Blood, Spit and Pus!

Hey Doc,

Yesterday I had one of those days that only a fellow dentist could appreciate.

I had a maxillary edentulation (fourteen teeth) with an immediate denture placement scheduled for 6:30AM.

I got the patient numb and began extracting at tooth number two. Since the teeth were so broken down, I laid a flap from tooth number 4 through tooth number 7. Just as I reflected the tissue, to expose the alveolar bone, the power went out!  ( I found out later that somebody had experienced a seizure and crashed into a telephone pole taking out the power for a five block radius.)

I sat there with pressure on the area hoping that the lights would come back on so I could finish what I had started.  What a mess! After twenty minutes with no light or suction, I decided to suture the patient up with only two of the fourteen teeth removed.

Imagine trying to suture up a large flap with no power, just my assistant using one hand to hold a flashlight and one hand helping to retract the patient’s cheek and lip!

After placing about three sutures the lights turned back on. I removed the three sutures that I had just placed and restarted the procedure. As I was removing alveolar bone with my surgical handpiece, the lights went out again. At this point there were five teeth out, a long flap and no suction. We burned through a whole sleeve of 2X2’s trying to control the bleeding.

Finally, the lights turned back on again and I was able to complete the procedure, total time- two and a half hours when he was scheduled for an hour and a half.

When the procedure was over, I was covered in blood, spit and pus. The waiting room was crammed with irritated people because at this point, I was running about an hour late. What a glorious morning!

We all know that dentistry is a tough profession. For a lot of practitioners, it’s a lot tougher than they ever imagined it would be. Dealing with staff and patient expectations; needing to be technically excellent and fast enough to cover the overhead; trying to be everything for everybody- it’s an unbelievably stressful way to live!

There is no business out there that will save us dentists from the occasional nightmare day like I experienced yesterday.  There is also no amount of money that can remove all of the stress from your working life…

But owning a dental assisting school can take so much of the pressure that we, as dentists, feel every day.

Maybe the extra income will allow you to work more reasonable hours-doing procedures you actually like to do.

Maybe you could finally go on that family vacation that you’ve been putting off for years.

Maybe you could hire an associate to share some of the patient load.

Maybe you’ll finally be able to put your mind at ease about how you’ll be able to afford retirement.

Regardless about what makes you so stressed about your life as a dentist- an extra, passive source of income can help to get that stress down to a manageable level.

All the Best,
Mark

P.S. Give Siony a call at 928-830-4557 or simply email if you have any questions or want to set up a conference call with me!