"Once you've read Chicken Soup for the Dental Soul, you'll never think of the dental officeand the professionals who work therein the same way again. It will make you smile, make you cry, and make you view every member of your own dental team in a new light of admiration and respect."
I caught up with Don Dible, the author of Chicken Soup for the Dental Soul, between book signings at the ADA's 140th Annual Session in Honolulu. He said the primary aim of the book is to overcome the "marathon man syndrome," which Dible describes as "an often unfounded fear of dentistry as a whole among the general public."
"Dentists and other dental professionals are not seen as humans by many patients," Dible said. "They see the dentist-patient relationship as a 'them-against-us' thing, with dentists being the bad guys."
"We are hoping that this book will deepen the understanding between patients and dental professionals, and as a result, improve the relationship," he said.
The book provides "heartwarming, funny and inspiring stories for patients, dentists, hygienists and the entire dental team." It was created primarily as a premium for dentists to give to their patients, and is available only by mail order (call 1-800-247-6553).
About 1200 stories were submitted by dental professionals throughout the United States as candidates for the book, and of those, 61 were chosen to be included. The stories are about kids, "memorable patients," philanthropic dentists, and dental phobics. Dible said every reader would find at least one story he can relate to.
"One reader said she was a total dental-phobic before she read the book. Afterwards, she had a 180-degree turnaround. She gained an understanding of dentistry that allowed her to overcome her fears," Dible said.
"We set out to do three things with this book," he said. "We wanted to motivate each and every reader to take better care of their teeth. We wanted to increase public awareness of the dental profession. And we wanted to give dental professionals a much-deserved pat on the back for all the good they've done."
"I think we'll achieve all this, and more," he said.