The Savvy Sylvanian
–by Mary Helen Darah
Publication Date: 11.01.16
Regular dental visits took a backseat while I battled breast cancer. Months somehow turned into years since this Savvy Sylvanian dragged herself into the dentist. My fear of being reprimanded for not coming in was far greater than my concern for my dental health (I’m a heck of a flosser). I contacted Tomase Dental Care and was thankful that the person who scheduled my appointment was not only pleasant but non-judgemental.
The big day arrived. I was greeted by Kate Sentle, the highly efficient, warm and welcoming office manager at Tomase Dental Care. She proceeded to take my medical history and walked me through the “game plan” for my visit. I was then greeted by Dr. Timothy Tomase and dental hygienist Donna Szenderski. Both examined my pearly whites and I must say, in the time away from the world of dentistry, things certainly have changed. I was introduced to digital imaging, intra-oral cameras, computers in every exam room, movie goggles for longer procedures and something called a Cavitron that uses high frequency ultrasound waves to clean teeth. The hygienist, Donna, began taking what are called ‘pocket measurements’ to measure the health of my gums. I was a bit deflated with the results in a few places but she said things could be reversed with diligence and a bit of fine tuning.
I then was examined by Dr. Tomase. I managed to ask him a few questions even while dealing with drool, saliva and having my plaque scraped. My inquiring mind learned that Dr. Tomase didn’t always want to be a dentist and was a business major as an undergrad. “I loved my dentist and he kept telling me it was the best profession in the world. Next you thing you know I was an Ohio State University dental graduate and did a hospital dental residency at the Medical College of Ohio. He was right. I just love what I do,” stated Dr. Tomase.
Dr. Tomase bought his practice in 1987 and confirmed my observation that dentistry has greatly changed. “My older patients can’t believe how painless the shots are now,” stated Dr. Tomase. “New equipment, digital dentistry, impressions, crowns…it is just amazing. Whitening is still a big thing and to me it’s one of the best procedures out there.What hasn’t changed is building relationships. Everyone has a story. The staff does an excellent job at learning about patient’s fears and concerns. What has remained constant is my belief that your team is still your biggest asset. We have people who love what they do.”
I wanted to ask him if he ever pricked himself with Novocaine like in the comic sketch with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman but I thought the better of it.
Instead I asked him what the most rewarding aspect of his job is. “I worked with a young lady, who after seeing the improvements we made, started crying. Later, we learned that she wanted to change her smile because she was healing from being sexually abused. Another lady wanted to change her smile because she was bullied by kids because her teeth were dark. Even subtle changes make a huge difference. The impact I get to make in a person’s life is the most rewarding,” he said.
I left with a promise to return for additional “tweaking,” a toothbrush and toothpaste. I hate to admit how overly excited I was to discover an “adult goodie basket” next to the one for kids. It took me roughly 2.7 seconds to dive into it. When I first arrived, Dr. Tomase and his staff all expressed that they want to their guests to feel relaxed and at home in their environment. I must say, if it weren’t for a few gum issues and stubborn plaque removal moments, I felt downright pampered and relaxed. I will no longer fear picking up the phone to make my next appointment.
Find us online: drtomase.com