When thinking of how to build his practice, Dr. Eric Salud wanted to create an environment that encourages his patients to come to the dentist, not scare them away. In short, he wanted to make them comfortable. With that in mind, Salud brought in ultra-plush leather massage chairs, selected the perfect calming colors to paint the walls, utilizes modern technology to make the patient’s experience easier and even threw in Netflix, too.
Nearly one year later since opening its doors, Complete Comfort Dental is becoming more and more popular. And, of course, his patients are loving those plush leather massage chairs.
Q: Where did the concept of your practice come from?
When developing a plan to build my practice, I wanted the patient experience to be the main concept. My tagline, “expect a better experience,” was how I designed my office. I understand that going to see the dentist can be a traumatic experience and just one traumatizing dental experience can ruin a patient’s outlook on the importance of oral health. I strive to create such a better experience that patients are no longer paralyzed with fear and they stop avoiding the dentist.
Q: The name of the practice implies “Complete Comfort.” How does your business deliver on that promise?
With complete comfort, we strive to create individualized comfort. What one patient thinks is comfortable to them; another patient can have a completely different concept of comfort. As a team, our focus is to determine what each patient’s definition of comfort is and then make sure we can provide them with that comfort.
Our team is trained to identify what each of our patients defines as comfort. The colors used in the office are neutral colors evoking a more calming feel. Also, the office is designed using curved walls which add to the calming effect. We offer nitrous oxide, or better known as laughing gas, as a way to calm the nerves.
We educate our patients as to why they need the treatment and the consequences of not having treatment done.
We understand that patients do not understand much of what is occurring in their mouths on a daily basis. We feel that if patients better understand why they need treatment, they will feel more comfortable having treatment done.
The most important concept in providing comfort is listening to the patient’s needs. When the patient feels that they are being listened to and cared for, they feel more comfortable with treatment. Our team takes the extra step in listening to our patients.
Q: In what ways does your practice use modern technology to make your patients’ experience more enjoyable?
Complete Comfort Dental provides some of the latest in modern dental technology. We provide the service of having patients complete the initial forms online at the convenience of their homes or at work. By providing this service, patients do not have to wait anxiously in the reception room to complete these forms. For patients who forget to complete the forms online, we provide iPads to complete the forms more efficiently than writing our responses. The less time spent waiting in the reception room, the better the patient experience will be.
We understand that our patients have busy lives and many people communicate via text messages or emails. We provide emails and text reminders of upcoming appointments so patients do not forget when their next appointment is. Dental insurances can be difficult to understand. Because our office is completely digital, we are able to file most insurance claims electronically, alleviating stress from the patient having to deal with their insurance companies.
From a clinical standpoint, we use the latest technology in digital radiography (x-rays). This technology emits the least amount of radiation possible, lessening the amount of exposure to the patient. At the same time, the digital radiography can find any potential cavity at its smallest size. Whenever a cavity can be fixed at its smallest size, there will be less long term problems with that tooth.Also, taking care of a small cavity generally means less discomfort for the patient.
Many patients do not know what problems are in their mouths unless something hurts. With the use of an intraoral camera, patients can see exactly what we see and understand why a tooth needs to be fixed.
Q: What has had more reaction from patients, Netflix or the massage chairs?
Both have had great reactions from patients. Netflix works especially well with children. They are able to watch cartoons and be distracted while we clean their teeth or fix cavities. Most patients are shocked that we have massaging chairs. They sit down and ask if the chair is moving, but we explain to them how the chair is massaging them. After we explain that the chairs are not moving, patients are usually thrilled with the massage. In addition to the massage, the chairs are equipped with ultra-plush leather upholstery making the chairs even more comfortable.
Q: How does your practice serve patients who are less than thrilled with the idea of visiting a dentist, especially considering the possible pain or needles involved?
The most important factor with any fearful patient is to listen to them and figure out what caused them to have anxiety at the dentist. Understanding why someone is fearful is the first step.
The next step is finding a way to alleviate their fears. For example, the most common reason why patients are fearful is because of a traumatic experience at the dentist during childhood. We explain to them how technology has evolved and most procedures can be done pain free.
Another common anxiety is the needle. We provide the technology to make the needle injection as pain free as possible. We also provide nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. This technology allows patients to be less aware of their surroundings, thus being less tense during a procedure.
Q: Complete Comfort Dental has been in business in Channahon for almost one year. How has the first year been and in what ways do you see the practice growing in the future?
This first year has been exciting. Complete Comfort Dental has been able to grow at an exceptional rate in its inaugural year. We have been able to provide a better experience to our patients.
We want to continue to spread our name throughout Channahon and Minooka and become the dental home to as many people as possible while providing and exceptional experience.
The practice will continue to grow in its second year, adding more team members to be able to meet the demand of the influx of new patients while still being able to provide a better experience.
BUSINESS NAME: Complete Comfort Dental
LOCATION: 25445 Pheasant Lane, Channahon (Next to Cardinal Fitness)
OWNER: Dr. Eric Salud
DATE OPENED: April 16, 2012
SERVICES PROVIDED: Family Dentistry
HOURS: Monday, 11a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Friday. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.