Written by Jill Nossa Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00
Unlike the typical white, clinical atmosphere associated with most dental offices, Gold Coast Smiles evokes a more comfortable, almost home-like feel upon first walking through the door. With hardwood floors, rich wood moldings, sliding glass office doors and hallways warmly lit by lantern-style lights instead of the traditional overhead fluorescent lights, the space is meant to make patients feel relaxed, not fearful of the impending services. Perhaps more importantly is the technology used at the practice; x-rays are 100 percent digital, and patient chairs are equipped with personal television screens that can also be used to pull up and explain the dentist’s findings. Alternatively, patients can watch programs or listen to music of their choice during their visits, lessening the discomfort of having someone poke around in your mouth.
Gold Coast Smiles has been at 128 Glen Street for five years, and Dr. Woodman says the practice began as a home office, then moved to Highland Street, where he saw patients for about 11 years. He says a lot of the staff has been with him almost since the beginning; one hygienist has been there for more than 35 years, another for more than 20 years; an assistant has been with the practice for 27 years and the office manager for nearly 32 years. His patients seem to be just as loyal as his staff; Woodman says he now works on fourth and fifth generations of some families, and some come from as far as New Jersey for their services.
Dr. Sami concurs that the majority of their 2,000-plus active patients are referrals, and he attributes that not only to the state-of-the-art technology used and the warm atmosphere of the office itself, but also to the style in which the two doctors consult with patients about the services they are seeking.
“We give a very comprehensive consultation,” he says, “and the treatment plan is clearly laid out.” He adds that this often makes the cost factor less daunting, when patients can see exactly what they will owe and when a payment will be required.
He also says that both he and Dr. Woodman, as well as the entire staff, are very caring, and they make themselves available to patients 24 hours a day.
“When you call, you get us on our cell phones, not an answering service,” explains Dr. Sami.
Gold Coast Smiles offers patients general dentistry services as well as cosmetic services, and Dr. Sami says it’s an equal mix on any given day. He says both he and Woodman have each had more than 700 hours of post-grad education to stay up to date with the new materials, techniques and attitudes within the business, and they work with specialists for advanced purposes to do what’s in the best interest of the patient.
In his 40-plus years, Woodman has seen the industry evolve and is excited about the changes, seeing first-hand how patients have benefited from new materials, such as laminates, a speedy alternative to braces to the use of air abrasion for cavities, tooth-colored fillings and milled zirconia crowns and implants that look more natural and are more chip-proof than ceramic implants. They also use soft tissue laser to treat periodontal disease, which limits the need for anesthesia and minimizes discomfort, and they pride themselves on going to extraordinary lengths to make patients comfortable and feel relaxed.
“Most people don’t believe how dentistry has evolved,” says Sami. “We try to be top notch in all phases.”