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Recently, I had the opportunity to do one of the things in dentistry I have dreamed about for a long time: make a DVD with the man who has done as much or more than anyone else to further the cause of common-sense continuing dental education, Dr. Gordon Christensen. When I graduated from dental school in 1988, his lecture was one of the first I attended. His knowledge of dental materials and how they behaved clinically stunned me because it was nothing like my dental materials class in dental school (which seemed oddly obsessed with calcium sulfate hemihydrate, aka plaster of Paris).

It was at that time that I started my subscription to what was then called the CRA® Newsletter (since renamed Gordon J. Christensen Clinicians Report®), and I studied each issue as thoroughly as a historian would study the Dead Sea Scrolls. Much like my father and Consumer Reports®, if a product didn’t get a good review from Gordon and CRA, I wasn’t much interested in trying it out. Between their scientific research on products and their network of evaluators across the country who tested the products on patients, CRA provided a wonderful mix of real scientific data and real-world experience.

I went out to Provo, Utah, many times to take the courses Dr. Christensen offered adjacent to CRA’s facilities, and I owned almost all of his VHS tapes and DVDs. So when my assistant told me last year that there was a Dr. Gordon Christensen on the phone for me, I knew right away what was going on: One of my dental school friends, pretending to be Gordon, was calling to tell me that my clinical DVDs left a lot to be desired, and that he would give me $10,000 if I could rattle off the Kennedy classifications on the spot like Gordon does. But lo and behold, it was the real Gordon, and he wanted me to be in his upcoming snoring and sleep apnea DVD. Of course, I said, “Yes!”

Watching the master at work during filming was humbling, and our scenes together on-screen were great fun for me. Treating snoring and sleep apnea is a wonderful way to help patients without using a handpiece, needle or bending over to look into a patient’s mouth. It’s the area of dentistry where you will receive more thank-you’s and hugs than you have ever experienced before. Patients are that grateful. To order the “Snoring and Sleep Apnea – Prevention and Treatment” DVD (V3963), go to pccdental.com.

Yours in quality dentistry,

Dr. Michael C. DiTolla
Editor-in-Chief, Clinical Editor

Chairside Magazine: Volume 8, Issue 2

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