Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ten secrets for success in dentistry

How does it feel when you meet a friend after 22 years?! or a few friends after many many years!
Thanks to the just concluded FDI congress many old friends renewed their friendships. One could see gangs of old friends jostling around all the time :)

I too met a few of my batch mates and other old friends. Went out for dinner and laughed our guts out recounting each other's escapades and interactions. What seemed like a tragedy when it happened many Diwalis ago felt either very funny or very very funny. Time does change our perspectives I guess.

                                                     With the legendary Dr. Kandaswamy from Chennai
Also met some of my teachers/legends of dentistry in India. It is always a humbling & learning experience to meet someone with an intense passion for the profession.

What was overwhelming was that dentistry is once again going through a paradigm shift. Two types of stalls dwarfed everything else. First were the imaging companies and secondly the implants brands. Both made their presence felt very strongly. The next generation of dentists will have a lot of technology to play with. Brings back an old adage to my mind; something about science being a good slave but a bad master. A lot will depend upon how we handle the tech available to us. Last week I was informed about somebody requesting an OPG for a two year old. We still need to emphasise that the basics of any healthcare delivery system will never change and good old clinical judgement garnished with enough hands on experience will always beat solitary technology hands down. Both combined together has the potential to unleash synergies of epic proportions!

Another area where extensive research is taking place is caries management. We are finding new ways to diagnose early, intervene and reverse the incipient lesion/early caries. I think this has a great future. Early diagnosis can revolutionise the way we look at dental decay and also the way we manage it. I have applied some of these principles and obtained magical results. Especially in young children where nothing was done earlier we have many tools to alleviate the morbidity associated with this disease. As a paediatric dentist it is a very satisfying experience to help parents understand and prevent caries. We must lay a lot more emphasis on the latest advances in caries management while teaching to younger dentists.

Ten secrets for success I have learnt over the years: (not in any particular order of preference)

1. Master current useful technology.
2. Keep abreast of the latest research.
3. Keep in touch with old friends.
4. Salute and seek blessings from teachers and seniors.
5. Work hard and be a life long learner.
6. Be passionate about what you do.
7. Take a break now and then.
8. Be a team player.
9. Be accountable.
10. Be punctual.

We must remember that human factor will always be a critical component for delivering top of the line dental service to  patients.

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