To Master or Not to Master?.. That is the Dilemma!

In this post, I would like to share my brief opinion regarding what I view as the dilemma of choice between true mastery versus the trend of relentless adoption of new technologies in Orthodontics and Dentistry in general.

“Plowing through complexities without first mastering the basics is a trap even the most intelligent can fall into. “

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“Systems Thinking” in Orthodontic Practice

 “We can’t impose our will on a system. We can listen to what the system tells us, and discover how its properties and our values can work together to bring forth something much better than could ever be produced by our will alone.”
― Donella H. Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer

We all want to maximize practice efficiency, simplify management and allow for more time to focus on what’s really important. In that regard, the importance of creating well-defined systems in our orthodontic practices cannot be over-emphasized.

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The Value of Patience in Orthodontics

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”– Gandhi

Patience is a rare commodity these days. A lost art. Everything has become an unnecessarily hasty venture, with little time to stop and think about what we are doing before we actually do it!

In Orthodontics, as in life, patience is a great virtue. We, as orthodontists, have always prided ourselves on our vision,  foresight and “long-term thinking”. After all, these are  important  skills  in our profession. However, many of us may often fail to live by our own “assumptions”. I, for one, have been guilty of this myself on many occasions. But the fact of the matter is that there is no substitute for patience if we want to perform at our very best and provide the best results for our patients. This actually starts from the very first consultation visit, through actual active treatment and all the way to post-treatment follow-ups. Patience and just “slowing down” provides us with the time necessary to focus, think, plan, and reiterate, until we can produce better results with maximum efficiency. After all, “If not Excellence, What? If not excellence Now, When?” as Tom Peters states in his interesting book “The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence.”

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