More Smiles Dental Spa Dentistry Blog | James A. Moreau, Jr., D.D.S.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Enthusiasm, Energy and Passion

It's hard to imagine too many other professional organizations or associations where participants are literally moved to tears by their leaders at a national conference. I just can't picture a bunch of insurance execs standing around wiping their eyes over revolutionary developments in premium collections or exclusions. No offense intended guys...maybe you all are just more macho than a bunch of sappy dentists.

For the group that we met with this week, the International Association of Comprehensive Aesthetics, this is exactly what happened. Dr. Bill Dickerson, the founder of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, has very literally helped start a revolution in some of the very basic ways that dentists can help their patients, not only through aesthetics, but also through neuromuscular dentistry. He has taken a lot of heat along the way from within organized dentistry. Many reasonable dentists who have listened to Bill have come to understand the rationale of NM dentistry and have studied it at LVI (between 7,000-8,000 dentists). Others who have based their careers on a different approach to occlusion in dentistry hold strong to their beliefs and have closed their minds to the idea of doing the right thing to help patients. But perhaps the greater majority of dentists in the U.S. are completely oblivious and stiflingly complacent with their status quo dentistry. (see learning rules below).

So at the ripe age of 55, our mentor and a true hero of dentistry, Bill Dickerson has decided to retire from public speaking outside of LVI. His address to IACA on Saturday morning was his last. For four hours he infused the room of a couple thousand doctors, their families (including young children) and team members with his particular brand of inspiration and energy. It was an amazing experience...most of all because without his leadership, many of those dentists would have long ago lost their enthusiasm for dentistry. Wonder how many of them would have completely burned out and just quietly moved on to some other career?

He helped develop and bring together the concepts and science of neuromuscular dentistry. He paved the way for what many of us believe is the future of dentistry, and in so doing gave us a better way to help people and a better way to do dentistry. Most of us would not practice dentistry the way we do had it not been for his courageous leadership, and the combined talent, intellect and curiosity of his extraordinary team of scientists, instructors, researchers, and practitioners such as Drs. Norm Thomas, Clayton Chan, Michael Miyasaki, Bernie Jankelsen. And on a personal basis, I can attest to the character of a man who, with Dr. Edmund Suh, spearheaded an incredible effort by LVI doctors to offer assistance and support to those of us who experienced any level of displacement after Hurricane Katrina. Love and gratitude...forever.

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posted by MoreSmiles at 8:05 PM

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