Passion, Perseverance, and Education
When I think about our profession, I try never to lose sight of all the dentists and laboratory technicians who have innovated, motivated, created, and inspired us to achieve something better in this field. It was Master Makoto Yamamoto who developed so much of the science and combined it with nature to allow the early advancements that brought us to today's dental technology. His Metal-Ceramics began as a bible for most of us, and in the 2 weeks that I spent in Japan working by his side, his excitement to share his work, research, and developments was evident.
Master Makoto is probably well known to many in our field, but perhaps what I find most interesting is how many others who have accomplished significant changes in the world of dentistry remain nameless to most of our profession. This is not unique to dental technology; recently, I read about Katalin Karikó, the unsung hero whose relentless perseverance, educational research, and work on messenger RNA (or mRNA) arguably has changed the world. For more than 20 years, her name and work were relatively unknown in her profession, but she never gave up. For those looking for inspiration, I recommend a Google search of her online story and its' impact on the creation of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
Although most people's work will not change the world on that level, recognition should be given to all the unnamed innovators in our field who work daily toward improving the quality of our work and success of our profession. Materials from the early stages of acrylics through the development of metals and alloys have pushed our profession to levels that once were not thought possible. Ceramics based on scientific knowledge and the artisanal abilities of individuals continue to take more steps on the path toward excellence. Today's lithium disilicates, zirconia, nano hybrids, and PEEK-type materials have all been worked through behind the scenes, allowing for further artistry in the profession from the many technicians who have helped in creating these materials, while also offering more options for creativity and incorporating the advancement of digital success. The technical innovations, advancements, and evolution of our profession driven by passion and education from so many relative unknowns have made a vast impact on the quality of people's lives and encouraged most of us without the thought of a spotlight or even acknowledgement.
Peter Pizzi, MDT, CDT