|Familia Dabuleanu din Toronto / Passion Starts Young… |
Early years ...
Tudor Dabuleanu first became passionate for dentistry during high school, by observing his older sister, Emilia Dabuleanu during his summer vacations as she worked as a dentist at the Children’s hospital, Emilia Irza, in Bucharest. He also would travel to observe his sister work in a dental clinic located in the countryside in Urlats in the region of Vrancia, Romania.
Emilia excelled at surgery. She was also talented in prosthodontics and worked as a part time demonstrator in the department of prosthodontics at the “Institutul de Medicina si Farmacia din Bucharest, Facultata de Stomatologie”.
Tudor first completed a medical-dental program, where he studied as a technician for medical and dental appliances and where he learned the maintenance and repair of medical, dental and radiological appliances. He then was accepted in the “Institutul de Medicina si Farmacia din Bucharest, Facultata de Stomatologie” and graduated in 1968, receiving the “Diploma de Medic in Specialitatea Stomatologie”, a diploma that combined both a medical and dental degree.
After graduation, Tudor completed two years of dental internship in all the dental departments at “Institutul de Medicina si Farmacia din Bucharest, Facultata de Stomatologie” and taught as a clinical demonstrator in the prosthodontics department at the same University.
Tudor went on to work as a general dentist in a polyclinic dental clinic in Bucharest from 1971-1976 and during this time he enrolled and successfully passed both “Specialist in General Dentistry” exams which were offered at the time, and were taken by a handful of dentists three and five years from their year of graduation.
In 1974 he managed the coordination of sectoral 2 Bucharest which was in transition at the time.
Tudor married Elizabeth, who is Canadian born, from Romanian immigrants, and he arrived in Windsor, Ontario, in 1976 mid-year, despite the Communist regime that gripped the nation during that time and which made it nearly impossible to leave the country.
Tudor studied fervently and successfully wrote the first writen part of the National Dental Examination Boards (NDEB) exam in November, 1976 and in June 1977 he successfully passed both the pre-clinical and clinical NDEB exams, all on his first atempt. With his Canadian dental certification in hand,
Tudor moved to Toronto, with Elizabeth. Once arrived, he started a new dental office on Danforth at Pape, with Elizabeth as his right hand. In 1985, he moved his dental practice to a brand new facility at Yonge and Finch, which was constructed at the same time as the twin North American Towers that mark the landscape of this busy intersection.
Tudor’s dental journey mirrors the path that many foreign trained dentists took to be able to practice in their field in Canada. He belongs to many dental societies and was chosen to be a lifetime member of The Canadian Academy of Restorative Dentistry & Prosthodontics
Tudor’s story is one of determination, passion and commitment to a field that has seen much advancement and sophistication over the years.
History Repeats Itself…
Tudor set an example for his children Valentin and Mary who also expressed an interest in the field of dentistry early on by watching their father at work and at home during their summer vacations.
They would observe Tudor at work exemplifying his compassionate bedside manner and ease with which he performed various treatments. They would also watch Tudor diligently read his dental journals in the evening after a long day and organize his piles of journals on the coffee table.
Oftentimes, Tudor would present Valentin and Mary an article he found intriguing to read so as to spark our interests further.
Tudor was always learning, improving, diversifying and perfecting his skill and these efforts are reflected in the thousands of patients who have been under his care over the years and in the multiple generations of patients from the same family who continue to entrust him with their oral health.
A Periodontist in the Making Valentin Dabuleanu graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry in 2010. He then pursued his General Practice Residency (GPR) and subsequently his speciality in Periodontics at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in 2014.
The GPR allowed Valentin to rapidly increase his surgical skill set and also gave him the opportunity to see parts of British Columbia that were both remote and beautiful.
Valentin is also an avid and adventurous skier. Skiing in Whistler Mountain in the Whistler-Blackcomb ski resort was Valentin’s favourite pass-time.
During Valentin’s GPR residency, he would often travel up to Skidegate to work in one of their dental clinics. Valentin enjoyed the endless beauty of this snowy village.
Located on the southeast coast of Graham Island, the largest island in the Queen Charlote (Haida Gwaii ) archipelago, and approximately 50 kilometres west of mainland British Columbia across Hecate Strait, Skidegate is only accessible by small planes or ferries.
Valentin vividly remembers this winter wonderland, where snow would oWen reach the tops of the homes like a white wave over their roofs. Here, the Haida indigenous traditions come alive and Valentin enjoyed learning about their culture and tradition.
During Valentin’s GPR, he was invited to go to Cambodia, Vietnam where he performed charitable dental treatment for children in an orphanage.
Cambodia was such a unique experience. The Vietnamese are very warm people with strong family values. Valentin enjoyed meeting and treating the Vietnamese children in Cambodia who were delighted to spend time with him and who hungered for his atention.
Valentin quickly discovered his passion for surgery and this prompted him to pursue a specialty in Periodontics in order to perfect his surgical skills in gingival manipulation and implant surgical treatment. He was a talented clinician and the director of Periodontics, at the UBC offered him the opportunity to pursue the specialty of Periodontics, a three year program.
The specialty of Periodontics is a complex one. A surgeon in training must learn to manipulate and grow oral tissue in such a way as to maximize tooth longevity, or if the tooth is not salvageable, to delicately extract the tooth and expertly place an implant fixture.
Oftentimes, surgeons must work around anatomical structures such as the sinus, nerves or vessels, all of which require exquisite atention to detail and proper surgical planning.
During Valentin’s years in Vancouver, he frequently returned to Toronto to spend time with his family and friends. Once Valentin completed his post graduate education, he decided to return to Toronto and joined the Dabuleanu Dental multi-disciplinary team where he practices alongside his father, Tudor Dabuleanu, general dentist and sister, Mary Dabuleanu, endodontist.
Valentin enjoys collaborating with both his father and sister in the treatment of patients to provide the best possible treatment with long-term success. Valentin continues to circle the academic dental world by lecturing to dentists, hygienists and other periodontists throughout Canada. Valentin also runs a Spear Study Club which promotes dental excellence and teaches the latest techniques.
Valentin has published many articles in Oral Health magazine among others, with his focus being, to educate and disseminate dental knowledge to dentists worldwide. Valentin often returns to Vancouver where he continues to lecture to postgraduate students in the specialty of Periodontics.
He likes to revisit his colleagues and friends, and always enjoys exploring the many beauties of British Columbia with its rugged and mountainous terrain.
An Endodontist’s Perspective
Mary graduated from the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry in 2002.
Driven by her father’s passion, Mary knew early on she wanted to pursue dentistry. She was compassionate, a good student and was very ambitious.
Mary loved the arts and working with her hands as she often painted in acrylic and oil and had exposure and some training in clay sculpture. She knew early on that dentistry would allow her to help people in a meaningful way and would allow her to master a technical skill set to produce both aesthetic and functional results.
In pursuit of her dream, Mary became the second youngest volunteer research student at the Faculty of Dentistry and worked under the tutelage of Dr. Wafa El-Badrawy, in the Restorative Department at the Faculty of Dentistry in Toronto, where she tested bond strength of various bonding agents for composite restorations.
Mary fondly recalls those times, when as a student of barely 16, she would walk down the hallways of the faculty building and she would imagine herself a dental student. Such is the power of vision. Just three years later, at the age of 19, Mary was accepted at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry and was the second youngest student in her class. Her four years at the faculty were enriching. She embarked on her dental journey, excelling at the many subjects of the program and creating lasting friendships and connections with her classmates and professors. In her third year of the program, Mary was selected to pursue a one month externship in oral surgery in Houston Texas where she observed repair of many facial traumas, general surgeries and anesthesia.
When Mary was in her final months of dental school at the University of Toronto, she decided to produce a painting that she donated to the University and which still hangs proudly in the senior dental clinic at the University of Toronto. Entitled “Summer Garden”, her painting was of a beautiful mansion and house that was inspired by the Garden of Giverney and the impressionistic style of Monet. It was so large that the Faculty had a difficult time finding a frame that would suit this artistic work!
Upon graduation from dentistry, Mary went on to pursue a GPR at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal Quebec. Mary was excited to embark on her one year residency where she would get further training in all fields of dentistry such as prosthodontics, periodontics, endodontics and restorative.
She was also exposed to the medically compromised patient as she treated many hospitalized patients. Mary continued to avidly paint in the evenings after her long days at the Hospital during her GPR.
As she liked painting in large format, she was atracted to massive canvases.
She remembers buying the largest canvas she could find in a local art store in Montreal.
To this day, she humorously remembers having to carry the canvas by foot uphill on Atwater Avenue as it would not fit on the bus! She worked steadily on this ambitious painting project and she transformed the large white canvas into a majestic rendition of the Bourbogne mountains of France, painted in acrylic.
Perhaps it is the size of this piece or the perspective of the painting, but one feels like walking the cobblestone streets of the village when gazing upon it.
Mary later moved to Windsor to pursue her specialty in Endodontics at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), Michigan. The program was two years. Mary was atracted to this specialty as it would give her the opportunity to help patients, many of whom are in severe pain requiring root canal treatment.
These specialists are considered “the detectives” in dentistry and through advanced skills in diagnosis, can uncover underlying dental pathology and demystify ambiguous pain and symptoms by assessing clinical and radiographic clues.
During that time, she fondly remembers traveling through the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel to the univeristy everyday. Mary enjoyed learning from her mentors, especially the program director, Dr. Michael Hoen, a man with such patience, precision and a welcoming heart.
She also enjoyed living in Windsor during her studies as this was her mother, Elizabeth’s birthplace and she was able to retrace her mother’s steps through familiar neighbourhoods and reconnect with her mother’s childhood friends.
Mary setled back in Toronto once she graduated from the University of Detroit and she eagerly joined her father’s general practice. Unlike other endodontists, she chose to grow her specialty practice within a general practice. Although, unconventional, she built a successful Endodontic practice in her father’s practice which was later joined by her brother Valentin, who similarly built up his Periodontal practice. Art continues to be a big part of Mary’s life.
Once back in Toronto, working as an endodontist, Mary participated in several art exhibits alongside her professional endeavours.
The most memorable one was an exhibit she organized with her mother, Elizabeth Dabuleanu, at the Varley house in Unionville, Markham. Mary uses art to stay creative, expressive and to restore inner peace and balance in her busy life as a full time professional and mother of two young children.
Mary does her best to expose her children to the world of art and is proud that both children were winners of the Children’s Art Gallery of Greece art competition!
Mary loves her profession as much as she does her art.
Her passion lies not only in the skill she has perfected through her education and years of practice, but through her desire to give back and teach general dentists through lectures, webinars and articles published in various dental journals. Strength in Numbers…
There is strength in numbers and power in knowledge. Working together allows both Mary and Valentin to bring their combined knowledge and differing educational experiences as an endodontist and periodontist respectively, to provide a level of care that is unparalleled, in terms of treatment planning, and treatment execution, all increasing the success of treatment outcome.
Oftentimes, patients treatment can be combined so as to minimize the number or complexity of surgeries they require. Last but not least,
Mary and Valentin have the benefit of working alongside Tudor, their father, who belongs to a generation of dentists that have had such a lifetime of experience in all fields of dentistry and who despite his general dentist designation, oftentimes offers pearls of wisdom when treatment planning patients.
His legacy, wisdom and continued apprenticeship is immeasurable.
I am reminded of the story of the woman who approaches Pablo Picasso in a restaurant and asks him for a drawing. The woman stands admiringly by Pablo Picasso’s side as she watches him effortlessly draw one of his famous caricatures.
“But you did that in thirty seconds,” the astonished woman replies. “No,” Picasso says. “It has taken me forty years to do that.”
In spite of Picasso’s flamboyance, his words resonate with us all:
Passion allows us to achieve great things as we nurture it with a lifetime of learning, dedication and hard work and oftentimes efforts are not perceived by those observing us.
Passion lies within all of us, it is what drives us and what paves the way for excellence.
N.B. see some pictures with Dabuleanu family at www.observatorul.com evenimente culturale ;