More Patients In The Dental Office: Is It The Ticket To Success?

Μαρία Αντωνιάδου

Maria Antoniadou

I am a woman, dentist, academic instructor and program manager at KEDIVIM of EKPA.

Interestingly, most of us believe that getting more patients in our dental practice is the ticket to success. Or, that if we had higher quality patients, our problems would magically be solved, that we would make more money, our dental office would be more successful, and we ourselves we would consequently be happier.
For this purpose, what do we usually do? We attend more and more specialized dental clinical application seminars. As if the problem is that we don't technically know some things. And we spend time and maybe money to acquire this new knowledge and that is of course legitimate. Along with this knowledge however comes the awareness that we do not offer these treatments in our daily dental practice. This is how various feelings of insecurity and inadequacy multiply that declare to ourselves that we are not as capable or cannot reach the quality of the incidents animated in social media or online presentations. So it creates a critical point of inconsistency in our quest for more patients and a better practice. How is it possible that more patients come to the dental office when I feel inadequate?
Feelings of inferiority and inadequacy close us even more as professionals into our shell, into the habitual reactions of low competition, into the well-trodden paths of ineffective action. The phobia of the "small self" immobilizes us. So we don't shake to see what's wrong with us and our dental practice has weak viability, that is, it operates on the verge of bankruptcy, but we simply let time flow, remaining docile in the small things: I have my little practice, I have my little house, I have the My little car, I'm eating in my little tavern... and let's stay in them so we don't get carried away!

The good news is that these are only our thoughts, that is, they exist only in our minds, as in Plato's allegory of the cave.

By stepping out of the cave and limiting beliefs that have haunted our professional lives for years, we can see our true potential and the uniqueness of the services we can offer with our truly unique selves. The best news is, we are only one thinking away from loving our dental practice and the dentistry we offer in it, as it is now. We are just one thought away from having the dental office we really want to have. And this is because it is only in our mind, the perception that we are not sufficient and that we will never be able to do the fantastic incidents that we see in the posts.
What keeps us stuck in a state of constant mediocrity is that we believe we don't know how to increase the provision of quality services that will bring more and quality patients to our dental office. It is still the belief that our time is not worth as much as other colleagues or other professionals in general, because our knowledge does not extend to postgraduate or doctoral programs or specializations abroad.
A lack of confidence in our abilities makes us a barrage of social media posts rekindling the guilt that we haven't done well so far. This perception grows in dimensions constantly and becomes "I don't succeed in general"! And we feel like we don't have a successful dental practice because we can't render the distal fovea or lingual tubercle of the lower molar the way we saw it in some post. And yes, then we run to every possible event to fill this existential and professional void, or we hire people to help us with our website, teams to help us with social media, or we do nothing but whine about our situation or we are looking to find other ways to make our presence felt in this competitive market. What we are doing is hiring people to solve our own problems, while only we know the solution.
But this doesn't work. Let's understand that the lens must be turned inwards. It must turn towards us.
To have higher quality patients in your business, you need to increase your self-esteem, strengthen your confidence. You must first understand how to attract quality patients by highlighting your unique self on a personal and professional level. You must first find the solution to your problem and then hire people to implement the solution.
You need to understand the value of the services you provide and be able to articulate it across the board. At lunch with your friends, when you are at the checkout at the supermarket or pharmacy, during consultations with your patients, in your posts on the internet… and anywhere else you can imagine.
So what is our value? What is the value of the services we provide?
The first question we need to answer is "What are we selling?" Youth, confidence, professionalism, knowledge, maybe joy and acceptance; Maybe happiness; Perhaps the value you provide is enabling people to feel comfortable with their mouths, live pain-free and smile, not just have the perfect restoration. Let's all understand in the dental world that we are all unique and deliver in our own unique way.
For this reason, only when we understand our uniqueness will we be able to share it with others and develop it. Let's stop being afraid to show it and highlight it. For this reason we need to constantly ask ourselves why we are valuable and unique in what we do and what talents we can tap into and have not yet done so that they do not remain buried in the soil as in the parable of the good servant. So let us find our talents as the Master recommended, so that we may multiply them:
"Hey, good and faithful worker! for a while
faithful, I will make you over many"
(Matt. 25:21)
Because what we have to offer is valuable in itself, as long as we believe in it and work on it. We are what we offer and we offer what we are.
Happy resurrection and Happy Easter to everyone!
Dr. Antoniadou Maria, Assistant Professor of the School of Dentistry, EKPA
YOUNGSPIRIT-GALLERY, Dentist DDS, MSc, PhD, Academic Professional at Athens University, ICF by HRE and AC Accredited Coach. On a mission to help young adults thrive through positive psychology and signature strengths enhancement.
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