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Peter Blanchard, D.D.S., Westborough, MA

Peter Blanchard, D.D.S.How has your PBRN experience benefitted you professionally?

Participation in a PBRN has raised our practice to a whole new level. We tell patients about the PBRN, we have information about the initiative in the waiting room, and people in town sometimes hear about it through word of mouth. I think the extra attention helps to differentiate our practice from a run-of-the-mill dental office. Our patients seem impressed that we are participating in nationally funded research to improve outcomes in dentistry.

Are you in a large practice?

Yes, I work in a large, multi-specialty group practice. The group dynamic gives me a lot of daily interaction with my colleagues. That said, these interactions only go so far. For me, joining the PBRN has opened up a whole new avenue of learning. This new knowledge has resulted in more reliable outcomes, better predictable outcomes, and actually less-invasive care for many patients. For example, through our PBRN participation, we found a simple and effective way to treat Class V tooth hypersensitivity, which affects many patients. I’ve read that it takes on average 17 to 20 years to move research from the laboratory bench into practice. If you think about it, participation in the PBRN allows you to translate some of this new knowledge immediately and to do so for the absolute benefit of your patients.

Has it been challenging to incorporate the PBRN studies into a group practice?

Actually, it’s been very easy. We’ve involved all of the other dentists as PBRN investigators, and the hygiene staff has been just incredibly enthusiastic about recruiting patients. In fact, they’re the ones most responsible for screening new patients and giving them the informed consent and protocol information. I think the enthusiasm stems from the point that I made earlier. The PBRN differentiates our practice from the others. The staff is proud to participate in the network. What happens I think is the everyday routine can get old after awhile. The PBRN is just something that lifts the practice and makes it more vibrant.

You’ve been in practice since 1982. What would you advise a young dentist about participating in a PBRN?

View it as an opportunity. Get involved early in your career and contribute as much as possible to advance the profession. It will help you avoid the day-to-day isolation that many dentists encounter in private practice. For new graduates, I think it’s a daunting task to open a practice, run a business, and still stay current on the literature. The PBRN is a perfect avenue to foster professional growth.

Peter Blanchard, D.D.S.
Dentaquest Oral Health Center
Westborough, MA

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This page last updated: February 26, 2014