Discover the Life-Changing Power of a Smile
Frequently when I meet new people the topic of work comes up. They always ask, “What kind of work do you do?” The reply, “I’m a prosthodontist” is so inadequate because it doesn’t begin to explain what I really do for a living and nobody has even heard of a prosthodontist. I have tried explaining it many ways. “Prosthetic Dentistry.” “Crowns, bridges, dentures and implants.” “Complex dentistry that most general dentists don’t want to tackle.” “Esthetic and reconstructive dentistry.” Although these statements are all accurate, they do not adequately express the true significance of the work that I do.
Dentistry is both art and science. The tools and principles of crowns, bridges, dentures, and implants constitute the important science of dentistry, but it is the art that enriches and enlivens the soul of those touched by dentistry. Dentistry is my paintbrush. My patients are my canvas. My purpose is to touch the heartstrings of each individual and inspire them to live a fuller life. Through dentistry, we inspire hope, health, and happiness. This is the core of transformational dentistry: the union of sound scientific principles with the emotional connection only possible between two people striving to create a bigger, more meaningful life.
For the last decade, I have had the opportunity to observe thousands of people as they insist on retaining the status quo and others who choose the path of transformational dentistry. For many people, the psychological impact of a dissatisfying smile or missing teeth is sinister and subterranean. They don’t realize the subtle adjustments they make in their life to feel comfortable in social settings. Or they don’t realize the adaptations they make in their diet just to get enough nutrition. Some people ultimately become aware that when they look in the mirror they feel shame because of their smile or they realize their social decisions are affected by their difficulty eating. These are people who can experience the true transformative power of dentistry. The transformation is just as much mental and emotional as it is a physical restoration of one’s teeth.
Let me illustrate with a quick story. I recently met a sixty-year-old woman in my practice. Despite brushing and flossing and regular dental care, her teeth were deteriorating at a rapid rate. She said to me, "I just feel so alone. I don't know anybody who has problems like this, and I'm sure you haven't seen anybody who has a mouth as bad as mine." Her comments illustrate the sinister effects that her failing teeth have had on her mind for decades. I assured her that I have seen mouths in far worse condition and that she's not alone; that, in fact, I'm writing a book to describe the process we have used to help many people in a very similar situation.
This book details the process and some of the solutions that are available for people facing a dissatisfying smile or failing teeth. It allows you, the reader, to walk through the dental processes from hopelessness to success. Offering you a vision of the process helps you to be a more active participant, which in turn increases your chance of success. You can't make it through Transformational Dentistry as a casual observer. You're all in. If followed intelligently, the challenges of aesthetics and tooth loss can be solved predictably, over and over, whether the situation is the most dire or simple. There are always solutions. This can give many patients, like you, comfort and assurance about your endeavors.
I hope to connect with those of you who are looking for a transformation and guide you through the process to make certain you get the smile you want and deserve. This book will highlight the emotional journey of dentistry rather than the technical process and remind you that you are not alone, that other people have been in your situation. You can gain hope from the stories shared within these pages that you too can find solutions. The purpose of the book is to give you the confidence you need to get the teeth you want. I hope this book can be a tool to help you recognize an intelligent approach to dental problems, so that you can evaluate how your plan is developing and whether or not you’re setting yourself up for success. If nothing more, I hope to inspire you to choose a skilled and knowledgeable practitioner with a good strategy, to avoid wasting your energy and your money, and sparing you the emotional pain that comes with a disappointing outcome. There is a clear path on how to get the smile of your dreams, and that path consistently leads to a whole smile and a whole person. It’s time to take the first step.
Let’s revisit the opening question. What is transformational dentistry? It is the process by which we create hope, health, and happiness through the re-creation of smiles and dental function. This is transformational dentistry.