By Chris Sturgis
This is an exciting time to be a dentist because of all the new options for helping patients, said Dr. Todd Singer, periodontist and managing doctor at Brighter Dental Care in Robbinsville.
Dentists and their related specialists, periodontists, who specialize in caring for the gums, endodontists, who specialize in caring for root canals, and oral surgeons, can do more than ever to safeguard and protect their patients’ overall health, he said.
Although the cause and effect relationships need more study, research has shown that patients with chronic gum disease also are more likely to other serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, pancreatic cancer and complications in pregnancy, he said. Treating and preventing gum disease is a key to improving systemic health, Singer said.
Dental professionals also have more options to replace teeth lost to disease or injury, through the use of implants. Oral surgeons can sometimes reconstruct the upper or lower jaw, even by re-growing the bone, to create a surface capable of supporting an implant, he said. In order for implants to be added to the upper teeth at the back of the mouth, an oral surgeon may perform a “sinus augmentation” to make the needed room.
This doesn’t mean dentures are a thing of the past, Singer said.
“I wish they could be, but that’s not going to happen in our lifetime,” he said.
Dental implants are not feasible in all cases and can be too expensive for some patients. Well-made and well-fitted dentures can be a very satisfactory option, he said.
Setting the right tone for high-quality care is very important at Brighter Dental, which opened in January at the Foxmoor Shopping Center off Route 33 by the Washington Town Square development. Brighter Dental also has offices in Clementon and Princeton.
A native of Upstate New York’s Catskill region, Singer received is a graduate of the Stonybrook University School of Dental Medicine. He studied periodontal care at the University of Maryland.
The Robbinsville office was designed to have soothing artwork on the walls, dental chairs that also massage, television screens that may be viewed from the dentist’s chair, and a calming color scheme build on a foundation of earth tones.
Singer said it’s important for the staff to understand the uneasiness some patients feel about going to the dentist.
“I’m someone who doesn’t like to go to the dentist,” Singer said. “I tell our staff when people ask for our help, it is a true honor to provide the highest level of care.”
The practice caters to children and parents by offering a separate children’s waiting room with child-size furniture and a screen for age-appropriate movies and television programs. Parents may watch their children’s procedures through a window from the waiting room.