A. I’m originally from Columbia and I did dental school there and move here about 12 years ago. So initially I lived 5 years in Texas and work with D4D and then I moved to California.
Q. So what did you do for D4D?
A. I was a clinical trainer so once they got ready to start selling the system, I work on creating the curriculum to teach dentists how to use the system and I taught the courses that we were holding there and did a little bit of traveling as well.
Q. What do you think about digital dentistry in general?
A. Digital dentistry is a big concept. It entails modules, I’m going to do restorations chairside or I’m going to get a surgical guide from somebody. It means that everything that you do at some point is going to involve digitize the patient. So that at some point we can retrieve that information. It means from an intraoral impression to have digital models that we are not going to have to destroy ever or a CBCT. All these parts is what is going to become digital dentistry. It’s not just the intraoral chairside systems.
Q. What are you doing in North Carolina?
A. So I came to North Carolina to do my prosthodontic residency and then the following year I was asked to stay as an implant Fellow doing a lot of surgeries, sinus lift, implant
Q. So tell me what’s new in the implant business then?
A. Predictability. I think that right now so many people have struggled with just having a predictable result with implant placement that the issue of using a guide has become just something very important. I think that a lot of the cases that have failed in the past it has been just for lack of planning and just being able to see things 3-dimensionally and have an accurate procedure that is going to take less time and you’re going to be less stressed about it and you know it’s going to be more predictable, that’s where we are going now.
Q. What do you do for fun and excitement?
A. Since I had the chance to travel quite a bit, I had the chance to see places that have a lot of interesting things. One of the places that my fiance and I visit a lot is Florida. Florida is known for diving if you know about Key Largo. So that’s where I learned how to dive and I really fell in love with that.
Q. How long have you been doing that?
A. It’s been about I would say 7 years. So we try to go a lot during the summer because I really like summer diving because you don’t have to wear that big wet suit so it’s a lot more comfortable. So I love summer diving.
Q. What’s the experience like when you do that?
A. There are basically two kind of diving. So one is if you are like a basic level you are going to go to a certain depth. At that depth you are mostly going to see coral and just things like that and it’s beautiful. But the one that I like the most is deep diving so you have to get another certification to be able to do that. But then it changes. The first time that you go to a deeper depth it’s almost like you go into space because it’s just like really different. The fish and everything looks completely different and the color of the water is just really cool.
Q. Do you have a favorite location?
A. I have been to Hawaii and I have been to Florida and I think I like Florida better. The one area we haven’t done yet and I really want to go to is Thailand. Thailand – diving in Thailand is very known. Just the things that are there is very well known and also it helps that my best friend is from Thailand so I gotta do that one.
Q. So you’ll see different things in Thailand than you will in Florida, is that the premise?
A. Oh, yeah. Like what you see in Hawaii is very different than what you will see in Florida and just going that far I expect to see something different. I believe that it’s like a wall that is just filled with coral and everything. So I think that that will be very interesting. What I also like to do is you can go diving and see the ship that wrecked a long time ago and you can go through it, that’s very interesting too.
Q. What’s the most unique thing you’ve seen?
A. I think the one that was kind of interesting was one of the ships that we were going through and to see all the things that are growing inside it’s a little bit scary because you don’t know if there’s going to be a big shark inside or who knows what and you are just discovering and you like follow and just discovering the shape and how it look like inside. That was pretty interesting.
Q. Have you come face to face with a shark at this point?
A. A small one. They told me it was a baby one, I still got scared. They’re like it’s just a baby. I’m like, I don’t care it’s a baby but it’s a shark.
Q. That’s right. So I saw you skiing. Where do you like to ski?
A. I think that my favorite is California right now just because of – I mean in some places the altitude is really going to affect your performance and in California you have less altitude and the quality of the snow is pretty nice.
Q. Have you skied out west?
A. Yes. I did Jackson Hole and I think that place is a little bit more for the pros, I don’t think I’m quite up there yet. Lee definitely, he did great there but it is different.
Q. So it’s the outside activities. So there’s skiing and there’s diving. Is there anything else that you can tell us about?
A. So this last year we tried to go rafting. Rafting and canoeing and all that. And actually I was quite good at it. So I think I’m very good with water sports. I don’t know why it comes very natural to me. So yeah, that’s something we just tried last year.
Q. So what’s the one thing you want to try in the future that you haven’t tried yet?
A. So many things. So another of my hobbies is dancing. I’m Columbian, I’m Latin, so I love to dance. It comes very easy to me. I love salsa dancing and things like that but I want to get really serious into dancing. I want to take some classes and just really take it to the next level.
Q. Are you going to be the first prosthodontist on Dancing With the Stars?
A. Maybe. So there are a lot of classes that you can take. You can take some of the more Latin type of dance like rhumba or salsa or those or you can go for the more conventional like ballroom dancing. I think I want to try something that takes me a little out of my comfort zone. I think I’m very good at what is Latin like what I grew up around. But yeah, I want something a little more challenging. That type of dancing is a really great workout too.
Q. Why did you become a dentist to begin with?
A. I think that my dentist is what inspired me to do that. I think that he was really good. But dentistry is one of those careers that if you have some artistic inclination and also you are good at science, it will come very natural to you. And if you are okay with dealing with people and enjoy talking to people, you are going to have a blast doing that. So that was it for me. I really never thought about a lot of other options. To me it was always dentistry and to me it was always prosth, I always wanted to do prosth.
Q. Tell me how you balance between your activities and dentistry? What is it that dentistry allows you to do, that allows you to have that balance in your life?
A. I think it is that we can control our own schedule. We don’t have to do night shifts or something like that. So if I plan correctly my schedule I am able to have a life, a personal life that will help me to give the best of me to my patients. If I’m just overworked and tired, I don’t feel that I’m going to give the best of me. So dentistry is a beautiful career as far as being able to be flexible to control your activities. You can work full-time or you can work part-time so that’s what dentistry does for you.