Elastic-edge sensors. Auto-retractable forceps. Universal resin cement. ClingShield® x-ray aprons. Award-winning handpiece attachments. American surgical-grade steel tip hygiene instruments.
Benco Dental is driving dentistry forward with the newest and coolest technology doctors need, in the form of its Six Neat Things promotion.
The nation’s largest independently-owned dental distributor strives to make it simple to stay up to date with the latest equipment and technology.
This smile is here to stay
Palmero Cling Shield X-Ray Apron: Finally an apron that stays put when you place it on a patient. Upgrade to a Palmero’s ClingShield® x-ray apron. They feature a medical grade vinyl backing that is textured to prevent sliding and provide stability. Protectall™ versions have a built-in thyroid collar. Available in 10 different colors with a Smiley Face option for children (or anyone who needs some cheer!). Features include easy-to-clean materials, and nylon loops that allow for easy storage. High density lead and lead free materials effectively shield radiation. Order today.
Forceps, meet springs. Hello, Frings®
Imagine a pair of forceps that offer a spring-driven “auto-retractable” design. ids presents Frings® so that dentists no longer have to use fingers to open forceps. In the mix, a Lifetime Guarantee. Available in a wide range of beak designs, for optimal grip, Frings are designed to reduce the risk of tooth fractures. Frings are crafted from 100% German Stainless steel and feature a trademarked two-tone blue finish with an ergonomic handle. Selected by The Dental Advisor as an Editor’s Choice, Frings bears a +++++ rating. Order today.
This bond is strong.
As an inert material, Zirconia is very difficult to bond with, but Premier ZR-Cem solves this issue. This self-adhesive universal resin cement is specially formulated for zirconia restorations, but enables a strong bond to all ceramic materials, dentin and enamel. Unlike other cements, ZR-Cem’s BPO/Amine free initiation system translates to long-lasting color stability.
For ease of use, dispense the cement and seat the restoration. Room temperature storage is optimum, so there is no need for refrigeration. ZR-Cem also features optimal viscosity, easy handling and a fast and easy clean-up
A better patient experience is possible thanks to virtually no post-operative sensitivity and lasting color stability.
The NSK Nano 95LS 1:5 increasing handpiece attachment offers the quality and durability of the Z-Series of attachments (titanium body, ceramic bearings, Quattro spray, DLC coating, cellular glass optics, clean head system, push-button chuck, microfilter).
It is 10 percent lighter and shorter than conventional models, making it a perfect fit for smaller hands, such as those of the female dentist. The size makes it feel as though it is a natural extension of the hand.
NSK Nano 95LS reduces fatigue during procedures and improves fingertip dexterity.
Vatech’s Wave Sensor features an elastic edge that makes positioning much easier than before. It conforms to the shape of the lingual surface of the teeth and reduces overlap. Along with great resolution, the sensor is comfortable to the touch and has ergonomically rounded corners.
The Wave Sensor is rated at the highest level of ingress protection- IP68; It is classified to have complete protection against contact from dust and is able to be immersed under water for a prolonged period of time.
This prestigious recognition in the publishing community benchmarks excellence in editorial, design.
Incisal Edge earns top spot in three categories and honorable mention in nine during the 2019 FOLIO: Eddie & Ozzie Awards that celebrate excellence in journalism and design across all sectors of publishing.
premier dental lifestyle magazine — Incisal Edge, published by Benco
Dental since 1997 — is recognized for its offerings across digital and print
media, as well as video. Winners from B2B, consumer, association and regional
publishing brands were announced during a celebratory gala on October 30 during
The FOLIO: Show at the Hilton Midtown in New York City.
In the B2B, Healthcare / Medical / Nursing category, Larry Cohen, Chairman and Chief Customer Advocate for Benco Dental received an Eddie for “Larry’s Collection,” a column on dental artifacts culled from hundreds in his personal reserve.
Kristie Ceruti, the magazine’s Digital Editor, garnered an Eddie for a series of articles that takes an architectural and interior design tour of the country’s most impressive dental practices.
IncisalEdgeMagazine.com received an Eddie for website with a revamp of the digital product by Christopher Cruz, Kevin Garubba, Kristie Ceruti, Rachel Pugh and Loriah Webby.
in which Incisal Edge received
honorable mention awards include:
awards for journalism
Video, B2B, Healthcare / Medical / Nursing: Incisal Edge, “I Am Lucy Hobbs” by Eric Larsen
awards for design
Design, B2B, Above 100,000 Circulation: Incisal
Edge, Fall 2018 by Loriah Webby
Design, B2B, Above 100,000 Circulation: Incisal
Edge, 40 Under 40: the 8th annual Kind of Blue, Fall 2018 by Loriah
Design (Single Magazine Issue), B2B: Incisal
Edge, True North: Winter 2019 by the Incisal
Edge Design team of Sharon Fiorini, Donna Shrader, Jimmy Musto and Loriah
B2B, Print: Incisal Edge, True North:
Winter 2019 by Eric Larsen
B2B: Incisal Edge,
IncisalEdgeMagazine.com by Christopher Cruz and Kevin Garubba
are a constant source of inspiration, and Incisal
Edge is the direct result. Their passion unites us around the shared
purpose of driving dentistry forward, and that in turn pushes us to constantly
elevate our standards of quality,” said Incisal Edge co-founder Chuck Cohen. “We’re very proud that
our team’s hard work is being recognized alongside so many worthy fellow
The Folio: team, along with their panel of
200+ judges, received more than 2,000 entries submitted this year in 33
categories. Other publishers among the 2019 finalists are: ESPN the Magazine,
Forbes Media, Hearst Magazines, Meredith Corporation and Variety. View
the full list here.
Incisal Edge is a previous recipient of an Ozzie Award for Under40Summit.com in the category of Site Design for in 2018. To learn more about Incisal Edge, visit: http://www.incisaledgemagazine.com/
About Incisal Edge
Knowledge. Success. Life. Those three
words, printed on the cover of every issue, guide editorial content for the
national’s premier dental lifestyle magazine — Incisal Edge. Published by Benco Dental since 1997, Incisal Edge celebrates dentists’
achievements both inside the operatory and during their hard-earned downtime.
Known for its “40 Under 40 — America’s Best Young Dentists,” which highlights
the country’s brightest rising stars, the magazine’s content ranges from “The 32
Most Influential People in Dentistry” and news about the latest techniques,
tools, and dental practice designs, to the best in travel, automobiles, and
timepieces. Incisal Edge magazine’s
print edition reaches 130,000 readers quarterly via a direct mail distribution
package with Dentaltown magazine. Digitally, incisaledgemagazine.com, leads
with dynamic visuals and follows with exclusive web content, an improved mobile
experience, and a centralized nomination hub for the magazine’s signature
awards: the aforementioned 40 Under 40, the Lucy Hobbs Project Awards for
Exemplary Women in Dentistry and the Incisal
Edge Design Competition for interior design, architecture and space
planning within the dental profession.
From Phoenix to Chicago and across the U.S., NSK Dental made an impression on women in dentistry this fall.
On September 28, the American Association of Women Dentists (AAWD) recognized the company’s Nano 95LS electric handpiece attachment in the 2019 Best New Product Contest. During the 98th Annual Conference of AAWD at the Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, in Phoenix, 2019 President Dr. Brittany Bergeron presented the award to NSK representative Katie Capalungan.
During the event, AAWD conference attendees voted on exhibitors’ products, and the NSK Nano 95LS received the most votes.
“Women are an important and growing demographic in dentistry. We wanted to show our support through a line of handpieces that meet their needs from an ergonomic perspective, which will ultimately impact their outcomes while in practice, and we believe that the Nano handpieces deliver on this.”
Colan Rogers, President/GM at NSK stated in a press release.
Lighten up? The Nano answers that call
The NSK Nano 95LS 1:5 increasing hand-piece attachment offers the quality and durability of the Z-Series of attachments (titanium body, ceramic bearings, Quattro spray, DLC coating, cellular glass optics, clean head system, push-button chuck, microfilter).
However, the award-winning product is 10 percent lighter and shorter than conventional models, making it a perfect fit for smaller hands, such as those of the female dentist.
The size makes it feel as though it is a natural extension of the hand. The NSK Nano 95LS has a maximum speed of 200,000 min-1, for FG burs, and a suggested retail price of $1,629.
“I was delighted to see a new partner of AAWD won our product of the year contest! It’s exciting to see that manufacturers are starting to make more products for women and their individual needs.”
Dr. Britany Bergeron, AAWD president and 2019 conference chair stated in a press release.
NSK America specializes in ultra-high-speed rotary equipment and is passionate about creating innovative products that deliver outstanding value. NSK delivers a growing range of dental equipment, including air-driven and electric handpieces, specialty handpieces (endo, surgical, hygiene), electric motors and maintenance systems. NSK manufactures almost all parts in-house to guarantee precision, reliability and unmatched performance of its products.
In 1921, during the annual meeting of the American Dental Organization, the Federation of Women Dentists was formed. Now known as the American Association of Women Dentists, the organization is committed to advancing, connecting and enriching the lives of women dentists.
The organization’s membership is comprised of a diverse group of women at different stages in their careers and working in all areas of dentistry. AAWD connects women of all generations to improve the overall health and personal lives of the people they serve. For 96 years, the American Association of Women Dentists has been a trusted resource and voice for women in the dental profession.
Susan lives alone in Pennsylvania and enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren whenever she can. Unfortunately, Susan (shown above) suffers from several challenging health problems, including degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, joint swelling, chronic pain, and mental health issues.
The former certified nursing assistant and medical assistant is no longer work, due to her health, and relies on a modest Social Security Disability benefit to make ends meet.
When her dental health deteriorated—only nine remaining teeth and some decayed—she was not sure where to turn. Susan’s existing partial dentures no longer fit correctly and caused pain and sores in her mouth. She could not afford the treatment needed to address her dental problems. It seemed she had nowhere to turn for help.
Finding a ‘dental lifeline’
Susan was referred to the Dental Lifeline Network and its Donated Dental Services (DDS) program. There she was linked with several generous volunteers, including Benco customer and Donated Dental Services volunteer Dr. Arnold Pfannenstiel.
How did Dr. Pfannenstiel (shown above) change Susan’s life? He extracted teeth, donated root canal treatments and crowns, an implant supported upper partial denture, and a full lower denture.
“Volunteering as a dentist with DDS is very rewarding. Giving back to the community, helping people who otherwise would neglect their dental care—puts a smile on your face as well as the patients face!”
Dr. Arnold Pfannenstiel, Dental Lifeline Network • Pennsylvania Donated Dental Services Volunteer.
Earlier this year, Dental Lifeline Network hosted it third annual Every Smile Counts Day, and during the campaign raised more than $165,000 for its efforts. Among the dental suppliers and manufacturers who contributed was the Benco Family Foundation, with a commitment of $24,616.00.
“We cherish our longstanding relationship with Benco Family Foundation as you have played a significant role in our ability to provide comprehensive dentistry to the most vulnerable citizens,” said Matt Yeingst, Dental Lifeline Network, VP Development.
Want to help?
Labs and dentists are invited to volunteer with the Dental Lifeline Network’s flagship program Donated Dental Services (DDS) to change a life in their community. Gain details about volunteering.
Donor partners are needed to support comprehensive care for those who need it most. Learn how to offer financial support.
Learn more about Dental Lifeline Network
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1974, DLN nationally provides access to dental care and education for people who cannot afford it and:
You have a full schedule, complete with many precautions taken to ensure a sterile environment for your patients. Do you wish for an innovative way to save time?
Some of your equipment, like scalers and burnishers, need to be sanitized following CDC or ADA guidelines to prevent cross contamination, but not all supplies need such extensive care. For example, if to save time and money, one option is a disposable alternative like the American-made GantGuard Self Adhesive Bib.
Great Coverage and No Clips
The GantGuard Bib is the only one without tabs or bib holders, so there’s no need to attach those costly alligator clips. Unlike cloth, paper or plastic bibs, GantGuard protects the patient’s clothing and shoulders while eliminating cross contamination.
A study performed by Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and the Forsyth Institute found that procedural sanitation of dental bib clips might not sterilize clips completely. They analyzed 20 clips and found that 40 percent of the clips retained aerobic bacteria, and three of the clips had anaerobic streptococcus, a highly contagious bacteria.
With GantGuard Bibs, there is no risk of cross-contamination. Simply use and dispose.
Save Time, Space & Money
Save time by eliminating the need to tie a bib. The GantGuard Bib simply attaches with a non-toxic adhesive, so no need to fiddle with knots or clips.
Save space by storing GantGuard in one of two ways: * in self-feeding portable dispenser box * in a wall mount paper towel dispenser (talk about convenient!)
Save money by eliminating the need for laundry services. Also, by no longer needed to sterilize alligator clips and chains, you save time and money. Focus on more important tasks, like building relationships with your patients.
Ready to give GantGuard Bibs a try?
The GantGuard Bib, which can save time, money and space at your practice, is available in four styles:
GantGuard Signature Dental
Order today or contact your Friendly Benco Rep to learn more at 1.800.GOBENCO.
Increasing production is much easier than most dentists think. The reason it doesn’t happen continually is that most dentist don’t stay focused on it. When you’re happy with your income, lifestyle, and savings you may not put a whole lot of time into improving practice production performance. People who are comfortable in this way tend to, as they say, “take their foot off the gas.” But you shouldn’t.
Increasing production is the mainstay of any business and it requires constant attention. If production doesn’t go up, profit won’t go up either. Dentistry has more competitive factors than ever before, so every practice must be focused on growing its production by either small amounts or to hit larger goals. Growth is always a best defense against a decline.
Here are three powerful steps you should consider if you want to increase production quickly:
Diagnose periodontal disease. Practices that are not
diagnosing periodontal disease lose tens, if not hundreds of thousands of
dollars per year in initial therapy services. Adding the diagnosis and
treatment of basic periodontal services for patients is like adding a brand or
service to the practice.
Schedule all patients. Many practices have only 80 – 85% of their patients scheduled. Think
about how much production is lost through the 15-20% of unscheduled patients
every year. That’s why you should set the goal of scheduling 98% of patients at
all times. In fact, 93% of them should be scheduled before they walk out of the
office. The other 7% can be scheduled using a nine-week follow up system
powered by effective scripting. Keeping patients scheduled in this way is the
smartest way to keep patients bonded and loyal to the practice.
Give hygienists more
control. Hygienist should be trained to identify all
potential treatment, educate patients about treatment, and motivate the patient
to have treatment. They should also be
encouraged to go over fees and close the case.
Don’t panic—the doctor should still be the final decision-maker to
review all findings. However, because the hygienist has much more time to talk
to patients and explain findings and recommendations, they have more
opportunities to close cases than the dentist, who is rushed and typically
spends less than five minutes on hygiene checks. Keep in mind that that
hygienist should make the effort to follow up on all unaccepted treatment. Many
practices have a “one-and-done” type of mentality. If the patient doesn’t
accept treatment that’s it—nothing can be done, and nobody ever mentions it
again. However, when you do check in with patients again, they’re often still
By implementing the tactics above almost any
practice can grow production—by a lot. It’s only a matter of having the desire,
the strategies, and putting them in place.
About the blogger
Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.
To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email email@example.com.
What would you do to protect your family in a country plagued by war, poverty, labor camps and the very real possibility of execution? Would you escape?
That’s what Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad’s parents did to flee post-war Vietnam, although it wasn’t as easy as hopping on a plane. In fact, the government declared leaving the country illegal.
“We were so poor, and living in that state of poverty was no way to live. We didn’t have much food. My parents’ jobs didn’t provide for a hopeful future for our family.”
Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad said, recalling the stories her parents told of Vietnam.
The only way many Vietnamese people could escape communist oppression was by boat, a risky attempt some refugees did not survive. Those who were brave enough to flee, an estimated 1.5 million of them from 1975 to 1995, were known as “Boat People.”
In 1980, when Dr. Conrad was just six weeks old, she and her family boarded her father’s fishing boat, a vessel not designed for the open ocean, and were joined by seven other siblings and cousins.
They sailed into the South China Sea from Hue City, not knowing where, when and if they would make landfall. They sailed for days, weeks, over a month, not knowing where the tides would take them.
“We spent over 38 days at sea without a definitive destination. We arrived at a refugee camp in Hong Kong, where we resided for months until we were brought to a brighter future by the sponsorship of a United States family.”
Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad, recalling the stories her parents told of Vietnam.
Dr. Conrad ended up in Denver, Colorado, a stark difference from the tropical climate of central Vietnam, and began to live an American life.
Finding her dentistry destiny
Dr. Conrad attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry, but the atomic mass of atoms was not all she found. She also met her husband there, and a burning desire to help people.
“I’ve always known I wanted to be in the health care field, helping others heal through medicine, especially children.”
After graduation from Coe, she moved to Minneapolis to study dental hygiene at the University of Minnesota, but she wanted more, and continued her education to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree.
Today, the 2019 Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honoree owns and practices at Tweet Pediatric Dentistry in Chanhassen, Minnesota, and is a mom of three. She juggles the responsibilities of a full-time dentist and a mother, an act that has its challenges.
“I think the most challenging aspects of dentistry is not the dentistry, it’s running a business. I had to learn as I went along and made a lot of mistakes. My mentors have guided me along the way.”
Although it’s difficult to run a business, Dr. Conrad loves her patients. She believes she makes a difference in their lives, and they return the favor to her.
“I am so grateful I get to do this and make such a difference in these children’s lives. The high-fives and hugs that I’m left with when my little patients leave their appointments leave me beaming with happiness.”
Dr. Tori Thuy-Conrad
When not in her operatory, Dr. Conrad is in the kitchen experimenting. She loves to cook for her family — and with them. Her favorite cuisine is Italian, without the pasta. She likes to stray from her cookbooks and allow her creativity to take over.
“I love using the fresh herbs and flavors, and pairing them with more proteins and vegetables in place of pasta. I try to create dishes without a recipe. I find it most rewarding when I have someone who eats my creation and provides raving remarks on a recipe that does not exist. It’s the best compliment.”
Dr. Conrad’s dreams never end. She wants to improve her culinary skills and one day compete on the Food Network show Chopped, a challenging competition where three chefs battle for supremacy. She also wishes to pilot a plane.
With many years of dentistry behind her, she has advice for those who dream to be who she is—a successful, practicing dentist.
“Utilize all resources and mentors out there. There are so many people willing to lend advice, reach out often and be willing to extend the same as you gain experience and knowledge. I give many thanks to my mentors for helping me reach my dreams, but also to alleviate and get me through the challenges I face.”
If anyone doubts their dreams, they need to speak with Dr. Conrad, whose tenacity and motivation is the stuff of inspiration.
Dentistry in one of the few fields of study where what we create, as practitioners, is physical in nature. As a result of that, it’s easy for us to compare the fruits of our labor to photographs found in textbooks or ones referenced on the lecture circuit. All too often we lose sight of the fact that we work in a very unforgiving environment of a human mouth. We try to recreate the ‘Taj Mahal‘ of crowns in patients who are fearful, who wiggle and dance in the chair, who cough and spit during procedures, and who are constricted by finances. Furthermore, our fairy tale mouth rehabs are limited to an hour of chair time and are constantly interrupted by hygiene check, patient messages and the occasional compressor mishaps.
This idea of seeking perfection isn’t an instinct, but is rather self-taught and further reinforced by our educational background and consequently our practice. Growing into a relationship with what is perceived as perfect we suffer both physically – as we hunch overtime in tedious practice and emotionally – in lacking self acceptance and resorting to self deprication). And as we fail to produce the textbook endo, each and every time, we are unable to forgive ourselves and often forget that we, too, are human. We struggle with wanting to be perfect when we should realize we are just good enough being perfectly imperfect. As far as the quality of work is concerned: striving for perfection and attaining perfection are two very different things. In understanding and separating them, we can find more peace in our mind and satisfaction in our work.
How does it all begin?
As early as high school we begin in our pursuit of numbers. In those numbers we develop an anchor. We start chasing that ‘the high score.’ .This doesn’t necessarily pertain to everyone, there are some very talented people out there to whom this won’t apply to; but I’d estimate that most of us, who have the seed in ourselves to seek higher education, any kind of graduate study, will end up making ourselves vulnerable to numbers.
In its infancy this relationship with numbers is fairly underdeveloped and as inexperienced and vulnerable students that’s when it’s initiated. At first it’s very unassuming. Higher grades in high school tend be received with much less study, than in college or professional school. As we keep those grades high, we gather the attention, and dare I say respect, of our parents, teachers and classmates. In time, chasing the A, becomes like a casino machine payout. Get an A: ding! ding! ding! And so, we keep chasing the payout. The other thing that begins during these formative years is a quest to be the number one, and looking at our peers as our fierce competition.
The ease of high scores settles a bit in college. It’s a larger pool of thinking minds, chasing that same A. But as our plans toward graduate school sharpen, so must our grades. And once again: we chase the A, the DAT score, the ranking. Ding, Ding, Ding, goes the payout. Like an addiction. The anchor is established even deeper. And as before we continue to compete. Upon college graduation, having been habitually graded, we become comfortable with our anchor number. And this in turn, ends up tying to our self worth. It becomes automatic on our minds: high score produces a good day, it increases our self worth and a low score can lead to self loathing.
Maggie W. Augustyn, D.D.S.
Each one of us comes up with a sort of scale of what that lucky anchor number. Is it a 3.5 GPA or 3.9 GPA? The higher the number with which we have this relationship, the more intense the pressure. And this goes on all the way thru dental school, who knows maybe even post grad. As does the peer rivalry. Our self esteem is at its peak as we gain that acceptance to dental school. That’s the we hear the biggest Ding! of all.
Once in dental school we may crash a bit. We are no longer that 5%, 10%, maybe not even top 25%. Now, we are all pretty much the same. Similar GPA, test scores, extracurriculars. Nothing to make us extraordinary. The Ding’s don’t come as often. Of course, as with everything, there are outliers, but most of us, are just average, smack down in the middle of the bell curve. And now what: does the occasional C, or mostly Bs cloud our self worth? No, we are forced to find a different type of anchor; we begin to tie our self worth to what we perceive to be the quality of our dentistry.
Remember that we have been chasing a number on a grading scale, we have tied our self worth to some anchor; we have tied our self worth to the act of being graded; And now comes the translation which starts with our preps being graded. Our endos being graded. But not just that, we can see the tangible prep, its inclination, the uniform margins, the fill to the apex, or past the apex; and we start to grade ourselves. Sometimes, we repeat in our minds what even our toughest critics wouldn’t dare to say. A dry socket can make us feel like a failure. A dry socket can make the patient look at us as a failure. None of this is true! We replace the number grading system to which we tied our self worth to, with an anchor of biased self evaluation of the quality of our work.
How do you overcome it? How do you balance the scales?
We can ask ourselves: Can we do better? Can we produce more ideal dentistry, to increase the highs and eliminate the lows? Can we work harder at being perfect? It’s a simple answer, and the answer is: no. I think all of us do the best that we can, with the skill set that we have, with the procedures and materials, with the flow of the practice and with the quirky environment of the oral cavity. We care about our patients and we care about our reputation. So to say, that if we just became better dentists, our lows would be eliminated is unrealistic and erroneous and quite frankly impossible. It’s impossible to attain perfection, each and every time, maybe even ever.
Overcoming the desire to attain perfection: A how-to
First and foremost we must accept that we are perfectly imperfect. We must stop using our short crown margins and endo underfills as the definition for our self esteem. But how? As trivial as it may seem, allow me to restate: we must forgive ourselves for the imperfect. Not walk away from it, but simply forgive, and build on it. We tried our best, we may not have attained that grade-A endo fill, and we forgive ourselves. Or maybe, look at it this way, we give ourselves permission to be imperfect. Please understand that imperfect doesn’t translate into sloppy dentistry, nor is it substandard care.
Imperfect is simply what it states: not perfect, or at least not perfect each and every time. “I have permission to do the best I can, and still come short of what is ideal.” And as we have that permission, we also piggyback the fact that we have room to improve in the current clinical situation and in the future. If the endo fill isn’t ideal, we can redo it, or we can refer out to a specialist. We can choose more continuing education, which may lead to ease of practice. But in truth, neither a referral to an endodontist, nor an 8- hour course in the use of microscope will produce perfection every time. Accepting the idea of imperfection will keep us grounded. And in time will add humility. Because aren’t we just a bit arrogant to expect that every treatment we render be textbook worthy?
We must define and recognize our weakness.
We can’t turn weakness into a strength if we keep denying our weakness. A weakness can be a learning experience. But more so, we also can’t forget that imperfection isn’t a weakness, it isn’t even a characteristic… it’s an unavoidable reality. We have to acknowledge when we are being self critical and recognize that every emotion, serves a purpose; negative feelings are simply a way of receiving information. Having recognized a negative experience we give ourselves permission to be upset and to be regretful. And that’s how we stop it from becoming an exercise in self loathing. This entire exercise will lead to forgiving ourselves our shortcomings. When we are unable to forgive ourselves that’s when we forget that we too are human.
Another practice to follow is to make a commitment to celebrate! celebrate! celebrate! our strengths. If necessary, take a minute each day and write down what is celebration worthy. When receiving a complement, take the time to marinade in it. Really, take a nominal 90 seconds and allow yourself to just be present. Let it seep in. Let it sink in. Stay mindful of it as much as you can all day.
Now, if none of those are working and if we are still really having a hard time with guilt or shame or other negative emotion: writing a note of apology to self can be very helpful.
And last, if your self critical nature is disallowing you from a mindful living, if your self loathing prevails, seek the help of a professional.
About the blogger
Maggie W. Augustyn, D.D.S. is a practicing dentist with over 15 years of experience. She graduated from Benedictine University as a University Scholar and pursued her education towards a dental degree at University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a co-owner of Happy Tooth, a private practice in Elmhurst Illinois. She resides in Lombard Illinois with her husband and daughter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Each day I try to be a better person than I was yesterday. The most rewarding part of life is cultivating and maintaining relationships, but more importantly helping one another navigate the turbulent times of our existence. My mantra is ‘Life Is Good’, even if you have to shift your focus and look for it, with the right skills and attitude life is nothing short of being an amazing gift.”