First, Happy New Year! I’m excited at the opportunities and the possibilities this year holds. I love learning new things. I once wrote a long list of things I’d like to learn in several areas of my life. Looking back on the years since I made that list, 2021 was a giant leap towards realizing many of those goals. From advanced new Invisalign training to dental implant fellowship awards; from personal growth and finding my individual operating styles to enhancements in lab technology, I think my continuing education this past year hinged on a core value of being “always inspired.” Here’s a quick rundown of some significant experiences.
I traveled to North Carolina in May to be trained on the most innovative improvements in Invisalign clear aligner orthodontics. We can drastically reduce the time spent in treatment using specific algorithms that improve predictability and results. We have seen cases go from 10 months to 5 months. Can you imagine improving your smile in less than 6 months? I look at three things when it comes to dental malalignment: 1. Stability – Will the teeth benefit from a more stable bite, with less premature wear, with less parafunction? 2. Hygiene – Will the teeth be easier to clean resulting in fewer cavities and healthier gums by aligning them properly? And 3. Esthetics – Will the smile appear fantastic, and the patient benefit from more personal confidence? Usually when the first two priorities are met, the last one falls in line.
Dental implantology has constantly fascinated me. I feel like it’s future-dontics. We now have the ability to restore individual teeth that have been lost. In October I finally completed a Fellowship in arguably the best implant program in the world. I was taught by the doctors that were the pioneers in dental implant surgery, research, and education. It was simply amazing. During several hundred hours of training, we discussed surgical techniques, beautiful results, avoiding and managing complications with implants, and technological advancements that improve accuracy and outcomes. I placed my first implant in 2019 and we’ve quickly finished over a hundred cases in the short time since then.
Also in October, I spent time in Scottsdale, Arizona learning about how my personal “why” can be achieved. I believe that everything I do helps to improve people’s lives. I do that by using simple and predictable results to help build lasting relationships of trust. Dr. Gary Sanchez is an amazing teacher and developed a program to help people dig deep and pull out their purpose with a vision of their potential.
December took me to Irvine, California where I was able to meet with Jim Glidewell, a dental lab legend. In June we implemented using an in-house mill developed by his laboratory that can produce the strongest same-day porcelain crowns ever made. I think it will revolutionize the industry. I think we will start to see more CAD-CAM technology in the future that will generate the best dental fillings and restorations we’ve ever seen.
We’re seeing beautiful advances across the entire dental field. I know I’m a bit of a dental nerd, and dentistry may be the last thing you want to talk about but rest easy knowing I’ll take care of learning all the new stuff. I love learning and I promise to continue to be “always inspired.”