9 responses

  1. Ken
    September 5, 2012

    This is so true and common amongst dentists in my opinion. Like you, I don’t have a good answer for why this is? I think the close cousin to the “lack of confidence” when diagnosing issue is the “everything we do should be perfect and last forever” thinking syndrome? Now I’m not making excuses for sloppy work or anything like that but dentists almost get teary eyed apologetic when a WFT filling they did 10 years ago breaks. I saw a patient yesterday who is having to go back because his knee replacement done 2 years ago is failing and needs replacement again. He has had to put off some elective dental work because he has to pay for this. The surgeon and the hospital aren’t like, “Oh so sorry that happened we’ll do iit again all for free” but how many dentists do this when a filling breaks especially on a tooth that they knew wouldn’t hold up without a crown?

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      September 6, 2012

      Hi Ken. Great points. Patients think dental treatment should last longer (and with a warranty) than what nature / God gave them, because WE (dentists) perpetuate that myth!

      I think the average hip replacement lasts 12 years (heard that somewhere).

      Thanks for your comments, Ken!

      Reply

  2. Carrie @ Natural Gumption
    October 7, 2013

    I think you nailed it with this post! I have been in dentistry ( as an assistant, hygienist and front office) for 20 years and have had the pleasure to work with some of the most amazing dentists, but also for many who had amazing potential but were too uncomfortable with themselves to help patients understand what treatment was needed and why.

    Dentistry has trained our patients into thinking that what we do will last forever, they hold us responsible and accountable because as a profession that is the message we deliver. Instead we need to engage patients in their own health as well as disease. It is amazing what happens when you allow patients to become accountable for their own health, vs. avoiding it because you don’t want them to feel bad or disrespected.

    I think it’s important to first know your patients, and know IF they want to be accountable for their own health (many do, but many don’t) and then spend time fostering healthy relationships with those that do…..I have found that communication style is key to helping patients WANT to take care of their own mouths, and education without reprimandation is almost equally important.

    I think Bob Barkley put it best “Rarely do patients seem to realize the limitations of dentistry, partly because, through our misguided self concept as healers, we have created the impression that we play a more significant role in people’s health than we actually do. If patients have an unrealistic concept of what can be done for them, they will not readily accept their responsibilities. If people feel dentists can heal them and make them healthy, they will likely accept or even demand treatment but will not likely maintain their mouths later. When treatment fails or disease damage becomes serious again they become embittered. People must realize that health is not a commodity that can be purchased, it must be self acquired.”

    Again, great post! Thanks for putting the message out there! I think I’m going to have to write a post on my blog to the patient world and tie this piece into it!

    Reply

    • The Dental Warrior
      October 7, 2013

      Hi Carrie,

      Thanks for your comments. Loved the Barkley quote!

      Reply

  3. Jen
    October 7, 2013

    Great article! You really made excellent points from a unique perspective. I’m a follower.

    Reply

  4. Richard Low
    October 8, 2013

    Gary Takacs used this post today in his class at Midwestern University-AZ. Great post, now I need to read the rest of your blog!

    Reply

  5. Chris
    October 8, 2013

    Great post! SoCo did hit a home run with those spots.

    If dentists don’t have confidence in themselves, nobody else will either. There is also a huge difference between confidence and arrogance.

    PS – Love the list building popup, tastefully done.

    Reply

  6. Paul O’Boyle
    May 1, 2015

    You are so right about C.E. it really rejuvenates me when I feel a bit samey. Patients really seem to respond when I start quoting the conference I was at recently or what the head of the UK WHITENING society said about their issue last week. It really helps. I recently decided to wear my loops for every treatment including routine check ups and man oh man it makes my day much more interesting. No matter how dull a subject seems to be there’s always a way to do it better and someone who can make it come alive for you.

    Anyway, thanks for the post. You are part of the solution.

    Reply

  7. Sveda
    August 26, 2015

    Hi , I loved your post . Every word is true . As dentists we have this compunction to solve problems not only for patients on the spot but to make so many important decisions about everything in our lives. At times it’s hard to identify what our issues are .
    I read somewhere that the overwhelming amount of micro and macro decisions during the day can wear an individual down plus other factors esp social factors: this can be both within our personal spheres or from others/ie: patient satisfaction and approval )
    In my case I have always noticed I see social factors sabotaging my reputation. I fear that this may cause a weird. Environment . I’m mild and do not speak much as I fear further criticism

    Reply

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