Dentaltown July 2014 - (Page 14)
Why Two Out of Three Cavities
Every year, since 1991, there have been more cavities diagnosed than the year before.
That's a terrible statistic.
What would happen if the fire chief of a city reported that in the 23 years he had been
in the position, more houses had burned down each year than the year before?
Legendary, successful mayors are the ones who substantially lower the crime rate while
they're in office. "I'm so proud of the fact that there were more murders than last year! We're
hoping and expecting even more next year!" said no one ever.
On average, for every three cavities a dentist diagnoses, he only removes the decay on
one. One! He doesn't remove the decay two out of three times! That's below average dentistry! We all claim to be good dentists, but on average, we can't all be.
I always hear clinicians say they're 20/20/20 dentists-"My fillings are bonded with
greater than 20 megapascals." "All my indirects fit within 20 microns." "All the materials I
use wear less than 20 microns a year." They use their fancy adhesive bonding agents and their
fancy CAD/CAM machines on one-third and do squat on the other two-thirds.
You are a dentist because you got A's in science and math, and because you (hopefully)
genuinely care about removing decay and disease. But part of the problem is that dentists typically aren't good at sales. And to fix patients' cavities, and in turn, prevent the spread of disease and decay, you've got to convince them they have a problem that needs fixing.
Say you have a patient in the dental chair and you are presenting treatment after an
exam. You might say something really technical and clinical. "You have an interproximal
legion on the distal of three. It's causing irreversible pulpitis. You'll need endodontic therapy, a post-build up and a full-cast restoration." The patient just stares at you like a deer in
headlights. She doesn't understand what you just told her, doesn't realize the importance of
fixing the issue and because she, like most people, doesn't buy based on information, she
walks out to the front desk, says she'll call later to schedule her treatment and then leaves.
Two out of three cavities are walking right out your front door!
Let's look at this same situation by putting ourselves in different shoes. Say a dentist was selling real estate. He'd walk in the house with the client and say something like: "The altitude of
this house is 368 meters above sea level. This side of the street gets direct sunlight in the morning. The climate of the area is mostly rainy..." Boring! It would be all technical information.
A good real estate agent, on the other hand, would present a house much differently. She
would walk you into the living room and help you imagine the big parties with family and
friends that you could have. She'd sit with you around the fire pit and talk about
how fun it would be to BBQ on the patio during the summer. She'd make it relatable. She'd make it an emotional decision rather than an informational one.
There is a biological science to selling. There are only two things humans
can love. It's not ice cream or cookies or dogs or cats or family. It's dopamine
Your dog sees you walk in the front door from work. His tail wags and
he jumps up, excited to see you. You think you love each other but you actually love the two chemicals. The real estate agent is secreting dopamine and
by Howard Farran, DDS, MBA, Publisher, Dentaltown Magazine
continued on page 16
JULY 2014 » dentaltown.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown July 2014
Howard Speaks: Why Two Out of Three Cavities Go Untreated
Professional Courtesy: Appsolutely Amazing
Continuing Education Update
Ethical Dilemma: Don’t Underestimate the Embezzler
Money Versus Doctor
Full Arch Reconstruction
New Technique Ideas Please!
What is Normal in Terms of Transition from One Dentist to Another?
Open Sinus Lift
Look Before You Leap: Lessons from the Field
A Tale of Inherited Problems
Retire in Practice
You Should Know: Diashine
Townie Choice Awards Product Showcase
Dentaltown Research: Periodontics, Product/Service Extra
Continuing Education: Oral Cancer in the Dental Office
What’s on Your Tray?
Product Profile: Synergy Dental Partners
Perio Program Series—Step 3: Create a Plan
Dentaltown July 2014