Baohua Zhang, DMD, PC --- T. J. Thibodeau, DDS
"Dentistry for Chickens… and Other Sensitive People"© --- Since 1971

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Our History...

“Dentistry For Chickens… and Other Sensitive People”© was begun on April Fool's Day, 1971, here at Queen Anne's Corner in Norwell, by Dr. Ted Thibodeau, a 1968 graduate of Georgetown University School of Dentistry (CLICK HERE and HERE) in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ted Thibodeau, DDS (“Doctor T”) grew up in Quincy, attended B. C. High and Boston College, and after graduating from dental school (click to see Our Hero hard at work in the Georgetown clinic) he spent two professionally broadening and interesting years as a Lieutenant in the U. S. Naval Reserve Dental Corps (CLICK HERE) assigned to Naval Hospital #5 in South Philadelphia as a staff dentist. He returned to the South Shore and settled in Scituate in 1971 (CLICK HERE) with his four offspring, now grown and moved out into the world, and the Lovely Lady Alice. There they continue to live, happily ever after...

As noted on the "Welcome" page, Dr. T. attempted to "fully" retire a while ago, but found that after a little over one year completely away from dentistry, he actually missed its challenges--and his flock of "chickens". Fortunately, Dr. Zhang was willing to welcome him back to the Norwell practice part-time, and so he is happily "back in the saddle" almost every Tuesday for the forseeable future. (If things get busy enough, that could expand to include Wednesdays as well...)

Dr. Baohua Zhang, DMD ("Dr. Z.) was born and raised in China. She graduated from Beijing Medical College in 1984 with a degree in Dentistry. She then began her dental career in the general dental practice at Hebei Workers' Medical College Hospital. In 1991, after further advanced study, she received her M.S. degree in Oral & Maxillo-Facial Surgery from the Peking Union Medical College. Dr. Zhang worked as an Oral Surgeon in the college hospital for two years, then came to the United States.

From 1994 through mid-2000 she worked for Hoffmann-LaRoche, Inc. as a researcher, and then at Boston University School of Medicine as an Associate Scientist until early 2001. After this academic "time out" from dentistry, during which Dr. Zhang earned her U. S. citizenship, she found that she missed direct patient care. So, she applied for admission to Tufts University Dental School to become credentialled in this, her adopted country. In May, 2003, she was granted her D.M.D., receiving an award for "High Clinical Achievement".

Following her Tufts graduation, Dr. Zhang practiced general dentistry as a part-time associate in a large Boston group practice. In late 2004, she became proud owner of a long established two-days-a-week general practice in Canton, which she continues to maintain very successfully with the help of the long-time staff who have chosen to stay on with her there--and occasionally help out in Norwell. Recently she has been pursuing her interest in the installation and subsequent restoration of dental implants for selected cases.

Dr. Zhang is married to Dr. Sheng Wang, a professor at Boston University Medical School, and they are the proud parents of a young son. Her rare spare time is occupied with parenting, and weekly diction lessons to continue improving her English pronunciation--as she says, not an easy task for one born, raised and educated in China!

The theme of this practice did not start out as “Dentistry for Chickens…”. That concept gradually emerged over the years as Dr. T's patient-base grew. He seemed to attract many people who saw themselves as “chickens”--and they referred others of a similar mind-set, and somehow most of them felt at home here. Happily, that continues to this day.

This is a very patient-centered practice, but suited to our individual personalities and temperaments. We try to make it be an island of serenity in a world of chaos… a laid-back environment with frequent laughter and a lot of mutual respect and affection. Dr. T. originally designed this office--and with the help of many people gradually developed the decor and the “style”--to look and feel noticeably different from “traditional” dental offices. With the coming of Dr. Z., it continues to evolve and has been modernized to be an appropriate setting for a 21st century practice. Dr. Z. and Dr. T. and our staff all share the wish that people will always feel comfortably welcomed in this warm and friendly environment. We also enjoy spending our days in pleasant surroundings, working with relaxed, happy patients, helping them reach a shared goal: their “preferred dental future” of health, comfort, effective function and attractive appearance.

Since the beginning, many developments and improvements in methods, systems and materials have been incorporated into the practice--and that process continues. Digital computerized x-rays; the WAND anesthetic delivery system; Lasers; High-tech dental Imaging; Implants for minimally-invasive replacement of lost/missing teeth--comfortably, esthetically and permanently; NTI Bite Guards to prevent the damage caused by night-time grinding and clenching, and to help control Migraine-type headaches; the wonders of Cosmetic Dentistry--the list keeps growing! (Jackhammers, however, are no longer considered to be state-of-the-art in modern dentistry...)

But our underlying philosophy and principles have stayed constant. Over the years, we have each developed a treasured reputation for excellence and caring. Many people with histories of unpleasant dental experiences have found their way to this unique practice--and for the most part, they have found a "dental home". Those happy “sensitive” folks are responsible for the practice's name--“Dentistry for Chickens… and Other Sensitive People” ©--and for our continuing growth and prosperity.

As a result of this nurturing, accepting atmosphere--which in its simplest terms consists mainly of just being nice to people, accepting them as they are and dealing with them as we would like to be dealt with--many of our patients have been with us for a lot of years. And now, some of their children are even bringing their children!

SPEAKING OF CHILDREN--you may be wondering how we feel about "Little People". ** to find out... (SHORT ANSWER: WE LIKE 'EM!)

 A Taste Of Our Philosophy ...

From the beginning, the goal of this practice has been EXCELLENCE. Dr. Z. and Dr. T. continue on that quest. We cannot achieve perfection in this life, but we certainly can grasp at excellence: technical excellence, service excellence, caring excellence. One nice thing about excellence is--it is a moving target. It is always possible to achieve a little more excellence. There is always room to grow, to improve. And there is also room to breathe, to allow for the reality of our human frailties: some days are a bit more excellent than others, and some are a little less. As long as we give it our best try each and every day, honestly and truly, the result can only be--excellent.

Because of this fundamental commitment to excellence, over the past many years we have chosen not to be participating providers in any so-called managed-care insurance schemes. In our opinion, the underlying philosophy of these HMO's, PPO's and similar organizations did not seem to match up with our personal and professional goals. However, the reality of the current recession economy has prompted us to adjust some of our attitudes. It seems that we are all in the same shaky boat at present, and it is appropriate for us ALL to do what we can to keep it afloat. Because of this, we are investigating the possibility of becoming Mass Health providers, and possibly connecting with one or more of the more reputable PPOs as well--if we can do so without compromising our principles. (See the About Insurance page for more information.)

People (“sensitive”, “chickens”, or just “very selective”) who can recognize the difference between “average” and “excellent”, and who seek out and value “excellent”, continue to be our preferred clients. Those few people who cannot recognize that difference, or who do not care, probably belong in some other office.

Some Of What We Do Differently,
And Why ...

We try to approach the diagnosis and treatment planning of your dental conditions somewhat differently from what you may have experienced in the past--and very differently from what you would experience in many other offices even today.

From years of personal experience and continuing study, it has become clear that very often the traditional patch-here, patch-there, “piecework” methods of dental care are not the most effective for long-term success. As a result, Dr. T. has come to believe in a more holistic “systems” way of seeing our patients, and Dr. Z. is also discovering the wisdom of this approach.

The fact is that we are not dealing with just isolated teeth or just a mouth, but rather with a whole person who happens to have a mouth and teeth and who needs help in achieveing the nicest appearance, greatest comfort and best function possible for and desired by that individual (within their financial limits and time available) so they can be made “whole” again.

We have found it to be much more effective to see the mouth as a system--part of a larger system, where every part relates to every other part, and they all must work together in harmony if they are to be really healthy.

In that context, health care in general and dental care in particular should be an active partnership between caregiver and patient/client, each with an individual role to play, and both working toward a mutually agreed-upon goal. This is how we would want to be seen and treated, when we are on the receiving end of care, dental or other. And as a matter of practical fact, the most successful outcomes seem to result from this kind of relationship. The “hit and run” method simply does not work very well, long-term.

What We Can Do For YOU ...

We begin with an initial “get acquainted” visit, during which we begin to mutually discover your dental needs, desires, concerns and expectations, chat about your medical and dental history, and begin to get to know each other. Then we do the necessary clinical data-gathering--mouth exam, photos, intraoral video imaging, etc. with one of our Certified Dental Assistants recording the information in a detailed chart. The essential diagnostic x-rays (digital and computerized) are taken by the Dental Assistant or our Registered Dental Hygienist--or occasionally one of the doctors.

At that first visit, you may also experience the traditional first-visit “cleaning”. Or, you may not... Why? Because (with the occasional rare exception) it is impossible for anyone to determine your individual gum health status over the phone when you call for your first appointment. You may, indeed, only need a “routine cleaning” as you perhaps think. If that turns out to be the case, then some quality time with Arleen, RDH, or possibly with Dr. Z.--because she truly enjoys doing that--will be appropriate. But experience has taught us that all too often, it has been quite a while since a Hygienist last visited your mouth, and your gums need more care than “just a cleaning”--and sufficient time must be allowed, to treat you properly and not have to rush. In this office, there is no “one size fits all” appointment time. Each visit is planned to fit the individual need. So, your first Hygienist care visit may actually happen at your second time in our office--when, if your dental needs are at all complicated, you may also get a printed report and treatment plan proposal. (It may also turn out that you need more than just one Hygienist session to restore you to acceptable gum health. In the past couple of years, research has discovered that chronic, untreated gum disease is apparently closely related to heart disease and other whole-body systemic medical problems. Maintaining healthy gums is very important for your whole-body health!)

When everybody is clear on what your short- and long-term dental wants and needs are and agreement has been reached as to the most appropriate steps to get you where you want to go, financial arrangements are made with our business staff, and treatment visits are scheduled.

We strive to deliver premium service while keeping your costs as manageable as possible by “phasing” treatment plans over time to coordinate with insurance benefits when necessary, by arranging individualized budget plans for complex cases, and by continuing to accept assignment of insurance benefits. (See Money Matters page for details.)

Our business staff can uncomplicate insurance matters for you. We are a Delta Dental participating-provider and we welcome most commercial insurances.

A Note About Time ...

We recognize that your time is precious, so we do our best to plan appointment times with sensitivity to your personal needs and work schedules, and to fit the time needed to accomplish the planned procedures. In turn, we expect a reasonable degree of punctuality from our patients, and a minimum of appointment-changing and rescheduling. Also, we can only do our best work--especially where cosmetic dentistry is involved, or when helping a fearful person in distress--if not unduly pressured. So we will not rush. “Type A” obsessive personalities who need everything done “yesterday” may be happier somewhere else--though of course we will do our best to accomodate even these more challenging personalities.

Though we do our very best to stay close to “on time”, human beings do not run on clockwork, nor are they machines to be simply set aside when the alloted time is up. Doing it right always takes precedence over doing it fast. Some days, doing it right takes more time than we thought it would. On a personal note, Dr. T. is much more “right brain” than “left brain”--more the artist than the scientist--so not always very good with time. Our terrific staff do their best to keep us in touch with this universe, but some days...

When we can tell that we are going to run significantly overtime with someone, we will do our best to contact the person scheduled next on the agenda and let them have the option of coming in a little later than originally planned, or rescheduling to a more convenient time. That is one reason we need current telephone numbers on record. (E-mail addresses are also very helpful!) If we cannot contact the following patient, then again the option to stay or reschedule will be made available when they appear on the scene.

A Cordial Invitation ...

If you decide that this approach makes sense and you would like to become a patient in our office, we want every aspect of the relationship to be completely clear and well understood right from the start, and every step of the way. We want to give you exactly what you need and want: no more, and certainly no less. Our hope is to develop a long and mutually satisfactory professional relationship, and for our patients to be so pleased and happy with the way we take care of their needs that each one will become a Dental Missionary, spreading the good news about their experience with tomorrow's dentistry today -- here in our practice!

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