By Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor
As I write this column, it is early June, and we are approaching the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing on the coast of German-occupied France. D-Day was an extremely important day in history that led to the defeat of the German army and the end of World War II in Europe. I remember that day with gratitude to the men who stormed those beaches and fought to restore freedom to so many people.
Today, many dentists, including both men and women, are serving their country in the Army, the Air Force, and the Navy. During a mostly peaceful time in our recent history, their role today is much different than the role I served when I was in the Navy. In today's world, dentists help our military personnel to avoid dental problems through the treatment of oral disease and preventative education. In combat, dentists are trained to assist in emergency medical care, especially in situations where no physicians or corpsmen are present.
In this issue of DE, we salute those dentists who have served their country. We have featured Army Major Eric Danko, DMD, as a symbol of all those dentists who have served. I am proud of them, for they have given up much in their lives to serve. All of them have served with honor and distinction for many years.
I am proud of our country, and I stand straight with my hand on my breast as I sing our national anthem. By the time I finish, I usually have to wipe a tear away from my eye. I have a hard time watching any war movie without tearing up. I am proud to be an American, and I am proud of all of those who serve their country, particularly in a time of a voluntary armed force. May God bless and keep them all. May we never forget their service and sacrifice.
This year, celebrate the Fourth of July with renewed enthusiasm. I remember growing up in a suburb of St. Louis, where all of the kids in my neighborhood would order fireworks catalogs from a firm in Pennsylvania. In the spring, we would get together and decide what each of us wanted to order. Then, we placed a huge -- or, at least it seemed huge to us -- order of almost everything that went "bang." By the middle of June, our order would arrive in a couple of big wooden boxes at the Railway Exchange Office. One of our parents would take us to pick them up, and we would spend the rest of the day sorting the fireworks. They usually lasted until the end of July. What great fun!
I call your attention to two feature articles for this month. Dr. Tony Feck writes on "Four Game Changers for Your Practice in 2014." He challenges you to start finding out what your customers want and to discover how to give it to them. He gives you four new ideas that many successful dentists are using to increase production in their practices. I know you will find something you can use!
Dr. Al Ousborne discusses the "New World of Dentistry." In his feature article, he describes what it has been like to go from the age of belt-driven handpieces, reusable needles, and stand-up dentistry, to the new world of electric handpieces, digital impressions, sit-down dentistry, and CAD/CAM. He asks you to recognize that digital dentistry will let you see your preparations 40 times larger. The patient wins, your team wins, and you win. So, what are you waiting for?
Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor