What can you tell us about your background?
I am a graduate of University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in Detroit, Michigan, and earned my Master’s degree and specialty certificate in periodontics from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. I have been in private practice since 1996, with offices in Grand Blanc, Clarkston, and Flint, Michigan. In addition, I have been on the Dean’s faculty at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in Ann Arbor, Michigan, since 2002.
Is your practice limited to implants?
We offer the full scope of periodontal therapy, including regenerative therapy and periodontal plastic surgery, in addition to a strong emphasis on advanced bone grafting and dental implant surgery.
Why did you decide to focus on implantology?
During my residency in the early 1990s, I witnessed the need for dental implants and the future of helping edentulous patients restore their functionality and improve confidence. I became well trained in placing dental implants. Once I started in private practice, I continued to attend continuing education courses to further educate myself on the innovative improvements in the industry. At that time, I launched our own dental study club after seeing the need to further educate the dental professionals within our community.
How long have you been practicing, and what systems do you use?
I have been in full-time private practice limited to periodontics and implant surgery since 1996. Over the years, I have worked with several systems, but I mainly use Zimmer®, BIOMET 3i™ and a few Nobel Biocare®.
What training have you undertaken?
After graduating from dental school, I completed 3 years of postgraduate studies in periodontics at the University of Minnesota where I earned a MS degree. Since I completed my residency, I have attended numerous continuing education courses, including hands-on courses. Now I present several hands-on courses as a faculty member at the Zimmer Institute and BIOMET Institute for Implant and Reconstructive Dentistry (IIRD). I have been involved with several implant organizations, and in addition to the American Academy of Periodontology, I am an active member of the Academy of Osseointegration and the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.
Who has inspired you?
My father was a true inspiration in my life. He always encouraged me to work hard and to see every challenge as an opportunity to grow. I have carried the values he has instilled in me every day in business and my personal life. Of course, I would not be here today without the continuous support of my wife and our two children. Professionally, I value my mentors at the University of Minnesota and especially my graduate periodontology program director, Dr. James Hinrichs.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your practice?
I love what I do! We treat every patient like a friend or a family member. Our patients become part of our family, and since we have a periodontal practice, we get to see long-term successful implant therapy outcomes. We do a lot of volunteer work for the community and through a program called “Dentistry from the Heart.” I was able through a generous grant from BIOMET 3i to place multiple implants and restore patients’ function and esthetics.
Professionally, what are you most proud of?
Recently, I was inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Osseointegration, which is a great honor and recognition.
What do you think is unique about your practice?
I am very proud of my great staff that has made our practice an elite practice. Our great relationship with our referring offices has made our office the go-to office in the community. Also, our corporate partners, where I am a consultant for Zimmer Dental and lecturer and opinion leader for BIOMET 3i, makes our practice a progressive and a cutting-edge technology practice.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Balancing between the busy professional life and family. Since I am on the faculty at the University of Michigan, I would like to find to more time to spend with the graduate students. Last, I want to continue to incorporate new technologies in our office.
What would you have become if you had not become a dentist?
A physician, and more specifically, an orthopedic surgeon.
What is the future of implants and dentistry?
Definitely CAD/CAM restorations. In addition, I would say Zimmer Trabecular Metal implants. Because of their successful long-term history in orthopedics, treatment time has been reduced significantly, and made treatment possible in some of the medically compromised patients that otherwise would not be able to receive implant therapy.
What are your top tips for maintaining a successful practice?
First, treat everybody the way you like to be treated. Second, maintain great communication and relationships with our referring offices and continue to grow our study club that allows us to update our referrals on the latest technologies and products.
What advice would you give to budding implantologists?
Find a mentor if you are just starting out. Stay within your comfort zone, and always have an exit strategy. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of diagnostic tools and treatment planning and taking more continuing education and hands-on courses. Last, have well-trained staff.
What are your hobbies, and what do you do in your spare time?
Travel with my wife and our two children. I like to ski, swim, and boat.