College Student Info

A Personal Note from Dr. Rathke

"Eight years of post-public school education, plus having a son in college and another in professional school, have made me more aware than most of the stresses of college life.

"For students, having a dental problem often means having to handle something that your parents have been handling. You also have questions: Who do I talk to? What do I say? Who can I trust? How do I know what treatment is best? How am I going to pay for it? How can I explain this to my parents? Can this office accommodate my schedule? Are they going to give me time to make a decision or call my folks?

"For parents, it is difficult to solve your kids' problems when you are far away from them. Your child needs something, but it is too inconvenient, at best, for them to come home to see the dentist that you know and trust, and whose office is already aware of your insurance and finances.  You have questions difficult for you to answer, like: What is wrong? What needs to be treated now, and what might be able to wait for my own dentist to treat? Are there alternatives? Will their treatment be up to my expectations? What will it cost? What will my insurance pay? What if I have questions?

"For those who have returned to school after military service, we currently accept Tri-Care and also treat those on active duty and their families. We're familiar with the paperwork required.

"Everyone who works in this office has kids. Liz, my Office Manager, who is usually the one who will answer the phone, has one who has graduated and is working on her masters degree, one who has just graduated, and one who is currently four hours away in college. One of my hygienists has two in the military. We all understand, because we have all 'been there.'

"Most problems will fall into one of several areas:

• You have an immediate need (e.g., pain or a broken tooth or filling)

• You already know you need treatment, but it didn't get done at home, and it might not be a good idea to wait

• You need to maintain your dental health, and it is not convenient to get it done at home

"Please be assured that we will handle each situation appropriately.

• We are happy to talk to parents to work out whatever details we can

• We are happy to talk to your dentist if needed. Most are great about emailing x-rays and sharing other information to help with diagnosis and arriving at a plan of treatment.

• We can take high-definition photos inside the mouth and show parents (or their dentist) what the problems are, if that will help with making decisions.

• We will not take advantage of anyone. We want everyone to understand what needs to be done before we perform any treatment.

• We will not perform any treatment without permission

• We will not perform any treatment without having made financial arrangements.

"In other words, we will do what we can to help - just as we would hope someone else would do for us."

-Dr. David Rathke