Treating Patients for a Lifetime
By Patty Schlegel
“Treat others the way you want to be treated” may sound old-fashioned, but that golden philosophy will never go out of style with the patients and staff at Lifetime Dental. Dr. David Blackley went into the business of dentistry because he wanted to help people. His philosophy and ethics have earned him the trust of many patients, including three generations of many families, and have given him the opportunity to work in an environment he enjoys with the ability to focus on what he feels is the most important—his patients.
Dr. Blackley isn’t the only one at Lifetime Dental living this philosophy. “We like to get to know you,” says Gayla, the office manager. “It makes everybody feel better.” Gayla stresses the importance of knowing what each patient’s needs and expectations are.
The team at Lifetime Dental is small, just the way they like it. In addition to herself and Dr. Blackley, they have two other longtime staff members. Patients find comfort in knowing who they will be seeing, Gayla notes.
Dental assistant Kim has been working side by side with Dr. Blackley for over 25 years. She says he is the most honest dentist she has ever worked with, and she loves the family atmosphere they have created. “These are all my kids,” she says with a wide smile as she opens her arms to the people in the waiting room. She is delighted to have known many of the patients from the time they were young children. Dental hygienist Dori is well known for having a gentle touch. In fact, Gayla notes, even patients who have moved away and returned call to make sure they can still see Dori.
Giving patients options is an important part of his practice, says Dr. Blackley. “I tell them, ‘Here is what I see, here is how we can fix it, and here is what happens if we don’t do anything.’” He says it is important to give patients the information they need so they can be part of the decisions about what treatment they need for their teeth. “There may be three or four different ways to fix a tooth,” Kim adds. “We give the patients choices and options.”
People need to take care of their teeth and new technologies have provided many new ways to help. Most important to Dr. Blackley is the preservation of the tooth. Conservative dentistry that preserves the structure of the tooth as much as possible is vital to long-term tooth health, he notes—a crown or a veneer will last only so long. Dr. Blackley says he always considers the longevity of the tooth, the functionality, and the aesthetics.
Patient Scott has put his trust in Dr. Blackley since 1989. He says he appreciates Dr. Blackley’s resolve to fix his dental issues right the first time. “He puts your dental health and happiness above all else,” Scott shares.
Gayla enjoys working on a team with great integrity. “We don’t push our services,” she explains. “We tell you what you need and don’t try to up-sell.” She says they treat their patients like family and would never recommend something they wouldn’t recommend to their own families. Working with insurance companies daily has given Gayla great insight into financial difficulties that patients may face. “We try to help people who don’t have insurance by having our own savings plan,” she says.
Beautiful mountains, the pictures of which are displayed in the waiting room, are photos taken by Dr. Blackely himself. Although he doesn’t call himself an artist, a good eye can make the difference between having a set of teeth and having a set of teeth that fit and function well, he says.
Being nice, favoring conservative treatment, and getting it right the first time have served Dr. Blackley well in his business. He comes to work each day with a focus on the patients, many of whom have chosen Lifetime Dental for a lifetime.
Lifetime Dental is currently accepting new patients. They are located at 6430 Brook Park Drive, Suite 100, in Colorado Springs. For more information, call 719-268-9777 or visit lifetimedentalcolorado.com.
Dr. David Blackley
and his staff