Chairside Chats: A Word With…Dr. Frederic Poirier

by Oral Health

Dr. Frederic Poirier

The CLEAR Institute, Varennes, Québec

What have you observed to be the biggest change to the dentistry profession since you began your career?

The interest in dental treatments has increased drastically in all population groups in the past ten years. When I started practicing 26 years ago, it was sometimes tricky to convince patients to choose a root canal and a crown over an extraction. Nowadays, the general public is more aware of the benefits of having a healthy dentition. Social media and the numerous selfies we take are also generating significant interest from the public in improving the aesthetic of their smile. Because of all this, I genuinely think it’s the best time to be a dentist.

What is a skill that you feel would be important to teach a new practitioner that is not taught or highlighted in school?

How to communicate efficiently with other human beings. A lot of the stress we experience as dentists comes from misunderstandings. We often struggle to explain things in a way our patients will truly understand, and that creates unreasonable expectations or deceptions for both parties. To be a successful dentist, you need to be an excellent communicator.

What does a perfect day look like to you?

My perfect day is filled with satisfied patients and happy team members! You know these days when jokes fly around with patients and team, you are on time, and you get a warm “thank you, doc!” from a scared patient who trusted you anyway and is surprisingly pleased with the outcome. To me, the perfect day isn’t about the procedures I performed but about how everyone felt afterward. If my team and my patients are happy, so am I.

How do you measure success?

There are two sides to me when it comes to success. The first is financial success. It’s one way of keeping score and knowing how well you are doing. But the other side is as important as the money aspect, and it’s the quality of your relationships at work and outside work. High income, without compromising the quality of your connections with others, is what I call success.

What is the biggest obstacle or challenge you face today?

Like every other business, the shortage of qualified employees can be a real obstacle to growth and excellent patient care.

What is your favourite book (or movie) and why?

I am an avid reader, so one favourite book takes time to pick! I love Stephen King because of how he describes teenagers and the importance and strength of relationships at that age in many of his books (IT, Stand by me…). I just finished “Therese Raquin” by Emile Zola recently, and I was shocked to realize that the narcissism we see everywhere today was already present at the end of the 19th Century. That is what I like about a book; when it changes my perception of things.

Dr. Frederic Poirier graduated from the Université de Montréal, receiving a B.Sc in Microbiology and a Doctorate in Dental Medicine in 1996. He has been practicing in Varennes, Québec, since 1996. He started using Invisalign in 2003 and, to this day, has treated more than 3000 patients using clear aligner therapy. In 2015 he became an Align faculty member and a CLEAR Institute speaker.

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