We are aware of the elephant in the room. We need more dental hygienists in our practice.
There is currently a shortage of dental hygienists throughout the nation and we are feeling it in our office, too.
“We recently had a long-time hygienist take a position close to her home and small children,” Dr. Michael Davidson said. “Another hygienist is currently away on maternity leave. We have searched to fill the position for more than six months but it has been difficult.”
A poll last month by the American Dental Association shows nearly 40% of dentists are trying to recruit hygienists. Of those, 95% say it has been extremely or very difficult to hire someone. In the 20 largest U.S. cities, the ADA’s polling says only half of hygienist positions are reported as filled.
At Davidson Family Dentistry, we know this can be frustrating for patients, as it is a great challenge for our office and staff. Our front desk staff is working tirelessly to fill any hygiene appointments that become available while our doctors and assistants are also picking up some hygienist duties as they can. Our hygienists are also working more hours than usual to accommodate more patients.
With the exception of last-minute adjustments to the schedule, we are currently scheduling semiannual dental cleanings into March. Patients are offered the option of being on a call list, to be texted or phoned when an opening becomes available earlier than their scheduled appointment.
We are busy looking to add another dental hygienist (or two), but in the meantime here are some tips for patients:
“Regular dental cleanings are pertinent to dental health and we are working hard to get everyone scheduled quickly,” Dr. Michael said. “As always, if you have pain or a dental emergency, one of our doctors will see you right away.”Posted October 7th, 2022
Davidson Family Dentistry has acquired new technology to improve the lives of both staff and patients. Welcome CEREC!
CEREC creates your custom, ceramic dental crown in our office, while you wait. Instead of taking dental impressions, matching your tooth shade and sending everything to an outside lab, a small sensor digitally scans and measures the exact dimensions, curves and color for your new crown. This information is sent to of the two mills in our office where your crown is carved from
a solid block of ceramic material. Once milled, your crown is fired in the CEREC kiln for maximum strength. The doctor then perfects the new crown and permanently cements the crown over the prepared tooth surface. This all takes place in one two-hour appointment.
“Our patients have been pleased with the excellent quality of the CEREC crowns and they really appreciate the single appointment that CEREC crowns allow,” Dr. Michael Davidson said. “As a staff, we are thrilled with the quality, turnaround and entire streamlined process.”
CEREC Q and A with Dr. Michael
Q: Do CEREC crowns cost more than traditional crowns?
A: We do not charge more for CEREC crowns. The office invested in the CEREC technology but we do not pass those costs on to patients.
Q: Does Davidson Family Dentistry still offer traditional crowns?
A: Absolutely! If the patient needs a special crown (porcelain fused to metal) or a front tooth crown, we will still make the impressions and send them to the lab for a traditional
Q: Is CEREC new?
A: CEREC is relatively new, but it has been around for a few years. We are not the first office to integrate this system. Rather, we waited for the system to be more perfect before signing on.
Q: How long will a CEREC crown last?
A: While porcelain crowns tend to last between 7-10 years, CEREC crowns have the potential to last two or three decades or more, provided that you look after them. Exactly how long they will last will depend on various factors including your oral hygiene routine, your general health and how often you visit our office to see a dentist.
If you have more questions, please call our office at 515-279-3848.
Posted May 31st, 2022
Davidson Family Dentistry’s Membership offers convenient and affordable savings. For an annual fee, members receive two visits, complete with dental cleaning, exam, any necessary x-rays, and fluoride if needed. Additionally, a problem-focused exam and x-rays are included if needed. Members receive a minimum of a 15 percent discount off the cost of in-office dental procedures, including fillings, crowns, extractions, implants, dentures, etc., with no annual maximum.
“Our Membership is designed to be a blessing to those without insurance and is a great alternative to traditional dental insurance,” Dr. Michael Davidson said. “It is so convenient for patients and staff. There are no gray areas of coverage like we sometimes see with insurance plans. We offer a minimum 15 percent savings on in-office procedures across the board, with no pre-authorizations or waiting periods.”
The 2022 Single Membership costs $328 for a full 12 months. The total out-of-pocket cost for two dental cleanings and exams with annual bitewings comes to $425. Already, that is a savings of $97!
The Membership cannot be used in conjunction with dental insurance plans that our office files on your behalf.
Membership Costs for 2022 are:
Family $948 The family plan includes up to 13 children in the family to age 18.
If you want to become a member, you can simply purchase a Davidson Family Dentistry Membership at your next appointment. We’ll keep track of it for you and let you know when it’s time to renew.
Please call our office at 515-279-3848 with any questions.Posted March 29th, 2022
It’s Autumn – time to schedule your dental work!
In order to get dental treatment completed within the year, and maximize your dental insurance and flexible spending benefits, call to schedule right away.
Our schedule is filing up fast!
Call us at 515-279-3848.
Posted September 2nd, 2021
Everywhere we go lately, the Covid-19 pandemic appears to be nearly behind us. While it’s wonderful to take off the masks and see people’s beautiful smiles, the protocol at the dentist office has not yet changed.
The Iowa Dental Board has not amended its Covid-19 practices. Everyone who enters a dental office in Iowa is required to wear a mask, even if they are fully vaccinated. All staff engaged in treatment must be double-masked and wear eye protection during procedures and exams. Additionally, we will continue to take the temperature of every person who enters the office. These precautions are in addition to our usual strict infection-control practices.
“As always, safety is our number one concern,” Dr. Michael Davidson said. “I really appreciate the cooperation of patients and staff.”
Looking optimistically toward the future, we will extend our Whitening to Go special for one more month (just $75 for the kit! Regularly $99). There has been a great deal of interest in this product in May!
From all of us at Davidson Family Dentistry, thank you for your patience and cooperation during these unique and sometimes frustrating times. We will continue to keep you informed of any changes to protocol as they develop.Posted May 27th, 2021
Holders of Delta Dental Insurance should have received a letter from Davidson Family Dentistry explaining our decision to withdraw from Delta Dental’s PPO plan as of the end of the day April 30, 2021.
WE ARE NOT WITHDRAWING FROM THE PREMIER PLAN WITH DELTA DENTAL, NOR THE DELTA DENTAL PPO PLAN PLUS PREMIER. Holders of the Delta Dental PPO plan plus Premier will be converted to the Premier plan automatically by Delta Dental. This is the Delta Dental insurance that most of you hold, so no action is required on your part!
There may be some changes in your coverage once you convert to Delta Dental Premier but Delta Dental will not give us this information until the PPO plan coverage has ended on April 30, 2021. This position by Delta Dental is frustrating to us and we know it is also frustrating to many of you who have called. We are encouraging patients who are being switched to the Delta Dental Premier coverage to call Delta Dental Company or check in with your human resources department for an explanation since we, unfortunately, cannot get this information for you.
If you are a patient who holds only a PPO plan of insurance through Delta Dental, we can still continue to see you as a patient and your options, as we outlined in the letter, are as follows:
Davidson Family Dentistry did not make this decision lightly and we remain committed to providing our patients with Quality Dentistry, Affordable Service and Compassionate Care. Please call us at 515-279-3848 with any questions. We want to be as helpful as we can during this period of transition.Posted March 16th, 2021
After months of phone calls and car check-ins, we are pleased to welcome patients back to our waiting area.
When you visit our office, please wear a mask.
Patients are asked Covid 19 screening questions by way of a poster in our entry. Patients are welcome to enter if they do not have Covid 19, symptoms of Covid 19, or a recent exposure to Covid 19. Upon arrival, we will take each patient’s temperature and check you in at the front desk.
Rest assured, the front office staff is constantly sanitizing common areas. We ask that patients keep a six-foot distance from one another unless you are in the same family.
If you feel more comfortable waiting in your vehicle, you are welcome to do so. Call when you arrive and we will be happy to check you in over the phone and call you when it is time for your appointment.
Thank you to our loyal patients who have worked with us through these challenges. We appreciate you and look forward to your next visit!
-Davidson Family Dentistry staffPosted February 24th, 2021
Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, and Happy Holidays from all of us at Davidson Family Dentistry.
2020 has been a year like none other. Here is our news of the year 2020.
In late January and into early February when the pandemic was in its infancy, Dr. Dave and Dr. Michael began a disaster preparedness plan based on science, logic, and “reading the tea leaves” as the news was very troubling. Since dentistry has and is on the forefront of infection control, we certainly didn’t need to reinvent the wheel but there were ways to make sure our particular wheel worked at peak efficiency. The science community was all over the board with information so we needed to be ready for any eventuality. Our plan was to have adequate supplies of PPE, sterilization equipment, and sanitization supplies without hording. The need to protect our employees and protect our patients were paramount. We began purchasing expendable supplies in the event of shortages. Dr. Dave has joked with his family for their entire lives about the need to have toilet paper. In fact, his exact quote is “in the event of nuclear war, toilet paper will be worth its weight in gold”.
And then it happened. On March 18th, we closed the office for routine dental procedures on advice from the scientists at the American Dental Association and in consultation with the Iowa Dental Association. Days later Governor Reynolds issued an emergency proclamation closing all dental offices in the state for routine and elective dental procedures. Every day we did have a dentist and a skeleton staff available to see emergencies and do a deep cleaning. Infections and dental pain never takes a holiday and pain and infection has zero knowledge or zero regards for a pandemic. Many dental offices in our area closed and didn’t see any patient emergencies. Because we made plans, we could and did see many of our colleagues’ emergency patients.
After being closed for two months, on May 8th, we were allowed to reopen with all of the other dental offices in the state and see patients for all procedures including routine procedures. We were all given very specific marching orders from the Governor’s office and we followed or exceeded them. We recalled all our staff and we have been working under this new reality as set forth by the Governor.
We are so proud of all our staff through this pandemic. It has been a challenging period with additional requirements for everything we do. The dentists and staff have stepped up to the task and have worked very hard with rarely a complaint.
When we moved from our Beaverdale office in 2005, we had 10 employees that made up our Davidson Family Dentistry team. We still have several of our founding team members along with 35 additional highly skilled team members. Dr. David Davidson was the only dentist in 2005. After his retirement in 2019, we still have 6 dentists.
Planned retirements, returning to school, staying at home with children, helping ill family members along with the stresses and fears of COVID 19 brought significant challenges with our staffing. We have 17 new employees this year and we couldn’t be happier with their additions. Our Clinic Administrator, Diane, along with our other managers Jan and Cami do a fantastic job of “match making” new employees with the job and our other employees. We are very protective of our Davidson Family Dentistry culture and our new employees must add and not subtract from our culture.
Dental hygienist Hayley joined us in February. She has been in dentistry for 15 years and has lived in the Des Moines area for 2 years. Hayley is originally from Atlantic and previously worked for one of Dr. Dave’s dental friends in Atlantic. She is appreciative of her helpful co-workers.
Business assistant Nancy H. joined us in May right after we reopened from our mandatory shutdown. Originally from Moline, Illinois, Nancy has been in dentistry 18 years and lives in Winterset. Her favorite part of her job is “helping people”.
Dental assistant Emma joined us in June. Emma is originally from Waterloo and has been in dentistry for 2 years. She is anxiously awaiting acceptance at The University of Iowa College of Dentistry where she has applied to be a 2021 freshman dental student. She works primarily with Dr. Michael and enjoys all the varied dental services we provide for our patients and how much she is constantly learning.
Dental hygienist Natalya joined us in June. She is originally from Sevastopol, Crimea. She has been in America for 20 years and a dental hygienist for 18 years. Natalya has a unique and special background in dentistry. In Ukraine, she was not only a dentist but a Periodontist (gum specialist). Because of the rules by the Board of Dentistry, Natalya is not allowed to work as a dentist in Iowa unless she attends an American dental school. Natalya especially likes the Russian Icons that Dr. Dave has on display in the office.
Dental assistant Angie joined us in July. Angie has lived in the Des Moines area for 6 years and has been in dentistry for 11 years. She especially likes how our staff is “so helpful and welcomed me as a new employee and continues to be helpful every day.”
Dental hygienist Namsun joined us in July. She is originally from Seoul, South Korea and has lived in the Des Moines area since the flood of 1993. She has been in dentistry for 20 years. Namsum loves how our “office is so well organized”.
Insurance specialist and sleep apnea coordinator Teri joined us in July. She is originally from Swisher, Iowa and has lived in the Des Moines area since 2005. She has worked in dentistry for 12 years. Teri especially likes her coworkers and “loves how ethical the practice is”.
Dental assistant Larysa joined us in July. Larysa is originally from Russia and has lived in Iowa for 18 years and the Des Moines area since 2014. She has been in dentistry for 10 years. Larysa is our first Level 2 expanded function dental assistant. Larysa really likes how our “practice is so busy”.
Business assistant Amy joined us in August. Amy is originally from Kansas City. She interviewed with us via Zoom and took our offer for employment before she moved here. She has been in dentistry for 3 years. She is very thankful for her new coworkers and our Education Collective for her children.
Business assistant Debbie joined us in September. Debbie is originally from Keokuk and has lived in the Des Moines area for 33 years. Debbie is unique with our new hires because this is her first time working in the dental field. Her business experience is long and varied and she has picked up on the ways of dentistry very quickly. Debbie is also unique because she had Mr. Davidson (Dr. Dave’s father and Dr. Michael’s grandfather) as a teacher when she attended American Institute of Business, when she moved here from Keokuk. Debbie especially “loves our friendly and welcoming Davidson Family Dentistry staff”.
Dr. Ellen Babor joined us in September to help us with Dr. Stemper’s maternity leave and will be with us through Dr. Baier’s maternity leave in the spring. Dr. Babor is the daughter of a dentist and is originally from Marengo, Iowa. She is a 2017 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. Dr. Babor has commented that she “loves all the people I get to work with here. They are a very friendly and talented”.
Business assistant and marketing coordinator, Darcy joined us in September. She is originally from Waverly, Iowa. Darcy has lived in Des Moines for 29 years and has been in dentistry for 7 years. Darcy especially enjoys providing customer service and helping patients and staff.
Dental assistant Maddy joined us in September. Maddy is a new graduate of the dental assisting program at DMACC. She is originally from Atlantic. She is appreciative of Jessie (dental assistant) and Dr. Mulcahy for their assistance and guidance as she starts her professional career. She has the gift of joy and is a blessing to patients and staff alike.
Dental assistant Emina joined us in October. Emina is also a new graduate of the dental assisting program at DMACC. Emina is a first generation American. Her family emigrated here from Bosnia 20 years ago. She is especially “thankful for the teamwork here at Davidson Family Dentistry”.
Dr. Christina Mulcahy joined us in November. Dr. Mulcahy is a daughter of a dentist and is originally from West Des Moines. She is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. She practiced dentistry 5 years in Texas before she, her husband, and two children returned to her home town 2 years ago. We are very thankful she has joined us as a full time dentist as she is very compassionate, skilled and has a patient centered approach to patient care. She has really “enjoyed getting to know all of the team at Davidson Family Dentistry. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming.” She looks forward to meeting our patients as the months and years continue.
Business assistant and dental assistant Julie Ann joined us in November. She is originally from Mason City. She has lived in the Des Moines area for 12 years and she been in dentistry 5 years. Julie Ann “loves working with patients and solving problems”. She also “loves the awesome decor of the office”.
Our Davidson Family Dentistry family continues to grow via the happiest of ways, new babies.
Dr. Justine Stemper gave birth to a healthy son in August, baby Ezekiel (Zeke). Congratulations to Dr. Justine and her husband Matt. Zeke joins his big sister Eliza. Congratulations to the Stemper family.
Dental assistant Meaghan added another son to her quiver of boys. Baby Anderson was born in September. Anderson joins his big brothers Derek and Jensen. Congratulations to Meaghan and her husband Sol.
This year we concentrated on safety and preparedness. During the COVID mandatory shutdown, we added a new ultraviolet air purifying system to our HVAC. All return air is cleaned and purified before it is returned into the office ambient air.
We also remodeled our sterilization room to make it more convenient for our staff to keep our instruments sterilized at the very top levels that we demand. We added another sterilizer. We now routinely use five sterilization units.
We added an emergency generator for our building. We have never had a loss of power that has interrupted our operations for an extended period of time yet natural disasters can happen anywhere. We wanted to be prepared.
We also replaced one of our operatory x-ray units that needed upgrading to continue our high standards of technically superior treatment.
This was not the year for out-of-town training. Travel was not predicable or safe. Our staff keep up with their continuing education requirements with on-line education. Dr. Michael Davidson & Dr. Cameron Clause are planning on further hands-on implant training out of state in February provided they have received their COVID vaccinations and the “coast is clear” for distance training.
Elementary Education Collective
You may have already read in the Des Moines Register or heard on WHO radio about our elementary education collective. During the summer, we recognized many of our staff with school-aged children were stressed, and rightfully so, about the start of school. Most of our elementary age children were scheduled for a hybrid education which meant that someone had to provide the on-line portion of the child’s education. Because we depend on our highly skilled workforce to be present and unencumbered by this stress, we hired 2 teachers to help with the on-line school requirement and we provide this in our basement at Davidson Family Dentistry. It has been a big hit. Dr. Dave calls it our one room schoolhouse even though we can’t really call it a school.
Dental hygienist, Vicki, and dental hygienist, Joyce, retired in May. This was a planned retirement date that was set months ago prior to the start of COVID. We are very thankful for Vicki’s 20 years and Joyce’s 7 years of faithful service.
Marketing coordinator and sleep apnea coordinator, Mary Ann, retired in November. We also knew many months ago that her retirement was at hand. We are very thankful for her 6 years of faithful service.
Dr. Dave’s Retirement News
Many of you inquire what Dr. Dave is doing with his new found time of rest. He and Diane did do some travel prior to the COVID nightmare. Their favorite vacations involve wildlife viewing, visiting ancient civilizations, and places they have never visited before. With those parameters, in January they traveled on a tour in Mexico visiting ancient Mayan sites.
In February they went to Hollywood, California and saw 3 tapings of the game show” Jeopardy”, an episode of “The Masked Singer”, and the taping of a sitcom called “The Neighborhood”. Alex Trebek was very gracious and would answer questions during breaks and was a lovely host. Nick Cannon was surprisingly pretentious, and the staff and crew at “The Neighborhood” were fantastic and Dr. Dave says he hadn’t so many belly laughs in years and most of you know he is fairly jolly and joyous most of the time. Dr. Dave’s sister, brother-in-law, nephew and his girlfriend joined them. They visited many of the famous sites in the LA area and even went to see Mickey for a day.
In March, Dr. Dave and Diane took Dr. Michael’s two children to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for a week to escape the Iowa winter. They all had a great time. While there, they discovered a Freddo’s ice cream store. Dr. Dave was willing to move to Santiago, Chili just to be close to Freddo’s passion fruit sorbet and red raspberry sorbet but now there is an American location, albeit not exactly down the street. (Santiago would still be worth a return.) When they all returned, the whole COVID exploded and they found out southern Florida had been a real hot spot.
COVID pretty much ended his travels for the year but there was a silver lining. Dr. Dave and Diane’s daughter, Elizabeth was due in May 2020 and she and her husband have a 3 year old. So, during a month of COVID closure they both went to Cedar Falls to help out and allow them to take Charles, the three year old, out of day care. Dr. Dave spent another month in Cedar Falls helping after the baby, Michael Davis, was born. It’s never too early for a grandfather to impart grandfatherly wisdom. Apparently Grandpa Davidson’s stories set a pretty high bar for all of the other family storytellers.
Once this COVID thing is in our rear view mirror, Dr. Dave and Diane will be back on the travel trail.
Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, and Happy Holidays to you all. We are very thankful and grateful you have chosen to place your dental health with us. All 45 of us at Davidson Family Dentistry wish for you a blessed season and a healthy, prosperous, and NORMAL 2021.
Dr. David DavidsonPosted December 23rd, 2020
At Davidson Family Dentistry our employees with school-aged children cannot work from home AND help patients with their dental care needs. We needed a creative solution to support these families as schools rolled out various models of learning inside and outside the school building this fall.
Rather than risk the loss of valuable employees who would be forced to stay home for online learning classes, we hired two facilitators. Ms. Katy Fukuda has a background in education; she taught English in Tokyo, Japan and middle school in Pennsylvania and moved all of her curriculum online over Spring Break in March 2020 before moving back to her hometown of Ankeny. With a newborn at home, Ms. Fukuda was looking for a creative way to use her skills and our learning collective was a perfect fit. Ms. Kelly Barchinger has a background as a nanny, camp counselor and in hotel management/event planning and she coordinates the important play – both inside and outside – aspect of a child’s day as school is not continuous learning from 7am-5pm (the hours the dental clinic is open). We have been operating our learning cooperative since the start of the 2020-2021 school year at no charge to our employees.
The learning collective is open to any of our employees with flexible hours tailored to fit school schedules across 4 metro districts, work schedules, and older students “trying it out at home”. Our busiest day is Tuesdays with 8 students in attendance. Right now, we have students in 1st-6th grades using the collective with four 3rd graders as our biggest group. If metro school districts switch from in-person schedules to all online or hybrid, we have the capacity to meet the needs of all of our employees.
Both parents and children seem to like this arrangement. The parents have fewer worries knowing that their children are safe, supervised and keeping up with schoolwork while the parents can continue working. The children are always excited to come see their new friends.
We are excited that our employees and students have embraced this new program.
Challenging times call for creative solutions!
Posted September 15th, 2020
After 5 years of treating and preventing dental disease at Davidson Family Dentistry. Dr. John Biegert will be leaving us effective September 3, 2020. We will miss his caring and competent skills and wish him the best in his new endeavors. We will all be working diligently to get all of his existing treatment plans into his schedule before he leaves. We are reworking the schedule so that the treatments that cannot be finished before he leaves are absorbed by other dentists here in our office.Posted August 24th, 2020