You have listened a bit to what we said last month in our position paper,  but let’s take that position paper a little bit farther. The position paper essentially says that we are periodontists and we can and should elevate our responsibility for the patient, elevate our responsibility for treatment planning, elevate our responsibility with regard to ethics, elevate our responsibility with regard to predictable dental care. Well how do we start that?  The way we start that is when we look at a patient we look at the whole patient. We look at the patient from every perspective–esthetics, function, as well as periodontal disease. There are only four reasons a patient sees us. They see us because they want to smile, they want to chew, they want to be free of pain, and they don’t want their mouths to smell. We have to look at the patient from all four perspectives. Why? Because that’s what the patient is looking for.  We are specialists. That was our charge in school.  That’s our charge to the patient right now and frankly you can produce an awful lot of dentistry for that patient and for your referral source concentrating on those four things. In the future we are going to talk a lot about treatment planning because that’s an area where we excel and we can increase our responsibility a lot more.

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