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Practitioner Breaks New Ground with Outside-In, Inside-Out Approach

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Frank DiMauro, D.M.D., is taking his dentistry to a higher level. By being able to understand the relationship dentistry has to the face, and conversely, the relationship the face has to dentistry, he's enriching patients' treatment plans for their entire oral and facial health.

Practitioner Breaks New Ground with Outside-In, Inside-Out Approach

Dr. Frank DiMauro's vision combines art with the science and clinical side of dentistry.

Frank DiMauro, D.M.D. and lover of art and photography, approaches dentistry as an art. his love of photography and art. But that career path almost didn’t happen.

“I was originally going to be vet,” says DiMauro, recalling how, as a child, he had helped nurse his sick puppy back to health. That experience prompted him to work for a veterinarian for about three years. What he saw did not appeal to him.

“There’s a lot of death in veterinary,” he says. “That line of medicine didn’t appeal to me.”

And so, his direction changed. His neighbors were dentists, and between spending time with them as a patient and as an assistant, he took a liking to the field.

Today, in his Middleton, Massachusetts-based practice, DiMauro is changing the face of dentistry through an innovative and creative method of treatment planning.

OUTSIDE-IN, INSIDE-OUT

After opening his first practice in 1992, DiMauro’s interest was piqued when he discovered a dental lab doing interesting implant cases down the hall from his office. His thirst for knowledge took him on a journey that included attending seminars given by noted dental professionals including Peter Dawson, D.D.S., Mark Piper, M.D., D.M.D., and Jack Turbyfill, D.D.S. He also attended The Pankey Institute and The Spear Education Institute.

DiMauro liked what he saw.

“Most of dentistry is approached on a technical basis,” he explains. “I had more of an artistic background, and [Dr. Frank Spear] approaches dentistry from an artistic perspective. He also breaks down the aesthetic approach into sections, so it’s mechanical as well.”

Spear’s facially generated treatment planning incorporates a patient’s entire face. DiMauro used that system to train and study for what he calls the inside-out approach, taking the patient’s bone structure, muscles and skin into consideration.

“Now you’ve nailed the whole person,” DiMauro says. “You see how everything is related.”

DiMauro believes that being able to understand the influence dentistry has to the face, and the influence the face has to dentistry, enriches the treatment plan. Some people, he says, have crooked teeth and it may not bother them. But DiMauro trained for a higher level of cosmetics, and is now looking to attract older patients who are interested fixing their teeth, an undertaking he believes is the future of dentistry.

“The main thing that attracts me to dentistry is the artistic component — it’s another medium,” DiMauro says. “I’ve always had that artistic ability to see what I want to do and how to do it. You need to have a high level of attention to detail.”

LOVE OF PHOTOGRAPHY

DiMauro began doing photography at age 17 when he obtained his first Pentax camera. His work is displayed in his dental practice, and he won the People’s Choice Award in photography and sculpting in 2005 from the Woburn Guild of Artist’s art show. He also engages in stain glass and pottery, but says he likes photography the best — and with good reason.

“You can look at my painting and say you don’t like it,” he says. “And there are plenty of reasons not to like it. But with my photos, I don’t care if you like them or not, I know they’re good. I feel like I can hold my own.”

But photography also plays a huge role in DiMauro’s practice and approach. He says that even when doing Botox and fillers, he stresses the initial exam and pictures so that he and the patient don’t lose track of the patient’s face.

“That’s why it’s so important to have pictures, to constantly see where we’re losing ground and gaining ground,” DiMauro says. “We don’t want to create a different person. We want to stay on track of who you are.”

GIVING BACK

DiMauro is also an active volunteer, and his photography enables him to contribute significantly to Smile Train, an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate.

Each month he holds a free raffle for patients with one of his pictures, then donates $100 toward Smile Train. He also makes up greeting cards adorned with his photos and sells them to patients, all of which goes toward Smile Train.

DiMauro has also been active with the Woburn Host Lions since 1999. The local service group is focused on humanitarian causes and recognized for its service to the blind and visually impaired. Among other things, DiMauro recently organized a “beep ball” tournament for the blind.

“There’s a blind softball team and we help fund them,” he says. “They become members of our club. That way, they’re not just an anonymous society that we’re raising money for. I want to meet the people that we help. And over time, they’re just like one of the guys.”

Since not everyone who participates is totally blind, everyone wears a blindfold to level the playing field. The ball makes a beeping sound, and the pitcher actually tries to hit the batter’s bat.

“It’s a hard game to play,” DiMauro says. “But it’s amazing how well they play it.”

His efforts have earned him several awards, including the 2015 Melvin Jones Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2014 Charles Kostio award for his fundraising raffles and projects.

DiMauro says it’s all part of giving people the choice they never had.

“When they can see their smile, or see their face the way they want it, you know, that’s the gratitude you get.”

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