Reflections After a Great American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) Meeting
I like to go to these American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) meetings at least every other year. In the beginning before I had my own family I went every year. My first year was 1989 when it was held in St.Thomas. What a great place to go to a meeting I thought! I fell in love with the dentists and people I met there. The dentistry was exquisite. The commitment to quality work, honorable patient care and integrity in communication also matched my own values. I decided to immediately enter into their cosmetic dentistry Accreditation program in my second year, 1990. If I passed all five required cosmetic dentistry cases after presenting them to a board of then well known names in dentistry (Dr. Micheal Miller, Dr. Dan Mayeda and Dr. Ross Nash to name three) and if I passed the oral evaluation of my work, then I would be Accredited. I would join an small, committed, smart and very, very, very talented group of dentists in the world whom could put AAACD after their name and proudly feel the accomplishment of the journey.
So I set out. In that year time a young woman with small teeth came to me needing six porcelain veneers across her front teeth to give her confidence in college and beyond. A psychologist approached me for cosmetic bonding across his front six upper teeth because he could not express himself fully without worrying about his chipped and worn teeth. A glamorous real estate agent found herself hiding her teeth with her hand because every time she smiled, an ugly, mismatch front porcelain crown was revealed. A very young fourteen year old girl was brought in by her mother. She was so painfully shy because of her tiny, underdeveloped teeth. (Believe it - she is still our patient today, now we see her kids!) A grandfather came in because he was losing his lower front tooth and his granddaughter was asking him pointed questions about "that ugly tooth" and he did not want to lie anymore.
All these people wanted to change their life and they knew Smile Design treatment would do that. All these people changed my life too because they allowed me the privilege of helping them receive the smile they really wanted, a smile that inspired their life, those around them and mine. For me, I passed all five cases upon presentation (very seldom done) and joined that small, talented group. I became the fourth woman in the world to be an Accredited Cosmetic Dentist by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. That changed my life.
Now I return every other year to see my close friends, to be updated in the ever changing world of dental technology and cosmetic dentistry and to support the current Accreditation examination process. Mostly I come back because I am committed to making a difference in the lives of people I touch. The AACD gives me that opportunity every single day.
Bye 'till next blog,
N. Summer Lerch, DDS, FAGD, AAACD