Hope to see you at the AAP this Sunday night at 6:30 PM. Palm Beach Room at the Gaylord Palms.

If we look at our role as periodontists and what we have let our profession become, we could take a negative view on our future.   It is a role that has been promulgated by others.  It is whether we are going to buy into the arguments of others that really is at question.

If we are relegated to performing our specialty the way others not in our specialty are requiring us to do, then essentially we become what others define us to be. Enough of the negative! If the referral model is waning, it is only the model that needs refinement.

There are patients out there, lots of them, who are suffering from a lack of diagnosis, a lack of treatment planning.  They have had work redone and redone, and have finally given up on treatment.  When a true assessment is made, when prognosis is part of diagnosis, when we help the patient think in futures, when we ourselves think in the long term, when we become fully responsible for the outcome and make sure that every part of appropriate dental care is followed, from oral hygiene to bacterial control to excellent non-surgical and surgical periodontal treatment to superb restorative dentistry, we establish a new model. This is a model of success, and it is led by the periodontist.

Sound theoretical?  It’s not. If you want to practice dentistry the way it should ideally be practiced, you can do it. If you want to work only with restorative dentists who will do the best for their patients, you can do it.  If you want to work only with doctors and staff who only have the best interests of the patient in mind, you can do it.  If you want to maintain the ethical standards that you know should be there but may not be, you can do it.

It is a matter a changing the business model to a new model of success.

The most debilitated patients need help. They don’t all have a lot of money. In fact, most of my patients don’t have a lot of money.  I just completed treatment on a security guard who saw us, saw what could be done, saved his money, and a year later, did the work.  That is not an isolated example. There are lots of examples of patients who are looking for help, looking for the expert, looking for guidance to achieve the best dentistry possible.  There is a way of finding those patients. There is a way of giving those patients everything they need. And it happens when we take the responsibility for them and give them the results that they didn’t know that they could achieve.

If you feel that you can grow into the model of Director of Dentistry, but don’t have the tools to do so, you can get the tools.  If you want to create a practice where you can practice dentistry the way you know it should be practiced, you can do so. The methods and tools for recreating, maybe reinventing, the periodontal practice are there. Will you have to work to learn them? Yes.  Will your business model change? Yes.  Can the new business model be implemented gradually? Yes.

See you in Orlando.