Orthodontist Ali Husain is on the fast track. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology, he can straighten teeth faster and more precisely than ever before. His Middletown office, decked in NASCAR regalia, reflects his patients’ need for speed.
Husain, who also has an office in Newark, uses a new system called SureSmile, developed by a company based in Texas. Using a sort of high-speed digital camera, a SureSmile scanner captures thousands of images of a patient’s bite to create a complete 3-D image. From there, the company’s advanced treatment planning software creates a strategy for the movement of every tooth. After that, a SureSmile robot bends memory wire to meet the specifications of the plan. The company then ships it back to the orthodontist and a waiting set of teeth, which straighten in about 40 percent less time than with traditional methods. Only about 200 clinics in the world own the technology.
“It’s the most accurate scanner in the world,” Husain says. “To me this stuff is amazing.”
A bride-to-be went to Husain last year, pleading for straight teeth for her nuptials, which were less than a year away. Husain and SureSmile were able to deliver the goods, “with the quality I wanted,” he says.
Things tend to move pretty quickly around Husain’s office. His dental instruments are kept in a storage container that resembles a NASCAR pit crew toolbox. Hygienists wear the number of their favorite driver on their uniforms, racecar shells hang from the ceiling and the clinic waiting room is filled with bleachers.
Racing fans get a kick out of his decor, but SureSmile, along with improved memory wires and wire-free systems such as Invisalign, have attracted a new breed of adult patients to Husain’s office. About 20 percent of his patients are adults seeking a fast and easy solution to crooked teeth, without cumbersome braces.
“Orthodontics really has come a long way since the railroad track version of braces I grew up with,” he says.
Husain is a member of the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Board of Orthodontists, the Middle Atlantic Society of Orthodontists and the Greater Philadelphia Society of Orthodontics and the Delaware State Dental Society. He also teaches as a clinical professor at Temple University School of Dentistry.
“I try to give my students clinical pearls on how to handle the business side, as well as patient relations,” he says. “The most important thing is talking directly to the patient. Sometimes an orthodontist will talk to a parent like the child doesn’t exist.”
Kids are thinking people, too, Husain says. “Orthodontics is often one of the first things in their lives where they have to be responsible,” he says. “So if we don’t relate to them or make them get it, we’re not going to succeed.”
Page 2: Pediatric Dentistry | Rachel Maher
Filling cavities is tough on kids. Imagine having to give one a root canal.
Pediatric dentist Rachel Maher treats kids with extreme dental issues. From her office in North Wilmington, and from her post as chief of pediatric dentistry at Wilmington Hospital, Maher unloads serious dentistry on some of Delaware’s squirmiest, crankiest, most uncooperative patients.
“This is a very difficult job,” she says with a laugh. “People think you polish kids’ teeth all day. But it’s very challenging. It’s much more than that.”
Poor brushing habits and worse eating habits have led to a rash of tooth decay in kids as young as 1. Complicated and invasive dental procedures often follow, and Maher is the one left holding the drill. “I filled 20 teeth out of 20 on a 4-year-old recently,” she says. “It was four and a half hours of hardcore dentistry.”
Such cases are becoming common. Chalk it up to the sugary treats kids love to chomp. Gummis and fruit snacks are like kryptonite to teeth. “They’re job security for pediatric dentists,” Maher says. “Parents give their kids two or three bags a day of these things, and they’re sticky and gummy and retentive. Then it’s a matter of not enough brushing, too much sugar, too much bottled water.”
Maher and her staff are working to fix that. Her staffers visit local pre-schools, with toys and puppets in tow, preaching the value of good snacks and the importance of brushing. Maher is often saddled with the task of schooling parents, helping them understand the gravity of proper oral hygiene. The job requires quite a bit of tact.
Maher’s waiting room is filled with toys and DVD players. Once they reach the clinic, kids are treated to Maher’s expert touch, along with a dose of comforting pseudo-child psychology. “Every child is different,” she says. “You don’t know what to expect, because even good ones will have a bad day like everyone else. You have to treat each case individually.”
Maher sees about 40 patients a day, part of her huge, fluctuating pool of youngsters. She is in high demand because she’s trained to handle any situation, from kids with special needs to those with advanced tooth decay.
Most pediatricians don’t refer children to a dentist until they’re 3, which is when they become old enough to cooperate. But Maher is seeing cavities in 3-year-olds, so preventive care on kids as young as 8 months is sometimes necessary.
Maher attended University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and completed a residency at Wilmington Hospital. She went to specialty training in Cincinnati and did a pediatric externship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, which proved to be a life-changing ordeal.
“I was terrified of treating kids,” she says. “That’s why I did the externship. It helped me get over those fears. That was one big door that opened for me.”
Page 3: Endodontics | Greg Dearing
Endodontics brought out the perfectionist in Greg Dearing, much to the dismay of, well, practically everybody.
“It’s a very challenging field of dentistry, and you’ve got to be a stickler for details,” he says with a laugh. “I drive everybody in my life crazy.”
In a high-stakes field that involves damaged tooth pulp, tiny, sinewy nerves, and always-terrifying root canals, Dearing simply cannot afford mistakes.
That usually makes his patients happy. Most are, suffice it to say, a bit wary about visiting Dearing for endodontic therapy, also known as a root canal. That’s why people skills are just as important to Dearing as clinical chops.
“I would say that when patients come into my office, they’re interviewing me just as much as I’m interviewing them,” Dearing says. It’s part of his job to quell patients’ fears and anxiety.
“That anxiety is leveled by confidence in the dentist,” he says. “When a patient feels confident that you’re going to take care of them, nothing can replace that, not any of the medicine in the world.”
Education, such as Dearing’s consultations and video prep, plays a large part in instilling confidence. So does Dearing’s flawless touch with a drill.
Dearing completed his general practice residency at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center and exceedingly difficult endodontics training study at Temple University in 1999.
Like all endodontists, Dearing’s primary duty is removing and treating infected tooth pulp. Treatment has come a long way over the years, Dearing says, almost to the point where a root canal is, believe it or not, practically painless.
“We have instruments today that are so efficient that we can gear toward more conservative therapy—thorough, but more conservative,” he says. With more powerful microscopes, Dearing can access the inside of teeth through smaller access holes. The less he drills, the stronger the tooth remains.
Advances in magnified video dentistry have also assisted Dearing. A high-powered camera gives dentists a clear image of the patient’s mouth on a monitor. From there, the machine can zoom in and magnify any part of the mouth. “There isn’t this stooping over the patient and moving the patient all around,” Dearing says. “Procedures will go smoother, and patients and dentists will be more comfortable.”
Page 4: Periodontics | Emil Tetzner
Stationed at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, Mississippi, cadet Emil Tetzner put the Air Force adage “see one, do one, teach one” into action. He entered into a rigorous general practice residency, where he rotated through every dental specialty.
“And I mean you really get in there and do it all,” he says. “There was emergency room training, operating room, general anesthesia. I even filled in when the oral surgeon was away.”
As a periodontic expert, Tetzner sees patients who are losing, or are at great risk of losing, their teeth. Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the supporting structures of teeth. “General dentists will make an assessment, and if it’s bad, they’ll send them to me,” he says.
“The bread and butter of basic periodontal therapy is removal of plaque and tartar from people’s teeth,” Tetzner says. “Whether that’s a non-surgical deep-cleaning procedure or, when the disease is bad enough, they’ll need periodontal surgery to expose the plaque and tartar on the root surfaces of the teeth and clean that off.”
Tetzner’s job is rarely as simple as a deep cleaning. Huge technological leaps in dental implant therapy have made replacing damaged teeth easier than before. “It just opened up a whole new door of what we can do for people,” he says.
Gingival grafting—the process of implanting tissue onto recessed or damaged gums—also makes up a good portion of Tetzner’s clinical work. So does regenerative therapy—actually growing new bone structure where there was none before. It’s a marvel of biomedicine that’s changed Tetzner’s field for the better.
“My patient this morning needed dental implants, but he had lost a lot of bone from previous periodontal disease,” Tetzner says. “So we regenerated bone where the implants were not fully covered with bone structure.”
Scientists have isolated the proteins in the human body that stimulates bone growth. By cloning and replicating that protein in a lab, dentists can grow bone wherever it’s needed. Sometimes that means generating bone below an upper sinus that droops down into the jawbone. Sometimes it’s building up a boney ridge of the mouth that’s wide and deep enough to accept a dental implant.
Maintaining tooth strength and staving off gum disease is more important than you might think. Periodontal disease and the harmful bacteria that accompany it can enter the bloodstream and cause or exacerbate heart disease. Diabetic patients, who lack the full faculties to fight disease, are highly susceptible to periodontal disease.
“One thing that’s important to me is the emphasis on the medical compromises that people have,” Tetzner says. “Monitoring gum disease and periodontitis can be very helpful to those individuals.”
Page 5: Top Dentists List | Endodontics
Dentists listed below were the most recommended by their professional peers, as determined by a Delaware Today survey of licensed dentists in Delaware. Only main office addresses are listed (dentists may have others), with colleges and dental schools. YIP denotes years in practice.
Michael Aloe, DMD
850 S. State St., Dover, 736-6631
Greg Dearing, DMD
114 Saint Annes Church Road, Middletown, 285-0350; University of Pittsburgh, Temple University School of Dentistry; YIP: 11
Robert Director, DDS
1110 Bancroft Pkwy., Wilmington, 658-7358; Temple University School of Dentistry, 1976, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 1981; YIP: 34
Jung Kim, DMD
1815 W. 13th St., Suite 7, Wilmington, 652-3556; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 1993; YIP: 16
Daniel Kreshtool, DDS
1815 W. 13th St., Wilmington, 652-3556; University of North Carolina, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; YIP: 24
Debra Pace, DMD
1405 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 529-2500; Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; YIP: 15
Page 6: Maxillofacial Surgery
Eugene D’Amico, DDS
Medical Arts Pavilion, No. 2, Suite 1115, Newark, 292-1600; University of Maryland Dental School; YIP: 20
Douglas Ditty, DMD
1001 S. Bradford St., Dover, 674-4450; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 1999; YIP: 4
Thomas Dougherty, DMD
5317 Limestone Road, Wilmington, 239-2500; Marquette University Dental School, 1979; YIP: 27
David Ettinger, DMD, MD
131 E. Chestnut Hill Road, Newark, 369-1000; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 1986, Medical College of Pennsylvania, 1990; YIP: 16
James Goodwill, DDS
1304 N. Broom St., Wilmington, 998-0331
David King, DMD
1304 N. Broom St., Wilmington, 655-6183
Michael Kremer, DMD
2601 Annand Drive, Wilmington, 998-0331
Raymond Petrunich, DDS
1400 Peoples Plaza, No. 124, Newark, 836-3565; University of Scranton, 1992; University of Maryland Dental School, 1996; YIP: 8
Louis Rafetto, DMD
3512 Silverside Road, No. 12, Wilmington, 477-1800; Temple University School of Dentistry, 1979; YIP: 30
Joseph Spera, DMD
2101 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 475-1122; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 1991; YIP: 11
Peter Subach, DMD
1601 Milltown Road, No. 17, Wilmington, 995-1870
Page 7: Oral Pathology
Robert Arm, DMD
501 W. 14th St., Wilmington, 428-6468; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; YIP: 30
Page 8: Orthodontics
Clifford Anzilotti Jr., DMD
2101 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 475-2050; 1112 St. Annes Church Road, Middletown
Clifford Anzilotti Sr., DMD
2101 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 475-2050; 1112 St. Annes Church Road, Middletown
Constance Greeley, DDS
1405 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 292-1552; Temple University School of Dentistry, 1978; YIP: 29
Gordon Honig, DMD
2707 Kirkwood Hwy., Newark, 696-4020; 104 Sleepy Hollow Drive, Middletown; Boston University Dental School, 1980; YIP: 27
Ali Husain, DMD
1400 Peoples Plaza, Newark, 838-1400; New Jersey Dental School, 1993, Temple University School of Dentistry, 1997; YIP: 11
John Nista, DMD
1405 Silverside Road, Wilmington, 292-1552; University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, 1985; YIP: 17
Robert Penna, DMD
4735 Ogletown-Stanton Road, No. 1104, Newark, 623-4060; University of Notre Dame, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; YIP: 8
Stephanie Steckel, DDS
42 Hiawatha Lane, Dover, 672-7776; UCLA School of Dentistry, 1985; YIP: 15
Page 9: Pediatric Dentistry
Lynn Collins, DDS
38 Peoples Plaza, Newark, 834-4000
Robert Collins, DDS
5500 Skyline Drive, No. 3, Wilmington, 239-3655; University of Maryland Dental School, 2003; YIP: 6
Jay Harris, DMD
220 Christiana Medical Center, Newark, 453-1400; University of Pittsburgh, 2000, Temple University School of Dentistry, 2005; YIP: 4
Lawrence Louie, DMD
250 Beiser Blvd., Suite 101, Dover, 674-5437; Temple University, 1985; Indiana University, 1989; YIP: 19
Rachel Maher, DMD
2036 Foulk Road, Wilmington, 475-7640; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 2001; YIP: 7
Richard Quinn, DDS
1380 S. State St., Dover, 674-8000
Page 10: Periodontics
Michele Broder, DMD
2300 Pennsylvania Ave., Wilmington, 652-1533; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 1988, University of Washington School of Dentistry, 1991; YIP: 18
Stephen Candelora, DMD
2500 Grubb Road, No. 132, Wilmington, 475-8181
Barry Kayne, DDS
58 Omega Drive, Unit F58, Newark, 456-0400; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 1979; YIP: 30
G. William Keller, DDS
1110 N. Bancroft Pkwy., Wilmington, 652-3586; Ohio State University, 1980, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 1988; YIP: 21
Barry Klassman, DDS
1110 N. Bancroft Pkwy., Wilmington, 658-7871; Temple University School of Dentistry, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine; YIP: 35
Bradford Klassman, DMD
1110 N. Bancroft Pkwy., Wilmington, 658-7871; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, 1991, Temple University School of Dentistry, 1995; YIP: 14
Louis Martin, DDS
1941 Limestone Road, No. 105, Wilmington, 994-4900; University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, University of Michigan School of Dentistry; YIP: 39
Steven D. Nemcic, DDS
901 Walker Road, Unit A, Dover, 734-1950; Ohio State College of Dentistry, 1969, University of Texas, 1976; YIP: 40
Emil Tetzner, DMD
804 S. State St., Dover, 744-9900; University of Pennsylvania, University of Maryland Dental School; YIP: 27
Page 11: Prosthodontics
Christopher Burns, DDS
871 S. Governors Ave., No. 1, Dover, 674-8331; Georgetown University School of Dentistry; YIP: 19
Bill Moncevicz, DMD
3521 Silverside Road, Suite 2H, Wilmington, 477-9779; YIP: 34
John Thaler, DDS
3512 Silverside Road, No. 13, Wilmington, 478-9000; University of Maryland Dental School, 1980; YIP: 29