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Why damn good dentists become Doomsday Preppers (and how to make sure it does not happen to you)

Why damn good dentists become Doomsday Preppers (and how to make sure it does not happen to you)
Chris Moriarity

Well, the news is out. The golden days of dentistry are over. Time to pack up, turn it in and dust off the ol’ resume- and I hear Starbucks is hiring, so that’s nice.




Most people would assume I am exaggerating, but I swear, if you heard all of the negative dental conversations circulating as of late, you would think we were all auditioning for Doomsday Preppers rather than running successful businesses.


I spend my days looking for trends in dentistry, specifically, the business of dentistry. A few weeks ago I found myself in a Dr. Gordon Christianson lecture. He revealed that 9 out of 10 crowns are being done 1 at a time (up from 7 out of 10 just a year ago).


“Well holy sh*t” was everyone’s internal reaction…rightfully so. The sky is clearly falling. Of course my reaction was “how the hell am I supposed to help teams build their business when dentistry is apparently about to join Circuit City as an ‘almost-great-businesses-that-died-a-tragic-death.’


Then I did something that we should all be doing…I stopped myself.

I realized that I had fallen into an old trap. I (along with everyone else in the lecture) was experiencing a psychological event that I guarantee you experience all the time—and guess what, the damn thing may be costing you a fortune.


This psychological trap is known as confirmation bias, which is simply the interpreting of information to fit preconceptions.


I’m not saying his statists were wrong, I’m saying that depending on the emotional impact the information has, it can be incredibly dangerous; enabling people to self-talk their way out of taking amazing care of people.


We need to be aware every time one of these seeds is planted. We need to mentally reject these efforts and insulate our business systems from them.


If you don’t, then the very next time a patient only agrees to a single crown, you’re going think back to Gordon.


“Yep, I heard this was going to happen, people are going to be saying ‘yes’ to a lot less, guess I better start stocking my bunker with canned goods.”


Rather than:


“What more could I have done? Did I have the right financial options? Did I effectively communicate? Was I listening to the patient? Did my team back me up? Did I back them up? We can be better and we will be better.”


Never accept any guidance or advice that gives you permission to be mediocre. You are a damn good dentist. You deserve better, your team deserves better and the patients you serve deserve better.

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