In order to keep up with the demand and needs of its patients, the Gentle Healthy Smiles dentist office in Vandalia has recently added the services of Dr. Daniel Fenn, D.D.S., who comes to town through the prestigious University of the Pacific: Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.
It’s the same location in which Dr. Fenn’s colleague, Dr. Cedric Papa, is also a graduate.
With only 6,150 living alumni, its extremely rare for the local Vandalia practice to find itself with two dentists coming from the same San Francisco, Calif. school that features an accelerated three-year DDS program.
Dr. Fenn graduated in June of 2014.
“Dr. Papa’s been awesome to work with,” Dr. Fenn said. “We have a collaborative relationship. If I have questions, I bring him in or the other way around.”
In attending a school known for its breakthroughs in dentistry, the two doctors embrace a technique known as “minimally invasive dentistry.”
The goal of the technique is to “conserve healthy tooth structure.”
Where some dentists might choose do drill holes and to other more costly procedures, this approach looks for ways to preserve the tooth, and in many cases, do procedures with more precision due to using cameras with higher power magnification.
“What this allows us to do is catch things way earlier and address something when it is small,” Dr. Fenn said.
In the example of a filling, the minimally invasive technique allows doctors to catch something early and when replacing something, it can be done using a smaller replacement.
The approach helps customers save big money in avoiding more costly procedures like getting a root canal.
Dr. Fenn and Dr. Papa both said many dentists who have been in the business for many years still use the “older way” of dentistry, the one size fits all approach.
With Dr. Fenn on board, the office can better reach their goal of six months recommended for cleaning as oppose to eight months.
Dr. Papa added that the staff is also using the highest end for materials with patients.
“Because we really want it to last,” he added.
Dr. Fenn has been married three years to his wife Natalie. The couple has a 7 month old named Nathan.
Dr. Papa said the staff also recently re-hired Shari Brewer.
Current staff members also include Lisa Otis, Carla Burnett, Tara Lewis, Christy Lowrance, Kerrie Robnett, Tara Twellman, and Leann Rhodes. Many of which have been with the practice for several years.