Independence Day 2017

I hope that this Independence Day finds you in good stead, celebrating the bounties that our country has in such abundance and remembering the forefathers who had the vision and the strength to persist in creating a land of opportunity.

I will tell you a couple of recent stories that may pertain to your practice. But let’s first ask a few questions:

  1. Are you practicing in the true Independence Day spirit? Or in other words, do you have the freedom to control your practice?
  2. Have you made steps to increase your control of your practice?
  3. Have you aligned yourself with restorative doctors and together learned how to collaborate in the best interests of the patient?
  4. Have you freed yourself from the hindrances (insurance companies, less than honorable doctors, less than honorable patients, less than honorable staff) that take away your freedom? If not, are you on a track to do so?
  5. Are you having fun in your practice?

Periodontics is the pinnacle of dentistry. It’s where the best research is done. It’s where your patients have the best opportunity for long-term success. It’s where patients can rely on you to help them make the right decisions regarding their long-term care.

How you get those patients into your office may be under question.  Direct-to-patient is now a tested answer in every part of the country. But no one should ask you to jettison a successful referral relationship in the quest for more patients. No one can climb into your personal practice model better than you can to determine how to expand your future. You can build a practice with multiple sources of referral both within and outside of the dental community.

You are a needed and welcome entity in your community. You have knowledge and have the training to apply that knowledge. That knowledge is yours.  Any attempt to supplant that knowledge to the interests of another entity has a long term consequence to every party involved in that attempt including the profession itself.

Or let’s look at that statement in a more positive fashion. You have knowledge. Your best efforts are toward expanding that knowledge in the interests of the patient, the restorative dentist, and yourself. I have the luxury of seeing first hand how that occurs as I watch my associates, Dr. Matt Sheldon, a restorative dentist,  and Dr. Michel Furtado Araujo, a board-certified periodontist, discuss cases together. They learn from each other. And so do you as you work together with those restorative dentists who are seeking to be the best.

In the past month, we brought two patients into our office for discussion sessions among the doctors.  Those sessions added a third dimension, as the patients participated in those discussions and gave their own viewpoints. Talk about fun. Yes, those exercises with the right patients can be a lot of fun. Talk about team building–not only are you developing a perio-restorative team, you are adding the patient to the team. And don’t you think that the patient will then tell others, write you a great Google review, and think of you as his or her colleague. That’s fun!

I had the opportunity just last week to do a web conference with a young periodontist and the restorative dentist with whom he is establishing a relationship. The restorative dentist has worked hard to build a practice and is quite proud of the fact that he has built it so fast. It is primarily an insurance practice. Without even talking about insurance, we talked instead about what dentistry can be and showed an example of what that is all about, a full reconstruction case. We talked about how each member of the team would work in developing the treatment plan, presenting that treatment plan to the patient, and then carrying out the treatment plan. The periodontist emailed the next day. He wrote that the restorative dentist now wants to explore how to see that kind of patient, a patient that he never sees on his insurance plans, and be able to do that kind of dentistry.  In other words, he sees a new vision of what dentistry can be.

So on this Independence Day coming up, let’s look at how a vision created a country. It was thought first, then action. Let’s look at how a parallel vision can create your practice.

Want to learn more about how the AAIP can help you?

Email us at  AAIP membership and AAIP consulting can make every periodontal practice better.

AAIP Membership Form