After 30 years in dentistry, Nanaimo’s Dr. Rob Wolanski has seen many changes in his industry – changes that have made a difference to his patients’ quality of life, and their dental experience.
Today, Dr. Wolanski appreciates the personal rewards he enjoys as he helps patients at Lakeside Dental Clinic.
“The multifaceted skill set required for today’s dentistry stimulates my mind, body and soul. To constantly learn and advance my ability to help others has been so rewarding,” he says, reflecting on his inspiration to pursue his passion.
A painful experience as a child brought an initial fear of the dentist, but that changed when he was treated by Dr. Boris Kinderachuk. “He was very kind and the work was almost painless. I remember saying to myself, ‘I want to be him some day.’”
Advancements make a big difference for patients
Technology and patient care have seen a lot of changes over three decades.
“Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry,” says Dr. Wolanski, who also opened the adjacent Vancouver Island Implant Centre to focus on implant placement and restorations. “I became interested in them very early on, placing my first dental implants in 1992 and I now find myself one of the most experienced dentists placing implants on Vancouver Island.”
The impact for patients has been significant.
“Without question, these innovations have brought patients better oral, physical and mental health.”
The in-house dental CAT scanner also saves patients time and money, and by showing a three-dimensional image of the jaw structure, allows for ideal implant placement.
Patients who have lost all their teeth and are tired of living with loose-fitting dentures today flash a secure smile with more solid implant-retained teeth commonly known as ‘teeth in a day.’
“Teeth in a day, which we have done for years now, is becoming a popular treatment request as people enjoy more freedom and flexibility,” Dr. Wolanski says.
Creating a comfortable patient experience
Remembering his own early experiences, Dr. Wolanski understands the nervousness some patients bring to the dentist, however techniques like sedation can help improve their comfort level.
“Our office’s ability to offer intravenous sedation for all dental procedures has made for a life-changing experience for some, and we are the only office in Nanaimo currently offering this,” he says.
Sharing care beyond Nanaimo
While Dr. Wolanski’s Lakeside Dental Clinic has welcomed patients from around the central Island for years, he and wife Ivka took their skills farther afield this past summer, joining a dental outreach group in Kenya that treated more than 900 children.
“I honestly feel we gained more than we gave and have great gratitude for the experience,” he says.