I just left the dentist’s office and I can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right. You see, I am actually feeling happy. You’re not supposed to feel this way after being worked on by your dentist!
I feel this way because Ilhm Akraa, DDS is my dentist and she is a true professional. Upon my arrival, Dr. Akraa immediately took control. The first thing she noticed was that my tongue was not as flexible as it should be. She asked me if I had trouble breathing “Yes, doctor!” This is the number one difficulty! She knew that this was a problem within the first few seconds and referred me to someone who could help me with my breathing problem. We then moved to the problems with my teeth. Part of what needed to be done was the removal of a recently installed crown. The crown that needed replacement was so poorly made, it created a considerable gap between my teeth. This gap made it certain that food particles would get caught between my teeth causing decay, bad breath and who know what. Dr. Akraa made a plan to work on what was necessary to fix this and other issues in a quadrant by quadrant approach starting with the crown replacement.
Dr. Akraa intends to replace my amalgam silver fillings with new, high quality porcelain fillings. In the past, porcelain would not have been strong enough for this purpose, but due to advancements in the field the quality of the new porcelain fillings has the necessary strength. I also found that Dr. Akraa is a fan of gold fillings because it molds well and is not rejected by the gums. Gold crowns are favored for their strength and they are often used to restore molars because of the force that is exerted when chewing. Another benefit is that they don't chip or crack. Due to its color, however, many patients do not want gold dental crowns placed on the more visible teeth; in these cases porcelain is preferred.
I was numbed locally in the order for work to be done in each area. Unlike with any other dentist in the past, the numbing agent applied did not have a bad taste and the Novocain shot that followed was not felt at all, just like I was promised. But more importantly, during this entire, extensive procedure, I experience no pain whatsoever. As I found out from Dr. Akraa, the material that my existing crown was made of is considered obsolete and too hard for the proper function it was supposed to serve. Her job was to carefully remove and replace it with a more suitable cap, a minute and assiduous job that she proved herself expertly capable to perform. Relatedly, Dr. Akraa is vehement in her belief that the machines many dentists use to make these crowns are outdated. She prefers to make her crowns via the order of a specialized lab that is able to complete the work expertly, in a much superior way. The lab Dr. Akraa uses has been ranked among the ten best in the United States. The difference - crowns molded there are not only precisely made to specifications to fit perfectly on the respective tooth but they are also made to blend and sync with the specific color palate of a patient’s teeth. At the end, Dr. Akraa advised against further whitening my teeth. Because I have done this numerous times in the past, her concern was that my teeth would become sensitive and suggested I considered veneers.
During my visit, Dr. Akraa also noticed that my front teeth are not set back enough and because of this they tend to grind on each other. For this she suggested an orthodontist who is also knowledgeable about sleep apnea.
Dr. Akraa grew up in Syria and as far back as she can remember always wanted to be a dentist. Only back then the social consensus was that women should not take up dentistry, but rather become doctors, teachers or lawyers. It was felt at the time that the physical strength required for the job would not make a good fit for a woman.
From my interaction with Dr. Akraa over the course of a few office visits, I easily ascertained that she is the sort of individual that likes to continually grow, learn and place herself right in the cutting edge of her profession. But even more than that, more than her impeccable professional demeanor, I could undoubtedly feel her feminine, healing, benefic aura. She emanates a wonderful energy that bestows a positive glow around her. And this can be felt throughout the entire office, as her staff - including the three capable assistants that surrounded me during the procedure - exudes the same kind of friendly charm that one usually reserves for family and friends. Because of all this, my time spent in the dentist’s chair was calming and peaceful. It occurred to me that some dentists are mainly business oriented, cold not caring and bottom line. Investing little empathy or emotion in their patients, always concentrating on their monetary bottom line. Then, there are the much rarer dentists, ones that are successful as well but have become successful because not only do they have the dental skills and knowledge but they care about their patients; they are involved, aware and take the time necessary to do a complete exam and detailed, perfect work. I feel am very fortunate to have that kind of rare individual in Dr. Ilham Akraa.
I realize that I risk repeating myself, but I absolutely must reiterate that the general feeling of this entire experience was that of discovering a rare gem. To find a professional who isn’t burnt out by the rigor of the work they do, someone who is still passionate about their calling after many years of practice and provides their service with such dedication just isn’t something I often come across. Dr. Akraa made a display of perfect professionalism, of caring with excitement and attacking the problem directly, and not trying to cut the time short - as often was the case with past dentist experiences - but instead taking all the time necessary to do everything perfectly. Sadly, a rare experience. But I look forward to the subsequent visits with complete confidence that everything that can be done will be done properly and with the highest workmanship and the best care that one can expect.
A few facts about Cute Smile Dental -
Dr. Ilham Akraa D.D.S is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. As part of this office team she expertly performs the following procedures - Dental Bonding, Dental Implants, Dental Inlays, Dental Onlays, Digital Xray (Cdr), Endodontic Retreatment, Full Mouth Reconstruction, Invisible Dental Braces, Porcelain Dental Bridges and Dental Crowns, Porcelain Dental Veneers, Zoom! (1 Hour In-Office Teeth Whitening Process).
Cute Smile Dental follows a strict and modern sterilization protocol and a system that surpasses OSHA requirements. Cute Smile Dental provides the highest quality of care to their patients. The expressed desire is to make services affordable to all. Cute Smile Dental accepts most insurance plans. They also accept payment from most PPO and indemnity plans.
I highly recommend this office!
6650 Reseda Blvd Suite 100
Reseda, CA 91335
Phone: 818 776-1236