Friday, April 8, 2016

Of Cookies, Music, History, and Fellowship

P.F. Peek Freans: The makers of biscuits. Started in the mid-1800s in London, my favorite is their shortbread cookies with the letters “PF” in the middle. There are better shortbread cookies made, but these were the first ones that I remember, and they always take me back to my childhood.

P.F. Percy Faith: My mother’s oldest brother. Born in Toronto in the early 1900s, he became a composer and arranger of popular music in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s after losing his ability to play the piano when he used his hands to put out a fire that was burning one of his sisters. Percy Faith later became one of the most prolific recording artists ever, with more than 50 albums recorded. He has won Grammys, has been nominated for Oscars for his soundtracks and an Emmy for the music he wrote for “The Virginian” TV series, and more. I grew up listening to my Uncle Percy, as well as classical music, and although I had some talent, a career in music was not what I desired. For me, music is my joy. I did not want it to be my work, too. (Perhaps I did not really have enough talent….)

P.F. Pierre Fauchard: The father of modern dentistry. A physician, born in Paris in 1678, he wrote the first modern textbook of dentistry, “Le Chirurgien Dentiste (The Surgeon Dentist),” in 1728. I received an English-language translation of this textbook, published in 1946, by my colleague, Dr. Roy Rasmussen, as a gift after my successful purchase of his dental practice 22 years ago. Pierre Fauchard wrote the book in an effort to teach “in which is seen the means used to keep ‘teeth’ clean and healthy, of beautifying them, or repairing their loss and remedies for their diseases and those of the gums, and for accidents which may befall the other parts in their vicinity.” This amazing textbook elevated dentistry to become a profession. Dr. Rasmussen hoped I would treasure this amazing gift, and I have.

P.F.A. The Pierre Fauchard Academy. Founded in 1936 by Dr. Elmer S. Best, a dentist from Minnesota, this honorary dental service organization was created to help our colleagues gain control of our literature and assure its independence from commercial interests, according to It is best known for the publication of “Dental Abstracts.” Now a worldwide organization, The Pierre Fauchard Academy hugely supports various charitable efforts locally, nationally, and internationally, amongst other various activities.

On March 18, 2016, in Vancouver, British Columbia, I was welcomed into the P.F.A. as a new fellow. To be honored by our peers at this time is a thrill, especially when, in my opinion, some of us face turbulent times in dentistry, with our regulatory bodies and agencies becoming ever more strident in their restriction of our speech.

Letters. On their own, and collectively, they have so much meaning. I have now been honored by our peers four times. But my biggest honor is one I have yet to earn: a Fellowship from the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). I just have to get over my exam anxiety and make it happen.

Larry Stanleigh, BSc, MSc, DDS, FADI, FICD, FACD, FPFA

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