The Future Is Now

Technological upgrades result in more accurate dental diagnoses.

Photo courtesy of Jack Varsalona.

Dr. Jack Varsalona

When Jack Varsalona stepped in as the third president of Wilmington College in 2005, the private, nonprofit, doctoral research institute was still in its infancy. That place of higher learning grew in a hurry under Dr. Varsalona’s direction.

During his first two years in office, Dr. Varsalona orchestrated the transition of the small New Castle, Delaware academy into Wilmington University. He then watched as the campus expanded and its enrollment doubled to more than 20,000 students.

The expansion of the school was the highlight of Dr. Varsalona’s career in education, which came to an end when the now 71-year-old retired and moved to Delray Beach a little more than two years ago.

At the time of his move, Dr. Varsalona harbored concerns about the status of two crowns that, according to his previous dentist, needed to be replaced. His arrival in Florida was followed almost immediately by a search for a new dentist.

His eventual choice, based on referrals from friends and associates he knew in the area, was Naved Fatmi, DMD, of Town Square Dentistry in Boynton Beach. It didn’t take long for Dr. Varsalona to learn why Dr. Fatmi came so highly recommended.

“Keep in mind that I went to him because I was concerned about these two crowns that my previous dentist had told me needed to be replaced,” Dr. Varsalona explains. “Well, after my initial examination with him, Dr. Fatmi said those crowns were fine.

“I found it rather amazing that dental work I had been told I needed, I didn’t really need at all. I remember Dr. Fatmi saying to me, No, we try to preserve the teeth as long as possible, so you really don’t need to have those crowns replaced.

“That was two years ago, and I have not had any problems with those crowns or those supporting teeth at all since then, and I still don’t need new crowns. I was very happy to see that Dr. Fatmi was not looking to do additional work.

“He just wanted to do what was the best for me, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that he is that way. In fact, he treated me in a similar way just recently when I went to see him after an old filling came out.

“I thought for sure that I would need a crown there, but he said, No, you’re not in pain, and we can treat this another way. Once again, his whole objective was to preserve the original tooth as long as possible, which I appreciate.”

Dr. Fatmi was able to make the sound, cost-saving judgments he made regarding the status of Dr. Varsalona’s teeth in part because he has at his disposal some of the most advanced dental technology available.

That technology includes intraoral digital radiography, or digital x-ray technology, which is lauded universally because the images taken from inside the mouth produce a far more detailed dental x-ray in a much faster and safer way than traditional dental x-rays do.

“With the old way of taking x-rays, you had a little sheet or piece of cardboard, and you had to hold that up to the patient’s mouth and then snap the picture,” Dr. Fatmi explains. “It was very clunky.

“It was also very easy to misdiagnose or misinterpret what you saw on those old x-rays because you couldn’t see some of the harder areas on them very well. Digital x-rays are far superior because the image can be looked at immediately on your computer screen.

“It’s a lot easier to help the patient because you can see things better and, of course, that helps us to properly diagnose any problem and come up with the right treatment and outcome, just as we did with Dr. Varsalona.”

Another advantage of digital x-rays is that they reduce the exposure of the patient to radiation by approximately 90 percent. That can be critical for some patients, especially those who are concerned about radiation exposure.

Making a Positive Impression

Dr. Fatmi also has the equipment necessary to produce digital impressions, which eliminate the need to create molds for crowns, bridges and dentures out of that foul-tasting, gooey putty that patients can gag on if too much is used.

Digital impressions are produced using a wand-like tool that is connected to a computer loaded with advanced software. After the mouth is scanned, a virtual model of the hard and soft tissue in the mouth is created that is then used for a variety of purposes.

Those purposes include producing immediate images of what a patient’s mouth will look like following the kind of extensive changes that come as a result of a patient being fit with partials, dentures or dental implants.

Town Square Dentistry also offers cosmetic dental services such as teeth whitening, as well as teeth straightening through Invisalign® clear braces, which provides most patients with a beautiful smile within a year.

“We recently purchased this practice from a previous owner, and when we did, we made sure to upgrade it with all the latest technology available so that we can better serve our patients, such as Dr. Varsalona,” Dr. Fatmi says.

Dr. Varsalona is among those who have greatly benefitted from the upgrades. Were it not for the advanced technology Dr. Fatmi brought in, Dr. Varsalona might have unnecessarily gone through some major dental revisions.

“I’ve had a few little problems here and there that I thought were bigger problems until I saw Dr. Fatmi,” Dr. Varsalona says. “In my opinion, he’s the best. He’s the best dentist I’ve ever had, and I’ve happily referred friends to him.”

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    • Town Square Dentistry

      Town Square Dentistry provides full service dental care in east Boynton Beach. Their state-of-the-art dental office provides comprehensive dental services including cosmetic, restorative and general dental procedures. Do you have a dental e... Read More

    • Naved Fatmi, DMD

      Naved Fatmi, DMD, is a highly trained general, restorative and cosmetic dentist who received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. He opened Town Square Dentistry in 2019 and is a member of t... Read More

    • Christiane Murillo, DMD

      Christiane Murillo, DMD, is a general, restorative and cosmetic dentist who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and her dental degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Murillo perf... Read More