Believe it or not, when I was a student in college at UT-Knoxville, many of my favorite classes were in the field of psychology. As I sat after work the other day with my fellow colleagues and discussed how exciting but sometimes overwhelming the future of dentistry is in regards to all the quickly evolving advancements, I couldn’t help but think back to one of my favorite psychology experiments. In what’s been called the marshmallow test, a group of researchers from Stanford University in the 1960’s put young children in a room with a marshmallow. These children as the entered the room were all told that if they would just wait 15 minutes without eating the marshmallow, they would get two marshmallows. As the researchers tracked these children into later stages of life, what they found was quite astonishing. Those children who were able to wait for the second marshmallow performed significantly better in life on a wide array of benchmarks most would consider to be associated with success. What this simple experiment shows us is something that can be seen within virtually everything around us. Individuals who are able to act daily within the context of a vision for the future are able to achieve significantly more and perform with greater success. So you are asking how does this pertain to dentistry?
As surely seen in any profession, I also see this phenomenon in dentistry. The comfortable routine or instant gratification can be a big enticing marshmallow for many clinicians. Planning for the future and recognizing the need to constantly keep learning can be time consuming, tiring and difficult. At Belle Meade Family Dentistry, Drs. Pace, Sullivan, and I desire to be different. Our spirit of innovation and personal growth allows us to adapt and confidently embrace the speed of changes within our profession. All three of our dentist know that dentistry returns life changing benefits to our patients, but we must always keep investing in new knowledge used to aid us in our patient care. This is why we are willing to go far beyond our continuing education requirements, invest in local study clubs, and utilize many amazing educational resources. We just returned from Baltimore, Maryland and an exciting course at Materialise Dental, a world market leader in 3D digital dental implantology. We are thrilled to be incorporating the latest and most advanced implant technology to our practice. Custom made surgical drill guides provide a seamless link between implant planning and actual treatment, guarantee predictable implant treatment, and thus dramatically increase case success both functionally and esthetically. Please ask us about this new technology and how it can be utilized to improve your oral health, or let us know if you have any friends or family you would like us to discuss dental implant tooth replacement with. Our dentists and staff aren’t content with average care and are infused with an excitement to pursue excellence. I am often reminded of a quote from hockey’s all-time greatest superstar Wayne Gretzky in which he states, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Likewise, at Belle Meade Family Dentistry our doctors have a long and continuing history in Nashville of staying on top of our profession’s advancements to better serve our patients. We take the faith you as a patient put in letting us care for your dental health very seriously and greatly appreciate your trust and confidence in our care.
James R. Pace Jr.
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