Most of us start practice not knowing just how difficult dental practice can be. We have the challenge to look at our practice as a whole and ask ourselves, "What is missing in this picture?" Dentists need the courage to figure out what needs to change and the courage to make those changes.
Orthodontics and Clarity
It’s easy to believe that orthodontics is a mystery. In many schools and in many dentists, that belief is pervasive. The mystery of orthodontics, just like the mystery of each and every area of dentistry, is unveiled and solved in learning and practicing.
Your imagination begins the process of opening the mystery to excitement, fun and transformational possibilities, and your intention and actions carry you from there.
Orthodontics can change your life, your practice, and so many lives that it leaves you in wonderment, in gratitude for the opportunities, for the incarnation of your dream, astonished once again, that your imagination has become manifest.
Come learn with us. Come learn more about orthodontics.
Your dreams and imagination will become your goals; your goals will become your accomplishments. We can teach you how. We can teach you what. We can teach you. We’ve taught many dentists just these things!
Whether you decide to provide the orthodontics, or you bring someone else in to do so, you will absolutely love what you learn, and begin unwinding the mystery and glory of orthodontic care in your practice.
Learning with us can be a miracle process.
Come let us blow your mind!
Here’s to your success and joy.
“There are seconds, they come only five or six at a time, and you suddenly feel the presence of eternal harmony, fully achieved. It is nothing earthly; not that it's heavenly, but..one must change or die. The feeling is clear and indisputable. As if you suddenly sense the whole of nature and suddenly say: yes, this is true. God, when he was creating the world, said at the end of each day of creation: 'Yes, this is true, this is good.' This . . . is not tenderheartedness, but simply joy. You don't forgive anything, because there is no longer anything to forgive. You don't really love — oh, what is here is higher than love! What's most frightening is that it's so terribly clear, and there's such joy. In those five seconds I live my life through, and for them I would give my whole life, because it's worth it.”
~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky
You can change all things when you change yourself for the better. So how do you need to change yourself? The answer lies in what you want to FEEL.
Clarity about what you want to feel, be, experience is the key.
“Self-protection leads to mediocrity. Self-service leads to fortune. Self-investment leads to fortune.” ~ Jim Rohn
You life will never be the same, once you begin to change.
A profound commitment to learning, learning, learning, CONSTANT AND NEVER-ENDING SELF IMPROVEMENT is the key. It’s an attitude. It’s a mindset.
Your progress brings you happiness. Your plateau gets boring.
You went to dental school. It was exciting to learn, to grow to become. It was exciting to begin practice. It was exciting to see yourself becoming more and more. Then, you plateau. You level-off.
You are bored, and worse yet, probably worried. How can I make more money? How can I deal with practice issues? How can I deal with insurance and Medicaid problems?
We are designed to grow and grow, and to give.
Here’s an answer that has worked wonders for me: adding orthodontics to my practice. In fact, it brought me wonderment — excitement — scary, yet amazing stuff.
It isn’t what your practice, your budget is costing you now. It’s what it will cost you if you don’t change it, if you don’t grow.
Don’t go one more day without learning something amazing, then giving it to someone else.
Consider what you can add to your life, to your staff’s lives, to your patients’ lives, to your family’s lives, to the world!
Why not now? Why not you?
Get a game plan going.
Do it NOW.
What is the date today?
Write it down. BECAUSE -
THIS could be the date that changes it all.
This could be the date that gets you to bigger, better things, bringing you wealth, happiness and amazing gifts to others.
Choose the pain of discipline instead of the pain of regret. Your practice, your life will NEVER be the same. It will be full of new abundance, new happiness, new wealth, new gifts to others.
Why not now?
Come learn with us. We will teach you. You can do it. It’s your choice. Get clarity, then get going!! We LOVE TO HELP you make the deliberate steps again and again to create change.
Yes you can do it! And we are here to help!!
Orthodontics and You
Orthodontics is a natural part of pediatric dental care. I cannot imagine how one can NOT offer it within the practice setting. It is such an amazing and wonderful piece of the ideal - holistic care of the patient, intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.
There are many types and levels of orthodontic care you can offer your patients.
If you are a general practitioner or pediatric dentist who treats children, OH MY GOODNESS, there is so much you can do! It will change your life as it has mine.
Orthodontics will give you a new challenge, a whole new area for your imagination, creativity and joy to exude and flow through you to your patients and their parents. Same is true for your adult patients - imagine what they could feel if you make more beautiful, their smile!
Orthodontic care takes into account the growth and development, the visual / aesthetic, the emotional, and the functional aspects of the child. It is not geared toward signs and symptoms of disease, but rather health. The term healthcare is so misused. Most medical AND DENTAL care is disease care.
But in general, orthodontic care is health care. Glorious health care!
There are various ways to approach orthodontics in your practice. One is to hire an orthodontist or other dentist to finally make it possible to offer and keep your total patient care in-house. We can teach you how to do that, and what to offer, expect and do to make it work.
Like any associate or partnership, the person doing ortho in your practice has to be someone who shares your dream, your vision, your care of your practice and patients. It’s way more than a business deal. It’s shared dream, vision, purpose and mission! It’s shared systems. It’s shared life.
Whether you hire and delegate the ortho out or not, you will find awe and love in your learning about ortho, your learning to provide any part of orthodontics that appeals to you, or your learning to know when to refer, and what to expect of your ortho people.
If you treat children, you already have skills and knowledge and can hone your awareness and expectations as well as your understanding and beliefs in what can be done with and for your patients.
And of course, I cannot encourage you enough, to learn orthodontics yourself, because I know how it has transformed my life and the lives of so many patients, their parents AND their dentists.
Were you meant to be a dentist?
There are studies that show that being a dentist is "Number One" in a number of categories. This week, we will take a look at these claims.
Orthodontics and me
Here are my answers to these questions:
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?
My interest in orthodontics came from an interest in seeing my child patients have the most gorgeous smile as soon as possible, and for as long as possible. It came from seeing children who felt like (and were often called) names like 'Bugs Bunny' (protrusive upper incisors).
It came from seeing children who felt (or were thought of as) “a bully” (Class III mandibular protrusive profile with the resultant “tough” look).
It came from seeing children who felt like they had (and/or were told they had) “fangs” (high, horrid-looking canine eruption).
It came from seeing children who felt as if their teeth were horridly “ugly” (severely crowded or spaced anterior teeth.) It came from seeing children who needed four-bicuspid extractions which in my mind, often decreased the beauty of their profiles and faces.
It came from realizing children with airway difficulties often had lower IQ’s, bedwetting, ADHD, open-bites, and that some of these sequelae would never be different, even when later their “teeth were different” (orthodontically treated).
And, it came from seeing teenagers and young adults who covered their smile (or didn’t have one) so no one could see their teeth.
It came from within.
It was a passion that would not be silenced.
After pediatric dental residency, I had the grand opportunities of first, a fellowship in the orthodontic department at UConn. And then, of working under the tutelage of the great Dr. Walter A. Doyle.
The passion still burns, calls, and my learning never ceases, in making these things better for children, and their parents who love them so dearly. And then, I had to get out there and teach it!
The calling to widen the reach, through you and other dentists who are called like I was, is everything to me. Transforming your life and many other lives through you.
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.
According to studies, being a dentist can be a very hazardous occupation. Practicing dentistry has certain health risks. There are some important ways to approach the profession that help the dentist to stay healthy.
As a dentist, do you find you asking yourself, "What's next? Is this all there is?"
You need a new plan to take you where you want to go. Think about where you are going - give it a thought. And then put energy and effort to what your plan will be.
You're probably going to wonder what in the world I'm talking about. There IS a correlation, so let me explain...
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
© 2018 Dr Chris Baker