I've never fallen off a horse but they say if you do, you have to get back on quickly or you lose your nerve.
About three years ago, I was mentoring another dentist do a large implant case. Whilst all the implants went well, the sinus lift went poorly.
The schneiderian membrane tore and attempts to repair it made it worse until it totally destroyed. Although there were a number of reasons why this happened, the result was losing my confidence in sinus lifts for a long time.
I still did them, but it is much easier to do a procedure when you feel confident. When you know you can do it. When you feel like it will be successful
In fact, believing you will be successful is important to the success of the procedure both subliminally and literally.
So how can you deal with a crisis of confidence?
We all get them. Whether its our blocks not working, or a run of implant failures, or a cluster of non healing endodontic cases.
The first step is to acknowledge that we are now actively avoiding the procedure because of the disaster. To admit we have a crisis of confidence. That we are treatment planning to avoid that procedure.
Then we have to decide that it's a procedure that's worth pursuing. If it is not, then refer.
It is natural to want to learn more about things we are good at, and less about things we struggle with.
Now to rebuild confidence, we need to do the exact opposite of our normal response. Our normal response when we fall off a horse (after blaming the horse, the saddle, the weather, the dog that barked, the owner of the horse for giving you the nastiest brute in the stable) is to avoid riding or learning about it.
But we need to do the opposite. We need to focus our learning on this area, and do another procedure quickly. Do more CE, not less. Do more cases, not less. Get more mentorship, not less.
The longer we wait, the greater our fear build up making it harder and harder to get the procedure going routinely.
Get back on the horse that threw you.
What do you do when you lose confidence in a procedure?
Dr Lincoln Harris has been completely focused on excellence and quality from the beginning of his career as a dentist. He established the first private dental practice in Bargara – Harris Dental Boutique in 2000. Since graduation he has trained extensively in Aesthetic Implant Techniques and Full Mouth Rehabilitation to attain immense skill and knowledge. With his vast dental knowledge Dr Harris coaches and trains dentists from all over the world on complex aesthetic dentistry, surgical techniques and business management. Dr Harris is the founder of RIPE. Restorative Implant Practice Excellence: Full Protocol group an international forum of over 70,000 members worldwide. The purpose of the group is to share information and excellence in the dental industry. He has also lectured in multiple cities throughout Australia, North America, Asia, Singapore, United Kingdom and Europe.