The 8 Hats of Dr. Reece and the New American Dentist

Traditionally we tend to think of a dentist as well...a dentist. But there is growing movement among dentists to advance beyond traditional ‘drill and fill’ dentistry to become what can best be described as the New American Dentist. To get there requires constantly learning new skills and wearing many different hats – seven in fact. Or, in Dr. Reece’s case, eight!


Dentists are rapidly becoming an integral part of healthcare with innovative treatments not imaginable only a few years ago. Science has shown the clear relationship between oral health and overall physical wellness. Heart health, sleep apnea, headaches and diabetes can be reflected in the state of our teeth, gums and bite. Blood pressure checks and expanded new patient health questionnaires are becoming the norm.


Great smiles need advanced planning that is premeditated, pragmatic and of course, artistic. Just like a house, a smile needs a blueprint of what the finished result is going to be and how it is going to look. Good dental architectural design leads to beautiful, functional results.


Teeth are natural marvels of engineering. When teeth are replaced with composites and secured by implants, knowledge of shear strength, cantilevering, load bearing, and more all come into important use. Dental engineering (neuromuscular dentistry) determines how our teeth come together and function in cooperation with our muscles and jaw.


The cosmetics of a smile are more than determining the whiteness of teeth. Now, the luminosity, shape, arch, length, width, natural imperfections, adjacency and angles of each tooth are meticulously and artistically brought together to determine what we register as a beautiful, youthful smile.


The materials used in dentistry are as important as the blueprint. A well-engineered smile has to use materials that match the demands expected of the engineering. The results can be a new smile that not only looks completely natural, but functions exactly as real teeth.


Putting everything together as a functional whole requires understanding how different systems come to life as one cohesive smile. Think master race car mechanic – orchestrating a thousand moving parts to work seamlessly.


Technology is rampant in dental practices, but to keep it from ‘running rampant’ requires taking the time to know how to utilize technology with a depth of understanding that compliments the master blueprint for the smile.


Those of us on Dr. Reece’s team know that there is another hat Dr. Reece wears exceedingly well and this the hat of a ‘Compassionate Psychologist’. Over the years, we have watched and learned from Dr. Reece that you have to take the time to slow down and learn what each patient’s life dreams and aspirations are to truly design a smile that is right for them. This attitude of caring pervades everything he does and drives him to learn more every day.

As a patient we’re sure you may have another ‘hat’ that you perceive Dr. Reece to wear. Let us know your thoughts.

Drew Matthews