Author Archive

Closer to Home

Hibiscus Court brings an aging father closer to his daughter.

When Kim Landry’s mother died in 2015, she immediately began to worry how her father, Harold Roaden, would live alone in the couple’s home in Indianapolis.

Kim Landry discusses her father, Harold Roaden, a resident at Hibiscus Court.

Harold loves to take drives in his daughter’s corvette.

“My husband, Curtis, and I went to Indianapolis to care for my mother just before she died,” Kim recalls. “At that time, we realized Dad wasn’t doing very well. He had some memory issues – forgetting where he put things, how to get to church and other places. My parents were always together, so I worried about him suddenly being alone.”

Kim says her parents, married for 62 years, were avid socialites, always the center of attention in any room.    

“Dad is a very social person,” Kim shares. “My parents were a very exuberant couple in the neighborhood. They had people at the house all the time. He was truly never alone.”

Kim and her husband stayed in Indianapolis for a short time after her mother’s death to see how well Harold would do on his own. Kim says they quickly noticed that her dad would get lost driving to church or say random things that made little sense.

“He would drive up to the church on a Tuesday morning and come back and say, there was no one there, so I just came home and of course it was a Tuesday and there wouldn’t be anyone there. He was losing track of days.

“He couldn’t get the microwave to work and he couldn’t find the dishwasher. Things were adding up rapidly. We determined rather quickly that he couldn’t live alone, especially with us being in Florida,” Kim says. “It wasn’t safe. So, I had him look at three assisted living communities in Indianapolis first. Then, we brought him here to Florida, where he looked at a few near our home. The minute he walked into Hibiscus Court, he felt at home. He made the choice, and they made it easy.”

Hibiscus Court, an assisted living and memory care community in Melbourne, offers family members, like Kim, peace of mind that their loved ones are in a professional, secure and loving environment.

“Hibiscus Court is about a lifestyle choice, and we are here to make residents comfortable and give them a place they can feel secure and at home,” shares Executive Director Heidi Kuchenbacker. “Our goal is to make their daily lives easier and more enjoyable.”

An Extended Family

Many who move into assisted living are still quite independent, and the staff at Hibiscus Court works to keep it that way for as long as possible.

“The beauty of assisted living is that we can actually help residents with whatever they need help with on an individual basis,” Heidi shares. “If they experience a change in abilities, or have a small decline that turns into a bigger one, our staff is trained to accommodate their needs.Kim Landry discusses her father, Harold Roaden, a resident at Hibiscus Court.

“Harold has been reborn here with the ability to spend time with his family, and yet continue to do things on his own,” Heidi adds. “He has the best of both worlds.”

Kim agrees that her father takes care of his own daily needs and remains independent, despite some early signs of dementia. If he does require assistance, the staff is right there for him.

“When I have to be away, my mind is at ease. The staff there is like a big, extended family. Heidi recently urged me to go to a caregiver support group there, and it has helped so much because I had a lot of initial guilt. I took away his entire world and moved him here, and that was hard. The support I have received has been tremendous.”

Keeping Busy

As we age, factors such as nutrition, mental and physical activity and social interaction begin to become as important as medical care. The team at Hibiscus  Court places great importance on these areas.

Heidi says the staff at Hibiscus Court works endless hours planning activities for residents to keep them mentally and physically active.

“Our goal is to always have something exciting or interesting to look forward to,” Heidi says. “We go to concerts, play games, provide exercise classes, go on scenic drives – all kinds of things to keep them busy.”

Studies have consistently shown that there is a direct correlation between a fulfilling life and longevity in seniors. Those who have established social networks and who are active, both mentally and physically, are shown to live longer and have more good years.

Kim says her dad enjoys the scenic drives, sing-alongs and card games. He also loves when kids from local schools come to visit.

“He loves to sit and talk with them, and they love to spend time with him,” Kim says. “As teenagers, they come back to see him, and he just loves it. He has a great rapport with them.”

“Our game night with local teens is always a big hit,” observes Heidi. “They keep the residents on their toes.”

Teenagers keep residents entertained in a variety of ways. They come dressed in the latest fashions and bring the latest electronics. Seniors learn about smartphones and social media, take selfies and FaceTime with family. Teachable moments abound for both children and seniors.

Being physically active is also something Harold continues to do in order to stay fit.

Kim Landry discusses her father, Harold Roaden, a resident at Hibiscus Court.

Harold was crowned Prom King at Hibiscus Court.

“Dad and mom always worked out,” Kim recalls. “They went to the gym almost every day.  At Hibiscus Court, it’s not quite the rigorous workout that he did before but they have fitness every day and he goes every day, too. When I talk to him in the phone I ask, Are you going to the gym today?  You’re going to work out?” That’s what I say.  He’ll say, Yeah, I’m going to go and workout.

“He likes to join the other residents when they go out for their walks, too.  And that’s another thing about Hibiscus Court – the grounds are beautiful .  They have a lake and the ducks swim over to the shore all the time. My dad enjoys the beautiful setting and my husband and I are thankful for that.”

Peace of Mind

Kim is relieved that her dad has settled into life at Hibiscus Court and says it has just as much to do with the staff as the facility itself.

“It’s a very comforting atmosphere that feels like home,” Kim describes. “It feels like you’re in somebody’s home and everybody’s always smiling. I rest assured that he is in loving and capable hands.

“They always talk about Dad and how funny and sweet he is,” she continues. “I know it is not just talk or them saying what they think I want to hear. I can feel their compassion. I know they care about his well being and I am really grateful for that. It gives me peace of mind to know he is cared for with such compassion.”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Photo by Nerissa Johnson. Prom photo courtesy of Hibiscus Court. mkb

ReSTOR Your Vision

Billie Bornstein had worn glasses as far back as she can remember. As a child in the classroom, her extreme nearsightedness kept her from clearly seeing the blackboard in the front of the room or her friends across the playground.Billie Bornstein had bladeless cataract surgery and the newest ReSTOR lenses placed at Pasadena Eye Center.

“I was seven years old when I got my first pair of glasses,” Billie recalls. “It was so long ago, but it was back in the days when they did those free eye exams at school. My eyesight was so bad that I could not even read the big E on the vision chart. I was told I was extremely nearsighted. I got by alright in school once I got the eyeglasses, but even so that was a hard thing to have to wear at such a young age.”

The classroom setting magnetically drew Billie back in decades later. She recently retired from a lengthy career as a middle school teacher in Pinellas County.

“I’ve lived in Seminole for thirty years and taught at Osceola Middle School,” Billie says. “I loved teaching. But, I also love retirement.”

Billie says as advancements in eyewear were introduced to the market, she embraced the new choices that became available, especially in her teenage years.

“When contact lenses were introduced to the market, I was fourteen and I couldn’t wait to try them. I was so happy not to have glasses on my face all the time. I’ve worn them ever since.”

As she aged, Billie noticed her vision getting worse over the years.

“My glasses were the first thing I grabbed the minute I woke up every morning,” she adds. “I couldn’t function without them. I had to have them within reach.

“My prescriptions got stronger and stronger over the years,” she adds. “About three years ago, I was unsatisfied with the care I was receiving from my eye doctor at that time. I felt that because I had such poor vision, I really needed better care. I needed a better overall examination.”

A friend referred Billie to Pasadena Eye Center where she met with David E. Hall, MD.

“I went to see Dr. Hall and right away I knew I was in a better place,” Billie recalls. “He did the most thorough exam I had ever had on my eyes. That’ s when he told me I had the beginnings of cataracts.

“Recently as the cataracts worsened, so did my eyesight,” she continues. “It seemed as though there was a spot on the lenses of my glasses whenever I was wearing them. It was as if I had to clean them constantly. That’s how foggy my vision was, especially with my left eye. I also couldn’t drive at night anymore. The glare from the oncoming headlights looked like big circles of light.

“It became harder for me to read, even with the glasses on or contacts in. I found that I needed more light to read the newspaper or a book. I had to pull the book a lot closer to my face to see the words clearly.”

Bladeless Precision

After recently examining Billie, Dr. Hall confirmed her cataracts had progressed to the point where surgery was necessary. Because she also had astigmatism, Dr. Hall suggested the femtosecond laser procedure. The femtosecond (bladeless) laser surgery is the most technologically advanced cataract surgery for patients with astigmatism. The laser provides unmatched accuracy, as each procedure is customized to the individual’s eye.

“With the femtosecond laser-assisted tool, a laser makes the incisions, both at the surface of the eye and inside the eye, and it is always a precise, flawless cut,” Dr. Hall explains. “What the femtosecond laser does is create a curved incision on the cornea – an arc – depending on how much astigmatism there is. We refer to it as an LRIlimbal relaxing incision. Basically, the incision is eighty percent of the thickness of the cornea, and it relaxes the curve of the cornea. This helps reshape the cornea.”

The femtosecond laser then divides the cataract into segments that are removed. The surgery is performed much more quickly and accurately with the laser. Overall, the femtosecond laser leaves patients with sharper vision and less dependence on glasses in the future.Billie Bornstein had bladeless cataract surgery and the newest ReSTOR lenses placed at Pasadena Eye Center.

“It was a painless procedure and very quick,” Billie asserts. “I can’t believe how quickly the surgery was completed and how flawless it was.”

IOL Choices

It is routine for patients to require intraocular lens (IOL) implants after cataract removal.

Due to advancements over the past decade, patients now have a wide choice of IOLs. They range from standard monofocal lenses to more advanced lenses that can eliminate or reduce the need for glasses.

“Based on the health of the eye and factors determined in the exam, we discuss lens and surgical options with the patient and decide which lenses to use,” Dr. Hall explains. “We have many options to choose from that will suit the needs and long-term goals of every individual.”

In Billie’s case, Dr. Hall recommended the ReSTOR lens.

“There are two kinds of ReSTOR lenses available,” Dr. Hall explains. “There’s a ReSTOR lens that we’ve been using for a few years, and also the ReSTOR lens that Billie has, which is a newer lens. It is called the ReSTOR Active Focus lens and it has been available for just over a year. It’s focus uses about half the light energy for distance in each eye and half the light energy for intermediate range, about eighteen inches away.

“I gave Billie the options and I told her that we use the original ReSTOR lens focusing up close for small print, or she could use the Active Focus, which is a more intermediate range. She chose the intermediate because she felt like with her lifestyle, there were more things she did that she needed to see a few inches farther away. She uses readers to compensate.”

Second Glance

Billie says she is amazed at the improvement in her vision since having her cataracts replaced with the ReSTOR Active Focus lenses.

Billie Bornstein had bladeless cataract surgery and the newest ReSTOR lenses placed at Pasadena Eye Center.

Billie can thread a needle much easier since having
cataracts removed.

“It’s like a miracle,” Billie raves. “I see fabulously. I had the most wonderful lenses put in. Colors are so vivid now and I can see when I am driving at night. I no longer see the halos and circles of light I saw before.”

Billie is very pleased with Dr. Hall and thankful to her friend for recommending Pasadena Eye Center.

“I recommend them to all my friends,” she says. “The staff is also great and they make you feel like family.

“I am on top of the world right now,” she continues.  “The results are mind boggling.

“I keep reaching for my glasses when I am on the computer and they aren’t there! The clarity is amazing!”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Photos by Jordan Pysz. Graphic from istockphoto.com. mkb

Through the Looking Glass

Going the extra mile helps patient overcome extreme nearsightedness.

Ever since she was a small child, Eleanor Kosmidek wore thick eyeglasses.

“I had very bad eyesight my entire life,” Eleanor recalls. “I couldn’t see the board in school. I had a lot of difficulty learning. And I got my first pair of glasses very young. In fact, I can’t really recall a time without wearing them.

Eleanor Kosmidek underwent cataract surgery by Alexandra Kostick, MD, at Atlantic Eye Center.

Eleanor can see much better when she is
driving since having her cataracts removed.

“My glasses weren’t your average pair either,” she continues. “They were extremely thick, like Coke® bottles. That is hard when you are growing up. Eventually, I wore contact lenses, and that helped me a lot with my self-image.”

In recent years, Eleanor feared things were getting worse with her vision. When she could no longer see well, even with her glasses on, she knew there was a problem.

“About a year ago, I was told I had cataracts, and the eye doctor I went to at that time told me, When your eyes are ready and the cataracts have worsened, you will know, and boy, did I ever find that out.

“I couldn’t see to drive, day or night,” she shares. “In the morning, I couldn’t see the time on the alarm clock. I had to sit within six feet of the television just to see it, and we have a seventy-inch screen.”

Eleanor says several of her neighbors advised her to make an appointment at Atlantic Eye Center.

“Four of my neighbors on the same street had cataract surgery there,” she recalls. “The idea of the surgery scared me, but I took their recommendations to heart. I trusted them, so I made an appointment.”

Extreme Circumstance

Eleanor met with Alexandra Kostick, MD, of Atlantic Eye Center, where she underwent an evaluation and consultation.

“Eleanor came to me with extremely blurred vision, to the point where it was unsafe in many aspects of her life, such as driving,” Dr. Kostick confirms. “After evaluating her eyes, it was determined her cataracts were quite progressed, and she needed to have those removed.”

Those who have cataracts describe a variety of symptoms, including a loss in the vibrancy of colors, glare from oncoming headlights and the need for frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions. This occurs because cataracts are a gradual discoloration or clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Some patients experience no symptoms, while others report them in various combinations and degrees.

“Because Eleanor had such an extreme case of nearsightedness,”
Dr. Kostick explains, “the lens we would recommend for a regular patient didn’t exist for her.” Instead, Dr. Kostick consulted with a manufacturer of intraocular lenses and opted for a monofocal lens. It has a very different power than what most ophthalmologists normally use.

Eleanor says she was apprehensive about eye surgery.

“I was very nervous and scared when Dr. Kostick did the first eye,” she shares. “But, about a month later, when I had the cataract surgery on my other eye, I was much more relaxed because I knew what to expect.”

During cataract surgery, a small incision – measuring about one-eighth of an inch in length – allows the introduction of a small, ultrasonic probe that applies sound waves to the cataract, emulsifying it so gentle suction can remove the debris from the tiny capsular sac that protects the lens. Once the natural lens of the eye is removed, the replacement lens is then placed.

Above and Beyond

Dr. Kostick says she feels that putting forth extra effort is what makes her practice stand out above the rest.

“I took the effort to research Eleanor’s options and talk to a lens manufacturer,” she emphasizes. “More often than not, my staff and I go above and beyond the call of duty for a patient, whether it’s an insurance verification, a consultation with a specialist or ordering a specialized intraocular implant for cataract surgery. We are always striving to take the extra step for patients to make their experience unique and successful.”

Dr. Kostick reaffirms that the eye care specialists at Atlantic Eye Center truly care about the well-being of their patients and their care.

“Each patient is unique, and we know that,” Dr. Kostick assures. “We treat each one as an individual and with a personalized approach. We don’t put patients on a conveyor belt and push them through the clinic. We take the time to talk with them and recognize their wants and needs. We are compassionate about the care we administer as a team.

“In Eleanor’s case, she needed more than just the standard surgery and the regular implant. It took quite a bit of groundwork to get the right lens for her, but everything ended up turning out wonderfully.  She’s extremely happy with the results.

“Many of our patients come to us through word of mouth, and that, I think, is an indication of our status in the community of being a respectable practice.

“Eleanor came to see me after several of her neighbors recommended Atlantic Eye Center. She’s a great example of referral success for our practice,” Dr. Kostick adds.

Seeing Is Believing

Eleanor says no longer having blurry vision the minute she opens her eyes in the morning is one of the most amazing results of her cataract surgery.

“I can see the numbers on the clock, so I no longer need to grab my glasses immediately when I wake up,” she says. “It’s an amazing difference for me. It truly is remarkable.”

Eleanor relates that she is more than pleased that she took the advice of her neighbors and chose Dr. Kostick and Atlantic Eye Center.

“Dr. Kostick has a wonderful bedside manner, and her office is warm and welcoming,” she states. “I highly recommend them to anyone needing cataracts removed or just a regular eye exam. I don’t think I could be happier with my results. Colors are vibrant, and I am seeing things I never even noticed before. It’s an eye-opener – a whole new world for me!”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Stock photo from istockphoto.com. mkb

A Permanent Fix

Johnnie Harris, Jr. retired from his career as a New York City police officer in 2005 and relocated to sunny Florida soon thereafter.Johnnie Harris had implants and crowns placed at Palm Coast Family Dentistry.Over the years, he would travel from his home in Palm Coast back to New York to receive dental care from his dentist of 30-plus years.

“I had a dentist I trusted and I had family and friends there, so I just traveled back and forth when I needed to get dental work done,” Johnnie relays. “It was never a problem, until one day I had an emergency situation with an abscessed tooth.

“I had no pain, really, but I could not chew on one side of my mouth. It had been going on for a while. I just ignored it, to the point where I couldn’t anymore. I told myself I had to take care of it as soon as possible, and traveling to New York was not an option. So, I looked for a local dentist.”

Johnnie found Jayraj J. Patel, DMD, of Palm Coast Family Dentistry.

“My New York dentist was from India, so when I met Dr. Patel, I felt like I was at home,” Johnnie recalls. “I felt comfortable right away. He asked if it was alright for him to consult the dentist in New York, and I said of course. He called him and they talked, and a lot of what Dr. Patel told me I needed done, the other dentist had told me the same things a while back, so again, I felt confident he knew what he was doing.”

Assessing the Situation

During the initial visit, Johnnie underwent a comprehensive examination that included a full set of x-rays and a consultation with Dr. Patel.

When Johnnie first came in, we discovered he had some degree of periodontal disease that we needed to address first before we could proceed with any other restorative treatments,” Dr. Patel explains. “I consulted with his dentist in New York to get a feel for what he was thinking and what he had advised Johnnie, prior to him seeing me. We compared notes, so to speak.

“The first issue that needed to be addressed was an abscessed tooth. I extracted the tooth on the lower right side of his mouth that had an infection. The next step was to treat his gums to get them healthy throughout his mouth.

“Once the gums were healthy, we proceeded to replace the extracted tooth with an implant-supported crown.”

In order to successfully place implants and crowns in the proper position, Dr. Patel utilizes cone beam CT scan technology.

The three-dimensional technology enables dentists to make better diagnoses and more accurate treatment planning for everything from periodontal disease to oral pathology to dental implants.Johnnie Harris had implants and crowns placed at Palm Coast Family Dentistry.

“The advanced 3-D imaging allows us to identify potential problems that often go unnoticed with traditional x-rays,” explains Dr. Patel. “We can use it to diagnose fractured teeth and for root canals, also.

“We perform cone beam CTs on all patients scheduled to receive implants,” he continues. “It’s particularly useful when the patient has a very narrow space allotted between adjacent teeth, or in cases where vital structures such as sinus or nerve canals are in close proximity to the surgical site. In those instances, implant surgery has to be very precise. Otherwise, the roots of the adjacent teeth can be damaged, or damage can occur to the vital structures, such as sinuses, nerves or blood vessels.

“Once I plan the location,” Dr. Patel continues, “including the size and type of implant being used for a particular area, I have the patient come in for further consultation. During this consultation, I review the CT scan with the patient and explain to them the entire procedure from implant placement to final restoration. I also answer any questions that patient might have. Based on the patient’s desires, I present them with different options for them to make an informed decision about the treatment they are going to receive.”

Johnnie says he was impressed at the upgraded technology Dr. Patel has available for patients.

“It really made me feel like I am definitely in the right place,” Johnnie says. “I had no doubts that Dr. Patel could place the implants and crowns exactly where they needed to be. His skill, combined with his advanced equipment, made me feel comfortable.”

In-House Crowns

Dr. Patel utilizes CEREC® Omnicam technology to design and contour crowns and bridges in his office. With the CEREC 3-D, every integral part of the restoration is seen in three dimensions.

“Using a computer, I am able to shape and form every fraction of each crown and restoration with 3-D software while the patient watches,” Dr. Patel says. “The CEREC computer gives a good representation of the tooth based on several factors: the shape of the other teeth, the size of the jaw, the angulation of the other teeth in the mouth and the anatomy of the teeth. The opposing teeth are also taken into consideration.”

In addition to crowns, CEREC Omnicam fashions all types of porcelain restorations, including onlays, inlays and veneers. An onlay replaces part of a tooth, including one or more points, or cusps, of the tooth. An inlay is a custom-made filling, and a veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that fits over the front of the tooth.

CEREC Omnicam eliminates many of the steps involved in making crowns, including wearing a temporary crown, limiting the time needed to a single appointment for the patient.

Dr. Patel’s patients can have CEREC restorations done the same day, thanks to this advanced technology.

“It was exciting to me to know I was going to have my crown finished and placed the very same day,” Johnnie says. “I’ve never had a dentist who could do that before. It was wonderful!”

Johnnie Harris had implants and crowns placed at Palm Coast Family Dentistry.

Johnnie’s emergency situation lead him to
a bright new smile.

Never Too Old

Dr. Patel has replaced several teeth in Johnnie’s mouth with implants and crowns and is pleased to report the results have been tremendous. He emphasizes the fact that you are never too old to consider implants.

“Age is not an absolute contradiction for somebody to have implants,” he relays. “The way the placement is performed has evolved to a point where it can be administered and performed successfully on people of all ages. Your teeth are yours for life, so I encourage people of all ages to take care of them always.”

Dr. Patel is pleased with the progress Johnnie has made from the first time he met him until now.

“When he first came in, he was chewing on only one side of his mouth, and it was a difficult thing for him,” Dr. Patel recalls. “Now, by restoring his teeth and replacing his missing teeth via implants, we have restored his bite and full functionality of his teeth.”

Johnnie says he is eating steak and other hard foods he was unable to chew before having his implants and crowns placed.

“I am so happy now with my teeth,” he says. “They are stronger than ever before. I can chew anything now on both sides of my mouth and not worry. My teeth look great!”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Photos by Jordan Pysz. Graphic from istockphoto.com. FHCN file photo. mkb

Wear It Well

Your smile can be your best accessory.

A legal secretary in the public defender’s office, Melissa* says her appearance is something she takes great pride in, especially her smile.Melissa* had a smile makeover courtesy of Stephen G. Blank, DDS, of Port St. Lucie.

“It’s the first thing people see,” she conveys. “Whether it’s the people you are working with or your family, your teeth make a lasting first impression.

“I always liked my teeth, but I had several silver fillings that bothered me that I wanted removed and replaced. I never liked people seeing those silver fillings when I smile. I also wanted my teeth to be a lot whiter.”

For years, those desires remained on Melissa’s wish list. She never had the time to cater to herself, she says, and being able to afford the care was also something she needed to consider.

“You can put on makeup and do your hair to look good, but your smile is the key in all of it,” Melissa says. “I wanted to take care of my cosmetic dental issues for years. I just never did. I never found the time. It was at the bottom of my list.”

The day finally arrived when Melissa decided it was time to move it to the top of her list. After years of admiring her brother’s smile, she made an appointment to see his dentist, Stephen G. Blank, DDS. Dr. Blank practices cosmetic and functional dentistry in Port St. Lucie.

“My brother goes to Dr. Blank and his teeth look great,” Melissa says. “When I was finally ready, it just felt right to go to Dr. Blank.”

Initial Exams

Dr. Blank gives new patients, including Melissa, a thorough examination to determine their dental needs and develop a custom treatment plan. The 1.5-hour exam includes a complete oral examination, including TMJ, bite and soft-tissue evaluations; computerized periodontal measurements, digital x-rays, an intra-oral video tour that allows the patient to see what the dentist sees, an oral hygiene fitness evaluation and more.

“The goal is to build a good dental relationship that will allow each patient to achieve the best oral health possible and, with proper care, maintain that level of health for a lifetime,” assures Dr. Blank.  “It’s not your typical five-minute dental exam.”Melissa* had a smile makeover courtesy of Stephen G. Blank, DDS, of Port St. Lucie.

Once Dr. Blank determined Melissa’s gums and teeth were stable enough to proceed with cosmetic repairs, he moved forward with that analysis.

“I think the best part of caring for patients is really understanding what their desires and needs are with a good interview at the beginning of our relationship, and then a good examination for the patient to understand his or her current conditions,” adds Dr. Blank. “That allows us to discuss options and make plans for each patient based on their individual needs and desires.”

Personalized Design

Dr. Blank, who has been practicing in Port St. Lucie for nearly 33 years, stresses the importance of delivering customized care to all of his patients.

“I want people to understand all of their options and be educated before making any decisions,” he emphasizes. “Every patient is different, and not every option is going to fit well with every person. I do my very best to understand a person’s long-term wants and needs.

“When it comes to smile restorations, sometimes we do a natural smile and other times we do one that’s a little bit more a Hollywood smile,” Dr. Blank explains. “Melissa was leaning toward more of that Hollywood look. She wanted teeth that pop and have the wow factor.”

“Dr. Blank did the top first,” shares Melissa. “He took impressions for the crowns and veneers, and sent the mold to the lab. He took his time with that. It took about two weeks to get the permanent ones back from the lab, and they look beautiful.”

“With Melissa, we did what we call a smile design visit where we do measurements of the teeth.  Then, we did a full series of photographs. We then did a mock-up on the teeth with some temporary resin so we could guide the lab to create the results that we wanted.

“From that smile design visit, we ordered a wax-up of the teeth that fulfilled Melissa’s cosmetic need. That way, Melissa was able to see how her teeth would look in the end.”

“The temporary teeth were wonderful because I could literally see what my finished teeth would look like, and it was so reassuring,” Melissa confirms. “I am thankful Dr. Blank has the ability to do this. It takes a lot of time, and you want to see how the finished product will look.”

Dr. Blank later placed all ceramic crowns and veneers along the front to enhance Melissa’s smile.

“Melissa had a tooth that was misaligned, so rather than use a straightening method, we placed crowns on two teeth and veneers on the rest to better align the teeth,” Dr. Blank explains. “We also removed her silver fillings and replaced those with porcelain fillings that look like the natural tooth so that when she is laughing or smiling very wide, the silver fillings are gone. There is no distraction anymore. Everything turned out very well.”

Restored Confidence

Melissa admits she was becoming self-conscious about her smile until she finally went to see Dr. Blank.Melissa* had a smile makeover courtesy of Stephen G. Blank, DDS, of Port St. Lucie.

“He restored my confidence and made me feel good about how I look when I smile,” she relays. “He was very reassuring every step of the way. And his staff was wonderful, too. They make you feel like family.”

Dr. Blank stresses that while many cosmetic dental procedures help patients’ smiles look better, the procedures are also instrumental in improving function and preventing any dental damage.

“Not everyone needs everything at the same time, but eventually we all tend to need something,” says the dentist. “It’s like having a car, where you repair it and maintain it, and sometimes you actually have to replace things.”

Melissa says she is more than happy with her new smile and highly recommends Dr. Blank to others.

“I didn’t want to smile and look like the Cheshire Cat,” Melissa says with a laugh. “I wanted a wow smile, but I also wanted it to be natural at the same time. Dr. Blank gave that to me. He combined the best of both worlds! I love it!”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Stock photo from istockphoto.com. Before and after images courtesy of  Dr. Blank. mkb
*Patient name withheld at their request.

 

Weighing Your Options

Supervised medical weight loss program is a proven success.

Her battle with weight began long before Allison* gave birth to her daughter, Faith.*Allison struggles with her weight and now follows a weight loss plan under the supervision of Eihab H. Tawfik, MD, at Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center; *Maria was treated for diabetic neuropathy with the MicroVas machine.

“I had anorexia as a teenager,” Allison admits. “The lowest I ever weighed back then was ninety-eight pounds. I was losing weight the unhealthy way then. I overcame it. But, in all honesty, the ups and downs of my weight have been a battle I have fought most of my life.”

At five feet two inches tall, Allison gained fifty-five pounds during her pregnancy. After childbirth, she had a hard time losing the extra pounds.

“The added weight post pregnancy was making me tired, too,” she says. “I had absolutely no energy and I had a newborn baby, so I knew I needed to get myself in gear.

“Before the pregnancy, I was already unhappy with my weight, so I started a weight loss program at Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center. It is based on a strict diet plan and appetite suppressants. I stopped the program during the pregnancy, of course, but once I had her, I knew I had to get back on it. I needed that extra help to achieve my goal.”

In the year since giving birth, Allison has gone from 235 pounds down to 187 pounds, but strives to lose much more.

“I want to get down to a size ten,” she says. “Right now, I am a size thirteen. I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I need change. I would be comfortable at around one hundred thirty pounds, or close to that.”

Dodging Diabetes

Not only did Allison want to lose weight, she knew it was a health necessity, and she did not want to be labeled obese.

Statistically, obesity is defined as an excess proportion of total body fat. A person is considered obese when his or her body mass index (BMI) is equal to or greater than 30. Too much body fat can lead to a host of distressing health issues.

“During our initial consultation, we meet with our patients and review their medical and dietary histories,” explains Eihab H. Tawfik, MD, a board-certified internist at Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center. “We perform an EKG, take their weight and body fat measurements and prescribe applicable medications, supplements and injections. After the results are reviewed, we design an exercise and diet program tailored to meet their individual needs and goals.”

Vitamin injections and appetite suppressants are other factors.

Adverse health conditions that can arise from being overweight include heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, asthma, sleep apnea and diabetes.

“I know Dr. Tawfik treats diabetic patients, and many of them are on this weight loss program,” Allison says. “I am not diabetic, but I certainly am aware of the risks, and I know my weight and age are factors. I need to be aware of those risks.”

Age, family history, low activity level, poor diet and excess body weight, especially around the waist, all increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Unlike Type 1, with Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes insulin, but the body either doesn’t produce enough of it or doesn’t use the insulin it does produce properly. As a result, a high glucose level builds up in the blood, which can lead to serious complications with the heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, gums and teeth.

The benefits of weight loss for diabetics are even greater. Some of those benefits can include increased energy level, reduced blood pressure, reduced aches and pains, improved breathing, better sleep and increased mobility.

“Weight loss for patients with diabetes can make all the difference,” Dr. Tawfik confirms. “In many cases, diabetic patients can often be freed for life from insulin injections or other diabetic medications if the weight loss is significant enough.”

Weight Loss Quickly

Dr. Tawfik notes that his program is based on a combination of appetite suppressant medications, vitamin injections and a diet program specifically tailored to each individual. Therefore, patients notice dramatic weight loss results quickly.

“Patients typically lose up to ten pounds in the first week,” Dr. Tawfik says, “with an average weight loss in four weeks ranging between twenty and thirty pounds.

“Our program not only changes our patients’ eating habits, but it also supports the development of a longer, healthier life,” he adds.

According to Dr. Tawfik, the program is a combination of a healthy diet, exercise and the proper dose of appetite suppressants to help control an individual’s metabolism. The eating program begins with five days of very lean protein followed by five days of higher-calorie protein – lean as opposed to very lean – giving patients more menu options from which to choose.

At Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center, non-diabetic weight loss patients, like Stephanie, see Dr. Tawfik’s registered nurse on a weekly basis. She gives them vitamin injections, takes their vital signs and manages their weight loss. The doctor sees his non-diabetic weight loss patients once every four weeks.

“We closely monitor every patient to make sure their overall health is improving,” Dr. Tawfik assures.

Newfound Energy

Today, Allison adheres to a strict diet regimen that includes three balanced meals each day and snacks in between.*Allison struggles with her weight and now follows a weight loss plan under the supervision of Eihab H. Tawfik, MD, at Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center; *Maria was treated for diabetic neuropathy with the MicroVas machine.

“The best thing about this process is that you learn how to eat well, and your body gets used to that,” Allison shares. “I try to eat around one thousand calories a day. And I take the appetite suppressants, which helps curb my hunger a lot.

“I used to sit down and eat an entire bag of chips in one sitting,” Allison admits. “Now, for a snack, I might eat an apple or yogurt with fruit. It’s all about choices and getting your body used to making the right ones. I no longer overdo it when I eat. I have smaller portions, and my body is slowly adjusting.”

Nowadays, Allison says she has a newfound energy, thanks to the diet and exercise plan she has implemented into her daily routine.

“I exercise regularly at home, and I have a lot more energy,” she relates. “I can think much faster on my feet now, and I have more energy when it comes to taking care of my daughter. The program has made a huge difference in my life. There is an enormous difference between feeling healthy and not.

“I am thankful to Dr. Tawfik for his help,” she continues. “Without him and his staff, I would not be able to do this. They are supportive and helpful, and they advise me every step of the way. I feel better than ever, and I just want to keep going until I reach my goal!”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Photos from istockphoto.com. Graphic from pixbay.com. nj *Patinet name withheld at their request.

That Tingling Feeling

MicroVas® technology treats diabetic neuropathy.

Foot surgery ended up being a blessing in disguise for Maria*.*Allison struggles with her weight and now follows a weight loss plan under the supervision of Eihab H. Tawfik, MD, at Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center; *Maria was treated for diabetic neuropathy with the MicroVas machine.

Following surgical repair of a torn ligament years ago, Maria was stricken with a staph infection surrounding the bone in her foot.

“I had four surgeries total and never could walk on it the way I had before the surgeries,” Maria explains. “I was wearing a brace and arch supports in my shoe all the time. I really had little feeling in it.”

Desperate to regain the sensation in her foot, Maria sought advice from the medical professionals at Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center.

Maria’s son was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes years ago and was a prior patient of Dr. Tawfik’s.

“I had read about the MicroVas machine, and I called Dr. Tawfik’s office and asked if the machine could help me regain the feeling in my foot. I knew they had one of the machines there.”

“MicroVas promotes circulation and regrowth of nerve and tissue in the feet and ankles,” explains Tami Young of Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center. “Up to that point, we had not tried using the MicroVas on non-diabetic patients, but thought, Why not give it a shot on Maria?”

Several treatments later, Maria was amazed that the feeling was returning to her foot once again. But, a new set of issues had come to light.

Rapid weight gain and a tingling feeling in her hands and feet were new cause for concern.

Dr. Tawfik performed a full panel of blood tests to see what was happening with Maria. Those test results confirmed she was a Type 2 diabetic.

Controlling the Weight

“Dr. Tawfik put me on insulin right away; that is how high my blood sugar levels were,” Maria recalls. “It was scary. I felt bad overall. Lethargic. No energy, rapid weight gain. I was all over the place.”

Maria was advised to lose weight, so Dr. Tawfik put her on a strict diet regimen.

“Once I followed his diet plan and lost twenty-five to thirty pounds, I immediately went off of the insulin and on a pill only,” she shares. “The diet really helped me get the diabetes under control and shed excess pounds.”

Suddenly, though, a tingling, burning feeling began to surface in her hands and feet.

“I had no idea what was going on and it scared me,” Maria says. “I immediately thought about the surgery I had years earlier and the staph infection and what I went through. I figured I was having some kind of relapse.

“I love to do needlepoint, and I felt like I was pricking myself with the needle,” she shares. “The pain was pretty intense and would come out of nowhere in my hands and feet. I had to stop doing needlepoint for a long time. And I love it. I missed it.”

Maria consulted Dr. Tawfik and explained these latest symptoms she was experiencing.

After additional testing, Dr. Tawfik determined Maria had diabetic neuropathy.*Allison struggles with her weight and now follows a weight loss plan under the supervision of Eihab H. Tawfik, MD, at Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center; *Maria was treated for diabetic neuropathy with the MicroVas machine.

Understanding Neuropathy

Neuropathy may present as sudden, involuntary movements of the extremities, weakness in the arms or legs, lack of coordination or sensation, or both, Tami educates. Neuropathy results from damage to the peripheral nervous system, the system of sensory, motor and autonomic (organ) nerves that branches off from the central nervous system comprising the brain and spinal cord.

Most cases of neuropathy involve all three types of nerves, although patients may only be aware of one or two, even as the condition advances.

Depending on which nerves are affected, the symptoms of neuropathy can appear suddenly or may increase gradually over a period of years. Early indications are persistent numbness or weakness and unexplained pain.

Damaged sensory nerves can generate a variety of symptoms. They often begin with sporadic sensations of pain, electric shock, numbness, tingling, heat or cold. These sensations are usually more frequent and pronounced at night. Abnormal and unpleasant sensations can be triggered by a touch, or the patient may experience a lessening of sensation in the affected area.

Back on Her Feet Again

“You have to understand neuropathy itself before you can really understand the MicroVas machine and how it helps,” explains Tami. “It really is a miracle for diabetic neuropathy patients. And luckily for Maria, she was familiar with it already.”

The MicroVas Vascular Treatment System originated with the United States military, which used it to treat US Navy SEALs for hypothermia, according to Victor LaRosa of MicroVas.*Allison struggles with her weight and now follows a weight loss plan under the supervision of Eihab H. Tawfik, MD, at Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center; *Maria was treated for diabetic neuropathy with the MicroVas machine.

“From there, MicroVas took the technology and turned it into medical instrumentation to heal diabetic wounds,” he explains. “We realized that this machine could reverse the symptoms of neuropathy.”

MicroVas is a deep-tissue, pulsed current that promotes blood circulation, which is ideal for neuropathy patients, Tami adds.

“The treatments are about forty-five minutes long and are not painful at all,” she says. “It helps to regrow the nerves and the underlying tissue, as well as promote the blood flow. Some people who could not feel an acorn in their shoe all of a sudden begin to have sensation back in their feet. The results vary with each individual, but every patient has some percentage of success with it.”

After a year and a half of MicroVas treatments, Maria says she is able to walk without pain and no longer has the tingling feeling in her hands and feet.

“I am so thankful to Dr. Tawfik and the staff at Citrus Diabetes Treatment Center,” Maria says. “Tami is great. They all are.”

Maria is back to enjoying her favorite pastimes, including long walks and needlepoint.

“I am so glad I can do my needlepoint again because I really did miss it,” she shares. “And the walks help me maintain a healthy weight, which is important in keeping the diabetes under control.

“I feel great and am thrilled at how well the MicroVas machine worked for me. I am sure it can provide the same results to others with neuropathy. I highly recommend it.”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Photos from istockphoto.com. Graphic from pixbay.com. nj *Patient name withheld at their request.

Reverse Osteoporosis

A 15-minute, once-a-week regimen can rebuild weak bones.

Leslie Bozeman is being treated from early-onset osteoporosis at OsteoStrong in Tampa.

Greg assists Leslie on the specialized equipment during her weekly session.

Leslie Bozeman wasn’t surprised two years ago when a bone density screening revealed she had osteoporosis in her lower spine.

Diagnosed in her early 50s, Leslie says the condition was passed on to her from her paternal grandmother.

“I was thankful they found it, but devastated at the same time,” says Leslie, a high school teacher in Pasco County. “At first, I went to a rheumatologist, and when I looked around in the waiting room, everyone seemed so much older than I was. I felt like it was a death sentence, even though it certainly is not. But, at that time, the shock of the news combined with the fact that I was so young were both just a lot for me to handle.”

Leslie was used to living an active life. She rose at five o’clock each morning to go running with her husband and sons. One of her biggest fears was being told to put that lifestyle on hold.

“I had rheumatologists tell me that I needed to stop running because if I fell, I might do a lot of damage,” Leslie recalls. “That was devastating to me. I just refused to do that.”

Leslie heard about a unique program called OsteoStrong that helps rebuild bone through weekly, 15-minute sessions using specialized equipment.

“I was skeptical at first because I thought, How can something that you do once a week for fifteen minutes really help? But, I’m here to tell you I have been proven wrong!”

Silent Disease

Bones are made of tissue that is constantly broken down and replaced. But when new bone creation does not keep up with degeneration, osteopenia and osteoporosis can occur.

“Osteoporosis is a silent disease that most people are unaware they have until they fracture a bone,” educates Greg Bennett, president of OsteoStrong in Tampa. “It’s caused by bone loss. Statistically, one in two women and one in four men over age fifty will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.”

Today, people who have osteoporosis can reverse the harmful effects of the disease with a natural solution. Greg credits this advancement to groundbreaking technology provided through OsteoStrong. He says OsteoStrong is a proven, effective, natural solution for all age groups.

“We utilize a concept called osteogenic loading, which is a fifteen-minute, once-a-week, resistance-based session that increases bone density, prevents fractures and strengthens muscle tissue,” Greg describes. “There are no medications involved at all. The machines do all the work.

“The client applies pressure on our patented equipment through short, acute activities that stimulate the body’s natural impulse to rebuild bone and tissue loss. Once the tissue growth process has been triggered, the body will naturally rebuild tissue and bone.

“This is an amazing concept that culminated after twelve years of research that looked into the body’s own adaptive response to growing new bone and muscle structure and improving the density of the bones we have.”

Sessions are deliberately scheduled once a week.

“Studies have determined that doing an OsteoStrong session more than once a week doesn’t promote any additional improvement,” Greg explains. “Overall, studies have found that OsteoStrong improves people’s bone density by about seven percent a year.” In Leslie’s case, her bone density has improved so dramatically, her diagnosis was recently changed from osteoporosis to osteopenia, which refers to bone density that is lower than normal peak density but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis.

“One thing I have learned is that if you have your health in life, you have everything you need,” Leslie relays. “Greg is wonderful, and he works to make sure you are going to benefit from the sessions. I can’t believe the amazing improvement I have made with these sessions. I finally have my quality of life back, and I am so grateful for that!”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Photo by Fred Bellet. mkb

Beating Periodontal Disease

Laser eliminates gum disease and saves loose teeth.

Richard Arthur found out the hard way how bad habits damage your teeth.Richard Arthur underwent LANAP to help save his gums and teeth.

His oral health suffered the effects of decades of smoking and subsequent dental neglect.

“I didn’t go to the dentist on a regular basis,” Richard admits. “I was a smoker and between that habit and not going to the dentist at all, I let my teeth go. I admit it was my fault. In recent years, I noticed that my gums were starting to bleed when I was brushing.

“I went back to the dentist again and was told that my teeth and gums were so badly damaged that I was going to lose all of my teeth. They said I had periodontal disease.

“I didn’t want to lose my teeth, but I was feeling pretty hopeless about it. I was referred to Periodontal Health Center. I think the referral was the final attempt to see if anything could be done to save my teeth.”

Effects of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that can become an acute or chronic problem. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimates between 50 and 75 percent of Americans have some form of periodontal disease, some through no fault of their own.

“When Richard first came to us, he presented with extreme dental neglect,” describes Steven Lieber, DMD, of Periodontal Health Center. Richard was shocked when his dentist recommended extraction of all his teeth and the fabrication of complete dentures.”

“Richard wanted to save his teeth,” continues Dr. Lieber. “After taking the necessary x-rays and performing a full mouth evaluation, we determined that his best course of treatment in order to avoid the loss of his teeth would be to undergo LANAP laser treatment for his periodontal disease. Richard had gum pockets measuring up to twelve millimeters. By comparison, healthy gums measure between one to three millimeters. Today, Richard’s gum pockets are measuring three to five millimeters, which is a huge improvement.”

Healthy gums normally adhere closely to the teeth, supporting them so they don’t become loose in the jawbone. The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. As the disease progresses, however, bone structure is lost around the tooth and the pockets become deeper. Once there is bone involvement, dentists are no longer dealing with gingivitis, but rather a more serious stage of disease called periodontitis.

“In Richard’s case, LANAP was his best and only option, really, to save his teeth,” Dr. Lieber says.

“I really needed some major treatment, and there just weren’t any simple alternatives or simple cures,” confirms Richard.

Bacteria Destroyed

Research studies show that laser-assisted dental gum therapy is superior to conventional surgery in a number of ways.

In the past, traditional gum treatment involved cutting away the infected gum tissue and then using sutures to hold the reduced tissue in place as it heals. During conventional gum surgery, it is difficult for the scalpel to distinguish between healthy and diseased gum, so the patient does lose some healthy tissue as well as diseased tissue.

Today, LANAP – laser-assisted new attachment procedure – uses a laser that gently stimulates the gum tissue without the need for incisions or stitches.

During the procedure, the energy vaporizes the diseased lining, leaving the healthy tissue intact. Then, the laser dehydrates the tartar on the tooth, making it very brittle and easy to remove. Finally, it kills the bacteria on the gum that is exposed to the laser.

With LANAP, an ultrasonic instrument is used with a fine tip that vibrates and removes the tarter, separating it away from the tooth,” Dr. Lieber describes. “Then, we flush the area with an antimicrobial liquid that stops the growth of new bacteria. In the final step, the laser forms a seal to close the pockets creating a more manageable situation that the patient can keep clean with regular brushing and flossing.

“Richard had severe bone loss, and several of his teeth were loose as a result of the periodontal disease,” Dr. Lieber continues. “In addition to the LANAP used to treat the gums, at the same time we splinted some of his teeth together to reinforce them and make them stronger. Splinting is very much like bonding them together, in an effort to help new bone grow. It worked very well in his case, as we were able to stabilize the teeth and promote new bone growth.”

Keeping Teeth Healthy

Today, Richard’s teeth and gums are healthy once again.

Dr. Lieber says he encourages people to have their teeth cleaned regularly, brush and floss daily and be aware of any sudden changes to their oral health.

“The best thing about Richard’s case was that he was able to keep all of his teeth,” he says. “That is pretty remarkable. Despite being advised that he was likely going to lose all of his teeth by another dentist, we were able to help save them. For us, that is a
success story.”

Richard says he continues to have cleanings at the Periodontal Health Center twice a year, in addition to seeing his regular dentist twice a year.

“I alternate between offices to make sure that my gums stay healthy,” he says. “I want to keep my teeth, and I am so thankful to Dr. Lieber and the Periodontal Health Center. I would recommend them to anyone. They saved my teeth!”

FHCN article by Judy Wade. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Before and after images courtesy of Periodontal Health Center. Graphic from istockphoto.com. mkb

Laser Your Way to the “Root” of the Problem

William Manhard says quarterly trips to the dentist were part of his normal routine when he and his wife, Beth, were living in Michigan.Photo by Jordan Pysz.
“I had my teeth cleaned every three months like clockwork,” William says. “I have always had periodontal disease, so I would go in more often than most people to keep my gums and teeth healthy.”
But, over the years, William began to question the quality of care he was actually receiving.
“I had one of my molars pulled, and I thought it was really odd that I would get an infection underneath it when they were allegedly treating me for gum disease at the time,” William explains. “Then, I lost an additional four teeth on the bottom and had a bridge placed there, so I became more suspicious when that happened, too.”
About a year ago, William and his wife retired to Florida. His wife read about a procedure to treat periodontal disease in Florida Health Care News.
“Beth read an article about Dr. Farag and the LANAP® procedure to heal infected gums,” he says. “I was intrigued by the information and made an appointment at Port Charlotte Dental Care.”

Repair with LANAP

“When I first saw William, I did a complete oral examination on him, as I do on all of my new patients,” explains Dr. Farag. “This includes x-rays, an oral exam and a personal consultation. I determined through those x-rays that William had advanced stages of periodontal disease.”
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory progression that can become a chronic or an acute problem. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimates between 50 and 75 percent of Americans have some form of periodontal disease, some through no fault of their own.
“Being a smoker, William was already at a high risk of developing periodontal disease,” notes Dr. Farag. “Based on the severity of the pockets and the bone loss he had along his gumline, he was the perfect candidate for the LANAP [laser-assisted new attachment procedure] treatment option.”
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 goal is healthy gums that reattach naturally to the teeth,” Dr. Farag says.
“During the first laser pass,” he continues, “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 with a fine tip that vibrates and removes the tarter, 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 last step 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.”
William’s LANAP procedure was completed in one day.
“The gums are treated in about three hours, as opposed to multiple visits with conventional surgery,” Dr. Farag describes. “This is faster and there’s less discomfort afterward.”
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,” Dr. Farag explains.
“LANAP is a much faster, more effective and safer method in treating gum disease.”

Follow-Up to Good Health

“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,” Dr. Farag describes. “Patients need to be committed to keeping the teeth healthy long term in order for any treatment 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. “Otherwise, the treatment we provide is not going to be effective long term.”
Dr. Farag adds that many times, such as with William, patients are diligent about home care, yet have no idea of the extent of their situation.
“I have patients tell me they brush and floss at home and still get the pockets where the bacteria sit. This was the case with William. He thought he had it under control, but sadly, this was not the case.”

Photo by Jordan Pysz.

William is no longer hesitant to smile now that his teeth are on the way to recovery.

Getting Back to Normal

Dr. Farag advised William that periodontal disease is not something that just goes away without proper treatment and then follow-up care.
“He has to maintain good brushing habits at home and keep his appointments, or it will recur,” Dr. Farag stresses. “He seems committed to doing that.”
Part of William’s treatment plan includes wearing a night guard in order to preserve his bite.
“His teeth were shifting position due to significant bone loss,” Dr. Farag explains. “Once we hold those teeth in their proper position, they will all heal as a unit. We stabilize the teeth by doing this.”
William says he is more than pleased with the care Dr. Farag and his staff have provided.
“Dr. Farag is really informative, and he knows what he is doing,” William asserts. “I know that he is not lying to me, and I trust him. That goes a long way compared to the care I used to get in Michigan.
“I recommend Dr. Farag to anyone. The LANAP is really great, and there was no pain at all involved. I’m happy with my results!”

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