Friday, January 27, 2017


Since January 6th, there have been two dentists in the MTC Dental Clinic. Dr. Stewart and Burtenshaw have completely different styles of dentistry. It's like oils and watercolours. Both get the job done.
Debra Stewart, Dean Stewart, Kathy Hoem, Craig Burtenshaw, Karma Burtenshaw, Linda Ann Adams

I took an art class when I was a freshman at Ricks College over 30 years ago. I was intrigued and fascinated with the different styles and mediums of art. We got to dabble and study many different ways to communicate ideas with those mediums.

I've never forgotten the dramatic picture in watercolour of a girl on a bicycle on a rainy night. Only the headlights shining behind her are all you could see bearing down on girl and bike, her head is turning to see what is approaching. Watercolours can be dreamy, dramatic and sometimes precisely simple.

An oil depicting a ride on carousel, a hand on the horse is silhouetted against a swirling background with a few lights in an almost night sky with a bit of the sunset. It was dramatic and unforgettable too. Many wonderful masterpieces are done in oils.
Dr. Dean Stewart

Elder Stewart is an old master oil painter. He has his bits and can squeeze the last bit of filling from the tubes with his feet taping and pressing the power as he bends over his patient and meticulously fixes everything on one side of the mouth that needs fixing. Like a classic jazz artist the bits whine and the aspirator bellows while his feet move and his hands orchestrate as he almost sings to the patient, "Mahbuty po, Mahbuty po, you're a great patient po,, Mahbuty po, Mahbuty po. Sister Adams you can aspirate. "  "We'll put tooth conditioner on here, Mahbuty po. Now paint a bit of bonding agent. " In the same almost singing tone, Dr. Stewart asks for the light to shine on the teeth. "Mahbuty po, Mahbuty po, you're a good patient po", as he fils up their teeth. His tone rises and falls as he says, " Just a little bit of polishing up, we're almost done Mahbuty po."
Some patients actually doze off for a few seconds while he is working on their teeth. He has perfected the art of doing what can possibly be done in an hour and glances every once in awhile at his watch. Dr. Stewart will fill all cavities possible and then do a root canal or extract dead teeth or roots. The theory is they are already numb so might as well finish all he can right now. He feels it is important that the missionary is healthy for his/her whole mission.
Dr. Craig Burtenshaw

Elder Burtenshaw is a watercolour artist. He uses water to power his bits and uses special tools to make precise, exact repairs to the missionaries teeth. Each tool and action has a particular reason and objective for success. When he greets a missionary it is like he is greeting an old friend and he asks specifically what the missionary is concerned about. A rapport is made and a connection too.There is an expectation that the missionary will take care of his teeth and that Dr. Burtenshaw will help him achieve what he needs. Dr. Burtenshaw is fearless in some of the more complicated procedures like wisdom teeth, so benefits those who need his help. It would be easy to mess up a watercolour, precision is needed for success, and Dr. Burtenshaw is always precise in each action (or brush stroke).

It is a pleasure to watch, study and learn from two vastly different styles of artists.

Someday I'll have to do a post on the wives of these doctors. They are so amazing - in different ways of course.

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