Service of Dentistry

Some years ago, my elderly aunt Melba was in a nursing home in San Jose.  She had Alzheimer’s and needed some extensive dental treatment.  This could only be accomplished by sedating her, so her daughter/my cousin arranged for me to use a local dentist’s office there in San Jose on a Saturday.  The dentist even provided a dental assistant and materials to help me.  I brought my sedation materials with me and sedated her, then performed the much-needed dental treatment she needed. I was profoundly thankful for his generosity to allow a stranger from out of town use his office.

At that time in my life, I was providing dental services in nursing homes and other non-traditional spaces i.e. cafeterias, bathrooms, executive offices, bedrooms, and so on, so treating my Aunt in a strange environment was nothing new to me.

In the end, I treated patients over a five-year period inside 22 different nursing homes from Newman to Visalia.  Towards the end my back said: no more leaning over wheelchairs to treat patients. Well, I finally got the memo!

I moved on and participated in CDA Cares which is where The California Dental Association put on two-day clinics in different communities across the state. With many Dentists and even more support people we averaged 2,000 no fee dental procedures.  I participated here in Fresno, Bakersfield, Stockton, and my team joined me in Modesto.  This was one of the most profound experiences of my life.  I had grown weary of the day-to-day operations in my office, yet these patients were grateful even after waiting long hours in lines to get services.  What was the change in me?  I rediscovered the FUN of providing dental services and further understood that when one provides a service to others, they are rewarded the most.