When people come to my office, many times they think they are going to a dentist, but have no real idea of what they are doing there. They are what I call “Institutionalized”. Their belief system is that if they go to the dentist and have their teeth cleaned once every six months they are doing something good for themselves with the idea that they will keep their teeth forever. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are three reasons that people lose their teeth: They are tooth decay, gum disease, and bad bite. Now the first two are preventable. You do not have to have these if you do not want to. The bad bite is another issue. You need help to stop this. It is the first two that I want to address today.
How do you take control of your own health? There has to be a structure that is created to help you know what you want, and then how to do it, but last but not least, how effective you are at obtaining it. There has to be a coaching structure to make a difference. So the first thing I do is give my patients a choice. I can continue to fix you and watch you break down (curing), or I can help you become as healthy as you want to be (health). The difference is that in my practice, you get to pick. You have a choice. In institutionalized care (traditional model), you do not get a choice. Many people I see coming into the practice are sick, and they do not know it. What makes matters worse is that they have spent an enormous amount of money in care of their oral cavity, and still feel like they ae at the starting gate. This is a problem with structure. I like to say, (and I have borrowed this from a great author and creator of Structural Tension, Robert Fritz), “You can’t fool Mother Structure”. The reason that people continue to break down is that no one is helping them get BEYOND DISEASE. They are operating in the wrong model. They continue to break down and what is worse is, that every time that things break down, the progression of disease continues, and it gets harder to get them back on track. Remember that PAIN IS THE LAST STAGE OF THE DISEASE PROCESS.
Why do we ask you to tell us your preferred dental future 10 years from now? We share with you what health looks like so that you can get a clear vision of what you want. Then we have you think long term 10 years, because it takes away the barriers that keep you from getting what you want. We help you create a plan based on your values. We help you to clarify those values. For example: What do you need your teeth for? How long are you planning on living? How would you feel if you lost teeth? How would that affect the quality of your life? What happens if you were healthy? How would you feel? Imagine the security of knowing you were healthy and could be in control?
Therefore we help you set goals based on what you want to see for yourself. We invite ourselves to be your coach, and then ask permission to hold you accountable for those goals. So why set goals? Goals help you raise your level of awareness. Bob Procter in his book, The Art of Living, states that when most people think of goals, if they can’t see how it’s going to happen, they won’t set them (why we have a structure to help bring this about). They keep backing up until they have it all planned out and then they say, “OK, I think I can do this.” Well that is not setting a goal at all. That is aiming at something that you already know that you can do. There is no inspiration in that. You have to go after something that you really want. This is why we explore with you what it is that you really want, and then work hard to help you bring that about. I want to set you up for success because I know that the best dentistry is no dentistry. I also know that people would rather not have me treating them but helping them stop disease in the first place. You can be in control of your health if you want. So change your paradigm and enjoy the benefits of what Health Centered Dentistry has to offer.
Article Credit: TJ Bolt.