“Dental health is peculiar. The rich cannot buy it and the poor cannot have it given to them. I can make people more comfortable, more functional, and more attractive. But I cannot make them healthy. I can teach them how to become healthy, but whether they remain that way will be up to them.” — Robert F. Barkley, DDS
Dr. Barkley’s observation provides the primary theme for this seminar. The patient must want to be healthy. And health in this sense can only be the result of personal sense of responsibility. How interesting that this flies directly in the face of what many of you learned in dental school, hygiene school, in assisting school or in active practice. You learned that you were to make people well through a series of technical and clinical procedures. Your job was to fix, to correct, to repair, to remediate. You learned that you were the healers of others, that you were to “teach” those who came to you and that would make them “good” patients. Actually, nothing could be farther from the truth.
Fixing doesn’t really fix. The Correcting doesn’t correct for very long. Repairs don’t last. Remediation has to be remediated. And “teaching” doesn’t cause learning. You continue your same behaviors and patients continue theirs. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to find ways to engage your patients without feeling like you’re constantly scolding them or your efforts were falling on deaf ears?
This workshop can help you discover new and powerful ways to achieve more success with your patients. Instead of “just cleaning teeth” hygienists can learn what patients care about, become the bridge to finding out where they want to go, and discover ways to help them like never before! The major thrust of this workshop will center around behavior change. Not your clients’, but yours. If your clients are to change you must do the changing. You cannot help them to do things differently unless you begin to support them and work with them in a different way.
Creating a Hygiene Practice of Distinction is a seminar designed to help dentists and their teams review their philosophies, re-evaluate their ideas, and re-clarify their perspectives, specifically in regard to “hygiene” in the practice. We want to help you learn how to begin where you are and grow into a methodology which truly works for you and reflects genuinely who you are. We want to encourage you to experiment on a limited scale so as to begin to learn about untapped strengths, gifts, and talents hibernating in your team. We want to help you deliberately, rationally, and slowly bridge the gap between what is and what can be, while continuing to practice dentistry in the best way you know how.