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Clinical

6 rules every dentist needs to follow

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Rule#1: Education and experience have no substitute

When dentists graduate they are all equal in terms of their qualification. What makes them different is further education, advanced training and their eagerness to experiment. The greatest lessons a person learns are from his/her own mistakes and failures.

Rule#2: Money matters

There are patients who go to the dentist and ask them to treat according to what they can afford. A few dentist even struggle explaining how important it is to keep up with oral health. But the amount of talk the patient grasps is directly proportional to how much importance does the patient give on to his/her oral health.

In the presence of pain patients are ready to spend as much as they can, but in the absence of it they have numerous options of spending that much amount on something else. On most of the occasions decisions taken by the patients are based on the cost of the treatment, or the fact that they plan to spend that amount somewhere else or on some other thing.

Rule#3: Dentists have to care

Gaining the trust of the patient is as important as technical accomplishment. There are cases when the treatment has been successfully completed but the patients are not satisfied due to the dentist’s bedside manner. When the patient thinks that the physician does not care then he takes out faults in things in which there aren’t any.

For example root canal and surgical patients can be called the next day to check whether everything is ok. This shows more concern from the dentist’s side and makes a patient happier and appreciative.

Rule#4: Let go

When running a dental care one needs to take care of their team members. Their sick leave, vacation leave, health insurance and retirement plans must be taken care of. Then only will they work as a team and come up with excellent work, making your team stronger, happier and healthier.

Also it is important to trust one’s team and let them do whatever they are paid for, every member knows their job and responsibilities. It is not necessary to be always after them questioning whether a particular task has been done or not. This helps the staff believe that they are trusted and moreover it lessens the burden off the dentist’s shoulders.

Rule#5: Keep in mind, it is a business

It will be nice to consider dentistry in terms of other than money. But if the dentist’s expenses outweigh their revenues then in no time they will be bankrupt. There must be a specific personnel for handling the accounts, and issues like job descriptions, working hours and additional benefits. Dentists will be required to keep an eye on the accounts receivable and try not to go for all the latest equipment which are not within the budget.

However, a few of the latest equipment and techniques, which fall within the range, must be employed to improve practice. Also, operating efficiently is the key factor in the generation of revenues. Free time must be utilized to the maximum for such purpose.

Time management is also essential, dentist must have an idea how much time a treatment takes and then book patients accordingly. Timing treatment procedures will make dentists realize how much time they waste during the whole day. Don’t think it is unethical, rather patients will love it too. They won’t have to spend long hours waiting and will appreciate getting off that chair as soon as possible. They will be encouraged to visit that dentist again, realizing that their time is given importance and won’t have to spend the whole day there.

Rule#6: You can make your own rules along the way too

A dentist must have his own principles and ethics. He/she must do whatever seems correct to him/her. But there is nothing wrong in learning from others. When a situation arises which the dentist does not know much about, he/she takes its burden on their shoulders alone.

Private sector owners are lucky in that sense that they are their own boss and can plan their schedule themselves. But on the other hand they are responsible for their patients, their employees, their lab and everything at the dental care. That responsibility can be a source of joy at times and a source of worry or agony at other times.

The best piece of advice is to surround oneself with people who share similar interests with one and understands ones joys and sorrows. A warm and caring environment at workplace as well as home will help a dentist to succeed.

 

May 10, 2017
Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.

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