Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing The Right Dentist
The process of finding the right dentist to address your needs, goals, and priorities may take some time as there is a vast difference between one practice and the next with regard to:
Philosophy of the Practice
It is important for individuals seeking a new dentist to know that many dental practices today are “repair-oriented & problem-focused”. By this we mean that the major focus of the practice is to resolve current problems with little time spent looking at trends, reasons why problems are occuring, or developing plans to prevent significant problems in the future. This type of practice is commonly in a strategic association with one or more insurance companies. All insurance companies have as a corporate objective “cost containment” (minimizing payments to policy holders). Hence, patients in this type of practice tend to receive basicm “least expensive alternative” care with little consideration made for what is needed to keep their mouth healthy and attractive long-term. This type of practice model may work for patients who are generally healthy, but can be disasterous for those with significant or complex needs.
Our practice is significantly different in this regard. We are “health & patient-centered”. This is because we believe that health is a precious gift easily taken for granted. And that when we lose a measure of our health – in this case our dental health – we suffer a permanent and significant loss. For many, the loss of dental health is a very traumatic and life-changing event. Loss of dental health is often unnecessary as most dental problems can be prevented or treated easily when discovered and properly addressed at an early stage.
Since our practice places a high value on dental health, we focus on listening and learning: Listening to what our patients feel they need and want and learning how to consistently provide them with the finest dental care and advice available today.
Training Level of the Doctor and Staff
Almost all dentists practicing in the United States have graduated from an accredited dental school and have passed one or more state board examinations. These examinations are in place to measure minimum levels of competency in the main aspects of general dentistry. Hence, the possession of a license to practice dentistry is a minimum standard and therefore does not insure that a patient will receive an appropriate level of care when they visit a licensed dentist.
Like virtually all professions, dentistry is rapidly changing. The materials, techniques, and knowledge required to provide an excellent level of care are changing as well. Today’s finest dentists have blended an exceptional level of ongoing training with their personal practice experiences. This combination leads over time to the development of top notch care, skill and judgement manifested in the quality of care regularly provided to their patients.
Dr. Henny is an alumnus and visiting faculty member of the Pankey Institute, widely regarded as the finest post-graduate center for dental learning in the world. He is also an alumnus of the Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Study. Dr. Henny has completed seven levels of coursework at the Pankey Institute and six levels of training at the Dawson Center. This level of training is rare in the world of dentistry and it allows Dr. Henny to diagnose and successfully treat many complex dental problems.
The Gifts & Talents of Those Providing Your Care
Some areas of dentistry are truly art forms. As in other areas of life, some individuals are artistically gifted where others are lacking. The area of Esthetic (cosmetic) dentistry is arguably the most artistic area of dentistry. Highly skilled and gifted dentists today are able to transform smiles while simultaneously enhancing health and function. In almost every case, the art of transforming smiles is a skill that has been finely developed by the dentist over a number of years. This has been facilitated through a tremendous amount of understanding and training.
Highly skilled dentists today will make available photographs of cases completed to share with those who are contemplating esthetic proceedures. Dentists who do not have a personally created portfolio of completed cases often have limited experience in this area of dentistry. Patients seeking esthetic dentistry should ask to see portfolios and use the visual quality of this dentistry as one measure of the dentist’s gifts and talents.
Dr. Henny has studied esthetic dentistry extensively through the Seattle Institute of Advanced Dental Education as well as at the Dawson Center and the Pankey Institute. Photographs of a number of cases completed by Dr. Henny are viewable on this website.
The Examination & Planning Process
Traditionally, dentists have used a form of “examine – inform – do” while working with patients. Many people have expressed to us that this approach is confusing as the dentist is unable to (due to time constraints, or the complexity of the problem) to explain to them what they need to do in a fashion that they can make a fully informed choice. The hectic working environment of the average busy family practice seems to add to this problem.
It has been our experience that when patients do not fully understand that which is being recommended, they fail to make the required action a high priority in their life. This is turn leads them to delay or decline important health-related treatment. The net result is that the “examine – inform – do” process leads some patients to make wrong decisions. Thus, the way a dentist communicates with his / her patients has a direct influence on their health. This make the communication style of the dentist and office staff a critical aspect of choosing the right dentist.
Dr. Henny is one of a limited number of dentists in the country who has committed himself to fully understanding each patient’s current health status, priorities and goals before he begins or even suggests significant treatment. He has made this commitment because he has found that most successful long-term relationships are founded on trust, shared health-centered goals, and full informed choice-making. And that this only happens when a proper amount of time is provided to nurture a successful working relationship between the dentist and the person seeking care.
Dr. Henny uses a method of learning and goal-setting called “Co-discovery”, taught at the Pankey Institute. This method allows patients to fully participate in their evaluation and planning process. The Co-discovery method allows patients the opportunity to become full partners in the creation of their preferred dental health future.
The Size of the Practice
It is easy to understand that the larger the practice, the less time a dentist has to spend with patients each day. Dr. Henny has made a conscious choice to limit the size of his practice. As a result, the size of his practice is easily one half to one third the size of the average dental practice today. This allows Dr. Henny and his team the opportunity to provide highly personalized sevice to all of the patients of the practice. This also translates into prompt appointment scheduling and consistent on-time service.
The Quality of the Facility
In 2002, Dr. Henny made the decision to design and build his own treatment facility. It is warm and inviting as well as impeccably clean, and capable of properly supporting the fine dental services provided. Dr. Henny is one of only a handful of dentists in the country with his own in-house dental ceramicist. Ryan Pennington, CDT is available to assist Dr. Henny in the planning and fabrication of crowns, veneers, and bridgework. All of the completed dentistry on this website was collaboratively created by Dr. Dr. Henny and Ryan Pennington, CDT.
The Quality of the Care Team
Dr. Henny has committed himself to hire only highly qualified, service-oriented care team members. Since these are the individuals with whom you will be working closely, Dr. Henny has made their selection and training a top priority/ His care team has decades of direct patient care experience and will go out of their way at every opportunity to insure that your visits are always comfortable, enjoyable, informative, and health-enhancing.