Before I take off for a nice week with our kids and grandkids, let me take time to express my thanks to you for the kind support that you have given to Danyel and me through the American Association of Independent Periodontists.  In six very short months, you have made your presence known through your comments and questions. You have joined our organization purely on faith, in the hope that we might provide you with an alternative to the method in which you are practicing.  I hope that we have provided you with substantive tools that are helping you.

We are grateful to the many who have contacted us and to the growing group of periodontists who have asked us to speak to their groups.  Your thoughts have crystalized our thoughts, and your encouragement has made our workload lighter as we are truly enjoying working with you and being with you.

I also give thanks for those who have trained me to be the observer that I am, for those who dedicate themselves to the biology of the mouth and the answers that they have created for me.  I thank those who came before me, who consulted with me, and who helped me understand the value that the periodontist brings to dentistry.  We, as periodontists, have learned what no other profession of dentistry learns, the biological as well as the physical means by which we can create permanent help for our patients.

I thank my business consultants who taught me the methods by which I can communicate that help to my existing patients as well as my future patients.   It is your vision, your foresight that have opened my eyes to the true possibility that periodontics can be a primary care entity.  And that is exactly what has happened.  My dental teachers taught me assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment planning, and application of sound treatment modalities to be sure that my patients improve their oral and dental health.  My business consultants, my teachers in business, in communications, in public relations, and in marketing created the tools to allow me to be primary care periodontist that I have become.

And finally I give thanks to the close-knit group of people who support me right here at home, my wife who plans our lives together, creating family events that I can always look forward to as well as three children, their spouses (and almost spouse) as well as two grandchildren who have added so much to our lives. And then there is my partner in the AAIP, Danyel, whose love for our profession and for our practice has created this entity that sets the example for what a dental practice can be, and who thinks of people as friends first.  It is her driving force that has created two practices and a total of 18 people, all working comfortably in a small physical space.  Thank you for creating that organization that our staff gives 100% to, that our patients relish coming to.

One more word for you, the periodontist who is reading this.  You are a trained professional. You offer more than any other dental professional to your patients’ well being.  You can do it all. You can examine, diagnose, and plan. You can save teeth whenever possible and can place dental implants when not.  You have all the tools to give the complex patient not only hope, but also a true, predictable dental answer.  It was your teachers, just as it was my teachers who made you into the practitioner that you are today.  Just because the business model is changing doesn’t mean that you don’t still have those tools.  You are in a profession that you can be proud of.  It is only the simplicity of adapting that business model that will allow for more deserving patients to find  you.

Happy Thanksgiving

Lee Sheldon