I’m constantly amazed by the two camps of orthodontists who like (or at least find interesting) what I have to say and those who literally despise me and everything I “stand for.” It’s fascinating that some orthodontists in each camp will flip flop their opinion depending on the day and on the post. It’s perfectly fine with me; I’ve grown accustomed to if not comfortable with this reality. I just wanted to point out that I’m not trying to confirm our collective orthodontic biases or maximize my popularity. My job, as I see it, is to question everything and everyone – especially those people, ideas and things we take for granted. If we hope to understand what is happening around us or to adapt and thrive, someone has to do it. I honestly don’t expect more than 5 or 10 percent of my peers to agree with me or to even consider my point of view. I also know that those who do agree with my point of view generally keep it to themselves to avoid the negative attention that can come from standing out. I don’t blame them. It’s a smart move to fly under the radar. You’ll find out who they are soon enough – when they pop up in your area with a massive practice and “unexplained”, tremendous success. How do I know this happens? I know because I get messages from those who have embraced the new reality and are reaping the rewards of being on the right side of access to care! As I’ve said many times, nothing thrills me more than to see others succeed. Hearing success stories from those who recognize and embrace change is the highlight of my day. Of course, I get other messages and emails – those from orthodontists who struggle mightily but refuse to change. I feel for them deeply but I can’t help anyone who has no desire to deviate from the way they’ve always done it. It’s hard to add anything to a cup that’s already full!

Why did I write this? No idea. It’s mostly a waste of time since these words will be lost on the majority of orthodontists who believe the way they do things is the only way. But every now and again what I write or say gets through to an individual orthodontist and opens their eyes to what is possible… and that’s why I take the time and make the effort despite the odds. I love to see people succeed massively and the only way that will happen going forward is if we change our perspective.

*** Obviously there are some other orthodontists who are willing to cross the party line and speak plainly about the new reality. I admire and commend those brave few.