPs stated by the government. I, personally, monitor and check up on my staff on this. Therefore, the patients are provided with an atmosphere of safety and satisfaction in which they can get minimal invasive oral care. Patients pick up on that and enjoy the vibe; therefore, no worries are caused at our end.
Are dentists really at high risk compared with other healthcare workers?
I don’t think it’s essentially true as the universal precautions of dentistry have been adopted worldwide, and there have been no such cases where this statement proved to be true. As far as risks are concerned, all healthcare workers are at risk, but with effective precautions, they can lower the scales of it.
What about your change in treatment policies since Covid-19?
Not much change has been done regarding the treatment policies of dental care and other effective procedures. There have been some advancements and changes in other institutes, but those have not been adapted yet in our clinic.
Enlighten us on your strategy of choice regarding the reopening of dental clinics. Does your clinic have revived its work hours?
Since the closure of everything due to Covid-19, the strategies for reopening dental clinics were a blur. However, we dealt with the case quite nicely with the successful installation of PPE, covid-essential SOPs, and necessary precautions. As far as working hours are concerned, ours were normal business hours as well.
To connect with new dental discoveries and current events, which dentistry-related newspapers, journals, or publications do you most likely prefer to read?
Decisions in Dentistry is a peer-review journal which I always look up to for recent trends in the dental world. However, being honest, I often rely on my colleagues and my mentors for the latest techniques. Intellectual discussions with my colleagues stir my knowledge and add to it.