Sunday, February 14, 2016

Word Of Mouth

I started over Wednesday before last. My dentist since 1998, Dr. Campbell, retired several months ago and I was forced to find a new one. Deep down, I knew he would leave his practice sometime but it wasn't until I received a nice note in my mailbox in the summer months that it hit home. He was one of the reasons I moved to Houston in the first place. One the way back to the airport after my interview at WCS, Bob McCloy, our head of school, informed me there was a terrific dentist whose children attended Westbury Christian and he discounted 50% on EVERYTHING for faculty members. As I was in the process of some work, that was a selling point. And so, Dr. Campbell was in charge of my dental health for close to two decades, even when his daughters were long since graduated from Westbury Christian. One thing I'll miss- his practice started seeing patients at 6:45 AM. That's a plus when you hate missing school!

My new dentist is just two blocks from our school.  He's on our school insurance plan, another first for me. My initial appointment was simply a checkup and cleaning- it had been since late April. His hygienist told me she had been in the same room for twenty-six years with the same view out of the same window and her kids had gone to our school when they were little, before they moved to Sugar Land. We knew a number of the same folks which was comforting. She took X-rays and did a cleaning. The doctor came in and looked in my mouth and the X-rays and gave me a thumbs up as had the hygienist. When I left, we made indefinite plans for my next checkup which would be in the middle of in-service. Not the worst excuse to get out of meetings!

I was so happy to come away with a good first visit and clean bill of oral health but that's not what I will remember. My lasting impression is that both my new hygienist and my new dentist praised the work of Dr. Campbell. They had me open wide and inspected the work of their predecessor and were pleased with what they saw. They will build on the foundation of Charles Campbell who built on the work of Steve Thaxton in Lebanon, Tennessee who built on the work of Dr. Clement in Valdosta, Georgia who built on the inaugural work all the way back to Lyle Furst, DDS in York, Nebraska. And thanks to my folks who even though we were not wealthy made regular trips to the dentist a priority. I am convinced that every dentist who works on you leaves their mark, good or bad. Sometimes, they must build on another's craftsmanship or maybe even correct a colleague's mistake. More often, they make the best of the bad decisions the patients have made, mainly neglect or bad habit. I have no doubt the Lord has sent good dentists my way, just like I believe He sent good teachers and coaches and mentors my way. After the basic foundation my parents laid, they helped mold and shaped me into an adult who now is charged with doing the same for this generation. But it all comes down to the words carved into the front of the Bible building at Harding University which were stamped into my consciousness as I walked by daily for four years:
For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1st Corinthians 3:11 ASV)
That's it; no other foundation. Not money or education or power or fame. Not even teeth! NO OTHER FOUNDATION! But I am grateful for a good checkup!

Applicable quote of the day:
Blessed are they who hold lively conversations with the helplessly mute, for they shall be called dentists.
Ann Landers

God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

No comments: