There is a movement across industries that promotes the understanding that a broad range of experience and education enriches an individual’s professional offerings. When we hear this concept, we think of Audrey Tatt, DDS of Bellevue, Washington.
Born in Malaysia to Scottish parents, Dr. Tatt moved to the U.S. when she was seven. She grew up in Bellevue, Washington, and attended the University of Washington, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Zoology. Yes, zoology! After achieving a Doctorate of Dental Surgery at Northwestern University Dental School, Dr. Tatt went into practice for herself almost 22 years ago.
Her primary focus is not a specialty per se. Her practice has many offerings—from general dentistry and root canal therapy to cosmetic procedures and implants. But, in reality, Dr. Tatt’s goal is to create an environment of quality, comfort, ease, transparency, and efficient care for patients that are valued, appreciated, and recognized for their eclectic circumstances. Though she chose to become a U.S. citizen, and Washington is her home, her “international” background draws in a diverse clientele because they have “something in common” with their dental provider.
Treating patients who have a “high dental I.Q.”
Dr. Tatt’s practice is not large, but she has a knowledgeable and compassionate team who are proud of their work and the services they provide. They are most interested in their commitment to the diverse group of people for whom they educate and care. Part of that commitment is providing cutting-edge technology that aids them in restorative dental care. It also creates efficiencies within Dr. Tatt’s practice.
“We run a very busy schedule. A very efficient schedule to really value my patient’s time,” Dr. Tatt explained.
Technology, such as the intraoral scanner, also appeals to various demographics of their patient base. Dr. Tatt describes them as having a “fairly high dental I.Q.”
“I would say a lot of our patients are young professional tech patients,” she said. “We are very close to Microsoft [in Redmond]. So, we have a lot of Microsoft, Google, Facebook-type of patients, and a lot of families.”
Recognizing her patient’s respect for technology encouraged her to integrate it into her practice.
Going digital and creating more efficient workflows.
Before partnering with Dandy, Dr. Tatt long considered going digital. But she didn’t find a system that fit her needs. She relied mainly on PVS for impressions and worked with the same lab for almost 22 years. While most of her patients “tolerated” impressions, Dr. Tatt knew which ones did not and accommodated them appropriately. However, the real issue for Dr. Tatt was the financial impact on her small practice.
“There is a cost associated with that [impressions] because poly sulfides are very expensive, ” Dr. Tatt said. “So certainly, it is nice not to have to use so much of that. There is a cost savings going digital.”
In 2021, Dr. Tatt discovered Dandy and started on her journey of integrating technology into her workflows. When asked about the technology transformation, Dr. Tatt shared that Dandy’s intraoral scanner “actually made that transition a lot easier,” especially since she is getting “much more comfortable” with it within her practice workflows. But not having to repeat impressions has saved Dr. Tatt the most time.
“There’s the other aspect [with traditional practices] of you missing a tiny bit of an impression,” she conveyed. “You have to repeat the whole thing. If you miss a tiny bit on the scan, you go back, and you get it again. So it’s a whole lot nicer from that standpoint. There’s also a lot more predictability with how much time something is going to take. The workflow is different from where the time comes from, and there’s more at the front end rather than the back end. But, you know, you learn to work that into how the appointment goes, and it’s working out really nicely.”
Besides the practice workflows, Dr. Tatt also saw a significant impact on her patient’s experiences and outcomes.
Improving her patient’s education, experiences, and outcomes.
Looking back to who Dr. Tatt’s patients are, she said that they “really like seeing themselves up on a screen.” As a result, she “tends to take photos” so that patients get to see their entire mouths. By scanning the whole mouth for just one crown presentation, Dr. Tatt uses the scans to educate patients so they “get an idea of what they [teeth] look like.”
“More recently, I’ve actually scanned a new patient. “I said, ‘Okay, you need to have a couple of crowns, and why are we having all this erosion?’ And they didn’t know they had erosion. Then, they see it on the screen, and then they’re like, ‘Oh my goodness! I have.’ So it’s very nice from a technology standpoint and letting the patient see what we get to see.”Audrey Tatt, DDS
This phenomenon is not unheard of by Dandy. We call this the “seeing is believing” effect. It has been linked to improved education and case acceptance. Dr. Tatt related a patient’s story that called to tell them her retainer broke. After coming in for the scan, the patient “could not stop talking about how much she loved the [scanning] process because it didn’t hurt her.”
Dr. Tatt also shared that other patients gave “good, positive feedback” regarding the comfort of their night guards. This surprised Dr. Tatt because she wasn’t sure if the new scanning process would create night guards that were “a little bit too loose.” The feedback confirmed that the scans were easy to perform and resulted in comfortable, well-fitting night guards. This intrigued Dr. Tatt. So, she decided to try it herself.
“I personally wear a night guard every night, and I switched over. I had my assistant scan me. I now have a night guard made through Dandy and I find it’s very comfortable.”
She informed us that she finds the new night guard is more cleansable than those made with traditional impressions. Dr. Tatt also shared that the liner of the night guards fabricated by the local lab “tended to degrade more easily or get more contamination.”
And her personal opinion?
“I feel like these are really nice night guards that, obviously, I can say firsthand that I love them because indeed I do!”
Dandy is so happy to hear this type of feedback from our partner Dr. Tatt and her patients. Are you looking to improve your patient experience, create better efficient workflows, and improve the quality of the products that you offer? Contact Dandy for a demonstration.