Has anyone ever had a tooth pulled? Thinking about that reminds me of the movie “Marathon Man” starring Dustin Hoffman (Nazi hunter) and Laurence Olivier (Nazi dentist). If you haven’t seen it, watch it. Makes me dread a tooth extraction! I had a difficult tooth pulled the other day with — half the tooth by one dentist and half by an oral surgeon in a different location because a tooth root had worked its way into my sinus cavity, thus creating a hole that had to be stitched up. Not fun! As I was going through these experiences with two excellent dentists — Dr. Patrick Quinn and Dr. J.H. Fleishmann, I thought about how fortunate we are to have these two dentists in Helena. Both of them are equally skilled, knowledgeable, efficient and empathetic. They also have skillful, friendly and supportive assistants: Natalie Barr (Quinn) and Katie Nottingham (Fleischmann).
As I’ve watched the NBA playoffs, I’ve reflected on how much money professional athletes make to entertain us (minimum salary: $5 million). This disproportionate monetary compensation doesn’t make sense. Shouldn’t professionals who relieve or eliminate pain, treat injuries and other health issues, and improve the quality of their patients’ lives, be compensated to a greater extent than professional athletes?
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I was so grateful to Drs. Quinn and Fleischmann and their assistants for their skill, efficiency and confident demeanor, and relieved that I didn’t have to think about “Marathon Man”! Physicians, dentists and their assistants don’t receive enough recognition; greater compensation would be nice too!