Holocaust Survivor Pro-Bono Dental Program

Holocaust Survivor Pro-Bono Dental Program

Q: I read your column every week. How do you find the time to give free seminars, treat your patients and write your column?

A: Add on another project: a pro-bono program for Holocaust survivors living below the poverty level; over 13,000 in Florida alone. These patients are referred to me by the Alpert Jewish Family Services of Palm Beach County. My hope is that other dentists will join me all over the state in asking for the referral of these fine people who have suffered tremendously.

A current survivor case we started last month was a gentleman with many medical problems including pulmonary disease and diabetes. He is missing all his teeth and can no longer properly chew his food with his ill-fitting dentures. A previous dentist placed two implants which failed once the denture was attached. He is down to one implant. We placed four more implants and will make him an implant supported overdenture which he will be able to snap in place and chew almost as well as if he had a set of permanent teeth.

A second case was a man who has kidney failure and cannot have any oral surgery. We are making him a partial removable denture that will replace 25% of his missing teeth.

Another log on the fire: I was invited to speak to over 400 doctors as the keynote speaker at a major dental conference next year: The 43rd annual Academy of LDS Dentists at Brigham Young University in Utah. The organization was created by the “Father of Dentistry”, Gordon J. Christensen DDS, who also leads a large non-profit dental research group started in 1976 which tests thousands of dental products and techniques in both laboratories and private practice dental offices. I was humbled that he called me personally for the invitation. Now in his 80’s, he is still one of the top dental lecturers in the world. (He said he would give me a ride in his helicopter! How can I reciprocate that one?)

In answer to your original question on where do I find the time, it’s all about efficiency. Thanks to my great staff, we run a tight ship with very little wasted time; few if any cancelled appointments and loyal patients that show up on time and respect our time. Organization of my personal time is paramount as well. I read a quote a long ago that one must also “plan their free time”. If you saw my calendar you would see things like: “cut toe nails, use facial scrub and order shoelaces on line.” (Does this doc know how to party or what?!)

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