The American Association of Endodontists recently interviewed Dr. Chad Gehani, President of the American Dental Association. Dr. Gehani, an endodontist, explains how emigrating from India as a young man and the experiences that followed prepared him to be an advocate for the ADA. Gehani discusses the bright future for the dental industry, with advances in technology and education, but also warns of the imposing barriers to entry that may now challenge other young people like himself so many years ago from entering or succeeding in our industry.
CHICAGO – For Dr. Chad Gehani, the first Endodontist to serve as president of the American Dental Association in over a decade, the future of dentistry and root canal treatment is bright.
“Dentistry is changing for the better,” Dr. Gehani said. “The doctors and health care professionals in our field are becoming increasingly more diverse and our standard of care continues to improve as the technology we use advances.”
A self-professed expert at making life’s lemons into lemonade, Dr. Gehani was elected ADA president in October, and his story is proof the American Dream is alive and well.
Dr. Gehani was one of six children and grew up in Mumbai, India. He visited his first dentist there when he was 19. It was then that he realized he wanted to be a dentist. After immigrating to America, Dr. Gehani received his dental degree from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and opened his own practice.
He is also a Clinical Associate Professor at NYU and previously served as president of the New York State Dental Association and the Queens County Dental Society. In addition to the ADA, Gehani is a member of the American Association of Endodontists. According to Dr. Gehani, whose wife, Rehka is an orthodontist, and whose children are also doctors, the most important thing a medical care provider can do is treat their patients with the upmost respect and provide them with the best care possible. His approach and belief is not unlike the Golden Rule.
“We must treat our patients as if they were ourselves or our own mom or dad, that way we will always do the right thing,” Dr. Gehani said. “As endodontists, we must aim to provide the best care possible for our patients and give them the freedom and guidance to make informed decisions about their treatment options.”
To help provide the best care for their patients, Dr. Gehani believes it is crucial for general dentists and endodontists to maintain open lines of communication and work together.
“Endodontists are expert pain detectives. We are very good at finding the real source of a patient’s tooth pain. Many general dentists can provide treatment and pain management, but it’s paramount that they work with partners in endodontics to help their patients fully.”
While Dr. Gehani believes the future is bright, he acknowledged the dental field is not without its challenges.
“I am proud of my work to help reduce tuition to NYU’s dental school, but doctors, educators and policymakers must continue to prioritize affordable college for all students and people seeking to enter the medical field. We must also strengthen our partnerships with state dental boards and our lawmakers to ensure the public is protected from pseudo-science methodologies or unverified claims about the success of Do It Yourself oral health care products.”