Raising Dentistry to an Art Form
Through a multidisciplinary approach, Amsterdam Dental Group delivers exceptional service in a patient-centric environment
by Liz Hunter

Of all the things people can get confused, a dentist’s office and the Ritz-Carlton would not presumably be one of them. While one equates itself with elegance and high-end service, the other typically feels sterile and impersonal.

One step into the Center City office of Amsterdam Dental Group, however, and everything someone has ever known about dental offices goes out the window, which just so happens to boast an incredible view of Philadelphia. Upon entering, patients are greeted by neutral colors, modern furniture that could easily be in a chic lounge, and decorative accents befitting any high-end hotel lobby. If this first impression is any indication, the dental treatment patients receive is guaranteed to be just as rare.

Started 70 years ago by dentistry pioneer Morton Amsterdam, D.D.S., Amsterdam Dental Group is now led by three highly respected, highly decorated dentists—Harold Baumgarten, D.M.D., Howard P. Fraiman, D.M.D., and Jeffrey S. Ingber, D.M.D.—who offer the full spectrum of dental care, including dental implants, veneers, bridges, crowns, teeth whitening and Invisalign orthodontic treatment. Each of the dentists brings to the practice a multidisciplinary approach; in fact, it is the only practice in Philadelphia featuring three specialists with a dual specialty in periodontics and prosthodontics.

Due to their expertise, all three dentists are clinical professors at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, where they are helping to shape the talents of the next generation of dental professionals.

“Our patients are people who want cream-of-the-crop care,” says Dr. Fraiman, who earned his degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania; he was chosen for an advanced six-year program—Penn chooses only two students for this program each year—instead of the traditional eight years.

He says patients can feel comfortable knowing that each of the dentists shares the same goals for superior patient satisfaction. “The ability we all have to collaborate on certain cases is invaluable,” he adds. “Patients should feel confident that their goals are our goals, and we’re committed to providing individual customized care in a setting that’s unlike any they’ve experienced.”

Blending Art and Science

Dr. Amsterdam’s groundbreaking research left an indelible mark on the field of dentistry. In 1974, he published a landmark paper on the art and science of periodontal prosthesis, a field of advanced restorative dentistry. This paper fundamentally changed the course of modern dentistry, and went on to directly impact and influence thousands of students from around the world.

It is with these principles as a foundation that the dentists of Amsterdam Dental Group continue to embrace new methods and technology to ensure the best possible patient results. “We’ve been on the forefront of technology,” Dr. Fraiman says. “We work with a lot of dental manufacturers in terms of testing technologies, and we adopt the technologies we see that can have the greatest benefit to patients.”

Dentistry right now is going through a digital revolution. Computers are assisting dentists to provide better care with many aspects of dentistry, including implant placement, impression taking, crown fabrication and laboratory procedures. One of the most significant advances has been the ability to make a digital impression, eliminating the need for tray-and-putty impressions. Amsterdam Dental Group’s patients have enthusiastically embraced the digital impression technique. One patient stated, “Finally, no more bad-tasting goop in my mouth for five minutes.”

Digital technology is also adding great benefits to planning and placing dental implants. Dr. Baumgarten says, “Digital planning is state of the art.” Even with all the technology available, there is no substitute for a specialty-training background and expertise that allows dentists to envision and achieve optimal results. Dr. Fraiman says the fact that all three doctors have dual expertise in periodontics and prosthodontics has set Amsterdam Dental Group apart from the crowd, especially in terms of dental implants. A dental implant is an artificial substitute for natural tooth roots that is placed in the jawbone. After surgery, according to Dr. Fraiman, the implant fuses with the bone to form a strong foundation that supports replacement teeth.

“Typically, patients who need dental implants would go to a surgeon for the implant and another dentist to fabricate the artificial tooth,” he says. “The surgeon’s expertise is in placing the implant while the restorative dentist’s knowledge lies in fabricating the tooth or teeth. At Amsterdam Dental Group, we have the knowledge and ability to treat all the patient’s needs in our office with exceptional results.”

“A patient will never leave our office toothless,” adds Dr. Baumgarten. “It’s all about aesthetics and function, and our results are far superior. Very often, we can do these procedures minimally invasively, with no stitches and no swelling. … We endeavor to this minimally invasive approach in every case, whenever possible. For patients who are deathly afraid or phobic of losing teeth, this approach allows us to provide fixed teeth so they are never without the smile they want.”

After seven decades of handling advanced restorative cases, this implant method has become the standard of care for all patients of Amsterdam Dental Group. “For a long time we’ve been providing hope for the hopeless—people with a terminal dentition—by saving teeth no one else could save, and we’ve had those people leave our office happy and smiling,” says Dr. Baumgarten.

In addition to the dentists’ specialized training, the practice’s sterling reputation stems from a state-of-the-art dental laboratory in the Center City office, which gives the doctors the ability to customize restorations for each individual patient. This means dental work is kept entirely within the office, with all crowns and restorations being custom fabricated on site—and the “finished product” is always perfect, from fit to shading. Advanced digital imaging and the technicians’ own artistic expertise combine to ensure that a crown’s color is indistinguishable from the rest of the teeth in the patient’s mouth, according to Dr. Ingber. The average shade guide has only 16 shades, which matches only a small percentage of people’s teeth. Amsterdam Dental Group, on the other hand, uses shade modifiers as part of a custom shade guide to match the coloring of a restoration precisely.

The in-house dental lab, which is staffed by eight technicians, also enables the doctors to accomplish a great deal with each patient visit. While patients wait, they are “attended to” by the expert staff, which is empowered to order lunch for a patient, serve them coffee or tea and perform other tasks to make them as comfortable as possible. Dr. Ingber describes the practice as “beyond boutique,” with stunning décor and treatment rooms that boast tremendous views of the entire city. The Paoli office, which the doctors lovingly refer to as “our beach office,” is an extension of the Center City campus.

“We treat all our patients as people first,” says Dr. Ingber, a graduate of Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry who received his dual-specialty training from the University of Pennsylvania. “The feeling you get when you walk into a beautiful hotel, that’s how you feel when you step into our office. Imagine the Ritz-Carlton; we’ve tried to create the same feeling in our office. Here, we’ve created something totally different—something very special that’s difficult to put into words.”

Amsterdam Dental Group