The Secret That Makes Dentists Great
I have been deeply involved in dentistry for more than 30 years now. I started out by introducing dentists to practice management software and chairside systems. I soon became engrossed in the dynamics of what makes a dental practice run, and that led to 20 years in the consulting business; teaching dentists how to operate their practices more efficiently and profitably.
Here’s what I learned from that experience: It is relatively easy to turn an average dental practice into a good dental practice. I know that because my team and I did it again and again, with practice after practice, just by introducing some basic systems and strategies. There really is no reason not to be successful in this profession.
But in the course of transforming those practices, I learned something else that fascinated me. There were many dentists out there whose success defied my logic. They were hugely successful, even if their practice systems were average at best. How could this be?
The answer was surprisingly simple: they were great dentists. By that I mean they were exceptionally committed to a very high level of participation in clinical education. They were focused on clinical excellence above all else. Everything else just seemed to fall into place.
Don’t get me wrong, many of those highly successful dentists also had very well managed practices, and the ones who didn’t could still have benefited from implementing some simple procedures. But I came to realize that while I could provide the framework to make any dentist good, it takes something else to be extraordinary.
That’s why I devoted the next stage of my professional career to bringing the best clinical and value education I could to dentists so that they could pursue “great dentistry.” That’s where the real progress is going to come from. That’s where your real opportunities lie.
It took me many years to appreciate this basic fact and I hope it’s something everyone with a dental degree takes to heart. Great dentists are the people who are committed to great dentistry. It’s a simple secret with huge implications for those who embrace it.