“Just have a look, if you like”. These were the words of my dentist last Friday evening, when he handed me a magazine. We were chatting about his passion, his job, and the rapid technology evolutions in the dental care business. He had recently written an article about it for ConsulTand, the publication of the Flemish professional assocation VBT. Being his patient, of course I read the article with great attention. I don’t want to be invited to his chair next time, without being able to at least answer some general questions before he starts the drill 😉
What got my attention even more than business information about the dental care sector, was the final paragraph of his text.
“Every smile is unique. It’s a signature of our personality. Fortunately.”Fernand Vandekerckhove, Paradontoloog
This is the quote of a passionate dentist who is ‘living’ his job. His job is more than just ‘work’. It’s his passion. He works for the smile of his patients. The reason he wrote the article is to show his colleagues what new technologies are available, and to warn them that the new technologies also have their limitations when it comes to dental artistry: not all technology is (already) perfect enough, for a dentist to create the perfect smile.
When reading the article I became aware of the end-to-end connection he instinctively made from stock market investments, the large co’s of the dental business, over the dentist’s practice, towards the smile of the patient. He e.g. indicated that issues with a public listed dental company had their origin in the absence of the notion of the dental practice in the business model. He also reflected on some great new technologies, and indicated what issues the engineers did not solve yet. These issues were all related to the dental artistry, to create unique individual smiles.
In many industries it takes a long time to find the few people that understand this connection. And since I like to smile, I am very happy that I happened to stumble upon the one dentist that does understand how to reflect on that kind of purpose.