Craig R. Sanford, D.D.S.
Nantucket, MA, USA
Industry: Health Care
Field: General and Laser Dentistry
Craig R. Sanford graduated from Norwich University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Soon after, he entered the military with the desire to become a physician or dentist. The dental profession aligned more with his interests, and he earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery from Georgetown University in 1976, and then completed a general practice residency at the Irwin Army Community Hospital in Fort Riley, Kan. He worked as a captain in the United States Army Dental Corps before starting a private practice in Connecticut in1982. Moving up to Nantucket, Mass., in 2005, he started Craig R. Sanford, D.D.S.
The first and only dentist in the family, Dr. Sanford is dedicated to creating and preserving beautiful smiles, and fostering wonderful dental experiences. Averaging one new patient a day, his private practice offers several general and laser dentistry services. Dr. Sanford practices total general dentistry, including endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery, restorative dental treatments, crown and bridge placements, implant restoration and denture fabrication. He also treats gum and teeth problems with dental lasers, utilizes nitrous oxide analgesia, and offers Invisalign treatment. To keep himself up-to-date on new and improved dental services, he maintains memberships with the Massachusetts Dental Society, Academy of Laser Dentistry, American Dental Association, American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.
A distinguished military graduate of Norwich University, Dr. Sanford received the American Academy of Oral Pathology Award from Georgetown University, and an Army Commendation Medal and Medical Detachment from the Dental Service Unit. He attributes his success to his hard work, innate skill, honesty and willingness to continue learning. Looking ahead, he intends to continue practicing dentistry and further his education.
Conversation with Craig R. Sanford, DDS
Worldwide Publishing: On what topics do you consider yourself to be an expert?
Craig R. Sanford: All phases of general dentistry with a specialization in laser dentistry.
What characteristics help to separate you from your competitors?
I am in Nantucket and am one of the only full general dentistry practices that can do and handle just about anything, which saves clients in Nantucket a trip back to the mainland when on vacation or away from home.
What is the most difficult obstacle or challenge you have faced in pursuit of your goals?
Trying to keep a grounded family life and practice at the same time.
What motivates you?
Doing the best job on every single patient that I have at the time I treat them, regardless of payment.
What lessons have you learned as a professional in your field?
Don’t be afraid to get out on the edge of your field. If you have the education and the proper equipment, you can take it from there.
What short-term and long-term career goals are you currently pursuing?
My long-term goal is to continue to work and stay at the cusp of dentistry for as long as I can. My short-term goal is to enjoy myself while I’m doing it.
What is the most significant issue facing your profession today?
I think it is third-party payments and insurance reimbursement. The single division practitioner is going to come to an end at some point, and being a part of a group is going to be the way to go moving forward.
Did you ever consider pursuing a different career path or another profession?
Not really. For a while I thought I would go into veterinary medicine at one point, but I am allergic to dogs and I found dentistry more interesting.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your profession?
When patients say “thank you” when they leave.
What is your favorite or least favorite work-related task to do and why?
My least favorite part is dealing with collections and insurance companies.
Who have been your mentors or people who have greatly influenced you?
The best mentors were the doctors who I studied under during my Army residency because they actually wanted you to learn. I learned more in that year of residency than I did in dental school. They wanted you to be as informed and up-to-date as possible.