Hard to believe, but 2015 really is a wrap! And what an amazing year it was for our practice, so I’d like to take a few moments and share with you some of what made 2015 such a fabulous year, along with a few challenges we faced and overcome, plus what we’re excited about in 2016.
A Changing of the Guard
As I wrote at the end of 2014, we sadly said say good-bye to Rosie., our long-time dental assistant, who moved home to Arizona to be with her family. And while we still miss her, we’ve gained 2 wonderful new assistants, Charlene and Rose, and I know that those of you who’ve met them know just how fortunate we are to have found them. And you can check out the “About Our Team” page to learn a bit more about them and our other great team members.
With over 30 years of assisting experience, Charlene brings a steady hand, lots of hard-earned knowledge, and a kind heart. She lightens my work especially with her knowledge of dentures and surgery, as well as knowing how to explain sometimes complicated procedures to patients in ways that make sense.
While many of you know her, I really should formally introduce Amber, our
part-time full-time (as of 2017) hygienist, who’s been working with us for 3 years. She started her career as a hygienist in 2011. She has a sense of humor that keeps her patients laughing out loud.
We Just Keep Growing – Thanks to Your Referrals
It’s hard to believe we’ve already been at our Park Rd. location for 6 years already. It’s also hard to believe that our practice has doubled in size since moving here. It’s incredible! We are so thankful, because a tremendous amount of that growth has come because our happy patients keep referring their family and friends. That’s the best compliment you can give us. We know that we have to earn each and every referral by taking care of you each and every appointment; we’re still human and fail sometimes, but we do our best to make it right.
Because we’ve grown so much, and added new technologies since moving here, you’ve probably noticed that some of the treatment rooms, especially the 2 in which I work, are pretty cramped. We have to duck under the microscopes and twist around the lasers, we don’t have enough storage in the treatment rooms, etc. But…..that’s about to change! Thanks to some hard work and important connections, we were able to secure the empty office space next to us, and we’re in the process of designing an office expansion. The goals:
- Completely gut and expand the 2 main treatment rooms for my assistants and me by 2 feet (at least) in width.
- Convert the current staff bathroom to enlarge our office dental lab.
- Convert the current staff break room to bulk storage.
- Add a larger staff break/meeting room in the new space so we’re not so cramped while eating lunch.
- Add a portrait studio for our cosmetic and orthodontic patients.
- Add a new staff bathroom.
- Add more overhead lighting in all the treatment rooms so we can see better.
While we’re at it, we are considering some other minor “refreshes” of the office decor, but it’s too early to know what or how minor or extensive yet. You’ll be able to stay updated on our practice Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ Business Pages.
The thing is, we didn’t really want the entire space, as we only needed a little over half (although we’re still dealing with some design challenges due to city, state, and federal safety regulations.), so it looks like we will have 350 sq. ft. or so that we’re hoping to sub-lease, so if you know anyone looking for a small office space, tell them to contact us. 🙂 Once final designs are approved, we’ll know for sure.
Staying Fit is Important Professionally
One other reason that we’re expanding the office is for my personal health. We didn’t realize it at the time our current office space was built, the design of my 2 main rooms forces me to turn and twist in ways bad ways. Eventually, the poor ergonomics caught up with me, and I woke up on a Thursday morning in July 2015 with excruciating shoulder and neck pain. It was so bad that we cancelled all our patients that day, which almost never happens. Thankfully, it was basically an unbelievable muscle spasm and not truly something serious, but it did limit my work for a few weeks until physical therapy, massage, laser biostimulation, and some pain medications got it under control. Since then, I’ve continued with strength-building, martial arts training at The Peaceful Dragon, bi-weekly deep-tissue massage therapy, and being more aware of my posture at work. The redesigned rooms will be much better in allowing more space for all of our technology AND in keeping me in a better working position for the next 20 or so years of practicing this profession.
A Charlotte Dentist’s Year in Blogging
I wasn’t nearly as active in blogging in 2015, largely because that shoulder pain kept me away from the keyboard and extensive typing, but I did knock out 15 total articles, 10 of which were pretty in-depth and focused on science communication, debunking a bunch of myths, and especially talking about nutrition and health fads. You can see a quick summary and links to each on my last article A Blogging Charlotte Dentist in 2015. In addition, I started a Vlog on our Smiles by Payet Family Dentistry YouTube channel. Once the new portrait studio is up, it will also become our new video recording studio, so there will be LOTS more videos about all kinds of things in dentistry, nutrition, health, science, myth-debunking, bad science, and whatever I feel like. 🙂
Oh yeah…..and we’ll need someone to do some video editing for us. Anyone know anyone?
So there you have it, a nice little summary of what happened in our office in 2015, as well as a preview of what’s to come in 2016. Stay tuned for more updates.