It’s one of the most common things dentists present as a reason why you should choose them: they have extensive education. It’s true that continuing education is so important a part of being a dentist that it’s actually required to maintain your license. Over the years, dentists tend to pile up a lot of continuing education hours. But sometimes this continuing education may not be fulfilling its purpose. Instead of gaining a broader perspective through education, a dentist might actually be narrowing their view of dentistry, and of possible solutions for your dental problem.
Learning to Be Hammers
There are a lot of great places where dentists can go for postgraduate education. These advanced dental schools typically have a particular insight into the very complex problem that is dentistry, an insight that can make people better dentists if they learn it. Dentists are suddenly shown how to approach dental problems they weren’t comfortable tackling before, and not only do they benefit, but their patients do, too.
Having benefited from the insight they gained, they go back to the school to learn more. And more. And though they are expanding their knowledge base, they are learning all this new information from a single perspective and this perspective comes to control their view, and they become more deeply entrenched in it.
There’s that old saying, “If you’re a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.” By going back again and again to the same institution, a dentist is essentially building a mental toolkit that is made up of hammers of various sizes and shapes, which is fine as long as they encounter variants of nails. But if your problem happens to be a screw, the results can be less than ideal.
Always Get a Second Opinion
If you are working with a dentist who is proposing an expensive treatment, an invasive treatment, or an irreversible treatment, you should always get a