Thursday, March 23, 2017

Made My Day

I have been treating a patient who is having full mouth  implant supported restorations. Presently, it is the  most sophisticated restorative dental treatment that a restorative dentist like me performs. Despite the complexity of this treatment, this is very similar to what I have been doing for almost 20 years.

As you know, I like treatment that I do to be successful and go as  smoothly as possible  and when it doesn't, I have to work harder to accomplish the task.

Yesterday, my patient, who is extremely grateful for what we have done for him said,

"The last time that someone took care of me with your passion and in a place that I felt cared for like here was when an old guy restored my old Triumph (A British 'sports' car). The paint job that he did still looks fabulous and the car looks like it came just came off of the showroom."

I am so honored and pleased when a patient recognizes that all I want to do is to take care of you in a proficient, honest and ethical way. My job is to make you happy and your mouth healthy.

We obviously hit the mark with this patient.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What People That KNOW Say

Respect from people in one's industry is vitally important to success. There is an ad on TV which says, "People that know, know BBDO." If no one knows you, it makes no difference how capable you are in your business because no one knows.

In dentistry, I am moderately well known among the people that know:
 1. I won the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Smile Contest almost 20 years ago.
2.  I founded (with Dr. Fred McIntyre and Dr. Goldberg) the first Esthetic Center within a Dental School at SUNY/Buffalo.
3. I have approximately 7,000 hours of Post Doctoral education.
4. I have frequently lectured locally and mentor young dentists here and internationally
5. I have posted our cases on well known international dental forums for almost 20 years to wide acclaim.
6. One of the foremost dental educators and renown clinical dentists made the statement on his video blog that, "Jerry Benjamin is a superb dentist from Upstate NY who really believes in excellence."

I  want you to know that YOUR dentist is not 'just' a corner dentist.

I was in Chicago studying at the Cosmedent Center for Education (CCE)last week and reconnected with some people that I have known for a long time. One of them is the director of  education for the CCE. Erika has been with the CCE since the Center opened almost 20 years ago and this is what she said in an email yesterday:

Good morning Dr. Benjamin! 
Thank YOU so much for your cherished presence during the course!
I am really glad that you were able to take Corky’s course and to get to know him a little better.
It really is hard to believe you’ve been coming to the CEE and using the products for as long as you have been.
Your patients are sooooo lucky to have you as their dentist and the dental profession is greater for you being in it.
It really went by way too fast. 
May be meet again for more storytelling and laughter!

Your number one fan always,

I am thrilled that people who know dentistry recognize the fact that taking care of my patients is what I do.

As always, thank you for TRUSTING  us to take care of you.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Human Decency

I was in Chicago to study at the Cosmedent Center for Excellence. I have been studying at the CCE for the entire 18 years that the center has been at 401 Michigan Avenue and, in fact, I had been studying with Cosmedent for 2 years before the Education Center was started.  The Center brings in dentists who are among the best in the world at direct resin bonding including Newton Fahl, the Brazilian dentist who IS the best in the world.

Class ended at noon on Saturday and I took a short walk on  Michigan Avenue, commonly called the Miracle Mile because of all the exclusive stores and hotels on this road...Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Rolex, Apple etc are all here. Also on the street was an elderly gray haired  lady, sitting on the cold pavement next to a tree, with her crutches near her feet. She desperately needed a handkerchief to wipe her nose. Also next to her was a paper cup in her lap for people to put money in; and in a little voice she repeated, "Help me, please."

I know that many beggars do quite well and, in fact do as well as if they had a 'real job' so that many people feel that they are being scammed. This old lady was not one of them. Yes, I understand that many street people are mentally ill but that does not make me feel better to see that old lady. I initially walked past her by 20 feet, reached into my pocket and took out a $5 bill and walked back to her and put the money in her hand rather than the cup. She looked at me and mouthed the words, "Thank you," still needing a Kleenex.

When I reached my hotel room, I turned on the news to see that 'Wheels On Meals" was being severely cut. This is a program to deliver 2 meals a day to elderly shut ins that can no longer fend for themselves.

I am sorry but where is our humanity. This is not a Liberal or Conservative issue but one of human decency. How will these people eat?

How and why is this happening?

Because rich people want to pay less taxes.

What am I missing here?  Do we want the elderly to starve?  Have we really become this desensitized to people who have nothing?

Not in my name.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

"You Are the First General Dentist to Call Me in Five Years."

I consulted with a mother and her 15 year old daughter last week and I realized that I needed to speak with the young girl's orthodontist. I emailed him my concerns as well as sending him some  photographs of his patient. After playing phone tag we finally connected and the young orthodontist thanked me for contacting him. " You are the first dentist to call me and I agree with your concerns. I will make it better."

Houston, we have a problem, as the saying goes.

Why aren't other dentists calling specialists?
There are only two reasons:

They don't know or they don't care.

I am in contact with the specialists that you are referred to on a daily basis. WHY?

Because people I do know and I do care.

That is what you expect from me and that is what you deserve.

Is This What We Have Become?

There is a law of physics which says that two things cannot occupy the same place at the same time.
I was at the airport yesterday on my way to Chicago to take a course and I overheard a young couple trying to get a flight to Florida. The man refused to accept that the airline had no...NO...seats beep cause of the backup due to the snowstorm. The conversation lasted 45 minutes but the man refused to accept "no" for an answer..

This evening, I went to PF Chang for dinner. I ordered a glass of red wine and my dinner. The waitress returned after 5 minutes to apologize for the wine delay; I was reading The NY Times online and not paying any attention to the time that I had waited for my drink. Five minutes later, the same waitress returned and told me that because of the delay in bringing the wine that management would not charge me for the drink. WHAT??

It is Thursday evening,peak dinner hour,in a major city, and I was only waiting 10 minutes for my drink...It is physics ....two people cannot get their drinks at the same time.

Have Americans become so unreasonable and so thoughtless that we yell at the airlines and EXPECT  something for free when there is no one to blame? Life is not a zero sum game. We all have to "win."
There was a delay in bringing me my wine; they apologized. I drank the wine. I NEED to pay for the wine and nicely demanded that the cost of the wine be placed back onto my bill.

Will we ever get back our reason reasonabilty??

Saturday, March 11, 2017


As I have told you over and over...I am not going anywhere soon.
Retiring is NOT about me but it is about YOU...the most loyal and best patients in the world.
I am talking to experienced younger dentists to see if they will be the right fit for YOU.

My criteria:
Have the ability to put YOUR best interest above their own
Be highly educated
Limit their practice to restorative dentistry i.e. fixing teeth and restoring implants like I do. And refer you to specialists for root canals, extractions, implants, orthodontics etc.
Have superior talent in their ability to fix teeth.

A dentist asked me if I didn't think that this would be a 'long transition?'

Absolutely not! You and I must PLAN for how you will be taken care of  whether it is 3 years or 5 years from now. If another dentist joins me, YOU and I will decide if that is a good fit. You and I KNOW how you have been treated these last 38 or so years and and that is what WE want to continue.

Don't worry...As always, I will put YOUR best interest above my own.

I owe it to you to see that you will ALWAYS be well taken care of.

Don't worry....I am not going anywhere.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Let's Be Honest (Not Political)

I think that all of my blog readers KNOW that I rarely, if ever, discuss politics on this blog. I might discuss a political situation or what a politician says but I do not take political positions on this blog.

This past week "someone" said:

Jeff Sessions is an honest man. ”Sessions  did not make  any misleading statements under oath during his confirmation hearings, but he could have been more accurate in his responses to lawmakers.

To me, this is someone making an excuse for lying. If your children did not give you THE COMPLETE TRUTH, what would you be thinking? A lie is half a truth.

We can excuse someone for ineptitude or because they did not have the talent or skill to complete an assigned task.

Politicians who lie to other politicians are also lying to the American people and when you do that, you should lose your job.

As you have seen me write before, "When we lower our standards, everything becomes acceptable." 

Sorry, I cannot accept an employee who lies or anyone that works for me...including politicians. I am an old guy who remembers when we DID have standards. And STANDARDS ARE STANDARDS.

This is NOT a political standard or discussion but rather a discussion of right and wrong.

World Class Dentists Comment on My Case

This is a case that I completed 21 months ago so that a young man could feel comfortable about being himself. His smile (teeth) would be expected in a 10 or 12 year old but not in a 16 or 18 year old.

My colleagues on Dental XP, who are some of the best clinical dentists in the world, commented on this case. I hope that this will support your selection of our office to take care of you.
Please read their comments below the photos.


Gerald; Great case my friend. I have seen Dr. Goldstein do this many many times. I am sure he too is pleased with your post. Did you do or consider any crown lengthening prior to the bonding? regards Maurice
Hi Maurice;
All of my dentistry is personally rewarding...I love it.
I performed electrosurgery to gain additional bonding surface. I did a wax up and transferred it with a putty matrix.
This intermediary dentistry will ideally last until the patient is 21 and then we will extract C and D; F and G and place implants in 6 and 11 and cantilever the laterals. The deciduous molars will be extracted as well and implants placed.
Super planning....that young man is in great hands.
Beautiful result, Gerald, and very rewarding I am certain. Maurice is correct...some of my greatest pleasures have been accomplishing results like these for not only fee based patients but pro bono as well. In fact that is why I started "Tomorrow's Smiles" charity where volunteer dentists accept at least one patient to change his or her smile and the dentist's expenses for lab or materials is covered by the charity.
Hi Dr. Goldstein;
I will restore a high school student in your honor.
Let's do it!
Gerald, if we take effort and have the knowledge, we see often happy patients. But if you are 16 and your teeth look like a small child teeth, then you come to Gerald - you LOVE him and dentistry and life...
Thank you for sharing and motivating us!
Thanks Snjezana!!!!!
I have been a spiritual Dental XPer my entire career... The unrelenting pursuit of excellence. At almost 70 and after 40 years, I still practice 5 days a week and do all my own wax ups. I truly expect to be a better dentist next week than I was this week.
It is truly sad how the average clinician is so accepting of mediocrity.
US News and World Report named "Dentistry" one of the best jobs in America yet 70-80% of all dentists here hate being a dentist. Inexplicable.
Thank you for your kind words and consistent support for my work. You are a rock star of our profession!!!

I shared your passionate words with my staff today and they said we need more guys like you that genuinely care! Bravo my friend -

The patients can feel your compassion also...



Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Story

About three years ago, a new patient called my office 3 days before the Memorial Day Weekend and stated that his girlfriend had been up all night with a terrible toothache. He pleaded with us to see her and we did. When I met her, she told me that she was truly petrified of going to the dentist and that she was in horrific pain.

Now you may not know this but it is really hard to get an appointment with a physician or a dentist before a holiday weekend. Our office does our very best to advocate for our patients with our team of specialists so that our patients do not have to suffer especially on a long holiday weekend. We were able to have our new patient seen immediately so that she could be put to sleep to have a hopeless tooth removed.

A short time later, my new patient was in our schedule to start as a new 'regular' patient which means that we do an exam and take a full mouth series of x-rays. My patient needed to have many teeth filled and implants placed to replace her missing teeth.

My new patient was terrified of being hurt when she had fillings and I promised her that I would use some laughing gas and get her profoundly numb before I started treatment. After our first all afternoon appointment to replace her old fillings, my new patient became a believer that dentistry does not have to hurt.

Yesterday, I took impressions for the crowns on her four implants. When she came into my treatment room, I asked her if she was nervous or afraid. She replied, "No."

My patient is not very different than many dental patients who have had horrific experiences at the hands of a dentist. I will always do my best to make your dental visits as pleasant and pain free as I can.

My job is to take CARE OF YOU. I take this responsibility  very seriously. I took an oath to do so.