Resident Spotlight: Dr. Randy Lais
Dr. Randy Lais began his dental career in the Navy. During his last semester of dental school, he was in an Honors program spending half the day with the surgery residents and the other half with the prosthodontic residents. Lais did a full mouth rehabilitation while still in dental school. Thinking he was going to get a spot in an oral surgery class, he called the Navy and told them he wanted to delay his active duty, but they said they needed dentists, not surgeons. “It turned out to be a good thing,” says Lais. He had the opportunity to go through 9-week rotations doing procedures under board-certified surgeons, endodontists, periodontists, and prosthodontists.
When Lais came out of the Navy, he was already a better dentist than most because of the extensive training he had. However, after two years of private practice, he almost went back to speciality training because he did not have enough answers for his patients that were coming in. That’s when he discovered Dawson and Pankey, which saved his dental career. Then he continued his quest through the Academy of Interdisciplinary Dentofacial Therapy and Spear, while being exposed to many other high profile leaders in dentistry. But he still had more questions and continued to search for answers.
Lais’ focus has always been on occlusion and TMJ. He spent 30 years helping his patients manage problems with the Dawson and Pankey equilibration process, but there were still cases he could not seem to solve. “When I heard what the Texas Center was doing, it looked like the perfect thing for what I wanted,” says Lais. “I think the most important thing I learned was how to restore teeth conservatively.” The usual answer to restoring a bite has always been to put porcelain on every single tooth, which Lais does not agree with. “I also think that it’s important that the Texas Center does a hands-on program,” says Lais regarding the requirement that all residents must complete, at least, one case during their training. “The only purpose of knowledge is for action.”
Dr. Lais has always done a very thorough occlusal exam with his patients, but now he feels like he has more tools to handle the patients that need it. “It’s very easy to get overwhelmed doing this because so many people need and it and so few people do it,” says Lais. But this has not stopped him. He has already completed twelve cases and has about fifteen in current therapy. “I have much more confidence taking care of these patients who come in and have severe headaches, the kind you go to the E.R for because you know it’s got to be something more than a dental issue,” says Lais. “Now, I’m changing people’s lives through correcting their bite.”
Dr. Lais is continually attending excellent continuing education courses. In fact, only six years after school, he had an article published in Dental Economics about the value of continuing education. We feel honored that Dr. Lais chose The Texas Center as part of his continuing education and cannot wait to see his future success!