WESTFIELD, NJ — Although there might be some in the medical profession who seek to profit from having patients return for frequent appointments, there is a dentist in Westfield who takes what he believes to be a more patient-centered approach.
Dr. Paul Arfanis at Westfield Family Dentistry tries to ensure that he and his staff educate patients on how to take care of their mouths themselves. If they heed his counsel, it actually could minimize the amount of dental work they end up requiring.
“If you listen to people,” Dr. Arfanis told TAPinto Westfield, “you can usually make a diagnosis after a conversation with your patient without having to run all kinds of tests. My emphasis is on preventative dentistry. Many adults avoid the dentist because they remember having a bad experience as a kid."
Dr. Arfanis emphasizes individualized attention for each patient, making sure he thoroughly explains all treatment in a way that his patient is fully able to comprehend.
“Basically, my patients who have been with me for a long time are like my extended family,” Dr. Arfanis said. “I went into dentistry because I like taking care of people.”
Dr. Arfanis admits to being dismayed by the way insurance companies have altered the doctor-patient relationship.
“One of my concerns now is with dental insurance, and how they take away your ability to spend time with patients so you can understand their concerns,” Dr. Arfanis said. “The new insurance laws sometimes allow you only a few minutes with your patients. They compartmentalize treatment by their coding, despite humans being integrated to function as a unit and not as individual parts. This often prevents people from being treated correctly.”
Dr. Arfanis’ emphasis on preventative care for his patients includes these pointers:
1. Brushing your teeth correctly with fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) to remove food residue and plaque from your teeth.
2. Daily flossing to clean the tight spaces between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Mouthwash should be used in tandem with flossing to keep breath fresh and eliminate bacteria.
3. Eating a balanced diet that provide teeth with the nutrients they need, and drinking a sufficient amount of water each day.
4. Scheduling checkups every three or six months, depending on your tendency toward dental disease.
5. Speaking with your dentist about sealants, which are resin coatings placed on chewing surfaces of your teeth to prevent bacteria from causing tooth decay.
6. Purchasing the correct type of mouthguard if you play a sport, grind or clench your teeth.
Dr. Arfanis has been voted one of the Kids’ “Favorite Doctors” by New Jersey Family magazine, and, in addition to pediatric dental care, he provides a full range of services that include implants, Invisalign, sealants, mouth guards, night guards, emergency dental care, and treatment for sleep apnea, excessive snoring and TMJ/TMD.
For more information on Westfield Family Dentistry and Dr. Arfanis’ services, call 908-232-0074 or click here to visit their website.