Slow and Steady Wins the Race

After a career in law enforcement in Long Island, New York, Dan Trimmer used his knowledge of elementary genetic engineering to pursue his hobby of crossbreeding flowers. At first, Dan sold most of his hybrid creations to a few friends. But a serendipitous turn of events changed the scope of his efforts dramatically.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Dan Trimmer

“One of my customers asked if a friend of hers could do an article about me in her magazine,” Dan relates. “I thought it was a PennySaver-type publication. It turned out to be Elle Magazine, which is a high-fashion magazine. All of a sudden, I had a business and customers from all over the world.”
Dan relocated himself and his hobby/business to Florida 20 years ago. Shortly after settling into his new home, he began to get very hoarse and was eventually diagnosed with throat cancer. His cancer was successfully treated with radiation therapy, which can sometimes cause dental problems, and in Dan’s case it did.
“Due to the radiation, I developed saliva issues, and then little abscesses erupted,” explains Dan, who had concerns about some of his teeth even before the radiation got to them.
“When I was young, I ate too much candy and always had more dentistry done than I should have,” he discloses. “I had a lot of large fillings and several root canals as a teen. Those problems were exacerbated by the teeth being irradiated. Small problems quickly became enormous problems. I knew I had to find a dentist, and a friend recommended Dr. Montz.”
The endorsed dentist is Richard C. Montz, DDS, of River City Dentistry in DeBary. Dr. Montz offers comprehensive cosmetic, restorative and family dentistry. He takes a conservative approach to providing dental care and provides only the treatments necessary to reach his patients’ current goals. It’s an approach Dan appreciates.
“Right off the bat, I liked Dr. Montz’s demeanor and his minimalist philosophy about how to treat problems caused by irradiation,” Dan says. “All of my dental visits with him were done with his minimalist approach: Let’s not do anything more than we have to. All we want to do is what’s necessary.”
Upon first examining Dan, Dr. Montz learned that much work was indeed necessary. Because of the radiation treatments Dan had received, the teeth on one side of his mouth were “falling apart,” reports Dr. Montz.
To correct the problem, Dr. Montz started by having a specialist remove Dan’s failed teeth and place three implants. He also performed a couple of root canals in an effort to save some of Dan’s healthier teeth.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Dan shows off the home of his new flower creations.

The procedures were all successful, but about two years later, another problem evolved as a result of Dan’s habit of grinding his teeth and his hesitancy to wear the night guard Dr. Montz made to help him protect his teeth from further damage.
“Dan was hesitant to wear the night guard, because he couldn’t sleep with it in his mouth,” Dr. Montz says. “But I explained to Dan that implants don’t give, and too much grinding can cause them to fail, which is exactly what happened.”
After a couple of years, the implant on the top failed because of his bruxism, which wore away the bone to hold it. However, the periodontal specialist Dr. Montz referred Dan to succeeded in grafting new bone in that area and placing a new implant that is holding. Dan now wears his bite guard more regularly. A fear he’s had since childhood is one of the reasons.
“I joked with Dr. Montz that we all have our fears and phobias, and I have two,” states Dan. “I’m afraid of sharks, and I’m afraid of dentures. I’d do almost anything to avoid sharks and to never have to wear dentures.
“I’ve had a fear of dentures from an early age and worried I might need them because of all the candy-eating when I was younger. So, I couldn’t be happier or more satisfied with the dental care I received from Dr. Montz.”

Keep Your Mouth Closed

Debi Luce was 12 years old when she was thrown from a horse and landed on the right side of her body, including the side of her head. The fall on her face left her with pain in her temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, the hinge joint that connects her lower jaw to her skull. Debi’s TMJ made it difficult to eat chewy foods and gave her headaches.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Debi Luce

“I was in pain for a very long time,” recalls the oncology nurse practitioner. “I also had trouble with grinding my teeth. I happened to be working in Orange City, and my co-workers at the time suggested I find a new dentist. I told them I wanted one that knew something about TMJ. One of my co-workers recommended Dr. Montz.”
Dr. Montz impressed Debi as he did Dan. She liked that the dentist knew a lot about TMJ, and she, too, appreciated his conservative approach to patient care.
“When I first met Dr. Montz, I found him to be extremely knowledgeable,” she describes. “He’s also the most unique dentist I’ve ever been to. We almost fought over him not wanting to do anything extra in my mouth because of my TMJ.
“Dr. Montz could easily have given me tens of thousands of dollars of dental work over the ten years I’ve been going to him because I tend to break my teeth and existing dental work. But, he’s extraordinarily passionate and ethical, which is such a rarity.”

“As a result of the care and dentistry I received from Dr. Montz, I have a very healthy mouth and feel as if I have all of my teeth.” -Dan

Debi, an Upstate New York native, trusts Dr. Montz because she knows he has her best interests at heart. When he plans treatment for her, he looks for ways to minimize the time she must keep her mouth open wide because that irritates her TMJ and causes her pain.
“Dr. Montz actually got upset when one of my teeth went bad under a crown,” she remembers. “He was upset because it meant I was going to have to have my mouth open for a long time, which is very painful. He was going to have to do a root canal and a new crown, and he didn’t want to put me through it.”
“Because of her TMJ, working on Debi for long periods of time is very difficult,” confirms Dr. Montz. “I’ve done root canals and crowns with her before, and it’s not a pleasant experience for either of us. Whenever possible, we go a more conservative route with her.”
That’s exactly what Dr. Montz did recently when he chose to bond one of Debi’s teeth instead of crowning it. Bonding requires less time for Debi to hold her mouth open and provides a good solution to building up her tooth that can be easily repeated if necessary.
“Bonding is a less expensive way to go, and it’ll last me a couple of years, maybe much longer,” Debi says. “Otherwise, what I would’ve needed to do would’ve cost me a lot more and been very painful for me.
Dr. Montz didn’t think a crown would really benefit me in the long run, so why go through it.”
Debi’s TMJ wasn’t the only concern Dr. Montz had about her dental health. He described the potential dangers associated with her grinding habit as well as what he recommended to avoid them. He also explained how her grinding contributes to her pain.
“Like Dan, Debi was an extreme grinder, and she already had crowns and bridges that were done previously,” he notes. “Just as I did with Dan, I made her a night guard to protect her existing dental work. The guard absorbs some of the forces of her grinding and keeps those forces from breaking her teeth, crowns and bridges.
“The night guard also alleviates some of the pressure on her TMJ, which helps reduce the pain in her jaw and head.”
“Dr. Montz wanted me to wear the mouth guard all the time,” recounts Debi, “but my patients couldn’t understand me when I talked if I wore it during the day. I wear it at night faithfully, and I’ve only had to have it replaced once.”

Minimally Invasive Dentistry

Dr. Montz and his staff at River City Dentistry pride themselves on their modern methods of dentistry. However, to ensure that the integrity of the teeth remains intact, Dr. Montz uses a minimally invasive, conservative approach to providing dental care. Whether it’s fillings or cosmetic procedures, patients get only the treatment they truly need.
Understanding a minimally invasive, conservative approach to dentistry is not that difficult, observes Dr. Montz. The goal is to always preserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible.
“A traditional dentist may remove quite a bit of healthy tooth tissue when placing a new filling to treat tooth decay,” he explains. “That process is generally considered acceptable practice, as it makes it easier for the filling to be placed.
“By contrast, conservative dentists do their very best to preserve healthy tooth tissue. They remove only the dead or irreversibly damaged areas of the tooth’s structure.”
At River City Dentistry, this conservative approach is used in many areas, from restorative treatments, such as the placement of crowns, to cosmetic procedures, such as bonding and contouring. Dr. Montz also applies it to treatments such as root canals.
“This style of dentistry requires quite a bit of planning,” stresses Dr. Montz. “We create a customized treatment plan for each patient based on their oral health history and current dental situations.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Debi smiles a lot more now while she works.

“Catching oral issues early is critical for the conservative approach to be most effective, so minor problems are treated before they become severe and require bigger fixes. That’s why we focus on preventive dentistry, promoting regular oral exams and teeth cleanings.”
The conservative approach goes hand in hand with minimally invasive dentistry, which is a set of practices used by dentists to minimize damage to patients’ healthy soft tissues, as well as patient discomfort. There are benefits to this approach to dentistry. For one, recovery time following treatment is shorter.
“In addition, the minimally invasive methods, like conservative treatments, preserve more tooth material,” reports Dr. Montz. “Because the underlying structure of the teeth is preserved, the end result is a more effective treatment that does not impact the structural integrity of the teeth.
“We’ve found that early intervention with minimally invasive dentistry can eliminate eighty percent of future dental interventions in the vast majority of patients.”
With a minimally invasive, conservative approach, all of a patient’s dental issues are corrected. They’re just tackled in phases.
Dr. Montz performs only the procedures logically necessary for the patient’s dental health at that time. Going conservative is effective and efficient. It saves patients money and long hours sitting in a dental chair.

Enduring Impressions

Dan’s dental treatment at River City Dentistry included several fillings and crowns, a few root canals and three dental implants. He continues to see Dr. Montz for routine cleanings and preventive maintenance. The conservative approach paid off for Dan. He overcame the dental issues from radiation and kept his own, natural teeth.
“Since my treatment at River City Dentistry, I haven’t even had a cavity,” Dan marvels. “Now, I have a full smile, and I couldn’t be more pleased. As a result of the care and dentistry I received from Dr. Montz, I have a very healthy mouth and feel as if I have all of my teeth.
“The minimalist approach was Dr. Montz’s strategy with me from the beginning. That’s how he was originally described to me, and it’s the reason I initiated my dental care with him here in Florida.”
The conservative approach was effective for Debi as well. She has experienced a significant reduction in her TMJ pain and has returned to eating normally and feeling better.
“I really don’t have pain anymore,” she enthuses. “I’m able to chew steak and chew gum and eat things I had to give up for many years. And I don’t have any headaches at all anymore.”
When Debi first met Dr. Montz, she was working in Orange City. She’s so happy with the care she gets from Dr. Montz that she continues to see him after moving a distance away from River City Dentistry.

“I really don’t have pain anymore. I’m able to chew steak and chew gum and eat things I had to give up for many years.”-Debi

“I’ve been going to Dr. Montz for nearly ten years, and I haven’t worked in Orange City in six years,” she relates. “Now, I commute either from my home in Eustis or my job in The Villages® because that’s how good Dr. Montz is.
“When I worked in Orange City, I recommended Dr. Montz all the time. Now, I work in The Villages, which is an hour and a half drive. But if I meet somebody with TMJ, I absolutely recommend they make the journey to DeBary, as I do.”
Dr. Montz made a lasting impression on Debi, and so did his staff.
“The office staff is amazing,” she states. “He gets a lot of loyalty from his employees because he obviously treats them well, and they treat all of their patients with respect. They respect our time and make the effort to get to know who we are when we walk in the door. They’re a very unique and wonderful staff to work with.”
For Dan, Dr. Montz’s conservative approach was most impressive. He doesn’t hesitate to tell others how much he values it.
“I really appreciate that Dr. Montz wants to do the least amount of dentistry required to solve the problem,” notes Dan. “It wasn’t this massive project right away. It was a slow and thoughtful process, which is what I believe you should do, and I always felt that I got superior dentistry. I recommend Dr. Montz and his practice all the time.
“I like Dr. Montz because he’s a technician, not an alarmist. He’s also honest, and I absolutely trust him. I’m amazingly satisfied with my care at River City Dentistry.”

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    • River City Dentistry

      River City Dentistry focuses on their patients' overall experience. They strive for excellence in every aspect of patient care. They do this by maintaining the latest technologies, working convenient hours, and by implementing a comfo... Read More

    • Richard C. Montz, DDS

      Richard C. Montz, DDS, completed his undergraduate studies at Bowling Green State University, OH, and earned his degree in dental surgery from Ohio State University. Dr. Montz served as a dental officer in the US NAVY DENTAL CORPS from 1985 u... Read More