Thurmont, MD-“I’m uncomfortable with the title ‘hero,’” says Dr. John Markson, a local orthodontist. “But when my patients need me, I’m there for them.” In the dental community, it is well known that orthodontists have never seen a baby tooth that didn’t intimidate them, especially when that tooth needed to be extracted. The common solution to this common issue is to refer patients back to their general dentist. Dr. Markson is on mission to change that narrative. “I’m legally licensed to extract teeth just like any other dentist. I think. And two extra years of schooling aren’t going to hold me back,” says the orthodontist.
After being in practice for 14 years, Dr. Markson hadn’t even considered removing any teeth. That changed last month. “I saw a primary molar hanging by a thread of gum tissue in a 12 year old patient. I figured I could refer the patient for the extraction and put on bands and wires later. Instead, I answered the call to action and decided to remove the tooth and place the bands and wires in the same appointment,” stated Dr. Markson, proud of his new-found desire to save time for everyone involved.
With the decision made, it was now time to find anesthetic and oral surgery instruments. Sending his nine assistants on the urgent hunt, Dr. Markson mentally prepared himself for the procedure that would put him in the same conversation as other notable pioneers like Amelia Earhart, Thurgood Marshall, and Neil Armstrong.
“Ortho school teaches us how to bend wires and deliver cookies to referring dentists. It doesn’t teach us how to handle the acclaim of creating a culture shift,” Dr. Markson reflects. “I don’t know why I was chosen to be the first orthodontist to do this, but I know I won’t be the last.”
Note: Due to The Facebow’s release schedule and Dr. Markson’s struggles to load the syringe correctly, we were unable to stay until the procedure’s completion. The Facebow will keep you updated on this story.