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Gift For Dental Team
April 5, 2011 8:06 AM   Subscribe

How on earth do I say Thank You to this Dental Team?

I don't work, I'm on long-term disability. I have needed extensive dental work for over a decade but have been unable to afford it. Needless to say, my already bad teeth became progressively worse until there was no hope. And for health reasons I cannot wear removable dentures.

Long story short - yesterday, this amazing dental team gave me PRO BONO a whole mouth reconstruction of dental implants. Cost - $50,000 FOR FREE.

How do I ever repay these wonderful people? Of course I'll send a heartfelt thank you card, but I would also like to send a meaningful (yet inexpensive) gift for all of them... something that accurately reflects exactly how incredibly grateful I am.

This dental team changed my life. A "Thank You" just doesn't cut it but because of my financial situation, I can't afford to do anything elaborate.

Any suggestions?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I made my fabulous dentist and his team a batch of cupcakes when they helped me out, and they LOVED them. (For awhile I was unsure about delivering a box of sugary treats to a dentist's office, but it was all I could afford and nobody batted an eye.) While nothing is ever going to perfectly reflect your gratitude, making something by hand is always a lovely gesture. And definitely mention the thoughts you express here--they will appreciate it so much.

You can also send them a card every year at the holidays, thanking them again for the ways their help improved your life.

Yay for wonderful stories like this one!
posted by corey flood at 8:13 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Refer as many paying customers to them as possible. For example, what city are they in, and thus can I use them?
posted by aramaic at 8:13 AM on April 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's amazing! Write them glowing reviews on Yelp, Google, etc and (if you want) forward the reviews to the dentists. Refer all your friends to them. If you can afford it, a vase of flowers sent to their office would be a nice touch. You could tell your local newspaper about what they did - maybe they'll do a story about it. Although you might want to ask the dentists first if they want the press before you do that; I'd imagine it could backfire if the story results in people clamoring at your door for free dental work.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:13 AM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Erm, clamoring at THEIR door
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:14 AM on April 5, 2011


Is the dental team an independent business or affiliated with a university/medical school? If it's the latter, there may be an institutional process for recognizing stellar employees or community benefit.

Either way, offer to tell your story for any pr opportunities they choose. They may not want publicity for fear of being inundated with requests...but make the offer to follow their lead on that.
posted by vitabellosi at 8:16 AM on April 5, 2011


You could see if your city has any programs that recognize citizens/businesses like that? Maybe mention the story to your local paper?
posted by backwards guitar at 8:21 AM on April 5, 2011


Word of mouth advertising for them is great but, seriously, avoid on any reviews or anything saying that you got your work pro bono. The last thing they want is many more people showing up and expecting free work.
posted by InsanePenguin at 8:22 AM on April 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would send a sincere note of thanks. I think that is probably all that is necessary. They gave you an amazing gift that you can possibly repay. You just can't. Send a note and don't spend money that you don't have on a "thing". You could say in the note that you are willing to offer a testimonial, etc, but I wouldn't go plastering praise all over the 'net quite yet. If they want something pr-related to come from this, they will let you know. Your deep and sincere thanks is enough right now. What they did for you was deep, and I would keep it on that level.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 8:29 AM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I kind of like the idea of a small piece of framed artwork. You could find an image on a postcard or greeting card and then buy an inexpensive matte and frame at one of those big craft stores...they may even have the matte and frame at a place like CVS. Something that captures the spirit of your thanks, whatever that means to you. This would be "something" that takes your thanks a step beyond a note, which is what your question is really about.
posted by lakersfan1222 at 8:33 AM on April 5, 2011


Congratulations on your new teeth; that sounds fantastic.

You might buy a hardcover book that you like-- a book of poems, an inspirational book, whatever-- and write a little inscription thanking the team for their help.
posted by BibiRose at 8:41 AM on April 5, 2011


I really like lakersfan's idea - I am sure the staff would hang it up somewhere and it would be a long-lasting expression of thanks.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 8:43 AM on April 5, 2011


If you have a perpetual calendar, make a note on it. Send a thank you card to the dentist this year. But also next year. And the year after.

Dentists don't usually get a lot of thank you notes.
posted by bilabial at 9:05 AM on April 5, 2011


I agree that a heartfelt letter would touch them the most. Home-baked goods are a great idea in addition to a letter. Perhaps a healthy-recipe muffin would be a good choice.
posted by jgirl at 9:21 AM on April 5, 2011


When you send that heartfelt thank you note (yearly would be awesome), write a little story about how having good teeth has improved your life that year. Send pictures. Tell stories. It always makes the thank you so much more real when you can see exactly how you helped someone's life improve.
posted by some chick at 9:34 AM on April 5, 2011


3rd- and 4th-ing the yearly recognition, even if (after the first longer heartfelt letter) it's just a little note saying "every year at this time i think of you and your immense kindness to me".

I remember one of my favorite teachers was my 2nd grade teacher. At christmas time that year, I very proudly picked out a plant for as a gift for her - not knowing it was a christmas cactus. For years afterwards, my family and I got a note from her at christmas, saying something to the effect of "every year, at this time of year, when the cactus blooms, I think of you". That left such an impression on me. :o)
posted by leticia at 9:45 AM on April 5, 2011


And make sure you post on Yelp and anything else like it so that other potential patients know what a wonderful practice it is. Especially for dentists, who often get such a bad rap.
posted by FlyByDay at 9:58 AM on April 5, 2011


Do you bake? Could you make cupcakes, lemon bars, pumpkin crunch, blueberry cheesecake, or other confectionery and sugary goodness that (in my experience) dental offices love?

Glowing reviews on Yelp and other places are excellent, but make sure you do NOT state that you got your work done for free. You don't want to unwittingly set up the dentist with a sudden deluge of referrals who want the same.
posted by CancerMan at 10:58 AM on April 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


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