Brilliant! And That’s Not Just Your Smile!

Brilliant! And That’s Not Just Your Smile!
Welcome To Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry: Where Compassionate, Personal & Professional Dental Care Meet
Story by: leslie foster
Teeth. We’ve all got ‘em and we all need to take care of them. Overall good health starts in your mouth, and good dental health takes more of a commitment than brushing your teeth before bed. (In a perfect world, yes, we really would brush AND floss after each meal!)

The dental practice you choose goes a long way in keeping your teeth, gums and mouth healthy. CCFD has a team of Dr’s that are committed to doing just that. Let’s take a look into this practice, and see just what makes them “brilliant”.
CCFD’s offices are attractive. Their building resembles a large Southern Coastal home, and this is intentional. The interior spaces are welcoming, decorated attractively in a coastal style and the staff is both warm and friendly.
The pediatric practice blends comfort and familiarity (think I-pad technology and kids movies) with dental procedure with the hopes of eliminating dental anxiety and making children’s dental visits a pleasant experience. Brilliant!
Adults comfort is not overlooked. A “comfort menu” of both aesthetic (softer lighting, your favorite music and a warm throw) and safe procedures which lessen anxiety, go a long way in providing a relaxing experience for the adult patient as well.
Clearly patient care is a high priority at this practice. But what differentiates CCFD from your average dental office is the extraordinary commitment they have made, and continue to make in our community. Dentistry From The Heart and Give Kids A Smile are free dental outreach programs that truly make the difference in the lives of our Brunswick neighbors that may not be able to have regular dental visits.
The dentists at CCFD do more than “ drill, fill and bill”. They educate, care about, listen to and partner with their patients to provide the highest quality dental care. Their commitment to include children and families that could not afford dental treatments, by providing them free services during Give Kids A Smile and Dentistry From The Heart days is remarkable.
Whether you are seeking a dentist for your child’s first visit or are inspired to join this family practice for your own dental needs, rest assured, you will be putting yourself into highly skilled hands; and you’ll get get a comfy blanket to keep you warm!
1. Tell our readers about the dedicated Dentists and Hygienists that make-up your practice.
At Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry, we are proud to have a team of some of the best doctors in North Carolina. Dr. Tony Michelakis, Dr. Aaron Wilharm, Dr. Darren Harrington, Dr. Matthew Miller, Dr. Gregory Hohl, and Dr. Mark Dobransky combine are respected for their superior clinical care and their compassion. Our whole staff is committed to continuing education and using the most advanced technology. Our dentists possess a natural curiosity for learning new techniques and finding the best dental solutions for our patients’ long term health. Our hygienists are patient, knowledgeable and committed to helping patients achieve their best oral health in the most comforting environment.
2.Please tell us that Novicane injections. will soon be a thing of the past!
Sorry – Novivcane is here to stay.
3. I was once told , by a dentist, that honestly, most people dread coming to see the dentist. How does your practice put patients, regardless of their age, at ease?
It all starts with a warm greeting from our receptionist Jasmine. Our waiting areas at each office have a soothing coastal feel to them – and we never keep you waiting long for your appointment. We do a lot of listening to patients to determine what will make them most comfortable with their treatment plan and their treatments. We really take the time to get to know our patients so we can we play their favorite music on an ipad with headphones, provide warm comfy blankets, soft lighting from a few of the items from our “comfort menu”. We offer both oral sedation(oral medication taken before a visit to ease anxiety) and nitrous sedation. Nitrous sedation, commonly referred to as “laughing gas” comes in the form of a gas (nitrous mixed with oxygen) that you breathe through a mask at the start of your appointment to help you relax. Your visit ends with a social walk back to reception and a kind farewell until we see you at your next appointment.
In our pediatric practice, we tailor our comforting techniques to children – kids movies play on screens above treatment chairs, ipads are available to distract young minds and a slow, thoughtful introduction to all of the tools the doctor will use with them. We also offer sedation dentistry for children when necessary.
4. Does your practice offer orthodontics?
Although we are not orthodontists, we do offer two orthodontic options for teens and adults. We can straighten a smile quickly and discreetly with Invisalign® or Six Month Smiles®.
5. INSURANCE: It is expensive and it doesn’t cover a great deal of restorative procedures (crowns, implants etc) beyond 50%. How can Dentists help cut costs so more patients will not have to think twice about fixing broken or missing teeth?
Our patients are extremely satisfied with the care they receive from us. We try our best to work with all patients and we do have financing options available. We also provide free dental care twice a year at our ‘Dentistry from the Heart’ and ‘Freedom Day’ events in an effort to help the community get the care it needs.
6. Tell us about your annual Dentistry From The Heart, outreach event. And please, BRAG! It’s well-deserved!!
Our dentists and staff provide free dental care to over hundereds of patients on this special day. Last year, the dentists of Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry, volunteers and sponsors provided 202 patients with a free extraction, filling or cleaning. Each year support from the business community for this event grows as does the line of patients beginning in the wee hours of the night before the event. Our staff and volunteers make sure that patients treated at ‘Dentistry from the Heart’ feel special and welcomed. Support from the business community helps us to provide the best possible experience for them. To date, Coastal Cosmetic Family Dentistry has donated over $270,000 in free dental care to more than 850 Brunswick County residents. We believe that the services provided by ‘Dentistry From The Heart’ helps more than a patient’s teeth, it gives them a renewed reason to smile.
7. Another community event your practice holds is Give Kids A Smile for the children of Brunswick County. Please expound!
We got a chance to educate parents about preventive care for young children. Healthy eating and drinking habits and regular visits to the dentist are so important to start when the first tooth arrives. This was our first year hosting ‘Give Kids a Smile’ and it was a HUGE success. We provided dental services to over 50 children that day. We Kids got a chance to get to know our pediatric dentist, Dr. Liu. We also educated on hygiene procedures. Positive experiences help to offset the natural fear that develops as kids get older. It was such a great day to have our office filled with little smiling faces. Our staff LOVED taking care of these great kids. We plan to make it an annual event.
8. Technical and SO Cool… What is the CEREC milling machine?
One of the last things people want to think about is having a temporary crown come off or having to fit in a second visit to have a crown delivered. One of the fundamental pieces of technology we utilize within the practice to combat this issue is CEREC technology. Over ten years ago, we were the first practice in Brunswick County to introduce CEREC technology to our patients. CEREC allows us to make strong, esthetic, and durable all porcelain inlays, onlays, and crowns in a single visit -eliminating the need for a temporary restoration. The CEREC software and equipment has changed over the years, but our doctors continue to dedicate hours of training themselves and our team to stay abreast of the constantly improving technology. It’s not magic -but it is amazing. We are able to take pictures of your teeth before and after the tooth is prepared for a crown with a special camera attached to a computer that creates 3D images of the teeth. The crown is then designed and customized for your tooth utilizing the CEREC software. Once the crown is designed, the design is sent to a milling unit that makes the crown while you watch. The actual milling process usually takes five to eight minutes. We then fit and finish the crown before cementing it in permanently. You leave with your permanent crown-no annoying temporary and no second visit.
9. What is the link between anemia and ice- chewing
Recent research indicates that pagophagia MAY actually be a sign of anemia (a lack of iron in the blood), which can lead to serious health complications, if left untreated. Scientists aren’t sure exactly why the link exists, but they suspect it may be due to the oral inflammation caused by anemia. Such inflammation could conceivably spark an urge to seek relief in the form of ice. With a simple blood test, a doctor can tell you if you are an anemic ice chewer seeking the soothing cold of a good ice cube.
10. And finally, what changes have you seen in the last 20 years in how patients are taking care of their teeth and oral health?
The biggest change has been that patients are now more diligent and proactive in their dental care. Awareness for the link between overall health and serious chronic disease related to bacteria that begins in the mouth have put the focus on better oral hygiene and patients are responding. Also there have been so many technological advancements in dentistry. More comprehensive long-lasting solutions are available and our patients are very grateful that our doctors are educated in techniques and have invested in the latest technology making extraordinary care available close to home. They also appreciate that we offer a comprehensive range of specialty service within our practice – this saves time overall and often allows us to relieve a patient’s pain or to complete a tooth restoration the same day, allowing them to get back to their busy lives.

Fun Questions:

What is your favorite food?
Chili! The office participates in a chili cook-off every year.

Your favorite Book?
Beware of the Sugar Bugs by Dr. Aaron Wilharm

Your favorite place to travel?
We love coastal Carolina

Your favorite music?
Our doctors’ favorite motivational music ranges from the Theme from Chariots of Fire to classic rock

Your favorite thing about Southport?
Our patients!

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