Westlake Dental Associates is perfecting the science and the art of dentistry

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Dr. Jessica Chrzanowski (left) and Dr. Allyson McClendon (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Adam Cook

The doctors are in, and so are the EFDAs (Expanded Functions Dental Assistants) and RDHs (Registered Dental Hygienists). At Westlake Dental Associates, these distinct groups of professionals contribute to a foundation of knowledge and connect with one another as a team that specializes in providing a totality of care that starts at the front desk with a smile.

“Everyone on the team has an important role to play—from the receptionists who first greets the patients to the assistants who bring them back,” says Dr. Allyson McClendon. “From the moment any patient walks in the door, we start to get a sense of who that patient is.”

Dentists know the importance of a strong foundation—healthy gums and tissue are, after all, essential to healthy teeth.

“A tooth isn’t just a tooth,” says Dr. Chrys Constantinou. “A tooth is connected to the tissue that surrounds it and to the whole body, but it goes deeper than that. The tooth connects to a person.”

Dr. Chrys Constantinou built his Westlake Dental Associates with a philosophy of person-centered care that takes the whole individual into account.

Westlake Dental sets out to provide comprehensive, person-centered care. The RDHs at Westlake Dental are not there to just polish your teeth. During a visit, they will measure and assess the health of the patient’s supporting bones and gums. They work hand in hand with the dentist to ensure each patient has a healthy foundation on which to build a beautiful smile.

Oral hygiene is often an overlooked factor in peoples’ overall physical and mental health. The doctors, EFDAs and dental hygienists see themselves as promoting each patients’ optimal overall health and educating them on how to obtain it.

“Our philosophy is that we want to be able to have all the treatment options for our patients,” says Dr. Constantinou. “We guide them, but only the individual patient knows the best course of action. We find out who our patients are and what needs they have, and then we address those needs. We inform them of all the options so they can discover and understand the treatments that are right for them.”

It’s a philosophy of person-centered care that takes the whole individual into account—unique goals and motivations, varying lifestyles, and levels of commitment.

The team at Westlake Dental Associates stands behind that philosophy and carries it forward with a commitment to the latest technology. The doctors, EFDAs and dental assistants readily adopt technology that gives patients more treatment options that are faster, more precise and less painful.

The Dental Hygienists team includes (L-R) Nida, Wendy and Bernadett.

The CEREC machine uses digital dental imaging impressions to custom craft more accurate fittings. A tooth can be crowned—fitted, fabricated and affixed—in a single appointment. With a quick scan, the technology can render a minutely detailed digital dental impression.

“We can design, mill, glaze and bake the crowns here in the office,” says Dr. McClendon. “We can adjust a tooth’s contours, its shape, and decide how tightly a tooth is going to touch the surrounding teeth. We have full control over the design of the crown.”

The CEREC machine puts patients back in control of their schedules. They won’t have to make a second appointment after suffering the indignity of a goopy dental impression.

Westlake Dental also offers the Solea Dental Laser—a fast, precise and anesthetic-free cavity preparation laser which provides the patient with the option of forgoing injections and the after-effects of numbing during a dental procedure in some cases.

But, technology is only as good as the people behind it. There’s still no substitute for the human touch.

“The EFDAs are our right-hand women,” says Dr. Jessica Chrzanowski. “They really make a difference with continuity of care by helping patients maximize their time in the office.”

The Expanded Functions Dental Assistants (EFDAs) are Dina and Jaritza.

EFDAs are certified experts at what they do, placing and finishing restorations and fillings.

Dina Trizzino and Jaritza DeLargy, the two EFDAs at Westlake Dental, had to log 3,000 hours working as dental assistants before they could apply to the expanded functions program at Case Western University.

“There’s an art to it,” says Dina. “Every tooth has a different anatomy. As restoration specialists, we take our time and sculpt each tooth.”

Jaritza adds, “It’s almost architectural. We’re trained to see what isn’t there and build a tooth back up so it’s functional again.”

EFDAs make an office more efficient, but EFDAs are also there to interact with patients, explaining procedures in an informative manner so the patient has a greater understanding of their treatment.

Dr. Chrzanowski notes that the EFDAs really do beautiful work, and restoring smiles is something they train for each and every day. The filling process is quite simple: First, one of the doctors will administer any anesthetic that may be needed and treat the decay. The EFDA then takes over and completes the filling restoration.

“We’re careful to check the bite and make any needed adjustments,” notes Jaritza. “The doctor then comes back in for a final check.”

Each day, the entire team at Westlake Dental Associates works together to call patients and follow up on the previous day’s appointments to ensure that every patient is feeling and doing well. This is something the staff feels is important—to go that extra mile to make sure their patients are taken care of.

And they can always tell when their patient is smiling.

Westlake Dental Associates is located at 25575 Center Ridge Road. Request an appointment by calling 440-835-8999 or visit WestlakeDentalAssociates.com. Hours are Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.