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A Legacy of Excellence

In this blog post I want to pay tribute to people in my life who have helped shape my career. First of all my mother was a big influence on me. She taught me to be conscientious of others. My mom taught me how to be very aware of the thoughts, feelings, and needs of others. This has helped me in my profession as a dentist. I understand dentistry can have the reputation of being uncomfortable to say the least. At Copper Mountain Dental in Herriman we do our very best to be sensitive to the comfort and needs of our patients. I don’t come from a family of dentists. I have been through a fair amount of dental care myself and I understand what an act of bravery it can be to show up to a dental appointment.

I also want to pay tribute to my father. I worked with my dad doing electrical construction work when I was in college prior to attending dental school. Working along side my father he would teach me things like: “Hard work is good for the soul” and “Always take pride in the work you do” or in other words: Do the very best quality work you can. He was not content to let me settle for mediocre work and taught me to take time to do things right the first time so they would look good and last as long as possible. These lessons helped me make it through dental school and for the past 14 years as a dentist. I also have reflected on the importance of doing the very best quality work I am capable of doing. In dentistry doing quality work can mean restorations such as crowns and fillings will likely last longer and therefore not need to be re-done as often.

Another person I want to pay tribute to is my long time mentor and colleague Dr. Craig Christiansen. I worked along side Dr. Christiansen for 12 years following my general practice residency at the Veterans Hospital in Salt Lake City. Dr. Christiansen is an excellent dentist and I am so thankful I had the chance to be mentored by such a wonderful professional. He helped me learn the details of how to provide excellent quality dental care and how to relate with patients in a caring way. I consider Dr. Christiansen to be the father of my dental career. It is said that to become a true expert at something requires 10,000 hours or ten years to master a complex skill. This article: gives an interesting spin on this. The article states that you not only need the 10 years of intensive effort but also a good teacher who has already mastered the skill to be able to achieve excellence at a high level. I would not be where I am today without the mentoring and help from Dr. Christiansen. He gave me the guidance, mentoring, correction, and training that it takes over a long period of time to get good at doing crowns, fillings, cosmetic dentistry, and proper treatment planning of complex cases. While working at Christiansen Dental I learned the value of taking my time to do good quality work that would last and also taking the time to build a friendship with each of our patients. Dr. Christiansen is a caring individual who cares deeply not only about doing high quality work but also helping patients to be comfortable and have a good experience during the process. I am lucky and blessed to have worked with Dr. Christiansen as well as other excellent dentists and specialists during my training in dental school and in my general practice residency.

One of my dental school professors told us that for healthcare providers: “Competence is the first form of compassion.” In other words competence or the ability to provide appropriate and high quality care is the best way to be compassionate. We cannot truly be compassionate healthcare providers without also being competent. No one is perfect but we work very hard to be as perfect as we can be in our delivery of dental care. I try to select staff members who have excellent skill at what they do but are also gentle and compassionate. I am thankful for my parents and mentors that have helped me become the best I can be to serve you as a dentist in Herriman.

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