Deep from the recesses of my mind came a memory of a challenge issued to me in the days when I was starting to come to terms with being a practice owner. “If I were to take away your handpieces for a day, or even a week, and not allow you to change any of your appointments, how would you deliver the same value to the patients?”
At first I thought it was a joke and plain silly, but as time went on I started to give it more and more thought and realised that too much in Dentistry is around the doing, doing, doing rather than helping patients to understand their mouths and associated systems and helping them to come to terms with controlling the diseases in their mouths.
Until dentists become more like physicians rather than out and out surgeons who are always looking to be doing, doing, doing, under a system that is calculated to reward repeated intervention, I don’t think that Dentistry can be said to have come of age.
Thankfully there are some enlightened souls around who build for the future, who plan to treat patients only once and make sure that they only work in stable mouths. Unfortunately they are not rewarded by the NHS because it can’t or won’t place a value on the absence of disease.
To be continued…