A Better Way

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Last updated: September 3, 2020

“A Better Way” is a page-turner for anyone who loves a good story with a lot of twists and turns.

It is about the never dull, sometimes hilarious, sometimes sad and often unexpected experiences in the long life of an over-achiever. In a chronology of seemingly unrelated events and coincidences, a sequential thread is slowly formed that takes a kid from a pristine Florida vacation town in the 1930s through a lifetime of adventures that profoundly affected a profession and led to exceptional personal success. But there were unexpected lessons to learn along the way.

It is a story of how success in one endeavor can harbor the “curse of the entrepreneur”, a mind-set that can gradually expand one’s commitments to a variety of exciting projects that eventually reach a point of overload. When too many projects with “success” as the priority in life consume time that should be reserved for what matters most, it is time for an awakening. It is a story about how to find a better way to live a joyful life by concentrating on real priorities through an “either/or” process of choices. It is a story of learning when enough is enough. 

When Peter Dawson as a young dentist started asking if there was a better way to treat a variety of dental problems than the standard textbook versions, he found so many ways to improve patient care, he started sharing his ideas with other dentists. How he proceeded to win over the profession in the face of organized academic resistance and even vitriol, is a story of persistence. The search for “better ways” expanded through all phases of dental practice including both clinical and management concepts.

Through implementation of the concepts he developed, his tiny one chair dental office grew into an international practice and a teaching center for post-graduate dentistry that attracted thousands of dentists to learn about the advances he developed in diagnosis, treatment and practice management. Today, the Dawson Academy for Advanced Dental Study has franchised centers in several states and many foreign countries. Five textbooks bear his name as author, including three of the all-time best selling dental textbooks published in sixteen languages.

But that is just part of the story…

Some “laugh-out-loud” chapters chronicle the author’s teen-age shenanigans and some hilarious experiences working his way through multiple jobs to pay for his education. His search for the perfect mate had enough mis-steps for a separate book, but finally finding Jodie, the love of his life, made waiting for the right one pay off in true love story fashion. And it is this love story that is at the center of raising a family while trying to find a balance between “activity addiction”, work, too many extracurricular commitments and quality time for the family as first priority.

As the thread of events continue through a long life, poignant chapters tell the heart breaking story of Jodie’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. But the tender, loving years that follow explain a sense of shared joy that could be a help to others who experience the challenge of living with Alzheimer’s. 

“A Better Way” contains many stories. But the real story is an insight into a better way to live life to the fullest.

By: Dr. Peter Dawson

Peter E. Dawson, D.D.S. is the founder of The Dawson Academy and is considered to be one of the most influential clinicians and teachers in the history of dentistry. He authored the best selling dental text, Evaluation, Diagnosis and Treatment of Occlusal Problems