Part 1: Get Clarity
Have you considered adding orthodontics to your practice?
As a pediatric dentist, and with more than 25 years of practice, I can not imagine practicing dentistry if I did not do orthodontics. It has been part of my practice for all my years of practice. All of them.
But, before I tell you why it’s so important to me, let me ask you:
Why might you be interested in orthodontics?
Why might you want to read about it?
Why might you think of possibly adding it to your practice?
The answers to these questions are the beginning of clarity for you.
Why is that important?
Because the etiology, the source of all your power, and all your joy in life - in practice - is within you, never outside of you. (Likewise, the cause of your weakness and misery is within you as well.) Thus, thinking about and discerning your intent, a clear vision and your actions toward those goals come from your clarity.
As you identify your dream, the reason you are here, the reason you are in dental practice, go back to why you went to dental school. What made that a goal that you would work so hard to achieve? What about it answered that inner longing, inner need, inner source?
In the United Arab Emirates, in the city of Abu Dhabi where I practice orthodontics, I regularly marvel at the amazing, mind-boggling tall and very modern skyscrapers in this city, all built on a sandy desert. I often think the architects must have an absolute blast, getting to design and see to fruition, such unusual, uncommonly distinctive and striking art, in its hold on the cityscape.
Consider the power of your imagination.
So I ask you - how did these buildings come to be? And the answer is, they came to be, the same way your dental career came to be. Imagination. Imagination builds cities. Imagination grows careers. Imagination lessens diseases, originates relationships, and changes the world. Every time. It’s where everything starts.
In other words, we become what we think about. Nothing else.
So, again, I ask you, Why would you be interested in orthodontics? Why would you want to read about it? Why would you think of possibly adding it to your practice?
Consider how your imagination has brought you to this moment. Imagine having your life, your practice blossom in new ways. Imagine.
This is how your life develops. Hold tight to the possibilities, to your dreams, and say goodbye to the “impossibilities” -- because everything is possible. Otherwise the skyscrapers around me would not exist. Smallpox cured, knee replacements, dental implants and your incredible care for your patients were once "impossibilities."
What seems abstract and unreal in the imagination is where the tangible, concrete values begin for you.
You change the world first in your inner world, your imagination.
If this calls to you, “rings” for you, picture orthodontics in your practice! Picture it as a real live active part of your day, and your patients’ great results. Picture the smiles, the joy, the self-views. This is your starting point. How to get there may not be clear. Neither was the cure for smallpox. Neither was your ability to do your first posterior restoration.
Let your values drive your search. Your values to see the smile, to see the great results that are better than what you see all around you. Your values to see joy in your patients’ eyes as well as their smiles.
Your values - the inner quest of you - may be calling.
Orthodontics in your practice can be a real bell-ringer. It can bring you to clarity and uncommon success. It can feed your soul as well as your heart.
Dr Chris Baker
Dr. Chris Baker is Past President of the American Orthodontic Society, a pediatric dentist and teacher of orthodontics, An author, dental practice consultant, mentor, and a current or former faculty member of three U.S. dental schools, Dr Chris practices and blogs in beautiful Abu Dhabi, UAE, and glorious Texas, USA.
Text and images
© 2019 Dr Chris Baker