Life is all about perseverance. One of my greatest mentors and inspirations has been my childhood orthodontist, Dr. Michael Wainwright from Vancouver. When I first was considering becoming a dentist and told my orthodontist, one word of advice that has stuck in my mind has been "perseverance." A dentist is just a person, no better no less, and one must not forget that. I believe that a degree or degrees is not what makes a person but rather his/her upbringing, values, ethics, and character.
I was born in 1972 and was raised in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I was born of Italian immigrants who came to Canada with nothing. My father who was my main motivator throughout childhood and adolescence has also been the main person who set an example for me to follow – honesty, hard work, fairness, compassion and understanding, forthrightness, and standing for what you believe in. These qualities are easily stated, but also constantly challenged by life's ups and downs, and by those who do not share these values or appreciate them. It is this constant challenge that requires perseverance.
I was always interested in the sciences and to this day still strongly believe in the scientific method ("systematic observation, measurement and experiment, and the formulation, testing and modification of hypotheses"). It was not until I did my first Master of Science in Pharmacology that I learned to question what I read, what is being sold, a method, or a treatment philosophy. This first Masters made me into a "thinker" since dental school for me was mainly about being a "doer." In today's fast-paced world, we are constantly bombarded with advertising and selling by someone of something. If I was not a critical thinker, I feel I would less be able to discern fact from opinion.
In dental school I became interested in surgery and did an externship abroad in oral maxillofacial surgery. During this time, I was also becoming interested in periodontics. Periodontics comes from the Latin root "perio," which means "around."
Periodontics deals with all supporting structures around teeth: tissue, bone, the surface of a root, and the ligament that anchors the root of a tooth to the surrounding bone. I chose periodontics over oral surgery because periodontics affords me the ability to both be able to preserve teeth (by treating disease) and replace them (with dental implants.) The periodontium is the foundation of our teeth. Without a healthy foundation, our teeth/dentition will ultimately fail. In order to work with the foundation, I must also understand occlusion (how our teeth fit together, much like the legs of a table – ie: if one leg is longer than the rest, the table rocks), the nerve of the tooth (endodontics), esthetics, pathology, and the structural integrity of teeth (i.e: whether a tooth is worth keeping, and working with your dentist, etc.).
My career began as a general dentist, first by teaching dental students (a week after graduation, 2001), working at the University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton as a dental resident for one year, and then as a locum dentist in Wabasca, Alberta on Big Stone Cree Nation for 2 months. I returned to the University of British Columbia to start my three year specialization in Periodontics (September, 2002). This included a combined diploma in Periodontics and Master of Science in Oral Biology (2nd Masters).
I practiced Periodontics in Red Deer, Alberta for 2 years (2006, 2007), then came to Nanaimo in November, 2007 and have been practicing in Nanaimo to date, on my own since January, 2008.
As someone who grew up in Vancouver and loves calling British Columbia my home, I’m grateful and beyond excited to have the opportunity to serve the community of Vancouver Island, especially with the support of such a wonderful team behind me.
Cathy Brittain is our office manager and brings a wealth of restorative, periodontic and endodontic dental knowledge to our practice. Cathy is a graduate of the Certified Dental Assistant program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and has spent decades of her career in dental administration, mostly in specialty offices.
Cathy also studied Fashion Design at the Toronto Film School and presently is designing a line of women's apparel and jewellery. Cathy lives in Mill Bay BC with her husband Mark and her two fur babies, Britt a Maltese and Sid a Norwich Terrier, enjoying hikes, gardening and making big family dinners for the extended Brittain family.
I have been a Registered Dental Hygienist since September 2010 after graduating from the Canadian National Institute of Health, Ottawa. I since moved back to Vancouver Island. I grew up in Parksville but recently moved to Nanaimo. I have practiced in a few offices but have been practicing with Dr. Petricca for over 3 years to date.
When I am not working, I like to stay busy by being outdoors with hiking, walking, exploring the island and traveling. In the winter I stay active by playing hockey and slow pitch in the summer. My passion is helping others get healthy and I feel the first step is getting one's oral health in-check and to keeping physically active by getting your body moving.
My practice has evolved and grown since its inception in January 2008. Our practice aims at being welcoming, friendly, truthful, thorough, effective, and efficient – this I believe requires a relentless pursuit towards perfection. Perfection however is rarely attainable but striving towards it is. Building a team which follows this philosophy is not easy. Anyone who has run a business or has managed a team understands this. In any instance I encourage you, our patient, to communicate openly with us – this includes both telling us what you like AND do not like about your experience. Only through open communication can we better understand each other and we can better serve you.
My opinions are deeply rooted in evidence, however anyone that has done any research knows that research does not answer all questions. I combine the following when treating patients:
Evidence available through research although abundant is not always vetted to a high standard. The "big picture" may be best exemplified when one has a mouth full of problems (present/seen today or foreseeable/in the future) and one has to consider that not everyone can afford to fix "everything" and thus, I try my best to help a patient allocate their resources to get their "biggest bang for the buck" so to speak. In some cases, we can offer a plan, which has both short-term and long-term objectives. This allows you to "spread out a comprehensive treatment over an extended period of time," which can lessen one's burden both financially and in terms of number of procedures by spreading out the treatment over time.
During your consultation with us, you might feel overwhelmed with either a) bad news or b) information overload. PLEASE feel free as our patient to let us know if you need us to go over something again (explain, clarify, or use different terminology to describe something). In every instance, it is also wise and advisable to seek another opinion from another specialist or dentist.