Oral Health Group

Dentists grinning as demand for new smiles soars


November 20, 2011
by ken

From the Land of OZ

IT WAS once the essential beauty feature for celebrities obsessed with appearance. But that dazzling white smile has moved beyond the Hollywood hills and into the Australian suburbs.

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and before you read below
However,this is a more personal entry,one of concern. I was driving to Tim’s the other day and happened upon one of those road side mobile AD signs…..”Dental insurance runs out on December 31st – USE IT OR LOSE IT!!!” it stated in big bold dayglo letters.  I’d just read the editorial by Bruce Glazer in October OH on entrepreneurism in the profession and had to take a beat and consider how I felt about this sign. Not good really.  
The essence of a professional is to be grounded in the basics and fundamentals of the art and science of their discipline. The learning is endless, ergo the term continuing education. We are of course by default, entrepreneurs. We invest our own money in our education, our practice and in our growth and development as professionals. The inherent problem is that we are not truly inculcated in the management of a business in our undergraduate or graduate education.
That comes by osmosis or by the endless parade of courses and gurus on practice management. There was a time when marketing was an “evil”, when dentists who marketed were summarily disciplined.  That no longer exists as social media is the way of the world and marketing is the only way to compete in a dental landscape were eight practitioners are stacked kitty corner on every corner of anyplace N. America. Factor in an economy that tanked for a very long time, remains tremulously uncertain and suddenly, professionalism and entrepreneurialism go into an imbalance.
The least attended courses in the continuing education array relate to dental ethics.  Smile by (fill in the blanks) has seen a devastation of the enamel and dentin in N. America in apocalyptic furor.  Posterior bite collapse, failing molar restoration  …….fugggggeeddddaaabbbboudddit, can’t see it…….slap on those chiclets cuz, the bible and LVI told me so.
It’s a slippery slope.  The first ten years out of dental school should be infused with mentorship in craft. The true magic of the Internet is the ability to deliver that education in a myriad of platforms, but most are scrounging to find work and finding the time to learn is in short supply. 
Thus Dr. Glazer’s editorial and concern.  If there are a number of offices being run through a centralized node or if it’s simply one where the debt load is massive, the time to learn is compromised.
Instead of worrying about encryption, or whether we treat our spouses, licensing bodies and dental associations should be concerned about getting the profession connected and in a constant informatic loop.  Dental Town had the right concept, albeit, the educational material was not refereed beyond which corporation would take an ad; “NO DENTIST SHOULD EVER PRACTICE ALONE”.  Time to seriously consider a Canadian mentorship forum; time for John Okeefe to have his “hundred mentors” up and running. The profession owes it to itself to optimize standard of care first, encrypt later.
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