Failure is a hard thing to accept in dentistry. This is especially true because what constitutes ‘failure’ can mean different things to different patients and different dentists.
Keep reading for an anecdote that puts failure in the dental practice into perspective:
Changing Your Perspective on Dental Failure
On my way home from work one day, I turned the radio off, looked through the rearview mirror, and thought, what a day! I had just left my dental office dealing with a “dental failure.” I felt disappointed that this sort of difficult situation had occurred.
Then, this question came to the forefront of my mind: Why do I think I can or should be perfect? With that question, a wonderful reminder appeared out of the blue.
Bill Davis had conversations with LD Pankey about his philosophy and wrote an amazing book that I refer to often. The story I remembered was about Dr. Pankey sharing his own failures. He had worked five cases out on the Monson articulator and said that he basically obliterated the patients’ occlusion.
He shared how all five of the cases failed. He then stated that four of the five patients stuck it out with him because they felt he was conscientious enough to see them through. That’s when it hit me! I realized I had been thinking about this perfection thing all wrong. And, in the voice of Richard Green in my head, I could change my perspective.
What if I didn’t focus on being perfect, but on becoming perfect?
In my own personal religious growth, I am learning how to develop my physical, mental, and spiritual health. I can learn the principles and values inherent to my faith and develop my character, but I can never truly be perfect. What if I approach my dental life in the same way? On becoming.
To be continued…