Here’s something all the college graduate millennials reading this can relate to: Remaining by pure oversight on a professor’s weekly mass email list and creeping their links to see what the new class is up to. For me, it was Literary Landmarks. It was a survey class that explored the entire canon of English literature and if I could have, I would have taken it twice. For years after graduation, I looked forward to Tuesday afternoons when my professor would supply his students – current and former, apparently – with an impressive and eclectic hyperlinked list of academic articles that touched on his lectures. One year during the latter half of the second semester when the course material crosses the Atlantic and focuses on American Literature, there was a particular link that became part of an inside joke with fellow alumni I’d forgotten until I was interviewing Dr. Anil Makkar, Managing Partner of Victoria Court Dental in Truro and Bible Hill, Nova Scotia. My long-since tenured professor included in one of his April 2010 weekly mass emails a link to an article titled “Twain tale sheds light on 19th century dentistry” by the staff at Dr., a depository of literature pertaining to dentistry and periodontics. It was so tangential from what I remember of his Mark Twain lectures years earlier that I instantly gave him the moniker Dr. Bicuspid. I thought it was endearing considering Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, wrote under several pen names. When Dr. Makkar triggered my memory, I instantly made a note to re-read the article in hopes that it might help me dig-up a Twain gem, a maxim or moral tale on dentistry that would serve as a media-friendly mantra for Victoria Court Dental and make my own writing superfluous. But the best I could come up with was working with an obvious – and pleasant – contrast between Twain’s dentist, Dr. John M. Riggs, one of the fathers of modern periodontics in the nineteenth century, and Dr. Makkar. In his “Happy Memories of the Dental Chair,” Twain wrote that “He [Dr. Riggs] was gray and venerable, and humane of aspect; but he had the calm, possessed, surgical look of a man who could endure pain in another person.” Like Dr. Riggs, Dr. Makkar is esteemed and compassionate; but his is the look of a family man whose practice has grown from seeds of civic duty, empathy, and friendship.

By David MacDonald T he recurring theme of my conversation with Dr. Makkar was pride. He takes pride in his hometown of Truro, Nova Scotia. He takes pride in what he and Dr. Roger Daya and Dr. Ronald Rix have built. He takes pride in his seven Dental Hygienists. He takes pride in his five Practice Coordinators. He takes pride in his six Dental Assistants. He takes pride in his Dental Centre Manager, his Treatment Co-ordinator, and his Hygiene Co-ordi- nator. He takes pride in operating the most tech-sav- vy Dental Office in Colchester County. He takes pride in charging what is recommended by the Nova Scotia Dental Fee Guide. And did I mention that he takes pride in his hometown?

“I grew up in Truro, Nova Scotia. Truro is a great town. That’s why I came back to practice here,” Dr. Makkar explained with a serene certainty. “I did my Undergradu- ate at Dalhousie University in Halifax and graduated from the Dalhousie Dental School in 1989. I was lucky enough to do all my schooling here in Nova Scotia. But I always knew I wanted to come home to Truro. The people here are very innovative. They’re very open to the concept of collabora- tion here. Part of it is that we’re a small town, so everyone knows that their business is going to benefit in some way. But another part is that we like to reach out in this com- munity. It’s part of our spirit. I love the people here – and, I think, it shows. We’ve got great patients at the Practice.



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