JEL INEK JOURNAL
www.Nor thernVirginiaDental .com
THANK YOU, PATIENTS! Patient Support, Continuing Education, and the End of a Decade
As we close another decade, I want to take this opportunity to thank the patients who have trusted us over the years. I believe there is truly no greater honor than serving other people. We are a referral-based practice, and we always look forward to treating patients as kind as you. While we have had many highs and lows over the years, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve each one of you. Nothing in my career will ever compare to the opportunities I have had to help longtime pain sufferers find relief. When you can tell someone who has been struggling with daily head pain that you can relieve it, it’s like watching a weight physically fall from their shoulders. It’s very rewarding to eliminate the pain that has wreaked havoc on a person’s life for a number of years. In many cases, they have been struggling with this for their entire lives. Treating pain and finding a real solution to someone’s problems creates powerful bonds. Oftentimes, I fondly look back on some of my favorite memories, and one that sticks out is the time I was extracting a tooth on a teenage patient. I had just given the girl anesthesia when the power went out. I turned to her father, who was a retired Marine colonel, and I said, “Dad, if you can hold the flashlight, I can take the tooth out.” Together, we were able to get the job done! To this day, we still have a big laugh about it whenever we see one another, and this happened more than 10 years ago. Of course, you don’t enjoy a life well-lived without a few lows. It’s always a sad day around the office when we discover a patient has passed away or is going through something devastating. We mourn every patient we lose. I’ve been a dentist for many years now — 32 to be exact — and what motivates me most is that the field is constantly changing. There is always some new technology coming down the pipe, and because of this, educational and improvement opportunities abound. Dentists must complete 15 hours of continuing education each year, and I usually hit 150 hours each year because I want to know as much as I can to help my patients. I take each educational opportunity to heart.
Throughout the years of continued commitment to my education, I’ve picked up on a few trends. For example, there’s a huge overlap between sleep apnea patients and those with temporomandibular joint disorders. By understanding that these two chronic conditions are firmly linked together, I can better treat a patient who is seeking relief. I firmly believe in treating the root cause of each issue, not just the symptoms. Treating the symptoms is like treating cancer with a Band-Aid. I am already looking forward to many more years treating you and your loved ones. I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity, and I look forward to continuing to help you find relief.
Have a very merry Christmas, happy holidays, and a great new year!
– H. Charles Jelinek, Jr., DDS
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