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By Dr. Jodi Danna and Dr. Tina Lalangas
When Jenna's 34th birthday rolled around, there was no feeling of celebration in the air. She had been in nonstop pain for more than four weeks resulting from neglected dental problems and, after being laid off for the second time in two years, there was no money left to see a dentist. Jenna was thankful that her three young daughters were safe and healthy, but prayed for an answer to her painful dilemma. Then, she saw a news story on television about a dental practice in Plano that was hosting a day of free dental care for the members of the local community and she knew her prayers had been answered.
The dentist at the heart of the practice, Dr. Jodi Danna, explains: "We decided that the grand opening of our new office would be a perfect time to offer the community a chance to get to know us and for us to give back by offering free treatment on a Saturday to anyone in need. We got the word out about the event on Facebook and on the local news. When we got to the office that morning, there was a line around the building of people waiting for care. We had scheduled visits from 7am until 4pm, but we ended up treating patients until 8:30 that evening. We saw 62 patients and provided about $18,000 worth of dental care."
Jenna was just one of the patients Dr. Danna and her staff saw that day. "She was so genuinly grateful and called us her 'angels'," remembers Dr. Danna. At the end of the day, the staff shared other deeply moving and rewarding stories of their encounters. It made the whole day worthwhile."
The entire staff jumped on board the community service event with enthusiasm, in large part, because Dr. Danna's passion, energy and caring are so infectious. She is a devoted mother and a natural leader, and she encourages her staff to find joy in something that has meaning and value. She has redefined the workplace by emphasizing the importance of caring for the needs of mind, body and soul, treating both staff and patients like family.
Dr. Danna uses her gift for heart-centered leadership and nurturing to enhance patient care, guiding patients toward a higher level of wellness. "Being one of the 30,000 American women in dentistry has its challenges, but as women, we also bring unique strengths and aptitudes to the profession. I believe that caring for others is a natural strength for many women, and being a dentist gives me a unique opportunity to touch other peoples' lives. My life is full of relationships that I cherish, both in and out of the office."
As testament to the lasting bonds that are built between people in this practice, Dr. Danna's patients regularly invite her to their family weddings, graduations and other important event, and return to see her from places as far away as Seattle.
Dr. Danna's practice recently moved into a newly re-designed office space on the ground floor of the same building. She notes, "Our spacious new office gives us the extra room we needed and allowed us to design the entire interior space exactly the way we wanted it. The design allows for very efficient workflow and it's a bonus that everything is fresh and new. Thanks to the new space, we can comfortably offer the most advanced treatments, including TruDenta."
TruDenta is a novel system designed to help diagnose and treat force-related dental conditions. When not properly balanced, the forces created by the interrelated elements of the head and mouth can result in symptoms including chronic head, neck and face pain, clenching, grinding, tinnitus, broken teeth, clicking or popping of the jaw and numerous others. With TruDenta, Dr. Danna is able to thoroughly examine bite and range of motion to help pinpoint the source of the problem.
Dr. Danna suffered from chronic headaches that began at the age of 21. After years without finding a successful treatment, Dr. Danna was initially skeptical of the promises made by the promoters of new solutions, including TruDenta. However, once she experienced life-changing results firsthand, she was sufficiently convinced of its effectiveness to incorporate the system into her own practice. Now, instead of just managing symptoms, she has a tool to address the factors that underlie the symptoms, and is gratefied to see her patients reclaim their lives. Effective solutions like TruDenta help to continually re-energize Dr. Danna's lifelong passion for dentistry.
"I had a great dentist as a kid, and I was intrigued by dentistry from an early age. I fought hard to achieve my career goals and my perseverance has paid off. Dentistry has provided me the freedom and flexibility to attend to all the things that are important to me in my life. I have adopted a flexible style that lets me juggle the delicate complexities of work, marriage and motherhood. I can actively participate in my children's lives - attending their school functions, caring for them when they are ill, and going on family vacations, as well as supporting my professional growth through learning and networking, and participating in community activities. Creating balance in both our professional and personal lives allows us to focus on what's really important."
Dr. Danna's philosophy was a driving force behind her decision to add to the professional "family" by bringing Dr. Tina Lalangas into the practice in April 2013. "It is a great benefit to our patients to expand our hours to five days a week for greater convenience and emergency coverage. I was fortunate to find an associate who shares my professional goals, desires, values and standards for care, and I am confident that our patients will enjoy getting to know Dr. Lalangas."
Dr. Lalangas is also excited to be part of a practice that embraces her own values and shares her understanding that the systems of mind, body and soul are interconnected. "Each patient's individual wellness results from a whole constellation of interraled factors.
Whether that person has chronic headaches, sleep apnea, periodontal issues or other health needs, we see the patient's health as a whole. No single factor in overall wellbeing is independent of the others.
Dr. Lalangas also appreciates the unique family-oriented culture of practice, noting, "When you come here, you feel like a valued part of the family, in a place where everyone knows you and everyone cares about you. Each patient deserves to be a priority on a personal level, and patients find that here."
Together, Dr. Danna and Dr. Lalangas provide a full range of family dental care, including cleanings and restorative care, wisdom tooth extraction, TruDenta treatment, periodontal care, root canals, cosmetic dentistry, and dental implants. Dr. Lalangas particularly enjoys "happy visits" with very young children, a no-treatment visit which allows them to acclimate to the dental experience and launch a lifetime of healthy habits. "They learn to expect the dental visit to be a fun experience. They have a chance to get familiar with the tooth polisher and the "tooth counter," play with the light and get to know the team. It's a fun experience for everybody."
Dr. Danna and Dr. Lalangas each attend more than 75 hours of continuing education a year to stay informed on the latest treatments, materials and techniques. Staff members also invest time in continuing education, and on returning, are asked to present what they have learned to the rest of the team. "As an example, we recently had a team member make a presentation on what she learned about the effects of diabetes on oral health. This way, one person's learning experience benefits the whole team," notes Dr. Danna. "These presentations have proven to be a great team-builder and they reinforce our goal of helping patients to be informed about their options. When each member of the team is on the same page, it helps patients feel confident that they are getting the best possible care."
With easier access to informaion than any other time in history, patients of all ages are learning to think about dentistry and their own health differently. In this unique practice, patients are enjoying the life-changing impact of an approach to dental care that considers the interrelatedness of each patient's mind, body and soul and helps patients begin a journey toward overall wellness – embracing a new path to health that begins at the dental office."
The practice of Dr. Jodi Danna and Dr. Tina Lalangas is located at 5072 West Plano Parkway in Plano. For more information, call (972) 267-6244 or visit www.DannaSmile.com.
In many cases, only dental professionals can help the estimated 80 million Americans suffering from the painful symptoms caused by improper dental forces, called dentomandibular sensorimotor dysfunction (DMSD).
READ MORE "...it is imperative to include the training for orofacial pain, particularly those from temporomandibular joint and musculoligamentous tissues.” JADA Cover Story, 10/2015, Vol. 146, Issue 10, Pg. 721-728
20% of your existing patients suffer from DMSD, as do 20% of all Americans. Your team members quickly assess patients for "red flags" (which indicate DMSD), utilizing TruDenta's patented technologies.
The National Institutes of Health estimate that over 80 million Americans suffer from one or more of the symptoms of DMSD, including:
• Chronic Headache
TruDenta uses digital force measurement technology, powered by Tekscan®, for evaluating the amount of bite force that is present during closure, at closure, and while chewing. The technology is so advanced that it actually calculates the bite force and motion on a tooth-by-tooth basis. This digital exam literally shows a movie of the bite force in action revealing abnormal forces in the nerves, muscles and ligaments that are often the cause of symptoms.
Bite balance is also calculated to identify potential issues within the overall chewing system. READ MORE
A normal opening for an adult is 53 mm to 57 mm. Limited or restricted range of motion (less than 40 mm) is a reduction in an individual’s ability for normal range of movement. Along with opening movement, an individual should be able to slide their jaw to the left and to the right at least 25 percent of their total mouth opening in a symmetrical fashion.
When restricted movement exists, an imbalance in the system is present, and breakdown of the system is likely to occur. READ MORE
The TruDentaROM is a system of hardware and software that digitally measures cervical range of motion (ROM) impairment based upon AMA guidelines. This directly affects the proprioceptive feedback system of the dental occlusion, TMJ, and the muscles of mastication.
ROM impairment is another “red flag” which assists doctors in accurately diagnosing symptoms that are often dental force related. This data enhances medical insurance collections and the collaboration with referring medical doctors. READ MORE
A typical case requires less than one hour of doctor time in the diagnosis and minor occlusal adjustments during the rehabilitation period.
Treatments are performed by a trained team member once per week, in less than one hour. The most severe cases require 12 treatments. Therapies are spa-like, non-invasive and require no drugs or needles. Most patients report dramatic results after the very fist treatment. Note: The majority of patients utilize an orthotic only during the treatment period, up to a maximum of 12 weeks. READ MORE
The goal of therapeutic ultrasound treatment is to return circulation to sore, strained muscles through increased blood flow and heat. Another goal is to break up scar tissue and deep adhesions through sound waves.
Therapeutic exposure to ultrasound reduces trigger point sensitivity and has been indicated as a useful clinical tool for managing myofacial pain. Additionally, ultrasound also has been shown to evoke antinociceptive effects on trigger points. READ MORE
Sub-threshold microcurrent stimula¬tion reduces muscle spasm and referral pain through low electrical signal. It also decreases lactic acid build-up and encourages healthy nerve stimulation. In particular, microcurrent electrotherapy has been shown to help increase mouth opening significantly.
• Reduces muscle spasm and referral pain through low electrical signal
• Decreases lactic acid build-up
• Encourages healthy nerve stimulation
• Increases mouth opening significantly
Low level laser/light therapy is one of the most widely used treatments in sports medicine to provide pain relief and rehabilitation of injuries. Over 200 randomized clinical trials have been published on low level laser therapy, half of which are on pain.
Low level laser/light therapy decreases pain and inflammation, accelerates healing of muscle and joint tissue 25 to 35 percent faster than without treatment, and reconnects neurological pathways of nerves to the brain stem, thereby inhibiting pain. READ MORE