By: Dr. Kyle Fagala

As a certifiable control freak, this has been one of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn. As orthodontists, we routinely fret about 2 degrees of incisor rotation or a 1 mm midline discrepancy. So it’s no surprise that we don’t like it when things don’t go exactly as planned. Unfortunately, unlike tooth positions, we can’t control everything in life – especially people.

Here are some examples:

– Some dentists will never refer you patients.

– Some colleagues will never be happy for you.

– Some patients will never be happy.

– Some employees will never be a good fit for your office.

– Some patients will never pay you.

– Some patients will never show up on time.

– Some kids will never brush their teeth, wear their elastics, or eat the foods you want them to.

– Some cases will never work out as planned.

Some things simply cannot be controlled. So stop trying! Move on, do your best, and live to fight another day.


Look for the extended version of this post in the next issue of The Progressive Orthodontist.

Dr. Kyle Fagala is the owner and orthodontist at Saddle Creek Orthodontics, located in Germantown, TN. 


4 thoughts on “Let it Go.

  1. “You cannot change others; you can only change yourself.” I figured this out in my late 20s and it makes life so much easier. Relationships would go so much smoother if everyone believed this.

  2. Brilliant! Another way to put this that I have framed over 30 years is this:

    Don’t worry about the past and things you cannot control. Focus on the future and the things you can. It will save you alot of mental hard drive space. You can only change the future, not the past!

  3. Spot on Chip! It’s taken me a long time to realize that judging past actions with current knowledge is a fool’s errand.
    Look forward. Always.

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