Thursday, September 28, 2017

Patriotism (Not political)

Let's make something  clear...I stand for the flag and the National Anthem. Why?
Because I do it out of respect for the  VALUES  that America, the flag and the National Anthem stand for.

Do I think that standing for the flag is the BEST way to show one's patriotic side?

Absolutely not!

A better way to show one's patriotism is to pay taxes for the privilege of living in our great country.

Almost 50 years ago there were two very patriotic brothers from Texas who earned millions of dollars  but refused to pay any Federal taxes. They were staunch supporters of the Vietnam War but refused to  pay for the bullets so that soldiers could fight. Were they truly patriots?

If someone refuses to pay taxes, that is the ultimate sign of disrespect for our nation. If you don't want to stand for the flag or the National Anthem...I understand and I won't question your patriotism..

If someone refuses to pay their taxes....I have a right to question  their patriotism.

Because I said that this is NOT a political blog...I won't mention any names of those who refuse to pay taxes.

PBS "The Vietnam War" (Not political)

For my generation, the Vietnam War was the defining issue of the day. As it turns out, everyone was right and everyone was wrong.

In my mind, there were TWO sets of heroes during the Vietnam War: the kids that fought the war and the kids that protested the war.

Ken Burns series created very strong emotions for the people that fought the war, the people that protested the war and for everyone that watched the program. It was hard to watch and hard not to shed tears at different parts of the program.

Was anything resolved?

No!!!! But having lived as long as I have, I recognize that discussing issues with people that disagree with you does not change minds. What does change minds is the discussions that we have in our own head.

The longer we live, the more we no longer see a black and white world but really every shade of gray.

No minds are ever changed during a debate...If we leave our minds open and live long enough, many of us understand that there really is another side to the story that we were unable to see when we were younger.

The Ken Burns series will be repeated many times and would be wise to see it. It is also being streamed so you can watch it any time you want.

Keep an open mind.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Different Groups of Dentists

I recently joined my third internet dental group. Each group is profoundly different than the other.

The first group is made up of world class dentists from around the world who love to post their work.
Why show cases? To educate, to learn and to show other dentists that you deserve  to be a part of their group.

The second group of dentist love to talk politics, sports, cars, weather, religion and philosophy.
Do they talk dentistry? Not so much. They don't seem to enjoy their work as much as I enjoy my work.

The third group I joined by accident when I answered a question on Facebook. The dentist that responded welcomed me to their group. Who is in this group? Everyone is young, no one talks about their work or their patients and the emphasis is on making money.

As you know, fixing your teeth is my greatest joy. Making money.....not so much.

I won't last long in the third group because I am an old guy who always puts my patient's interest ahead of my own financial interest... I just don't fit in that group... Nor am I happy in the second internet dental group.

I try to broaden my horizons but I keep returning to groups of dentists that are highly educated, highly trained and deeply care about their patients.

All dentists are not the same. Which group do you want YOUR dentist to belong to?


Everyone that I have dealings with, I trust. My car salesman of 30 years, my insurance sales person of 35 years, and the 3 surgeons that performed surgery for me these past 7 years. I trust my staff and my best friends.

Why am I telling you this?

When I have a new patient in my practice, I always feel that I must gain their trust as quickly as I can.  One of the best ways to do this is to photograph virtually every tooth that I treat so that I can show my patient what is under their 25 year old crown or mercury filling. It is indeed true that a picture is better than a 1,000 words.

This is what was INSIDE the crown that I removed yesterday from the mouth of a relatively new patient:

So what the heck is all the brown stuff inside the crown?

Tooth decay and leakage. Old dentistry allows saliva to get underneath  the filling or crown and destroy the tooth. In non-dental terms, think of the 25 year old shingles on your roof that start to allow rain and snow to leak and get inside your house.

If  the dentist cannot show you a large x-ray of tooth decay under a filling or crown OR doesn't take a photo to explain why the old dentistry is being removed, then I would have a problem TRUSTING the dentist.

Think about who you can trust.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ole Rush Limbaugh and the Facts (Not political)

I don't care how you feel about Rush Limbaugh...whether you agree with him politically or believe that he is a jerk.

I do care when the facts were that hurricane IRMA was a category 5 storm and heading straight to Florida with 19 million people in it's path and the water table in the State at the surface.

Ole Rush called the storm FAKE NEWS and told his listeners not to listen to government and weather experts; that it was unnecessary to evacuate.

What Russia did on FACEBOOK during the election was FAKE NEWS. Russia, according to FACEBOOK, paid for a thousand ads to demean the Democratic Candidate. Listening to the Weather Service in a highly populated area surrounded by water that has a single road for escape  is not fake news and should be followed.

Al Roker, the long time weather man on NBC's TODAY SHOW, had the courage to publicly call ole Rush out saying on Twitter:

“Do not listen to @rushlimbaugh when he says #Irma is not a dangerous #storm and is hype,” Roker wrote on Twitter. “He is putting people’s lives at risk.”

But this is really a joke because Ole Rush decided to evacuate. 

Do we need any more hypocrites?

The Old Fashioned Way

Susan and I were in Charlotte, NC for the long Labor Day Weekend and we went to dinner with some new friends that we met on our last visit to that area.

The man works in internet digital marketing and has read many of the popular business books on sales, marketing and success. At one point he turned to me and asked, "And how did you manage to become so successful?" Most marketing people believe that there is a 'secret' for  business success which usually involves a unique way to sell or market oneself.

I responded that I did it the old fashioned way: I took virtually more post graduate courses than an other dentist in my area and usually with some of the best clinicians in the country. Having taken 7,000 hours of post doctoral education in one area: fixing teeth and restoring implants, I was eminently competent to do what I do.

I also told him that my GOAL is to try to be the best in what I do. (Note to those in organized dentistry: this is NOT a claim that I am the best.) In addition to trying to be the best, I am the most passionate dentist that I know in restorative dentistry, I work more hours than the vast majority and I always place my patient's well being ahead of my financial well being.

Practicing excellence in any business in America is a rarity in 2017. Almost every business wants to make more money, do less work and skimp on the product or service.

My office success is simply based on what lots of people used to do in America: Work hard, study hard and do the right thing.

Sorry to disappoint the marketing people. There is no secret to our success.