Remember when we used to talk about teeth? It seems so long ago that our greatest concern was which bonding technique would create the least sensitivity. Dentists used to love to talk about teeth with each other, but now all it seems to be is “fit-testing this” and “PPP that.” At first, all of this pandemic related information was addictive, fresh, and stimulating. But now I’m feeling dental withdrawal. While scanning dental groups on Facebook, following dentists on Instagram, or participating in PAGD Link discussions, it has become hard to find an opportunity to learn about clinical skills amidst all of the opinions on how to handle your PPE shortage, how to schedule patients best for social distancing, and how to manage your apprehensive staff members. Even before Coronavirus engulfed every aspect of our lives and clinical content was readily available, our readership requested more of it. We’ve decided to dedicate this issue to case presentations, to feed that hungry part of your brain that has been forced to take a backseat for a few months.
Sharing our cases at PEAK events is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable opportunities of PAGD participation. It’s not because of the credits towards Mastership, or because of the opportunity to see what other colleagues are achieving. Its greatest use for me has been as an opportunity for emotional growth as a dentist. In the past, I’ve taken this opportunity to get vulnerable, get responsible, and present cases that were unsuccessful in one way or another. For me, it was like exorcising all of the stress spent on those patients out of my system. It made me nervous to relive those situations again, in front of a group of experts who had every right to say they would not have done what I did, but the response that I got was overwhelmingly positive. Older docs were eager to encourage me forward, and younger colleagues expressed that they found comfort in knowing that we shared clinical struggles. Now, after having to cancel our spring PEAK weekend, I’ve got a case or two waiting to be exorcised now, awaiting the day when we can gather again at PEAK and I can set them free.
Some of the cases in this edition are those that would have been presented at PEAK. If you’ve never presented before, or seen colleague presentations at these events, you’ll see that it doesn’t require a jaw-dropping, super secret, advanced technique to participate. Even if you are already employing the techniques and strategies used by these presenting docs, I hope you find that returning to talk of teeth refreshes your dental soul.
Maria Garubba, DMD, FAGD
Editor, PAGD Keystone Explorer