Name: Perri Malek, DMD
Position and Business Name: Dentist, Perri Malek Dental Group
Location: 2270 Ocean Avenue, Suite 1D
Number of Employees: 6
Years in Business: 7
1 What made you enter the dental field?
Since I was young, I was fascinated by physiology, the study of the human body and how it works. When I got to college, I looked into the field of medicine but decided that as a Jewish woman, dentistry would work better for me in terms of the lifestyle I wanted.
2 What is it about dentistry that you love most?
I know this sounds cliché, but there is no better feeling than to work on someone who was initially unhappy with the appearance of their smile and boost in their self-confidence by giving them a new smile.
3 What makes your dental office unique?
We try to make our office fun for all different ages. One thing for which our office is known is our manicure wall. Little girls get manicures – and sometimes even pedicures – after their visits. They also get to pose and take photos in front of our picture wall and have their cute smiles posted on our social media.
4 What is your youngest/oldest patient?
It’s funny you ask that! I recently treated a three-month-old and then a 91- year-old in a single day! You’re never too young or old to get your teeth examined.
5 How do you deal with patients who have a fear of dentists or kids?
I have a lot of experience and training treating nervous and anxious people who have had negative experiences in other offices and have developed a dental phobia. The first thing I do is to figure out what bothers the patient. I ask them what is making them nervous: was it a past experience, or some sort of general fear? The trick is to get to the source of the problem and then we can usually figure out a solution from there. In regards to children, We try to make everyone’s visit exciting and a treat. Kids start off with getting cool sunglasses. We also have TVs in all the rooms, so that kids can distract themselves during the procedures. While we are working on patients, we make sure to explain everything we are doing in a step-by-step process. Once we are done, kids are rewarded with a visit to the prize box, where they are encouraged to choose a special souvenir.
7 What is the most difficult procedure to perform?
I can’t say that one procedure is necessarily harder than the next. Often, the same procedure on two different patients can require a vast difference in skill. Things I consider are the size of the opening of the mouth, tightness of muscles, and cooperation of the patient, among other factors.
8 In your opinion is Invisalign just as effective as traditional metal braces?
Invisalign is a great choice for those who do not want metal braces, but there are limitations to it. You gain minor movement with Invisalign, which is why it is best for less complicated cases. The majority of my Invisalign cases are people who had braces when they were younger but whose teeth have shifted.
9 How often can one get their teeth whitened and at what age can one start?
There is no definitive answer to ‘how often?’ although I would not advise having your teeth professionally whitened more than once a year. Regarding age, it depends on the system used to bleach the teeth. We currently offer a new system called Glo Pro in our office, which has a patented formula to keep sensitivity down and therefore can be used safely on teenagers.
10 What tips can you provide to help us keep our teeth healthy and clean?
Brushing and flossing are paramount, but so are bi-annual trips to the dentist. Many don’t schedule an appointment until something hurts them, but that indicates that it is already too late and often, major work needs to be done at that point to repair the damage. We like to get you in early, so we can prevent anything major from occurring, or better yet, stop it from even occurring in the first place.