Old Masters

A while ago, I was speaking with a dentist who was telling me about the insane levels of precision he was learning in a gold study club. There were very precise measurements of powder and liquid to create just the exact amount of shrinkage for die stones, investments and all the rest. The dentists and technicians had devoted a lifetime to becoming masters of this process and were understandably very proud of what they had accomplished.

Here is the part that is hard to take—once you graduate to a digital impression system, all that skill knowledge and mastery becomes obsolete. It is like being a master typewriter maker in a world of word processors; nobody needs what you have spent so much time and effort learning to master.

The understandable reaction from those who have mastered the old way is to reject the new as not being good enough.

People resist change for many reason some of the most compelling are that they feel the proposed change threatens their notions of themselves they anticipate a loss of status or quality of life.

We see this fear often when any new technology is introduced, not just digital impressions. Staff people fear that what they have learned in the past, how they provide value to the doctor the patients and the practice will no longer have value. They fear losing status.

There is no easy way to tell someone they are obsolete. “Hey, the world changed, get over it,” doesn’t really help. What can help is to set new goals, accept that the new way is just as good (in fact usually better) and that—by learning the new way—the person will be even more valuable, have even more status and will have an exciting and rewarding journey getting there.

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