Dr. Robert A Rees has been practicing dentistry for more than twenty years, all of them here in the community of San Diego. He opened his own private practice about 17 years ago when he bought and took over an existing practice in La Jolla that had originated in 1958. He did some part time teaching in Los Angeles for a few years, but his main focus has always been helping the people of San Diego with their dental needs. We sat down with Dr. Rees to learn a bit more about what makes his practice special.
What does your practice focus on – do you have any specialties?
It’s a General Practice, meaning we pretty much do everything but braces. We specialize in a few (more aesthetic) elements: smile makeover and full mouth rehabilitation, which employes almost every discipline in dentistry to restore an entire mouth.
What is your main advice for preventative care at home?
It’s incredibly important that individuals maintain professional cleanings twice a year and that they listen to the advice of their dentist and hygienist. It is important to realize that the professionals can assist you toward ideal health, but ultimately it’s up to you, the patient. Twice a year cleaning is the minimum! Anything short of that leaves you playing catchup, which is not a very effective way to maintain health. We see great benefit when patients come in 3-4 times a year for hygiene, and in reality very few people have the oral health to qualify for cleaning just twice a year – a high percentage of patients need more than that.
What is the most common dental problem you come across?
Gum disease, more commonly known as gingivitis.
How does oral health affect the rest of the body?
The conditions in the mouth affect the body through the blood stream; unhealthy teeth and gums can affect the heart, lungs, and even the brain. Strokes, low birth weight, and heart disease are all associated with oral health. Even headaches and neck pain could be associated with Bruxism – a common condition where people grind or clench their teeth in their sleep at night.
What are signs to watch out for in the mouth that could indicate more serious issues?
Any strange bumps on the gums, sudden changes in your bite, or how your teeth feel like they fit together could all be indicators of something more serious. Also watch out for any jaw-related pain, or if the jaw seems to be getting stuck open or closed – these could be signs of TMJ, a condition of the jaw.
How do you stay updated on the latest in general and cosmetic dental techniques and technology?
I’m part of a local study group, where several top professionals in the industry get together monthly to review updates and collaborate together. I also follow other outside resources and participate in ongoing education via seminars and online. I’m always studying and learning about the newest trends – it’s constantly changing.
What are your top 3 tips for maintaining their oral health?
First and foremost, regular cleaning and exams! Pay strong attention to oral hygiene on a daily basis. I usually recommend some home fluoride therapies, as well. I always give patients a list of things to work on after each visit, so it varies.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
The people I get to interact with and the ability to resolve their issues while guiding them to proper health. I love that I get to offer Customized Care – our dentistry is truly all about our patients. When I meet a patient for the first time, I try to establish a relationship with them and figure out how they want to be treated; if they have any fears or concerns, I figure those out early on. I keep a relaxing environment in my office, as I want patients to feel comfortable and that they are getting the best treatment possible. The patient and his or her dentist should always be a team.
Dr. Rees’ office is located at 7761 Herschel Avenue in La Jolla. They are open from 7am-4pm Monday-Thurs and 7am-1pm Friday and Saturday.
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