Straight Teeth Talk: Dental gurus come to Edna

Dec. 28, 2010 at 6:28 a.m.

By Mac Lee

This summer I traveled to Calgary, Canada, and Savanna, Ga., to learn from dental masters who treat head and neck pain and can restore a destroyed mouth. I had a fascinating time not just because I was learning from the very best, but I also got to see how they lived, how they interacted with patients, and what their offices and homes were like.

Dr. Curtis Westersund, of Calgary, has his practice downtown in a high-rise office building. The famous Calgary Stampede was in full swing at the time of my visit, and everyone was dressed basically the same as they dress here in South Texas. Westersund's home overlooks the big mountain country where the beautiful city of Banff is located.

Dr. Brad Durham and his partner, Rod Strickland, have an equally beautiful office in Old Historic Savanna. Durham lives on the beautiful, oak-crested Wilmington River. His neighbor and patient is chef and Food Network personality, Paula Deen.

Imagine how I felt when I was going to have the opportunity to return the favor. All three oral health gurus wanted to come to Edna to experience and hunt on a Texas ranch and discuss dentistry in my practice. Of course, I was proud to host the group and downtown Edna is wonderful, but it is certainly not downtown Calgary or Savanna. Our deer camp is extremely rustic, has no electricity or modern conveniences and hasn't changed at all in 60 years, so I was very interested in their reactions.

Like most people, the lure of the country won them over. The excitement of killing a wild Russian boar was an added plus. The food they experienced was local. Fresh oysters, shrimp and yellow fin tuna caught the week before. Along with the best "Tex-Mex" you have ever put in your mouth, delicious pollo con mole with rice and beans, plus homemade flour and corn tortillas. They felt the food alone was worth the trip.

Being dentists who love our profession, we naturally went to my office and saw a few patients. These folks had specific problems with headaches and neck aches related to dental issues. It was fascinating to watch these well-known and well-respected dentists diagnose and treat these specific and complicated ailments.

I am excited to report their trip to Edna was a success because they all want to come back. Next month, I will elaborate more on the technology we discussed, which is used to treat the complications that can accompany headaches, a bad bite and neck pain.

Mac Lee is a dentist in practice in Edna. He is the co-founder of Dentists Who Care, a national movement to educate the public on modern dentistry. If you have dental questions you can call him at 361-782-7191 or visit him at



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