Dental Care, Redefined
Through exceptional dental care and ongoing outreach, the Bucks County dental practice led by Dr. Robert A. Lantzy strives to uplift and protect the community during a challenging time.
by Bill Donahue

The news media has done in-depth reporting on the countless ways COVID-19 has impacted the American way of life. One aspect that has gone largely overlooked: dental health. Some people have delayed regular visits to the dentist’s office out of fear of the contagion, while others have developed dental problems caused by stress and other issues associated with the pandemic.
Robert A. Lantzy, D.M.D., who leads a team of community-minded caregivers at his dental office in Newtown, says the confluence of those trends is, in a word, concerning.
“People are having a tough time, and we’re seeing evidence of that in many of the people who are calling our office,” says Dr. Lantzy. “Clenching and grinding, gum disease, problems sleeping because of stress, disrupted routines, and working long hours—all of these things can have a cumulative effect that spirals into a big problem. The good news is that a lot of these issues can be prevented.”
To the uninitiated, a condition such as inflamed or bleeding gums may seem like a minor problem, but Dr. Lantzy says there’s nothing minor about it. “Pink in the sink” is a telltale sign of periodontal disease, which endangers not only the health of the mouth, but also a person’s overall health; mounting bodies of research tie periodontal disease to serious and potentially lethal conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, among many others. 
When offered effective treatment, however, patients can disrupt the cycle of disease. In-office treatment is essential, but Dr. Lantzy may also prescribe a noninvasive take-home management therapy known as the Perio Protect Method. Patients who are good candidates for the therapy wear custom-fitted Perio Trays for 15-minute periods, during which medication penetrates the periodontal pockets unable to be reached by toothbrushes, rinses, and dental floss. 
“With a tiered approach to treating the gums, we can stimulate a healthier condition,” he adds. “Oxygen is needed for healing. When we oxygenate those pockets, the ‘bad’ bacteria that lives there cannot thrive. Perio Protect has an added benefit in that it whitens teeth, too.”
Another issue involves malpositioned teeth, which may worsen unconscious clenching and grinding. This, in turn, may put unwanted stress on the jaws and teeth, leading to chipping and broken teeth, and a disorder of the temporomandibular joint. 
“The alignment of teeth is very important for the life of any person,” Dr. Lantzy says. “If the teeth are crowded or overlapped, it can cause cavities, gum problems, and other issues. Those problems worsen as we age, when we don’t have as much dexterity in terms of our brushing and our immune system slows. What we do here is not just about a pretty smile; that’s the icing on the cake. Through regular checkups, we help keep the body healthy so it can fight off infection.”
Sleep is a fundamental part of the equation, too, as a well-rested body contributes to a healthy body. Factors such as stress and obstructive sleep apnea can disrupt a good night’s sleep. Dr. Lantzy’s practice offers a disposable sleep-study device to help diagnose sleep apnea. Based on the diagnosis made by a licensed sleep physician, a CPAP machine or, as an alternative, a custom oral appliance may be used as therapy.
Dr. Lantzy and his team have been heartened by incidences of “good behavior” as it relates to patients’ dental health. Some people used the changes in routine and the time away from the office to improve their smiles, through orthodontics and cosmetic procedures such as veneers, or replace missing teeth and restore function with dental implants, crowns, and bridgework, according to Marg Lantzy, the practice’s office manager. The practice uses advanced digital scanning technology to determine a patient’s precise needs, and then manufactures a custom restoration on site—tailored to fit and coloration—using a sophisticated CAD/CAM technology known as CEREC. 
“We have always looked to add technology in this practice that makes sense from the perspective of form, function, and patient convenience,” Marg says. “Patients seek us out because Dr. Lantzy is a leading CEREC doctor. They can come here and walk out with a custom, permanent crown—no temporary and no second visit required.”
Dr. Lantzy understands why some people might be fearful of going to a dentist’s office during a pandemic. More importantly, he wants these individuals to know the practice has embraced an abundance of precautionary measures beyond enhanced personal protective equipment. The office has added Plexiglas partitions, curtains or doors designed to contain aerosols, and medical-grade air purifiers in every treatment room, as well as high-speed evacuators that remove 98 percent of aerosols at their source.
“We have always been cautious,” he says. “When we first started doing dentistry, dentists weren’t wearing masks and gloves. We opened our practice in 1989 with higher standards for PPE and sterilization procedures, and when the height of the AIDS epidemic came in the early ’90s, we were already doing everything in our power to protect patients’ health as well as our own. We have always looked for techniques to create a safe environment, and we always will.”
Dr. Lantzy and his team understand that people have had a difficult time during the pandemic, because they have had to deal with unprecedented changes, too. In addition to the enhanced PPE and other operational upgrades, they have had to make other adjustments by adding time between patients to let the room “settle” prior to cleaning to maintain a higher level of security for patient health.
The practice has always worked to uplift others—not only by improving patients’ dental health, but also by serving the community through in-person outreach programs, fundraisers, and support for local nonprofits devoted to helping the underserved. Some in-person aspects of its community outreach are temporarily on hold, but the practice continues to lend a hand in Bucks County. The practice recently lent support to the DJP Memorial Fund and is presently working through an initiative for Quilts for Kids of Bucks County. 
“At the end of the day, we’re here for one reason, and that’s to help people,” says Dr. Lantzy. “We think that’s more important than ever right now. Sooner or later, the masks are going to come off, and when they do, we want people to be ready to share a healthy, beautiful smile.”

Robert A. Lantzy, DMD, LLC
11 Friends Lane, Suite 100
Newtown, Pa. 
(215) 860-5901 

Photograph by Jeff Anderson

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, October 2021.