News & Events

At Beautiful Smiles, we believe communication is a great way to build strong relationships between our team and you, our patient. Visit this page frequently to learn more about Dr. Santiago’s charitable works, as well as gain information on the latest technology and personnel developments at our office.

Top Dentist

EXCITING NEWS!

Dr. Robin Santiago has been named to the Hartford Magazine 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Top Dentists™ list by a vote of her peers. Thank you to our patients for making this honor possible! Click here to read the letter from Top Dentists™ for 2017.

Why regular dental care is so vitally important in saving teeth, preserving food oral health and indeed good general health!

Study: External Factors Play Larger Role In Tooth Decay Than Genes.

Discover Magazine (9/13, Engelking) reports that in a study published in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, “researchers examined the role genes, the environment and an individual’s oral microbiome play in determining someone’s fate in the dentist’s chair,” finding “no evidence that bacteria associated with the onset of cavities were driven by genetic factors.” Rather, “bacteria associated with cavities, like Streptococcus mutans, were in higher abundance in the mouths of kids who consumed more sugar.” In addition, the researchers found that “as kids age, the microbes they inherit from mom and dad decrease, while microbes introduced through the environment increase.”

Newsweek (9/13, Dovey) reports that Dr. Chris Dupont, one of the researchers involved with the study, said, “What we are seeing here is that in general you do indeed inherit the microbes that make up your mouth from your parents.” Dr. Dupont added, “But it turned out that the microbes you inherit from your parents don’t generally cause cavities. Instead it’s more due to what you eat, your lifestyle and your diet.”

The Oral Health Topics on ADA.org offers additional information on genetics and oral health for dental professionals.

West Hartford dentists donate services to Holocaust survivors in need

WEST HARTFORD – When Lester Kramer was 11 years old, he and his family were taken from their home in Hungary and put on a train that would take them to the Strasshof concentration camp.

When SS guards began beating his mother and aunt, Lester tried to intervene and was hit in the mouth with the butt of a rifle, shattering his front teeth.

For years he wore a partial plate of false teeth to replace those he had lost as a child.

Read The Entire Article Here

Dr. Santiago is now a qualified Sleep Dentist!

This distinction, from the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM),  recognizes and verifies dentists who have a valid state dental license, liability coverage and at least 25 hours of recognized continuing education in dental sleep medicine provided by a non-profit organization or university within the last two years. Dr. Santiago joined the AADSM after a comprehensive qualification process. She has many years of experience in sleep dentistry and is very honored with this distinction.

Acid and Your Teeth

Acids found in food and liquids can have a harmful affect on your teeth. Each tooth has a hard protective layer called the enamel. When acids come in contact with the enamel, the acids can make it soft. When this happens repeatedly, your enamel can wear away and can never be restored naturally.

The chance of getting cavities increases for those whose teeth are regularly exposed to food with high acid contents. It is impossible to make a complete list, as acidic foods are found everywhere, but following are some of the more common acidic food and beverages: Beer, Beef, Soft drinks, Coffee, Fish, Lamb, Pasta, White Flour, Table Salt, Pork and White Bread. Even grazing on fruits and vegetables slowly throughout the day can expose your teeth to acid damage.

Bacteria in your mouth, which feeds on sugars, can also create acid. The best way to avoid acid damage is to avoid snacking continuously throughout the day. Rinsing and flossing, and chewing sugar free gum after eating during the day can be helpful. Brushing right after eating acidic foods though, can actually damage the teeth, because the enamel is soft from the acid. Nuts and dairy are also good acid balancing foods.

Are you at risk for dental decay?

New research and technology have shown us that your risk for getting cavities may be defined by some much different factors than we had once believed. You have likely been told for years to brush and floss and avoid sugar if you wanted to avoid cavities. We now know that it has much more to do with the chemistry of your mouth and in many cases, brushing and flossing alone has little to do with lowering your risk for decay.

Cavities are caused by a certain family of bacteria that produce high levels of acids. It is these acids that breakdown, or demineralize, the enamel of the teeth and lead to tooth decay. These bacteria thrive in an acid pH environment. There are many factors that may contribute to having an acidic pH in the mouth, such as lack of saliva, medications that cause dry mouth, acid reflux, frequently consuming acidic beverages, etc. What we do know, is that if this acid environment exists and you have this bacterial infection, you are at much greater risk for dental decay whether you brush and floss diligently or not.

The good news is that we now have technologies that allow us to test for these bacteria and reverse the acidic chemistry of the mouth, predictably lowering your risk of having a cavity at your next visit. Once the chemistry has been corrected and the mouth stabilized you can look forward to a lifetime free from decay, longer lasting restorations, and no risk of passing this infection on to your loved ones. Visit www.carifree.com for more information.

Dry Mouth

Do you have any of the following symptoms? A  constant sore throat, burning sensation, trouble speaking, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages? You might be suffering from Dry Mouth.

Dry mouth—also called xerostomia—results from an inadequate flow of saliva. It is not a disease, but a symptom of a medical disorder or a side effect of certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, pain killers, diuretics and many others.

Saliva is the mouth’s primary defense against tooth decay and maintains the health of the soft and hard tissues in the mouth. Saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth, offering first-line protection against microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.  Read full article here…http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/dry-mouth

Continuing Education – No Prep Veneers

Dr. Santiago attended another fantastic course with the New England Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry at the Straumann Institue in Andover , MA.  Dr. Dennis Wells presented a wealth of information about the techniques he has been developing on No Prep Veners over the last ten years. Together with his lab partners he has been able to create a system that allows us to use an additive technique to creating beautiful, harmonious and functional smiles in about 50% of cases. We reviewed the many factors that affect the ability to use this wonderful esthetic option as well as all the tecniques required to obtain the best possible outcome. I am very enthusiastic about the possibilities for our  patients.

Donated Dental Services

Dr. Santiago and her team have just completed the work on a case for Donated Dental Services (formerly the National Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped). Our office typically treats one-to-three pro bono cases per year for this cause.

For additional facts, please go to http://dentallifeline.org/connecticut/.

Volunteers Making a Difference!

Mission of Mercy West Hartford Dentist Santiago Help
The sixth Connecticut Mission of Mercy took place on June 7-8,2013 in Bridgeport. Over 1400 volunteers were on site to assist the over 200 dentists in providing free dental care for needy area residents. Over 1700 individuals received more than $1.3 million in donated dental services during the two-day event.

This two day clinic provides free dental care to the underserved and uninsured in Connecticut – those that would otherwise go without dental care. Oral health is inseparable from general health and can affect a person’s self-esteem, compromise their ability to work, attend school and lead a normal life. The Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach (CDFO) in collaboration with the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) held the state’s first Mission of Mercy project in 2008. Every year, the Connecticut Mission of Mercy project is held in a different location throughout the state.

“Anybody can be treated at the Mission of Mercy,” says Dr. Robin Santiago, a longtime dental coordinator of the event. “There are no questions asked and no eligibility to meet.”

The Connecticut Mission of Mercy (fondly known as CTMOM) will hold its seventh annual mission in the spring of 2014.  This amazing event is the culmination of months of planning and fundraising, with the goal of providing emergency dental care to citizens of our state who have difficulty paying for this care and who would otherwise go untreated. This four-day event – from set up of the 100+ chair mobile clinic to teardown – provides two days of care and involves over a thousand volunteers. Dr. Santiago is one of the heads of the restorative team (the group that completes all the cavity fillings for the Mission.) She and her team have participated in this project since its inception. For more information on this worthwhile event, please visit www.csda.com and click on the Mission of Mercy icon. Sponsorships and donations are also being accepted. Businesses and individuals interested in contributing can also get more information by calling Josephine Bicknell at (860)378-1800.

Caring for Your Children’s Teeth

Children’s oral health is an important component in our dental office. The prevention of dental disease in our youngest patients needs to be a priority if we are to positively impact the rising decay rate in this segment of our population. While decay rates have been decreasing in school-age children and adolescents, it is on the rise in preschoolers. Read the full article

Prevent Childhood Injuries on the Field with Simple Sports Safety Precautions

Play it Safe: Prevent Childhood Injuries on the Field with Simple Sports Safety Precautions

Experts offer critical advice on protecting against children’s dental and facial injuries

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (April 2, 2012) – April is National Facial Protection Month, and the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), and the Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD) are teaming up to remind parents, coaches and athletes to play it safe as they prepare to suit up for recreational and organized sports. Read the ful article

New England Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (NEACD )

A long time member of the Board of Directors, Dr. Santiago, held the position of President of the New England Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (NEACD) for the two-year term, 2010-2012.  She is now the Immediate Past-President. An affiliate of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the NEACD is proud to bring talented speakers to New England to further the knowledge and skills of its members.

iTero Digital Scanning

While in Israel in December 2010, Dr. Santiago was thrilled to be able to visit the Cadent company offices — the home of the iTero scanner and its amazing technology. Together with her husband, Rafael Santiago, a noted business lawyer and satisfied patient, and her parents (her father, Dr. Howard Mark is a retired oral surgeon and UCONN Dental School faculty member and her mother, Sheila Mark, is a retired dental hygienist) they toured the facility, learned how the scanners are put together, and saw the amount of wiring and hardware hidden in the camera head and in the machine body. Dr. Santiago was treated to a review of future developments and was interviewed and asked to provide input to assist in further developments.

The latest developments are the ability to scan for Invisalign® and certain implants that have clearly shown increased the accuracy of the aligner and implant fits for our patients’ benefit…very exciting!

Continuing Education

Once again Dr. Santiago and her team wrapped up the continuing education courses for the 2012-2013 year at the Annual Meeting of the CT State Dental Association (CSDA) in June.  Dr. Santiago moderated and attended several courses during the event as well chairing the annual Pierre Fauchard Luncheon. Our speaker for the event was Dr. Aditya Tadinada, from UCONN School of Dental Medicine. He spoke to us about the latest developments in the area of cone-beam radiology, very cutting edge and exciting!  Every Beautiful Smiles team member attended courses and we all had a wonderful time as well as learning a great deal.

Dr. Santiago attended the  American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) Meeting in Seattle in May. This fantastic 4 day meeting is full of the most amazing continuing education and affords her a chance to meet and learn with friends and colleagues from all over the world.

Shaleah, our wonderful dental assistant, has completed her requirements for dental hygiene and will be leaving us in August to start dental hygiene school. Dr. Santiago is proud to have inspired such desire and enthusiasm in this talented and bright young woman. Two of our team members have gone on to become dentists, and another assistant became a dental hygienist. We love dentistry and all it has to offer.

Mentorship

Winter is a popular time for mentor visits, and in February, Dr. Santiago, along with Dr. Marty Zase and Dr. Sarita Arteaga (faculty supervisor of the dental students group) hosted over 35 excited young dental students – sharing dinner, answering questions, explaining some of the ins and outs of a dental lasers from both the business and technical sides, as well as demonstrating dental procedures. We have discovered that we learn from our students as well, and we grow as we teach.

We are proud to have participated in the mentorship program at UCONN since its inception about 15 years ago. We also mentor college students interested in dental school as well. Our office is a site for externship rotations for the dental assisting program at Porter and Chester.

On May 23, Dr. Santiago presented a lunch and learn lecture on Invisalign for general dentists to the dental students at UCONN. It is a privilege and delight to work with the dental students.

Jewish Ledger

West Hartford CT Cosmetic Dentist Dr Santiago Beautiful Smiles Jewish Ledger

ASK DR. SANTIAGO!
JUNE 2012

The Art of Smile Design
Several years ago, when makeover shows first started appearing on televi- sion, you may have noticed an increasing interest in cosmetic dentistry. Den- tists certainly did! Hair, make-up, and clothing aside, there is simply nothing as powerful or as emotionally uplifting as a beautiful smile. You may be considering a smile enhancement of your own, in hopes of looking more healthy and youthful. But, what you may not know is that it takes an artistic touch to create a pleasing, natural-looking smile. Read the full article
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Web Wire

West Hartford Dentist Santiago Affordable webwire_logo

Maintaining Beautiful Smiles within a Common Man’s Budget Becomes Possible, Thanks to Popular West Hartford Dentist Dr. Robin Santiago.

WEBWIRE – Monday, February 04, 2013

Beautiful Smiles, a popular dental office owned and managed by Robin Santiago DMD, has now emerged as the top destination in West Hartford for people looking for the most advanced restorative and cosmetic services within an affordable price. This proficient West Hartford dentist regularly takes part in many charitable community activities. She had also been the President of the New England Association of Cosmetic Dentistry is presently a mentor with the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine.

West Hartford, CT, 30th January 2013

World class dental care is now available within a common man’s budget in West Hartford. Top West Hartford dentist Dr. Robin Santiago and his advanced procedures have been the talk of the town in this region since a long time. Her clinic Beautiful Smiles offers a wide range of dental technologies, restorative services, and cosmetic procedures. In addition to her proficiency in all streams of advanced dentistry, Dr. Santiago is highly respected for her caring nature and participation in several charitable activities to help patients who are not able to receive proper oral care due to financial constraints. Give Back a Smile, Connecticut Mission of Mercy, Smiles for Life, and Donated Dental Services are just some of such charitable causes.

In this tough economic scenario, it is often difficult to afford proper oral care. Making things worse, only a part of dental treatments are covered with insurance policies. However, the patients of Beautiful Smiles never worry about affordability because their favorite West Hartford dentist offers them a wide array of payment options for them. This includes zero interest monthly payment schemes and extended payment plans. Most importantly, all expenses are communicated before hands to all patients of the clinic.

All the dental technologies practiced at Beautiful Smiles are efficient, comfortable, and minimally invasive. The advanced technologies available here can’t be matched by any other clinic in this region and includes Biolase Laser Technology, Digital Radiographs, Intra Oral Camera, VELscope, IV Sedation dentistry, iTero digital scanner, and much more. The team led by Dr. Santiago has a remarkable track record in handling restorative services like crowns, inlays/onlays, bridges, implants, and root canal therapy. Cosmetic services available in the clinic include tooth whitening, bonding, invisalign, gum contouring, veneers, crowns, tooth colored fillings, etc.

The efficient and compassionate service from the most trusted West Hartford dentist is highly sought after in this region. Describing his experience in Beautiful Smiles, one of the patients says, “I really feel like family every time I go to the office. The relaxing waiting room to the smiling and friendly faces I see. I feel right at home. I wouldn’t hesitate to refer anyone. Thank you again for your friendly service. God Bless”.

West Hartford Cosmetic Dentist Dr Santiago MS Bike RideOn September 8th, Dr. Santiago rode 25 miles to support the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “I joined this worthy cause to raise money to find a cure for MS”, says Dr. Santiago. “I do this to honor the memory of two dear friends who succumbed to this disease and in honor of several other friends and patients and in the hope that a cure will soon be a reality.”