It was May of 1983 when I graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry but my dental education races on. My team and I learn through our patients and the challenges they bring us on a daily basis. I share in an educational give-and-take with a select group of dental colleagues I associate with both professionally and socially. And I learn away from my office at the assorted lectures and workshops I attend each year.
Our commitment to the CEREC same-day, CAD-CAM dental restorative system back in 2010 was an educational pursuit that has yielded huge advantages for our patients.
I started this year with a new commitment to education and training that will allow us to carry our CEREC advantage much further. Since January I’ve spent 88 hours completing Dr. Arun Garg’s Dental Implant Continuum. This intensive but exciting program will empower me to utilize our CEREC technology to reverse-engineer the precision guidance necessary for the ideal placement of dental implants. Dr. Garg is a world renowned dental surgeon and educator based in Miami, Florida. From the biology of osseointegration, to suturing and soft tissue management, Dr. Garg’s continuum brings new meaning to the notion of comprehensive continuing education.
Dr. Garg has embraced the notion of paying forward some of the gifts he’s received through his surgical and educational career. He has established a state-of-the-art dental surgery clinic in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. It is here that Dr. Garg, his team and his students donate time and materials in meeting the considerable dental needs of people from all around the Dominican Republic.
I have accepted Dr. Garg’s invitation to join him at his clinic. I leave in the morning to spend three days in the oral surgery clinic where I’ll be removing hopelessly diseased teeth. I’ve been promised that I will come home fatigued by the intensity of the need, yet exhilarated through my contribution. Between me and several others staffing the clinic this week, a multitude of people will be freed from pain and dental disease.
But Dr. Garg’s clinic doesn’t stop there. After a proper period reserved for healing, patients are invited back to the dental clinic for the placement of dental implants in the zones where teeth had previously been removed. Ultimately the patients served at the clinic go from disease to health, and from health to new-found chewing efficiency. Pain and disease are traded for smiles and proper dental function. I’m already looking forward to my return to the clinic for three days in June when I will participate in the ongoing implant placement efforts.
From the University of Michigan School of Dentistry to the Dominican Republic and back home again to my Mason, Ohio office, education marches on and our patients are the winners.