I think the basic purpose of life is to help others and make a difference. My profession is the most direct and personal way I can help those around me. My work fulfills one of my most basic purposes in life; it is that fundamental.
Working with so many different people gives me a deeper appreciation for the diverse abilities those people have and has helped me appreciate the basic human characteristics common to us all. I see the difficulties each person faces, especially as they relate to their pain. That gives me a constantly renewed energy and purpose to help others reclaim as much of their life as we can.
I love getting to know my patients as people, and learning about their day-to-day lives. In gathering their initial health history, I learn a great deal about them: far beyond just how their body feels. With craniofacial pain patients, their past physical and emotional events, and how they live their life now, are essential to understanding their current condition and how to move beyond it.
I am most excited about relieving people’s head and jaw pain — pain which they may have experienced for five, ten, twenty, or more years! It is satisfying and thrilling to watch a person’s life change. I never grow tired of starting with someone who feels their health history will determine their future, and helping them improve their life. As we move through care, people regain more control of their health, and by the time we’re finished, they’re in charge of their body. When a person discovers that their past doesn’t have to determine their future health, that’s an exciting moment!
I love my life and I love my work. The most amazing times are when a patient is no longer in pain and they begin to smile, become animated, and I can see the life that was always inside them reemerge and shine through. They go out into the world and have better relationships, are more effective in their jobs, and are simply happier people.
I can’t imagine anything more fulfilling.
Education and Continuing Education
My undergraduate degree is from the University of Kansas, and my Doctorate of Dental Surgery was awarded in 1982 by the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry.
Research in the fields of craniofacial pain and sleep has rapidly increased over the last 20 years. Each year I complete more than 100 hours of continuing education, through lectures, in hands-on and laboratory formats, and by completing residency and mini-residency programs. This ensures I am always providing my patients with state-of-the-art care that’s grounded in a deep background of experience.
My continuing education courses are always with the premier clinicians and researchers on the planet. I strive to bring the latest knowledge and techniques back to my patients and apply them in ways that improve their health, longevity, and enjoyment of life. Over the years I have developed a broad and refined understanding of what does and what does not work and I constantly ensure that we use the most beneficial knowledge, technology, and techniques as they apply to each individual.
- American Academy of Craniofacial Pain
- American Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine
- American Dental Association
- Kansas Dental Association
- Wichita District Dental Society
Beyond the Office
I grew up in Wichita, along the west banks of the Arkansas River. At the time it was far west Wichita! I currently live in Wichita and have been there since my wife and I returned following dental school in 1982.
My wife Jae and I were teenage sweethearts and, after an eight-year courtship, were married in 1980. We have a daughter, Logan, and a son, Collin. Even though they live in Kansas City and Chicago, we make time to get together as often as we can.
We always have animals at home, but our Lab mix, Leo, is my all-time favorite. We used to run or walk for hours. Even though he has gotten older and his legs weaker, he is just as loyal and always at my side as we spend time in our yard.
I can truly say that helping people become free of craniofacial pain, and helping children’s faces and jaws grow optimally, is a passion. I spend a great deal of my “personal” time communicating with other doctors around the world, and studying the latest research.