Your Slow Dentistry
questions answered

Joining the dynamic and fastest growing dentistry organisation in the world is exciting… and we know it might bring a whirlwind of questions and concerns.

We hear you!

That’s why we put together this comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section. If you still can’t find the answers you’re looking for, feel free to contact us.

About
Slow Dentistry

There are a growing number of clinics that seem to focus only on the “bottom line” – seeing as many patients as possible per day – which puts them and their patients at risk. Slow Dentistry is aimed at creating a global network of like-minded dentists, dental surgeons, clinicians, practice managers or small business owners and hygienists that want to distinguish themselves from their peers in their region by committing to practising a form of dentistry that is patient-centric in terms of hygiene and safety. To achieve that, 4 very simple and universally accepted cornerstones were created that can be applied in any country, under any circumstance and do not require any special technology or training. 

The premise is for this work ethic to be as ubiquitous as possible and allow the largest number of members to join. We believe that dentists who practise the 4 Slow Dentistry cornerstones, taught in every school around the world, care a little bit more for themselves, their team and their patients and, as such, practise higher standards of care. They are different from those that focus on filling out paperwork and performing treatments simply for profit. A Slow Dentistry clinic usually works with less stress and is more profitable in the long run. Slowing down also brings greater work-life balance and immediate benefits for mental health. We are not about working slow. We are about working safe.

Slow Dentistry was founded in 2015, in Switzerland, by Dr. Miguel Stanley and Nina Blaetler. Our website domain, slowdentistry.com, was first registered in 2010, and the European trademark was registered in March 2015. It started as a grassroots movement that was shared on stage thanks to Dr. Miguel Stanley’s extensive international lecture circuit, which contemplated advanced implant dentistry and cosmetic dentistry, backed by digital dentistry.

Dr. Stanley’s focus has always been on doing things properly and ethically, and whenever he spoke about Slow Dentistry, the feedback was always amazing. Soon, many like-minded clinicians demonstrated their interest in the movement and were invited to be Honorary Global Ambassadors and asked to help spread the word. Before the pandemic of 2020, the message of slowing down to properly disinfect rooms in between appointments was easily overlooked by many practitioners who were more focused on seeing as many patients as possible. We now know how crucial it is to properly disinfect between consultations. 

Nina Blaetler has extensive experience in education and is a lecturer at Zürich University, and it has been her lifelong ambition to build impactful organisations. After a bad experience at a dentist many years ago, who did not follow our simple cornerstones, she felt compelled to change this so that patients around the world all get a fair chance at safe and quality oral healthcare.

Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world. It also has incredibly strict regulations on foundations and non-profits. We at Slow Dentistry believe that having our headquarters based in a country that is safe and also has the strictest regulations on business and tax is directly correlated to what we do in dentistry. We need rules to be safe. We need regulations to be honest and effective.

Slow Dentistry is part of the Foundation for Excellence in Dentistry, which is dedicated to the vision that oral healthcare is an essential part of overall health and well-being. FED believes that access to oral healthcare should be considered a universal right and that the promotion of best practices and better awareness will contribute to the happiness and progress of everyone – both practitioners and patients.

The Slow Dentistry work ethic is supported by the 4 Slow Dentistry cornerstones:

  1. Room Disinfection
  2. Proper Anaesthesia
  3. Rubber Dam
  4. Informed Consent

Read more about our cornerstones here.

We have received hundreds of emails from dentists around the world affirming that if they were to practise Slow Dentistry, they would not be able to meet their financial obligations at the end of the month. Many clinics also work with government programmes where they are obliged to meet a certain standard of units of care per month. Dentistry should never be about just making profit or complying with a statistic. Dentistry is a noble science that is aimed at providing care to patients that trust us to do the best for them. A patient should not have to be concerned if you are going to make rash decisions that could lead to poor quality healthcare or worse, the possibility of cross-contamination. 

If you work in a clinic that does not allow you to place a rubber dam to protect your patient’s tooth from saliva, or from the materials you are using, then it might be time to change that. If you own a clinic that is more focused on seeing 30-40 patients a day per chair in order to keep costs down and profits stable, then it might be time to change your business strategy – this is not what you learned at dental school or university, and your patients deserve basic quality care. 

Implementing the Slow Dentistry cornerstones adds no more than an extra 15-20 minutes to each consultation time and dramatically improves the levels of quality and safety, while also reducing stress in the workplace. Perhaps you might have to raise your fees a bit to compensate for this. Even if you have to charge extra for a rubber dam, feel free to do so but at no point should it not be made available to patients. Maybe you will have to start talking to your patients about safety more. Especially after the global pandemic, we are certain that patients do not want to take risks with disinfection protocols. Safe, trustworthy and gold standard oral healthcare is crucial to patients.

In the long run, Slow Dentistry clinics are more productive, more profitable and have better results. They also have happier patients. Maybe it’s time to make a change?

Many practitioners have alerted us to the fact that they have already been practising the 4 cornerstones throughout their careers. They feel that they shouldn’t have to pay to become a member of an organisation that is doing something that is part of their personal philosophy. To all those dentists, we applaud you! However, you are probably alone in your region and have difficulty explaining to your patients why other clinics can offer cheaper prices for what seems to be the same procedure. By becoming a Slow Dentistry member, you can very easily explain to your patients that the extra time you invest comes at a price. But never at the cost of their safety or hygiene. 

It becomes a very practical way to explain that clinics offering similar, yet much cheaper services, are most probably cutting corners on safety measures such as the rubber dam or disinfection times in between appointments and that is why they can charge less. Joining us will help you win this discussion.

Dentistry is becoming more and more advanced in terms of technology. This is fantastic, as we now have tools that can help us speed up and diversify our protocols and processes. It might seem confusing to have the entire industry talking about the benefits, in terms of speed, that technology can afford us and then be a part of the Slow Dentistry Global Network. One thing we have learned from all of our members is that it takes a lot of time to adequately select the right technology for your clinic, to set it up, to properly use it, and then to train your team. Most patients take things for granted. The truth is, for every new piece of technology in a clinic, things actually tend to slow down in the beginning precisely because it takes time to adapt.

It takes time for you to implement these technologies into your workflow and really maximise them. It takes time to properly use an intraoral scanner. It takes time to properly analyse a cone beam CT or design a smile on a specific software. Yet all of these things greatly improve the treatment workflow, quality and outcome. Yet you have no way of explaining to your patient how valuable that extra time really is. This is what Slow Dentistry is all about. Giving value to that time.

Compliance is one of the most common questions we get. Until we have devised mechanisms using the Internet of Things that can monitor and control, without being invasive or infringing upon privacy, we will be dependent on the integrity of our members to commit faithfully to their word, based on the ethical principles that guide all doctors and dentists, going back to our Hippocratic oath “do no harm”. 

Our 4 cornerstones help you keep track of this. By applying them, you will be in effect, “doing no harm”. We also believe that thanks to our continuous promotion, aided by our member clinics around the world, the public will gain a bigger perception of what we stand for. As such, in due course patients will be able to spot the dos and don’ts of a member clinic. Much like they do if a clinic promotes reduced waiting times, yet they are kept waiting. The public is becoming more aware of their rights, and at Slow Dentistry we urge patients to share both their negative and positive experiences. Be sure to drop us a line.

Dentists have one of the most stressful professions in the world, suffering from chronic burnout, depression and even suicide. Slow Dentistry believes that it is not the profession that is causing extreme stress, but the way that we manage our day-to-day practice. We believe that it is the over-stacking of patients and trying to completely fill our agendas striving for profit, credits or even simply to help others. 

Whatever the reason, the truth is as humans, and as dentists, we cannot take on such heavy workloads with such a difficult and complex job at hand. Especially because we are also treating humans, and each patient is a completely different individual with different energies, health issues, psychological issues and the array of problems they could have in their mouth is immense. 

In addition to improving the standards of oral healthcare in practices across the globe, thanks to our easy to implement cornerstones, Slow Dentistry wants to ensure that by slowing down, you and your team will have more time to take a breather and engage with your patients, experience less stress, enjoy your practice more and establish a strong work-life balance with immediate benefits for your mental health. Slow Dentistry always gives you something to smile about.

The Slow Dentistry Mental Health Hotline was created by a group of caring professionals within our network that are committed to talking to any member that is suffering from burnout, extreme stress, depression or worse, in complete confidentiality. We have set up a list of colleagues that you can email at any time with your problems and to whom you can safely give out your WhatsApp number. They will reach out within 24 hours to talk to you and help you with your issues. Slow Dentistry is 100% committed to the mental wellbeing of all our practitioners.

Membership

Becoming a member of the Slow Dentistry Global Network brings many benefits. First and foremost, you will be supporting a non-profit foundation whose goal is to spread the message of safety, hygiene and good practices to the general public. There is no other organisation in the world today that has as its primary purpose improving the public’s perception of what a quality dental appointment is all about. 

We are certain that you agree that every patient has the right to a disinfected chair for their dental appointment, and to ask for a rubber dam when undergoing a deep filling or a root canal procedure. Yet, in too many clinics around the world, this is not offered or is not even part of the discussion. By signing up, you will be joining a network of like-minded practitioners that share a common goal: to eradicate bad dentists from the industry. To put trust and confidence back in the practitioner-patient relationship. We are currently creating the Human Bill of Rights for dental appointments. 

In addition to being an internationally certified practice in excellence and safety, you will be an active part of a network of outstanding professionals who support each other. Being part of the Slow Dentistry network is truly inspiring. See more information here.

Once you become a Slow Dentistry member, you have immediately set yourself apart from your peers and… you’ll benefit from many advantages. You will be placed on a geolocator on our platform so that patients looking for a Slow Dentistry clinic can easily find you and this information can be easily integrated with your own website, alongside digital graphic elements that we will provide you with. You will also benefit from social media coverage on our different channels, access to exclusive in-person and online events, special discounts and offers on innovative technologies from our global partners, networking with other local and international associations and access to their offerings, and so much more to come.

The Slow Dentistry accreditation is presented as a certificate for our members: a wonderful reminder of what you stand for as a dentist in the current state of global healthcare. Every time you see it displayed in your clinic, you’ll be proud of your daily contribution to excellence in dentistry. Every time your patients see it displayed in your clinic, they’ll know that the focus is on them, they’ll know that only high-quality care and support awaits them.

It’s very simple to apply to our network. Click here – MEMBERSHIP – follow the simple steps and commit to enforcing and practising our 4 basic, easy-to-implement cornerstones at your clinic. Payment is hassle-free via smartphone, tablet or desktop and can be done in a few minutes. You will immediately receive an email with all the information you need and once your payment is processed, your certificate, pins and plaque will be sent. The process is quick, easy and we’re here to help every step of the way.

Every year, at the date of your membership, you will automatically receive an email with all the necessary information for renewal, including payment instructions. If you do not wish to renew, you can email to cancel at any time, preferably before the renewal date. Membership fees are annual and refunds are not possible once payment is processed.

Marketing & Communication

As a global network, we are also growing online and are thoroughly invested in our social media where we can connect with all our worldwide members and bring everyone closer together. Be sure to connect with us on your platform of choice – Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube – and ensure that when you fill out your information, you include all your social media links as well. As a member, you and your clinic will be promoted on Slow Dentistry’s social media pages. Together we are building a global community, both online and offline.

All funds accrued through memberships, sponsorships and donations are meticulously managed and regulated by the Swiss government. As a non-profit organisation, these funds are carefully allocated to management and marketing of Slow Dentistry.

Marketing for Slow Dentistry is where we spend most of our capital. So it’s very important that we grow. The more members we have, the more investment can be made and the bigger the impact we can have. Our main focus is communicating directly to the public – raising awareness about our values and their rights. We tend to market most in countries where we have members. We currently invest in online advertising through Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google. In the future, we aim to invest in advertising in specialised news outlets and mainstream media.

Please feel free to repost any of our social media publications on your own accounts – it is the easiest way to support Slow Dentistry on a daily basis and the quickest way to reach more people around the globe. Be sure to sign up to receive our newsletter as well, and send it to your colleagues if you think they’d be interested in receiving it. As a Slow Dentistry member, if you have access to the press in any country around the world, please reach out to us and we will provide you with anything you need to get this important message across to the general public. Thank you!

If you are an educator, we salute you! First and foremost any clinician that gives up their time to help others grow and learn to be better professionals is worthy of our respect. We understand that as an educator you have a responsibility to teach ethics and core values that are fundamental to dentistry. “Do no harm” is the foundation of those values and our 4 simple cornerstones exist to help.

If you have a course or training centre that resonates with these values and would like our support, then please let us know. We will present your request to our advisory board and if we believe your core values are aligned with ours, then we will be more than happy to promote your course in our newsletter, as well as provide any promotional materials you might need. It is also possible to reach out to our Honorary Global Ambassadors, who will be more than happy to record a video message on the topic of your course. You must be a Slow Dentistry member to benefit from this privilege.

If you have been invited to give a lecture on any topic related to dentistry and wish to talk about Slow Dentistry we will be more than happy to share with you some master slides for your keynote presentation. All you have to do is email us and we will support you anyway we can. Slow Dentistry is all about cross-promotion. You support us and we will support you, ensuring that all of the leading dentists that are part of our global network and companies that sponsor us have access to your work.

There are currently no courses of any kind being provided directly by Slow Dentistry anywhere in the world. However, we actively cross-promote the work being done by leading institutions and organisations around the globe, as well as speakers and courses. These are sponsored by Slow Dentistry, but not organised by us. Unfortunately, there are a few organisations out there claiming to be part of Slow Dentistry and trying to benefit from our incredible network, but who are not on our list of valued and trusted partners. If you have signed up for a course believing it to be a part of our Global Network, please verify with us.

Sponsors

In recent years there have been many individuals that have tried to trademark our name, opening academies and creating social media pages using the term “Slow Dentistry”. Our European trademark was registered in March 2015 and we are not affiliated to anyone. We have no partnerships with any organisation containing the name Slow Dentistry. We do, however, have partnerships with multiple, globally recognised institutions and brands that recognise and support our role and positive impact in global dentistry. Consult our list of valued and trusted partners here.

Slow Dentistry is operated and managed by a non-profit foundation based in Switzerland. As such, we are carefully monitored and financially controlled. All companies that wish to help sponsor our cause are welcome to do so. We do not accept all donations, as we must ensure that the company’s mission is aimed at improving the standards of care through their products, services, software and/or technologies. 

We are particularly attentive to companies whose mission statement is to lower carbon emissions and work towards a sustainable future. Equally important is that they try to maintain a sense of inclusion so that all dentists around the world can aspire to work with their products. We currently offer a series of benefits for companies that wish to make a donation – please contact us so we can send you more information.

Supporting Slow Dentistry is a sign that your company focuses on not just providing great tools for dentists, but is also keen on making sure they take the time to train, implement and correctly use these resources with their patients and teams. Many companies are frustrated when they understand that doctors who have acquired their products fall short of using them correctly, due to the lack of time in their busy workflow. Slow Dentistry clinics make sure that the appropriate amount of time is given to the products and technologies that are designed to bring excellence to oral healthcare. 

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