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E26: Six Lessons I’ve Learned From Two Years of Dental House Calls

Exciting news! I just celebrated the second birthday of my in-home dental service, AccommoDental, and it has been an incredible journey so far. I wanted to share 6 important lessons that I have learned over the past two years, both professionally and personally.

1. I’ve Learned That TIME Is Our Most Valuable Asset

We should cherish every moment and use it wisely. I’ve learned that time isn’t simply a resource to use for accomplishing tasks or missions. Years ago, I compartmentalized my time and only dedicated some to friends and family, while most of it was spent on work or school. I rarely smelled the roses. If you’re unsure of what the schedule or time of a house call dentist might look like, please download my free guide called “A Day in the Life of a House Call Dentist.” It’ll help you visualize your days when offering house calls.

2. We Can Only Control Ourselves and Our Reactions to Situations

When you step into someone else’s domain, you can’t control everything like you might be able to in your own dental office. You can’t control the temperature. A lot of older adults are freezing even when it’s 80 degrees outside, so they might have windows sealed without AC. You can’t control whether siblings break out into a screaming match about money while you’re there. You can’t control if your patient is incredibly attached to their loud, threatening German shepherd. The only person you can control is yourself. You can control your response, your words, how you treat others and that’s about it.

3. Being Comfortable with Discomfort Is Crucial to Success

I recommend being flexible and doing as much work as you possibly can even in tricky conditions because the patients really do benefit from your time and services. AccommoDental has helped me embrace the unknown more and more throughout the past two years of my practice. I learned that I can handle a lot! I am more and more willing to be accommodating in various ways because I know that I have shown myself that I can work under pretty interesting conditions.

4. Remaining Gracious and Building Strong Relationships with Patients & Colleagues Is Important

I am incredibly appreciative of my patients. They welcome me, a stranger in most cases, into their homes. I’m grateful for how much time I get to spend with them. I’m grateful for their stories, their humor, and their families. My patient interactions are the best and I’m grateful for the flexibility that a dental house call practice allows for.

5. The Quality of Our Relationships Directly Affects the Quality of Our Lives

Relationships with patients are important. Patients need to know you’re on their side. It’s also important to build rapport with their families. These relationships also grow best within boundaries. My patients know not to call me just to chat on Saturday morning. I respect their time and they respect mine. Professional relationships are important, too. Of course it’s good to network and foster relationships with colleagues. This helps with referrals and it also is a great way to make actual friends. I’ve been lucky enough to make a number of new friends since AccommoDental started and I’ve learned a lot from everyone.

6. It’s Important to Follow our Mission and Not Just Chase Financial Gain

Oftentimes, if you’re following your mission, you will see financial gain. There’s no shame in earning a healthy living because you offer a valuable service to people. I’m not here hating on the exchange of money. I just want to remind you that pursuing ONLY money can lead to poor outcomes for your business. Chasing cash is a great way to begin to resent your business. If you’re not helping who you want to help and you’re working when you don’t want to be working, the cash won’t justify it. Build a business you LOVE, not a trap that you resent.

I hope these lessons resonate with you and inspire you to pursue your passions. Whether you decide to offer dental house calls or not, please consider supporting those in need by contributing to the Home Smile Care Foundation. Thank you!

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Produced by: Social Chameleon

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