When 15-year-old Adam Mieleszko moved to New York from Poland in 1990, he didn't speak any English and never dreamed that, 20 years later, he'd publish a book in his new language. But that's exactly what happened.
After graduating from an intensive English as a Second Language high school in Brooklyn, Mieleszko—who loved art, drawing and carving—earned his degree in dental technology from the New York City College of Technology in 1997. When he decided a large production laboratory setting wasn't for him, a professor got him an interview in an in-house lab run by prosthodontist Dr. Stephen Chu, and the decision determined the course of Mieleszko's career.
"Right from the beginning, I knew that interacting with patients and designing cases from start to finish was for me," he says. "Not only is seeing your work intraorally the best self critique there is, but when I see the happiness and satisfaction on patients' faces it's more rewarding than actually fabricating the crowns. I really see what a difference I can make in peoples' self esteem and confidence."
Mieleszko formed a close working relationship with Dr. Chu, whom he considers his mentor. The duo frequently collaborates on highly esthetic and complex cases and, in 2004, they co-authored a book, Fundamentals of COLOR, Shade Matching and Communication in Esthetic Dentistry, available from Quintessence. The book sold out and an updated and expanded second edition was released in 2011.
Mieleszko also lectures on a variety of topics, including color communication and photography, and was a technical instructor for a course, Mastering Aesthetics and Ceramics for Advanced Dental Technicians, at the New York University College of Dentistry, "I was given a chance early in my career to collaborate and learn from the top people in the international dental field and I've been humbled by the experience," he says. "The inspiration has shown me the importance of continuing education, friendships and self-growth as a technician. Have I achieved the American Dream? No, my dreams are still coming true."