For many, the holidays bring memories of frosting sugar cookies, spending precious time with family near and far and looking forward to a bright new year. Unfortunately for others, the holidays can look and feel very different. They may spend the season in solitude, or their holiday obligations may bring on unnecessary stress. I know for me, the holidays have been more difficult to celebrate since losing both my mother and father. Those of us who have lost close family members may find if painful to take part in the same holiday traditions once celebrated.
The life of a dental student is definitely a challenging one to say the least. It is a juggling act that you perfect year-to-year as you encounter new challenges along the way. As a first year dental student, you are in a state of shock as you try to keep up with a new and demanding routine. As a second year dental student, you have new challenges as preclinical work gets heavier, you begin treating patients, and you prepare for part I of the National Board Exam. As a third year dental student, you still have difficulty but a completely new set of challenges as patient care becomes your primary focus. Then finally, as a fourth year dental student, it all comes to a close. You hope you have enough requirements to graduate on time and prepare to complete your final Board and licensing exams. Interestingly enough, I have learned that there is one thing that brings many dental students together regardless of year classification and that, of all things, is fantasy football.
Dentistry is about so much more than just teeth, and the new television series airing on Lifetime, “Smile,” proves just that. The series, which kicked off on May 28, will spotlight 12 individuals from around the country who are given the opportunity to makeover their smiles. Each participant has a different story that illustrates the ways that a smile can not only hinder how you live your life but also leave you powerless to it. As a dental student, I found “Smile” to be extremely profound. It is moving to me not only from the viewpoint of the people who are in need of the makeovers but from the dentists who will be providing them. “Smile” gives the viewer a great perspective of not only what dentistry is but also the reason why so many people choose dentistry as a profession. This series demonstrates through each individual’s story that a smile is self-defining. As dentists, we have the ability to change an individuals smile, but we are also changing that big picture: how they see themselves in the mirror. As dentists, we have the privilege to be a part of what’s behind the smile. What does your smile say about you?