The practice of dentistry is changing. This of course is nothing new, as the profession has continued to evolve since its inception. But one significant difference exists today; we have a broad range of choices with regard to how we can practice, and that range of choice is now greater than ever before.
In spite of this, most dentists fail to make any clear choice regarding their professional future. They roll with the current trends and market pressures. They copy what their peers are doing. They sign-on to what a consultant (who has known them for a day and one-half) recommends. They also follow the dictates of outsiders who have significant influence in their world – the insurance industry and the dental manufacturers.
But for a few, following the flock is not the preferred path.
Some yearn for a better way, and they recognize that much of the professional information promoted today has big money behind it and hidden agendas that have little to do with advancing the health of patients.
They find that all of these things add up to trends which create more and more distance in their relationships with others. They see and sense that dentistry has become more and more about generating maximal revenues through fixing teeth in increasingly elaborate and expensve ways. Simultaineously, significantly less time and energy is spent on truly helping others obtain and maintain stable long-term health.
Yes… the patients might look better at the end of treatment… perhaps a brighter, straighter smile….but what is the dental health of that same patient five years later?
Many see more and more of their peers breaching professional doctor – patient relationships.They see patients being manipulated for personal gain by slick promoters of dentistry's latest wares…And fewer and fewer dentists behaving like true professionals… holding out for what is in the best long-term interest of their patients…. the quick gathering-up low-hanging fruit while less-profitable issues are ignored. They see a massive corporatizaton movement in dentistry with multi-state practices owned by distant shareholders who have profit as their sole purpose.
Although helpful in padding the balance sheet, this short-term gain strategy leaves many with a hollow feeling at the end of each work day. And many go home knowing they are practicing in a way inconsistent with why they chose dentistry for a career. They know deep down that this is not the way to build a successful, sustainable, health-oriented practice. That this is not the path to personal fulfillment either.
Most dentists work very hard for a living.
Some make more income than others. And the amount made seems to have little to do with how capable they are clinically. Many feel like they are failing to connect with patients in any meaningful way. And as a result, few patients appear interested in what they have to offer. Most patients in fact, seem happy to "just get by" as long as there is no discomfort, or they are only interested in proceding with what their insurance plan will cover.
But these dentists have drawn the wrong conclusion.
Most people do want to take care of themselves. And most people do want to keep their natural teeth for their entire lifetime as well as have an attractive smile along the way. And most people do want to find a dentist they respect, trust, and who can help them achieve their dental health goals. They simply just don't know how to get there from here, as their previous experiences with dentistry have often been unsuccessful.
has been created to help those interested in learning more about patient-centered / goal-oriented / health-centered dentistry. Codiscovery.com is a unique resource designed to help those who have studied at the Pankey Institute, Dawson Center, under Frank Spear, John Kois, and with many others to fully integrate what they have learned in a "Win-Win" fashion. To help them create a practice model where they are providing the best and finest services to patients who want the same…and who deeply appreciate it.
If it has been done, then it must be possible.
CoDiscovery.com is also a forum where those who have been successful in transitioning their practices to patient-centered / health-centered models can share what they have learned with those who desire to do the same. Our intention is to advance solid, proven concepts and techniques which will help facilitate the journey of others toward their preferred future.
It is our hope that you will find the information timely, relevant, and useful. We welcome your feedback. In fact, we need your input to be successful. As a result, we will regularly share what we are learning together as well. And this in turn will help others to help others. A legacy of caring, compassionate, health-centered care will then be created to share with the next generation of health care providers.
I invite you to join us regularly to Co-Discover, learn, develop, and to share for the betterment of our profession… and I hope to hear from you soon!
Paul A. Henny, DDS
Publisher & Managing Editor
I have finally taken the time to read the articles on this site, and I am really enjoying it. What a great forum for sharing the wisdom we have been privileged to gain from those who came before us. Hearing that wisdom expressed in the language of today is so important.
Well done, my friend.
1564 Alki Ave SW #303
Seattle, WA 98116
Thank you so much for the invite. I am somewhat isolated here in the BC wilderness and have not been to Pankey for a while because I finished the program! Not that my development has ground to a halt. I am still as excited about dentistry as I was when I started practicing after graduation. I will most definitely put a few thoughts on paper in the next while.
Rudy Wassenaar, DMD,MAGD,DICOI
Dear Dr. Henny,
I just finished reading your e-mail. I am shocked and excited to read you articulate what I have been feeling for years! I have been practicing since 1984 and have finally developed some hard earned confidence in providing dental healthcare to our patients. I am excited to think that you have a forum that will help us learn what the is the right care and the best care and how to get it to the patient.
Please let me know I can help
Daniel S. Geare, DMD
Wow! Can I count on continued emails? This edition deals with every aspect of what I am going through personally and professionally. Oh, wait a second – aren't they the same thing? I look forward to having something to contribute soon.
Glenn j. Chiarello,D.D.S
This is a very noble aspiration! I feel honored to be invited. I am the only pankey-trained dentist here in the Philippines. For years, I have taken the long, difficult and oh-so-winding road towards that ultimate goal of achieving the so-called optimal oral health for and with my patients.I have been very faithful to the Pankey Philosophy for all of these years since I came back from my life and training in the US but that is not to say that life's been a bed of roses. I had to and still am educating my countrymen here, one patient at a time in my dental chair. My country is a thirld world where Dental health is an elective that is far from any list of any priority whatsoever.Some days are long and arduous when I would love to touch base with someone who lives the same philosophy in the practice of dentistry- – – if only to renew my faith or be validated for it.
Please keep me posted. More power to you!
Agnes B. Claros, D.M.D.
On Personal Branding Article:
This is right on target. You need to gain feedback on how you are percieved by others and then create a development plan for your personal brand.
Paul, Congratulations on your codiscovery launch. More voices like codiscovery.com are needed to spread the word on health-centered/relationship-based dentistry
Lynn Carlisle, DDS Editor and Publisher of In a Spirit of Caring
Congratulations Paul. Nice job. Keep up the good work.
Paul, This is great. Congratulations and thanks for your contributions to Relationship-Based, behavioral dental caring.
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