Should GPs Implement Speciality Procedures Into Their Practices?

By Dr. Taher Dhoon

March 12, 2024

As I sit and reflect on my career, I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that not every slow day is a bad day. It used to stress me out immensely when I didn’t hit my production goals for the day, week, or month. Instead of opting for same-day fillings or crowns, what I wish I had considered was planning out the strategic implementation of specialty procedures into my practice, defining the goals for each specialty, and then building the team needed around each one. I wish I had taken a clinical day or one and a half day off and used that time to train my leadership team, so they could carry the torch and grow the practice while I ate breakfast with my kids and took them to school. I justified my consistent hustle as a winner’s “work ethic” and the excessive hours spent in the operatory as what it takes to be successful. I skipped breakfast and lunch and called it intermittent fasting. I tried to say yes to every same-day procedure when time did not exist in the schedule. One of my biggest regrets is that I have had several all-star team members burn out and leave because of the constant change and forced implementation of my “new ideas.” It kills me that they believed so deeply in me and the vision we were creating for our team, our patients, and our community, and this is absolutely one of the biggest prices that I had to pay along the way.

What I have figured out over the past 10 years of doing Full Arch procedures, as well as other specialties, is that the implementation of specialty procedures into a GP practice cannot be done after a weekend course. It needs intentional time set aside to think and plan, then dedicated time in the operatory to work, and the stomach lining to deal with the complications when things are not ideal, and then the courage to speak to the patients candidly, and to fix or improve things for free even years later when you are more skilled and have a deeper understanding. I firmly believe that everyone needs a coach whom they can text or call when something doesn’t make sense because there is no substitute for qualified experience and sage wisdom. I know that I would not have experienced as much brain damage or sleepless nights if I had had someone to guide me. I know that some of the people I lost along the way would still be with me today if I had had a clearer path laid out for myself and my team.

I now have the privilege of narrowing down my 2 clinical work days to IV sedations, sleep apnea, orthodontics, and full arch procedures. Some days I produce nothing and I go from room to room to teach and connect with my team. Some days I produce over 50k in the morning. I have a team of doctors and leaders that handle all the prosthetics, general practice work, HR, management, etc. I am more of a sounding board for the leadership team than a decision-maker, and I can’t tell you how liberating that feeling is. I come into the office non-clinically from 10 AM to 2 PM on Mondays. I work clinically on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8 AM to 5 PM, and I finish up the week on Thursday and Friday with a 10 AM to 2 PM schedule from home. Once you have a solid team and systems in place, specialty procedures will allow you to eclipse a week’s worth of production in one or two days.

I tell this story, intended to come across with humility, because I do many weekly coaching calls for CSI (Colorado Surgical Institute) and talk to doctors every week about what they want to create for themselves and what is currently holding them back, and I have found that there are so many parallels in everyone’s journey. Even though our journeys are absolutely unique, there is a shared experience among those who are trying to achieve similar things, and I am thankful for the DSN community for providing a place for us to help one another.

Attached are the X-rays from earlier on in my journey. Some of these cases I have revised over the years and some cases are still doing just fine all these years later. Just remember, that not every case you do will be perfect, but the only way to get proficient is to get started.

“More Implants is not always better.”

“Plan a better AP spread, remove extra implants, and don’t forget to reduce the posterior bone evenly.”

“Take PAs when you work.”

All the best,

Dr. Taher Dhoon
Dental Success Blackbelt Coach
Owner Colorado Surgical Institute

Reflecting on my journey, I’ve realized the invaluable support a community like DSN provides. It’s a place where sharing experiences, challenges, and successes transforms our professional and personal lives. If my story speaks to you, DSN might be the next step in your growth. Join us for a journey of collaboration and success!