Poway Location: 12915 Pomerado Rd. Poway, CA 92064 Phone: 858-748-5100
San Diego Location: 3780 El Cajon Blvd., Unit 1
San Diego, CA 92105 Phone: 619-265-2467
The Happy Tooth
Science or Art? THE ULTIMATE TRUTH OF DENTISTRY
Is dentistry a science or an art? At first glance, people think of dentistry solely as a field of medicine and health care and classify it as a science. But what about the effort that goes into changing a patient’s smile? Many people would call this work artistic. To me, dentistry has always been a combination of both science and art. There is a certainty to the processes and a science behind dental research. Meanwhile, connecting with people and helping them feel more confident about themselves is nothing less than artistic in my eyes, especially after experiencing it for myself firsthand. The first time I wore braces was when I was 18, shortly after my family moved to the United States from Vietnam. Coming from a third-world country to the bustling U.S. was an overwhelming experience, especially because I was starting as a senior in high school. On top of it all, we experienced many health problems, and our teeth were very bad as a result. After our family came to America, my siblings and I were at the dentist’s office every other week, rehabilitating our teeth and fixing our gums. It was a long process, and the dentists truly had their work cut out for them. My dental rehabilitation included wearing braces until I was 20 years old. Dealing with braces is challenging enough, but imagine struggling to learn a new language while you have metal brackets fastened to your teeth! Instead of growing tired of being in the dentist’s chair all the time, I developed an interest in dentistry. As a teenager, you feel so self-conscious about everything, and being embarrassed by my teeth on top of learning how to fit into a new country was a difficult experience. The work the dentists did improved my confidence so much.
My braces were finally taken off around the same time I started to drive my own car. I remembered getting into my car one time and smiling when I caught sight of my reflection in the rearview mirror. After the braces came off, I was more outgoing. I felt like I had the confidence to achieve anything. When I entered dental school, my goal was to always help other people experience that same boost in their own self-confidence. I learned a lot during my dental education, some of it from textbooks and some from firsthand experiences with patients in dentist’s offices. Throughout it all, one of the most important skills I learned is how to help my patients, even before they get into my chair. Not everyone has had such wonderful experiences with dentistry as I have. Sometimes, it can be hard to see past the grinding of metal and fear of pain.
“One of the most important skills I learned is how to help my patients, even before they get into my chair.”
My job, first and foremost, is to use my art to help patients feel relaxed. Soothing music, aromatherapy, and a calm atmosphere can go far, allowing me to connect with patients so they feel more comfortable with the science of dentistry, too. When science and art work together, truly wonderful things can happen. - Dr. Justene Doan
June 2017 Edition
A+ Family Dentistry | 619-265-2467 | P1
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