Westchester September 2018

2975 Westchester Avenue, Suite G02, Purchase, NY 10577

• www.oralsurgeryofwestchester.com


I met Dr. Louis Mandel in my second year of dental school at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. Dr. Mandel taught the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery course and has been a professor at Columbia University since 1951. After completing the course, I had the privilege of spending more time with him in the Salivary Gland clinic he runs at the


university. Dr. Mandel instilled his passion for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in me, and I felt very fortunate to work so closely with an expert who had spoken on the international stage. He continues to be one of my greatest mentors. Having a good mentor is important when you’re trying to succeed in your career or achieve any life goal. Developing a

relationship with a trusted mentor not only teaches you about the specifics of a career — in my case, surgery — but it also provides a glimpse into what kind of personal life you can expect. Learning from people who have walked the path you are going down yourself offers invaluable insight. The best mentors will able to share the mistakes they’ve made to let you knowwhat to avoid or how to overcome certain obstacles. Additionally, I believe understanding the value of having a mentor inspires a person to look for mentoring opportunities of their own — to “pay it forward,” as they say. During my surgical residency as well as my time practicing, I’ve made a point of taking a page from Dr. Mandel’s book. I have had the pleasure of spending extended periods of time with many students interested in the field of oral surgery. It is very rewarding to share your knowledge with others and help them along their career paths. Not every student I worked with decided to commit to oral surgery, but I was happy to help inspire those who did. And it’s good to help

students recognize when a field isn’t right for them before they become too invested.

There have been many occasions in my life when I have been grateful for the guidance of my mentors, including Dr. Mandel and other people I have connected with in the past. No matter what your career or goals in life may be, seeking out a mentor is a valuable investment. Finding the right person for both parties, mentee and mentor, may be a challenge, but it’s extremely rewarding.

–Dr. Harrison Linsky


Westchester Office • 914-251-0313


The Long History of Dental Fillings

When archaeologists uncovered a 13,000-year-old skeleton at Riparo Fredian, near Lucca, Italy, in 2017, they were surprised to see deep holes in both of the upper central incisors. The holes reached into the pulp chamber, and additional research determined that they were made intentionally with some sort of hand-held tool. The American Journal of Physical Anthropology published a study that suggests this ancient person, dubbed Fredian 5, may have suffered from infected tooth pulp and had it scraped out to relieve the pain. However, the most interesting aspect of this find was the fact that traces of bitumen, a tar-like substance, remained inside the tooth cavities. Fredian 5 provides the earliest evidence of dental fillings. “Dr. Graffeo was fantastic. The more difficult procedure went very smoothly, and recovery was better than expected. The doctor makes you feel confident and like you’re in good hands. I will go to him for my next two boys’ wisdom teeth removals!” –Anne R. “Wonderful experience, great doctors, perfect staff. Recommend highly!” –Karin K.

Humans were using dental fillings long before the advent of modern dentistry. For thousands of years, ancient people filled damaged teeth with malleable substances like beeswax, both before and after death. But fillings wouldn’t become more sophisticated until later. In early dentistry, dentists used whatever metal they could get their hands on to fill teeth. Poor patients ended up with tin while wealthy patients enjoyed gold or silver fillings. In 1819, an amalgam filling was invented by Joseph Bell using tin, silver, copper, and liquid mercury. This material was cheap, easy to use, and quickly adopted by dentists everywhere. Unfortunately, the high levels of mercury in early amalgam fillings proved to be deadly,

and numerous patients reported suffering from cancer or multiple sclerosis as a result. By 1840, the American Society of Dental Surgeons had denounced the use of amalgams due to risk of mercury poisoning, and dentists worked to make fillings safer for everyone. Modern amalgam fillings — often incorrectly called “silver fillings” by patients — still contain traces of mercury, but only at very low levels approved by the FDA. Today’s patients can also choose from materials like gold, porcelain, or resin, and modern techniques can be used to make the fillings look completely natural. That’s a pretty impressive leap forward from bitumen and beeswax.


“I am giving Dr. Graffeo the highest review possible and would recommend him for all of my family members and friends. He is meticulous in his examination of your dental issue. I had him perform two separate dental implants, and both turned out to be perfect with no subsequent problems or issues.

I have numerous friends who had problems with loose implants. That will never be an issue if you have Dr. Graffeo as your surgeon. I feel very

fortunate to have had Dr. Graffeo as my surgeon!” –Dennis O.



In 2016, Dr. Robert Pellerin, a dentist from Virginia Beach, Virginia, was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). This rare lung disease causes lung tissue to scar over time, making it difficult for the lungs to absorb enough oxygen into the bloodstream. While receiving treatment at Inova’s Advanced Lung Disease and Transplant Program in Virginia, Dr. Pellerin learned that he was the ninth person from the dental field to receive treatment for IPF at the center. Intrigued by this “curiosity,” Dr. Pellerin reached out to the Centers for Disease Control, which launched an investigation into this odd cluster. Researcher found that of the 894 patients treated for IPF between September 1996 and June 2017, eight were dentists and one was a dental technician. These dental professionals made up 1 percent of the IPF cases, and all but two of them passed away from the disease. One percent doesn’t sound like much, but in this case, it happens to be 23 times higher than the rate expected in the general population. Because there is no recognized cause for IPF, CDC researchers could not say for sure why

dentists seemed to be more at risk for the disease. However, it is believed that IPF may be brought on by environmental pollutants, like silica and hard metal dusts. These particles are all too common in dentistry, especially when polishing dental appliances or preparing amalgams and impressions. Dr. Pellerin admitted that in his 40 years of dentistry, he did not use a certified respirator when working. This is not the first time dental workers have been found to have higher rates of contracting lung disease. In 2004, another CDC report found nine dental lab workers in five states contracted silicosis, a lung fibrosis caused by inhaling silica dust. Silicosis is most commonly reported in mining, quarrying, and sandblasting jobs. The Virginia cluster does not mean everyone working in dentistry will be diagnosed with some sort of lung disease, but the CDC has called for further investigation into this matter. That being said, considering the unique occupational hazards those in the dental field face, it is always wise to wear the right kind of protective gear.

What’s the Link Between Dentistry and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis?

Braised Swiss Chard

Have a Laugh

INGREDIENTS This recipe from chef Mehmet Gürs of Mikla Restaurant in Istanbul combines hearty greens with the bright flavor of tomatoes to a delicious effect. You can substitute bok choy or kale if you can’t find Swiss chard. DIRECTIONS

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil to medium.

• •

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 1/4 pound (2 bunches) Swiss chard, trimmed and halved crosswise 2 large shallots, peeled and chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

2. Once heated, add Swiss chard and sprinkle with carrots and shallots. Put canned tomatoes over chard, add sugar, and season with salt and pepper.

3. Add 1/2 cup water, and bring to a simmer.

• • • •

4. Partially cover skillet and cook until liquid is nearly evaporated, about 15–20 minutes.

2 teaspoons sugar

Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

5. Transfer to a large platter and serve.


Westchester Office • 914-251-0313

2975 Westchester Avenue Suite G02 Purchase, NY 10577


914-251-0313 www.oralsurgeryofwestchester.com

INSIDE This Issue

PG 1

Thank You, Dr. Louis Mandel

PG 2

A 13,000-Year-Old Filling

Our Patients Say It Best

PG 3

Are Dentists at Risk for Rare Diseases?

Braised Swiss Chard

PG 4

Have You Heard About Mauritius?

Just over 1,000 miles off the southeastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean lies the small island of Mauritius. The island is often overlooked by the rest of the world. Most people are more likely to have heard of the island’s most famous extinct occupant, the dodo bird, than the island itself. This is shocking when you discover howmuch fun there is to be had in this tropical wonderland. Adventure Awaits Looking for fun in the sun? Start your trip to Mauritius with a hike up the lush Lion Mountain, or take time to snap a photo of the Seven Coloured Earths, where volcanic soil has created sand dunes of seven distinct colors. And what’s a trip to an island without the beach? Beautiful coral reefs surround Mauritius, keeping sharks away from the pristine beaches. Island guests and locals can fearlessly scuba dive around the brilliant reefs, swimwith dolphins, kite surf, and find lots of other ways to enjoy the warm ocean waters. Walk Through History More than a tropical escape, Mauritius is an island full of history and culture, so there are plenty of opportunities to learn about the island’s layered past. You can visit one of the historical rummeries or explore Mauritius’ two UNESCOWorld Heritage Sites. You can also check out Aapravasi Ghat, the Immigration Depot, and Le Mourne Brabant. Marvelous Mauritius A Secret Island of Adventure

Taste the Memories A day spent playing on an island is always better with great food. Influenced by its French, Creole, Indian, and Chinese heritage, Mauritius offers a vast menu of delicious dishes to try, from curry to dim sum. And the rich soil and bountiful ocean provide more than enough fresh fruit and seafood to go around. Despite its amazing vacation potential, Mauritius is all but unheard of to people in the United States. This means travelers can find amazing five- star resorts at unbeatable prices! With this in mind, isn’t it time you got to know the island of Mauritius?



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