Gratitude and Appreciation

September 26, 2022 Bill Davis

One day an elderly woman came into the office without an appointment. Mrs. Blanchard was a tall woman wearing a large, flowered hat and a black ribbon around her neck. She had the airs of an aristocrat. She had been referred to the office by her next-door neighbor who told her Dr. Pankey was the dentist who did not believe in pulling teeth. When she came in, she refused to sit down and asked to talk to the dentist immediately. When asked why Mrs. Blanchard was there she told the receptionist it was both professional and personal.

L.D. escorted her to his private office. She immediately said, “Dr. Pankey I understand you do not extract teeth.”

L.D. Said, “I do not extract teeth; however, if you need extractions, I will send you to a good oral surgeon in Miami.”

She interrupted, “That is the reason I am here. I do not want to lose my teeth.” She had ready been seen by two dentists and both said she needed dentures. Her plan was to have only Individual teeth extracted when she was in pain. She asked if he would be willing to try to save her teeth. Because she was a walk-in they made another appointment for a proper examination, x-rays, and time for a consultation.

When she came back, he told her he thought she could keep most of her teeth; however, he couldn’t promise all of them. He also told her he had been studying with some of the best dentists in the country and would do his best. Although she did not ask him, he quoted her a fee large enough to allow him to redo work if necessary. She showed no concern about the fee, so they got started.

She needed a couple of extractions and endodontic procedures. During the healing time, he did simple restorative dentistry. Her treatment took three and a half months. L.D. told her everything he was doing and why. She became extremely interested in the process. He used the Munson articulator and followed Taggart’s 1912 “chewing in” technique. All the crowns were done directly in the mouth using compound impressions, amalgam dies, and denture card wax to create a functionally generated path. When everything was completed, he put her on a three-month cleaning regime. Happily, the dentistry lasted until Mrs. Blanchard was 81.

Being a little eccentric, Mrs. Blanchard never wanted to sit in the reception room. When she did come in for her cleanings, she preferred sitting in L.D.’s private office. One day, during the midst of the Great Depression, she was in his office paging through an American Dental Association journal that she had found on his desk. An article about the upcoming International Dental Congress meeting in Paris, France caught her interest.

When L.D. came into the room she asked, “Are you going to this meeting in Paris?” He said, no I am very busy here with my practice and keeping my staff working.”

Two weeks later she returned and asked to see L.D. As usual, she was sitting in his private office when he came in. She said, “I still think you should go to the International Congress in Paris because you have great potential. I want you to go, and I want you to travel first class. I would like to pay all your travel expenses, all your office expenses including your staff, and compensate you for the time lost in your practice. When you go, I want you to travel all over Western Europe because that is where our civilization came from. You need to see London, Florence, Rome, Vienna, Heidelberg, and of course, Paris. Now, are you willing to go?”

L.D. was totally taken aback. Mrs. Blanchard had a great deal of gratitude for the time L.D. had spent learning how to treat her problem and for the care and understanding he gave her during and after her treatment. The enormity of her gratitude and appreciation was whelming.

After talking to his wife and his staff, he did go to Europe, and he did go to the Congress in Paris. Little did he know what a profound impact this gift would have on his life. Mrs. Blanchard had given him the opportunity to expand his knowledge of dentistry and the potential to become a leader in dentistry.

Related Course

Masters’ Week

DATE: June 2 2025 @ 8:00 am - June 5 2025 @ 2:00 pm

Location: The Pankey Institute

CE HOURS: 27

Dentist Tuition: $ 8500

Single Occupancy with Ensuite Private Bath (per night): $ 345

Master Your Skills Masters’ Week is a unique learning experience each and every year where we bring together a group of talented speakers to share on a range of topics….

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About Author

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Bill Davis

William J. Davis DDS, MS is practicing dentist and a Professor at the University of Toledo in the College Of Medicine. He has been directing a hospital based General Practice Residency for past 40 years. Formal education at Marquette, Sloan Kettering Michigan, the Pankey Institute and Northwestern. In 1987 he co-authored a book with Dr. L.D. Pankey, “A Philosophy of the Practice of Dentistry”. Bill has been married to his wife, Pamela, for 50 years. They have three adult sons and four grandchildren. When not practicing dentistry he teaches flying.

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Believe in Your Ideas. Believe in Yourself. 

September 6, 2022 Bill Davis

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” — Napoleon Hill

When L.D. Pankey was developing his Philosophy, he studied with many early American business authors and teachers. One such person was Napoleon Hill (1883 -1970). In 1937 Hill published a bestselling book, “Think and Grow Rich” which emphasized a positive attitude and having good communication skills.

Every innovation, every invention, every work of art begins with an idea. Long before the Wright brothers ever flew, Leonardo Da Vinci had sketched and designed an aircraft. Da Vinci conceived of mechanized flight, but the Wright brothers believed it was possible, acted on that belief, and thus achieved flight. Likewise, in 1929 L.D. Pankey had the idea that teeth could and should be saved, although at first, he didn’t know how.

L.D. Pankey’s belief that teeth could be saved was so strong it motivated him to do some research, study what was known at that time, and do the experimentation necessary to make his idea a reality. Belief in himself and his idea helped him persist despite some uncertainty, blind alleys, and many other frustrations.

There is an old Chinese saying, “If you do not know where you are going, you are likely to end up somewhere.” Too many people end up “somewhere” because they have not clearly defined where they want to go. The first step in moving toward greater satisfaction, therefore, is to set specific goals.

Vague goals such as “I’d like to be a better dentist” or “I’d like to be happier” or “I’d like to make more money” are common. Be more specific, for example:

  • I would like to learn about implant placement.
  • I want to have more fun with my children.
  • I want to earn 15% more this year.”

Then, be even more specific and set definite time frames so you can measure your progress:

  • I would like to begin training in implant placement this coming September and be placing implants successfully in June. Tomorrow I will begin by investigating continuing education programs in the science of implants.
  • I would like to have more fun with my children. At dinner tonight I will ask my children about ideas for fun activities, and we will start by doing one of the activities each week.
  • I would like to increase my income by 15% this year. I will meet with my accountant and a dental practice coach this month to look at ways to increase my profitability. I will also do some reading in practice management.

Once you have conceived your ideas, you must believe it is possible to achieve them. Without the power of belief, you will not take them seriously; nor are you likely to weather the many setbacks and frustrations that will probably come.

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E4: Posterior Reconstruction and Completing the Comprehensive Treatment Sequence

DATE: July 31 2025 @ 8:00 am - August 4 2025 @ 2:30 pm

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Single Occupancy with Ensuite Private Bath (per night): $ 345

The purpose of this course is to help you develop mastery with complex cases involving advanced restorative procedures, precise sequencing and interdisciplinary coordination. Building on the learning in Essentials Three…

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About Author

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Bill Davis

William J. Davis DDS, MS is practicing dentist and a Professor at the University of Toledo in the College Of Medicine. He has been directing a hospital based General Practice Residency for past 40 years. Formal education at Marquette, Sloan Kettering Michigan, the Pankey Institute and Northwestern. In 1987 he co-authored a book with Dr. L.D. Pankey, “A Philosophy of the Practice of Dentistry”. Bill has been married to his wife, Pamela, for 50 years. They have three adult sons and four grandchildren. When not practicing dentistry he teaches flying.

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