We last met Dr. Charles E. Jones in December of 2013 when he had recently brought his dental practice to Ashland from Brookings. One year later, his plans to implement a full office remodel as well as technology and custom service upgrade have been incredibly successful and he and his family are now fully immersed in the Ashland community. Providing a relaxing and positive dental experience is what Dr. Jones and his excellent staff is all about.
Whether you are looking for continuing care for a healthy mouth, or assistance in rehabilitating a complex dental issue, Jones Family Dental provides personalized dental care with an emphasis on prevention and education. We checked in with Dr. Jones recently to hear about the success of his practice, his busy family life and how Jones Family Dental is able to keep the focus on the best patient experience possible.
Dr. Jones thanks so much for taking the time to catch up with us. It sounds like you have had a great year. Please tell us about it.
It has been an amazing year both professionally and personally. Personally the whole family has continued grow in friendships and activities here in Ashland and we find ourselves passionately active in the Ashland community.
Professionally this has been a busy and fulfilling year. We initiated a patient focused practice remodel where we replaced much of the equipment and technology, added services, and improved our patient education tools.- not to mention, the place looks incredible.
It sounds like you not only made surface improvements with your remodel but that you focused on improving every aspect of the business all the way around. Tell us about it.
That’s exactly right! To simply look nice is great, but the real value in an improvement is how it improves patient care and experience.
An example of one of our many upgrades is in our x-ray system that leads the industry in clarity with 33 line pairs of data to provide images that are of better quality than film and require a lower radiation dose. These sensors are so data rich that we needed to upgrade our entire computer system to utilize them and then in order to really demonstrate this to the patient we have 55” monitors where patients see “the good the bad, and the ugly.” I often walk into the room with the patient pointing out the decay on the screen which makes them partners in the treatment.
This system is not only efficient, environmentally friendly, and technologically advanced but it often allows us to see and diagnose problems earlier frequently improving the prognosis and reducing cost of care.
This is what I mean when I say “patient focused” upgrades.
“Transparent” is a great description, I’m going to steal that. It’s true I try my best to be entirely transparent both with my patients as well as with the staff. I love objective evidence whether it be x-rays or intra-oral pictures with our 55” display, our laser decay diagnostic equipment, decay diagnostic solution, or even encouraging second opinions. I ultimately want what’s best for my patients. This drives my patient care model.
This is how you can work and grow in a small community like this one. I live here. My children all go to school here. I see my patients around town all the time. The one thing that they need to know is that I care about them and want what’s best for them and I cherish the trust that they have in me.
Where did you first learn your patient care model and how have you gone about refining this over the years?
Early in my career I heard Gordon Christensen, a well-respected, world famous dentist, speak regarding patient care and he shared his simple test for success. “Does this action/choice truly benefit the patients?” He said that if the answer is yes, then you should do it or work towards it and you will find success. It stuck with me and I believe in it. If anything is placed ahead of this test it will ultimately result in failure.
I have heard the customer service you offer is outstanding. Please tell us about this.
Of course it is great. I am fortunate to have wonderful people around me. -People that are caring, professional, and empathetic. As well we just keep getting better. I have a very open proactive management style and the staff all knows that I am open to suggestions to improve efficiency and patient experience. This has allowed us to be very open about areas of success and areas needing improvement. I always say that if this isn’t the best place you’ve ever worked at then let’s make it that way. This creates a sense of ownership and positive energy that patients pick up on.
I have had several patients from San Francisco, New York, and Portland that talk about how they expected a step down in the technology and quality of their dental care. They were pleasantly surprised that not only was the office nicer than their previous office but they often say the care and technology were superior. Here is a review from one of those patients:
An amazing high-tech resource in this small town.
“I moved to Ashland from a large city, and I’ve had problems finding medical professionals of the caliber that I’m used to. Jones Family Dental not only meets my high expectations, it exceeds them by introducing me to new technologies that my dentists back in the City didn’t even know about. Really. Did you know that lower level cavities can be filled now without numbing half your face? My SF dentist didn’t, but Dr. Jones did. It was amazing. And completely painless. Lastly: the hygienist there is wonderful and delightful company.”
– Edward W.
There are several cases that stand out from a technical standpoint, but the truth is every referral from an existing patient is a success story for me. It says that we are treating people well and that they appreciate our efforts. There is no greater compliment and no better feeling than when we review our referral sources and find that 30-40% of our growth comes from existing patients.
Most important dental case you have seen this past month?
I partnered with a close friend and colleague, Dr. William D. Bateman from Salem Oregon. Dr. Bateman has received advanced training and performs a myriad of surgical and restorative procedures with astounding results. I had a patient, although very healthy, suffered from a condition where they had an excess of bone and gum tissue hiding their teeth. This phenomenon is often described as a “gummy smile” and often makes the teeth look very short and small. Although this in no way impedes function it often leads to embarrassment or a lack of confidence. This is the case for my patent. This individual talked about how they were always embarrassed when looking at pictures where the teeth were exposed in a smile. They described covering their mouth when they laughed and thought that nothing could be done about this problem. We were able to surgically restore a more ideal proportion to the teeth and gums revealing a beautiful smile.
Your recent series in the Locals Guide is focusing on what a good dental experience looks like. Tell us more about this and why you chose this topic.
This goes back to the foundation for my patient care model. I want what’s best for patients, not only in my practice but this community. As patients try to figure out where to make their dental home or evaluate their current one it is difficult without some knowledge and understanding to allow them to make quality comparisons. We are not talking about a car, or a toaster, or a blender. -things that are replaceable. We are talking about the one body that we have. Often we get mislead into evaluating health care like we may price shop a commodity. I felt it important to discuss what quality dental care looked like. I want to encourage discussion. I want patients to ask the right questions and value the care that I hope they are already receiving or to improve the care that they may not.
Some people are surprised by the amount of time, energy, and technology utilized to educate them regarding their oral health and wellness. We utilize videos, diagrams, x-rays, and intra-oral pictures to help people understand their health. It is crucial to prevention and a real measure of the dental team’s care and concern for your long term wellness.
You spoke about partnering with Dr. William D. Bateman earlier, is this something that you plan to do more regularly? If so please introduce us to him and tell us what he will be bringing to the team.
Dr. Bateman is a long time dear friend and one of the finest dentists that I know. We knew each other prior to dental school and stayed close as we both navigated our ways through our education process and have over the years found ways to work together. So finally, I am proud to say that the answer is yes, he will be joining our practice starting this year. Dr. Bateman performs a myriad of specialty procedures and his partnership will allow us to offer even more services right here in Ashland. We will be adding a webpage to our current website introducing patients to Dr. Bateman. He will be performing guided implant surgery, bone grafting, sinus lifts, split ridge grafting, surgical and third molar extractions, crown lengthening, and IV sedation. His experience, past cases, and credentials are impressive and I am grateful to have him with us.
Where do you and Dr. Bateman align on values and care for your customers?
As I said previously, Dr. Bateman is one of the finest dentists that I know. Part of that accolade is associated with his character. We both came from blue collar homes and know the value of work and feel honored that our patients trust us to care for them. The cost of healthcare, and dentistry in particular, can be significant and we both realize that quality care at a reasonable price is a much more honorable and successful long term model than poor quality at the lowest price. Lastly, and probably most importantly we like and care about all people.
Dr. Jones, please define your ideal patient.
The ideal patient is anyone who wants to develop a partnership with a goal of wellness. I love patients who own their health and want clear instructions for their part and then education and communication for our part. I may not always agree with a patient’s bias but we usually find a way to work within the bias and create productive positive solution.
What are your goals for the practice as we move into 2015?
This coming year I want to add services, improve efficiency, and on personal/professional area I want to start a community volunteer dental service schedule where local dentists can partner with Medical Teams International on a dental van to offer emergent dental care for our community.
Ha ha, that’s a good question. I’m fortunate to have a great partner that helps me keep up with everything. It is tough with a child in elementary, middle school, and two in high school, it take a good bit of my free time. The best part is that active children have a way of keeping you on the pulse of the community.
Any last comments or thoughts to share with our readers this month!
Just a big thank you! – Not only from myself and my family but also my staff. We are grateful to live here and grateful again for the trust and loyalty of our patients. Have a safe and wonderful holiday season.
Jones Family Dental
325 A St. #2, Ashland