Top Dentists 2009
Technical expertise and fine clinical care define our state’s top specialists. Under their treatment, getting your teeth straightened, cleaned or replaced is easier than ever. Following, profiles on some of our best.
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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