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Make it Work

July 30, 2013

Filed under: Business of Dentistry,Case Presentation — Tags: , , — Barry @ 10:41 PM



In my last post over at CasePresenter.com I wrote about getting into a mindset that would help dentists to become better influencers.  The mindset enables the dentist to think in terms of implications…leading to the emotional meaning of problems.

When I wrote the post I was thinking in terms of case presentation.  Later on that day I thought about how we are always presenting.  I discuss this thoroughly in my new book, The Art of Case Presentation.  

I overheard a conversation between my son Josh and one of his clients.  Apparently the dentists did not supply the necessary information to complete a complex case.  It was interesting to hear how Josh was describing the implications of not having the correct information.

I began to make a mental note of just how deep one omission can carry through the practice.  It’s a good thing that Josh maintains certain standards in his lab or else those small mistakes could implicate similar issues in his lab.

But let’s talk about the dental practice.  Let’s talk about when the case comes back from the lab and the patient says, “Doctor, are you sure they’re my teeth?”

So now, doubt has entered the room.  There is a loss of confidence…but most doctors handle that well.  They tap dance and blame the lab.  Okay, but what about the staff?  This isn’t the first time it happens.  They may not know exactly why the cases rarely fit…they just know it happens a lot.

And what about the front desk?  They have to deal with the not very enthused patient.

These little annoyances add up.  They affect the morale of the office.  They affect patient relationships.  They become a story that gets repeated (yes…the 4 appointment crown is a popular story).  They affect the relationship with the lab.

And all because of poor planning and shortcuts.

This idea of implications is not new.  Dr. Peter Dawson in his seminal textbook on occlusion discusses the implications of a high filling in the first chapter.  He restricted the the discussion to oral implications…but the real practical implications go much further.  It’s worth revisiting that chapter.

Dentists love shortcuts.  Walk into any lab and see how many triple trays fill the lab cases.  Now I am not totally against triple trays.  They have their place.  But not in complex cases.

Complex may mean more than one tooth…or even just one tooth.

Albert Einstein once said,

Everything Should Be Made as Simple as Possible, But Not Simpler.”

When things just get done simply to expedite a procedure…there are implications.

Strangely it’s those implications that are the main reasons for dentists spending small fortunes on practice management.

I have always said that we can’t separate the technical component of what we do from practice management, and leadership.

I don’t know what came first…chicken or egg, but I do know that there is a strong relationship between the back of the office, the front of the office and the lab...that relationship is implication.

If you find yourself telling someone to “make it work,”  that’s a shift in accountability.





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