Dentistry’s Leading Man

Hailing from the University of Southern California, home of Heisman trophies, national championships, and arguably the best motion picture school in America, Dr. Sameer Puri has transformed himself into a movie-star in the world of cosmetic dentistry.

I met Southern Cal Sam while I was a senior at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Puri was finishing up his residency there and was assigned to my side of the clinic floor on Fridays to grade operative.

Since most of my classmates had already finished there operative requirements (I admit to being a friend of procrastination), the only people he had to work with routinely were me and the unmarried girls in the class who were just showing up in hopes that they might catch his eye. You see, he had the rep of being the “cute” professor with all the ladies in my class. Although, as far as I could tell, he took his residency so seriously that he never acknowledged their interest.

As far as I was concerned, Sam was just about the coolest grader I had since all my other clinical professors were ex-military with a severe love of amalgams and the secondary anatomy that they thought a true silver filling deserved.

Dr. Sam made us do good by our patients, but he wasn’t hung up on making us come back in for polish appointments before he gave us our points. Needless to say he was a favorite of mine and all who got to hang out with him that year.

At the end of that year, Sam jetted back to the friendly confine of California and I struck out on my general dentistry adventure.

We lost touch until a few years ago. I had kept up with him sparingly through watching his posts on Dentaltown, but had never re-connected.

Then, I decided to publish a book about my exploits. After writing my material, I felt the book needed some other perspectives besides my own narrow success experience. Since I had become “anti” cosmetic dentistry, I contacted Dr. Puri to see if he would contribute an original chapter. He very graciously complied.

I just knew he was a great cosmetic dentist. I had no idea he had become a secret Rock Star of the CEREC world.

He sent in his chapter, “The Definition of Success”.   I published the book The Ultimate Success Secret: Not Just For Dentists in 2009 and I lost track of Sam again.

I knew he had mentioned that he had started a little website for CEREC users, but I let it fly right over my head as I was focused on “bigger and better ideas.”

Once again, WRONG. I had no idea that there would become NO bigger or better idea than the one that Sameer had started with his friend, Armen Mirzayan. has become a force with which to reckon in the dental education world.

If you visit their site, you will see a movement, not a website. When I asked Sam if I could write about him for the last Winning Dentist ezine of the year, he graciously obliged, but said that I would have to get most of my research off the website. I visited and started reading.

Here are some of the highlights I found:

‘Dr. Puri serves as the Director of CAD CAM at the Scottsdale Center for Dentistry.  He is also the cofounder of a website dedicated to CEREC online education where clinicians can learn the ins and outs of CEREC dentistry from basic training to more advanced techniques such as anterior esthetics.  The website has become the standard of CEREC training and is the largest online CEREC resource in the world.  Patterson Dental found the content so valuable to the CEREC user, that they approved the website to be used with the CEREC Advanced Training Vouchers, the first time any educational medium outside of a standard training was approved to do so.Dr. Puri has been published in numerous professsional journals and magazines. His aesthetic techniques and results have been used in manufacturer brochures and advertisements.  Dr. Puri is also a consultant to various manufacturers to help them improve their products and help develop new products for the dental industry.  He is married to his wife of 14 years and is the father to two beautiful girls.’

I continued my research and found out that besides all the hoopla about, Dr. Puri is revered so mightily in the CEREC community that he was asked to deliver the keynote address at their 25th Anniversary gathering a couple of years ago.

OK, I’m now officially jealous.  Back in 1998 he and I were essentially at the same station in life.  Sure he had a couple of years on me.  Still, essentially the same.

Now, he has the world at his feet.  He is building a true empire with likeminded friends.  He has students who respect him and are chomping at the bit to learn his amazing skills with CEREC dentistry and cosmetic in general.  He speaks to thousands at a time.

I’ve got to quit writing this article before I get more depressed.  But, I’ll leave you with this:

Sam Puri achieved this amazing success the right way.  He had a vision and a dream that was rooted in genuine passion and excellence.  This is a true organic success story, no flash in the pan.

If you ever meet him, you can just tell.  It is the unspoken compassion and confidence beneath that million dollar smile.

In fact, I became so impressed by his body of work that after preparing to write this article, I purchased a new CEREC unit myself.  Yes, I know I have been on record saying that I would never do that.  Yes, I know that I’ve said that I thought they were stupid and wastes of productivity.  Yes, I know I’ve said that there is NO way they are worth the money that Patterson extracts from a dentist.

What can I say?  I believe in Sam Puri enough to alter my opinion long enough to at least test it out on my days off.  We’ll see.  To the larger point, I know the real deal when I see it.  Sameer Puri is it.  Isn’t that the true definition of a Winning Dentist?

If you would like to read Dr. Puri’s chapter in The Ultimate Success Secret: Not Just For Dentists, go to this link and download the entire book for FREE.  It might just open your eyes, too.

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