*This story originally appeared in The Budget’s Jan. 3, 2018 Local Edition
By Stacey Carmany
There have been numerous innovations in dentistry since Dr. David Sisson earned his degree in the field from Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry in 1983.
Today’s patients have more options than ever to restore or enhance their smiles with things like porcelain veneers, dental implants, and short-term and cosmetic braces, according to the 60-year-old dental surgeon who recently marked his 25th year of practice in the Walnut Creek area. “Those things didn’t really exist [when I was] in dental school,” he said.
In order to keep up with the rapid innovation and provide superior care to patients, Dr. Sisson spends many hours each year taking part in various training courses across the country studying advanced dental techniques and the latest dental technology. “I’ve been all over, to New York, California, Florida,” he shared. “It’s just kind of wherever it’s offered.”
As a result, Dr. Sisson is able to offer his patients at Walnut Creek Dentistry a full range of general, restorative and cosmetic dental care treatment options that can be incorporated into an individualized plan based on each patient’s unique goals and needs. “In short, we want to do what makes the patient happy and have them be in the driver’s seat so they can do as much or as little dentistry as they want,” Dr. Sisson explained. “It’s kind of like what works into their budget or lifestyle, so to speak.”
In addition to general dentistry and diagnostic procedures, the practice offers a range of restorative treatment options including natural-looking fillings and ceramic crowns, bridges, traditional and miniature dental implants, and dentures that can be fabricated and fitted the same day to eliminate the embarrassment of patients having to appear in public with no teeth.
A variety of cosmetic and orthodontic treatments are also offered and include porcelain veneers, in-office whitening, and both short-term and Invisalign braces.
Dr. Sisson noted that patients are always given a variety of treatment options, but also have the option to do nothing if they choose. He does advise against delaying treatment for infections and diseases, however, which can lead to other health complications down the line. “If it’s a disease situation, the disease is going to continue to worsen. The idea is to treat it earlier, and it’s going to be a lot less expensive and a lot less invasive,” he explained.
With infections, Dr. Sisson noted that the bacteria can actually travel throughout the body increasing the risk of stroke or heart attack or affect the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients. “The infection isn’t just limited to the mouth,” he shared. “It can affect the whole body.”
For individuals who may be postponing seeking treatment due to financial limitations or not having dental insurance coverage, the practice offers short-term interest-free financing for 6, 12, 18 or 24 months to those who qualify for the Care- Credit healthcare credit card. “That way, they can pay an affordable monthly amount,” Dr. Sisson explained.
Dr. Sisson noted that the most rewarding part of his work is simply seeing his patients become healthier and more confident. “I just like to see people in health, to see them healthy and to see them maybe restored or cosmetically enhanced, so to speak, to improve their smile,” he shared. “Those are the enjoyable parts of it.”
He noted that he has also fallen in love with the local area where he and his family have made their home for the last 25 years. “To me, it’s a friendly, small-town environment,” he shared. “It’s a nice place to raise a family.”
He and his wife, Jill, currently reside in Berlin with two of their three children who were all born and raised in the local area. Their youngest, 13-year-old Lexi, is an eighth-grader at Hiland, and their middle child, 18-year-old Johnny, is a senior who is planning to follow in his father’s footsteps to pursue a career in dentistry. Their oldest, 20-year-old Elizabeth, is currently away at college, studying International Relations at OSU.
The Sissons also share their home with two golden retrievers named Betty and Lucy and a cat named Sylvester as well as the occasional exchange student from the Rotary International Exchange program. To date, the family has hosted students from Peru, England, and France, and Dr. Sisson noted that an exchange student from Brazil will be coming to stay with the family next year.
Now with 25 years under his belt in the local area, Dr. Sisson hopes to remain in practice for many years to come and said the thought of retirement hasn’t even crossed his mind. “I enjoy work,” he said. “It’s good to relax, too, and vacation and that sort of thing, but I think it’s a good reason to get up in the morning. I think it keeps you young.”
When he’s not working, Dr. Sisson enjoys playing tennis, skiing, golfing and traveling.
Walnut Creek Dentistry is located at 2962 OH-39 in Millersburg. For more information about services or to schedule an appointment, call 330-893-3363. Office hours are Mondays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.