In what part of town do you live?
We live in Pinecrest.
What brought you to town?
I came down here to practice oral surgery with Dr. Lloyd Wruble.
Would you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I grew up in New Jersey. I went to Rutgers undergraduate, and Columbia University for dental school. Then, I completed a fellowship in St. Louis, Missouri. I’ve been practicing oral surgery in the same location for the past 27 years.
How did you decide on oral surgery?
I did a general practice residency right after dental school. And then, I decided to pursue the specialty at the Brooklyn hospital. At the time, I liked hospital surgical procedures. However, that’s changed where 99% of my practice is now in the office.
Why did it change from the hospital to office?
Due to the types of procedures that I’m doing – basically I’m focusing on wisdom teeth removal and surgical procedures for orthodontic treatment.
How have things changed over the 27 years in practice?
When I first started, we did not have the technology we have now such as electronic medical records, three dimensional scanning, and remote access for other doctors to help.
Could you describe three dimensional scanning and how that works?
Sure. It’s an office procedure where we use a cone beam cat scan focused on the facial anatomy. We’re able to see, in three dimensions, the anatomy of the vital structures, such as the nerve canal, the maxillary sinuses, and any lesions of the upper and lower jaw. And then we can go over that with the patient and suggest what needs to be done and any risk of the procedure.
How does having that extra information changed the way you treat patients?
Prior to having 3D scans, we were doing simple plain film localizations which were not as accurate. Now, I’ll upload the 3D file to a third party software company that will fabricate the scan and send back a surgical guide. Then, I can rescan the patient with the guide in place, and reconfirm the depth and position, to decrease my risk of injury to vital structures, such as the nerve or perforating into the sinus.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
I enjoy actually taking out wisdom teeth. I enjoy working on patients that come in from other offices where they were told that they have such a high risk case that it can’t be done. I get a lot of tough cases. Nobody sends me straightforward cases.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
Before the pandemic, I was at every Heat home game. I was at all of the University of Miami football, basketball, and baseball games. My life really revolved around my practice seven days a week, and whatever spare time I had was with the kids going to sporting events, and trying to attend their sporting events.
What have you done since COVID interrupted all of that?
We’ve actually became closer as a family. I’ve learned that there’s more to life than working around the clock. We eat dinner together. I learned how to watch the kids attempt schoolwork on a computer, and see how their teachers speak to them. We’re spending more time together, even driving out to your place is relaxing. My kids are not going out unless it’s ‘fun.’ So there must be something fun about going to see you and your wife.
What it’s like for you coming to the drive through?
We get to see the same familiar faces and the same products. You can see that your wife is making the shakes, inside so it’s even more hygienic. So, there is no risk of contamination and you’re both wearing your masks. You’re comfortable and you’re getting the same products. I look forward to it. Luckily, it’s a Saturday or Sunday, so there’s no traffic. It’s easy, and the experience for me is fun.
What do you like to get when you come?
My kids know the names of all the shakes. The multicolored one is something else. My wife gets the Turmeric. I’m into the avocados, mamey, and the sapodillas. I’d like to get the large avocados and I let them ripen for three days. It’s good stuff.
What other stores have you been going to since everything closed down?
I have my routine on Saturdays. I like to be the first one in line at Trader Joe’s. I get in early because I’m a senior, 60 years old makes you a senior. Then, I’ll go to Whole Foods, Costco, then back to home, and then to my office for few hours to do paperwork, get organized, and then back home and spend it with the family.
It seems that you have learned quite a bit from the change of pace, slowing down, and finding time to relax.
I think we’ve become a little more understanding, but at the same time we’ve all had enough. We want to be happy. There’s a lot of people who lost their jobs – American Airlines is laying off 19,000 people. A lot of kids wish they could go to school now, but they can’t. I’ve learned to grill, and learned to become dependent on myself and my family to cook and bake. I actually like cooking at home, trying recipes. I’m even looking at a smoker. I’m done with the large chain restaurants. But, we’ve got to support our local, privately owned, places.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
Garcia’s on the river. I’m an oyster kind of guy.
What’s a worthy splurge for you?
Getting on a plane, or in a car and going to an away football game. That’s my idea of vacation.
What do you like to do when it’s raining out?
My office work.
What philanthropic groups are important to you and your family that you might like to share?
Not a philanthropic group, but through the State of Florida, we’ll donate dental services. They’ll send us a couple of cases and we help out. And, there’s some dentists in town that actually refer patients that don’t have any means, and if we don’t help, they’ll just end up back in the hospital. So we’ll treat them in the office and get it done.
Is there a pitch about your business that you would like to share?
Dadeland Oral Surgery has been in existence for over 50 years. We try to maintain the support our referring doctors and patients and be available for them and provide a boutique service.
Is there a question that you would like to ask us?
Who picks all of those vegetables and fruits that you sell? All of those jackfruits and stuff?
(A+W) Adena picks almost all of them. And 95% of what she picks is ripened, pulped, and frozen for smoothies. What we bring to the market is a small percentage of what’s grown on the farm. The majority of the produce goes to wholesale. Adena goes tree by tree, selecting the ripest and best fruit to harvest.
Are there any words of advice or a challenge you would like to pose to the community?
Wear a mask.