You Can't Pick Em

Last month's teaser, Don't Pity the Fool, proclaimed this blog was made to alternatively educate, eccentrically entertain, and even provocatively provoke a change in your perception of oral health. Turns out, after writing the above post, I found I was the fool! I had no idea how many people would read it, let alone comment on it. The feedback was positive, passionate, constructive and even grammatical (surprisingly not from my wife- a writer!). Keep it coming and know that I love you all for it, especially because the post didn't even mention teeth!

Well this month, we're not going to mention teeth or gums either. We're going to explore the most interesting question I receive from patients: "Why did you decide to look in people's mouths all day?"

It happens way more than you would think. So, me being me, a sarcastic question deserves a sarcastic answer, just like peanut butter deserves jelly. "It may be a bit crass, but it's better than looking in someone's..." All joking aside, I was being asked the question so much I started looking at it through a different lens and it can be boiled down to one word: WHY.

As my hair became grayer, I realized I had reached the fifth "W" of life. At first, others want to know WHO you are, then WHAT you want to be, WHERE you want to live and WHEN you're going to have a baby... I mean accomplish your goals. We get so caught up in the first four "W's" of life and then are shocked when we get slapped across the face by the ice cold cod fish known as WHY. It has happened to us all, and it happened to me and George Sr. right before I joined the practice.

One day while I was still in residency, Dad decided we needed to change our dental practice's name, which at the time was George T. Williams, DDS. Very original. The brainstorming commenced and subsequently ended in brain farts. Eventually, WHY emerged from the brain fart cloud before us. Echoing Yogi Berra, we realized we needed to begin at the beginning. So, we started to list our values, look at our mission statement, and answer why we chose to spend eight years of our prime years only part-time on High Street and voluntarily tack on a couple more years of residency.

We had our eureka moment after revisiting a moment early in my career. I was struggling with a patient's treatment plan. Dad asked, "how would you treat this patient if it were me, or your mother, or your siblings, or your grandparents? I always treat patients with this in mind." In retrospect, this introspect was our core. It defined the dentists we are, the people we are, and the practice we have. Therefore, we answered the WHY incorporating our favorite f-word: Williams FAMILY Dental Group.

We were blessed with an incredible family. We all work hard at it. Yes, family takes a lot of work. For us, family has produced a foundation, friendships, food, fellowship, funnies, and fulfillment. It has also had its fair share of frustrations, frays, and fury. The good and the bad are part of family, but you can't have a spark without a little friction!

Furthermore, we love hearing about your families. It's the best part of our day and its makes us feel right at home. We have gotten to know your families and have even become part of them. We've been to your birthday, graduation, and retirement parties. We have attended your baptisms and even your funerals. Family is what makes us tick. It's when we are at our best.

I'm very cognizant that not everyone has had a positive experience with family. Our mission is to deliver all the positives of a strong family environment, share them with you, and make you feel welcome, comfortable, and as part of our family. I look in people's mouths all day, not because it's better than looking at the other end, but because of the people and the relationships we get to build. While you can't pick your family, or your teeth for that matter, you can choose how you treat them!

As always Go Bucks,
George Jr.

Dr. George R. Williams is a general dentist at Williams Family Dental Group in Canton, Ohio.  He is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and Canton Mercy Medical Center General Practice Residency.  For questions or suggestions for blog posts, please feel free to contact him at

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