Your dental practice vision is an important part of who you are, both professionally and personally. However, the practical challenges of running a dental practice and the realities of life can often lead to your vision and career fulfillment taking a backseat. That doesn’t have to be the case if you take the right approach to realizing your vision.
Why did you choose dentistry?
A good place to start when evaluating your dentist job satisfaction is to look back to what made you choose this field in the first place. Over the years of education and establishing your practice, you may have drifted from your original vision.
For many, that initial inspiration came from the genuine drive to do good and provide quality care for people. To ensure healthy and happy smiles, whether for all patients in general or for some specific age group or a demographic that you’re dedicated to helping.
Of course, the practical benefits of a dental career are also common driving factors. High earnings potential, running your own practice, and taking charge of your own career are also reasons why people choose this line of work.
Consider what your primary vision was, and compare it with your practice today. Identify areas that haven’t met your original expectations and think about why that is. Were your initial expectations unrealistic, have your values changed, or is there something lacking in terms of your career fulfillment?
Is your practice still on track?
To understand your career fulfillment, you should take a closer look at what the day-to-day running of your practice is like. While the broad strokes of your career are also important, it’s these daily tasks that are likely to contribute to how you feel about your dental practice.
Look for sources of stress in your practice. Are you feeling unstimulated by the repetitive nature of your work? If you find yourself dealing with the same types of cases day in and day out, then carrying out treatment, handling paperwork, and tending to other details can become stressful and unfulfilling.
Try to identify rewarding moments as well. Leaving a customer happy with a major change to their smile, ensuring oral health for your patients, and accomplishing other goals can make your work truly rewarding.
Look for the elements of your dental practice that deliver in this area, and focus on expanding them to help you realize your dental practice vision.
Develop a solid vision for your dental practice.
With an understanding of where your practice is today, you can start to develop a strategy to build a more fulfilling career in the future. Think about where you want your dental practice to be five years from now. What kind of patient base will you be working with? What treatments will you offer? Are you expanding your practice and your team?
When developing your strategy, consider which elements of your practice have worked well so far. You want to make sure to support these areas into the future and ensure that they aren’t overlooked. Identify where your practice falls short, and plan to make improvements in those areas.
Take a closer look at your initial vision, and consider how it has changed. Define what your vision for the future of your practice will be. Only once you understand that vision will you be able to start taking meaningful steps toward it.
Take Action to Realize Your Vision
Once you’ve defined your vision and identified where your practice is fulfilling it and where it falls short, you can take action to realize it. Depending on your unique vision, this could mean implementing a variety of different steps.
If you want to expand your patient base and diversify the types of treatments you offer, then continuing education will be an important part of your strategy. One of the most fulfilling specializations to get more training in is orthodontics. General dentists can take advantage of orthodontic courses to offer a wider range of treatment options.
By offering orthodontic treatment, you aren’t just adding more of the same but are implementing unique treatments that could be just what you need for your career fulfillment. Working with patients through their entire case makes a major difference in their lives, and you’ll see that in the results you deliver and the gratitude your patients show.
Expand Your Horizons With AOS
Are you looking for a practical way to move toward fulfilling your dental practice vision? The American Orthodontic Society provides many opportunities for you to do just that. Move your dental career forward with engaging orthodontic courses, and build connections with peers, mentors, and experts by becoming a member today.
To learn more about our popular orthodontics courses for pediatric and general dentists, check out one of the upcoming events below.