Smile with Confidence

Family practice specializes in making healthy, attractive smiles.

Growing up, Billie “B.J.” Bowser never liked losing a tooth and waiting for a new one to grow in. The results were never what she expected or hoped for.

FHCN file photo.

B.J. has confidence in her smile.

“I can remember losing teeth, and the adult teeth would never appear,” B.J. recalls. “I always had gaps in my smile. It was awful growing up with that. I have my two adult front teeth, but the ones on the sides of those never grew in.
“I always had gaps there as a young child and pre-teen. I hated having my picture taken because of that, and it was really tough growing up with that. You really have no idea how your smile impacts your life.
“I’ve seen dental specialists since I was fifteen years old. I got my first bridge at that age. I’ve had three others since then, but none of them were ever a natural, perfect fit or gave me the look I wanted.”
Working in the health care field, B.J.’s job requires public speaking engagements. In recent years, however, she became embarrassed by how her teeth looked. In addition, B.J. and her husband recently adopted two children they were fostering and have become a family. For her speaking engagements and those family photos she’ll be taking, B.J. wanted to look her best.
“I want the confidence I have in my life right now to match a confident smile,” B.J. adds. “I mean, I always had a great smile when I was a child, but once I lost my baby teeth, my smile was never the same.
“I was always uncomfortable every time I opened my mouth. The teeth weren’t the right shape or color, and my bite was off. It never felt like me. But I could never find a dentist who would take the time and put forth the effort to do the work the right way.”
B.J.’s search for the right dentist who would put in the time and effort to give her the smile she always wanted finally ended one day when she read an article in Florida Health Care News about Katrine Farag, DMD, of Advanced Dentistry of Fort Myers.
“I had no idea where to turn to find a skilled dentist who could permanently fix my issue once and for all,” B.J. relays. “But then I read the article about Dr. Farag and I thought to myself, If she can help that person, I think she can help me, too.”

Better Appearance, Function

“When I met with B.J. initially and examined her mouth, the first thing that struck me was that her bite was off,” Dr. Farag shares. “The reason her bite was off was because the existing bridgework was not made properly. The shapes of the teeth were too rounded and did not match her face cosmetically. The size and color of the teeth were also not flattering for her.
“B.J. is just forty years old and has been living with this for years. She is much too young not to be happy and to be self-conscious about her smile. I wanted to restore the confidence she had lost. The bridge she had obviously needed to be replaced, not just for aesthetic reasons, but because it did not fit properly in her mouth.”
Dr. Farag recommended creating a new, six-unit bridge to attach to the adjoining teeth.

“I never make a decision for someone without them being part of the process. It’s their smile.” – Dr. Katrine Farag

“We took a full set of x-rays and made models of B.J.’s existing bridge to send to the lab for a mock-up of an improved look.”
Prior to the models being sent to the lab, Dr. Farag and B.J. chose the shape and color of the teeth for the new bridge.
“B.J. did not want her smile to look fake or unnatural, so we chose the shade and size carefully. I always involve my patients with their dental health,” continues Dr. Farag. “I never make a decision for someone without them being part of the process. It’s their smile.”

A Permanent Fix

The entire process, from start to finish, was completed in three visits.
“I had the temporary bridge in, before the permanent bridge was completed, and that temporary provided me the perfect outlook toward the final product!” B.J. exclaims. “I was so excited!”
Now that the final bridge has been placed, B.J. is ecstatic over the look and feel of her permanent bridge. She is grateful to Dr. Farag for her expertise and chairside manner.
“Dr. Farag was amazing from the moment I sat in the dental chair,” B.J. raves. “She listened to my concerns, and we worked together to come up with a solution. It’s a dental partnership because she involved me in the entire process.”
B.J. says she has a newfound confidence she has never experienced before.
“Once I had the permanent fixture placed, I could not believe how it looked,” she says. “It is amazing to me! I can go to a restaurant and order anything I want and not worry about my bite or about chewing or anything. I feel one hundred percent confident again, thanks to Dr. Farag!”

Add Years to Your Smile

Like B.J., Debi Grover knows how important it is to have a smile you’re confident with. As an investment REALTOR® and design consultant, she works face to face with people all through the day, so her smile is important to her.

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

Debi is no longer embarrassed to smile.

“With my job, I greet people every day, and a lot of times, the first thing we notice about a person is their teeth,” Debi says. “There came a time not long ago when that became a concern for me because I had suspected for a while that I had periodontal disease.
“I didn’t have any bleeding or anything like that when I brushed, but I had extreme plaque buildup, and I knew that over time, damage had been done to my gums. I wanted to be able to smile and not feel like I had to hide my teeth.
“The most important thing to me was saving my natural teeth. I got to a point where I knew I needed to find a dentist who could help me do that.”
Debi began the process by doing some homework, researching LANAP® laser-assisted gum treatment online. That’s where she came across Advanced Dentistry of Fort Myers.
“I read that they are very skilled and knowledgeable in treating gum disease with this laser, so I made an appointment in the hope that I would gain some additional knowledge about it.”
Debi met with Joseph H. Farag, DMD, at Advanced Dentistry of Fort Myers to discuss this option and decide if it was the right treatment for her.

LANAP Zaps Disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory process that can be a chronic or an acute problem. According to Dr. Farag, periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue that supports the teeth. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimates that more than 70 percent of Americans have some form of periodontal disease, some through no fault of their own.
“Debi had moderate to advanced stages of periodontal disease,” describes Dr. Farag. “We offered her the option of conventional surgery to repair the gums or the LANAP laser-assisted treatment option. Because Debi had already researched LANAP, she knew right away she wanted that procedure done.”
In the past, traditional gum treatment involved cutting away the infected gum tissue and placing sutures to hold the reduced tissue in place during the healing process. During conventional gum surgery, the scalpel cannot differentiate between healthy and diseased gum, so the patient loses healthy tissue as well as diseased tissue.
This approach always results in recession of the gums – a lowering of the level of gum tissue. If the gum tissue recedes too far, it can leave the sensitive tooth roots exposed.
Healthy gums adhere closely to the teeth, supporting them so they don’t become loose in the jawbone. When people develop gingivitis, a mild form of periodontal disease, it causes irritation, redness and swelling. As periodontal disease progresses, the bone is lost around the tooth and the pockets around the teeth get deeper. If left untreated, gingivitis may lead to a second, more serious stage called periodontitis.
Research studies show that laser-assisted dental gum therapy is superior to conventional surgery in a number of ways. The most notable to the patient is that they don’t lose their gumline. “We do not want the gums to recede, which can make the teeth appear longer,” says Dr. Farag. “The goal is healthy gums that reattach naturally to the teeth.
“During the first laser pass,” continues Dr. Farag, “three goals are accomplished. First, the energy vaporizes the diseased lining, leaving the healthy tissue intact. Second, it dehydrates the tartar on the tooth, making it very brittle and easy to remove from the tooth. Third, it kills the bacteria on the gum that is exposed to the laser.
“During the second step, an ultrasonic instrument is used. Its fine tip vibrates and removes the tartar, breaking it away from the tooth. We then flush with an antimicrobial substance that stops the growth of new bacteria. In this step, we affect the bone around the tooth and remove the diseased lining of the tissue.
“The third step involves another pass with the laser at a different setting. This last pass stops any bleeding and creates the best antimicrobial seal possible, preventing re-infection and releasing growth factors from the blood cells to regenerate the attachment.”
Debi’s procedure was completed in one day.
“That is the other advantage of this procedure, as opposed to the conventional surgery,” Dr. Farag educates. “Debi’s gums were treated in about three hours, as opposed to multiple visits with the conventional surgery. This is faster and there’s less discomfort afterward.”

Feeling Confident Again

Dr. Farag emphasizes the importance of follow-up dental care after having periodontal disease treated.
“When we sit down and discuss treatment options for gum disease, I want to be assured by that patient that they are committed to taking care of their teeth afterward,” he describes. “The laser treatment is the first step in getting the teeth healthy. The patient needs to be committed to keeping the teeth healthy long-term in order for it to be effective.”
Patients are encouraged to have their teeth cleaned regularly, brush and floss daily and be aware of any sudden changes to their oral health.
“In order to keep the gums healthy, people need to keep the teeth clean. That requires daily commitment,” Dr. Farag reiterates.
Debi says she has a renewed desire to maintain a healthy mouth now that the procedure is complete. She looks forward to continuing her care with the team at Advanced Dentistry of Fort Meyers.
“Dr. Farag and the entire staff are personable and knowledgeable, and they make me feel confident.”

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    • Advanced Dentistry of Fort Myers

      Dr. Farag looks forward to hearing from readers of Florida Health Care News. Their office is conveniently located  at 16601 San Carlos Blvd. in Fort Myers. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (239) 466-3131.... Read More

    • Katrine A. Farag, DMD

      Katrine A. Farag, DMD, earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Nova Southeastern University after completing her undergraduate studies in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University. She is a member of the Florida Academy of Cosmetic D... Read More

    • Joseph H. Farag, DMD

      Joseph H. Farag, DMD, earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry, Gainesville, FL after completing his undergraduate degree at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL. Dr. Farag served an... Read More