Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

He Gives You Service for Your Smile

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

He Gives You Service for Your Smile

Article excerpt

Dr. Anthony Fasciano fell into his profession because, simply put, he liked to work with his hands. The Fort Lee native said he spent much of his childhood taking apart Matchbox cars and putting them back together, so when a college adviser suggested that he look into dentistry as a career path, he was intrigued.

A brief stint observing his childhood dentist sealed the deal for him - Fasciano went on to graduate from the Fairleigh Dickinson University Dental School, and later was certified in endodontics from Columbia University.

"I wanted to be able to help relieve pain," said Fasciano, now 52.

He opened his own practice in 1993 in Englewood, and moved to his current location in Englewood Cliffs about nine years ago. And when he isn't meeting new patients, performing root canals or studying X- rays, Fasciano continues to work with his hands in his down time - by helping to manage and run the kitchen at a Rockland County restaurant he owns with his brother.

Here, he shares why nerve damage is so painful, what causes a root canal and how some patients are more prone to fainting than others.

Q. What exactly is a root canal?

It's when a nerve within the tooth has to be removed either from decay, a cavity, large filling or trauma from a fall or blunt force. We make an access opening [with a drill] and remove the nerve tissue and get filling material into the tooth to seal it.

Q. How many do you perform a day? Do you get bored of performing them?

I do about 20 a day, but I love it because as a specialist, you're meeting so many people. I get a cross-section of referrals with different personalities, which is kind of neat and never boring.

Q. How do you help a patient who is nervous?

What I typically do is try to identify their fear and find out what their trigger is - whether they have a fear of needles, or don't like the position of the chair [because they feel vulnerable]. Then I explain everything almost ad nauseam to make them comfortable and let them know they have total control and can stop the procedure at any time.

Q. Why does a toothache throb and why is it so painful?

As the nerve [in a tooth] degrades, it causes the nervous system to give your brain signals that there's pain. The environment of the nerve tissue is under pressure, and there's no room for expansion so it starts to throb. Same as if you bash your elbow, it swells but it has room [to do so]. There's no room for it to swell in the tooth. The times when people have trouble is when they've had pain for a while, and they don't get the root canal either because of their fear, monetary issues or they just don't have the time. But the more you wait, the worse it's going to get.

Q. What are the consequences to a tooth due to root canals? Is it compromised?

Yes, because you're taking away the tooth's blood supply. …

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