A recent discussion on a chat line made me realise that many dentists don’t understand the meaning of the word quality. Many dentists define quality in terms that revolve around them and their opinions. For example:
- “I do quality work. It takes me 3 hours to prepare a crown.” (Implying that if you take less time your work is bad). Or…
- “I do quality work. I wash out all my cavities with yak’s tears.” (Implying that if you don’t do that you are not as good.)
Of course, these dentists are wrong. Quality is best defined by reference to the customer (or in dental terms, the patient):
High quality dental work provides long-term satisfaction to the patient. Poor quality dental work does not.
In order to do quality dental work you need to do two things:
- Communicate well with the patient so you agree on realistic expectations.
- Have solid systems so you reliably deliver what you agreed.
When viewed from the patient’s perspective instead of the dentist’s perspective quality takes on a whole different meaning. I strongly encourage you to start thinking of quality from the patients point of view.