The Obstacle is the Path

Over the past year, I’ve given enough speeches and presentations to be able to group them into three basic categories:

  1. Technical
  2. Instructional
  3. Motivational

Technical lectures deal with skill-learning, and are oftentimes accompanied by hands-on workshops. These are the easiest to prepare for, but can’t be reliably managed both in terms of time and outcomes. Designing a single crown in CAD can either be really easy or can take forever, and it depends entirely on the current skill level of the student.

Instructional lectures are knowledge-based learning that span from the basics to the extremely specific. They are the 300-plus-slide powerpoint monstrosities, and can take forever to research because everything needs to be evidence-based. Really don’t enjoy these too much, and yet they are the most essential in learning digital dentistry.

Motivational speeches; now these are the fun ones. The challenge during preparation isn’t in the material, because I typically favor breadth over depth in these types presentations. Rather, it’s all about how to convey the material in a logical and simplified discourse that doesn’t offend the audience’s intelligence.

Having researched the demographics prior to our small lecture this past weekend, I knew communication with the audience wouldn’t be a walk in a park. The southern cities have a completely different dental culture than the north, and this dichotomy in medical attitudes and behaviors isn’t limited to dentists, but to dental technicians and patients as well. When the environment has prematurely convinced you that digital dentistry is but a luxury, its necessity is kind of a hard sell. But that’s what makes it fun.

With the dam breaking apart with the inevitable flooding in of digital destruction, why drown when you can learn how to swim ahead of time? And that’s why we do what we do.