After 34 years in dentistry, Dr. Émile Finan, DDS is as lit-up by his career as ever. What began as a suggestion from his father—himself a dentist—grew into a passion he has transmitted to his own daughter, who recently began her specialty in periodontics at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Finan completed his dentistry studies at St. Joseph’s University, in his natal country of Lebanon, going on to pursue a specialty in prosthodontics at Boston University. He relocated to Montreal in 1993, teaching intermittently at the Université de Montréal between 1994–2015. In 1999, Dr. Finan established his own private practice in Côte-des-Neiges, where he continues to work. He is recognized today as one of Montreal’s most skilled and respected prosthodontists.
Dr. Finan specializes in the rehabilitation of the mouth through the use of prosthetics. He approaches his work as would an architect: assessing the buccal landscape of his patients to rebuild and restore what has been damaged by accident, disease, or previous failed dental work. Patients also seek out Dr. Finan’s expertise for purely aesthetic reasons.
Over the decades, Dr. Finan has witnessed the evolution of dental technology. Beautiful results have become easier to achieve through the development of new materials. Digital x-rays, paperless charts, and cameras that render 3D models of the mouth not only allow for a more reliable, predictable, and efficient way to track patient history, they also reduce material waste. This is a welcome development for Dr. Finan, who cares deeply for the environment.
Caring comes naturally to Dr. Finan. When asked what amazes him most about his field, the reply is immediate and unequivocal: “helping people”. Indeed, prosthodontics help increase quality of life; a well-kept mouth benefits good digestion and overall health, as well as a positive psychological outlook and ego. Dr. Finan notes the progression of his patients’ mindset, from initial consult to final outcome: individuals with oral problems often present with poor self-esteem and self-care. Once the first adjustments to their smile are made, patients already begin to perceive themselves differently. By the next visit, they are visibly more confident, with some expressing their gratitude with a spontaneous hug.
Caring comes naturally to Dr. Finan. When asked what amazes him most about his field, the reply is immediate and unequivocal: “helping people”.
Dr. Finan attributes his success to his ability to empathize with and listen to his patients, always asking what he can do for them. Dr. Finan asserts, “Patients are nervous sometimes; you have to understand them. It is important not to rush, and to take the time to let them know that everything will be alright.” Dr. Finan carefully reviews each case he treats, which allows his practice to improve with every patient. This ongoing growth is underpinned by his curiosity, love of reading, and insatiable pursuit of knowledge.
When asked about his future, Dr. Finan admits to wanting to take more time for himself, to pursue other interests such as skiing and biking. Dr. Finan says he has no intention of stopping his life’s work, “It’s like asking a painter when he will retire. My career is also my hobby, my passion. It is not just a job.”
Text: Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein
Photo: © Angeliki Argyrakos