Giving Back Moves Us Forward
Over the past decade, significant esthetic and technological developments in the field of dentistry have expanded the need for more driven and educated laboratory professionals. This need has created and continues to create an influx of possible career opportunities for the dedicated technician. Along with career advancements—which admittedly do not come without years of training and hard work—comes the need to give back. Understandably, moving forward in this field, not unlike most career paths on the road to success, does not come easily, nor without hours of tireless work and dedication. With that said, by sharing our accomplishments and personal growth with our peers as well as the next generation of dentists and technicians, we all stand to gain. Drawing from my own life experience lecturing both nationally and internationally, I have found nothing more rewarding. Looking back, I am ever grateful to the various mentors in this industry who early in my career unselfishly and generously shared their knowledge and contributed to my advancement in this field. Following a lecture or tutorial, it is truly humbling to be addressed by eager students or colleagues who were motivated by some piece of information or instruction which aided in their own quest for improvement. Moreover, giving back in our field not only provides personal gratification, it inspires others in our field to do the same and undoubtedly promotes the growth of our profession to the benefit of technicians and dentists alike.
Giving back is not without its benefits. Throughout my career and personal educational journey, I have had the privilege of working closely with many dentists and technician programs, thus affording me the opportunity to expand my own business opportunities while promoting the much-needed future growth of our industry. I continue to gain inspiration and knowledge from all ages and hope that, through my efforts, they are acquiring the same.
It is sad to note that there are few remaining CODA (Commission of Dental Accreditation) accredited dental technology programs in existence today, to the detriment of our profession. These programs and the positive growth of our industry would benefit greatly from the involvement and support of practicing dental technicians and laboratory owners and managers. The following are the remaining schools across the country with dental laboratory technology programs in need of our assistance: Pima County Community College, Los Angeles City College, Pasadena City College, McFatter Technical College, Atlanta Technical College, Indiana University-Purdue University, Kirkwood Community College, Louisiana State University, Middlesex Community College, NYC College of Technology, Erie Community College, Durham Technical Community College, Portland Community College, Air Force Medical Education and Training Campus, and Bates Technical College. If any of these are local to you, consider donating some of your time or allowing students to visit your location. Your generosity in helping provide further education in our industry will benefit us all.
I have tried to make a difference and hope that my dedication inspires others to do the same. While the prospect of adding more to our already full schedules may seem daunting, the rewards are truly fulfilling.
Peter Pizzi, MDT, CDT