Dentist James Slaman explains why he chose his profession. He realized his passion as a young child, and has since dedicated his life to helping others achieve a healthy smile. Outside of the office, he is a family man who enjoys giving back to his community.
I've been practicing dentistry for 23 years. I was born and raised in Albuquerque. I finished my dental residency at the University of Missouri in Kansas City in 1992 and I quickly returned home to Albuquerque and I've enjoyed practicing in my hometown for the last 23 years.
My first recollection of dentistry is being a child and going to the dentist and being told that I'd had 14 cavities develop in the last six months. Much to my parents' dismay, they decided to get a second opinion and the second opinion proved that I had two cavities. I can remember my parents being passionate about me getting the right dental care are growing up.
I started in orthodontics in the fourth grade and I can remember kids making fun of me because I had braces on. And so my interest in dentistry and my exposure to it started, really, in elementary school.
The most satisfying part of my job is when I look back at something I did 20 years ago and it's still working well for the patient. And when I was a younger dentist, I didn't realize that some of the things that I was doing back in the early '90s to the mid-'90's were still going to be around 20 years later. And so that gives me a great sense of pride knowing that I can provide a service for somebody that's long lasting.
Outside the office, my wife and family are my primary focus. We are currently enjoying our two-year-old daughter. She has really reminded me that that to enjoy the simple things in life but not to let the small things get to you. I'm thankful for my beautiful, compassionate wife, who supports me in being the best dentist that I can be.
I think an important thing professionally that I'd like my patients to know about me is that I do give back to the community through the New Mexico Dental Foundation. We are a participant in the Donate A Dental Program and we provide dentistry for those who can't afford dental services here in our office. Secondly, we are an annual participant in the New Mexico Mission of Mercy, which is an event that provides free dentistry to the public.