It has been one of my desires to share my knowledge with colleagues who have eyes to see and ears to hear. One of them, a young lady dentist who has taken on the challenge, wanted to know what made her different. I share this in a blog because I feel that it applies not just to dentistry, but to life.
In my reply I wrote:
It’s not the way you practice dentistry – It’s the way you think about it. – This is what makes you different.
When you look to see what you’ve missed, when dentistry doesn’t appear to have the answer to the problem someone is suffering from, it is then that you may possibly have the answer? – This is what makes you different.
You no longer just look at the teeth and gums, you now assess the mouth as part of the whole not separate from it – This is what makes you different.
You may treat the same, but the way you get to the diagnosis and treatment plan is all encompassing. – This is what makes you different.
You are considering the ramifications of your fillings, your crowns, your bridgework and your orthodontics on the structural integrity of the body, rather than purely the function of the mouth, knowing that an unbalanced bite can cause problems throughout the soma and psyche! – This is what makes you different.
You have the choice of ignoring what you now know and continue with the patient’s habitual bite – Or you can choose to treat, using the skills you have now acquired, to make a profound difference in the lives of the people in your care, as you go about practicing the art of your dentistry – This is what makes you different.
Your patients don’t know what you have to offer, but you do and you know it’s of value to them. Go beyond their expectations, recognise a problem that they have that is not being treated and treat it. – This is what makes you different.
Let them be able to say – “Why hasn’t anyone else told me this?” or “I’ve never heard that before,” or even, “I didn’t know dentistry could do that” – This is what makes you different.
Your mind is broader, your eye is keener your hearing more acute, they have been expanded. As they expand still further, you will see more, you will understand more, you will hear more and you will treat more diversely – This is what makes you different.
You have learned to understand your own personality and the different personalities you encounter in your practice. You understand that life changing events in their lives and their vulnerability have a massive impact on the way they experience someone working in their mouth. – This is what makes you different.
Finally, as Theodore Roosevelt said: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – This is what makes you different.
Your choice is to ignore and be one of the crowd, or choose to accept and stand out from the crowd! Your choice and your difference, it’s up to you!