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Inside dentistry: it’s the operator, not the equipment.

Giving someone Roger Federer’s racquet will not make that person Roger Federer.  Nor will giving someone Wayne Gretzky’s equipment make that person play as well as The Great One.


We’ve all seen advertisements from all sorts of businesses, dental and non-dental, promoting themselves as having “state of the art” equipment of one sort or another.  While this is a very appealing carrot to dangle in front of potential clients/patients, it also infuriates us because it devalues the role of the operator.  In dentistry, like in so many other disciplines, the quality of the work  is more dependent on the knowledge and skill of the operator, and less on the technology.

From our perspective, one can perform excellent dentistry with 20-year-old equipment, provided that the knowledge and technique is state-of-the-art.

Our focus is on keeping up on our knowledge, and being aware of new technology is only one facet of this.  Dentistry is changing towards a more customized form of management, with decision-making guided more and more by scientific evidence rather than by personal opinion (often masqueraded as “clinical experience”.)  Even individual procedures change as new data emerges.  Continuing Dental Education (CDE) is a pillar of good dentistry, and our efforts are geared towards exceeding minimum requirements.

Our commitment to you is to implement strategies that have been shown to provide a better result over the long run.  We look at clinical long-term data.  We read articles about new understanding of human disease and wellness.  We practice techniques over and over.  And we understand that everything is subject to change.

If new technology does develop that allows us to practice better dentistry, we will incorporate it if we can.  But, the bulk of the changes in dentistry are of the type that do not come with a shiny new gadget, and those are more fundamental.

We will leave you with a final scenario, plus a scene from one of Dr. Wong’s all-time favourite movies (youth has that effect on you.

Imagine a steering wheel of a Formula 1 race car.  If you sit behind this wheel, will you be a better driver?

Contact us for a personalized assessment of your oral health.  We’d love to be your dentist in Barrie.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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