I was a new resident in the Indianapolis area…

I was a new resident in the Indianapolis area having moved here from Chicago for a new job. I had been living in Zionsville for more than a year by the time I realized that there was something wrong with my teeth that needed attention. I thought to myself “I better find a dentist in the area – and fast”.

At the time, I was receiving advertising fliers in the mail from a dental clinic out by east Carmel so I called them. Since this dental clinic had a rather fancy brochure about dental reconstruction, I had to ask them if they do “regular dentistry” too and they said “yes we sure do.” I must say though that their fancy brochure about dental reconstruction really got me to thinking about a longer term solution in my mouth. I already had an upper partial and still had some missing teeth in my lower jaw. After 15 years or so with this situation, the hardware was getting worn out and so were the rest of the teeth in my mouth as well. I wanted to look better – it was time for a change!!!

So I made an appointment with the dental clinic having the fancy brochure all the way out in east Carmel. When I got there and saw this place, I said wow! What a fancy dental office. I remember getting quite an interview from a dental assistant there before I ever got to see the dentist. When the dentist did come into the room to see me, he did not examine me at that time. They wanted to know what my dental objectives would be and how much money I was willing to spend to meet those objectives. I said “I don’t really know right now, so can you make some suggestions for me?” It was suggested to me that I take the there full examination that includes a full set of jaw x-rays, impressions, critical measurements and other “picking” and a “poking” at a cost of $420! I knew by this time that “this is not like Wal-Mart” and I’m not in Kansas anymore!

A week or so later I went back for my examination results and talked again with the dental assistant and the doctor who reviewed some options for me to consider for my mouth. Again they asked me, how much money are you willing to spend? My reply was “I don’t know, why don’t you just tell me?” The dentist proposed 3 options to me starting from “just taking care of the immediate problem” to full “reconstruction” of my upper and lower teeth plus partials and other miscellaneous hardware and software. And to make me feel like it’s all worth while, through the “miracle” of computer imagery, they showed me what my mouth could look like after all the work is done. “Looks pretty cool” I said, what will that cost? When the doctor told me the cost – I thought I would be buying a partnership in his practice! Holy cow!!! Actually in this case, many holy cows!!! To give you a sense of the cost, my parents bought a house in 1964 for a lot less money than what this dental procedure was going to cost me. I simply said “no thanks.” They gave me the exam x-rays and I left. I remember thinking how “cool and scripted” both the dental assistant and doctor were with me. Actually, they were like “plastic people.” Through this experience, I went away not feeling cared for and I also lost available time.

After this “sticker shock” experience, I drifted for a few more weeks just pondering my thoughts on what to do next. I considered looking in the yellow pages for a dentist near by. I thought, “what a brilliant idea” and wondered why didn’t I do that the first time. I think it’s because, these days, we use the Internet so much that we don’t even think about using phone books anymore. Looking in my brand new yellow pages phone book, I found two dental offices within 1 mile from where I live. I proceeded to call each dental office but this day was Friday and both were closed. Oh darn I thought, I’ll now have to wait until Monday to call them.

The following Monday I called the first dentist on my list of two. Hello, are you taking new patients? Yes, said the receptionist, but our first available appointment is in 3 weeks. I said, I’ll take it, even though I really wanted an appointment right away. I then proceeded to call Dr. Halsema’s dental office also known as Carmel West Dentistry. Hello, are you taking new patients? Yes we are, said the receptionist, when would you like to make an appointment? Oh this week, as soon as possible I said. We can see you this week said the receptionist. So I made an appointment to see Dr. Nancy Z. Halsema DDS, PC that same week. I was relieved to know that I could see the dentist that soon. I also felt good about having a dentist who is a woman because I think a female doctor is more thoughtful, compassionate, and takes the time to listen to the patient’s needs and concerns. I really needed that kind of doctor / patient relationship now. I immediately called the other dental office and cancelled that appointment.

On the day of my appointment, when I arrived at Dr. Halsema’s dental office, I immediately noticed how very nice and comfortable the waiting area is and I was kindly received by name by the receptionist. It wasn’t long before I felt like the office staff was happy that I was there and they made me feel comfortable. After filling out the typical paperwork for new patents, I was then called in for my dental exam. At that time, I met a young lady named “Autumn” an Expanded Dental Assistant who is so friendly and she made me feel so comfortable being there while she got me all prepared for my exam by Dr. Halsema. So far, I met 3 gorgeous young ladies and Autumn is now asking me if I want the “massage” in the dental exam chair turned-on and if I would like to see a newspaper or magazine. What? – I thought to myself, wow – I’m liking this… humm… I think I’ll stay for awhile… do I really have to go back to work today???

Now, for the best part – I met Dr. Halsema. She introduced herself to me and talked to me like she has always been my friend while I told her about my dental history, needs and wishes. I felt like my prayers were answered because Dr. Halsema really listened to me and I knew that she wanted to help me. I just call her “Nancy” because she is so friendly, easy to talk to, and ya know, at my age, I can get away with it – ha!!!

Well, for me, I needed some “short term” dental care and also a plan for the “long term” dental solution. There were 3 phases of work to my dental plan. At first, I was able to get an immediate dental cosmetic procedure done on my upper teeth and also some lower teeth fixed and saved. Since I was already missing some teeth in my lower jaw, I decided to have a partial denture made. Also, I previously had a partial denture in my upper jaw and since the condition of the other teeth were not so good, I decided have a full upper denture made and matched to the lower partial denture. These procedures were done in “phases” so I was never without teeth in my mouth. Since I am “visible” at work and elsewhere, this plan was vary important to me. And that’s not all. A month or so later I also had crowns (veneers) made for my front lower teeth.

So, how did things work out for me? Beautiful. I can honestly thank Dr. Halsema and her staff of highly skilled and caring dental professionals for giving me better life to live now. When it comes to dental care, these ladies ROCK!!!………
Expanded Dental Assistants, Autumn and Elaina, Dental Hygienists, Deb and Debbie, Office Administrators, Carol and Cassi, and of course, Nancy (Dr. Halsema).

I also love all of you for caring so much about me and making my life better.

Dr. Halsema is a real professional and…if I may say…a really neat lady too!! Yea, I know, I’m pushing my luck but it’s so true!!! Nancy (Dr. Halsema) is a very caring dental physician and a highly skilled artist in dentistry. When it’s time to fix your teeth, you will want Dr. Halsema on your team. I know from my own experience and the care I received at Carmel West Dentistry, that Dr. Halsema and her professional staff will make you feel good about your decision to call them and get that dental problem taken care of. You will soon have a nice smile on your face too.

James Hennke