I don’t usually write posts like this one. Usually I start off with a point I want to make…but today I just wanted to stay in the moment to describe how I feel about a great day in dentistry.
My goal I guess is for you to stop and appreciate what dentistry can do for you…because we don’t usually do that…but at the stage I am at in my career, I can sit back and smell the roses.
Yesterday my hygiene schedule was filled with patients who have been in my practice for over thirty years.
One of them, Tom, travels up from North Carolina three times a year for his maintenance. He never misses. Sometimes he flies in and combines the trip with seeing friends and relatives. Other times he goes on to New York to visit his son. Obviously Tom is more than a patient…he’s a friend, a member of our family.
I remember when he first came to us. He was overcome with fear from a lifetime of bad dental experiences. Slowly, over time we restored him. He gradually accepted more complex treatment including implants which were fairly new at the time. Tom’s dentistry has held up…because of his care and appreciation. That’s what makes me feel good.
My next patient was a woman I restored fifteen years ago. Same story. Although she lives a lot closer, she never misses her hygiene appointments. On random occasions she stops in and brings us wine or fruit platters.
She speaks very little English…but we communicate. I commented to her how beautiful her smile has remained and that the dentistry appeared as if I had placed it yesterday. Even I was amazed how well she took care of it.
Upon leaving, she stood up and gave me a hug just uttering the words, “Good Doctor, beautiful work.” At that point I was consumed by what this profession can bring…pure joy.
I am fond of using a quote: “One thousand compliment + 1 insult = 1 insult”
Knowing that…many times during a day or week when that one bad patient comes in, I still carry that patient home with me. I am human, after all.
But on this day I enjoyed one of those moments when I know why I practice dentistry.