Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bouley, excellence, details, dentistry?

An afternoon spent at Bouley in Tribeca not only soothed my foodie soul but got me thinking about all that goes into making someone's "experience"an exceptional one. What is it that happens behind the scenes to ensure a seamless and incredible delivery of service that not only provides the recipient with more than what they came in for but in addition leaves them feeling special, appreciated and taken care of?

It's all in the details.

My family's recent visit to David Bouley's flagship restuarant in Manhattan was a culinary experience of the highest order ( From the moment we arrived to when we left, we felt that we were the most important guests that day. It started with the hostess treating my daughters (ages 7 and 12) as if they were young adults and including them in the welcome. Once seated in the beautifully appointed dining room, there was no end of staff that made us feel that we were there for an experience, not just a meal. The service was attentive, unobtrusive and personal.

I couldn't help but notice the incredible amount of detail that went into Chef Bouley's team, led by Marcellin Fal that afternoon, to make us feel that we were part of something bigger than just having lunch at a fancy restaurant. It was as if we were cherished guests at someone's home ( a mansion maybe, considering the luxurious appointments of the room, fresh flowers arranged with fall imagination, elegant silverware and china, and crisp linens) for the afternoon. The tasting menu took us on a imaginative journey of fresh vegetables, seafood, meat and game cooked in a a variety of sauces and presentations, and of course incredible desserts. A story was being told through every course.

The staff could tell that we were there to create a family memory, and they actually became excited to participate in our experience by becoming part of the table. They were engaging with our daughters and enjoyed hearing their reviews of the bathrooms (the best ones they've been in) and comments about the food. At the end of our 3 hour lunch, we felt that we had just had a vacation.

They also quickly realized my interest in food, cooking and entertaining, and they regaled me with tales of how Chef Bouley cooks even if his hands are tied- literally. He had suffered a kitchen accident a few weeks before our visit, and reportedly the day after his surgey had come into the kitchen with a cast on his hand saying he was there just to" look". However after a few minutes, he was stirring pots with his left hand. That's passion, and the blessing of doing something in life that you just cannot stay away from.

I also found out that he had learned how to cook from his grandmother in France as a young child. That resonated with me, as I too had started my love affair with food at the side of my grandmother, Biji, as a 10 year old. I fondly remember her early lessons of showing me how to wash my hands before touching anything in the kitchen. She was strict about kitchen hygiene and felt that the basics were the most important part of preparing an excellent meal. Guess what? She was right... After learning the ABC's of North Indian cooking following the basics of kitchen protocol from Biji, I have been able to translate that training into being able to cook in many different styles and cuisines. The bottom line, however, was the feeling with which she cooked. That was her biggest gift to me. Her love for the people that would eat the meals she prepared was the main ingredient in her cooking. And that is what I try to do. It starts with my desire to communicate my love, appreciation and gratitude for the people that I cook and bake for. It is my way to say thank you for being a part of my world.

So don't be surprised if you come into the office on a Saturday morning and have a freshly baked peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie waiting for you at the end of your visit (along with a toothbrush). It's just me saying thanks for allowing me and my team to take care of your dental needs.

Imagine my delight when Marcellin invited me to tour Chef Bouley's kitchen at the end of our visit. It was pure heaven to see the super organized work space of the team that executes the gastronomical delights that excite patrons day after day. The creativity and attention to detail is facilitated by the systematic approach to their craft but it is their teamwork that makes it all come into focus. Thank you, Marcellin, for all the time you spent with my family and the very generous extra's that were compliments of the chef.

I left inspired by the vision and passion of Chef Bouley and his team. I felt a renewed passion for my own love of dentistry and how we help our patients get excited about their health and well being. On the drive back to New Jersey, my mind was full of all the details my team takes care of behind the scenes before a patient is even seated in the chair, and additional ones that I can implement.

Nothing great is accomplished without a vision. Those that lead in any field are fearless because they dare to redefine excellence on a continuous basis. They also have the ability to design the details that acheive that vision and exceute it consistently. Of course, nothing happens without a team that works together to make the vision a reality. Leaders have the talent to pick and assemble dedicated and talented individuals that come together and orchestrate a symphony that is harmonious, sounds heavenly and appears effortless.

I will be introducing a 4 part series of blog entries to bring to life the nuances and details of the first few visits to my office. My sincere hope is that you will gain a full understanding of the scope and delivery of dental care at our practice, and learn what you, as my patient, can do to ensure that you experience optimal health and well being on a daily basis. In addition to my taking ideas and inspiration from other professions (such as those from Chef Bouley) to improve my healthcare delivery, I am continuously inspired and motivated by Dr. Peter Dawson, one of the giants of dentistry.

Remember that excellence is a journey, and it takes a lot to be able to hit all the high notes and run on all cylinders. Our goal is to create higher expectations and deliver at the level of those expectations; however, we are always a work in progress.

I salute David Bouley as a leader in his profession and an inspiration to those that aspire to break all boundries and define the standards of their field on their terms.

I respectfully acknowledge Dr. Peter Dawson as an individual who has moved me to redefine "usual and customary" dental care and dedicate the next 4 entries to him with my gratitude.

I end by paying homage to my Biji who taught me about putting love into everything I do. Love is what gives meaning to all other values, including passion and the pursuit of excellence!

I look forward to having you join me next time as I talk about your New Patient Experience at my practice.

Until next time,

Be well,

Live well,

Do well!



Sunday, October 24, 2010

Halloween - Trick or Treat?

"Do you let your kids eat candy?"

I am often asked that question.

I have witnessed all kinds of parental controls and attitudes towards the consumption of sticky, gooey and sugary treats. With Halloween around the corner, who can avoid the supermarket aisles of supersized bags of every possible variety of chocolate, gum and candy.

Kit Kats, M & Ms, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Milky Ways, Butterfingers, Almond Joys, O'Henrys, Nestle Crunchs, Hershey kisses...
Gummy bears, Candy corn, Laffy Taffy, Airheads, Mary Janes, Sour patch kids, Lifesavers, Lollipops, Jaw breakers, Milk duds, Lemon Heads...

I am in no way trying to establish myself as an authority on candy, but you get the picture of the long list of available goodies that tempt not only children, but everyone yearlong and especially in the next few weeks as America gears up for a night of Trick-or-Treating.

Lets talk about what happens in our mouth when we eat sugary foods or drinks:

Bacteria in our mouth feast on starchy foods. They produce acids that bathe the teeth for approximately 20 minutes or more. If you have consumed a sugary drink (soda is the biggest source of refined sugar in the American diet) then you have the additional disadvantage of introducing phosphoric and citric acid to the oral environment. All these acids break down the tooth enamel and cause decay and erosion.

Can you picture 12 teaspoons of sugar in your mind? That's quite a lot of sugar. Well, bring up that visual when you drink a 12 oz can of regular soda. You are consuming that much sugar every time you consume a can of regular soda. It will be harmful not only for your teeth but your waistline as well. And remember the fact that those acids and sugars will stay on your teeth for a minimum of 20 minutes wreaking all kinds of havoc on your teeth. It is chaos and a riot in there!

We all are aware of candy and sweets causing cavities but what about sticky carbohydrates like potato chips? What happens when you crunch and munch chips with your favorite dip? I can't be the only one in the world that has to keep using my tongue to clear out the chips from tiny crevices between my teeth. They even stick to the chewing surfaces of my teeth.

Well, there is a price to pay with all this consumption of sugary foods, especially ones that are sticky and slow to dissolve.

Should you eat candy? Chips? Chocolate? White bread? Cookies? Granola bars? Raisins?

It's up to you. However, I can tell you that making choices of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, yogurt, nuts, cheeses, low fat dairy products and complex carbohydrates are healthier for you and your teeth. A balanced diet boosts your immune system and helps maintain strong teeth and healthy gums. There is a direct link between your oral health and your general health, especially your cardiac health.

Helpful tips for Halloween

  1. Sort the loot when you get home. If you don't like any of the collected candy, put it in a give away pile.

  2. Find a local organization that sends candy to our troops. Donate the unwanted and extra pieces of candy. Try

  3. Buy your kids' candy back or have them trade it for privileges they desire. Then donate it.

  4. Restrict eating the candy to specific times of the day after a meal (when the saliva flow is helping wash away the sugars and sticky stuff)

  5. Eat whatever pieces of candy you have decided you want to enjoy in one sitting rather than throughout the day. Follow up with brushing your teeth immediately.

  6. Candidly discuss the effect of candy and sugary foods on our teeth and general health with your children so they can understand why it's not a good idea to gorge on it. You will be surprised at how involving them in the discussion makes them want to take responsibility.

  7. Limit the amount of candy you keep in the house after Halloween. The more you have laying around, the more the temptation there is to eat it.

  8. Before Halloween, decide on a time period when it would be OK for your kids to eat candy. For instance, you may feel that 2 weeks of a little more than usual consumption of candy is allowable. Or, your tolerance may be for just a few days. Make a pact with your kids.

  9. Insist on proper brushing (brushing both the insides and outsides of teeth with circular motion at the gumline and the tongue and roof of the mouth for at least 2 minutes) right after eating candy. Supervise the younger kids and even brush for them if you feel that they might miss some areas on their own.

  10. Redirect the focus on the costumes instead of the candy.

  11. Enjoy the festivities. Try not to make candy and sugary foods and drinks the "bad foods." There is a difference between calling them bad and understanding the harmful effects of overindulging in them. By encouraging your kids to learn about nutrition and healthy choices, you will empower them to make smart decisions on their own. Policing them will not have the same long term result and may even push them towards viewing candy as a "forbidden" food. That can spur them to desire it more. Just limit the consumption and have them brush their teeth.

  12. Have fun with your kids and unleash the kid in you on Halloween!

And, yes, my kids do get to eat candy.

Until next time,

Be Well,

Do Well,

Live Well!



Tuesday, September 7, 2010


"He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery" - Harold Wilson

There is no doubt that in order to survive we must make changes along the way. As research reveals more information to us, we must adapt our behaviour so that we can incorporate these findings into our life style. For example, smoking was not an uncommon habit amongst pregnant women just 30-40 years ago. Imagine that! It was socially accepted then and you won't have to go very far to meet a woman who tells you that she smoked all through her pregnancy and breastfeeding period in the 60's or prior to that. Can you think of anyone you know today who would do that? (At least publicly)

Change is essential to our survival.

Let's take brushing and flossing.
Why do we need to floss on top of brushing- isn't brushing enough?
What are the benefits of flossing?
Why do we need to do either?

A paradigm shift has occurred that must be discussed to answer all of the above questions.

Brushing and flossing is not just about your oral health but about your OVERALL HEALTH AND LONGEVITY.

Research now shows what the dental profession has known for years. Your general health is directly connected to the state of your oral health. Diabetes, cardiac conditions,high blood pressure, premature birth rates, etc. are linked to a higher incidence of periodontal (gum) disease. Researchers from NYU in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey compared the incidence of being at high risk for diabetes among people who had gum disease to those that did not. 93% of adults with gum disease met those guidelines as opposed to 63% of individuals who did not have gum disease. That is a significant difference.

So the WHY should we brush and floss has changed to include benefits for our overall health in addition to the past known reasons such as prevention of gingivitis, gum disease, cavities, bad breath and eventually loss of teeth. Not to mention the social suicide one commits when walking out the door with anything less that minty, fresh breath. That usually is the motivating factor for young teens and adolescents and works well when encouraging them to take better care of their oral hygiene...

The next question becomes HOW to brush and floss optimally.
The previous blog entry gives a detailed description of how to optimally brush your teeth, so today we will focus on flossing. And the answer to the question- is flossing necessary? Yes, because it removes bacteria from areas that a brush cannot reach. Aside from helping to prevent cavities, flossing helps prevent bad breath!
Take a 12-18 inch piece of floss. Wrap it around the middle fingers of both hands and place the floss below the contact point of two teeth using the thumbs to push it down. Make the letter 'C' around a tooth and floss the part of the tooth that is under the gum (not the gum between the 2 teeth) Then wrap the C around the adjacent tooth and floss the area under the gum of that tooth with an up and down motion with gentle pressure. Continue around the mouth including the back of the last tooth. Keep changing the floss portion used as you advance. You are essentially flossing the part of the tooth that is under the gum and is between two teeth. This area is not accessible to toothbrush bristles. See this link for proper illustrations regarding flossing.

Flossing is like exercising. We all know it's good for us but what stops us from doing it daily?

Lets go through all the 'reasons' why we don't floss daily -despite what we promise ourselves we will do as we leave the dentist's office with 'clean teeth' and feeling freshly motivated by the hygienist. That will help us change our habits

I have no time to floss- Set aside time for flossing when you know you won't be rushing out the door(AM) or are too tired to do it(PM). You know when your daily routine will allow you the extra 60 seconds it takes to floss. Also,it may sound weird at first, but flossing while doing a sedentary activity like watching TV is an excellent way to get started.

I don't know how to floss- Everyone in our office is happy to spend the time to show you how to effectively floss. It is also a routine part of your re care visit with us.

My gums bleed when I floss so why bother- If you do not have underlying gum problems that require definitive treatment then this bleeding will stop after a few days of regular flossing. Less bacteria, less bleeding. Remember that healthy gums don't bleed.

I just can't use the floss- Then try the flossers that have a handle. It helps patients that have a dexterity limitation or are beginner flossers

My floss catches and tears- Then buy super floss and have us check your dental work to make sure all margins are healthy and don't need replacement.

I forget to floss everyday- Don't worry, you'll get there. I'm thrilled that you are flossing a few days a week. Add another day every few weeks and in a few months you will be flossing every day. A tip that works wonderfully is to simply floss before you brush.

I just don't want to floss- OK, but be prepared for increasing expenses and time commitments at your dentist's office to treat those conditions arising from a lack of flossing. You may also find yourself with increased risk for general health issues.

REMEMBER- Self improvement is all about changing.
Habits take about21 days of consistent and daily effort to change or create
  • Be realistic about setting goals.
  • Post reminders on your bathroom mirror
  • Celebrate small advancements
  • Buy new floss and tooth brushes
  • Be enthusiastic when putting forth the effort
  • Adjust expectations
  • Practice patience
  • Practice constructive discontent


I learn a lot from listening to my patients. All of the above information is based on communications that they have had with my team and myself about the challenges they have had with flossing over the years. We are here to help you take the best possible care of your health and well being.

I would like to leave you with two recent conversations I had with patients that have struck me as the 'paradigm shifts' that are necessary to accomplish lasting change of any sort.

Tim (not patient's real name) was in for his re care appointment a few months ago. I always look forward to his visits because it gives me an opportunity to check out what's happening in his field. We talk about all kinds of interesting stuff from what's going on in his industry, psychology, raising kids, following our passions and anything else that is 'hot' that day. At the end of his appointment, I was showing him flossing techniques when he said, 'You know, I was at the gym with my trainer the other day and he was spotting me while I lifted weights. He wanted to push me and so asked me to do a few more for him. It just hit me at that moment- No...I will not do it for you. I will do it for ME! That's when I just shifted my paradigm It's the same about flossing. I am going to do it for me."

Ken (not patient's real name) was in just last week for his re-care appointment. He felt that he had "slacked off" during the summer but was very motivated to get back to regular flossing and wondered out loud why it was so "hard" to stay on the course. I asked him why he flossed? He said for his health. Obviously that was not enough to get him the results that he was looking for. So I told him that studies showed that flossing regularly could add up to 6 years to his life. And that's in addition to the other health benefits that the habit brings along. Ken has 2 toddlers and I suggested that he visualize being there not only for them but for their children as well. This kind of purpose makes it so easy to set a goal and stay on course. The purpose becomes bigger than us and it drives us to accomplish anything we set our minds on.

So find a purpose that works for you and go for the goal.
'til next time,
Be well,
Live well,
Do well.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Tooth Abrasion

Treatment of dental disease is obviously what we are trained to do. However it is very exciting to be able to teach patients how to avoid needing treatment in the first place. One of the most common findings of a routine dental examination is the appearance of abrasion at the neck of teeth. Usually we see these areas from the canines (I teeth onwards) towards the molars (back teeth.)

In this photograph, you can see that the patient has abrasion at the junction of the teeth and the gum and it even involves the crown placed on the molar.

Causes of tooth abrasion:

• Aggressive tooth brushing in a scrubbing motion
• Using a toothbrush with hard bristles
• Using toothpaste, especially ‘ whitening toothpastes’ more than twice a day
• Bite issues where the forces borne by the teeth are higher than they are designed to bear and are in the direction that is unfavorable to the teeth. For example, the molars are primarily designed to withstand vertical forces so any side to side directed forces will be harmful to the tooth.
• Movement of the teeth during orthodontic treatment
• Susceptibility of the cervical area of the tooth due the bone covering it being thin
• Positioning of the tooth in the arch can higher the risk of abrasion. For instance, if a patients canines are prominently place in the arch (stick out), then they have a higher risk of abrading the enamel when they brush
Since the enamel is thinnest at this area, it doesn’t take much to see the effects of any of the above causes. Recession of the gum tissue quickly follows. Both abrasion and recession are irreversible.

Symptoms of tooth abrasion:

• Asymptomatic
• Sensitivity to cold
• Esthetic compromises to smile
Complications of tooth abrasion
• Progression of symptoms mentioned above could lead to a patient avoiding certain foods and drinks like ice cream and cold beverages
• Abrasion of enamel could be followed by entry into dentin which dictates treatment options that are more aggressive- like a crown
• In extreme cases, the nerve of the tooth maybe exposed making a root canal and a crown unavoidable.
• Loss of protective gum tissue (attached gingival- due to recession) that acts like a turtle neck around the tooth and helps keep out harmful bacteria that would cause the tooth to loosen in its socket

Photograph of an advanced abrasion that is complicated by long standing bite issues. Treatment of this case requires a thorough diagnosis and evaluation.

Prevention of Abrasion:

• Use a soft or super soft toothbrush
• Use only a small amount of toothpaste twice a day. If brushing during the day, try using Listerine or no toothpaste- instead relying on gentle circular motion of the toothbrush to remove food particles and bacteria
• Use minimal pressure while brushing
• Place the bristles of your toothbrush at an angle in the sulcus of the gum (at the junction of the tooth and gum) and gently move the brush to and fro/circularly on the spot. Try not to brush more than 2-3 teeth at a time. Do this about 10-15 times per area for the front and back of all teeth.
• Switch to a rotary brush if you cannot control the pressure with which you brush. Remember to operate it at the lowest setting possible.
• Switch to your non dominant hand while brushing. If you are right handed, try brushing with your left hand so you apply less pressure.
• Try brushing with your thumb and 2 fingers instead of grasping the brush with your hand.
• Brush slowly and deliberately.

Remember that abrasion is a condition that is preventable- not reversible. We are specially trained to detect early signs and symptoms of bite problems and damage that is caused by aggressive brushing. It is our practice mission to help you develop healthy hygiene practices and to prevent your bite from damaging your teeth.
I will have some tips to help you change your brushing habits in the next blog entry.

'til then,
Be well,
Live well,
Do well.


Passions are personal. But the result of living a life that includes, and revolves around, different passions is universal. How many times have you had a conversation with someone who just gushed about a subject or spent time with someone who seemed to be doing something that just released a special energy into the air? That enthusiasm is unmistakable and is what passion is all about. Something that gets us excited!

Well, continuing education is one of my passions. My staff knows that it’s going to be a high energy Monday when I return from a course. The good thing is that they share that passion for learning, so they are always eager to join me in bringing the best to our patients by attending courses themselves.

This June, I attended a Head and Neck Dissection course at LSU in Louisiana taught by one of dentistry’s highly regarded minds, Dr. Henry A. Gremillion (see photo to left, photo not of Dr. Gremillion). It was an excellent refresher to the anatomy of an area that I treat every day . It was a great opportunity to see once again the regions of the mouth that I administer local anesthesia to. But the bigger purpose of selecting that course was to be able to see the TMJ and all the muscles in the head and neck area that get affected when a patient’s bite is off (their teeth don’t fit their jaws properly.) The term ‘TMD’ or ‘TMJ’ is used loosely by most people when they are having muscle tension / tenderness or spasm due to this discrepancy which is caused by those muscles having to function in an adaptive capacity over a long or short period of time. In some cases, however, symptoms may be the result of actual physical deterioration of the joint.

Most learners would agree that there is a tremendous amount of energy at continuing education gatherings that propels us towards learning more so we may get better at problem solving. It is also a source of making connections with like minded practitioners. Some of my best friends and mentors in dentistry have been people that I have met at such courses. It was great seeing Vali from Michigan at LSU once again - I had taken a Dawson Academy hands-on course with him in 2007.

I can’t speak of passions and leave out food. I love to think about it, cook it, express my feelings through it, connect with my friends and family through it, learn about it and of course, eat it!

So you can only imagine how things went in New Orleans…One of the local dentists had recommended some fabulous eateries in the city and one of them was Drago’s for char broiled oysters. Once there, it was a sight to be seen. A huge grill with oysters being broiled on top, smoke billowing towards the exhaust after a liquid was generously poured over them, waiters constantly rushing to tables with trays laden with these heavenly delights and patrons not even waiting for them to cool down before tearing the accompanying french bread and dipping into the shells. My husband Tim and I were no exception. There was silence at the table until we had mopped up every single shell with the bread. And then just a single look was exchanged between us that did not need any words to describe what we had experienced. Pure delight.

I tried hard to recreate that recipe back in NJ and this is surprisingly close enough to mimic the taste.

- Light a charcoal fire.
- Ensure that the fire is red hot and your grill is positioned fairly close to the fire. (6-8 inches)
- If you have them, add some hickory chips that you have presaoked.
- Place thoroughly washed unopened clams or oysters on the grill (I used fresh
oysters and clams from a fish market). They will open up in a few minutes. Be patient.
- Once they have opened up, pour salted melted butter very generously over the clams or oyster shells. The fire will engulf them quickly. Then add grated Parmesan cheese (powder form) and let them cook for a couple more minutes. I’ve also dunked the clams in a bowl with the mixture and that worked just fine also. The mix (and resulting flames) seem to cause any unopened clams to get in line with the others.
- If Clams,have a big serving bowl ready with about 1-2 sticks of melted butter and some Parmesan mixed in it. Keep taking off the clams and place in serving dish straight from the grill. Mix all together. You will notice a very smoky flavor in the butter.

Serve with French baguettes or Italian bread that you warmed on the grill.

Excellent with cold beer or your favorite beverage.

Bon Apetit!

Be well,
Live well,
Do well.

Inaugural Post

My name is Sunita Merriman and it is my privilege to welcome you to the inaugural entry to my blog.

The title of this blog is Dental Chronicles. I am dentist by profession and am one of the blessed people that understand what Confucius meant when he said,
“Look for an occupation that you like, and you will not labor for a single day in your life.” To me dentistry is not just about ‘fixing teeth’ but about the health and well being of my patients. I strongly believe that my goal of helping my patients keep their teeth looking and feeling great for the rest of their life is realistic and within the reach of the average person in America. Smile makeovers are not just for celebrities and the rich. They can be had by anyone who feels that they would improve their self esteem, social engagement, job opportunities and sense of esthetics. A well trained dentist can actually make a significant improvement in a patients smile by not necessarily doing a total ‘reconstruction’ of their teeth but by performing a minimal amount of dentistry that makes a subtle but pleasing changes to the overall effect of their smile.

Being a good dentist to me also means to be able to detect conditions that would become a more complex problem later on. Something that gets diagnosed early on would mean that my patients would avoid needing to undergo more procedures, spend more money and have a compromised or even hopeless result later on when the issue has compounded. That is not what I want for my patients.

I practice Complete Dentistry which simply put means that I take into consideration my patient’s entire masticatory system when examining them and determining their treatment needs. This allows me to be able to prescribe the minimum amount of dental procedures they will need over their life time and is truly the most conservative way to practice dentistry. It is only when the Temporomandibular joints, the muscles that attach the upper and lower jaws to the adjoining structures and the teeth work together as a harmonious system that there is good oral health. It is no surprise to me when I see patients with TMJ symptoms and worn teeth in my practice on a daily basis. It is not normal and the pain, suffering and irreversible destruction of teeth could have been avoided if diagnosed early on.

If I could have a dime for every time I’ve had a patient say, “Dr. Merriman, it’s not you. Don’t take it personally, but I hate coming to the dentist.” I would be donating a good amount of money to my favorite charity.

Here at my practice, we do take it personally! Dentistry is not just about teeth. It is about our patients feeling comfortable in our skills and knowledge and trusting our intentions to help them. This takes time and patience and an atmosphere and environment that are designed to allow our patients to be heard while they express their fears and concerns. We want our patients to be our partners in their care and to be excited about the fact that they have decided to invest in their health and well being. That is a powerful feeling...

Everyone is different and will take a unique approach to their care. The beauty of helping individuals reach their goals with a customized approach based on their need is what makes our job exciting and fulfilling!

The practice of dentistry is dynamic. There is much to learn and keep up with at a pretty fast pace. In this ever changing world of dental materials and technologies, some basic values remain constant. Integrity, honesty, compassion, quality, learning, sharing and most of all humility are on the top of my list.
No one ever gets anywhere by themselves. I am the poster child of this reality.

I would like to conclude this entry by making special mention of some of my mentors and champions:

-My mother Shan Merriman who told me to always dream Big and In Color and made me believe that I could achieve all those dreams.
-My family that likes me even when I don’t find myself amusing.
-Biji and Aunt Phyll who inspired me with their generosity of spirit and unconditional love
-Dr. Frank Spear who early on in the development of my practice validated a lot of what I ’ knew’ inherently as my path by having a 3 day lecture around it which made me feel that I could practice successfully with excellence and passion.
-Dr. Peter Dawson who taught me about Complete Dentistry but more importantly exemplifies what it means to be uncommonly gracious and giving, brilliant yet approachable, strong and unyielding in the face of challenges and most of all, passionate about mentoring others so we can all raise the bar beyond ‘usual and customary’
-My friends who inspire me to be worthy of their love and support.
-My team at work who inspire me to work hard to earn their commitment and respect.
-My patients who inspire me to improve daily so I may earn their trust.
-My daughters Nina and Simrin who give me purpose.
-My husband Tim who lovingly colors in the big dreams!

I look forward to having you with me on this journey of sharing information about dentistry, your well being , and optimal health and life lessons that I learn every day about living with passion!

Martha’s Vineyard July 2010

'til next time,
Be well,
Live well,
Do well.