Your day is full.
Then your receptionist walks in with that look on her face. Child. Trauma. Front teeth snapped off. When will you see them?
You feel slight tightening of your chest.
Tell them I’ll see them at lunch time.
You continue your crown prep. You couldn’t see it on the radiograph, but the caries goes subgingival. Patient tell you they forgot to tell you they are on xeralto since it’s not a dental drug.
It’s a blood bath. You try haemostasis with all the chemistry and technology at your disposal, but you can’t control it. After half an hour of battling blood, your frustration slowly rising, you abandon attempts to do any of the scheduled work today and place a temporary crown, organise to withdraw the patient from anticoagulants, and schedule them another day. A whole appointment doing something difficult. Fee = $0.
The staff have decided to put the child with trauma in the other chair so you can “slip out during the middle of your clearance”. As if when you book 90 minutes for a procedure, you can magically take 30 minutes out of it, and still finish in 90 minutes.
The chair in room two starts leaking water on the patients crotch. It just had it’s annual service. They must not have tightened things properly. You can’t move to the other room because the young trauma child is there.
The ortho patient calls. Since you put powerchain on, the wire is poking out the distal tube traumatising their cheek. Can you just squeeze them in today?
You try to anesthetise the child but they have a panic attack and the child’s mum helpfully says “the needle won’t hurt.” The child goes mental.
It’s never one thing that causes stress in the office. It is multiple overlapping pressures. Multiple demands. Each one demanding a little more of your total mental capacity.
Over the years, I’ve dealt with it in many ways.
Longer lunch breaks to accomodate some uncertainty.
Chill weekends where I achieve nothing but a bit of gardening and youtube time.
Driving machinery on a friend’s farm.
Long breakfast with friends.
How do you deal with the multiple overlapping stresses of dentistry?
The juggle is real.
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.