I became interested in dentistry after spending my Christmas vacations working in my dad’s dental office. I came home from my sophomore year in college at UGA and couldn’t find a job, so my dad put me to work in his practice.
I spent the first morning observing the tasks, duties and conversational skills of his chairside dental assistant. After lunch, he said, “You’re up, sit down and assist”. I had a crash course in dental assisting, but I also was able to observe what dentists really do every day to help people. I watched my father and his staff help people get out of pain, help them re-gain the ability to chew their food, and help them feel great about the way they look.

Seeing the impact my dad had on his patients was what really attracted me to dentistry. I saw that he and his staff could physically affect another person’s well-being, their self-confidence, and their dental health by the use of a particular skill set.

The detailed work also appealed to me, because I have always been a detail guy. But ultimately, I think the thing I liked the most was simply the ability to just help somebody achieve something they could not possibly do for themselves. The opportunity to help people and to heal people is a very appealing aspect of dentistry.

Today, we now know so much about the links between healthy teeth and gums and systemic diseases like cancer, heart disease, strokes and diabetes.  Dental care is not just about cavities.  We actually can save lives and increase the life expectancy of our patients.

Becoming a dentist took many years of education. And, a burden of educational and practice set-up debt. Practicing the Art of Dentistry is a challenge to be sure, but it has been well worth the effort.