The Unluky Dental Race

Written by: Dr. Marco Maiolino




In the last years, I had the possibility to meet and talk dentists of many countries…yet I ‘ve recognized we are very similar …we are all someway stressed…and I’ve tried to understand why!

We live every single day closed in our office …our private prison.

We spend all our time working in a small claustrophobic space, the mouth, trying to do precise work on a usually anxious person.

Every anxious person we treat try to transfer on us his anxiety, his fear ..and we have to be better psychologist sometimes than dentists.

Dentistry in every country is expensive, yet most of our patients have limited financial possibilities and we have to cope with this.

We have the weight of responsibility in these cases to do half treatment plan (like one arch for example), with the perfect knowledge that if in future every compromise we are taking today for the patient need will turn against us like a mythological dragoon…cause every patient to think that his dentist is way too expensive and steal his money.

We work in one of the most hostile environment trying to fix broken things yet our patient are still asking every day this treatment will last forever.

Most of the times we have no appreciation from our patients. They don’t appreciate all the time and effort we spend doing the best prep, the best restoration, our fight to reach that final millimeter to the apex…

We have to work with the awareness that in our town it’s not the best dentist the real one, but usually the man who is the better salesman of himself.

We study as doctors and do the Hippocrates oath but everyday people around us talk about marketing and we are still trying to understand how to go over this contradiction.

The economy of a dental office is something crazy , we earn almost zero saving teeth and giving a real service to patients  with a lot of fatigue and instead we are rewarded  a lot replacing teeth and mutilating patients, in many cases with implants that nobody knows how to treat the day they will develop a disease (wasn’t it built to last a life ?!?)

We study as doctors but in real life, we have to act as a business owner.

We are unlucky business owner cause in most cases we have just assistants that help us working but not real employees doing the work so the majority of the production is made by ourselves.

When we have employees, every problem they have become our problem.

All the complaint in the office arrives for us.

A patient is arguing with the secretary…a patient is arguing with  a consultant ,  a patient is arguing cause he has pain but you have no space for that day and you have already worked 10 hours and have no more force to go on….all the complaint arrive at you…often while you’re working on an anxious person and you have also to seem  relaxed to avoid he got still more anxious !

We are surrounded by a lot of dental companies that force us to buy every single possible useless gadget on this earth so that at every end of the month we have a lot to thing to pay and……where is the first available patient for an upper and lower full arch on implant ?!? We need hey by the end of the month!!

Some of us try to limit their stress doing just some branches of dentistry…some love to work more outside their office as consultants than in their office with the whole responsibility.

Many say to love surgery but in the deep, it ’s just because they think that being a surgeon is a sort of advanced level of being a dentist.

We are doctors but in many countries, we are considered less than the other doctors.

We go at congresses and see wonderful dentistry ….we listen to speakers talking about a wonderful patient with no financial limitations, with perfect oral hygiene, an aesthetic treatment plan with veneers and minimally invasive dentistry and adhesive procedures, no failures, almost never.

We try to do these kinds of therapies and f…k …how much difficult is to practice these techniques and, even learned, how much stressful and demanding….and f..k..even here there are failures after you spend maybe 5 hours bonding veneers under that perfectly stretched rubber dam!

In Congress, You see the certainty of dogmas, of human rules that only in those days seems of divine perfection and perfect predictability.

You see giant endodontic lesion disappear after 6 months while in your office seldom happens…patient with completely worn teeth  smiling happily after 6 months (and nobody knows after 5-7years what happens)

You don’t realize that this is just  a cinema, a land of illusions and that 99% of human people live exactly in the same way (and that 1% unless born in an already privileged environment, have been for a lot like the 99%)

We are the main medical category connected in hundreds of thousands on Facebook looking for some appreciation.

Life is simple…it’s hard. We have to accept this and try to get the best we can. Avoid useless stress, avoid useless gadget, avoid to get things more complicated than necessary, learn to communicate with our patients and in the end, we have also to realize that we have no right to complain if we look over our shoulder to the rest of the world.

Also, this is Tomorrow Tooth…sharing the reality of our life without joking about that ideal one you will never obtain and you will get frustrated for and start to look again at the reality of the things and what we can really do to improve them.

because perfection is not when you add more things to a procedure, but when there is nothing to remove…..something sustainable for everybody.



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