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A Conversation with Joshua Polansky

| Interview by Sasha Der Avanessian |

Interview by Sasha Der Avanessian

The enigmatic smile designer shares his thoughts on inspiration, philosophy, fear, and victory.

 

You are a mentor and an influencer to thousands around the world. What inspires you about the legacy you want to leave behind?

Legacy is the most important driving force for me. Not money, ego, or acknowledgement. I’m building something that I would like to be remembered for. An imprint.

Our field is getting so watered down and going in such a new direction that I would like to build a lab/reputation that keeps up with the new but is completely built of the legacy of my mentors before me.

What individuals have inspired you on your journey to becoming who you are today?

Firstly, my father Barry Polanksy. My love for the patient and learning how to communicate that through my work comes from him.

I would also say Mark Gonzalez, Olivier Tric, Julian Casablancas, Dr. Ed McClaren, Jean Michel Basquite, Fechmi Houssein, Mohammad Ali, and Jungo Endo.

What’s the current war that keeps you up at night?

Help…. I learned a long time ago that you can’t do anything great by yourself. You can create some nice things, get some respect, even make a little money, but you will not be able to achieve what you really want without great help.

This is for me the hardest part of all of this. I am very fortunate right now to have a great team behind me, but it wasn’t always like that. That literally kept me up at night… In order to create and be free, you need time… the only way to get time is to get help.

You’ve been in the game a while…any regrets?

NO! I am who I am for better or for worse for the path that I walked. If I walked any other way things could be different today. I am content.

How have you adapted to change?

For a long time, I was against the digital revolution. I have slowly incorporated it into our daily work flow and I can now say I would be lost without it.

I don’t rely on digital 100 percent – this is how I adapted. I use it as a tool, and still use our hands 100 % to finish the cases. Digital is a means to efficiency and productivity…nothing more.

What’s one adjective that defines Joshua Polansky?

Creative. I refuse to see like others do. For me this is boring. I need to live in the unknown, because if I’m not, I’m doing something I’ve already done.

What were you doing when you last lost track of the time?

Bikram Yoga.

What are you holding on to that you need to let go of?

Control. I have a strong belief in myself. You always hear the ra-ra– believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything.

While that is true, nobody talks about the fact that believing too much in yourself closes you off to people smarter than you. I am currently working through this handicap.

 

Zahn Dental thanks Sasha and Joshua for sharing their conversation with us.

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