Popular Dental Q&AWhat a response I've had to my first blog entry. A lot of Google folks weren't even aware of their new dental office, as we've been keeping a low profile and just rolling out service to a few select groups until we work out all the bugs. But requests for appointments have started to go through the roof. We are trying to keep an orderly schedule and slot people in best we can, so keep checking for cancellations. As you know we're working on our intranet scheduling, alerting and triage site, so you'll soon be able to track your dental history online.
The rest of this blog will be in the popular frequently-asked-questions format (FAQ, rhymes with plaque):
Is Google the first company ever to have its own dentist?
Yes, as far as I know. There are services today where dental service is offered to various companies out of the back of a van or RV. This is strictly a minimal-service, high-volume type of operation where the patient does not really have the opportunity to build up a relationship with his or her dental professional. Nor is any emergency or after-hours service offered.
Why work at Google instead of a traditional practice?
One, it's much like any other practice, but offered to a narrower demographic. As I posted earlier, there is still plenty of work to keep my office busy. Second, I've had the chance to meet and get to know many very interesting and curious folks. People here seem to share a love of science and learning and tend to ask a lot of questions. Third, did I mention the stock options? We hit 400 and doc's looking at paying off the rest of his dental school bills.
Which is your favorite, Marathon Man or Little Shop of Horrors?
Loved them both. I'm considering some movie posters for the office, in place of the usual "hang in there" kitten in a tree posters you usually see.
Seriously though, fear of dentists is a real phenomenon, even in the valley. Simplifying the dental experience and making the patient as comfortable and informed as possible has always been my priority. Folks tells me there's a science of "usability" in the computer software field that strives for the same goals, so I expect to build on some great ideas in that area.
How's the dental hygiene at the Plex?
Of course I can't comment on any specific cases, but I've seen some room for improvement. Late nights, stress, and cans of Coke seem to be a common thread among programmers, all of which hasten enamel decay and onset of gingivitis. Hey, I don't mean to get too techie here. Just a reminder to keep that dental health in mind as you go about your day. One thing we'll be rolling out are stations around the campus near restrooms with colorful toothbrushes, floss and other instruments, for catching a quick brush after lunch. Just drop your brush in the tray after you're done and it will be sterilized for the next user. Any company that offers first aid kits should consider some dental refresh stations as well.