Those who have followed this blog over the past 6 months know that I am passionate about 2 aspects of dentistry. First is my practice- and the care that I give to my patients which strives to be state of the art as well as being customized to the needs of each individual patient. My second passion revolves around teaching- whether it at the University of MD Dental school in the clinic, or in Scottsdale at the Spear Education Center. I truly love being able to guide students along the path that they have chosen, whether it is as a dental student or a dentist who has been practicing for awhile and wants to evolve into a more effective clinician.
So it is with extreme pride and excitement that I am announcing my new role as an instructor with the Johns Hopkins General Practice residency program. This involves working with recent graduates who have chosen to study at Hopkins to further their skills in the multi-disciplinary field of General Dentistry. Specifically, my role is to provide a window into “the real world” as well as to introduce the concepts of Complete Dentistry.
Dental School teaches and most dentists practice “single tooth” dentistry or crisis oriented care. What this means is that when a tooth breaks, the dentist fixes it and then the patient waits until the next tooth breaks or decays. Many times, this becomes an endless cycle of putting out fires and emergency care. Complete Dentistry is more oriented to evaluating the mouth as an entity- starting with a Complete Examination that identifies teeth with potential problems as well as diagnosing the factors that have caused some of the damage (i.e. teeth grinding, TMJ issues, gastric reflux or acid destruction, bite discomfort etc.) Add cosmetic evaluation and recommendations to the mix and you begin to see how complex the world of Complete Dentistry can be.
Being able to teach these principles to newly graduated dentists is a dream come true. It is truly a win/win situation- I love to teach; the students gain a different perspective of dental practice and, most importantly, their patients get superior dentistry. I just love a happy ending- don’t you?