Dr. Jayne Hoffman’s Commitment To Smiles Drives Investments in Her Practice, Her Patients and Her CommunityJuly 26, 2016 - Digital Resource Blogger
(published in the Wall Street Journal in August 2016)
DR. JAYNE HOFFMAN’S COMMITMENT
TO SMILES DRIVES INVESTMENTS IN HER PRACTICE,
HER PATIENTS AND HER COMMUNITY
Honored By The Consumer National Advisory
Board as one of “America’s Best Dentists,”
Her Santa Clara, CA Practice Offers
High Tech Dentistry In a Spa-Like Environment
Serving the Santa Clara community for over 20 years, Dr. Jayne Hoffman – chosen in 2014, 2015 and 2016 by the Consumer National Advisory Board as one of “America’s Best Dentists” – is driven every day by her commitment to the highest possible comfort and care of her patients, the latest advancements in state of the art technology and dental procedures and her passion for continuing education. Nearly 30 years after she opened her first small practice, she still believes in the power of a great smile to change lives.
Many years ago, discovering her own smile changed the course of her life. “The decision for me to become a dentist was easy,” says Dr. Jayne, whose family oriented Dr. Jayne Dentistry practice is renowned for its knowledgeable, friendly, efficient and comprehensive dental care, high tech innovations (digital panoramic X-rays, dental lasers, ultrasonic scalers, etc.) and a warm, cheerful environment. “I’d been the only one in my family to have crooked teeth, and my father—a wise and respected physician—believed that my teeth would self-correct. So I waited and waited. Finally, Dad admitted defeat and in my senior year of high school I got to get braces to fix the problem. Time passed by and then they were removed. I noticed something immediately wonderful, which started inside of me and worked its way out to my smile. I felt confident and healthy, more ready to take on the world—in an instant.”
“I learned something valuable through that experience, which has stayed with me in all of my years in practice,” she adds. “For many people, when we do not have teeth that are in good condition, we don’t feel as good about ourselves. We hide our smiles and put our heads down if we begin to laugh. No one should have to feel they need to do that. Knowing this was profound for me and I knew that I wanted to be a dentist that very day.”
Early on, Dr. Jayne, who earned her Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry (formerly the University of the Pacific Dental School) in San Francisco, was intrigued by new breakthroughs in sedation dentistry. She discovered a deep capacity to be compassionate to people she met and wanted to ease her patients’ anxiety. A few years after she launched her first practice, her husband Neal convinced her to join him in taking over Mission City Dental Care from his dentist father, who was retiring.
But several years into building their practice, tragedy struck. Neal was killed in an airplane accident and she was left to not only offer dental services but run the business while dealing with all the attendant emotional issues and raise their three year old daughter. “It was not in my plan, ever,” she says, “but I wasn’t about to surrender and step aside so I had to step up. It was a terribly sad transition, but I believe the opportunity to continue and build the practice was my salvation. The challenges and responsibility of handling the whole practice kept me occupied and focused. My patients gave me something outside my grief to engage in, and to this day I love hearing about what’s going on in their lives. I always say this job is like being part dentist, part Dr. Phil! I didn’t miss a single day of work.”
Dr. Jayne was grateful to build upon the success of a longstanding local practice for another reason – the opportunity to serve multiple generations of the same family. “Neal’s father started his practice in Santa Clara back in the 50s, so patients that were kids back then are now grandparents whose children and grandchildren come to see me. When you provide great care, yes, with a smile, people stay very loyal.”
One of the ways Dr. Jayne was able to not only sustain but grow the practice in the years following Neal’s passing was continued education. She made sure to get the training and services that would ensure greater diversity, offering sedation dentistry (oral sedation and nitrous oxide to ensure full relaxation) among an array of services that would help more patients achieve their goals and personal satisfaction through a brighter smile and healthier oral hygiene.
Today, Dr. Jayne helps them with fluorides and sealants, bridges, crowns, root canals, tooth colored fillings, Invisalign® braces, cosmetic bonding and porcelain veneers, digital x-rays, tooth whitening, dental implants, nitrous oxide sedation, and non-IV conscious sedation. Focused on transforming flaws into perfection, she became a certified Preferred Provider of Invisalign® clear orthodontics and a Denmat certified provider in Lumineers® custom-made veneers.
Dr. Jayne is also committed to providing amenities which are part of a unique holistic “dental spa” aesthetic, including noise cancelling Bose headphones, iPods with soothing music, refreshments, cocoa butter and vitamin E lip balm during treatments, warm scented towels, aromatherapy, neck pillows, cozy blankets, luxury lotions and hand scrubs, and hot/cold herbal wraps.
“Through these services,” she says, “the people that I meet in the community I serve inspire me on a daily basis and their happiness becomes my happiness, too. Everything that we offer at Dr. Jayne Dentistry is meant to add to the experience and show patients that my staff and I are completely vested in their well being. I cannot imagine having a practice run any other way. Teeth are so important—more than some people realize. When you have all your teeth you live an average of 5 – 7 years longer than someone who doesn’t. As I know as well as anyone, every day is such a gift and I want people to cherish as many as they can.”
Aware that veteran dentists who fail to change the way they practice, or update their services and office environment, can experience burnout and a decrease in patients, Dr. Jayne has been in full entrepreneurial growth mode these past years. Since the late 2000s, she has streamlined her staff, taken control of business management, changed her community marketing strategies and remodeled her building and office – all in addition to expanding her services, implementing the latest dental technology and redefining her practices “spa” aesthetic.
She also began focusing on complete care for each patient, not buying any longer into the “limits” imposed on her by insurance companies. Another major streamlining change was more “same day” dentistry, accomplishing more work for patients in a single session. This eliminated her client’s the hassle of having to wait weeks and endure multiple appointments to achieve their bigger, brighter smiles.
Having stabilized and built up the practice substantially without her husband, Dr. Jayne, free from the overwhelming anxiety she experienced for several years, was in a bit of a complacent, autopilot rut. As the economy headed towards the Great Recession, she anticipated a slowdown in business and seemed at peace with it. In 2008, however, she attended a practice management group conference in Atlanta, and found herself galvanized and inspired as she learned about practices all around the country that were growing exponentially despite the overall economic outlook.
“When I look back retrospectively, I realized that we had reached at plateau in 2006-07,” she says. “Like a lot of dentists, I had been focusing strictly on dental work and not on the business of dentistry, and my former office manager wasn’t doing anything to build the practice. It was motivating for me seeing how even in the tighter economy that other practices were still expanding and not losing market share. I thought, if they can do it, so can I…and getting to the point where I was getting older and only had a limited number of years to plan for retirement, I realized I was ready for a change.”
In addition to replacing her office manager, Dr. Jayne increased the presence of her practice at a variety of community events, including the Rotary Fair, Barbecue cook-offs, a summer health fair in Santa Clara and an art and wine festival. She had seen other practitioners like chiropractors at these events, but not dentists. Participating in these, she had the opportunity to get to know new people and ask them what they were looking for in a dentist and what their preconceptions were. In addition to new cable TV ads, she also started doing direct mail marketing.
Her intense commitment to the details of remodeling and “upscaling” the outside and inside of the practice earned her humorous comparisons to Sarah Winchester, a 19th Century heiress who used her fortune to continue construction on her San Jose mansion for 38 years. She made it look mid-century modern with clean, sophisticated (but not overly opulent) lines. Her goal was to “change the perception of people about what a dentist’s office could be. It was not a typical old doctor’s office, and a building head and shoulders above the others in the area, that would catch your eye when you drive by and come in.”
Dr. Jayne also made sure that her practice was inviting to people of many different cultures. Her staff is very culturally diverse, and at times, she has counted up to eight different foreign languages spoken at the office at one time. This unique approach has allowed Dr. Jayne Dentistry to have a stronger outreach to all communities within the Santa Clara community. Officially, she offers services in English, Spanish, Farsi, Hindi and Russian.
From a business angle, of course, a more upscale presentation, a deeper range of services and a better, more personalized overall experience meant that people would be willing to pay more for their dental care.
“We really try to have a conversation on an eye to eye level with every new patient, to reassure them that we’re here to help you,” Dr. Jayne says. “Maybe bad things had happened to them before at dentists’ offices, and we want them to be comfortable sharing those so we can make this experience very different. We’re not only committed to giving you a healthy mouth, but also to creating awareness that good oral health impacts their overall physical health.”
Dr. Jayne has launched two powerful initiatives to help people see the rewards that exist through practicing dentistry based on her proven philosophy, which she calls “The Platinum Rule” (a concept based on the “Golden Rule”). The first is a teen mentor program, designed for young people who have an interest in dentistry as a possible career. She shows them how an office works and gives them insight into how powerful and personally motivating the world of sedation dentistry can be. Her other mission is to expand the Dr. Jayne practice. “I’ve never been clearer on the vision and outlook I have for the future of dentistry in general, and my practice, in specific,” she says. “Bringing on staff members who are aligned with the way I strive to make peoples’ time in our office a positive experience will have a great impact, allowing me to not only serve my community better but also to expand its reach.”
In the 1990s, Dr. Jayne and Neal were heavily involved with the Rotary International. His rising stature with the organization gave them the opportunity to volunteer in Mexico and Central America, administering vital dental treatments to orphaned children, and in Ghana to help with vaccination against polio. Their charitable travels also took them to Taiwan, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Dr. Jayne later became involved with a program that assisted homeless, pregnant and addicted teens.
These days, she is active in supporting a number of community and charitable programs. Since 2013, she has spearheaded a program called “Dr. Jayne Treats for the Troops. She created an alliance with three local Catholic schools. Together, they have collected dental supplies, notes of appreciation and 1500 lbs of donated Halloween candy to send to Operation Gratitude, a Los Angeles based organization that distributes contributions to U.S. troops abroad. She also contributes mentorship to students of these schools for girls who want to learn more about dentistry.
Dr. Jayne says her favorite part of being a dental practitioner and running Dr. Jayne Dentistry is hearing the success stories. “These remind me that I have the ability to change the world for people who come in and won’t look me in the eye out of fear or because their self esteem was so low, or something bad that happened in the past with their mouth,” she says. “Whereas before, they couldn’t laugh or smile, now I’ve given them hope – and with successful treatments over the long haul, they can have a higher quality of life. What inspires me is when one of these patients gives me a big smile, or hug or starts to cry because of what I have contributed to his or her life. That’s what drives my day to day passion after all these years.”