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T-A-O – One Definition

February 27, 2010

Filed under: ARTICLES,Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Barry @ 10:58 AM

Check out this 2006 article from the Pankeygram.

The Tao of Dentistry
Contributed by Dr. Barry F. Polansky, Cherry Hill, NJ

In ancient China, the keeper of the Imperial Library, Lao Tzu, was famous for his wisdom. Perceiving the growing corruption of the government, he left for the countryside. On his way, the guard at the city gates asked Lao Tzu to write out the essence of his understanding to benefit future generations. Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching and was never heard of again. The “Tao Te Ching” (also called “The Tao”) is one of the most influential books in history. It is the source of famous Chinese sayings such a “Even a 1,000 mile journey starts with a single step.”

In the Tao Te Ching, “tao” is generally used to indicate the unseen, underlying law of the universe from which all other principles and phenomena proceed. It is described as unnameable, unfathomable and inexhaustible. Taoists attempt to be one with this principle. In my practice of dentistry, I have experienced three principles that underlie “the way” of patients choosing the best dental care for their oral health circumstances and then doing their part to maintain that dentistry. I call these “the TAO of dentistry,” and they are

  • Trust
  • Appreciation
  • Ownership

I like working with and for patients who trust me. Trust does a lot for mutual respect. It makes the process of dentistry easier. I don’t undervalue the trust it takes for you to allow someone into the private space of your mouth. Dentists truly appreciate the faith our patients put in our expertise, ethics, and compassion.
We live in a world where many forces are attempting to commodify just about everything.
When you choose treatment, we want you to appreciate (desire and value) that treatment, with confidence that it is right for you. That’s why we make time for conversation.

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