The Dawson Academy Blog

Dental Articles on Occlusion, Centric Relation, Restorative Dentistry & More

Return to Blog Index

The Value of Education to Patients in Dentistry

Angie Gribble Hedlund DMDby Dr. Angela Gribble Hedlund, DMD

It didn’t seem like a very logical time to open a new dental office.  Whether you want to call it a recession or an economic downturn times are tough everywhere. Unemployment’s up, the cost of gas is up, and for most people dentistry is down.  For 16 years, I practiced in a world-renowned dental office with almost every specialist in dentistry.  I enjoyed a state-of-the-art facility, an in-house laboratory and a 50 person support staff.  I made a pretty good living, especially considering that I usually practiced about 3 days a week.   But the Lord works in mysterious ways, and experience has taught me that where He leads, it’s best to follow.

So last summer at age 42, I acquired a rather sizable loan from the bank, built out an office space, and hung a sign over the door with my name on it for the first time.  In the beginning I felt like I was “drinking out of a fire hose” because there was so much to learn.  I had never been responsible for payroll, balancing the books, arranging advertising, creating a logo, writing copy for a web site, and hiring employees.  I was way out of my comfort zone.   In addition, I was asking my new employees to have faith in this venture with me and trust me with their family’s livelihood, as well as my own.

Although I had concerns about the economy affecting people’s ability to afford good dental care, I have found people continue to value complete dentistry and are grateful for excellent care.  They enjoy having a doctor who takes the time to establish a personal relationship, who evaluates their needs and provides a way for them to have the best oral health possible.  Even patients who were new to our practice could see the difference in the exam I was taught to give through my experience with Pete Dawson and this Academy.

A comment that I hear frequently is, “I’ve never had an exam like that in my life!”  They see the difference, and this earns the right for us to explain what we feel like the best course of care would be to maintain their oral health for the rest of their lives.  It is different than a 5 minute exam in the hygiene chair.  It is the systematic gathering of information, taking the time to study that information, and having the patient back to review a well-thought-out treatment plan that we can explain clearly using models and photographs.

In addition, the method that I was taught to communicate the benefits of treatment has been incredibly effective with our patients.  I have been given the confidence through my time of study with the Dawson Academy to explain the treatment in a way that creates true value for the patient.  And people will make a way to do what they find valuable.  This has been a gift that has created success in my new practice even in times like these.

Did you like this article? You might also like The #1 Step to Improving Your Dental Practice.

Dr. Angela Gribble Hedlund completed her undergraduate training at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree. She received her DMD from the Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry in Augusta Georgia, and has completed an ADA-accredited program in Advanced General Dentistry at Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Hedlund practiced with Goldstein, Garber, & Salama for 16 years, and have recently opened a private practice in North Atlanta. She has practiced dentistry in Atlanta since 1994. Dr. Hedlund has also received extensive training in esthetic dentistry. She has received her certificate in the Postgraduate Program in Esthetic Dentistry from Baylor, as well as completing the Comprehensive Esthetic Restorative Continuum at the same institution. During her postgraduate studies at the Medical College of Georgia, she was awarded the Goldstein Esthetic Dentistry Award, presented yearly to a senior student who has shown exceptional interest and talent in the area of esthetic dentistry. She is an active member in the Georgia Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry where she is currently an accreditation candidate. Dr. Hedlund is an active contributor to organized dentistry. This began when she served as the first female president of an MCG dental class, and a representative to the American Student Dental Association executive council. She is currently a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, Georgia Dental Association, the Hinman Dental Society, and the Academy of General Dentistry, where she has completed over 1,500 hours of continuing education in dental studies. She has received her Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry; this is an honor held by fewer than 2% of dentists in the country. In July 2006 she became one of the youngest women ever to receive Mastership in this Academy. Dr. Gribble also is on the dental advisory council for the Christian Medical Dental Assocation. Dr. Gribble has published articles in the Journal of Esthetic Dentistry and the Journal of the American Dental Association. She has served as a contributing editor to the Dental Study Club Journal, which contains reviews from leading clinicians on articles from over seventy-five international dental journals. She also lectures on the subjects of restorative and esthetic dentistry. Dr. Gribble paid for a large portion of her education and received lots of “smile practice” in the Miss America Scholarship programs. She was 2nd runner-up in Miss Augusta in 1991, and 2nd runner-up in Tennessee’s America Junior Miss Pageant in 1985. Dr. Angie Gribble Hedlund enjoys singing, scrapbooking, and is a master scuba diver. She is an active member of the Atlanta Women’s Medical Alliance and Bible Study Fellowship where she serves as the Substitute Teaching Leader for the Norcross Women’s class. She and her husband Richard are members of Roswell United Methodist Church. They volunteer regularly with the children’s program there with their 2 daughters Tori and Lexi.