As I lay back in the chair for the first time at Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Alpharetta, Georgia, the hygienist began to explain the procedures and what she was about to do. I told her, "You may want to wait until after the x-rays. As you will soon see, this ain't my first rodeo."
I have three implants, four root canals, and a whole mouth full of crowns. So, when I speak about dental care, I speak from the voice of a long and painful experience.
Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
As an adult, I have had two long-term dentists along with a host of temporaries and fill-ins as we moved to new areas. My experiences range from tolerable to miserable. Like most people, I have always dreaded going to the dentist, avoided it when possible, and when I couldn't avoid it, I got through it as fast as possible.
That all changed last week when I visited Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for the first time. But it wasn't the first time I was in touch with them. When we moved to Alpharetta a few years ago, it was time for a new dentist. The last one wasn't worth driving five minutes to see, much less the thirty it would require now.
So, I looked for recommendations and saw many people in the area recommend Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry. At least half of the problems I have had in the past with dentists were financial, so the first thing I did was call and ask about my insurance. Unfortunately, they didn't accept my insurance. Even more, unfortunately, I allowed that to be a deciding factor and moved on to another dentist. That was a horrible mistake.
After a couple of years of being fleeced, we decided to return to Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, insurance or no. So, early last March, we called and made appointments. Needless to say, we never got there. Fast forward a year, and I finally make my first visit.
The first pleasant experience was with the aforementioned hygenist. Instead of spending time criticizing me, she actually complimented me on my oral hygiene. Because of my extensive dental problems, I had adopted the use of a Sonicare toothbrush, a Water Pik to supplement flossing, and a host of expensive toothpaste and mouthwashes. I knew my teeth were clean. But previous hygienists needed to spend the time telling me how bad a job I was doing and trying to sell me a new solution.
Then the dentist came in and sealed the deal. Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry has two dentists, Dr. Moore and Dr. Reinhart. I had heard good things about both, but I drew Dr. Moore. The only known issue I had was a crown that had come off pre-Covid. It had been in my drawer ever since, and I took it with me.
I never expected them to consider putting the old crown back on. No one had ever done that before. They always had to sell me a new crown, if not an implant. I expected a new crown best case or extraction and an implant worst case. Ready to dig in my heels and put up a fight, I handed her the crown and asked if she could put it back on.
"I think so."
What? Rather than rack up thousands of dollars in fees, she was just going to glue the old crown back on? Yep. And that's what she did.
To be fair, she did say it was 50/50, but she also said there was no way she would pull the tooth or do anything else. The worst-case was a new crown, and it wouldn't require any additional work.
She also told me that if she did think it needed extracting, she wouldn't recommend an implant since it was my very back tooth. I was shocked. I had been railroaded into two of the three implants I have by a dentist trying to make a buck rather than supply the best care.
I don't go back for another six months, but I am not dreading the visit for the first time in my 65 years. Who knows, I may even look forward to my next trip to Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Alpharetta, Georgia.
S. J. Pausa - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
That's a mouthful, isn't it? No pun intended. And full disclosure, I am not a patient of Dr. Pausa, but my wife is. She was actually recommended to him by Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, so I should have known what to expect in hindsight.
Dr. Reinhart recommended replacing her failed bridge with crowns and an implant, so she sent her to see Dr. Pausa. The implant would require a bone graft which made it much more severe than just putting a post in the jaw. And so we made the next available appointment with Dr. Pausa in Alpharetta, Georgia.
That experience was so unique; I felt I had to share. We had arrived at his office on Windward Parkway in Alpharetta, Georgia, a bit early. They were taking extraordinary safety measures during Covid, so the check-in process took a few minutes.
But at the exact time of her appointment, we were escorted back to his office and exam room. A doctor who knows that your time is as valuable as his. A rare gem. Then, instead of showing indecipherable slides and x-rays or staring at a computer screen, he sat down and talked. He talked directly to her with an air of confidence and knowledge. He discussed the procedure in non-technical terms and laid her fears to rest as much as he could.
He then turned to me and discussed my role in the procedure and any follow-up care he expected me to be involved with. After that, he patiently and thoroughly answered all of our questions; and there were many.
Leaving there with the date set for the procedure, we both felt much better. I remember thinking that I wished he were an MD instead of a DMD, as I would trust him with my medical care.
The date of the procedure came, and we were greeted and checked in the same efficient manner. This time, I would not be going back with her, so as the nurse-led my wife away, I asked her to please take good care of my girl.
And then I waited.
Within a couple of minutes of when they said the procedure would be over, the same nurse told me to drive around back. She let me in and took me to the recovery room. Knowing that my wife was still in the aftereffects of anesthesia, she carefully went over each point of aftercare despite all the instructions being written down.
Dr. Pause came in, assured both of us that everything had gone as expected. He repeated the highlights of the aftercare and then told us that his personal cell phone number was in the aftercare kit. Fortunately, we didn't need to use it.
Almost as much as with dentists, we have both had bad experiences with doctors and even more so with surgeons. On her last surgery, she never saw or spoke to the surgeon after the procedure. I was handed a printout of generic aftercare procedures and sent on our way.
Dr. Pausa is a true professional and a breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by people too busy to care.
For dental needs in the Alpharetta, Georgia area, I can't recommend highly enough Midway Family & Cosmetic Dentistry and S. J. Pausa - Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon.