Changing lives, one smile at a time.
Dr. Benjamin Fiss, who started his dental practice over 30 years ago, initially took an interest in cosmetic dentistry because he had always enjoyed working with his hands. The satisfaction that he got from building things led to a career in dentistry. “I then found that I liked the immediate effect of changing how people feel about themselves,” explains the Northwestern University Dental School graduate. Using the best materials and techniques and having an eye for knowing what will improve a person’s appearance to make them look the best they can are what have made Dr. Fiss one of the most sought after practitioners in cosmetic dentistry.
Your waiting room is so relaxing – it doesn’t feel like a dentist’s office.
It’s not your typical waiting room; it’s more like walking into someone’s home. There is a fountain and the couches are living room comfortable. It’s very serene. The typical dental office smell has been removed by hospital style HEPA filters.
Once patients feel at ease, what is the key to continuing a successful doctor-patient relationship?
Communication. We listen to what patients want and ask them to bring in pictures, because they are not always able to communicate – in dental terms – tooth size, shape, depth of color, translucency, position and angulation. We also take molds of patients’ mouths and then use these to create a wax model of the final desired cosmetic enhancement. This gives the patient a preview of the final result and allows them to give their imput.
Dental implants are growing in popularity. What does that entail?
When a tooth is diagnosed as unrestorable or deemed hopeless, or if a patient comes in with existing missing teeth, an implant is the treatment of choice. Implants are titanium cylinders that are surgically placed within the jawbone. Once the bone integrates with the cylinder, the area can be cosmetically restored. Recent developments and advances in implant technology have made implants much more affordable as well as accessible to a greater percentage of the population. In many cases we are even able to have patients come in without any teeth and leave with a fixed appliance restoring their smile and function the same day.
There is a lot of information on your website, www.drfiss.com.
It was designed to be an educational place where people can learn to understand terminology better and see what techniques and materials are available. Reading the website is like talking directly to me, only I’m not physically there. It’s my ‘voice’. After a patient comes in for a consultation, they can go to the website and see exactly what we’ve just talked about. Patients can see before and after photos of actual cases and procedures that are similar to their own. They can see the possibilities.
Veneers are also a growing trend.
We do about 50 veneers a month. Veneers are a thin porcelain covering placed over the face of a tooth to enhance color, shape and contour. Because of their strength and durability, with proper care they last about 10 to 15 years. There is a step-by-step outline about the process on my website featuring photos of actual patients. Many dentists give everyone the same teeth – it’s like hair salon clients leaving with the same haircut. But no one has the exact same face shape or complexion, and people want subtle enhancements. They don’t want their smile to say, ‘Here I am, I just bought teeth!’ It’s important to me to individualize each patients treatment to reflect their needs, wants and desires, incorporating their facial features to create a natural smile that looks as if they were born with it. We also have LED color corrected lighting in each operatory allowing us to shade-match teeth perfectly.
Your staff seems quite knowledgeable.
My staff and I are always taking continuing education classes and seminars to stay at the forefront of all medical, dental and technological advances.
You’ve perfected the smiles of thousands, won numerous awards and have contributed to major publications. What is your proudest achievement?
I am most proud of the thank yous and referrals I get from patients who love their smiles!
To highlight April’s Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Fiss will be offering free Velscope oral cancer screenings at all scheduled cleanings. Call 312-951-5230 or visit www.drfiss.com to schedule an appointment