Wind: 8 mph
As I enter into the third week of Valley Dental’s demise, this has become my longest continuous span of unemployment over the last 48 years. Time to think and type….
Life is like a chess game. Each and every move will determine its course and outcome from an infinite number of possible paths. Some choices will reward one’s selection, and others won’t…checkmate.
Forty years ago, I made the decision to live a lifestyle, establish a dental practice and dedicate my career to improving the oral health of my friends and neighbors in our Mad River Valley. When I first moved here, dental floss was a dreaded inconvenience and toothbrushes were an uncommon tool. “We’re born without teeth, die without ’em, and they just give you a lot of trouble in between” was the accepted, ahem, “tooth” of the matter. Many of my colleagues settled in urban and suburban neighborhoods; but for me it’s never been a matter of providing services where it pays the most but rather where it’s needed the most. Operating a dental practice in our rural community hasn’t been easy. There have been many challenges not imagined by my urban colleagues; but even in spite of this most recent setback, I’ve never looked back.
If not for the sacrifices made by my parents to encourage my pursuit of a dental diploma, I wouldn’t be writing this article nor would you be reading it. So many of us wouldn’t have shared in mutual support, respect, laughter and appreciation. Trish and I wouldn’t have met and married. You and I wouldn’t have become neighbors and lifelong friends. How different would have been so many lives but for our concurrent decisions? Extrapolating Back To The Future, think not only of the moment, but consider future ramifications of today’s decisions.
So, now some food for thought….or, [don’t] chew on this. Because our local dental clinic is temporarily no more, I’ve not the simplest tools to provide any emergency care. Should someone simply chip or break a cusp, and merely need only a polish or temporary filling, I can’t provide that service for you. Our state has a wonderful dental community—others have offered to cover for us and care for you until we’re up and running again; however, that will require a trip to Montpelier or Burlington. In the meantime, I will recommend you avoid chewing on the number one culprits…ice, hard candy, hidden popcorn kernels, or crusty bread; and, of course, don’t forget to brush and floss!
Here’s looking forward to “working with smiles” (yours and ours) once again.
Zonies' Waitsfield practice was inundated by Irene. He lives in Fayston.