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Reflecting on a Year of Smiles: Dr. Beth's 2023 Year in Review

Our team at Dorado Dental Wellness in early December 2023
Dorado Dental Wellness Team 2023

First off, I'm aware we are already a month into the new year, but time has a way of slipping when you have a newborn ;) So without further ado, here are highlights from the incredible journey we've shared with our patients throughout this past year. In our commitment to providing comprehensive dental care that goes beyond just treatments, we've strived to create a warm and inviting environment where your family's smiles are our top priority. Join us as I recap some of the things that went really well, achievements, and valuable insights gained in our year-long pursuit of optimal oral health and overall well-being.

(1) Wellness-centered Approach:

One of the cornerstones of our clinic's philosophy is a holistic approach to dental care. Throughout the year, we've emphasized the interconnectedness of oral health and overall well-being, exploring topics such as the impact of nutrition on dental/whole-body/mental health, stress management, sleep and breathing, structural alignment and balance, gut health, among so many other topics. I am so encouraged by the level of interest there has been in our community in this longevity-centric living and preventive care. Seriously, there is this whole subculture of biohacking enthusiasts here who are cold plunging, supplementing, hyperbaric-chambering themselves into full functional health well into their early 120s. It has inspired us to continue to invest in the advanced technology and continuing education that will further support us in our attempts to help our patients achieve optimal outcomes and maintain peak health.

(2) Patient Success Stories:

Nothing brings us more joy than seeing our patients leave our clinic with a confident smile. This year, we've had the privilege of sharing inspiring success stories from our patients who have undergone transformative dental and health journeys. From smile makeovers to overcoming dental anxiety, these stories serve as a testament to the positive impact of our personalized and compassionate care. Change can take time, but after being here for a year, we have quite a few large cases we are eager to share with you soon :) Make sure to follow along on our social media to see these updates!

(3) Community Engagement:

We believe in giving back to the community that has entrusted us with their smiles. Throughout the year, we has actively participated in local events, oral health education programs at schools, and community outreach initiatives. We're not just a dental clinic; we're a community partner dedicated to promoting oral health awareness and making a positive impact on the lives of those we serve.

It's never too early to start learning about health and how to taking care of yourself
Dr. Beth hosting a learning event with local PK and K classes

(4) Cutting-Edge Technology and Techniques:

In our commitment to staying at the forefront of dental innovation, we embrace state-of-the-art technology, advanced techniques, and updates in clinical research and evidence-based care. We don't just aspire to be the best in the Caribbean, but we want to exceed expectations for what one might expect from clinics in North America or Western Europe. Some of the ways we've accomplished this is:

  • Completed over 200 hours of continuing education via the Institute of Functional Medicine, Academy of Clear Aligners, PR AACA Study Club, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and other independent courses related to ozone therapy, supplementation and nutrition, environmental health, and collaborative care in sleep medicine.

  • Invested in equipment to deliver ozone therapy, the Safe Mercury Amalgam Removal Technique, home sleep tests, digital scanning, low dose radiation xray units, and patient communication software.

(5) Patient Education and Preventive Care:

Prevention is the foundation of a healthy smile. I hope our blog and social media channels can continue to grow to be a valuable resource for educating our patients and others in our community on the lesser known factors related to preventive care, such as nutrition, breathing, habit elimination, cleaner products with better active ingredients, and so many other important concepts. Empowering our patients with knowledge is key to fostering a proactive approach to dental care.

What could have been improved from this past year?

As you may have read in the "Our Team" part of our website, one of our core values is Authenticity. Thus, this year-in-review would not be complete if I didn't acknowledge some of the bumps in the road we have hit. Not to harp on the negative, but in the interest of transparency with our patients and our community. I knew building a practice from scratch (including construction) in Puerto Rico was going to be challenging; and doing it while pregnant only added to the "fun". But here are the things from this past year that didn't go as planned far beyond what I could have anticipated, but I'm happy to report that we've already made great strides towards improving and/or preventing these types of issues in the future.

  • Patient communication went down for 3 weeks in October, and we weren't aware for the first 2 weeks of it. Ay bendito! We invested in a premiere communications platform to exceed all patients' expectations for timeliness of response, ease of use, etc. Well, there was an update in October that impacted the one customer (us) using this software with a Puerto Rican IP address such that we had 3 whole weeks where a large chunk of our inbound and outbound phone calls and texts weren't going through. Long story short, after going down quite the Allison-in-Wonderland rabbit hole, we finally figured out the problem and fixed it. But gosh, that was so frustrating for our patients and for our team. Also, there has been ongoing confusion between contacting me directly via my cell phone, social media, whatsapp, etc. instead of contacting the clinic directly (214-997-0366 and, but everyone seems to be slowly updating their contacts to make sure they get through ASAP ;) . How we're solving for this in the future? We have since apologized to those patients who were most inconvenienced (ie. those who had emergencies or other pressing issues at that time and couldn't connect with us properly), and we've implemented redundancies. But that was a real kick in the pants.

  • We ran late. It is a top priority that we run on time throughout the day, everyday. But there were a non-zero number of days where we ran 30 min late. We value our patients' time, and we appreciate when you value ours by showing up to your appointments on time or even early. We understand that on-time appointments are a major issue here in PR, so we built that into our mission statement. Most days went very well, but there were a handful of days where the combination of too many emergencies and other variables caused us to run late. How we're solving for this in the future? First, we have more team members who have completed training and therefore can help manage the influx of patients. Second, we always try to give our patients real time updates if we are running late by either rescheduling, delaying the next appointment, or making other modifications to ensure everyone feels good about their experience. But most importantly, as we expand, we will have the capacity that allows us the flexibility to treat emergency patients in an additional treatments room without throwing off our timeline for the rest of our scheduled patients. Right now, our tiny 3-operatory office is too small to accommodate our normal patient schedule while also helping those patients in pain or who have an accident. We do our very best to make everything go smooth until we have that increased capacity, and in the meantime, we hope on those days that we run late, our patients can appreciate that we would make sure to see them for an emergency if need be.

  • We've been way off sometimes on managing patient expectations related to referrals to specialists and timelines for labwork and case deliveries. Let me tell you, I want you to know exactly what is going to happen before it happens. Most people already have enough anxiety when it comes to their relationship with the dentist, it is critically important that I eliminate as many of the unknowns as possible. And wow was I WAY off on giving estimates for timelines and anticipating what it would be like for a patient to go see a specialist. The silver lining is that with each patient who went through this, we learned and updated so that we can better advise future patients. We've also updated to different specialists and labs as we've gotten better information and have established new relationships. But I know it has been frustrating for those of you who we've had to do the learning alongside to get the results for which we were aiming.

What are we looking forward to for 2024?

Expanded services, high tech equipment (lasers and imaging and all the fun stuff that will keep you healthy and smiling!), and additional space so more available appointment times :) More to come, so follow along as we keep you updated on all that we plan to share in the coming year!

Thank you for a year to remember!

As we close the chapter on 2023 (and Jan 2024), my team and I extend heartfelt gratitude to our patient families for allowing us to be a part of their health journeys; thank you for your trust in us and for your patience as we build something on which we can all rely and from which we can all benefit. We look forward to another year of promoting healthy smiles, fostering well-being, and continuing to be the trusted dental care partner for families in our community. Here's to a new year filled with even more reasons to smile!

Dr. Beth & baby
Dr. Beth on maternity leave

XOXO, Dr. Beth with healthy and happy baby Harvey, born Dec 11 :)

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