October 2010

Your Beautiful Smile - Compliments of Island Family Dental

Author: David Gignilliat | Photographer: John Brackett

“Wow, you look great! You have an amazing smile. Who’s your dentist?”

Young or old, man or woman, there’s just something about receiving a compliment that never seems to get old or go out of style. Whether it’s from a friend, a loved one or the barista making your caramel macchiato at Starbucks, it’s truly nourishment for the soul.

Dr. Kevin Fader, D.M.D, knows a thing or two about flattery. As one of Hilton Head Island’s top dentists, he knows how to make you look good—and feel good—about your oral health. And he’s the man you may need to thank the next time you’re getting showered with praise about your appearance.

As a general dentist, Dr. Fader provides routine dental care (regular cleanings, x-rays, fillings, root canals) with an emphasis on stopping problems before they start with a commitment to proper oral hygiene—brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits.

“Prevention is the key,” said Fader, who completed his formal dental education at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine. “Once it happens, it happens. That’s fine, we can fix it. But we try to stress prevention first.”

The biggest growth area in Fader’s practice, however, has been in the field of cosmetic dentistry, which specializes in improving the overall beauty of the mouth and smile. Island Family Dental offers a diverse suite of cosmetic procedures and services, including whitening, contouring, bonding, veneers, bridge and crown work.

Fader concedes that a beautiful smile is in the eye of the beholder, but for those patients who decide they want to make a change, cosmetic dentistry can truly be a blessing.

“The advantages are numerous now with what the labs can do,” said Fader. “The work we can do now with cosmetic dentistry—it totally changes peoples’ lives.”

Fader and his staff have a cultivated a family approach to dentistry that shows up in every corner of his approach. It’s in the name of his practice (Island Family Dental). It’s in the latex gloves that he and his staff blow up to make children feel more comfortable. It’s in the fact that they always accept new patients, and in the explicit promise he makes to see those in pain for same-day emergency care. And ultimately, it’s in the ongoing relationship he and his team try to build with clients.

“I like to think that we treat all our patients like family. I won’t recommend anything to [a patient] that I wouldn’t do for myself or my family,” says Fader, a father of two, Garret, five, and Gracie, seven. “As a dentist, there’s a trust that you need to build with your clients. You need them to feel comfortable with what you’re doing. I enjoy the interaction with the patients, getting to know them as people. I think that goes in any business, you have to treat people with care.”

The technology boom of the last 20 years has taken dentistry into new frontiers that simply were not possible a generation ago. The advent of digital x-ray imaging, laser dentistry and lifelike cosmetics have changed the playing field for good. Consequently, Dr. Fader is able to do more, and in less time. Often the biggest obstacles are not “can we do it?” but “how much will it cost?” or, more importantly, “how do I feel about it?”

“For many people, it’s about pain, perception and cost,” said Fader, who purchased an existing practice when he started Island Family Dental in 2007. “If we could silence the drill and not use the needle, we’d literally have people lining up out our door.”

Like many local professionals, the siren call of coastal living eventually lured him from his successful practice in New Jersey to the beaches, bike paths and beauty of Hilton Head Island. For as long as he could remember, his family had been making annual trips down I-95 to the Lowcountry. His parents, Lynn and Arlene Fader, eventually bought a second home here, and are now year-round residents. His grandfather, Harold Sorensen, was part of the island’s progressive initiative to develop leisure paths in the 1970s. He met his wife, Valerie, while vacationing on the beaches of Shipyard Plantation a little over a decade ago.

So perhaps, the move to South Carolina was inevitable. The rest, as they say, is history.

“We chose [Hilton Head] for the weather and the lifestyle. We wanted the year-round beautiful weather. It was vital that we be in an environment that caters to family and children,” said Fader. “The whole family can enjoy the island. I’ll run into people on the beach and they’ll say ‘You get to live here year round—you’re so lucky.’”

If you’re an Island Family Dental patient, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be looking up at Dr. Fader from the dental chair for years to come. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father Lynn, 69, a respected and active oral surgeon on the island, and work well into his golden years. “Dad’s still in his prime,” he said proudly. He even joked that his son Garret, might join the Island Family Dental practice in another 20 years or so.

“This is a profession [where] you can really work for a long time,” said Fader, who stays fit by playing golf, tennis and outdoor sports. “As long as you have your hands and your vision, you can do this [type of work] as long as you want.”

In another 20 years, Fader would be in his early 60s. Like his dad, still in his prime. Garret would be about 25, fresh out of dental school and ready to start his career.

It’s possible. At Island Family Dental, anything seems possible.

And that’s a compliment that should keep local smiles bright for years to come.

Island Family Dental is located at 2 Corpus Christie, Suite 202, near the Sea Pines traffic circle. Regular office hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and 8 a.m.-Noon on Fridays. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Island Family Dental at (843) 842-3555. You can also visit their website at www.islandfamilydental.com.

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