September 1, 2006
by Cory Seebach, DMD
My journey with the Oral Health publication has had many faces on many tiers over the past 15 years. It has been a great ride. I find it intriguing to look back and follow my progression through the levels, starting with the first issue of Oral Health I received in dental school. Back then the journal seemed larger than life, so much excitement filled every day and every aspect of dentistry. The journey ahead was intimidating and my dreams sometimes seemed as unrealistic as the construction of the Hoover Dam. Everything caught my attention and I felt it all needed my scrutiny. There were so many amazing pages; the articles, the cases, the classifieds, even the advertising. The journal was incentive; it portrayed what we strived for — higher knowledge, and it encompassed all aspects of dentistry. It was easy to place it on a pedestal waiting patiently, each day getting one step closer to the goal.
Each year the interest grew and Oral Health became more interesting and useful. By the time graduation was coming into view the journal had become one of the main sources for locating a position to start the much anticipated career. I recall scanning through the associate listings and picturing what each office or location might be like. I would review each edition with heavy anticipation.
The first couple of years in the real world I would find myself some continuing education credits and pick up a few small practical ideas. Each time it would cross my desk I would find time to get from cover to cover, absorbing what I could. Most of my daily time and energy was spent getting accustomed to “life in the trenches”. I spent my weeks practicing dentistry and gaining as much experience as I could. The journal was continuing its transformation from an educational resource to a breath of fresh air, rejuvenating my interest in dentistry. A short time went by when the first thing I would open up to was… ‘Show us where you read Oral Health’. Many times the energy or happiness portrayed in the photos kept a smile on my face, while the fast paced and stressful world in the office carried on. I would often travel with a couple copies of Oral Health, thinking I might just take a photo that someone else may look at one day and smile at. One particular month of the photo page sticks in my memory. It was a picture of my childhood dentist, mentor and friend that stood in front of a HUGE tractor in the middle of a wheat field in Saskatchewan.
I then took a more serious look at the journal, wondering what more I could get out of it and what I may be able to contribute in order to help others. I decided to try my hand at putting together an article or two, articles of specific interest to me that I thought may be missing in the reading I had done. I could never have predicted what would happen along the way and where it would take me. During the months of gathering information I learned vast amounts of knowledge and found out where certain questions still existed in my interests. This only deepened my hope to help fill in the spaces and contribute something more. My journey from start to finish was overwhelming. My first attempt at a legitimate article seemed to hit every snag and pitfall imaginable. Days became weeks that soon became months and it seemed incomplete for a very long time. That feeling was highly overtaken by the overwhelming gratification of putting the finishing touches on it and submitting it for publication. There is nothing that can take place of the experience of putting something together you are so proud of. The knowledge gained along the way and the hopes that even one small item in my writing will help someone else, somewhere, sometime, is incredibly rewarding.
Recalling the hours of seemingly endless, unrewarding work, and then seeing my article published in Oral Health (‘Special Considerations for Mandibular Anterior Veneers’ April 2006) in full color print, was more than I can explain in words. It gave me a strong sense of accomplishment and pride along with the feeling of excitement for what is still ahead. If you are wondering about my main purpose of this editorial, it is to tell any readers out there that are at the first stages of their journalistic endeavors, find something of special interest to you to write about, organize a supportive team and put an effective plan into place. This will help get you started, and keep you going through the process. Enter the journey with excitement and pursue it wholeheartedly. I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised by the path you will travel.
Thank you Oral Health for all of the little and big things you do. I look forward to continuing the fun ride ahead with your publication.OH
Dr. Seebach maintains a private practice in Campbell River, BC, focusing on cosmetic and implant dentistry.