Taking the High Road to Better Dentistry with Dr. Bryan Stimmler

Sometimes the biggest challenges we deal with as dentists are moral dilemmas. It can be tempting not to admit to making a mistake—especially when you know a patient wouldn’t know the difference—or to advise someone to undergo an expensive procedure they don’t really need for the sake of making a higher profit. We’ve all been there, including Dr. Bryan Stimmler.

The owner of North Brooklyn Dental Care, Bryan is a big proponent of sharing the challenges we face as dentists, not just the successes. In fact, helping others to learn from his mistakes was his goal in starting The Better Dentistry Podcast. In this episode, Bryan opens up about the difficulties he’s faced along his dental journey, his own major mistakes, and the important lessons he learned as a result.


Key Quotes:

  • “I don’t care that you can do veneers, you know, I can do veneers too … I want to see a screw-up. I want to learn from your mess-ups.”
  • “There’s not a healthy communication on the challenges that [dentists] go through—whether it’s life or the business side of things or the clinical side of things—and we need to open up some discussion on that.”
  • “To be a good dentist, to do better dentistry, you’ve got to get your ego out of the way and you gotta do what’s right. … Better dentistry is getting back in there [after a mistake] and getting it to where it’s supposed to be and then swallowing your pride and apologizing to all of the patients that are waiting for you because you screwed up.”
  • “There’s a quote that kind of goes along the lines of, when you think your life is tough, someone’s always had it worse.”
  • “When someone’s quiet a lot of times, and then they dish out just a one-liner—those are the ones you need to listen to.”
  • “I hear from residents all the time that they don’t feel like they’re learning anything, and when you’re in the thick of things, you don’t even realize what you’re learning. We’re watching you work, and I can see your clinical proficiencies from when you started until when you ended, so you are learning, whether you think you are or not.”
  • “In hindsight, [my associateship] was so valuable that I’ve actually told residents, go find a bad associateship. If you have the intentions of opening up your own office, go see what the worst of the worst is. … You’ll find out everything that you shouldn’t be doing, and that’s much more valuable than getting an associate position at a place that is a well-oiled machine and you don’t even know what they’re doing that’s so good.”
  • “I always tell people to find a mentor. … Find some mentorship and read a lot.”

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