Tuesday, 27 October 2015


For many dental students about to graduate, the dream of setting up private practices is about to become a reality. They’ve worked hard and spent many (many) nights preparing to enter the dentistry profession, which is both challenging and gratifying. For retired dentist Dr. Leslie Griesdorf, the expectations of success were all too real at his graduation. With 30 years of experience under his belt, he shares useful information young dentists would be wise to keep in mind.

Dr Leslie Griesdorf

People like their teeth

It’s obvious, right? In the first years of dental school, fixing teeth seemed straightforward, almost mechanical. Just remember your education: Drill here, bond there, and cut that and you’re done. What seems mechanical in school isn’t always so in the real world. That patient likes their teeth, and they have fears and emotions over what you want to do.

The patient’s expectations and demands can affect your ability to concentrate and deliver good results.

Keep it simple

Sales representatives and dental equipment suppliers will probably tell you the benefits of getting the latest equipment. The interior designer will all too happily recommend the appealing furniture and carpets. They will all insist that having an appealing office is the way to go.

But it’s not always so. Your practice does not have to look like a 5-star hotel to bring in patients. You don’t want it to look drab, but going all out doesn’t always translate to more patients.

An effective team is essential

Patients want a dentist that is great at their job and will handle their issue well. While they may spend 30 minutes with you as you clean teeth, they might spend more time with your team – the assistant, receptionist, or hygienist. Suzie the assistant will probably socialize with them more than you do. Thus, it’s important that your team is made up of trained and professional people.

Dr. Leslie Griesdorf is a former dentist who operated a private practice until 2003, when he sold it a former classmate. He now trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange from his home in the city.