1. What got you interested in the dental field? Share your story.
I was always interested in the field of science as a youth. This was reinforced by my grandmother who was a multi-college educated person – both as a teacher in schools and a graduate nurse from the University of Texas and John Hopkins University – back in the days when it was uncommon for women to attend college. She, along with my father the dentist, both made education a top priority in our daily lives, but I became interested in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery specifically after having my own impacted third molars removed by an Oral Surgeon when I was 18 years old. Going through that surgery and having such a positive outpatient experience intrigued me and I could see myself doing that kind of work as a career.
2. What do you find are some of the biggest challenges you face in this industry?
The biggest challenge in my field is demonstrating the value of being a board-certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. With all that our work entails, I had to complete four full years of specialty training in addition to my four years to obtain a dental degree. These were 12-month full-time years of schooling without interruptions. Most patients and even some general dentists do not realize the benefits our training and experience have in patient care, including our ability to consistently get our patients back to optimal health quickly and to provide better comfort both during and after treatment.
3. What is working for you today to bring in new clients to your business being as competitive as it is?
Showcasing our work and experience through our website, videos, and providing potential patients with testimonials from past patients go a long way to demonstrate that we make a big difference in improving oral and systemic health. Since you cannot have a healthy body without having good oral health, it is imperative we convey how important it is to come in for the procedures you need when you need them. We develop educational videos, engage consistently across various social media channels, and disseminate information about the importance of maintaining proper oral health with the help of the northern California integrated marketing company, Nuvolum. These tactics have been critical to the success of our practice and allow us to set ourselves apart from our competitors within our market.
4. Do you believe having an online presence has made a large impact on growing your business to where it is today?
I think besides word-of-mouth, having an online presence is the only way people know that I exist, let alone know what I do and what past patients have experienced in their treatments. The online reviews, comments, likes, and feedback reduces fear and creates a level of comfort in new patients coming to see the staff and me at North Tarrant Oral Surgery. Many patients do not get the treatments they need, simply because they do not ask questions. We encourage our patients to visit our website, which we developed with Nuvolum, to watch educational videos about the procedures we perform, as well as testimonials from real patients to understand what they will experience before, during and after their procedure. Nuvolum worked with us to film, post and promote these videos in order to help us deliver the information our patients need to feel comfortable and educated about their visit. While at the practice, we welcome our patients to talk to our staff openly about their concerns, ask questions to get all the information they need and engage with other patients about their experiences. Our goal is to get people back to their normal lives after surgery as quickly as possible by making the process comfortable and pain free.
5. What are your future plans for 2014 and beyond? What do you hope to improve in the future?
Growing in a healthy way means taking the time to show the patient what to expect or not expect, what we can do for them to expedite recovery, and help them get back to their normal activities and diet. The patients want to help, but we have to teach them how they can help themselves. To me, the role of a doctor is also a teacher, and without willingness to know what part people play in their own health, you cannot properly educate them. Our future depends on patients seeing value in our care. Nothing is “routine,” as all patients are unique, so getting them to understand their role is our practice’s job. Oral health is not a commodity or an insurance problem and people have to see value in the health care they receive. If you want to show that you deliver true quality care, you have to differentiate yourself from other practices, and help the public understand that you are the leading resource in your industry. Lastly, I would not still practice if I did not see things that I have improved upon over the past 38 years, so obviously anything that promotes improved patient results is what I strive for every day.
About Dr. Fred A. Loe
Dr. Fred Loe is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon at North Tarrant OMS in Saginaw, Texas. Dr. Loe graduated from the University of Missouri School of Dentistry after attending the University of New Mexico. He obtained his oral surgery residency at The University of Louisiana Medical Center at Shreveport, Louisiana. Dr. Loe has over 30 years of practice experience plus faculty experience at Louisiana State University, and is a member of the Southwest, North Texas, and American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Dr. Loe specializes in the removal of wisdom teeth, placement of implants, bone grafts, and biopsies, but enjoys all aspects of oral surgery.