problems patients might encounter and the management of
patients’ fears and anxieties.
Apart from regular brushing and flossing, what’s
the key thing patients can do to support dental
health for themselves and their children?
CM: Pay attention to your diet and choose healthier food options, staying away from sugary drinks like Gatorade, soda
and fruit juice, as well as candy and items that stick to the
teeth, like fruit snacks.
IL: Diet. The fewer the carbohydrates in the diet...the less
food there will be for bacteria to consume. That translates
into fewer cavities, a reduced risk of gum disease and a
healthier body overall.
MS: Education, education, education. A patient armed with
knowledge really understands the need for good oral hygiene
and routine dental visits.
JB: Regular dental visits are essential to identifying oral
problems in their early stages, when they’re easier and less
costly to treat. Start children when they’re young, so that a
trip to the dentist is part of their normal routine.
TS: There’s a very easily identifiable genetic marker for susceptibility to periodontal disease. If patients have advanced
gum disease, I often recommend testing their children for
the marker, so if necessary, we can initiate more vigorous
home care and professional preventive programs.
RSM: Don’t ignore discomfort! Sometimes pain comes and
goes; don’t dismiss it. Discomfort is a warning, and the solution is often small and relatively inexpensive in the early
stages. Wait too long and you could find yourself facing a
drawn-out, expensive and sometimes painful problem.
What’s the best part of being a dentist?
RSM: It’s the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. I come from
a large medical family and grew up going on hospital and
house calls with my grandfather, who was a physician.
IL: As an orthodontist, I get a 100 percent cure rate.
MS: The ability to help people restore their confidence, function and smiles.
CM: Helping to shape patients into non-fearful teenagers and
adults who take pride in their oral hygiene.
TS: The opportunity to use cutting-edge technologies and to
partner with some of the best restorative doctors.
JB: Changing lives. There’s nothing more gratifying than
seeing a patient smile after treatment.
And the worst part?
RSM: Negative preconceptions about root canal.
IL: Trying to “sell” myself.
CM: Trying to regain the trust of a child who’s had a bad experience elsewhere.
TS: The stigma associated with the profession. I cannot tell
you how many times a patient has said to me, “No offense,
Doc, but I hate dentists.”
JB: There aren’t enough hours in the day to treat all of the
patients that I’d like to treat. ■
Dr. Thomas Schneider
Office: Toms River
Solo practitioner; in practice for 17 years.
FAVORITE PURSUITS AFTER HOURS
“Saltwater fishing and
marine aquaria, playing
guitar, local and Broadway
magic for my family and
friends, and travel with
THE TOP DENTISTS