The Dental Geek &”Mentor Series”

Author: Dental Geek
08.03.10 / 10:30 am

Howdy, Geeks! I am starting a feature for the blog called the “Mentor Series.” I will be discussing people who have had a profound influence on my career in dental. These people come from all professions within dentistry: dentists, hygienists, dental manufacturer executives, lab technicians, and even some outstanding dental salespeople. I hope you enjoy reading about these dental greats; they have helped me immensely and have been great contributors to my success.

Mentor Series- Mentor #1

Leading off my new Mentor Series is a dentist who has had a major effect on my professional dental career: Dr. Joe Blaes. Dr. Blaes was one of the first Key Opinion Leading dentists that I met, well over a decade ago.

I recall clearly that I had scheduled an appointment with him at the Greater New York Dental Meeting. In preparation, I had devoured months and months of his writings in Dental Economics (Dr. Joe Blaes is the Editor in Chief of PennWell Publications, Dental Economics). His”Pearls for Your Practice” editorial segment had a distinct and highly regarded brand within the industry. If your product or service was mentioned favorably in “Pearls for Your Practice,” you were golden!

Dr. Blaes’ writings truly acclimated me to a foreign industry. I quickly learned the benefits of flowable composites, and from that point on, I would never look at a veneer the same way. Dr. Blaes has an incredible knack of distilling complex scientific concepts into easily understood information. Most of my early dental learning is directly attributable to Dr. Joe Blaes’ writings.

Years later, I was walking the McCormick Place show floor at the Chicago Midwinter Meeting with Dr. Blaes. We were meeting to discuss an upcoming roundtable session that he was to moderate for a client of mine. We decided to get a cup of coffee when, to both of our chagrins, a molar cap flew out of my mouth onto the carpet in front of us. I think I cursed, and Dr. Blaes put his arm around my shoulder and said, “Follow me, Mike!” We proceeded to the show floor and went into the booth of a large dental manufacturer. Dr. Blaes slapped on some gloves and directed a salesperson to get him some materials and a curing light. By this time, a crowd had formed around us! I remember sitting on an office chair. Within fifteen minutes, my tooth was repaired. During the reparations, Dr. Blaes conducted a demo of the products he was using. The crowd applauded, and Dr. Blaes and I proceeded to our meeting. Seven years later, the crown is still in place. Thank you, Dr. Blaes! (I never even got a bill from him!)

Aside from being an incredible clinician (his Midwestern patients are truly lucky), Dr. Blaes is an incredible educator and friend. Never too busy to return a call or email, it is clearly understood why he is so passionate about dentistry. His biggest personal brand element? His smile. Someone can see Dr. Blaes’ smile from a mile away, and it is rare to see him without one.

I am so pleased to be starting off my Mentor Series with Dr. Joe Blaes. To find out more about Dr. Blaes, please see the links below, and when you do meet, tell him The Dental Geek sent you!

Dental Geek

Dental Geek

2 responses to “The Dental Geek &”Mentor Series””

  1. As executive director of the Greater New York Dental Meeting, the largest dental meeting in the U.S.(2009 registration-59,166 registrants from all 50 states and 124 countries) and the only dental meeting without a pre-registration fee to attend, I want to personally thank you for mentioning our name in one of your blogs. Something was interesting in that you mentioned Joe Blaes, 1-800 Dentists, ADHA and Dental Economics and they are all scheduled for programs at our 2010 event including a seminar on Diabetes by Columbia University. If you want to see something really unique, this year we will have 2 high tech “live” dentistry 300 seat arenas (no tuition) where you will see the newest materials and technology used on patients right on the exhibit floor. If you or any of your colleagues decide to attend, please let me know in advance so I can have badges and passes to enter the education programs waiting upon your arrival.

  2. Thank you for bringing up the topic of mentorship. It’s an important concept, and one we could use more of in the industry. Here are just a few folk I feel lucky to be able to consider mentors in my career in dental (whether they realize it or not!): Dr. Stefan Hehn & Michael Augins @ Sirona Dental, Dr. Dennis Fasbinder, Imtiaz Manji @ The Scottsdale Center for Dentistry, and of course Michael McCarthy and Howard Klein @ Lanmark Group. Thank you!

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