Bonita Dental Studio
Jun 01, 2013 09:29PM
● By Yvette Lynn
The Pint family
A great relationship with the family dentist inspired Dr. Roger J. Pint Jr., DMD to seek a career in dentistry. “My dentist was always happy to see me, enjoyed his work, and made me feel comfortable, which was import to me as a kid and also is the tone we strive for in our practice today” says the owner of Bonita Dental Studio in Bonita Springs.
Before actually entering dental school, Pint took an educational detour that led to a Masters Degree in public health with an emphasis in environmental toxicology. “I was always interested in science and working creatively with my hands. Dentistry was a perfect match and the science and research really set the foundation for my practice today,” advises Pint.
While working on his masters degree in public health, Pint was involved in research related to the removal of lead, copper and mercury from contaminated naval bases and ship yards. “Our task was to evaluate soil samples from two major sites and research possible methods to reduce the bioavailability of these materials, which means making them less hazardous to humans,” notes Pint, who jokes that he’s still involved with removing hazardous materials. “Now it’s in the form of mercury amalgams, which some people refer to as silver fillings.
In his first semester of dental school Pint was shocked to that mercury was used to fill teeth. “I’d spent several years trying to get that out of the environment so I couldn’t hold back from telling my classmates that it was a crazy idea. Some of them who are now practicing biological dentistry still remember that moment,” advises Pint, who believes that mercury amalgams will be a thing of the past within the next five to 10 years.
“Groups such as the Holistic Dental Association, International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine, and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology are helping to change things by educating the public as well as dentists on alternative approaches. Their continuing education programs for dentists are also helpful in that they provide different approaches to diagnosing and treatment of dental issues. Fortunately, these organizations all agree that while amalgam use as “ fillings” is on the decline, the importance of how these fillings are removed as they fail remains,” explains Pint.
When removing mercury amalgams, which Pint chooses not to charge an additional fee for, he takes precautions for his patients and his staff. Patients who are unaware are often curious about the layers of protection such as small high-speed vacuum with inner oral suction that removes even the tiniest piece of the dental amalgam. They are also curious about the amalgam separator and rubber dam. “Because we are subjected to mercury vapors on a regular basis, the staff are protected as well,” notes Pint, whose listening skills are particularly appreciated by his patients.
Pint finds that when he takes the time to hear his patient’s story about their overall health journey, they are far more relaxed and he is much more informed. Pint’s wife Sarah, is a marriage and family therapist in Bonita springs, and he jokingly credits her with retraining him over the years to not just think, but “feel” while listening.
“If there is something wrong that doesn’t show up on an x-ray, I talk with the patient about what might have happened in the previous days or weeks and we arrive at a conclusion together,” remarks Pint.
Pint listens with the intent of building lasting relationships. “I have learned that if I listen to the patients concerns and help the patient verbalize their suspicions of where the problem is coming from, the patient intuitively has the answer,” says Pint. “ I like to know who my patients are beyond their teeth. “
Bonita Dental Studio, 9200 Bonita Beach Rd., Ste 111, Bonita Springs 239-676-8730.