I love chocolate!! That really doesn’t have a lot to do with much else but I felt the need to get that off my chest. I know, I know-I’m a dentist and I’m only supposed to like sugar free treats and floss immediately afterwards. But I have always had a sweet tooth (I used to keep Bazooka Bubble Gum in my car- don’t tell anyone please). I have been in a close relationship with Hershey’s Chocolate ever since my grandmother would hand out the chocolate bars after dinner on Friday nights when I was 7 years old. Plain or almond- I didn’t care. Hershey’s kisses are still one of my favorite food groups. But my other favorite candy bar from years ago was the one sold by schools and charities-“World’s Finest Chocolate”; a single dollar bill would buy you a scrumptious chocolate bar and the beauty of it has always been that the $1.00 cost never went up- it was always one chocolate bar for one dollar.

But alas that was long ago, before the schools switched their fund raising to gift wrapping paper, Joe Corbi pizzas, light bulbs (I kid you not)….no more simple chocolate bars….Now, this trip down memory lane will become more relevant at the end of this piece.

Last week I was in Scottsdale teaching . I was supposed to be there for 3 days but they were a little short on teachers for their next course and they asked if I could help them out, which of course I was happy to do. But as much as I love teaching and being out in Scottsdale, AZ I was thrilled to be back in my office this past Monday morning. I feel very blessed that I truly enjoy my practice and my patients. I am fond of saying that, at times, my office seems like one big open house with friends dropping by to say hello and catch up. After all, many of these people have been patients of mine for 25 years and we have shared many life experiences.

I was reminded of this richness on Monday with my first few patients. One example was with a long time patient, Jack , who has always wanted to make his front teeth more attractive but has lacked the funds to do what is necessary to achieve his goal of a better smile. I am actually going to save this story for my next Blog entry because it is a great story on its own…and yes, my assistant, Edie always reminds me to keep these pieces shorter so, in the interests of brevity-

Let’s turn our attention to another great patient, Mary. Mary works as a teller in one of the banks here at Green Spring Station. For years I would see Mary on a weekly basis when I would bring in my deposits and we would exchange pleasantries; she has always had a very sweet smile but never showed her teeth, apparently because of their yellow, worn appearance. To make a long story short, she became a patient and I had the privilege of restoring her smile and now she is a smiling goddess!

She was so happy in fact that she sent her friend in for a consult because she was unhappy with her smile. Jan came in and said how her goal was to be a sexy 60 year old and wanted to do whatever was necessary to get her teeth with the program. This, also, is a nice story that I will postpone for another Blog piece but suffice it to say that it is patients like Mary and Jan that make my practice such a happy, fun and satisfying place to be.

So back to Monday morning- I had a few minutes of free time and I decided to run to the bank since I had been away for a week. And as luck would have it, Mary was my teller and what did she have in front of her spot but a box of World’s Finest Chocolate!! (See, I told you it would all come together)…and it was still just $1.00!! But as luck would have it, I did not have my wallet with me so I was not able to purchase a “memory”. I went back to the office and continued to see patients until Cindy, our amazing receptionist, came back and told me that Mary had stopped by to bring me a World’s Finest Chocolate bar as well as to pick up some business cards for her coworkers.

To have patients and staff ¬†you truly enjoy to work with, to be able to provide the absolute best, state of the art treatment as well as enjoy an open house environment on a daily basis….It doesn’t get any better than that! And so, if you will excuse me, I have a chocolate bar to enjoy- and yes, after that I will floss!