A Dentist, an Artist and a Visionary.
-by Veera Mahajan
Dr. Perkins is not only brilliant dentist; he has a great sense of humor. His staff is always smiling. He looks in your mouth, planning his next move as if he is an artist planning his next stroke. Today, during my appointment, he said that he sometimes lies awake at night thinking about new ways he can make his patient’s treatments more effective and get faster results.
So, I thought I would ask him some more questions for (MC) Malibu Chronicle. He agreed to answer them…
Dr. P: We all have our styles, but, in part, I think it is our ability to be comprehensive and holistic. We do family dentistry; cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry, orthodontics and facial orthopedics for children and adults. We treat TMD (Tempro Mandibular disorders) and chronic headache issues. We diagnose and treat sleep apnea and we are very proactive in our hygiene program in order to recognize and eliminate any chronic infections that affect general as well as dental health. We screen for oral cancer as well. It is important, even crucial, to see the “big” picture and not just to see the teeth in a vacuum. There are many things to evaluate in order to get the proper esthetic and structural result.
MC: You do a lot of orthodontics. What is special about your procedural ways there?
Dr. P: Well, that is a big question!
I would say that 1/2 of my practice is orthodontic related.
There are a few ways where I feel we are different from the traditional orthodontic approach. Primarily, I think we focus on that “big” picture again. We evaluate facial profile, facial proportions, a patient’s airway, muscle comfort, tongue space (crucial), where the lower face is in proportion to the upper face. So many people go in for “nose jobs” and chin implants when the problem may just be that the jaws are too far back in the mouth.
Also, we do a lot of short-term orthodontic cases using clear brackets and tooth colored wires, cases that might conventionally take two years, and finishing them in less than 6 months.
MC: What are some things about dentistry that you would want to influence or change?
Dr. P: I’d like to see kids getting orthopedic/orthodontic evaluations at a young age, before 7. I also think it is very important to have an evaluation of the upper airway of any child. Make sure there are no enlarged tonsils, allergies, enlarged adenoids, etc., which forces breathing through the mouth. Breathing through the mouth changes the face, the teeth, the jaws, quite dramatically in
an unfavorable way. If we catch this earlier than later it can be huge at
promoting proper facial growth and avoiding other structural problems as well.
MC: What do you enjoy most in dentistry?
Dr. P: Apart from the orthodontics/orthopedic stuff I really like doing smile makeovers, using porcelain veneers. The results are profound and from start to finish can take as little as one week. Maybe most gratifying is eliminating chronic pain in the head and neck area, chronic headaches, TMD, etc. We have been extremely successful in treating pain by putting muscles in a position where they are not chronically tight and tense. When you position the jaws so that the muscles that support jaw function are not always under functioning, you can almost always find comfort and stability. Most people think the position of their jaws, where their teeth come together, is the place their jaws were meant to be…this is very often not the case. There are a lot of adaptive reasons, environmental reasons, why the teeth meet the way they do, often in a place where the muscles that support chewing are being overworked. We can correct this in a couple of different ways.
MC: What do you want to be known for in Malibu?
Dr. P: Well, of course I want to be known for providing an “extraordinary dental experience” and all that that entails; customer service, happy patients, etc. I want my office not only to be a place for great dental care but a place where people enjoy spending time.
Apart from dentistry, I want to bring something to Malibu to help develop its sense of community and shared experience instead of a group of disparate people who are disconnected from one another.
MC: How do you do that?
Dr. P: Well, there are a lot of ways…bringing people together is one strong way. For example, my work neighbor, Veronica Barton Schwartz, of Veronica Spa, is amazing at facilitating relationships and bringing people in her world together. It is inspiring. I try to do that as much as I can by taking disparate people and bringing them together. It’s important for me to have connections with people from different segments of our society, the restaurant owners…..and the busboys.
MC: What is Malibu to you?
Dr. P: I suppose the ocean and the mountains are the things that I most appreciate on a daily basis. I am so lucky to be able to get in the ocean several times a week and look back towards land and see this beautiful expanse of pristine mountains.
In addition to its beauty, Malibu is the confluence of people from all over the country (and the world) who have come here and realized their dream. It attracts people who have made their dreams come true. They could live anywhere, but they choose to live here. Malibu selects for brilliant and creative minds.
MC: What are your other passions and hobbies?
Dr. P: Discovery, Taking the Stairs, KINDNESS!
Smiles In Malibu * 24955 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste, C100, Malibu, CA 90265 * http://www.bobperkinsdds.com/