A couple of weeks ago I was in a seminar with a group of dentists. Amongst them was one of the most prominent dental researchers and clinicians of our time, Dr. Dennis Tarnow. From afar, he seems unapproachable and slightly intimidating. But up close and personal, he’s so nice. He gave one of the best lectures that I’ve heard in years. So, throughout the 4 days span, we struck up a friendship. I was able to pick his brain and ask questions concerning different facets of dentistry. He talked about the progress that dental researchers are making with rebuilding a tooth and all the futuristic stuffs that you see in the movies. I also heard from my colleagues about their wide range of experiences throughout their career. It was a very educational extended weekend.
Since it was only a small group of people, we were given insights into the future of our livelihood, where it is leading and how we’re going to get there. With modern technologies and improved research abilities, today’s ways of doing things will change in a few years. I am looking forward to the future when we are able to eradicate dental decay. Maybe not in my lifetime, but definitely in the next generation or so. Dentistry is hopping on the innovative bandwagon to incorporate the latest technologies in the profession. Just within the last 7 years, we have changed in many ways, from the way we take impressions for crowns, fillings, etc. to the way we rebuild those crowns, fillings and etc. Appointments went from weeks to hours. X-rays went from film to digital to 3D. We can even reconstruct your facial bones in one scan and determine the treatment for your dental rehabilitation. This was unheard in the last decade, yet we are still improving .
As we progress onward, I truly hope they invent an automatic flosser for patients. Or, at least a toothpaste that eliminates brushing for you, as brushing at night seems to be a difficult task to execute after dinner. With all the advancement in dentistry, can you imagine in medicine? Maybe one day we will have a cure for all types of cancer and diseases. Maybe one day the MRI scan won’t sound like someone is using a jackhammer pounding the metal right outside your head. But until then, please continue to floss and brush at night with fluoridated toothpaste, don’t try to walk while on Benadryl at night (office inside joke) and always keep making new friends even if you end up being the chauffeur.
The Chauffeur joke:
A speaker went from place to place to give his same speech one night. Then on his last stop, he was so tired he asked his chauffeur to give the speech instead as no one knows how he looks like. Hesitantly, the speaker’s chauffeur agreed to switch place with the speaker. He presented the lecture well and it was well-received. Afterwards, someone in the audience raised their hand to ask a question. Without hesitation, the chauffeur acting as the speaker replied, “That question is so easy, even my chauffeur in the back can answer it.”
Dr. Tarnow joked that I was his chauffeur throughout the 4 days course. Then in the end, I literally became his chauffeur as I ended up taking him to the airport. His taxi did not come on time and his flight was about to take off. He barely made it to the airport but he made it.