BY Richard H. Nagelberg, DDS
As dental professionals, we use several resources to advance our knowledge about health-care issues, including oral-systemic associations. The obvious ones are CE courses and journals, and they are obvious for a reason — they are great resources. We also commonly talk to our colleagues, another great resource. It is a safe assumption that most — if not all — of us know someone in our profession whose credibility is unquestioned, and we take what they say at face value since they have demonstrated their reliability and dedication to accuracy. It might be a local specialist, classmate, or seminar presenter.
The fact is that most dental professionals have some area of expertise that makes them a valuable resource for others. Many dentists have not had a forum in which they can share information and advance the knowledge of other practitioners. Many dentists, at one time or another, have needed a second set of eyes on a patient or procedure but were forced to sort the issue out alone, for better or worse. Dentistry has historically been a fragmented profession in which dentists spend the majority of time alone in their offices treating patients. Little time exists during our days for interaction with our peers. We need an accessible place to go where we can give and receive information on virtually any dental concern we have. We need a place to talk shop.
Just imagine receiving input from other dentists about essentially any clinical concern. Think of that patient on tomorrow's schedule with whom you know you'll have a problem. There are countless other dentists who have dealt with the identical type of patient or procedure. Wouldn't it be great to pick their brains? Perhaps you're a recently certified Invisalign provider and unsure whether a case you're considering is too advanced for you. You could consult your local dentist or orthodontist friends if they're available. How about if you could take some clinical photos or photos of the study models, upload them to one website, and get advice from thousands of dentists from around the country? Would that increase your comfort level, especially if you could have questions answered as you progress through the case? The same would hold true if you were recently trained or certified in lasers, rotary endo, esthetic dentistry, implants, or bone grafting, among many others. The possibilities are nearly endless.
Wouldn't we all like to be able to ask our dental colleagues about their experiences with a dental material, service, or piece of equipment we're considering? How about the ability to go to one place for all of our continuing education needs, and the ability to take courses on our tablets or smartphones? How about going to the same place for information about our alma maters, dental and medical news, industry developments, products, CE courses, case studies, research updates, professional organizations, and on and on. If we could have such a source, it would advance our profession on a daily basis. It would make our lives easier and more enjoyable. Many other professions already have these one-source locations, including pharmacologists, nurse practitioners, primary care physicians, and urologists, to name a few.
Well, it's now here for the dental profession! It's called DentistOneWorld, and it's only for dentists. DentistOneWorld is not owned or driven by a manufacturer, company, organization, or other entity. It is by dentists, for dentists ... and it is long past due to help the entire profession and individual dentists simultaneously. It is a gated, secure, closed loop for dentists to communicate and collaborate with our peers. No longer will we have to practice in the isolated confines of our offices. No longer will we be out of touch, disconnected from the rest of our brethren. We can share our knowledge and expertise with someone across the country or around the block. We can stay informed and up-to-date and communicate with others in our profession. A rising tide floats all boats. DentistOneWorld is on the rise. Don't miss the boat.
Richard Nagelberg, DDS, has practiced general dentistry in suburban Philadelphia for more than 30 years. He is a speaker, advisory board member, consultant, and key opinion leader for several dental companies and organizations, and lecturer on a variety of topics centered on understanding the impact dental professionals have beyond the oral cavity. Contact him at [email protected].