Thursday, May 12, 2011

No hype

When I read about the free dental care offered by the DeKalb Dental Group, I had my doubts about what they meant by "free" and thought they might just do a free check up and try to get me to sign on for dental work -- the old bait and switch tactic.

The announcement in the paper said free dental care would be offered to the first 100 people who showed up. I didn't get there until 9 a.m., and there was a long line out the door, but I didn't have to worry. I was asked if I wanted to see the dentist or the dental hygienist, given a ticket, and waited some more. Staff offered bottles of water out of a cooler. A pleasant breeze and partly cloudy skies kept everybody in a good mood. I met a woman who I'd attended graduate school with at NIU, and I caught up a little bit on what's been going on in hallowed Reavis Hall.

After I made it inside, I had to fill out a couple forms and sign a waiver. They asked for my social security number, but when I politely declined, they said it wasn't a big deal. While waiting inside, I read a Rolling Stone magazine interview with Howard Stern. By the time I was done reading it, my number was called and I was led to a dentist's chair.

The kind staff at DeKalb Dental Group made me feel welcome, and while busy, none of the staff seemed frazzled or bothered by it all. They took x-rays, shot my cheek with novocaine, and after a while the dentist came in, did his drilling, filling the air with that acrid, though pleasant to me (weird, I know) spray of water and ground up tooth. I felt no pain and the entire procedure lasted all of 15 minutes. A missing filling was replaced.

Not once during the entire process was I given a sales pitch or asked to sign up for more dental work. Sure, there was advertising for all sorts of teeth whitening procedures, but no one said anything to me about them. I left in disbelief, thinking how rare it is for a private business to offer a free service without any hype, sales pitch, or any kind of catch. The DeKalb Dental Group performed a selfless act of community service, and did it with style and efficiency.

They will no doubt benefit from word of mouth (I couldn't help myself) endorsements. And if I get dental insurance or enough discretionary income to afford more work, I will seek out their services in the future. Community service acts like this do more to bring in new business than any of the usual sales techniques. If you live in the DeKalb/Sycamore area, I would recommend you bring your dental needs to this group.

Here's their web site:
Here's where I found out about the free service:

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