2007-06-27 / Health Care

Dentistry Duo Delivers Quality Care On Astoria's Broadway

BY JOHN TOSCANO

Gazette Photo     A husband and wife team makes your visit to Astoria Dental Group on Broadway a pleasant one. Gazette Photo A husband and wife team makes your visit to Astoria Dental Group on Broadway a pleasant one. It used to be you would go to visit your dentist with some trepidation about the pain you would have to endure. You would sit in the waiting room bored, staring into space, dozing, or reading last year's magazines.

The status quo may exist for some dentists who haven't kept pace with all the technological advances of recent years, but that's not the case when you keep an appointment with Dr. Clifford Degel and/or Dr. Carmen Every-Degel, the husband and-wife dental team that operates the Astoria Dental Group office at 32-17 Broadway in Astoria.

For starters, you can while away the time until your turn comes to see either Dr. Degel by watching an old movie on a video cassette player in the waiting room.

"We show lots of old comedy classics like the 'Honeymooners' or Abbott and Costello to get the patients in a good frame of mind," Dr. Clifford Degel told us during a recent interview.

If you're not in the mood for a comedy or other movie, you can play one of several tapes that explain one of the newer treatments or techniques that are available in this new age of dental wizardry where the Drs. Degel are among the practitioners.

"It's an educational tool for the patient," Clifford Degel explained. "For instance, if a person is considering dental implants, seeing the tape on that subject will give him or her a pretty good idea of how and what is done. It eliminates a lot of misconceptions of this procedure that many people have."

We looked and found the tapes a concise, easy-to-understand explanation of how, using most modern methods of replacing dentures, a single tooth can be replaced. Implants can also be used to support or anchor a bridge or set of dentures. We were amazed and enlightened at the same time. But there was a lot more of the same as we proceeded on a tour of the office conducted by the 35-year-old Flushing-born Degel.

Included in his arsenal of equipment, most of the ultra modern hi-tech variety, is a TV camera perched above the patient's chair in each operatory, or treatment room. We couldn't believe how clear the picture of the inside of patients' mouths is transmitted from the slim pointing stick held in Degel's hand, which had a minute camera on its tip. This is another of the educational tools in the office, and a boon from both the dentist's and patient's point of view.

"Because of the magnification, we can spot things in the mouth we wouldn't ordinarily see," Degel explained. "For patients, they are able to see what we are explaining to them, that is, our visual diagnosis." He also demonstrated to us the TV system's capability for freezing the picture wherever the dentist wants to magnify a certain section of the mouth. Tapes, such as the one we had viewed earlier on implants, can also be played on this screen. If the dentist is telling you you need an implant, he can show you what it's all about at the same time.

Dr. Degel is utilizing a new implant system. Using mini implants, greater stability is provided for patients with dentures but who do not qualify for conventional implants. The surgery is quick and effective and doesn't require months of healing.

Dr. Carmen Every-Degel is now certified for Invisalign (Invisible Braces). Invisalign uses the latest technology to straighten teeth. It gradually moves your teeth through a series of custommade removable, nearly invisible aligners. This leads to healthier gums, because the aligners make it easier to brush and floss properly. Also, they are a lot more comfortable than conventional braces.

In another effort to keep the office state-ofthe art, Degel has added a new bleaching system called Brite Smile (you may have seen the infomercial on TV). This system is an office whitening unit that uses a gentle whitening gel and a thermal light instead of laser, making it safer and more efficient. You can whiten your teeth an average 9 shades (results may vary). There is little or no sensitivity or discomfort. The process takes just over an hour but the rewards last for years. This means you don't need to "boost" as with other whitening systems.

Dr. Degel also offers cosmetic imaging, where he computer enhances a photograph to show what your new smile can look like.

He also described bonding and an alternative method of doing fillings which uses no mercury in the filling material. Under the new method of filling cavities, Dr. Degel said, white fillings are used rather than silver fillings. "Cosmetically," he pointed out, "it looks better and it's safer because no mercury is used. It's one of the newer things in dentistry."

Dr. Degel also has set up a laboratory in the office so that any parts, manufacturing or repairing can be done on premises. This allows for quicker and more efficient service for his patients.

Degel took over the Astoria Dental Group office about 10 years ago, about a year after becoming a dentist. "When we came in here," he explained, "the practice was totally renovated, upgraded and modernized and we brought in all the most modern equipment to make it one of the most modern dental offices in Astoria."

Born and raised in Flushing, Degel graduated from Archbishop Molloy H.S. and St. John's University before attending Georgetown University Dental School in Washington D.C., where he met his wife, also a student there. Dr. Carmen Every-Degel is from the island of Aruba, where the Degels have established a second home. There Dr. Clifford Degel pursues his other passion, golf.

The Degels have three daughters, Ashley, Brittany and Christen.

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