By Zach Sparks
Dr. Jeffrey Cranska has never been interested in doing things the easy way. Easy for the patient, yes — procedures are completed with minimal pain and discomfort — but not easy at the cost of cutting corners.
For 40 years, he has maintained an interest in preserving his patients’ long-term dental health.
“I try to do minimal things using lasers, so I don’t use scalpels hardly at all,” said Cranska, who owns Family Laser Dentistry on Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard. “I don’t need to use stitches. We use the laser to do a lot of things with very minimal bleeding afterward. And it’s the same thing with the fillings. I do a lot of fillings using a laser or an air abrasive unit, which is like a sandblaster, to cut the teeth so we don’t have to drill out so much of the tooth.”
Cranska graduated from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in 1979. He started a practice in Cape St. Claire, moved his business to Arnold after 15 years, and settled in Severna Park in 2005.
As technology has advanced, so has his local dental practice. In 1999, Cranska trained to become one of the first 10 dentists in the world to use LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure).
LANAP kills bacteria in the mouth, minimizes discomfort, controls swelling and has faster healing than conventional scalpel surgery.
While some people have entrusted their care to corporate offices, Cranska has continued to offer a more personalized service, giving people dental health care that will help them for life.
“We look at your health, look at your medicines and any other medical concerns you might have and see how it all ties in,” Cranska said. “We teach you how to clean your teeth and take care of your teeth. We show you how to use an electric toothbrush. Those are the things we do, but we can’t do that in 15-minute cleanings.”
Patients who visit early in life benefit the most. Cranska applies dental sealants to the molars of 6-year-olds and 12-year-olds, eliminating about 90 percent of decay. But even for new patients of any age, it’s never too late to benefit from proper dental care.
Advances in dentistry have made that task easier throughout time, and Cranska has witnessed many other changes both in technology and approach.
“When we started doing white fillings, we had one color and it didn’t match anybody. You’d mix it like epoxy,” Cranska said. “By the time you mixed it, you would incorporate air bubbles into it. After a couple months, it would always look brown because you would incorporate so many air bubbles trying to mix it.
“The stuff we use now is all mixed under vacuum,” he added. “You put it on when it’s putty and then you hit it with the light, and the laser light makes it hard in a couple seconds and then you can polish it.”
Another big change is that crowns are ceramic instead of metal.
“A robot mills it out of that solid piece of ceramic, makes it look like a tooth, and then they put it in the oven and make it even stronger, and the technician finishes and sends it back,” Cranska said.
What will the future look like for dentistry? Teaching the next wave of dentists is an important component of that outlook, Cranska said. He routinely travels to the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry in California to educate other dentists about the technology and procedures of LANAP. As dentistry becomes more corporate, Cranska is determined to do things the right way, helping families on a path to lifelong dental care.
“I like my patients. It’s almost like a big family,” Cranska said. “Now the 40-year-olds are bringing their kids in. I’ve seen a lot of generations.”
Family Laser Dentistry is accepting new patients. The dental practice is located in the Ritchie Court office building at 877 Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard, Suite 305, in Severna Park. To learn more, call 410-975-9331 or visit www.cranska.com.