We had the good fortune of connecting with Gordon Wilson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gordon, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
I don’t think that there is a single important factor that can be attributed to our success. However; one of the most important factors is – Evolution. With me, it’s been an evolution that has spanned more than a quarter of a century. We’re constantly evolving as we search for new and innovative procedures in an attempt to always be at the forefront of dentistry.
I am a General Dentist who has been practicing dentistry in Phoenix since 1995. As General Dentists, my colleagues and I are your “go-to” providers for managing your oral health and taking care of most your dental needs, which may include such procedures as: dental exams, preventive care, gum care, fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges and root canals, to name a few. In fact, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of procedures that we General Dentists can perform.
Early in my career, I became frustrated with the results that most of my patients were experiencing with “gum disease” treatments. Back then, I did exactly what we were taught in dental school, and it’s what is still currently being taught today in dental schools all over the country. That is; When a patient has bleeding gums and periodontal pockets, you perform non-surgical pocket reduction procedures (the so-called “deep cleanings”) and you bring the patient back a month later to reevaluate them. If the patient attains good results, you place them on a 3 to 4 month continuing care plan wherein we try to help the patient maintain those results. These appointments are aptly known as periodontal maintenance appointments. If the patient fails to attain good results, we refer them to a periodontist (gum specialist) who performs surgical pocket reduction procedures.
Doing what I was taught in dental school caused me to lose many patients from my practice, because they either: A) didn’t want to have gum surgery or B) they had gum surgery and they didn’t like it. It was at this point that I realized that I needed to reinvent myself or risk losing more and more patients.
Evolution #1. In 1998, I became one of the first four dentists in the world licensed by Millennium Dental Technologies to perform the only patented dental procedure in the entire history of dentistry. This patented dental procedure utilizes a laser in lieu of the scalpel and stitches that are utilized in traditional gum surgery. I own the world’s very first digital laser, which was manufactured by Millennium Dental Technologies. The use of this laser allows me to perform what I like to call a “micro-surgery”.
Patients prefer the use of the laser, because it’s much less invasive than using a scalpel. Because it is much less invasive; there is little-to-no trauma to the gum tissues. Because there is little-to-no trauma to the gum tissues; there is little-to-no swelling of the gum tissues. Because there is little-to-no swelling of the gums tissues; there is little-to-no pain. Patients also experience faster healing times.
Unfortunately, the results I attained with the laser were unpredictable. Some patients attained amazing results with the patented laser procedure, while others attained mediocre results. A small number of patients even attained horrible results. This became quite frustrating, as I am constantly striving for perfection. In fact, the motto in our office is that we strive for perfection, but we will accept excellence.
Most are familiar with the overused cliché, the definition of insanity… repeating the exact same processes over and over again, expecting to attain a different result each time. Some even attribute this definition to Albert Einstein. If Albert Einstein is responsible for this definition, I can tell you that he was wrong! TRUE INSANITY was me repeating the exact same processes over and over again and ACTUALLY ATTAINING a different result each and every time! I was going insane trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, which lead me to evolution #2.
I knew from my previous training that treating “gum disease” is a simple as: 1) Remove the tartar from the roots of the teeth, and 2) Prevent the tartar from reforming on the roots of the teeth. Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. It’s the dental professional’s job to remove the tartar from the roots of the teeth; It’s the patient’s job to prevent the tartar from reforming on the roots of the teeth. The patient’s job is much more difficult than the dental professional’s job. The patient’s job is also much more important than the dental professional’s job.
In early 2008, I discovered an FDA-cleared medical device that helps make the patient’s job easier to accomplish. It’s a custom-fit oral appliance that allows the patients to direct a medicated gel deep below the gum line, down into the pockets. After wearing the appliance for 15 minutes, the medicated gel kills 99% of the bacteria that cause this so-called “gum disease”. The appliance is called the Perio Tray, and it’s manufactured by a company called Perio Protect. By the end of 2008, it became clear to me that while the results of the Perio Protect Method were effective, the method itself was extremely cumbersome for the patients and it took a long time for the results to be attained.
This lead me to evolutions #3- through #7. Treating gums with the laser lead to rapid, but unpredictable results. Treating gums with the Perio Trays lead to predictable, but slow results. So I took the best characteristics of the patented laser procedure and combined them with the best characteristics of the patented tray system. During subsequent months of research and development, I established new protocols for eliminating bleeding and periodontal pocketing. After experimenting with different variables, I eventually settled upon 5 different protocols for treating each stage of gingival health either non-surgically or with minimal laser usage.
Evolution #8 brings us to where we are today, which is treating “gum disease” as a wound instead of treating it like a disease. The results are so fast and predictable that we actually guarantee them. No other dental professional would ever dream of guaranteeing the results of their periodontal treatment. In fact, when I tell other dental professionals that we guarantee our results, they look at me as if I have a horn protruding from the middle of my forehead!
Evolution #9 will take us into the future. I’m currently conducting research and development on an improved tray system that will hopefully be more effective than the existing tray system . Over the years, my dedicated team and I have striven for perfection and have achieved excellence. Perhaps in the future, we can land in a realm somewhere between perfection and excellence.
What should our readers know about your business?
I grew up in a small farming community in the panhandle of Nebraska. The first school that I attended was a small two-room country school similar to what you remember seeing on the show “Little House on the Prairie”, only our school didn’t double as a church on Sundays. When I was old enough to throw a football, my dream was to one day play for the Cornhuskers. I achieved that dream in 1988. Later, in 1990, I dropped out of college and volunteered for Desert Storm. Upon returning from the Gulf War, I attended the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Dentistry. When deciding on where to practice dentistry, I chose Phoenix because I preferred January in the desert to January in Nebraska!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Weather permitting, we would check out all of the local hiking spots. One of my favorite spots is Pinnacle Peak Trail. If they wanted a good workout, I would take them with me to Chaparral Park. There’s a spot at the top of the hill by the aquatic center that overlooks Chaparral Lake. I like to take my X3 bar up there and workout with my music. It has a beautiful view of Camelback Mountain and it’s frequented by 3 bald eagles. There are even some wild parakeets that reside in the neighborhood.
As for eating spots, I enjoy Daily Dose for breakfast/brunch. I prefer White Chocolate Grill or Houston’s for lunch and City Hall for dinner.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to give my first Shoutout to my amazing wife, Mariyana, who also wears the hat of office manager in our office. My second Shoutout goes to my incredible hygienist, Michele, who has been with me for nearly two decades now. Running a dental office can be extremely stressful. These two outstanding individuals take much of the stress off of me so that I can focus on what I do best.