In the Details: Personal Patient Care

May 9, 2018 DeAnne Blazek DDS

Throughout my dental hygiene, dental school, and residency programs, I was blessed to have exceptional instructors and role models. All of them encouraged me, believed in me, and most importantly, impressed upon me the importance of lifelong learning. Many of them recommended Pankey, telling me to go there as soon as I could.

A Journey to Deeper Patient Relationships

That journey began in 1994. I will never forget sitting in Dr. Irwin Becker’s philosophy class as he talked about the Crosses of Dentistry. He discussed “Knowing Your Patient” and I remember becoming very emotional.

As a young hygienist, it would bother me when I would see a re-care patient and not remember what we talked about the previous time. I started jotting things down on index cards about each patient and keeping them in a private file. Not the things you would typically see in chart notes, but personal things they felt comfortable sharing.

Each time they came in, I would refer to the personal card file and refresh my memory as to where we left off. There was no way I would have been able to remember all those special discussions, so I had to write them down. Each time they came in, the next chapter began.

I also started sharing more information about myself. I found the more I shared, the deeper the conversations went. I really wanted to know my patients on a much deeper level and that is what happened over time.  

When I came back to the Pankey Institute for the second continuum, I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by name by Dr. Ernie Anderson, one of the course instructors, as I stepped into the elevator of the condos. Obviously, he had taken time to look at the roster to see who was in the class and that was very impactful. The kindness, thoughtfulness, and encouragement shown to me at the Institute were instrumental in demonstrating how I wanted to make my patients feel during my care.

Time spent getting to know my patients has resulted in lifelong relationships. Of all the things I’ve learned, this is one of the most important keys to a meaningful and enjoyable career.

Related Course

E2: Occlusal Appliances & Equilibration

DATE: October 20 2024 @ 8:00 am - October 24 2024 @ 2:30 pm

Location: The Pankey Institute

CE HOURS: 44

Dentist Tuition: $ 7200

night with private bath: $ 290

THIS COURSE IS SOLD OUT What if you had one tool that increased comprehensive case acceptance, managed patients with moderate to high functional risk, verified centric relation and treated signs…

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DeAnne Blazek DDS

Dr. DeAnne Blazek's love for dentistry began in the fifth grade while under the excellent care of her uncle and orthodontist. She enrolled in a dental hygiene program and then continued on to become a dentist. During dental school, Dr. Blazek worked as a hygienist for her uncle Louis Dellios. Upon graduation, Dr. Blazek was asked to join his practice and eventually became the owner when he retired. Dr. Blazek's main goal has been continuing the deep level of caring for patients that her uncle provided. The trusting relationship she creates with her patients puts them at ease and assures them that she will provide gentle, loving care at every visit.

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Dental School Stories: Dr. Blazek

February 15, 2018 DeAnne Blazek DDS

In fifth grade, I knew I wanted to be in dentistry. Unfortunately, I thought that meant either being a receptionist, assistant, or hygienist. The thought of being a dentist never entered my mind until I was finishing up my dental hygiene program.

Pivotal Dental School & Career Moments

After several more years of working and evening classes, I was accepted to dental school. I was extremely grateful to get in. I loved dental school and sought out the best instructors so I could learn as much as possible.  

One instructor in particular invited me to help her in the TMJ Clinic. Back in 1988, exposure to splint therapy and equilibration techniques was rare. She impressed upon me the importance of stable joints and occlusion. I was able to work with her on two patients my senior year. At the time, I did not realize what a gift this had been. She was also one of several instructors who recommended the Pankey Institute to me. Turns out that was a gift as well.

Following graduation and a GPR, I started practice as an associate with my uncle. In 1994, I began my journey at the Pankey Institute. I had no idea just how much coming to Key Biscayne would change my life.

Although we learn so much throughout the continuums, the emphasis on stable joints and occlusion has been critical to my success as a dentist. Most of the failures we encounter are a direct result of not doing a thorough enough evaluation of our patients before treatment begins. Learning how to do a comprehensive examination and achieving stability is absolutely essential for preventing mistakes and failures.

During the second continuum, I discovered my own TMJ dysfunction and was treated with splint therapy, orthodontics, and equilibration. Going through these procedures enabled me to witness why it is so important to have stability.

Had I not been introduced to TMJ concerns in dental school and later gone to the Pankey Institute, I would not have gained the knowledge to anticipate and prevent failures for my patients. The strong emphasis on a comprehensive evaluation enabled me to treat patients successfully and have an enjoyable and meaningful career.

What are your most memorable or formative moments from dental school? 

Related Course

E2: Occlusal Appliances & Equilibration

DATE: March 23 2025 @ 8:00 am - March 27 2025 @ 2:30 pm

Location: The Pankey Institute

CE HOURS: 44

Dentist Tuition: $ 7400

Single Occupancy with Ensuite Private Bath (per night): $ 345

What if you had one tool that increased comprehensive case acceptance, managed patients with moderate to high functional risk, verified centric relation and treated signs and symptoms of TMD? Appliance…

Learn More>

About Author

User Image
DeAnne Blazek DDS

Dr. DeAnne Blazek's love for dentistry began in the fifth grade while under the excellent care of her uncle and orthodontist. She enrolled in a dental hygiene program and then continued on to become a dentist. During dental school, Dr. Blazek worked as a hygienist for her uncle Louis Dellios. Upon graduation, Dr. Blazek was asked to join his practice and eventually became the owner when he retired. Dr. Blazek's main goal has been continuing the deep level of caring for patients that her uncle provided. The trusting relationship she creates with her patients puts them at ease and assures them that she will provide gentle, loving care at every visit.

FIND A PANKEY DENTIST OR TECHNICIAN

I AM A
I AM INTERESTED IN

VIEW COURSE CALENDAR