Talking with George Henderson, DDS

Have you ever wanted to know a little more about your dentist? We have the taken the opportunity to sit down with Dr. George Henderson and ask him a few questions about his profession, his life, his patients, and some of the choices he has made. We hope you enjoy this article and learn a little more about the man and doctor who has helped so many people in this community .

Question: What made you want to become a Dentist?

Answer: When I was in second grade and going to my family dentist (Dr. Parker) I used to fall asleep in the chair. They would wake me up when it was time to go. The bright lights made me close my eyes and fall asleep. After that I decided to become a dentist. It just seemed to stick and fit for me. So ever since I can remember I wanted to become a dentist. It was absolutely the best choice for me.

Question: What would you say is your dental philosophy?

Answer: Dentistry is a combination of skills and philosophy. It is easy to say you just want to help people become and stay healthy. It is only a small part of the whole picture. The mouth is the beginning of a person’s total health. Science is showing us that saliva can be used to detect as much as blood samples. Infections in the mouth that are small can affect someone’s entire system. Of course, major infections cause pain but could also lead to death. Tooth decay is the number one childhood disease, and is often left untreated. The scientific side of dentistry is ever expanding. Technology has been a blessing for dentistry. Everyday people tell me how much nicer it is now than when they were a child. When older patients used to see a nice denture as a success, we now see a denture as a failed dental history for that patient. To restore their function of chewing and smiling a denture over implants is the success.

The science of dentistry and technology are ever growing. The personal touch never changes. Patients still have emotional concerns that they bring into the office. Basic needs of trust and respect are mutual concerns for both patient and doctor.

Question: How did you get started?

Answer: I went to dental school at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, Graduating in 1980. I set up an office in a small Missouri town with a class mate. In 1981 I joined the Navy to travel and see the world. This lead me to Naval Air Station Fallon from 1985 to 1989. I loved Fallon and could not leave.

Question: What do you like most about dentistry? and Least?

Answer: The best thing about dentistry is getting to know the patients. Learning skills in treatment is good, but my patients make me smile by the end of each day. My least favorite is managing all the business and governmental regulations associated with an office.

Question: What do you think you contribute to the dentistry profession?

Answer: At this time, experience. Mentorship of younger dentists to help them start their path.

Question: What is most challenging about what you do?

Answer: Trauma cases. Getting a call after hours when someone has fallen or knocked out teeth. To calm them and provide care.

Question: What advice would you offer someone considering this career?

Answer: Enjoy people, like working with your hands, develop skills of working as a team.

Question: What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

Answer: That dentist are always looking in someone’s mouth and its gross.

Question: How would you describe yourself as a dentist?

Answer: I have loved my career. I work very hard and come home exhausted, but I am ready the next day. It is so rewarding to me. I could not have picked something that fits me more than dentistry.

Question: What is most rewarding thing you have ever done as a dentist?

Answer: There have been many, many cases where you complete someone’s smile and they burst out crying with joy. We have given them back a life of confidence, joy and hope.


Question: What is the oldest patient you have ever treated? and the youngest?

Answer: Oldest 101 to 102 — still having their teeth; the youngest 6 months — no teeth.

Question: What is the funniest thing a patient ever said to you?

Answer: A patient had a cracked molar and had coated it with layers of super glue. I asked if it helped and their response was, “You know why I put super glue on it don’t you? Because I couldn’t get the duct tape to stick!!”

Question: If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Answer: Hang glide.

Question: When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?

Answer: Being outside - fishing, hiking, etc.

Question: What would you name the autobiography of your life?

Answer: “The Simple Tooth”

Question: What are your hobbies?

Answer: Hiking, fishing, cooking, bread making, and travel.

Question: If you could do it all over again, would you still be a dentist?

Answer: Absolutely!! Not any other choice.

Remember to call your dentist or orthodontist today to schedule a consultation for your specific dental needs.


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