Some Thoughts on The Art of Dentistry After a Visit to The Louvre
The art on display is of course as magnificent as you would expect in these world-class museums, and I found my mind continually coming back to the people who created these masterworks. These artists were the thought leaders of their day and many of them produced their best work under extraordinarily difficult conditions.
Through wars and revolutions, through famine and plague, through natural disasters and government oppression—these artists continued to do what they were born to do, whatever it took. The artworks on those walls, and the monuments and buildings outside, are evidence of exceptional talent and demonstrate tremendous resolve and strength of character.
The other thing is, I don’t think most of the artists featured in these museums had a sense that their work would become an enduring, celebrated part of the human record. They were just capturing the world and their passions as they saw it and felt it at the time.
That’s where I see the parallel to dentistry. The mouth is a pretty small and very personal “canvas,” but it is the gateway to the human body in many respects. And your operatory is a fairly small “studio,” but the work you do there is part of a much greater good.
You can become so absorbed at such a micro level, doing what you were meant to do that it can be hard to see where you really fit in the scale of things. But what if in the end, you were able to look back over your career like someone taking a stroll through a museum? How many stages of progress will you be able to identify? How many lives will you have affected? What will be your legacy?
These are important questions. Because dentistry is an art, and your career is part of the big picture.