Dr. Neal Patel
Dr. Neal Patel, DDS, who received both his Bachelor’s in molecular genetics and his DDS from The Ohio State University, combined his lifelong passions for medical science, computer technology and the visual arts, and emerged as a revolutionary force in contemporary dentistry. While implementing cutting edge technology in his own private practice—the Powell, Ohio-based, aptly named Infinite Smiles, launched in 2008—he also travels the world educating thousands of dentists around the globe on integrating two exciting, fast growing technologies.
Dr. Patel is one of only a handful of dentists in the U.S. trained on 3D cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), as well as its application with CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics). These technologies together allow Dr. Patel to produce a 3D model of the patient so he can simulate and perfect the dentistry on a virtual model first, and then transfer it to the patient for treatment. The software and machine uses CAD/CAM (Computer Assisted Design/Computer Assisted Manufacturing) to design a tooth (crown) and mill it in a single visit, so teeth can be restored within one patient appointment, rather than multiple appointments required with earlier techniques.
“Both systems work great independently but a magical thing happens when they communicate with each other. The end result is absolute precision. We can deliver results within a fraction of a hair, or 100 microns of accuracy (100 microns is one tenth of a millimeter). We still use our hands, of course, but we are guided now by the computer.”
Dr. Patel travels extensively in the U.S., Canada and Europe and has even gone to Australia to train clinicians on how to use the equipment.
Even before launching Infinite Smiles, Dr. Patel was active as a consultant, educating surgeons in the field of 3D imaging, computer generated implant surgery and the art of stereolithography in dental applications. His road to becoming known for establishing many of the techniques and protocols for digital implantology began with his prosthodontic fellowship at Ohio State; he was trained under world-renowned prosthodontist Dr. Edwin McGlumphy. He later trained in Como, Italy, under Dr. Lorenzo Vanini, a worldwide authority on aesthetic and neuromuscular dentistry. There he participated in a hands-on scientific education program that focused on the conservative restoration of anterior (front) teeth.
“I still consider dentistry my hobby, because I am so passionate about it,” he says. “I choose to continue to do what I love and feel I am very fortunate that I’ve found something in life that is truly a passion for me and that has allowed me to make a living. I ’m dedicated to my practice.”
“At Infinite Smiles,” Dr. Patel adds, “we’re working with a full palette. Our name came from the fact that we are not limited by anything. For us, Infinite Smiles lead to endless possibilities.”