When patients in the greater Toronto, Ontario, Canada area are in need of high-end, quality dental care, they rely on the premier services of Azeem Sheikh, BS, DDS. A 2003 graduate of the University of Western Ontario Dental School, Dr. Sheikh has achieved impressive success thanks to his refined clinical technique, investment in technology, and deep understanding of and passion for achieving excellence in oral health for his patients.
Today, Dr. Sheikh’s solo dental practice in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, keeps him quite busy. What started as a general dentistry practice has evolved into a practice focusing on implant dentistry that requires the assistance of two dental hygienists, two dental assistants, and three front office staff. While the majority of his patients come for surgical and restorative implant services, his practice performs soft tissue management (STM)—for which he has become a prolific speaker and subject matter expert—on approximately 80% of patients.
“My practice performs STM on a daily basis,” Dr. Sheikh states. “We get referrals to treat patients who need this treatment from practices who can’t perform it due to lack of technology and/or lack of experience.”
Dr. Sheikh, however, wasn’t always a master of STM: ongoing clinical education has been key to achieving a reputation for excellence. “I was really interested in learning more about STM, so I attended a lecture with my dental team,” he recalls. “We took this information and knowledge and implemented it into the practice, and things took off after that,” he admits.
So well, in fact, that DenMat noticed and asked Dr. Sheikh to become a lecturer on STM on its behalf. “Soft tissue management requires the use of lasers and medicaments to achieve the patient’s desired final result,” Dr. Sheikh explains. “DenMat asked if I would share my knowledge with other dentists so that they could achieve these results in their practices, as well. I agreed because STM is an exciting program; I want other dentists to realize its benefits in the same way I have.”
DenMat-hosted lectures featuring Dr. Sheikh and his approach to soft tissue management are slated to take place in Canada this year. While he used to lecture in the United States as well, presenting up to 24 lectures per year, a busy work schedule has realigned his priorities. But he is happy to share what can be achieved with STM, which is greater than the antiquated combined efforts of medications and lasers.
“The key for me in what I do is the realization that many dentists are struggling with day-to-day practice; everything is insurance driven these days—and it’s getting worse each year,” Dr. Sheikh admits. “STM allows you to shed that mindset and be patient focused versus insurance driven. This patient-focused mentality allows me and my team to make our efforts in providing high quality dental care so much easier.”
In addition to STM, Dr. Sheikh relies on Rotadent, Fluoridex, ProSelect Platinum scaler, NV Pro3 laser, Hartzell currettes, instrumentation for implants/natural teeth, and the Vizilite Oral Lesion Detection device in his daily practice. These products, which are available through DenMat, are an example of the complete holistic line of goods available to complement the various services offered by dental practices.
Making a lasting, meaningful and significant impact on patients through the delivery of high-quality dental treatments and procedures is the end goal for many dentists—and nearly every has at least one patient they will never forget. For Dr. Sheikh, this patient was 27-year-old John.
“John was a young man with a promising hockey career. Unfortunately, his teeth were in horrible shape and were eroding due to severe dental decay that extended below the gumline. In addition to having a large fear of dental treatment, financially he could not afford to have his teeth removed and dental implants placed. In fact, he was living out of his car at the time,” Dr. Sheikh shares. “John, as an employee of a small company, had a basic level dental insurance plan that allowed for fillings; however, the decay was under the gum and the teeth would be difficult to isolate. With the use of technology, namely the NV PRO3 Microlaser, I was able to isolate the teeth with no bleeding; clean all the large cavities; and, with the use of posts and fillings, restore his teeth in ONE visit. Post treatment, it was amazing to see such a man’s man cry! John still has these restorations after 6 years, and is thrilled with the results.” Witnessing John’s transformation, in both smile esthetics and self-confidence, made this case one Dr. Sheikh will never forget.
“I find joy in helping others; it’s who I am,” Dr. Sheikh continues. “This passion has helped me evolve, both personally and professionally; fostered my success; and provided the foundation of a successful long-term practice.”