Ready, aim, aim, aim

May 1, 2012
I am often on the same speaking programs as one of my best friends in dentistry, Dr. Howard Farran.

Louis Malcmacher, DDS, MAGD

I am often on the same speaking programs as one of my best friends in dentistry, Dr. Howard Farran. We usually talk about what is happening in dentistry and share some of the same views. I’ve heard Howard talk a number of times in his inimitable style about a book titled “Ready, Fire, Aim.” This book is about making definitive decisions in a reasonable amount of time in order to move your business and life forward. Howard likes to describe most dentists’ decision-making style as ready, aim, aim, aim…

Due diligence is important and does not take very long to accomplish. You need to see if something makes sense for your office. After you have done some due diligence, the only way to know that a concept, product, material, or piece of equipment is going to work is to actually get it into your hands. Notice that I said “your hands,” and not someone else’s hands. It’s always interesting to me that after I give a lecture, dentists come up to me and say something like, “You know, I use XYZ composite and it is the best composite in the world and it works for me every single time.” Then the very next dentist will say, “You know, I tried XYZ composite and it just doesn’t work and every restoration fails.” How can that be? The answer is that we all have slightly different skills in how we practice dentistry, and certain things will always work better in my hands than they will in your hands, and vice versa.

There are dentists who are just aiming their entire career and unfortunately never get to progress forward. These are the dentists that are probably still trying to decide between Direct TV and cable, or even trying to decide if they should have the Internet in their offices. It is time to pull the trigger on some of these things and decide to fire!

Let me give you some examples. Laser dentistry has been around for a long time and is an integrative technology that fits into every practice. This is an example of ready, aim, fire.Get a WaterLase iPlus all tissue laser (Biolase) and you wlll change your and your patient’s dental experience by eliminating anesthesia for many dental procedures. It is time to pull the trigger and “fire” and get laser dentistry into your office today.

CAD/CAM dentistry has been around for a while. This is actually an example of ready, aim, fire. This is a nonintegrative technology that is right for many offices, but not right for every dental office. Your office has to fit into certain parameters to make CAD/CAM dentistry worthwhile. I cover these parameters in my “Hottest Topics in Dentistry” lectures.

Using Botox and dermal fillers for oral and maxillofacial esthetics and therapeutics is now being performed by thousands of dentists in the U.S. and many more around the world. The American Academy of Facial Esthetics reports that it is training a few thousand dental professionals every year and is the fastest growing membership organization in dentistry because of the support needed for this rapidly growing area of dentistry.

Most dentists know nothing about Botox and dermal fillers and therefore cannot imagine how it fits into their practices. Those who have already been trained see how easy it is to use their existing skills to deliver Botox and dermal fillers with predictable and successful results, and have been integrating it into treatment plans that cover all facets of dentistry. There is no capital investment and you can begin doing these procedures immediately after taking a course. This is an example of ready, fire, fire, fire, aim.

This list can go on and on about different materials, products, and technologies as to where they fall in terms of ready, aim, fire. The main point is that the only way you will ever advance your practice is through comprehensive continuing education, and trying out new technologies and techniques with your own hands. Don’t spend the rest of your dental career aiming and then feeling years down the line that you wished you had gotten into new areas of dentistry years ago. Life is too short for that.

Dr. Louis Malcmacher is a practicing general dentist and internationally known lecturer, author, and dental consultant. Dr. Malcmacher is the president of the American Academy of Facial Esthetics at Contact him at (440) 892-1810 or email [email protected]. His website is, where you can sign up for a free monthly e-newsletter.

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