Sabal Dental Airline - November 2019

November 2019

2222 Airline Rd., Suite A4, Corpus Christi, TX 78414 |

| (361) 853-8999

What’s More Fun Than Numbers? From Electrical Engineering to Dentistry

My father was a dentist, and from the time I was 15, I’d go into his office after school and help him with extractions. Apparently, none of the dental assistants wanted to help with that procedure. Believe it or not, pulling people’s teeth out wasn’t what made me decide to go into dentistry. In fact, when I started college, I originally wanted to become an electrical engineer. Fortunately, after a year of going to school for electrical engineering, I went on a two-year mission to Mexico with my church. While on my mission, I talked to some dentists down in Mexico and asked them what they thought about their work. It was clear they loved being dentists. They liked helping patients and fixing their smiles. By that time, I already knew calculus and I didn’t get along well. I realized that working with people would be a lot more fun than staring at numbers all day. When I returned to school, I switched my major and started my path to dentistry. My first practice was in a small town up in northern Idaho. Very early on, I learned that people who live in a small town rarely want to leave, even to see a specialist about a dental emergency. I’d recommend my patients see a specialist for implants, wisdom teeth extractions, or orthodontics, and the answer I’d always get was, “No, Dr. Thompson. Can’t you do it?” I had no choice but to start taking classes for specialty procedures so I could perform those treatments for my patients myself. Eventually, there came a day when I got sick of being cold all the time and started looking for the warmest place I could find. I’d recently taken up kiteboarding, and when I learned Texas had the best kiteboarding in the world, I was sold. Being able to create beautiful smiles is the best part of my work. I got into dentistry so I could work with people, and I take great pride in being able to use

implants or orthodontics to help a patient feel confident in their smile again.

While I’m sure being an electrical engineer has its joys, I’m grateful this is the path I chose. In addition to spending the last few decades working with wonderful patients, I’ve been married to my wonderful wife, DawnEtta, for 27 years. Together we have five kids who are scattered across the globe. Being a dentist gave me the ability to support my family while still being there to see my kids grow up. Today, it also gives me plenty of time to go kiteboarding or fishing. Living this close to the Gulf of Mexico has given me many opportunities to enjoy the sun and the sea. At 15, I never thought I’d end up following in my dad’s footsteps. But after a few decades, I’m happy to say that working with people is still more fun than staring at numbers.

–Dr. Chad Thompson

Sabal General Dentistry • 361-853-8999 • 1

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