"The World of Orthodontics and Business" - The Human Element

As a child, growing up, I remember that trips to the Orthodontist’s office were never a pleasant experience. If you know what I’m talking about, you’re probably one of the 99% human beings inhabiting this crumb of a planet, who grew up to a ‘normal’ childhood. A childhood that saw an Orthodontist’s office in the most grotesque way imaginable; tantamount to a horror flick straight out of Elm Street!

However, seldom do we realise that many of such negative childhood experiences have less to do with the actual setting, and more with the people involved within that setting. The same way, a bad shopping experience at a retail store may make you apprehensive about the product or service in the future. Though it’s actually the human element at play via incompetent customer service that is realistically at fault.

In essence, in the world of business and entrepreneurship, a negative experience has more to do with psychological triggers brought on by an unpleasant moment, rather than the very core philosophy of a business, practice or institution.

Like any professional discipline or field of mastery, there are a certain underlying elements that an Orthodontist needs to follow.

For example, the diagnosis and treatment process should generally address steps such as:

1. Carefully being able to analyse and identify the various characteristics of a malocclusion or dentofacial deformity

2. Intricately recognise and define the very nature of the problem, as well as the etiology if at all possible

3. Carefully and professionally design an effective strategy for treatment. This should be based on the customized needs and preferences of the patient

4. Before providing the treatment strategy to the patient, ensure that he/she understands the ramifications that the treatment may possibly incur.

Like any form of business, the Orthodontics field deals with human beings at the end of the day. Thus the crucial element of humanism in all aspects of its operational functioning cannot be compromised.

I remember, as a child I used to have fairly crooked teeth. I hated the site of the other kids at school wearing braces. I never really understood the value that wearing braces brought to a person’s entire lifestyle, until I started wearing them myself.

The quality of overall life increased manifold – dramatically.

Similarly, my father had his teeth fixed in his late 50s; a fairly old age you’d expect a man to go through treatment. However, with the right approach, knowledge and professional help, quality treatment can be accessed without risking one’s health.

According to the Founder and Chief Orthondotist Dr. Amer Hussain of the Edmonton, Alberta based practice Pure Orthodontics, “This is a very human field. We are dealing with people’s lives, their self-confidence, their ideals of beauty and the very sanctity of their overall oral, physical and emotional health. Having crooked teeth and misaligned bites can cause serious issues when eating food. They can cause tooth decay, problems chewing food, tooth grinding, and a lowered self-esteem”

As an entrepreneur, I believe the focus in any form of business should always be providing exceptional quality service that exceeds expectations of the customer. So that regardless of how many bad experiences a prospect has had in the past, your one true experience sweeps them off their feet and makes them a brand loyal patron for life!

The importance of leadership at any establishment cannot be discounted, as good leadership, vision and professional work ethic are the very fuel that drives passion.

When people put their trust, hopes and their very lives in your hands, the onus is on you and your entire establishment to ensure that you deliver a 100%. Nothing less!

Understanding your target audience is a very humanistic thing.


Because as human beings, we are creatures of emotion. We thrive on emotion, we grow in it and we embrace it for all of life’s endearing journey. Employing empathy and using it to satisfy the major pain-points of your customers, is a great way to not cement trust and build a brand name.

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.