What do I mean by that? Things don’t last very long. We don’t really value stuff.
When the newest computer arrives at BestBuy, our latest and greatest is now obsolete. This happens with all things digital. Phones, iPods, Kindles, toothpaste, etc.
Is this because technology moves so quickly? Or is it because we have no value for what we purchase? A cool advertisement and “I gots to have me one.”
I have an office chair that was my Grandfathers as a child, he was born in 1898. I will hang on to that old chair, trust me. The one I just bought at Office Depot? I only hope it last a couple of years, two would be nice. I doubt my grandson would want it, when I have a grandson.
Lets look at technology, what is one of the most important features in newer products? Speed. We are in a damn hurry. Oh yeah, and memory. With speed comes memory. I only wish that was true with my mind’s memory, it seems that the faster I move the less I remember. What was I talking about..? Oh yeah,..
Lets look at speed and technology in dentistry. Is this digital approach working?
Digital dentistry is faster, it is definitely more productive. Speed creates productivity.
Is it better? If faster is better, than yes. Again, is that better? What about the intrinsic value of what we provide. Are we creating dentistry that has lasting value? Is the next latest and greatest going to change the way we provide care? Should a patient expect better than what we provided twenty years ago? Or just faster than what we provided 20 years ago? Have we given the patient something of value, does digital dentistry create any intrinsic value? Is the patient proud of their dental investment. Should a patient even expect intrinsic value in dentistry? Or do they only expect our work to last as long as their new phone or computer?
The guy that built my grandfathers chair, was he in a hurry? Or was he making something that would last a lifetime? Some thing that he was proud of. This is what keeps coming back to me when I think on this topic; digital is better for me, its faster, more productive, more profitable. True, that’s all better for me. Is what’s better for me best for the patient? Like the chair builder, am I proud of my work?
My answer to those questions keeps me awake at night.
Since you asked.