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Dr. Jeff!

Discussion in 'Dental' started by Centrum, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. Centrum

    Centrum SMILEY KING

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    Hey Doc,

    I love reading your posts and advice, and I am not sure if you have already done something similar to what I am about to ask. If so please direct me towards that post. I was just wondering if you could please take a minute to write down your current thoughts on dentistry (ie. the current state of dentistry, the future of dentistry), and also your thoughts on being a dentist and your practice. The good and the bad. Unfortunately there are very few people who post on the dental forums, and it is nice to hear the opinions and thoughts of others. I invite everyone who wants to post on these questions to do so. Thank you!
     
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  3. nycdoc

    nycdoc Senior Member

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    Centrum,
    Nice request! Do a search on the amazing Dr. Jeff and you'll find plenty of useful advice/info.
     
  4. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member
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    Oh boy, are you folks trying to make me blush or something? I feel like a question of this magnitude should be addressed by Gordon Christensen, Rosh Nash, David Hornbrook, Pete Dawson or Bill Dickersen (word to the wise, if you don't know who any of the folks I just mentioned are, look into them, they are all visionaries in Dentistry).

    First off, where dentistry is today...... It's in a very strong position. This is a very well respected profession that is highly appreciated by the general public (even if alot of folks say that they hate coming to see us). This is also an incredibly exciting time to be in dentistry with respect to the technological advances that are occurring at an incredibly rapid pace. Less than 10 years ago when I was starting dental school, things like self etching primers, 1 step primers + adhesives, digital radiography, rotary endodontics, composite materials with good wear rates, lasers, and highly integration successful/clinician friendly implant systems were primitive ideas at best! Dentistry was worried that the DMO would take over and decrease our earning potential. And tooth whitening was essentially limited to the very wealthy who could afford all porcelain, very fracture prone crowns for their anterior teeth.

    The best change that I've noticed amongst patients especially over the last couple of years is that more and more people are viewing dentistry not just as a means to "fix a cavity", but as a means to change their appearance. I keep getting more and more folks asking me if I change change their smile like they saw on TV or read in a magazine. Nowadays the amount of "optional" treatment that I'm doing (i.e. bleaching, veneers, ginival recontouring, requested amalgam replacements) is over 1/4th of my daily rountine(and I'm practcing in a rural, blue collar town). The education of patients by not only dentists, but also the media is leading to more and more folks keeping their teeth longer and longer, and not expecting loose teeth as they age. This is great, since folks are once again asking for our help to accomplish this goal, and you know what, we've got answers and treatments to accomplish them that didn't exist a few years ago. Bottom line, right now is a great time to be in dentistry.

    In the future, I see things as a whole getting better and better for us as dentists. The trend of folks keep more teeth longer is likely to continue improving, and thus we'll have more teeth to work on, even if population growth is stagnant. Technology will also likely yield many evolutionary changes. We'll likely soon have a wear resistant, 1 step self etching/priming/adhesive/ restorative material (basically choose the shade, place into the prepared tooth and cure). Soon we'll likely have a composite restorative material/bonding agent that will be unaffected by the presence of moisture during its placement. The electric handpiece and digital radiography will likely be the norm in a decade or so. We'll likely have bleaching systems that will have 0 sensitivity that work in 30 minutes or less. Most of our crown and bridge will likely be milled in chairside units and permanently cemented less than an hour after you first anesthetize the patient. In 20 years, I'd bet that students graduating at that time will know as much about how to place and amalgam restoration as current grads know about placing a gold foil restoration. Basically this profession is in the midst of an incredible technological revolution that is making our daily routines quicker, more fun and rewarding, and more profitable. This will allow us in the future to treat more patients than are currently receiving dental treatment even though demographics say that there will be less dentists practicing.

    The only real potential problems in the future could be the insurance issue and the amalgam issue. I highly doubt the insurance issue will become a factor, frankly I think that it's more likely that dentistry will go insurance free(i.e. complete fee for service) than it will go the way of the DMO. The amalgam issue could be a bit of a dark cloud. If it utimately gets linked to major health issue(highly doubtful) or pollution issues(more likely) than dentistry could be hit with a mini version of what the tobacco industry is going through. This last bit is reason enough to join ASDA and then stay with the ADA after graduation because they are working hard to protect this industry as we know it.

    I'm sure I'll probably add to this in later posts, but thats atleast a start to "the dental word according to Dr Jeff"
    :D
     
  5. Centrum

    Centrum SMILEY KING

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    Thank you for the response Dr. Jeff. You are invaluable to everyone on here!
     
  6. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus

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    Gordon Christensen lives near me -- I'll see if he'll come over and post some information in response to this question. If not, then I'll try to recount what he tells me.

    I took a class from him last year -- nice guy, but a dental genius.
     
  7. ItsGavinC

    Dentist Moderator Emeritus

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    This is a tad off-topic, but here is a bit of info on Gordon Christensen. This is from a bio he handed out to us during class in winter of this year:

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    Gordon J. Christensen is Founder and Director of Practical Clinical Courses, an international continuing education career development program for dental professionals initiated in 1981, and based in Provo, Utah. For many years, thousands of dentists and auxiliaries around the world have participated in PCC seminars and hands-on courses, and viewed PCC videotapes. The most complete professional and patient education video library in the world is available from PCC. Dr. Christensen has presented over 25,000 hours of continuing education throughout the world and has published hundreds of articles or books.

    Gordon and his wife, Rella, are co-founders of Clinical Research Associates (CRA). Rella P. Christensen, PhD, is currently Director of CRA. Since 1976, CRA has conducted research in all areas of dentistry and published the findings to the profession in the well-known CRA Newsletter. The CRA Newsletter is now read throughout the world in numerous languages.

    Early in his career, he helped initiate the University of Kentucky and University of Colorado Dental Schools and taught at the University of Washington. He has served as a Department Chairman, Associate Dean, and Full Professor. Currently, he participates on the post-graduate faculties of many dental schools, is an Adjunct Professor at Brigham Young University, and a Clinical Professor at the University of Utah.

    Gordon practices with his prosthodontist son, William G. Christensen, in Provo, Utah, in a multi-disciplinary group practice, the CRA Oral Health Institute. Gordon and Rella's other son, Michael G. Christensen, is a general dentist in Ontario, Canada. Their daughter, Carlene, is a teacher and is married to Kenneth J. Hunsaker, a general dentist in the CRA Oral Health Institute.

    Gordon's degrees include: DDS, University of Southern California; MSD, University of Washington; and PhD, University of Denver. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Prosthodontics, a Fellow and Diplomate in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, and a Fellow in the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, American College of Prosthodontists, Academy of General Dentistry (Hon), and the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

    Some of his memberships include: American Academy of Esthetic Dentistry; International Association of Dental Research; Academy of LDS Dentists; American Academy of Restorative Dentistry; American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics; Academy of Operative Dentistry; International College of Prosthodontists; and the Academy of Osseointegration.
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  8. nycdoc

    nycdoc Senior Member

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    Hey Dr. Jeff,

    Are there dentists who work as independents and are specialists in a few procedures? If so, is it possible to remain independent (meaning no private practice) and go from office to office as a full-time job? Someone on this board told me in a PM that his sister is doing a GPR which specializes in implants and perio surgery. She had offers from several practices and I'm wondering if it's possible to have this sort of setup where you're called in to a different practice every time the need arises. Is there a lot of scope for highly specialized dentists, and if so what are the procedures/skills in demand right now? Thanks in advance.
     

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