Of all the doctors and their disciplines, dentists are the best combination of creativity and intelligence. However, they are also blind and deaf as a result of their conformity. Benjamin Franklin warned: “If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.”
One wonders if today’s dentist would have remarked that the Emperor had no clothes.
It takes a good deal of talent and training to provide the patient with a single crown and the demands increase as we go from a 3-unit bridge to implants. Establishing a freeway space, plane of occlusion, comfort, esthetics and function can be taxing to the practitioner no matter how experienced but those are the details of the dentist’s technician training, the mechanical aspect of practice and those aspects of the dentist’s education comprise only about 20% of the information ostensibly transferred to the student in dental school.
It’s the other 80% – the segment that contains the secrets of the human body: why it gets sick and how it stays well – that separates the doctor from the technician. Unfortunately for the patients, that 80% is shelved and forgotten once the shingle is hung and practice begins.
It’s that 80% that asks: What caused this? It’s only a 3-word query that, if asked and answered would dramatically change the practice of dentistry and, by extension, the entire healthcare industry placing the dentist at the top of the healthcare hierarchy; gathering significant dollars and wielding power and influence never before conceived.
Currently, however, dentists are blind to aberrations that stare at them and deaf to the alarm bells they sound.