Recently Incisal Edge magazine published the “32 Most Influential People in Dentistry”. It was certainly an expansive and impressive list, ranging from titans of industry to social media “sensations” to politicians and clinicians.
However, if you’re like me, you either don’t know or don’t care about these people and are certainly not influenced by them in your daily dental and non-dental lives. Anyway, for those of you who care, here are my “Most Influential People in Dentistry” followed by the reasons why.
1. Steven G. Mautner (Me) – This is obvious. I became a dentist mainly so I could be my own boss and control my life. Mission accomplished.
2. The lab guy – Unless you’re an anal retentive freak who ditches his own dies and does his own wax ups and denture set ups, this “guy” is indispensable. Try to find one that will actually read and follow your instructions and look at a calendar once in a while.
3. Dental assistants – Unless you enjoy taking x-rays and doing house cleaning and making temporaries, these people are vital in your productivity. For those dentists who can only see one patient at a time, don’t worry about this one.
4. Dental hygienists – “Affectionately” known as cleaning ladies, it is impossible to “produce” without these team members unless you enjoy the mind numbing task of removing plaque and lecturing apathetic, noncompliant patients about oral hygiene.
5. The landlord – This person is very influential, unless a sudden easing of zoning laws allows us to perform street dentistry like they do in the third world (or San Francisco).
6. Patients – Like it or not, we need these annoying people to fork over the dough that allows us to buy mansions, yachts, European sports cars and pay alimony.
7. Insurance coordinator – Someone in the office has to know how to fill out a claim form so we can get paid.
8. Insurance companies – They have all of the money, they make the rules.
9. Lawyers – Without them we wouldn’t “behave” or even write up the novels we call dental charts nowadays.
10. Dental boards – The grim reapers of dentistry who can turn out the lights on our party whenever they feel like it, especially if you open up a brand new fancy office near one of the members.
Enjoy your summer.