“Min! I’m upset with you. You owe me $5,000.”
That stopped me in my tracks. A mom was yelling at me at the reception desk in front of a crowded room and I was taken aback. But then she continued:
“I could have had Jaxon’s braces done in a different office for free because he qualifies under Medicaid, but you made him so comfortable in your office that he insisted on coming here instead. So, you owe me $5,000.”
With that, I embraced both Ms. Patty and Jaxon, officially welcoming them to our practice. They had just come into my office for a consultation two weeks prior. Jaxon was incredibly timid and I heard his horror story of how another doctor had attempted to correct his crossbite a couple years ago and left him emotionally scarred over dental work. I listened to them with an understanding heart and encouraged them to begin treatment with us. I promised them a vastly different experience and assured both Jaxon and his mom that this was a treatment he needed and he would be in great hands.
After a few months of treatment, the orthodontist there was able to correct his crossbite and since we caught him early enough, we prevented the need for any surgery or extractions. I made sure to give him a high five every time he came in and Jaxon grew more and more confident with every appointment as he saw his teeth change. He started to smile again. We changed his life. This was three years ago.
I will always be thankful for Ms. Patty and Jaxon for reaffirming that I am good at my job as a Treatment Coordinator at an orthodontics office and that I love what I do. When I was searching for my first job back after having a baby, I knew that I wanted to go back into the orthodontics field because of experiences like this.
I was fortunate enough to find Dr. Shung’s orthodontics office in Irvine last year. I read his bio and about his vision for his practice and knew that it would be a perfect fit. Just like him, I know that orthodontics isn’t just about teeth. While I find teeth to be interesting, I’m definitely not passionate about teeth. I am, however, passionate about the people who come into Simply Orthodontics in Irvine.
As a Treatment Coordinator, I am the lucky one who gets to know the patient first before anyone else. Part of my job is to educate you about your orthodontic treatment and work out finances with you that fits best for your budget. But my absolute favorite part is learning about all of your goals, your background, and working with you and Dr. Shung to make sure that we make you happy. You may not know it yet, but I can already envision you with your new, beaming simply amazing smile and how this will change your life.
I know that you moved here to Irvine from New York to be with your fiancé and want to finish Invisalign treatment before your wedding next year. I’m the one celebrating with you when you can finally get your braces on after wanting them for years because even your little brother calls your teeth “ugly.” And when you come in every appointment I make sure to check out your teeth and tell you how beautiful you are because sometimes it means more coming from someone else.
I make sure to have Shopkins ready for your nervous 7-year old daughter post-appointment to celebrate her bravery…and to make it easier for you, too. I try to accommodate your schedule to make sure that your growing teenage sons won’t be too sore after their appointment so that they can eat a great big meal for Thanksgiving. I block out time in my own schedule to make sure that you have someone to watch your baby while you come in for your appointment because, Mama, it’s time for you to do something for yourself.
Simply Orthodontics is the third orthodontic office I’ve worked for and Dr. Shung is special in that he gives me the freedom to go above and beyond for my patients and even complete strangers.
Just had surgery or a death in the family? Let us bring you some dinner so that you have one less thing to worry about. On bedrest with twins? Here’s a gift bag with ginger ale, trashy gossip magazines, and trail mix. Recovering from the flu? How about some hot chicken soup for you at your front door? Going through a terrible divorce? Hugs, flowers, and chocolate because, darn it, you deserve it!
Through Simply Orthodontics, I have been able to extend kindness to people who aren’t even our patients. I’ve treated a group of new moms meeting for lunch at Panera to cookies. I’ve paid for meals for unsuspecting others. We handed flowers to random strangers in the Woodbury Town Center just to cheer up their day. I dropped off Starbucks gift cards at a pediatricians’ office to give to weary moms with sick kids. We organized for our patients to write Christmas cards to Troops serving overseas.
All of these things along with the great volunteer work we get to do envelop who we are at Simply Orthodontics. Yes, we make crooked teeth straight, but it is so much more than that. We consider our patients and community to be part of our family and so we treat them as such.
And this is why I am in love with my job. I hope that I get the opportunity to show you, too!