A TRIP TO THIS DEN­TIST WILL MAKE YOU SMILE

For Bur­ton Golumbic, pa­tients al­ways come first

Bonita & Estero Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - DR. AND MRS. BUR­TON GOLUMBIC

The first thing I learn as I walk into Dr. Bur­ton Golumbic’s den­tal prac­tice is that the pa­tients come first. This is a trend that re­mains con­sis­tent in ev­ery­thing, from the phi­los­o­phy of his prac­tice to the cozy de­sign of the of­fice. And it isn’t go­ing to change any time soon, which is news that most South­west Florida res­i­dents will be pleased to learn.

Af­ter the last pa­tient has left for the evening, I get to sit down with the doc­tor and his wife, Lizzie, who make up the staff in its en­tirety. Nat­u­rally, I’m struck by their im­pres­sive smiles, which seem to come from a place of gen­uine joy. But I’m also en­chanted by their ease, the way they fin­ish each other’s thoughts, and the re­spect that they show each other. It be­comes clear that theirs is a com­plete part­ner­ship in ev­ery sense of the word. And this has a calm­ing ef­fect on their en­tire prac­tice.

“We get each other,” Lizzie says. “We have the same drive for how we think pa­tient care should be, and that’s re­ally im­por­tant to us”.

Orig­i­nally prac­tic­ing out of the Em­pire State Build­ing, Bur­ton Golumbic re­lo­cated to Bonita Springs shortly af­ter the tragedy of 9/1.

“It was ex­cit­ing to work in Man­hat­tan. You meet so many dif­fer­ent kinds of people,” Golumbic says, men­tion­ing that he also en­joyed his ex­pe­ri­ence teach­ing at Columbia Univer­sity’s den­tal school. “And then 9/11 came, and it was a tragic time for

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I IN­SIST ON IS RE­ALLY GOOD COM­MU­NI­CA­TION FROM SPE­CIAL­ISTS. YOU SHOULDN’T BE SO BUSY THAT YOU CAN’T TAKE A MINUTE TO GET THAT COM­MU­NI­CA­TION GO­ING.” —DR. BUR­TON GOLUMBIC

ev­ery­body. My prac­tice lit­er­ally dis­ap­peared overnight be­cause people were afraid to go into the city.”

It was then that he de­cided to leave the hus­tle and bus­tle be­hind and re­lo­cate to a place where he could en­joy life more fully.

“This is a com­fort­able place to be,’’ he says. “We just love the area and the pace here.”

Start­ing the new prac­tice from the ground up, the cou­ple has re­lied mostly on word of mouth to build their pa­tient base. It was a risk, but one that has paid off well for them. “We’ve gained a lot of trust, and I’m very flat­tered by that,” he says.

It’s easy to see why they’re so suc­cess­ful since Golumbic has built his phi­los­o­phy of care around mu­tual re­spect. Pa­tients are only sched­uled one at a time to en­sure com­plete pri­vacy and to nur­ture an open en­vi­ron­ment. They’re also given a longer-thanusual ap­point­ment slot, so he’s able to com­plete each clean­ing and ex­am­i­na­tion him­self—there are no den­tal hy­gien­ists to go through first. And they rarely, if ever, keep a pa­tient wait­ing.

“That’s some­thing I’ve al­ways been a real stick­ler about,” Golumbic says. “Their time is just as im­por­tant as mine.”

“We like to get to know our pa­tients.” Lizzie smiles warmly while re­as­sur­ing that it’s im­por­tant their pa­tients don’t get lost in the shuf­fle of busi­ness. And when one of them needs to see a specialist? “We make the call, and we like to have a per­sonal con­nec­tion with who we send you to.”

“One of the things that I in­sist on is re­ally good com­mu­ni­ca­tion from spe­cial­ists,” Golumbic says. “You shouldn’t be so busy that you can’t take a minute to get that com­mu­ni­ca­tion go­ing.”

THIS IS A COM­FORT­ABLE PLACE

TO BE. WE JUST LOVE THE AREA AND THE PACE HERE.”

—DR. BUR­TON GOLUMBIC

But, though they’re tra­di­tional in some ways, the prac­tice is run with ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy, in­clud­ing dig­i­tal im­ages that can be eas­ily shared with an­other den­tist by email.

“It’s a great ser­vice,” Golumbic says. “It turns out to be bet­ter care for the pa­tients be­cause ev­ery­one knows what ev­ery­thing looks like.”

It also saves the pa­tients from hav­ing to re­peat pro­ce­dures or x-rays. And while the prac­tice keeps them as busy as they want to be, they still find time to give back to the com­mu­nity. The cou­ple has been in­volved with the South­west Florida Epilepsy Walk for the past five years, an event that’s very near to their hearts. Held each Novem­ber, it was started by their son, Danny, who also suf­fers from the dis­ease.

When Danny was first di­ag­nosed, they feared the time away from the of­fice at his doc­tor ap­point­ments may af­fect their prac­tice. But they’ve found their pa­tients to be warmly re­cep­tive to their ef­forts.

“Our pa­tients have be­come a part of all that,” Golumbic says. “So it just shows that we’ve made a true con­nec­tion with them on ev­ery re­spect.”

But what re­ally sets this prac­tice apart is the amount of time and de­tail they put into think­ing about the best care for their pa­tients. It’s the way he’s al­ways prac­ticed, and the way he al­ways will.

“Ev­ery­one should do things the way they en­joy to do things,” Golumbic smiles widely as he re­flects. “They’ll end up hav­ing a bet­ter life”.

That cer­tainly seems to be the case in this in­stance.

To­gether Dr. and Mrs. Golumbic run their den­tal prac­tice out of this of­fice in Bonita Springs.

Cre­at­ing a warm and trust­ing en­vi­ron­ment for their pa­tients is a pri­or­ity for this hus­band-and-wife team.

Dr. Golumbic’s pa­tients ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­tra time he spends get­ting to know them and their den­tal needs.

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