Unless you were born wealthy, dentistry cannot just be a "calling". Or an art form. It is a job. It can be a great job or a terrible one, partly depending on our personalities ability to cope with the stresses and emotions of doing surgery in the second most intimate part of the body.
Of course, if your practice is not sufficiently profitable, you will dislike dentistry.
There are very people who enjoy being a starving artist. Eventually, if there is no market for your work, you will resent it. Especially if you have borrowed money to start a business.
Often folks say that if you just do the best for your patients, then success will follow. But that is not always true. We cannot provide unprofitable levels of care for long periods of time, especially as we get older and need to think about paying for kids and retirement.
Alternatively, if we want to provide a higher than average level of care, we need to provide this higher level at the same price for a while, until our reputation follows our work.
On the other hand, I have been through stages where my focus was entirely the business of dentistry. It was just about money.
The problem with making dentistry all about
The big pressure is not our business overheads, but usually our personal ones.
All those personal payments we have to make. Mortgage. Schooling. Cars. Posh cars. They all become a saddle on our back that we have to carry about all the time. We have to make money. We are forced to.
In my career, the times when I've enjoyed dentistry the most are when my personal overhead has been much lower than my income. Then I have freedom to do dentistry largely in a profitable way, and occasionally in an unprofitable way for the right patient, the right case, or just when it is required. And strangely, when I don't have to earn as much, I usually earn more.
In my experience, most dentists really would like to do fine work, but their circumstances are what often stops them, and this causes frustration.
Now you will get people who will teach you how to make dentistry more business like. More money focussed. This is necessary as we are not taught business at dental school and going broke will make use hate
So the hard part is not making money. Or doing great dentistry. It's trying to balance both.
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.