I can't recall the last time I was treated so well by a dentist's office. Heck, it's been a while since I've been treated so well by ANY business, period.
Let's start with my initial interaction with the practice. I call in November to make an appointment, and given the end-of-year, "must-use-my-insurance-benefits" rush, dentist offices tend to be super busy -- and thus have no patience for new patients who demand convenient appointment times (guilty as charged). Not so with Hartford Dental Associates. The receptionist who took my call was incredibly kind, staying on the phone as long as it took to set up my first two appointments (diagnostic dental assessment + prophylaxis) at times that worked for me. Although I could not get back-to-back appointments, the receptionist made every effort to get the best appointments possible. I hung up the phone that day, quite impressed with the practice. Little did I know how much my admiration would grow.
Fast forward to my first appointment date, and, to my horror, I sleep through my alarm, waking up 20 minutes to appointment time. Living 20 minutes away, I panic, call the practice, and profusely apologize, asking if I can still come in. The receptionist quickly locates a last minute cancellation and tells me that if I come in quickly, I can actually get both my diagnostic assessment AND prophylaxis done, one appointment after the other. Yup, Hartford Dental Associates not only made a huge exception for a very late patient but also made it so that I could get both appointments out of the way in one visit!
I rush into the office, late as ever, but I'm only welcomed with warm smiles and a quick call-up into the office (thanks to an efficient staff and a wonderful computer system in which all health history/disclosure forms are completed in advance online). I am met by Welby, an x-ray technician who takes my initial dental particulars. While Welby faced issues getting the x-ray machine working, she didn't let it get to her. Instead, she used the waiting time to answer any questions I had about my newly-discovered dental problems. I was impressed by her strong dental knowledge, her patience, and the clarity with which she answered my questions.
I next had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Berry. Dr. Berry exemplifies the kind of person I strive to be: someone who takes life seriously but doesn't take himself too seriously. For Dr. Berry, this means being incredibly funny and down-to-earth while also being diligent about advising patients on smart preventative oral health practices. Dr. Berry is also well-read on the latest dental research and technologies, as became apparent when I inquired about my new dental issues. Yet, the most impressive thing about Dr. Berry was the time he set aside to sit down, listen to all my questions, and answer them completely. Before Dr. Berry, every dentist I've had has rushed around the examination room with what seems to be a time limit of how much time s/he can spend with me. Not so with Dr. Berry. I never once felt hurried by him to finish up our conversation.
After my diagnostic assessment, I had my prophylaxis with Jen, a dental hygenist. I was also immediately impressed by Jen when she straightaway reviewed everything Welby and Dr. Berry had told me earlier. It was clear that the office valued streamlined communication between staff members. Like both Welby and Dr. Berry, Jen was very knowledgeable about the dental field.
After my appointments, I went to see the receptionist about a prescription toothpaste and a necessary follow-up dental procedure. As soon as I got to the office desk, the receptionist not only had my prescription written and ready to go, but she also had the coverage of my upcoming dental procedure verified with my insurance! She told me that while my insurance does not cover the procedure, the office policy is to only charge patients what the insurance company would have charged the practice. As a result, my out-of-pocket cost for the procedure was nearly cut in half!
As if things couldn't get any better, I call the office the next week to re-write what was an incomplete toothpaste prescription. The receptionist, kind as always, carefully notates the changes and assures me that the prescription will be called in that afternoon. "And please don't hesitate to call us back if you have any more questions or concerns," she reassures me at the end of the call. I never doubted that statement, yet there was no need to call back: Within hours, my prescription was successfully transferred and the pharmacy order placed that same day. Something must have gone right, as the pharmacy told me that it takes up to 3 days to process an order!
I'm pretty sure I've been spoiled rotten with Dr. Berry and Co. "Incredibly knowledgeable", "ever-so-approachable", and "all-around on top of things" only start to describe the people at this practice. Needless to say, I am so proud to a patient of Hartford Dental Associates.