Living Life to the Fullest, at Work and at Living Life to the Fullest, at Work and at Play Dr. Pat Freeman

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  • Living Life to the Fullest, at Work and at Play

    · Dr. Pat Freeman

  • Living Life to the Fullest, at Work and at Play Dr. Pat Freeman By Ali Skiles

    Growing up in Oregon County, MO , Dr. Pat Freeman

    always had a curiosity about Oregon, the state. His fam-

    ily spent a lot of time with competitive waterskiing, as

    he grew up near pristine Norfork Lake in the Ozarks of

    southern Missouri. This was a lot of work and sacrifice for

    his parents and family, but Dr. Freeman recollects that the

    whole experience shaped his core personality and created a

    desire for similar recreational experiences for himself and

    his future family. In the late '70s, Dr. Freeman learned

    how to windsurf, but once accepted to dental school his

    recreational time was very limited. "So four years later, I

    get out of dental school and I see a windsurfer on TV going

    fast. The equipment had evolved to where the sport was

    a lot more exhilarating." A year after his graduation, Dr.

    Freeman bought his first board. He windsurfed the Great

    In dentistry, two of the things Pat enjoys doing most are comprehensive examinations and educating his patients to their current conditions. Starting with a comprehensive examination benefits the long-term oral health of his patients.

    Dr. Freeman and his team share a common goal to provide qual ity, sound dental treatment in a comfortable atmosphere.

  • Plains for over a decade, which, he explains, can have epic

    conditions, but it was often hit or miss and it required a lot

    of driving time. "Windsurfing was a passion of mine for

    many years."

    In 2000, Dr. Freeman transitioned to kiteboarding and

    has to wonder ifit wasn't some kind of"divine intervention"

    because it parallels everything he's been involved with his

    whole life. "With kiteboarding, you're flying a large inflated

    kite that grabs the wind, and you're controlling it, and it pulls

    you over the water. You can be either on a wakeboard-type

    board, or a surfboard or a surfboard with straps." He can

    barely contain his excitement as he tries to describe it: "It is

    just so good. It is pretty much like walking on the moon. The

    thing about kiting is that the forces are always pulling you

    up or sideways. That allows a kiter to catch air and even land

    softly (like a butterfly with sore feet) from a 30-foot jump. At

    that time, when the sport just started to take off, there were

    no instructors. We all learned from each other and tried to

    keep the 'kitemares' to a minimum. Lessons are a must for

    safety. You learn by flying a kite, learning the power zones

    of the kite, and how it works . Then they teach you how to

    drag yourself through the water and how to relaunch your

    kite from the water after you crash, because those are neces-

    sary skills. After you figure that out, you're given a board and

    taught how to ride it."

    HIS OWN OREGON TRAIL In 1996, after practicing dentistry for 13 years in Kansas

    City, MO, Dr. Freeman was not feeling fulfilled with his life.

    He was commuting over 40 miles roundtrip to his practice

    each day. His wife, Camille, was also feeling the stress with

    her corporate job with a major airline and her commute of

    45 miles each way. And, they wanted to start a family. Dr.

    Freeman vividly remembers, "Several times on my way to

    work, I would get off on this exit to go to my clinic, and I

    would ask myself, 'Do I really want to be here for the rest

    of my life?' It was just kind of a nagging feeling." He was re-

    ally into windsurfing then, and even though the conditions

    were very good in Kansas for windsurfing, it was really hit

    and miss. And he had to travel a lot. He would find himself

    driving up to 240 miles in a day just to go windsurfing. "On

    one particular day there ended up being no wind when I ar-

    rived and all I got was the wheat report, a thunderstorm and

    a goat's head thorn in the bottom of my foot. And then, of

    course, the drive back home."

    So on his 40th birthday, Dr. Freeman and his wife made

    Staff picture from left : Valerie, Roseann, Dr. Freeman, Heidi and Mary.

    the decision that he would take the Western Regional

    Board Exam in Portland. They had previously vacationed

    in Hood River, OR, and fell in love with the beauty of the

    Columbia River Gorge. Once Dr. Freeman passed the board

    exams, he sold his dental practice and decided to move to

    Oregon. That was the turning point, but getting there was

    not so simple. The first Northwest practice offered to Dr.

    Freeman did not materialize. But shortly after that, Dr.

    Freeman remembered the name of a Hood River dentist

    who he suspected might be nearing retirement age. After

    a simple phone call, they arranged to meet the doctor and

    his wife the following weekend in a Hood River restaurant.

    After dinner, conversation and a handshake, the deal was

    made! Dr. Freeman had a practice and now they had a few

    short months to sell their home and find a place to live in

    Hood River.

    Of all the places they could have chosen to move to, why

    Oregon? "Because of our love of the outdoors, a move to

    the Northwest seemed imminent." Dr. Freeman continues,

    "Growing up in Oregon County, MO, I always had a curiosity

    about Oregon the state and having visited Hood River pre-

    viously, the answer seemed clear. It was an appealing place

    to start a family, with its small-town vibe and multitude of

    recreational activities." Now, more than 11 years later, nei-

    ther one of them regrets the move. If you ask Dr. Freeman

    to describe how he feels about where they've ended up, you

    can see the excitement dance around in his eyes: "Oregon has

    so much to offer. Where I live I am five minutes from kiting

    on the river. My family and I can find world-class mountain

    biking or road biking in less than five minutes, be on Mount

    Hood snow skiing in 30 minutes, and my commute to work

    is less than two minutes from home."

  • Interdisciplinary - Working Together for the Best Results

    The patient's chief complaint was a loose filling on a lower

    incisor. During comprehensive examination it was evident that

    a collapsing worn occlusion existed, and #6 bridge retainer was

    nonrestorable. This prompted further study with diagnostic

    mode ls, occlusal analysis, radiographs and a full periodontal

    assessment in order to formulate treatment options.

    Being aware of the procedures available by the various

    disciplines in dentistry certainly broadens the scope of what is

    possible in treating our patients today.

    Calling upon the knowledge Dr. Freeman gained through

    Dr. Peter Dawson's courses and the two textbooks he read of

    his, the latest being Functional Occlusion from TMJ to Smile

    Design by Mosby, he found that it really makes treatment

    planning and restoring these type of cases fun. Diagnostic

    waxing all of his own cases allows him to learn most of the

    idiosyncrasies and nuances of the case beforehand. In this

    patient's case, the wax-up was helpful to evaluate the amount

    of vertical opening needed for sufficient interocclusal space,

    occlusal plane and guidance changes, placement of implant

    and gingival margin locations.

    The patient's anterior teeth positions, vertical and guidance

    were worked out in provisional restorations. Dr. Freeman

    likes to tell patients that these "temporaries" are really

    "prototypes" of the final restorations and are used to guide the

    dental laboratory so there are no surprises regarding esthetics

    and function when the teeth return from the lab. A SO PA

    (Simplified Occlusal Plane Analyzer) was used to correct the

    posterior occlusal planes.

  • Growing up in Oregon County, MO, I always had a curiosity about Oregon the state and having visited Hood River previously, the answer seemed clear. It was an appealing place to start a family with its small-town vibe and multitude of recreational activities.

    THE PROGRESSION OF HIS PROFESSION The passion Dr. Freeman feels about his home and his

    surroundings also spills over into his dental work. But it

    wasn't always so. After graduation in 1983, he immediately

    became an associate in a dental practice for about 18 months,

    and then became a partner w ith the sam e practice in Kansas

    City, MO. H e loved his profession, but he started realizing

    that there w ere a lot of unanswered questions . He was often

    left wondering why his patients were having the problem s

    they were having; why teeth w er e worn; why they had jaw

    pain; why some restorations w ere failing; why the patient

    is saying their bite is uncomfortable. Sure, he could fix the

    existing problems, but he wanted to know more about the

    root causes. Going back, he remembers thinking, "I was

    realizing that the education I got in dental school was ver y

    fundamental and there was a lot more to learn." He had heard

    of Peter Dawson