It's a joke among dentists that they often practice on roller skates. If you asked any patient about this, they might look at you funny, but then when given time to think, be able to relay a story about sitting in the dental chair for 2 hours just to get a simple filling done. They will tell you about how the dentist was only in the room for about 20 minutes and might not have even introduced themselves.
They will also tell you about how many times the dentist had to get up to go do something with another patient. This is practicing on roller skates - a practice where the office staff and assistants push the dentist from room to room in order to see as many patients as possible in a day.
These are usually insurance driven practices that accept the lower negotiated fees of insurance companies in order to keep their schedule full. They must operate on a high volume basis to overcome the low fees they must accept because they have contracted with the insurance companies.
"I have created a practice where I don’t need roller skates — I have the time to get to know my patients and really understand what they are looking for from their dentist."
Our practice is not like that. After having practiced in an insurance driven office for about 6 months, I realized this was no way to do dentistry and no way to treat patients. I only accept my best from myself, and in order to provide my best to patients, I decided to work for them, not the insurance companies.
By doing so, I have created a practice where I don’t need roller skates - I have the time to get to know my patients and really understand what they are looking for from their dental care. Roller skates were never for me, even as I child. I was always careful and very sure that trusting myself on roller skates would end in disaster. I see practicing dentistry on roller skates in the same light.
I feel that in order to honor the education I have received and the oath that I took upon receiving my license and degree, I must do my best work on every patient and this involves taking my time. We take our time from the beginning and get to know each and every patient, their story, their condition in order to make sure we have looked at their treatment from every angle.
The time and attention does not end at that first appointment. We take our time when doing treatment to ensure that each and every patient gets our best and our full attention. I think practicing on roller skates will be the downfall of dentistry just as it has already become the downfall of medicine.