Dr Mark HassedGenerally speaking for any task in the dental office you can be competent or incompetent.

However, your personal assessment of your abilities may not coincide with the fact above.

Very rarely I've seen highly competent dentists who have no confidence. They think they are incompetent even though they are very good at what they do.

Unfortunately, it's much more common to see incompetent dentists who think they are competent. And, that's a tragedy, both for themselves and their patients.

One of the most extreme cases I ever saw was a dentist who had magnificent clinical skills (highly competent in this area) but terrible communication skills (highly incompetent in this area).

Time and again the dentist would bore the socks off patients with 45 minutes or more of waffle. The patient would become irritated and confused and leave promising to “think it over”. Then the cycle would repeat.

Such dentists blame the economy, their staff or their patients (“my patients are different”). In truth, it is them.

If you keep failing at something, are you brave enough to realise that the true reason is a lack of competence?

Then, are you brave enough to do something about it?

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