Dr. Ventsislav Stoev, from Apollonia Clinic on why he prefers patients to call him on first name and how posture is connected to dental health
Dr. Ventsislav Stoev is the only dentist in Bulgaria with a Master’s degree in clinical psychology. In his practice in the dental clinic Apollonia he uses unconventional treatment methods, including various forms of hypnosis. He believes that the good communication between a doctor and a patient is one of the main prerequisites for successful and effective treatment.
Dr. Stoev, what makes Apollonia Clinic different from the rest of the dental clinics in the country?
We created this clinic on the basis of all the dreams we had before. In fact, the clinic itself is different – it is made according to the principles of Feng Shui, as an idea, and construction. Each colour has its significance, we consider that the surrounding environment seriously impacts the patient – the colours, the smell (which is not typical for a dentist’s), the music. We have recorded over 120 CDs with relaxing music. Because while the patient lies on the chair, he can overcome his fear with the help of the surrounding environment. Anything that is perceived is important. Even the words used by the dentist and the nurse, if you like. For example, we do not say “scalpel” but “number three”. Instead of “cutting” we use “correction.”
Call him Ventsislav
In the clinic you use the “four hands” method, what does that mean?
The work of the four hands of the doctor and the nurse takes place only within the field of the patient, he does not have to get up during the treatment. Aspiration is used, as well as different methods of isolation for the complete removal of saliva. We should not discuss sterilisation in these modern times, however our clinic is one of the few in the country, completing its ISO certification, which guarantees the level that we have and offer.
Do you use specific equipment, which is not used elsewhere?
We are the only clinic in Bulgaria, which offers teeth whitening by the Bright Smile system. This is a lamp that emits light within 400-800 nm. The patient rests for an hour and a half and during this time his teeth become whiter by 8 to 10 degrees. Only one procedure is sufficient to keep the teeth white for a few years. We also perform most of the modern methods used in general dental practice in the different specialties. What makes difference in our clinic is the application of psychological methods in the treatment, such as hypnosis. The organisation of the work is also different – the basic idea is that the patient should never wait. Moreover, our patients are our friends. We do not necessarily speak in terms of “Doctor” because I think my first name is not “doctor”, but Ventsislav. And that is again psychology. When patients perceive you as a person, but not as a device that treats you, things become quite different.
You say you are a fan of the so-called holistic approach to dentistry, what does it include?
It’s about the overall relationship between the body, the psychic and all the organs. Each tooth is connected to a different organ. When
you see where the teeth begin to decay, we ask the patient if he suffers some other diseases. The front teeth, for instance, are associated with the kidney, the canines with the liver, the fourth and fifth with the lung, the sixth and seventh with the digestive system, the eighth – with the heart. All of this matters. When I treat a patient, I do not treat just one tooth, I ask the patient about his general condition, if he has experienced any serious stress or illness, which has had an impact; what is the functional status of the body at the moment … Because even the posture of a person can alter because of a condition of the teeth-jaw system, and thus the entire organism can alter. Psychological changes can lead to changes in an organ, these are the so called “psychosomatic disorders”. A person can even get multiple cavities psychosomatically, it often happens to people with stressful jobs. It is better to see the patient as a constellation of different things, psychology, physics… The teeth are part of this constellation, we are dealing with them, but if we forget the rest, nothing happens.