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Fair Exchange In Dentistry

Fair Exchange In Dentistry

-By Dr Nav Ropra.


Success is very subjective.  One persons idea of success may not necessarily be the same as another persons, because it all depends on your values and what is important to you.

For example, one practitioner may see success as simply providing the best quality of care and doing the best they can for their patients, their team, and themselves.  When they leave the practice at the end of the day, they have peace of mind knowing they have done the very best for others.  That is their reward.

Conversely, another practitioner may see success as increasing the turnover of their business and simply maximising the profits regardless of the consequences. They may have upset their team in the process or have had to deal with patient complaints, but their main drive is the income of the practice and what’s best for themselves.  That is their reward.

Wisdom in dentistry is having a combination of both.  Providing the highest quality of care to your patients and team and at the same time getting magnificently paid for it in fair exchange.  This is where your practice will grow maximally and you will grow as a practitioner maximally.

If you look at the most successful companies in the world, like Apple, Microsoft or 5* Hotels, they have a high quality product, or service and they charge a premium price for it.  They will always have customers because they know about the principle of fair exchange in business.

How can this be principle be translated to dentistry you may ask?

If you provide a quality dental service, but don’t get rewarded for it fairly, or ask a lower than reasonable fee for that work, then you will end up disliking yourself, your work, or your patients.  You may get feelings of aggrandisement or proudness associated with this way of practicing.  This is a creative feedback mechanism for you to appreciate yourself, your work and to charge a price which is in line with that quality work.

Conversely, if you are providing a service which is more expensive than the quality of care you are able to provide, then your patients will react to that by not taking up your treatments or complain about the quality of care you have provided.  You may get feelings of shame or guilt associated with this type of practice.  This is another type of feedback for you to either reduce your fees in line with the quality of care you provide, or increase the quality of care in line with your fees.

When you practice from the principle of fair exchange, your services are exactly in line with your fees.  You will have the feeling of love and gratitude towards yourself, your work, your team and your patients.  You are centred in your heart as this is where the feeling of fair exchange rests.

Mastering the process of fair exchange comes with experience.  As a dental student you may not even know about these aspects of dentistry, but as you climb the dentistry ladder and experience more in your career, then you will need to learn how to master additional business and behavioural skills.

Knowing that this dynamic is there, is the first step in understanding why it is happening.  Operate your practice(s) in fair exchange in all aspects; from team management, paying for services, charging patients, providing care and doing everything which is in line with the purpose of the practice.  This will ensure that your dental business grows maximally and you have peace of mind.   That is my definition of a successful dental practice.

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