Ah, Festivus! Remember that quirky holiday from "Seinfeld,” focused on airing your grievances of the year? In fact, it’s Dr. Nacho’s favorite holiday, and in honor of that, we will be keeping with the tradition of airing our grievances and highlighting the unglamorous side of dentistry.
In this blog, we're going to reveal the less flattering parts of being a dentist - the bits that don't make it into toothpaste commercials or Hollywood smiles. You might be thinking, "What could possibly be annoying about peering into people's mouths all day?" Oh, dear reader, if only you knew!
Join us as we delve into the cavities of our profession!
Patients can be unruly, unpredictable, and overall, uninformed. To be fair, they didn’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to go to dental school – but you did!
While we can’t choose the patients that enter your practice, we can definitely choose how we treat and interact with them.
One common dentist grievance about patients is that patients think dentists are trying to rip them off. While “dentisting cheap” as Dr. Nacho calls it may apply to handpieces and other lab equipment, it does not apply to a good dentist’s treatment planning and patient case acceptance.
Let’s take a look at master dentist Dr. Lincoln Harris and how he plans treatment for the “real world,” where not everyone can afford dentistry. (Advanced 'Real World' Treatment Planning)
Another dentist annoyance surrounding patients may be their lack of understanding surrounding their dental health. As dentists equipped with dental health knowledge, it’s our duty to inform our patients about their mouth and health options, but it's also our duty to communicate those options in a way patients can understand. Dr. Goodman is adept at patient communication, shown in this clip where he explains a financial consent form to his patient. (60 Minutes to 60k in Production)
In addition to informing patients in full about their treatment plan, preventive dentistry can also help here! When patients come in with rotten molars and several cavities, it’s a result of lacking dental knowledge, especially about maintaining your dental health! If dentists can teach more preventive care to patients, then patients would be able to take more responsibility for the condition of their own teeth, potentially reducing stress and tantrums thrown at dentists. With this in mind, a great resource for continuing education on preventive dentistry can be found here!
Spoiled Guac PPOs
Insurance insurance insurance ... the bane of many practice owner’s existence.
Why is dental insurance so annoying mystifying? How can we simplify it and get higher reimbursements and faster payments?
Dental Nachos knows exactly how much of a nuisance insurance can be with Spoiled Guac PPOs, Funky Queso HMOs, Sour Salsa DMOs, and more, which is why we offer a variety of key sponsors and resources to alleviate this pain!
First up is PPO Profits, who will negotiate better fees for you from your insurance companies. Great to free up your time, and your staff’s time, all while helping you increase revenue.
Next, Five Lakes Dental Practice Solutions helps you develop and implement a PPO Participation Strategy in order to attract and maintain patients, all while maximizing your reimbursements!
Lastly, Me2 Dental Solutions is well-rounded in terms of dental business management, as their services range from insurance aging follow up, fee optimization and negotiations, insurance verification, & more!
Or….instead of dealing with all these insurances…why not go fee-for-service? Dr. Christopher Phelps, another Nacho sponsor from Sunrise Dental Solutions, is a practice consultant and coach made this journey by himself, which you can find out more in-detail here.
Lack of Clinical Experience
As a result of COVID-19 in 2020-2021, many new dentists and students lacked the typical clinical experience to build clinical confidence and experience.
It’s hard to replicate actual hands-on experience, but our key resource and sponsor RipeGlobal solves this effortlessly! With their 2-year fellowship, dentists are given access to hands-on simulation kits, hands-on live training simulations, ongoing case guidance, & much more.
While your dental school experience may have let you down in terms of clinical skills, or maybe in your last associateship you weren’t producing as much as you have liked, it’s never too late to start learning the skills that will help you decrease stress, increase success, and stop crying inside as a dentist!
While there are many annoying things about being a dentist, there are many amazing things as well. This is what Dr. Mansukh Dhillon, our holiday contest winner, had to say about the awesome parts of dentistry:
As human beings, we tend to remember all the negativity and save it in the unforgettable folder of our brain. It becomes the crutch that keeps us from being free. Free of judgments, worries and incapability of being happy.
The most awesome thing about being a dentist is the lives I get to change. The days that I feel my best dentist self is when I get people out of pain.
There are a couple of stories I would like to share of people who keep me going when I’m ready to give up. They are the reason I do this and they make me forget about every annoying thing I face.
The patient who was in so much pain that when I took the offending tooth out, joined her hands in prayer for the lord to bless me. The patient whose eye was swollen shut and was better the next day, the patient who smiled now because she liked her teeth. The kid who was so afraid of the dentist that she was fighting with her mom who brought her, to her becoming my “friend” the next visit and telling jokes. The patient who brought me home-grown peaches. To the patient who gave me $50 so that I could buy myself a graduation dress. He said, and I quote, “That’s all I have. If I had a daughter, I would want her to have this.” And to the patient who says she loves me because I saw her as a person and not a drug addict, and many, many, more.
Dentistry has allowed me to serve not only my patients but my family. I love that it gives me the financial freedom to take care of my family. I have a picture of my mom and me eating cake on the day I graduated as my wallpaper. I look at it on difficult days to remind myself that this profession lets me take care of her dreams.
It’s funny what words of gratitude and affirmation can do. I love being a dentist on days when a patient goes home and sleeps all night. I love it when I make a difference, I love when my hands heal.
With that said – happy holidays from the Dental Nachos Team! ❄️🕎🎄🎉
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