After over forty years of practicing dentistry why would a reasonable person take the time to write a blog about dentistry? Perhaps one reason is that I am not a reasonable person and therefore am not bound by the normal restrictions of reason. The truth, however, is I love my profession and as long as I am not a liability to my patients and can provide service and can have a positive professional and personal impact on those patients, my team, my family and my community, I want to continue having fun being an “ivory carpenter” for as far into the future as I am able.
Some may ask how it is possible to do the same thing for forty years and still really love that thing. I completely understand that question. However, I have come to realize while I still practice dentistry I do not practice the same dentistry I was taught or practice the same way I did forty plus years ago. In many cases it would be malpractice to use the same materials, techniques and procedures I was taught as “state of the art” back then. For that reason the constantly evolving, ever changing art and science of dentistry is constantly refreshed and continually different; only the teeth are the same and the rest of the dental world has moved on or around them.
I am very lucky to have had fantastic mentors that taught me the art of living as well as the art of creating and innovating. One mentor introduced me to a quote of Francois Auguste Rene Chateaubriand from over two hundred years ago on the integration and mastery of the art of living and leisure.
“A master of the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.” Francois Chateaubriand
Another reason to take the time to write a blog about dentistry (or hopefully to read such a blog) is to share some beneficial knowledge related to our oral health. A great many of the disease entities discussed are completely preventable. My goal is to share knowledge that could virtually eliminate the medical necessity of my profession if applied. This is not to say there would be no need for dentistry as humans will likely always want to change their appearance for vanity if not health.