Saturday, April 10, 2021

Siegel Dental – Caring for People, Not Just Teeth



By Maureen Chodaba, RDH

A visit to the dentist can be a warm and relaxing experience. A dental office can be a place of healing and rejuvenation. Now that I have your attention with those opening lines, please don’t think that I’m crazy! I promise you that I really do know what I’m talking about, and in this case, I’m telling the truth.

I was a practicing Registered Dental Hygienist in New York State from 1977 through 2010. In the early days of my career, dentistry had the reputation of “drill, fill and bill” being its only goal and motto. The dental office was usually the last place on earth where anyone wanted to be. The mouth and its inhabiting structures, namely teeth, tongue and gums, were almost viewed as entitites completely removed from the rest of the human body. There didn’t seem to be a real connection between dentistry and medical science. By the time I retired from clinical practice, things began to change. Science proved that what takes place in the mouth does indeed affect the rest of the body. Now in the years since my retirement, it is becoming even more obvious that not only are dentistry and systemic health connected, but dentistry is now becoming one of the healing arts, embracing oral health and general well being. Come with me, if you will, on a virtual visit to the office of Siegel Dental, located in the Shops of Marco at 121 S. Barfield Drive. I guarantee that you will leave with a smile on your face!

As you enter the office, you are greeted by the bright dazzling smile of office manager, Danielle Siegel. Danielle has the ability to make you feel that you are being reunited with an old friend you have known forever. Her relaxed demeanor and down to earth charm will ease any pre-conceived feelings of anxiety that you may hold. Danielle just happens to be the wife of Dr. Rick Siegel, the dentist who makes Siegel Dental an example of just how stress-free a dental visit can be.

Dr. Rick Siegel has been voted one of America’s Top Dentists by the Consumers Research Council of America since 2005. A member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, American Academy of Facial Esthetics and a Fellow member of the International Congress of Oral Implantology, he has extensive continuing education in Full Mouth Reconstruction, TMJ (temperomandibular joint) and Facial Pain, Laser Dentistry, Implant Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry, Cosmetic Veneers and even Botox. Siegel Dental is a full service dental practice as Dr. Siegel can perform all of these services and others, including root canals and minimally invasive laser periodontal surgery.

Perhaps it is Dr. Siegel’s background that fully illustrates modern dentistry’s approach of treating the whole person, not just their teeth. Before graduating from Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 1985, Rick received a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from the College of Wooster. At that time, he wrote an independent study of Biofeedback, a science that enables a person to change physiological activity for the purposes of improving health and performance, Since then he has become a Certified Heartmath Practioner and Certified Heartmath Trainer using techniques that are focused on building resilience and reducing stress. He has even used these techniques in training high school and college wrestlers. He has written articles on Stress Reduction for Dentists and Techniques for Handling Patients’ Needle Anxiety. At the 2017 national meeting of the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health in Salt Lake City, he will give a keynote presentation on the topic of psychophysiology, the study of how human physiology is affected by our emotions.

He has trained other dentists in performing Botox treatments for not only cosmetic purposes, but for relief of TMJ or jaw pain. This pain is often caused by stress, exhibited as clenching and grinding. In these cases, Botox can be used to release the muscles that move the jaw.

Dr. Siegel is very quick to let you know that it takes a team to provide the best care for patients. Amanda Jordan, EFDA assists Dr. Siegel with her advanced training in expanded functions. Cindy Hamilton, RDH has been a well respected hygienist on Marco Island for over 11 years. She gives validation to the fact that dental hygienists are preventive dentistry specialists, not just “teeth cleaners” as we were thought of at the beginning of my career.

The team at Siegel Dental is dedicated to prevention and early detection of oral cancer. We now know that oral cancer is not only caused by tobacco use, but in many cases, the prevalent HPV, or human papillomavirus is the causative factor. A Velscope exam, a type of oral cancer screening, is performed as part of initial and recall examination appointments.

In 1977, at my first place of employment as a hygienist, I used a pointed cone x-ray machine. It was later found that these machines sent scatter radiation with each exposure. At Siegel Dental, digital panoramic x-rays and the innovative Nomad x-ray device offer minimal radiation exposure for necessary x-ray examinations.

Dr. Siegel credits much of his success to his wife and office manager, Danielle, who, in his words, “knows insurance inside and out.” That is stress relief for the patient right there! Siegel Dental is a participating provider in most insurance networks, making it convenient for people who live or work on Marco Island.

When Rick and Danielle Siegel moved to Marco Island, they hit the ground running, becoming very involved with the community. They are frequent faces at Meals of Hope and Chamber After 5 events. Rick was recently elected to the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce Board and is an active member in Kiwanis, the Men’s Club, the Power Squadron and the Marco Island Yacht Club.

For more information about Siegel Dental and other new trends in dentistry, please visit or call 239-259-8073.

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