An t i - Ag i ng DENTISTRY MONTHLY NEWS
Overcoming Obstacles to Achieve Something More
One of the biggest challenges I ever faced was when I came to the United States at age 13. Coming from Iran, I knew very little English. Nevertheless, I enrolled at Beverly Hills High School and began classes in earnest. One class I remember in particular was my astronomy class. Every day, I sat in class and pored over every assignment with a dictionary at my side. I translated every word in the textbook and on each handout in order to understand and learn.
the material. I never assumed what something meant. If I came across something I didn’t understand, I had to investigate and ask questions until I did. This approach to my schoolwork, and the mindset that went along with it, gave me so many advantages as I got older, even as I went through dental school and opened up my own practice. That was another huge challenge I had to overcome. In 1987, I opened my dental practice from scratch. I rented space from one of my dental school professors and went to work. I didn’t start work at a practice with established patients because I knew I wanted something different.
Many school nights were spent translating the words on my assignments. I stayed up for nights on end, studying and translating. But all of that studying paid off. At the end of the school year, I left my astronomy class with a B. It was like this in all my classes. I had to learn the language and understand the material as it was presented to me. I had to adapt. But I did learn and I did understand, and, as a result, I learned a much more important lesson that wasn’t in my textbooks. I learned about taking initiative and putting in hard work. I already loved to learn, and that process is still very important to me, but becoming so absorbed with learning as a 13-year-old really instilled that value in me. By the time my first year of high school was over, I was ahead of the game, and I was able to take 11th- and 12th-grade classes the following year. I ended up graduating early. I used that passion for learning to my advantage. By spending extra time on my assignments, translating and looking for meaning, I was able to get a deeper understanding of
It took years of hard work and long days, but I knew what I wanted and kept my focus on that objective. I wanted dentistry in a different way than other dentists. It was a more holistic approach — healthier for the body. I wasn’t the only one of my dental school classmates to open a dental practice in Beverly Hills or one of the surrounding neighborhoods. But I’m one of the few who remain open to this day. Many of my classmates practiced more conventional dentistry, but by staying focused on my goal of delivering a different kind of dentistry, I found success. It was what people wanted. A big part of it is delivering an exceptionally high quality of work that’s hard to find elsewhere. It’s this, coupled with paying extra close attention to the aesthetics of dentistry, that sets the practice apart. Despite the challenges, I was able to push forward to become the person I am today.
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