Through a series of interviews, get to know Dr. Saylor on a personal and professional level. Here’s what he had to say…
We recently sat down with Dr. Saylor to get to know him and his practice better. In part one of this blog series, he shared with us what makes his approach to dentistry unique and what he hopes people know about him as a dentist. In the second and final piece of this interview, we’ll hear about his inspiration, education and personal life. Here’s what he had to say.
Q. What inspired you to become a dentist?
It happened very early for me. In the fifth grade, I visited my guidance counselor and I told her I wanted to be a dentist. It was a practical decision at first. My mother would give me advice as a kid and told me, “you should think about dentistry or accounting.” Typical Asian mom. She said this because everyone needs a good dentist or accountant and now I see that what I do as a dentist is so crucial to people’s quality of life.
When I got to the University of Florida, a guidance counselor asked what I wanted to do and I told her these two options. She said, “well, they’re on opposite sides of the campus, so you need to pick one.” I took an accounting class and hated it, so dentistry it was! I was inspired later in life by the profession, and that inspiration continued to blossom. It really was dumb luck finding my passion, and I’m very thankful for that.
Q. Can you tell me a little bit about your education?
I was a biology major in my undergraduate education and was loving that. Then I got the dental school and was soaking it all up, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to practice at a high level. A mentor told me, if you don’t have the confidence to do something, don’t do it. Or go out and get the proper education. Once I got into practice, I realized that dentistry has an incredible support in continuing education classes.
Dr. Price, who I went into practice with, wanted me to practice at a level that he was never able to attain and he told me that if there are things you want to learn, I will send you anywhere and pay for it. He sent me to the Pankey Institute, where I was the youngest person by far because it takes a considerable amount of time and money to complete these courses. I’m incredibly grateful for his generosity and have continued on that path, learning from the best of the best around the world.
I’ve completed courses at The Spear Institute and the Kois Institute and studied under Larry Rosenthal, who is a renowned cosmetic dentist. I am also a Masters in the Academy of General Dentistry, which requires 300 hours per year of coursework to maintain.
My hunger for education is as strong as it’s ever been, and I can’t wait to get back out there.
Q. What the most unique or beneficial continuing education class you’ve taken?
Larry Rosenthal’s advanced aesthetics class in Manhattan offered such a wonderful evolution of my cosmetic understanding, and it scared me to death! You start with the beginner’s course, then advanced and then masters. Typically, the way you design someone’s smile is to take a mold and then send it to the lab and then create the design from that form. Well, in the master’s class they make you design the smile in the patient’s mouth using flowable composite. I was so scared I was going to mess someone’s smile up, but it pushed me to the edge and inspired me to learn because I had to. That was the biggest growth process I’ve ever been through and what I learned helps me every day.
Q. What motivates you to keep practicing dentistry?
I’m still excited to wake up in the morning and see my patients. I see patients how that I’m best suited for and we are in sync with what they want and what I offer. I’ve also been able to build a team that is world class, and we are attracting the people into the practice that need us most. I can’t wait to see who is the next patient who will really benefit from our services.
Q. When you aren’t creating beautiful smiles, what do you enjoy doing in your personal time?
I really like to enjoy a certain quality of life, and part of that is to feel good about how you feel every day. I enjoy getting outside and exercising, staying fit and fighting entropy. I learned about entropy in biology class – how if you don’t put energy into a system it will head into random disorder – and it really applies to all parts of your life.
I’m also passionate about traveling. My girls are 18 and 20, and we like going to a new city and meeting new people and taking it all in. It’s fun to go to a different area and connect on a human level and find out what makes those people thrive. I tell my patients that I only have a few more years of this with my girls, and they remind me that as long as I pay, they’ll travel with me all the time!