Dentistry as an Art & Multicultural Dentistry

D: Dan Goldberg / J: John (Radio Host)

J: Hello everyone and welcome to the program. Are you scared to go to the dentist? Would you like a nicer smile? Do you know you need to go but you are afraid of what you might hear? Or are you embarrassed? Or you simply have a lot of questions but you don’t know who to ask? Well, my guest today is someone who can help us answer these questions and more, and you are going to find out he is a lot of fun too! My guest is Dr. Daniel Goldberg and let me tell you a little about his background. Dr. Goldberg grew up in Calgary, Alberta. He graduated from the University of Calgary with two degrees, one in psychology and another in education. He taught elementary school for a year and he moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the United States where he received his dental training from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. After graduating from dental school, he lived in Israel, Pittsburgh, Portland, Duncan and Edmonton where he was a part-time faculty member at the University of Edmonton. He worked at the radiology department and did stem cell research but he decided to move back to Calgary to settle down with his family. He has two adorable boys and he says: “They are the best things he has ever done, except for marrying his wife”. And Dr. Goldberg loves nature, he loves going for hikes and is an avid nature photographer, he even won first place in the 2011 worldwide WOW photo contest. Dr. Goldberg actually sold some of his photographs on canvas for charity for the sustainable photography foundation. Dr. Goldberg always enjoys travelling and yoga, and taking courses in finance, marketing and of course new innovation in dentistry. You know Dr. Goldberg, I could go on and on with your bio, but we need to get started. How are you, and welcome to the program!

D: Thank you, I am doing great.

J: So, I have a couple questions for you. You graduated to college with two degrees, one in education and the other in psychology, correct?

D: Yes.

J: So I have a question, how did you end up transitioning from being a teacher to becoming a dentist and also, do your degrees and education and psychology help you at all in your dental practice?

D: Those are great questions. I would probably answer them by saying my plan was always to go into dentistry, so I needed something to help me to get there and taking my first degree in psychology was definitely a help, with dentistry there are often people with anxiety and let’s be honest here, not a lot of people love going to the dentist, so, I have to understand, you know, how I can make my job easier, and how I can make them more comfortable. So I definitely use a lot of the psychology background that I have, just to make people more comfortable and I have some techniques, maybe I discuss a bit later…

J: OK…

D: … That I use to help patients feel comfortable. And as far as my education degree that was a great experience, but it was just a springboard that I used to help boost my GPA and get myself to become an extremely strong candidate. When I ended up finishing off my education degree, I was pretty closed to having a 4.0 average or straight A’s, so, it was a business strategy - to help me get into dental school and just in case I didn’t get in, have something to fall back on. I did teach for a year and I actually worked with special needs children. It is extremely rewarding, and I have learnt a lot through that experience.

J: Interesting, you said that you approached all of this strategically, that you always had your eyes on dentistry, why is that?

D: I am going to clarify, I don’t know if I had always my eyes on dentistry from the very beginning, definitely as a child, I loved science, I was geared towards science then as I got older, I started to get more specific in what I wanted and the one unique thing about dentistry compared to all the other health professionals, is that it is a very well-rounded profession.

J: How is it so well-rounded?

D: It’s really well-rounded because it involves art, it involves science, and it involves business as well. There are a few…

J: I was just going to say, you said: ”it involves the art”, how so? People don’t think art when they think dentist.

D: Science is important, but it’s not an exact science and that’s where the art comes in. For example, when we are shaping a tooth, it’s very artistic, you have to have hands skills, you know, we used the scientific principles but when you have this science you have to be a very skilled artist to create the look you want to get.

J: And also have it still be functional, right?

D: That’s right. And so those two play hand-in-hand - you are going to have to have function. You can make someone look gorgeous but if the person can’t bite down and chew, there is no point of making them look gorgeous. It’s just going to fall apart in the end. You have to take all these things into consideration, it’s a profession, and it’s really difficult to get bored because it’s so dynamic. The interesting thing that I’d also mention - specifically about why I chose to be a dentist, and especially in the area, I have set up the practice in a very diverse area that is multicultural. And, one thing you mentioned that I love doing, is travelling, so, unfortunately I am a really busy guy and it’s hard to get out and travel, so now I am really focused on the business and my family. I don’t get out as much as I want to, but the very best part of the location of my practice, is that there are a lot of people that actually don’t speak English, or they might have a little bit of English, but there are a lot of people that speak various languages. So in the past when I travelled, I may have gone to Europe or even in the Middle East, and English isn’t prevalent there, so you have to get by, communicating without using English, so it’s very challenging, I find it exciting, and where the practice is located, I find like, instead of going outside of the country, people from outside the country come to me. So I have the same kind of experience, it’s very challenging, and the location of Go Dental is in the middle of large multicultural area, so I find it exciting to interact with people of various backgrounds. I have also hired staff to accommodate for the different languages of the area, thus far Go Dental offers assistance with French and Arabic, and the near future we plan to add Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish, Urdu and Hindi.

J: Oh my goodness! It’s kind of held over from the Olympics; the world came; now you have the World in Calgary, correct?

D: John, I have to be honest, I love it. It’s fantastic! It’s a lot fun.

J: It sounds fascinating, I am glad you are able to get this in your practice as well. You know I am looking at the clock, we need to take a quick break but when we come back, let’s talk a little bit more about of that and also, you had an opportunity to send some information to us prior to the program and you have really interesting visions for your practice. Let’s talk more about that, OK?

D: Sounds good.


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