Dear 2010

March 21, 2012

Dear 2010, 

Dear 2010, 

Come here. Dry your eyes and tell me all about it. I know. It's hard to reflect back on your year of economic and professional hardships, but rest assured, your little sister, 2011, may have some answers.

It's not that I didn't trust you. I mean, I kind of did. You told me to listen to dentists when they said, “There's nothing wrong with selling dentistry. Let's push more restorative work.” I explained to patients the importance of replacing failed amalgams with porcelain inlays, considering implants for missing teeth, and taking seriously periodontal health. That last one was a doozy. Why, I found so many untreated perio cases in this particular dental office I worked in that I was relieved of my hygiene duties and asked to leave the practice. It's true, 2010.

These patients left this practice because I told them they needed full mouth or selective SRP. Perhaps the dentist didn't care enough to notice the advanced bone loss and severe pocketing in these patients 16 years later after I arrived at the practice. Well, I can tell you, mister, that trying to be gentle when removing black, unyielding calculus in 7mm pockets is no easy task. In fact, it's downright difficult. These patients thought I was just too heavy-handed as well as 'selling them too much dentistry.' They let the doctor know about their hygiene unhappiness.

The evening the dentist and his wife explained why I was to leave their prevention-oriented practice, the dentist said, verbatim, “I would rather be negligent than lose another patient." Well, I just about had a super-sized ninny! This gentleman admitted his love affair with the dark side and wished to remain ignorant about his patients' periodontal conditions in favor of patient retention.

Now, 2010, you failed to inform me of the shenanigans you had in store. I listened to your advice about being a team player and followed the recommendations dentists wanted me to implement. You gave me the best advice you knew given the circumstances. It's OK. However, as I await my debut, I look to myself for strength and courage.

My last words and promise to you, 2010: perseverance, honesty, and humor.

I will persevere in what I believe in.

I will be honest in any work I do.

I will laugh at the ridiculous, unbelievable, and inequity of life's probabilities.

Thank you, 2010. You have taught me more than I could have hope for.

Now... it's time to rock on.