Like many people, I was attracted to the dental profession to help people. In addition to general and advanced dental services at Lake Harbor Dental, I also devote several hours a week to working at the Milan Institute, a trade school in Boise that trains dental assistants, medical assistants, massage therapists and estheticians. While the work isn’t financially profitable, it’s a great way to train new dental professionals and use my skills to help people who can’t afford most dentists. My colleague at Lake Harbor, Dr. Peterson, also does a fair amount of charity care by assisting people who cannot afford it. Helping people like is part of the values of caring and compassion that guide all our work at Lake Harbor Dental.
At Lake Harbor, we do a lot of technical dentistry – computer-assisted imagery, same-day crowns, advanced implants, Invisalign and the cutting-edge of modern dental care. At the Milan Institute, I go back to the basics, with necessary and urgent care. Some people are simply out of work and don’t have the means to visit their regular dentist. Many of the other patients at Milan are refugees and don’t have anywhere else to go; many came from Third-World nations where dental care is primitive or difficult to find. Some have had urgent problems in their lives, such as war and dislocation, which has caused them to neglect their teeth. So, I tend to do a lot of extractions, fillings, root canals, crowns and bridges. I have helped people from Afghanistan, Burma, Iran, Serbia, Russia, Africa and Mexico. I speak fluent Spanish so this helps out quite a bit.
The work is challenging and keeps me rooted in foundations of dentistry. In the morning at Lake Harbor, I may find myself performing a CEREC 3-D digitally-guided implant, while at Milan I might do several basic fillings and a standard root canal.
Milan is a great school and students there regularly intern with Lake Harbor. We have hired two Milan students over the years. It has been a unique opportunity to help the disadvantaged and train new generations of practitioners at Milan and I am grateful for the opportunity to do so.