Thoughts on Becoming Perfect: Part 1

June 27, 2018 Kelley Brummett DMD

Failure is a hard thing to accept in dentistry. This is especially true because what constitutes ‘failure’ can mean different things to different patients and different dentists.

Keep reading for an anecdote that puts failure in the dental practice into perspective:

Changing Your Perspective on Dental Failure

On my way home from work one day, I turned the radio off, looked through the rearview mirror, and thought, what a day! I had just left my dental office dealing with a “dental failure.” I felt disappointed that this sort of difficult situation had occurred.

Then, this question came to the forefront of my mind: Why do I think I can or should be perfect? With that question, a wonderful reminder appeared out of the blue.

Bill Davis had conversations with LD Pankey about his philosophy and wrote an amazing book that I refer to often. The story I remembered was about Dr. Pankey sharing his own failures. He had worked five cases out on the Monson articulator and said that he basically obliterated the patients’ occlusion.

He shared how all five of the cases failed. He then stated that four of the five patients stuck it out with him because they felt he was conscientious enough to see them through. That’s when it hit me! I realized I had been thinking about this perfection thing all wrong. And, in the voice of Richard Green in my head, I could change my perspective. 

What if I didn’t focus on being perfect, but on becoming perfect?

In my own personal religious growth, I am learning how to develop my physical, mental, and spiritual health. I can learn the principles and values inherent to my faith and develop my character, but I can never truly be perfect. What if I approach my dental life in the same way? On becoming.

To be continued…

Related Course

E4: Posterior Reconstruction and Completing the Comprehensive Treatment Sequence

DATE: July 31 2025 @ 8:00 am - August 4 2025 @ 2:30 pm

Location: The Pankey Institute


Dentist Tuition: $ 7400

Single Occupancy with Ensuite Private Bath (per night): $ 345

The purpose of this course is to help you develop mastery with complex cases involving advanced restorative procedures, precise sequencing and interdisciplinary coordination. Building on the learning in Essentials Three…

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About Author

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Kelley Brummett DMD

Dr. Kelley D. Brummett was born and raised in Missouri. She attended the University of Kansas on a full-ride scholarship in springboard diving and received honors for being the Big Eight Diving Champion on the 1 meter springboard in 1988 and in 1992. Dr. Kelley received her BA in communication at the University of Kansas and went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After practicing nursing, Dr Kelley Brummett went on to earn a degree in Dentistry at the Medical College of Georgia. She has continued her education at the Pankey Institute to further her love of learning and her pursuit to provide quality individual care. Dr. Brummett is a Clinical Instructor at Georgia Regents University and is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Dr. Brummett and her husband Darin have two children, Sarah and Sam. They have made Newnan their home for the past 9 years. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading and playing with her dogs. Dr. Brummett is an active member of the ADA, GDA, AGDA, and an alumni of the Pankey Institute.

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