Sincere intentions, the key to success in Dentistry and Life
“Sincerity is an expensive gift, don’t expect it from cheap people…”
“Fundamental Sincerity is the only proper basis for forming a relationship…”
The patient comes to you and TRUSTS your intentions.
Its unfortunate that so many people seem to act in their own best interest. It’s resulted in a reputation, for my profession, of many people that can’t be trusted. Most of these people end up with short careers – always blaming employers. The customers. Nobody understands them….and yet they do. They turn over employees. They turn over patients.
If your only goal is to make more money. If your only goal is to destroy competition. You will ALWAYS be miserable. If you think you need to bill $5000 or $10,000 a day of treatment as a dentist because you heard of a colleague that is performing at this level – this is a VERY bad motivation! Don’t become an over treater! Don’t get jealous! Also – don’t judge those other people….there are some incredible talented dentists out there who have learned skills that you may not possess. There are many others that simply try to put themselves on a pedestal and exaggerate…..Too often, the people who perform at these levels are not necessarily talented at anything other than telling a CONvincing story…..
And you know what? Who cares!!
The happiest and most successful people I know NEVER compare themselves to what others are doing. They are instead PROUD of the work they do every day. These exceptional PEOPLE rarely get in the limelite. When I evaluate their clinics and numbers – they are usually pretty spectacular, and nobody but themselves know the results. More importantly, they never bothered to compare to others – and really DO NOT CARE since they are doing what they want to do. They get the results they want, and they have a lifestyle that makes them happy. It didn’t matter if another colleague may have made more money.
What they are happy to hear is when others are doing WELL! With Sincerity! Proud of their friends. They are a fan! They WANT to be associated with these happy people, not compete with them. Not question their integrity.
If they need to question the integrity of these people, perhaps it’s not a great person to have as a friend?
The Golden Rule….do we actually live it?
I guarantee you that almost any human being you have asked will SAY they treat others how they want to be treated….but is this true? Do you deliver your dentistry with the most sincere intentions for the outcome of the patient. The same outcome you would wish for yourself. For your mom? Your kid?
Do you approach your patient with empathy and understanding, or are you a “superstar” salesman that can get anyone to believe you and buy whatever you sell them?
I HATE those people. I hate anyone that isn’t sincere.
Especially in our business, the ones who need to get a sale at any cost. It’s not about the best intentions for the patient/customer – it’s about “winning” the sale. About having the higher gross income, driving the fancier car and having a bigger house…and probably having a huge ass loan from the bank that they are under pressure to pay for so need to find ways to keep “winning” the sales. They need a car/house/trip/meal/spouse – SOMETHNG they can just post on social media to prove how well they are doing in life….
They seem to want to prove to others they are an incredible “salesman/dentist” by showing the world all the stuff they own….when the success really should come from sincere intentions to help others. A huge workload, high demand because the person is just good at what they do. They have a skill level, continually improve. Always find a new and better way to drive down the costs while increasing the quality and delivering….
The golden rule.
When you start your career – I hope you approach with the best intentions of helping others. Don’t get caught up in competing with others that seem to need to win at any cost….Being number one means nothing to me without knowing that I have done my best for the people I care about the most. It also means to me that there is even more work to be done, and maybe mentor some others that can benefit from sincerest intentions.
In the golden rule, it’s also good to recognize those talented people. The sincere ones who are likely better than you (there are SO MANY great people in our business that I am humbly grateful to know). There is so much talent and ability. Very smart, engaging local dentists. I’m PROUD of my friends that have EARNED their stripes. Performed with sincere intentions, and have become life long friends.
The golden rule. Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Imagine a world filled with this intention.
“March 3, 2021 -- Recently, a Washington state dentist elected not to follow the standard of care with endodontic cold vitality testing for patients. He allegedly replaced a refrigerant approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for pulp testing with an off-label refrigerant product commonly used to dust off computer keyboards. Unfortunately, that product has also been cited in the medical literature as an intoxicant that is associated with fatal cardiac arrhythmias and kidney disease.”
Since 1984 I have watched as the grey market and now black market have grown. During the pandemic, we have HEARD about the masks and other counterfeit goods coming to the market – and it’s actually worse than ever before. No spotlight has ever been shone on dental supplies, as it’s a relatively small marketplace and very few dentists will venture to these businesses that only have one sincere intention….
To sell you something and make money.
These black and grey market dealers are FANTASTIC at marketing their wares, and set up shop pretty quickly. Social media helps spread the word – like the above example, where doctors who may have sincere intention of knocking down some overhead try offlabel products to achieve the goal. They share this in Facebook forums, and soon everyone has this view that the manufacturers of the “brand name” refrigerants are “scammers” and “screwing” the profession by selling something at such a huge markup.
This isn’t a business that lacks competition. There are thousands of examples of dentists that have built successful products to compete with the main line manufacturers and drive down the costs…but the cost to open the doors, test a product, verify it’s efficacy, set up distribution, and then market the product are much more than most people may realize. It’s often reflected in the end cost of the product. Often by the time a typical “sundry” item becomes a “hit” in the marketplace the manufacturer has spent ONE MILLION or more dollars to get the product to your hands – and THEN they still have to be concerned that another product from a competitor is right on their tail, is 10X better and 5X cheaper.
Grey market and black market are knock offs or bypass the channels that make the product you use every day risky. It can be as simple as a mixing tip (there is ONE PATENT HOLDER names Selzer for mixing tips) that compromise the quality of the product you are using to cement a crown….or take an impression, only to have it fail. You blame the material, not the generic – knock off mixing tip. How would you know better?
It’s not just counterfeit – you can find complete and blatant knock offs of $36 curing lights, $86 apex locators, $35 low speed motors (do you think this is ACTUALLY NSK??) being sold on Amazon, eBay and other sources. I am noticing these more and more at dental offices, trying to conserve working capital – but did you know many of these products are NOT sold by licensed health Canada distributors with proper medical device license. This puts YOU and YOUR PRACTICE at risk. It’s the same as using masks that don’t meet Health Canada licencing, and distributors that don’t have a medical device licence to take responsibility for the regulations!
Curing lights that work at improper and inconsistent levels – do you really want to mess with that? Improperly built motors that are not made to medical grade specs with titanium, and components that are safe to sterilize and put into a patients mouth? Apex locators that may result in an endo that fails….do you want to be the doctor with that product when it happens?
The companies that have existed in this profession to supply you – and there are 3 major and dozens of smaller companies – all COMPETE for your business. They are professional and respected to supply you with quality products at fair prices every day. Generally they hire experienced, trusted professionals that have a sincere intention to work with your practice, in a mutually beneficial way. To make sure you are well educated and backed by science and reputable products.
The hardest part of life….
The biggest competition is myself. I challenge myself to continually improve. Beat myself up and try to attack my own ego when I win and say I have to do better. I don’t look to follow others, and never to put anyone else down to make myself look better. I am nobody, and I am but a servant.
This has been a tough year. The blessing is having a business that survives through most every crisis. It’s built by people with sincere intentions of helping a nation be healthy, and prevent disease. If it continues with these good intentions, it will continue to thrive.
This responsibility also falls on the suppliers. Those preaching the “business of dentistry” to act with best intentions. To make sure that the providers of preventive health care can afford to act with best intentions. To continue to supply technology, advice and products that ADVANCE the cause of preventive health care for the betterment of all.
This will mean even more competitive products delivering even more ability for professionals to reduce costs. I believe these quality products, TIMEfactors, will drive down the labour costs. Result in longer lasting treatments. Result in highly educated patients that want to visit their dentist to learn about healthy living.