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The Whole Tooth and Nothing But the Tooth

Posted on April 26, 2011 | in Dental Humor | by

Do you know your dental hygienists first name?

Do you really know your dentist?

Do they have a family?

Do they live locally?

Where did they go to school?

Any hobbies, charitable contributions, or other outside-of-dentistry interests?

Have they ever performed emergency surgery on a shark attack victim?

In our never ending quest to promote locally identifiable and socially connected dentistry, we’ve chosen to examine the dental patient and dental practice relationship with this meaningless blog post. Screenings for oral cancer and the top 5 best tasting mouthwashes are interesting and all, but we want to delve into the people that make up our dental experience. The people on the front lines, our chosen dental practices we trust, the dedicated professionals battling the cavity creeps at every turn, these are the everyday heroes we wish to recognize.

We may not think going to the dentist is a leisurely activity, and we may not necessarily look to meet new people at our thrice annual teeth cleaning and check-up, but wouldn’t it make you feel better if you could answer such pedestrian questions about your dentist?

Believe it or not, most of us couldn’t answer these questions if it meant free teeth whitening for life!

But that doesn’t mean we should remain this clueless about the people in charge of treating our gum disease, cavities, and root canals. Following our intensely researched and purely unscientific thesis polling Moms in grocery store lines, college students buzzing on caffeine, and singles out mingling, we’ve determined people know more about their baristas than their dentists. Surely this has to be a geographical thing. Big cities will take coffee over dentistry any day, and they’re entirely too busy to be concerned with such trivial matters such as “the dentist’s office.” And small towns already know their dentist on a more personal level anyway, because everyone in small towns knows and likes each other. Right?

We think not. And we can all do better!

Mini earpiece wearing urban sophisticates, financially strapped college students, Sherman Tank driving Soccer Moms, and rosy-cheeked Normal Rockwell subjects; we all have one thing in common – or anywhere from 1 to 32 things in common…our teeth.

Even denture wearers can unite over something other than a Martha Raye or Mrs. Brady television commercial!

Take care of them, treat them right, and for goodness sake take some interest in the people interested in taking care of yours. Couldn’t we all appreciate things more if we knew there was some commonality between us?

Check out this most uncommon dentist – emergency surgery and a shark attack while on a surfing vacation in Fiji!


If you know something too-cool about your dentist, please share it. And if you have some questions for your dentist that we didn’t ask, please speak up. And please, take an active interest in your dentist and everyone involved in maintaining your optimum dental health.

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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