In the March 2010 issue of Natural Awakenings Brevard/Indian River Counties Magazine a very nice article was written about Dr. Chris Edwards. The magazine can be viewed online at www.MyNaturalAwakenings.com. We are also posting the article below.
“Lasers, photons of light, and dark field microscope may sound like something out of a science fiction novel but in reality these are some of the newest technologies in the dental field. Chris Edwards, DDS and owner of Smile Design Center, includes these and other unique technologies in his practice. Thirty years experience plus advanced training in cosmetic surgery, implants, periodontal work, root canals, and orthodontics enable him to offer the highest standards and procedures to his patients; however, it was because of a healthful life-style that Edwards became increasingly aware of the innate connection between the mouth and the entire body. His journey towards total health became an enlightening and empowering experience explaining why he is so passionate about educating and motivating people and integrating holistic concepts into his practice.
A tour through his operatory begins with the Waterlase, MD. Edwards uses this hard and soft tissue laser that trims and cuts tissue with no bleeding, killing bacteria on site. He uses a low-level infrared laser for surgery that doesn’t cut or cause pain, but goes deep into the tissue to influence healing. ‘Photons of light actually go into the cells, the cells pick up the photons of light, and it helps the stem cells differentiate into healing cells,’ teaches Edwards. “It helps cells that are not functioning properly become healthier, reducing inflammation and pain and improving lymphatic drainage.’
Next is The Beast, a moniker given by his staff, for the air abrasion equipment that acts as a sand blaster to remove decay from teeth. Normally, the inner part of the tooth is sensitive, but this helium powered tool makes the work pain-free. Edwards uses Novocain according to patient preference but found many situations where he is able to work without anesthesia. ‘When the patient knows they are in control, they are more willing to experience sensations or a little discomfort,’ says Edwards. ‘Most say they are glad they didn’t get numb.” The office also includes a surgical microscope that magnifies fractures and decay. An added function is the beam splitter and video camera which enables the patient to see everything on a big screen. X-rays are taken digitally which have a much lower radiation that conventional equipment with an added advantage of being able to manipulate and educate with the images.
One of Edwards’ latest campaigns involves a new technology called the dark field microscope. It is used to evaluate the types of bacteria in the patient’s mouth through samples of plaque. ‘This is both an educational and motivational tool,’ says Edwards. ‘When the patient sees bacteria swimming around on that slide, they might think about brushing better, flossing, and going through with periodontal treatments, realizing that those bugs can get inside.’
Not only has Edwards had all his silver fillings converted to non-mercury, he has never used mercury in his practice. He provides safe removal of silver fillings for the holistically-minded patient, believes strongly in minimally invasive dentistry, and always uses safe alternatives such as tooth colored resin fillings, sealants, conservative fillings, ceramic onlays, and conventional metallic and non-metallic crowns. ‘Fluoride is now on the chopping block as it’s a double-edged sword,’ advises Edwards. ‘We know it can be effective for preventing decay but it is a volatile molecule inside the body.’ The holistic community is coming out against fluoride so Edwards offers Xylitol as an alternative. Xylitol is commonly known as a natural sweetener; however, Edwards discovered Xylitol had profound oral benefits of reducing disease and decay and even reversing certain kinds of decay. Many of his patients now use a variety of preventative products (gum, mints, toothpaste, mouth wash, and candy), particularly those that have high rates of decay, decalcification, or sensitivity. ‘Xylitol products significantly decrease the population of Streptococci bacteria in your mouth,’ says Edwards, ‘which is the bacteria that wreaks the most havoc.’
It is refreshing to see the imaginative side of a professional and Edwards has created a comfortable, artistic atmosphere in his office. A water fountain soothes patients in the waiting room, great music plays in the background, and his wife’s distinctive encaustic artwork is scattered throughout the office. Aromatherapy and paraffin hand dips are available and there is a post-op room containing Beatles memorabilia. This is just a preview of more to come as a new office is slated to break ground this year. True to Edwards’ fun-loving side, the new center will include uniquely themed rooms; i.e. the space room will include life-size astronaut Sam suspended from the ceiling and an overhead monitor will show clips from Lost in Space, nebula slide shows, and space station videos. Whimsy aside, Edwards’ highest priority is for Smile Design Center to evolve in a holistic, sustainable way and the new office will include natural environment views and rooms for massage, acupuncture, or chiropractic care.
‘From a spiritual journey of one’s reason for being here, the path I’ve chosen is to serve others… helping them with their journey relating to their mouth and teeth and how it affects their life.’ Edwards shares what he’s learned through magazine articles and being an active participant in study clubs. ‘At this point in my life what’s important is to be happy on a daily basis, be in the moment- living, loving, and serving.’ Edwards credits his personal strengths as having a strong, supportive wife, eclipsed only by his passion for excellence. It shows in his choices, his supportive, friendly, and competent staff, time devoted to patient education, and daring to be a dental pioneer. He is willing to bend over backwards so his patients have the best experience and although he fervently embraces high tech and holistic methodologies, sage advice of generations of dentists comes to the forefront with these parting words, ‘Floss only the teeth you want to keep for a lifetime.’
The article was titled “Innovative Comprehensive Dentistry with Chris Edwards, DDS,” and was written by Diane Carr.
We hope that you enjoyed the article as much as we did!