Dentistry’s Next (and last) Great Move
Now that we can move any tooth we want, replace any tooth that’s missing and change the color, size and shape of any tooth – and do so with alacrity – what’s next for Dentistry?
First, let’s acknowledge that of a dentist’s entire professional education, only about 20% of the information learned related to fixing teeth. That’s the mechanical, fix-it, technician training. The other 80% contains the secrets of the human body; why it gets sick and how it stays well. That 80% is what separates the doctor from the technician and few people on the planet are privy to such knowledge. That 80% is shelved and forgotten once the shingle is hung and practice begins. Hence, the entire dental profession is built almost totally on the 20%. Look at any professional journal going as far back in time as you can and you’ll see that they are all about fixing, repairing, rebuilding, cementing, tearing apart and restructuring . . . with the rare article or mention about other health issues.
Dentistry’s next great move is the incorporation of that forgotten 80% and when that happens, everything changes. How to do that and remain totally within the confines of any State’s dental practice act is the insight needed to make it happen.
That insight is the integrated combination of innovation, new concepts and new thought patterns that constitute Dentistry’s New Era. The new, 3-pillared paradigm does not interfere or attempt to change any of the mechanical techniques dentists so skillfully employ. The new paradigm does not require any new equipment but does demand new thinking.
“Current thinking cannot carry us through great times . . . and great times are ahead.”
One of several overriding maxims is the essence of science (called Quin’talano): Keen observation with a trained eye and deft interpretation with an educated mind.
When the mindset of a doctor replaces the mindset of a technician, one sees things differently and that which has always been staring the dentist in the face but has been looked right passed, ignored or misinterpreted is now seen as glaring evidence and once the elephant on the coffee table has been acknowledged, it is extremely difficult to deny its existence.
One of the three pillars of the new paradigm is a new oral examination that is quite impressive, has a huge co-diagnostic element so the patient is brought into the process as never before and opens the door to provide new areas of treatment that carry significant benefits to the patient and handsome profits for the doctor – an exchange that is most appropriate because the patient ends up gaining much more than the doctor, who gets only money. This examination adds only 2 minutes of time to whatever is currently the doctor’s examination protocol and reveals a plethora of crucial information that had never before been evaluated.
Another pillar is a new approach to treating periodontal disease, one that directly attacks the two causes of the disease (bacteria is not one of them) and without its etiologic factors, a disease can neither persist nor materialize.
The third pillar is nutrition at the doctor level. Doctor-Level Nutrition is vastly different from the dietitian and nutritionist varieties. Because dental decay and periodontal disease both have major malnutrition components, the dentist is daily and heavily in the middle of nutrition concerns.
Nutrition is the most influential element in all of health care and the most consistently absent from nearly all doctors’ diagnostic and treatment considerations. This third pillar is the springboard for Dentistry’s and dentists’ elevation in the health care hierarchy and the reason the medical profession will soon be referring patients (en mass) to the dentist who has these new abilities, practices these new techniques and incorporates these new, undeniable, evidence-based concepts.
A new facility has opened on New York’s Long Island (The Long Beach Hotel) that will be the Mecca for training in this new paradigm. This 120-room hotel has a full kitchen (fabulous food) and can comfortably accommodate 300 people for CDE-based seminars. Dentists (with their staffs) from all around the country are expected to travel to it to upgrade their practices as never before so they are distinguished and set above and apart from all other dental offices that remain mired in the mid-1800’s way of thinking. Although they may have state of the science dental offices based on pixels, flat panels and digitalization, their mindset remains stuck in the outdated and under-serving state of the art ”teeth & gums” mode that no longer holds up to scrutiny.
Dentistry will take a front and center position in the health care field as it leads the way in changing the focus from health care to health. Dentists will have greater prestige, income, dignity and aura because of more influence and importance in the American public’s general health. Ramifications of these new therapies are heady to contemplate.
It is, indeed, Dentistry’s Next – And Last – Great Move.