Why it’s worth changing your habits: Dentistry disrupted

Whether you left dental school five years ago or five decades, Howard Strassler, DMD, director of operative dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry, asks you to stop and consider just how much the profession has changed. In the most recent edition of Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine, he shares theories on what he calls “disruptive innovation.”

“I was recently reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, a Pulitzer Prize-Power-of-Habit-TP_nospine1winning reporter at the New York Times. He explains how habits form, and how to change them. Duhigg defines habits broadly: parallel parking, gambling. exercising, eating and, yes, brushing our teeth all qualify.

This holds true in the professional realm as well. Each of us, after all, practices our own unique form of dentistry, from our first encounter with a patient to the exam, our treatment-plan presentation, even how we decide to organize our practice. All of it is based on what we’ve done before.

Whether you graduated from dental school five years ago or five decades, stop for a moment  and consider just how much our profession has changed. When I teach, I refer to the way we  practice as habitual, learned over many years – and (very much relatedly) I’ve noticed that what makes us most uncomfortable  are so-called “disruptive forces.”

Optimist that I am, I prefer to call this phenomenon “disruptive innova­tion.” You’re familiar with the concept from everyday life: using the phone in your hand to order an Uber instead of calling a cab. Yet even for these seemingly world beater, disruption is in the air: Tesla, the manufacturer of high-powered electric vehicles, is reportedly in discussion with Uber to provide its next-gen fleet. Then there’s Google’s self-driving car: Talk about. disruption.”

howard_2013_FURMANIZED
Howard Strassler, DMD

Read Dr. Strassler’s column, and learn more about the bioactive materials he feels are making an enormous difference in how dentistry is practiced, at: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/054b0ba3#/054b0ba3/36

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