Continuing the journey

Dr. Rich Mounce offers parting thoughts as he concentrates on private practice

Dr. Rich Mounce with his wife, Laura, and dog, Zinho

This is my final Endospective column. Moving forward, I will be focused entirely on private practice. It’s been a privilege to work with Lisa Moler (the owner of MedMark Media and publisher of Endodontic Practice US) and Mali Schantz-Feld (the managing editor). Endodontic Practice US is clinically relevant, timely, and accessible to GPs and specialists alike. Each issue is loaded with useful information written by passionate clinicians. Count me as a big fan of all the MedMark publications including Implant Practice US.

As endodontic clinicians, we live professionally in a very small space, literally a canal sometimes measured in hundredths of a mm. As such, it’s easy to lose track of the larger trends happening outside of our operatories. In no particular order, these are the future opportunities, headwinds, and undercurrents, which in my view currently present themselves. It is hoped that sharing these will spur thought and action by the reader.

  • Minimally invasive and single file philosophy will ultimately predominate endodontics. How could it not? It simply makes sense.
  • Heat-treated nickel titanium (NiTi) has become a commodity. This trend will accelerate. We will soon see a day where imported high quality heat-treated NiTi costs $10 a box. The days of paying a premium for new and innovative file designs is ending.
  • Amazon will enter the dental and medical supply market; expect massive disruption and price collapses in current sales channels.
  • Endodontic education will become more widely available on a global scale via the Internet, but for better or worse, corporations with a vested commercial interest will disseminate much of this education.
  • The rise of corporate dentistry in the United States will continue unabated; it is dismissed at one’s peril. Private practice, as we know it, will become an ever smaller segment of available dental service. Competition for endodontic referrals will become keener as corporations hold more “in-house.”
  • If Sonendo® develops an efficient obturation technology matching its potential to clean canals, all bets are off as to the future of the specialty.
  • Personally, I’d rather watch paint dry than read the biases, pontificating, and bickering on display on many endodontic message boards.
  • In my travels, I’ve met a lot of young and very confident endodontic residents and a lot of older endodontists who are quite humble and much more risk-averse. Graduating from a residency is a first step, not a destination.
  • Beware the guru; no one has a lock on endodontic technique or wisdom. Follow the money. It is disconcerting to hear and read comments by gurus speaking on issues and products with which they are entirely unfamiliar. Using ProDesign Logic (Easy Endo USA) as an example, if you haven’t used it clinically, how can one comment pro or con for its utility in single file endo? I use it and love it; it’s magic.
  • Every developed country in the world has clinicians of the highest caliber. Among many, Drs. Alex Chan (Hong Kong), Gary Glassman (Canada); Charlie Boveda (Venezuela), and Marga Ree (Holland), are all world-class and not necessarily household names. Consider attending meetings in other countries to catch these and similar top clinicians.
  • The only thing that ultimately matters is the patient in the chair. Are they comfortable, informed, and cared for as we would our family? Take care of the patient in the chair right now. The rest will take care of itself.
  • Nurture your health. Preserve your money. Family first. In the end there are no medals for the guy or gal who made the most money or filled the most canals. Enjoy the journey. See you at the Apex.

Dr. Mounce has lectured and written globally in the specialty. He can be reached at, Dr. Mounce has no commercial interest in any companies or products.

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