What is your patient afraid of?
Your patient is mostly afraid of what you are afraid of. When I was younger, I feared implant surgery. Not surprisingly, all my patients got bridges.
I was uncomfortable with orthodontics. Not surprising I straightened teeth with veneers.
I thought it was the patient that was afraid of the procedures, but much later on, I realised it was actually me that was afraid. I knew little about these other procedures so found them scary or difficult.
I had not done enough surgery so felt for sure that when a patient asked will it hurt, they were actually afraid of the pain.
You cannot plan treatment you are afraid of.
You cannot plan treatment you do not understand.
When you treatment plan, you should be taking all the patients goals, desires, budget, presentation and history, and then selecting carefully from the full array of procedures on offer, to find some that best meet the patients goals.
However it is hard to select easily from a whole smorgasbord of procedures when we are afraid of many of them.
There are two things you should consider doing to help break this fear of unfamiliar procedures.
1. Learn about it. We fear things that are unfamiliar. The more familiar they become, the less fearful they are. Even if you will never do a procedure, go learn some more about it just so you are comfortable with it. (This also goes for specialists who rarely take CE outside their chosen field, even though it severly hampers their ability to see the bigger picture).
2. Examine yourself. Consider carefully which procedures you tend to avoid and consider why you avoid them. Often just knowing we avoid a procedure for no good reason, helps us to bring it back into our armamentarium.
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If you want two days of this, attend RETP.
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.