There are a lot of things I love about being a dentist—I can run my own business, study materials science and medicine, and play with high-tech tools that would make a mad scientist drool. But these are just the perks of the job. The real heart of the matter, what keeps me going forward every day, even when things seem bleak from a “business” perspective, is the ability I have to directly help people in need. Dentistry is one of the most crucial aspects of healthcare that has an awful stigma of pain and cruelty. I like to think that I am a living counterexample of that—a dentist whose first and only priority is bringing smiles to my patients’ face through kindness, comfort, and expert oral care.
The smile is what makes everything worth it. My most memorable moments as a dentist are not necessarily when I accomplish a difficult procedure, or use a brand new tool for the first time. It’s when I see someone who is in pain—real, visceral pain that you can see in their face and behavior—and I face the very real challenge of making them smile again. They see you can’t really experience true happiness unless you have truly suffered. I believe there is some truth to this—rather than feeling pity or remorse for those that are suffering, I get to address the suffering in the world hands-on every day. What I have seen are some of the happiest moments in people’s lives, when they are suddenly relieved of incapacitating, chronic pain, and see the world through new eyes.
Unfortunately, from a business perspective, there is only so much I can do to address the suffering of the deeply needy. That’s why Dentistry From The Heart is such an amazing organization—they provide sponsorships for dentists around the country (and the world) to provide complimentary care to those in need. Every year, Schaumburg Dental Studio hosts a Dentistry From The Heart clinic, where we treat as many people as we can fit in a day, providing fillings, extractions, and cleanings free of charge. It’s our way of giving back to the community which has shown us so much love.
— Dr. Jignesh Patel