Choosing A Dentist And Sticking With It


Let’s face it… it’s tough out there these days. We are all struggling to make ends meet. Most of the time, I live paycheck to paycheck as do a ton of my friends. There is just never enough.

About a year ago, my dad wrote a thoughtful post about choosing a dentist and sticking with that person. It makes sense to me having grown up with a father who made a business out of treating multiple generations of families in the area. Being a bit older and wiser these days, I now understand that it makes sense on an economic level as well.

Having moved around a lot in the last two decades, I am queen of finding new doctors and care providers. And, I’ve been lucky enough to have had pretty decent “work provided” insurance all that time. But, what a pain! Do you know how many times I had to fill out all those new patient forms and go through my entire health history? And, still, I always forgot to mention something that likely would have been relevant to my care or diagnosis.

I clearly always had a dentist. But, a lot of people do not. Look at the numbers: As of a couple of years ago, almost one third of the population reported some difficulty in accessing dental care. 27% of those under the age of 65 WITH health insurance did NOT have dental insurance and Medicare doesn’t cover dental care. Let’s face it, most of us (myself included) are having a hard time making ends meet. That means, a cleaning or a checkup just doesn’t make it in the family budget for the month or year or decade. The problem is, a toothache can turn into an ER visit quickly for those folks, and sometimes, much, much more. In fact, a report from the Institute of Medicine found those startling numbers are much more startling when you consider that diseases of the mouth are inextricably linked to overall health.

What does that have to do with choosing a dentist and sticking with that person? YOU need to be your own advocate. And, getting to know someone, trusting that person, knowing they know what you need or want, that they will respect money is tight and you need to be conservative in your treatment …that adds up in the long run.

Remember, you can always “Ask the Dentists.” I don’t claim to be an expert. I just talk about what relates to or interests me and hopefully YOU. But, if you have a question that Dr. Fabozzi or Dr. Winter can answer… ask away. They’ll get back to you with the specifics ASAP.

Relieving the Anxiety


The statement, “I have to go to the dentist,” usually provokes panic attacks. Let’s be honest, the mere mention of the tooth doctor and you cringe, almost everyone does. Comedians have made whole careers out of it.

Some of it is irrational anxiety from what we’ve been told over the years or of the various sounds. Just the NOISE the drill makes… is like nails on a chalkboard.

The honest to goodness truth is, I did not know my father put a needle in my mouth to do dental work until I was about 12. He would say, “just a little pinch,” and I thought he was literally pinching me until my mouth went numb. That worked when I was young. Now, what works is knowing I can be honest about what I can and can’t handle in the chair.

Basically, scientists have figured out that the best way to overcome a fear of the dentist is to take control. And, the best dentists use simple methods to help you do that, things like being honest about what you will feel and for how long, asking your permission to continue and being willing to stop the moment you can’t take it anymore. I’m starting to think they used my dad in the study. Dr. Fabozzi has three kids who really couldn’t take pain (me in particular). And, he treats every patient like one of his kids.

But, there are always things we can do better. So, we are empowering you to take even more control! Fabozzi Dental wants to hear what it can do to make your experience easier and less panic-provoking. Comment below to tell us how we can make you more comfortable.

And, you can always “Ask the Dentists.” I don’t claim to be an expert. I just talk about what relates to or interests me and hopefully YOU. But, if you have a question that Dr. Fabozzi or Dr. Winter can answer… ask away. They’ll get back to you with the specifics ASAP.

Welcome to Fabozzi Family Dentistry


Open wide and take a good look in the mouth of Fabozzi Dental and odds are you will see it definitely lives up to the name. Dr. James Fabozzi and his daughter Dr. Sarah Fabozzi Winter tag team the back office. Mom, Terry Fabozzi, runs the front office along with Dr. Winter’s husband, Christian, and Terry’s sister, Jody. Another aunt assists the doctors. And, frankly, the rest of the staff is pretty much family too. This blog is no different.

I’m Amy Fabozzi Mattison, Dr. Fabozzi’s oldest daughter and Dr. Winter’s big sister. Dad asked me to tackle a few topics in the coming weeks and months and I happily obliged, mostly so I could play some small role in the family biz, but also so I could help make dentistry a little less oblique.

Don’t tell them, but it’s hard to sit at a table with my dad and sister as they discuss an open bite or a malocclusion. (Both of them are very smart and very up to date on the latest and greatest in dentistry, it’s their passion, just not mine). But, talk to me about what they think about a pacifier in relation to my child’s teeth or just how I go about teaching flossing to a 4 year old (if I even have to) and I’m all ears!

That’s where I come in, to make dentistry a little more, shall we say, palatable. I’m the writer of the family, the news junkie. It’s what I do for a living. And, I don’t know about you, but I am just NOT inclined to read about dental news unless it relates to my life. And, let me tell you, a lot of it ACTUALLY does relate to my life. (I promise I’m not just saying that because I’m the dentist’s daughter)

So, stay tuned, get to know the Fabozzi family, the practice and how it relates to YOU. Basically, a little something to chew on every week. (Now you know why I’m not the comedian of the family)

And, you can always “Ask the Dentists.” I don’t claim to be an expert. I just talk about what relates to or interests me and hopefully YOU. But, if you have a question that Dr. Fabozzi or Dr. Winter can answer… ask away. They’ll get back to you with the specifics ASAP.

There’s Always a Silver Lining


I was asked again today – are amalgam/silver fillings safe? The short answer is yes, they are generally safe.

The concern with silver dental fillings centers on their mercury content. Elemental mercury in high levels causes many health problems. It can be toxic to people’s nervous systems, lungs and kidneys.

Though there is mercury in silver amalgam, it is bonded to other metals. One test showed a minimal amount of mercury vapor created when silver amalgam is ground against teeth. This amount is very small; much less than that absorbed from eating seafood.

Most major health organizations have reviewed silver amalgam studies and found the material safe for general usage. Both the American Dental Association and the World Health Organization rate dental amalgam as safe. In addition, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Food and Drug Administration all consider silver amalgam safe for patients.

There are a handful of patients who might consider an alternative to silver amalgam. There are a small number of people who appear allergic to mercury or the metals (silver, tin, copper, zinc) used in silver amalgam. Pregnant women, very young or breastfed children are also good groups to avoid placement of new silver fillings.

Do we place silver amalgams? Yes, without hesitation. But we are also more than happy to place other types of restorations. This naturally leads to a discussion of alternative restorative products, which I will discuss in the near future.

Do you have a question about dental fillings or another dental procedure? You can “Ask the Dentists” and Drs. Fabozzi and Winter will respond as soon as possible.

To fill or not to fill, that is the question…


Like the tread on your car tires, dental work is not “permanent,” and experiences wear and tear as time passes. The average dental crown will last approximately eight years; after which work will be required to have them replaced. But, with meticulous home care, the crown, as well as all dental work, will last longer. With poor home care, dental work may need to be replaced at any time, depending on damage and decay.

Typically, our first dental fillings are small and last a very long time. The replacements are larger and have a shorter life span. The larger the filling, the shorter it’s lifetime; the type of filling being a key factor in determining the length of time it remains viable. Large silver fillings last much longer than large tooth-colored fillings. Small silver fillings last about the same length of time as small-tooth colored fillings. (Mercury in silver fillings are another concern of which I will address in a future blog entry.)

At some point, the option to replace a large filling with an even bigger one is not practical, due to its probable short lifetime. At this time, a crown, partial crown, or onlay is the best choice because it will last longer, making it the next logical step for most of us.

Do you have a question about dental crowns or another dental procedure? “Ask the Dentists” to get a response from Dr. Fabozzi or Dr. Winter.

Choosing a dentist for the long run

Buying dental treatment is like buying jewelry – some dental offices are Tiffany’s, some are K-Marts, and most are somewhere in between. Like finding the right jewelry store, the trick is to find a dentist who is compatible with your desires, philosophy, esthetics and price range.

After choosing the right dentist, you must decide on the procedures that are the best for you and your finances.

To get the best results in appearance and longevity you can replace all the work in your teeth, but this treatment is aggressive and is very expensive.

Another choice is to replace only the work that is broken or decayed but even this approach is fraught with differences of opinion among dentists. Some dentists replace restorations (dental fillings or dental crowns) or place new restorations, only where absolutely necessary; figuring they will get a chance to monitor the patient every six months and will be able to assess if the situation worsens. Some dentists choose to restore at the first indication of wear or decay; assuming they may never again see that patient or their teeth.

In order to make the most informed decision for you, the patient, as well as your bank account, it is best to frequent one dentist and to let that dentist know where your preferences lie.

Here at Fabozzi Dental, we pride ourselves on forming life-long relationships with our patients; assuring the best quality of treatment for the whole family.

Our “Ask the Dentists” feature allows you to ask Drs. Fabozzi and Winter any question you may have related to dentistry and they will respond at their earliest convenience.

Welcome to our blog

Thank you for taking time to read the Fabozzi Dental Blog. We will write about everything from our practice to what’s new in the dental world to tips for maintaining a healthy mouth.

We hope you find it informative and helpful. Please feel free to leave a comment!