Happy Valley
Drs. Marc Lipkin and Spencer Grossman give patients at Indian Valley Dental Associates a reason to smile
by Leigh Stuart

In the modern world, wherein folks are lucky if they’re able to stay in a job for a few years, it is a marvel to meet a man such as Marc F. Lipkin, D.M.D., who has been leading the team at Indian Valley Dental Associates for three decades.

Dr. Lipkin’s success and longevity in practice did not happen by accident, of course. He earned his degree in dentistry from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980 and completed a residency at the prestigious institution the next year. He went on to receive advanced training and, ultimately, board certification as a specialist in dental implants.

He has built upon his credentials in the time since. Today, his designations include the following: a Diplomate of the American Board of Oral Implantology; a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry; a Fellow of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry; and a Fellow and Master of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.

“I believe that you’re always getting educated because you want to remain relevant and keep up with current trends and technologies,” says Dr. Lipkin, who has been practicing dentistry for 35 years. Indeed, this philosophy of constant education is one that has kept Dr. Lipkin up to date with the best techniques and technology for his patients. Dr. Lipkin will be the first to say that dentistry has come quite a long way in recent decades.

“Advances in dentistry have taken the pain and discomfort out of what we do,” Dr. Lipkin says. “We used to have people that came in that were apprehensive from Day One, especially kids. Today they’re not; they’re used to being made comfortable at the dental office, and it’s not hard to do that.”

Ceramics, for example, have been revolutionary to the field. “We now have beautiful material that lasts,” he says. “We never had that before.” Dentistry overall has evolved by leaps and bounds since Dr. Lipkin attended dental school.

“The methods have changed the way we do things. The materials we use to take impressions are all completely different now,” he says, explaining that the materials used to make impressions have improved significantly. “The impression material used to taste horrible and took forever to set. Now, at best, it has no taste at all, and it’s more accurate. We are working on digital impressions also, where we can scan a tooth and digitally send the impression to the lab to fabricate a restoration, or even make it chairside.”

Invisible orthodontics and dental implants have also changed the face of dentistry. Up until 30 years ago, for example, predictable dental implants did not exist. Today the dental implant procedure is so painless and so advanced that patients can have implants placed during a lunch hour. He says, “When we first started doing dental implants, they were done in the hospital. Now people have them done in the dentist’s chair.”

In addition to materials, technology has jumped light years ahead of where it had been midway through last century. “We have hand pieces today that have fiber-optic lights,” he says. “Newer ones are electric, with constant torque and they are much quieter also. In the old days, hand pieces were belt-driven; your head vibrated.”

Dr. Lipkin has firsthand knowledge of the woes associated with not just such antiquated tools but also dental issues in general. As a child, he experienced a slew of dental problems himself. This, in fact, is what inspired him to choose a career in dentistry. He says, “I never had good teeth as kid, and I wanted to see if there was something I could do to keep people from having the problems I had.”

At Indian Valley Dental Associates, he and Spencer Grossman, D.M.D., do just that.  Dr. Grossman has been with Dr. Lipkin for five years. “Spencer is a great dentist and I plan to make him a larger, more visible part of the practice,” says Dr. Lipkin. “We need to have someone here to carry on this tradition of fine patient care.” Dr. Grossman loves treating families and children alike. The 60-year-old practice, which Dr. Lipkin took charge of just two short years after starting to work there, now specializes in an array of services, from restorative and cosmetic to endodontic, orthodontic, periodontic and adult restorative dentistry. Implants are, of course, still a specialty of Dr. Lipkin’s, but he emphasizes that he loves to treat younger patients as well.

“Children are a really big part of the practice,” Dr. Lipkin says. “Children are the future. We love treating them and we love treating their families and watching everyone grow up.”

This is proven by his patients, many of whom have families who have been seeing Dr. Lipkin for generations. Kathy and Jeff Stranges, for example, have been seeing Dr. Lipkin for decades; Jeff’s parents saw Dr. Lipkin before even that. Today the entire Stranges family—Kathy, Jeff and their six children—goes to Indian Valley Dental Associates for dental care.

“I used to be afraid of the dentist, but his practice is so wonderful,” Kathy says. “He has done just such beautiful work. We feel comfortable and confident in his work. We’ve recommended him to other people, we just love him. We love him and his staff.”

Monica Schroeder also comes from a family that has sent generations of patients to Dr. Lipkin’s office. “I’ve never gone to another dentist,” says Schroeder, whose grandparents, parents and children have all been patients at Indian Valley Dental Associates.

“I have had a lot of work done,” she explains, noting she has seen Dr. Lipkin for a host of services such as root canals, crowns, an implant, a night guard and general dentistry. “It’s just more comfortable to go to someone that knows your history. He’s always proved himself to be up on what’s going on, and I know he continues to go for whatever the latest education is in field. I have a lot of respect for that.”

Schroeder adds that she also finds Dr. Lipkin’s interaction with Peg—a former classmate of hers, as well as Dr. Lipkin’s assistant of 30 years—very enjoyable, explaining that their banter only adds to the comfortable, family-like environment at the office.

Dr. Lipkin cites a number of reasons for loving his job. His interaction with patients such as the Stranges and Schroeder families are at the top of the list.

“What I like is that I get to see kids grow up,” he says. “I see them when they’re born, as they grow up, go to college, get married, and then I treat their kids! To me, that’s really special and it’s an honor that they stay with me that long.”

Dr. Lipkin started his career in Center City Philadelphia, but his time with Indian Valley Dental Associates has given him something he had sorely missed while treating busy businesspeople in the city—namely, relationships with patients and families.

“Many of my patients have become friends,” he says. “I wouldn’t treat them any differently than I would my own family, because they have become an extension of my family.”

Indian Valley Dental Associates
601 E. Broad Street, Suite 200
Souderton, PA 18964

Photograph by Rob Hall