Putting the Fun Back in Root Canal...
It is pretty common knowledge that few people enjoy going to the dentist. That is a common theme that we, in the dental field, hear day in and day out.
“Nothing personal, Doc, but I hate the dentist.”
I mean how could I, a dentist who is married to a dentist, take that statement personal?
On a side note here; I am madly in love with my own dentist. Even after all these years, two kids, and more ranch pets than I can remember the names of.
For me, with my family history of gum disease, heart disease, and strokes; quarterly teeth cleanings are quite comforting. I put on a movie or some music and kick back and relax. Or catch up with our hygienist (between scrapings, of course) on how her family is doing. When I’m done, I feel great. I even floss twice a day like I’m supposed to for the first week or so afterwards. Maybe a good teeth cleaning is some sort of weird dentist meditation ritual for me.
I’m a firm believer that one should have a career or a job that they love. We all spend too much time at work not to be doing something we are passionate about. I love dentistry and what we do. I enjoy fixing teeth. Immensely. Sure, there are pros and cons. That’s life. Fortunately, the pros far outweigh the cons.
So what makes dentistry fun?
First, and foremost, it’s the people. I get to work each day with my best friend and an incredible team. Our patients are the greatest. I get to hear all sorts of life lessons and jokes and stories about kids and grandkids and pets. It is not uncommon to hear laughter throughout our office. And there are often hugs. That’s something we’re proud of.
Then there are the cosmetic cases. Comprehensive orthodontics (braces), porcelain veneers, a new set of dentures, dental implants, or even a new front crown can drastically alter a person’s appearance. We reviewed a case last week where six veneers made someone look twenty years younger. No matter what you do for a living, it feels good to make someone smile.
And kids. Believe it or not, kids can be the coolest of patients. I’ve gotten way more high fives from doing glitter colored fillings on seven year olds (pain free, of course) that I’ll ever get from doing a perfectly fitting crown on an adult’s broken back tooth. Kids are the greatest.
Finally, there’s the simple pleasure of a job well done. Much of what we dentists do will only be appreciated or critiqued by ourselves or other dentists. Few patients are that concerned with the perfect shade on a back tooth colored filling or the perfect bite on a set of denture teeth or an implant placed in the exact right position. Dentists often deal in millimeters and microns that few patients will ever notice. We do notice, though.
A job well done for someone is often a reward in and of itself.
Until next week, keep smiling.
-Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at www.ParrishDental.com.