How being mentored helped me become a better mentor

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With our family practice nearing its 37th anniversary, one of the greatest pleasures I have experienced is forming relationships with our patients that go beyond the typical “How are you?” and “How are your teeth doing?” We have the wonderful opportunity to get to know more about our patients’ lives, and to care for multiple generations. During many of these conversations, patients have asked me, “Why did you decide to become a dentist?” Here is my story (and I’m sticking to it!):

My mom was a nurse and my uncles were physicians so for me, so caring for people and going into the medical field was meant to be. At the same time, I really enjoyed working with my hands, being creative and making things. I thought of our family dentist, Dr. Abbott Kagan, and realized, “Yes, that’s what I want to be too.”

Dr. Kagan was more than a dentist to me. He was my scout master and my coach and guru when I took up competitive swimming.Unknown-1

He spent an immeasurable amount of time helping me excel – even to the point where I became an Eagle Scout and later when I achieved a college scholarship for swimming. He was a powerful mentor and guide, and I learned so much by shadowing him all through high school and college.

Unknown-2Dr. Kagan’s patience and guidance were infallible, and I certainly attribute much of who I am today to his efforts.

Dr. Kagan was quite an amazing person who set the bar very high. He opened his dental practice in Fort Myers in 1949 and retired in 1993 due to health reasons.

Excerpts from his obituary from the News-Press report, “In his 46 years of practice, he lovingly cared for anyone and everyone, day or night. He was the first dentist to provide dental services to farm worker families in this area. When it came to the children. Doc’s gentle caring spirit would shine it’s brightest. Recognizing all the obstacles they faced, his goal was to give them a smile. In addition to his professional efforts, Doc was actively involved in many organizations, including the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Kiwanis…For his many contributions, he was awarded the Silver Beaver Award and the Distinguished Citizen Award in 1995. In 1958, Doc organized AAU swimming in Fort Myers and worked for many years with the State AAU as swimming chairman for men and later as District Chairman for the entire state… Time and unconditional love were never in short supply. Assistance, strength and support were always at hand.”

I have always felt very lucky to have had Dr. Kagan in my life, and I have always strived to do better to make him proud. His guidance and mentorship have inspired me to be a better mentor to my staff and even to one of our patients, Andrew Grinsell who grew up with the Mitchell Dentistry practice. He ultimately interned at our office and just graduated from dental school. He was also inducted into the United States Navy – we are so proud of him!

I am grateful to Dr. Kagan for the foundation he provided for me that I can now pass on to others.

Feel free to respond with your stories of mentorship or with any other feedback – we love hearing from our patients!

Best wishes from our Mitchell Dentistry family to yours!

All the best, Dr. Jim

 

 

 

 

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Collaboration results in spectacular smiles!

Working together, we can achieve your most natural, beautiful, unique smile through Digital Smile Design, a process founded and taught by Dr. Christian Coachman. At Mitchell Dentistry we have trained to use the techniques and digital technology of Dr. Coachman to bring you non-invasive procedures and a custom treatment plan to help accomplish your goals.

Our first step is to ensure that we have open and honest communication before any work is done. By using advanced digital technology, we can create multiple different models to simulate the intended results specifically for you.

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Following Dr. Coachman’s guidelines and letting you know what to expect has benefited our patients in the following ways:

  • High satisfaction with their new smile
  • Truly customized results – no two smile designs are exactly alike
  • A natural look that complements overall appearance
  • Increased confidence throughout the treatment process
  • Multidisciplinary approach preserves health and hygiene

Most patients report that they like having greater control over the outcome of their cosmetic treatment. We work together with a systematic approach for diagnosis, communication, treatment planning, execution, and case maintenance. Here is how the Digital Smile Design process works:

Step 1: Our team will take digital photos of your teeth and entire mouth from multiple angles

Step 2: You and Dr. Jim, Dr. Yolanda or Dr. Joe will review the photos using special software that allows us to begin demonstrating potential changes via a PowerPoint presentation

Step 3: A simulation of your smile after treatment will be rendered in a “digital mock-up” that reflects the proper height to width ratio of your mouth

Step 4: Our team takes impressions of your teeth and Dr. Mitchell translates the digital design onto the physical model to predict how you will look

Step 5: We will create a resin model to see how well the modeled treatments fit your teeth and your needs

Once you are happy with the final mock-up, our dentists will perform any necessary treatments according to the roadmap you and Dr. Mitchell developed through the Digital Smile Design process.

The bottom line is that you are the co-designer of your own treatment.

Dr. Coachman’s team explains it this way:

The concept is based upon the analysis of the patient’s facial and dental proportions, using a predetermined series of high quality digital photographs and videos understanding the relationship between teeth, gums, lips, smile with the facial features in motion and with emotion.

Digital drawings are easily made on the pictures to precisely communicate with the dental technician and team when designing the smile. Resulting in a clear, attractive and understandable treatment presentation for patients.

We love working with all the newest technology, and hope to continue this discussion with you very soon. As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.

 

Best wishes from our Mitchell Dentistry family to yours!

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Dr. Joe, Dr. Yolanda and Dr. Jim Mitchell of Mitchell Dentistry, Fort Myers

All the best,

Dr. Jim

More about Dr. Coachman from http://www.DigitalSmileDesign.com

Dr. Christian Coachman received his DDS degree from the University of Sao Paulo Dental School in 2002. Before the DDS degree, he obtained his technician certificate in in Dental Prosthesis.

He participated in the ceramic specialization program at Ceramoart Training Center, mentored by Dr. Dario Adolfi. For his remarkable performance, he was invited to become instructor at this same school. In 2004, he was invited by Dr. David Garber, Ronald Goldstein, Maurice and Henry Salama (Team Atlanta/USA) to be the master ceramist in their laboratory, where he stayed for over four years.

Recently he has been working with renowned dentists around the world as Drs. Eric Van Dooren (Belgium), Galip Gurel (Turkey), Nizan Bichacho (Israel), Mauro Fradeani (Italy) and Marcelo Calamita (Brazil). Currently, he keeps a part time practice in Sao Paulo and make consults for companies developing products and implementing concepts. He developed the concept of the Digital Smile Design and has been invited to give hundreds of lectures around the world in the last few years on the topics of smile design, esthetic dentistry, and oral rehabilitation.

He has published several articles on esthetic dentistry, smile design, pink restorations, and implant rehabilitations.

 

Top 5 Highlights: 2016 was a great year!

As we set our goals for 2017, I have taken a look back at 2016 to reflect on all we have accomplished, and all we have to look forward to. It has been a fulfilling and successful year both personally and professionally for many reasons. Following are Mitchell Dentistry’s top five highlights shared with the hope that you too can look back positively on the past 12 months. Please let us know what your experience has been and share some of your accomplishments with us – we would love to know more.

  1. TECH TALK

We recently added 3D dental imaging (known as Cone Beam Computed Tomography, or CBCT) to our practice. The high quality, low radiation x-rays allows us to understand more about each patient’s diagnosis and treatment plan than ever before.

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CBCT works with a focused x-ray beam that reduces scatter radiation, resulting in an enhanced visualization of teeth, bones, and surrounding hard and soft tissue. The technology is manufactured by Dentsply Sirona.

We have invested in this technology to see more of each patient’s teeth and surrounding structures. Traditional dental x-rays are cumbersome and may cause a gagging reflex. 3D scans take about 14 seconds and are much more comfortable, much less invasive, and provide a more relaxed and enjoyable treatment experience.

  1. ALL-ON-4

We have been getting a fabulous response to our All-On-4 plan, an excellent solution for patients who have unwanted dentures or failing teeth in need of upper and or lower restoration. Typically, the procedure only requires four dental implants per jaw to support a fully customized set of replacement teeth – hence the name.  The best part is that while the patient is comfortably sedated, we work side by side with board certified oral surgeons to attach a restoration created right here in our Fort Myers office, resulting in a brand new beautiful smile in just one day. Plus, there’s an almost immediate sense of well-being and improved self-esteem.

  1. SWEET DREAMS

Did you know that sleep apnea is independently associated with an increased risk of stroke, cancer and death?  A study by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine shows that people with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea were four times more likely to die, nearly four times more likely to have a stroke, three times more likely to die from cancer, and 2.5 times more likely to develop cancer.

Sweet dreams

At Mitchell Dentistry, the goal of sleep apnea treatment is to achieve healthy sleep.

The good news is that there are ways to prevent such horrifying statistics and we have launched one method that is helping many of our patients. A customized dental medical solution helps resolve one of the nation’s most serious, yet overlooked, health issues: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Apnea literally means “cessation of breath,” an often life-threatening issue that can be resolved with oral appliance therapy.

To diagnose OSA, we first administer a home sleep test that is read by a certified sleep physician.  A copy of the report, along with a recommendation, is sent to each patient’s regular doctor. For mild to moderate cases, and even for some serious cases when the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is not tolerated, we customize a sleep appliance manufactured by DynaFlex that has demonstrated evidence-based positive results. Dr. Yolanda introduced a new alternative, a comfortable device.

“It’s actually very user friendly because it comes in two pieces,” she explains. “No mold involved, it’s created from a digital scan and electronically sent to the laboratory with a prescription. They have a 3D printer that actually makes the models.”

  1. WHERE DO THE COOL DENTISTS GO?
Earlier this year, Dr. Joe attended SIROWORLD, a highly anticipated and cutting-edge dental event.

Thousand attended the three-day educational festival that combined ground-breaking general

sessions, track-specific and innovative breakout sessions, unsurpassed entertainment and

unlimited networking opportunities. The first event of its kind, SIROWORLD was designed to not

only attract dentists practicing or interested in CEREC, but this event shined a spotlight on all aspects

of dentistry including CAD/CAM (CEREC), extraoral and intraoral imaging, implantology,

orthodontics, endodontics, hygiene, restorative, lab, practice management and much more.

The docs were also treated to appearances by Jerry Seinfeld, OneRepublic, and Sir Richard Branson.

 

  1. THE M TEAM RETURNS

Remember our fun-filled, action packed video feature, “The M Team”? Watch for the new version, coming soon, that features new staff members and brings some humor into our dental world.  We will send you the link as soon as the editing is complete – you will be among the first to preview our fabulous new production!

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Watch for our updated “M Team” video…coming soon: a lighthearted look at our staff and office!

As you can see, it was a great year! As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.

Wishing you very merry holidays and a happy New Year!

All the best,

Dr. Jim

 

 

The Joy of Designing Smiles

As Dr. Joe, Dr. Yolanda and I returned from this year’s AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) Scientific Session in Toronto, we reflected on all that we learned about the latest advances for rejuvenating and restoring smiles. As long time accredited members of this prestigious organization, we have attended the annual conference for the past nine years, and we always come away inspired and eager to bring new ideas to our patients back home.

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Drs. Joe, Yolanda & Jim Mitchell of Mitchell Dentistry in Fort Myers attended the annual AACD2016 conference in Toronto to learn about the latest procedures and technology in cosmetic dentistry.

In Search of New Knowledge

Everyone on our staff is a lifelong learner, often on the leading edge of mastering the latest dental technologies.  Just looking at the AACD’s “teaser” videos before we left (http://www.aacd.com/conference) had us making notes about which sessions to attend.

Is it the concept of acquiring new knowledge that entices us? The possibility of adding new technology to our practice? The aspect of having a competitive edge by being among the first to learn new trends? Probably yes to all of the above.

Creating a Magical Smile

But the primary motivator for us is what happens when we apply our new-found knowledge to practical applications – to our patients. It is a magical experience when you see someone smile broadly, unselfconsciously, for the first time after they have had a restorative procedure. We hold up the mirror and right in front of our eyes, we see someone’s self-esteem shoot from 0 to a million – having the capability of bringing that kind of joy to an individual is truly amazing.

From the grandmother who can now smile at her grandchildren without them asking, “Grandma, why are your teeth so crooked?” to the highly trained business professional who credited achieving the job of his dreams with his restored missing teeth, we’ve played a small part in helping people transform themselves and transform their lives. It is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling parts of our practice.

So while I delighted in checking off the boxes on which hands-on workshops we planned to attend, and while we appreciated spending three days with the world’s most renowned experts on cosmetic dentistry, it’s the end result that is the most meaningful to us – seeing a bright, brilliant, brand new smile on a patient’s face.

Bringing Our Patients Breakthrough Technology

We learned so much and can’t wait to share new ideas and new technology with you! Let us know if you have any questions about cosmetic or restorative dentistry, and we will bring you up to date on the latest information.

All the best,

Dr. Jim

 

 

You can have a spectacular smile in one day!

At Mitchell Dentistry we have been getting a fabulous response to our “Restore with 4″© plan, an excellent solution for patients who have unwanted dentures or failing teeth in need of upper and or lower restoration. Typically, the procedure only requires four dental implants per jaw to support a fully customized set of replacement teeth – hence the name. The best part is that while the patient is comfortably sedated, we work side by side with board certified oral surgeons to attach a restoration created right here in our Fort Myers office, resulting in a brand new beautiful smile in just one day.

You can have a beautiful smile in one day!

You can have a beautiful smile in one day!

This technology has literally changed the face of modern dentistry, offering a solution to the “toothless” patient. Unlike traditional dentures, Restore with 4© can deliver immediate functionality and enhanced quality of life. We have actually seen patients burst into tears of happiness when they take their first look at their new smile. That makes us smile too.

Another benefit in addition to replacement teeth is that the procedure almost always alleviates the need for bone grafting – a surgery often required by more conventional treatment. Patients are relieved of the discomfort caused by dentures and can go back to eating a regular diet. Plus, there’s an almost immediate sense of well-being and improved self-esteem.

If you or a loved one is interested in learning more about the Restore with 4© procedure, please do not hesitate to call us. All of us at Mitchell Dentistry welcome your questions and feedback!

All the best,

Dr. Jim

 

 

Mitchell Office Video

Many of you may have already seen our new office video, but if you haven’t, please take a look. We dare you not to laugh! As with most things at Mitchell Dentistry we try to maintain a lighthearted attitude amidst an extremely professional atmosphere and we think our new video accomplishes this as well. We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed filming it.

The last time we made an office video we gave you a behind the scenes look at how we made the video. Although we can’t give away all of our secrets, we’d like to tell you about a few of the memorable moments from this video shoot as well. We did the entire shoot in one day and started early in the morning before the office opened.  Phil Leboutillier, our wonderful videographer, and our public relations team, Phyllis & Kate, were on hand to help coordinate the shots. We had brainstormed the sequences with our PR team and developed the script beforehand, so we were ready to roll!

We had each staff member perform their part of the script throughout the day, stealing them away for a few minutes between their regular appointments. It was a little difficult to juggle our normal schedule and shoot the video, but the final result was a success. In between filming the staff, Phil filmed a variety of our technological equipment at work. These shots would act as filler sequences and you can see them throughout the video.

The most difficult part of the shoot came at the end of the day, when we needed to get the entire staff together for our ‘walk-out’ scene at the end of the video. We had to time walking out perfectly to the beat of the music and to the length of time we had for that shot. This gave us about 30 seconds for the entire staff to walk out and line up along the sidewalk in front of the office. We had to hustle! It took us a few takes, but we finally nailed it!

We always have a great time filming these videos and we hope that you watch them and share them with family and friends. We can’t wait until the next one!