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Prevention & Diagnostics
Your teeth are the window to the health of your body. Your mouth tells a story of your overall health to others. If you’re taking great care of your teeth and gums you’re probably taking good care of the rest of you! Our dental office strives to teach each patient gum disease management and cavity prevention methods. Only through prevention & proper diagnostics can you have a healthy smile for life!
Prevention and diagnostics are the two most important tools in a dentist’s arsenal. They reduce long-term costs by catching issues early when they are easy to treat!
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria. Left untreated decay can cause:
- Mouth sores
- Tender or bloody gums
- Bad breath
- Tooth loss
- Oral infections
Oral infections also can contribute to more serious ailments like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pneumonia. Which is why preventative dentistry is so important for overall health.
How Can I Avoid a Dental Emergency?
Because we cannot avoid all risk to our teeth in daily life, there are precautions we can take to eliminate some of the causes of dental emergencies.
5 Ways to Protect Your Pearly Whites from Injury
- Wear a mouthguard when participating in sports
- Wear a night guard if you grind your teeth
- Avoid chewing ice, hard candies, or popcorn kernels (these are good ways to crack a tooth)
- Always use scissors to open packages or cut things, NEVER use your teeth
- Do not use your teeth to open bottle caps
It’s a fact that regular dental appointments spot dental problems. Moreover, dental problems caught early on are easier to treat and more affordable.
When Should I See a Dentist? You should see a dentist if you have:
- Sensitive teeth
- Puffy gums
- Gums that bleed when you floss
- Crowns or fillings
- Bad breath
- Jaw pain or your jaw pops when you move it
- Difficulty swallowing
- Difficulty chewing
- A history of gum disease or tooth decay
- A medical condition
- Dry mouth
Also, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist if you:
- Don’t like the way your teeth or smile look
- Are pregnant
- Have pain or swelling in your mouth, face, or cheeks
- Smoke, use tobacco, vape, or use smokeless tobacco
- Are undergoing medical treatment that reduces your ability to fight infection (chemo, radiation, hormone replacement therapy, etc.)
- Have an uneven bite
- Have a spot or a sore in your mouth
- Haven’t been to the dentist in the last six months
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or conditions schedule an appointment with your Ann Arbor Smiles Dentist today. Also, let your doctor know of any medical or physical condition you’re experiencing so they can provide complete care.
Prevention and Diagnostic Services
Digital X-rays reduce radiation exposure by up to eighty-five percent. They also offer immediate images for viewing during your exam. X-rays allow us to detect early bone pathology, tooth decay, periodontal disease, as well as developmental changes in your mouth.
Diagnodent, a laser-assisted diagnostic tool used at Ann Arbor smiles, helps dentists to detect if the tooth has changed density. This small shift in density can occur in all parts of the tooth and can be invisible to the naked eye. Detecting these small lesions or holes early can reduce the need for large restorations and more expensive treatments.
Gum Disease Management
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among American adults. The best way to treat this is to do a deeper cleaning, called scaling and root planing, that sometimes requires anesthesia. Our hygienists will remove the bacteria and tartar (or calculus) so that your gums can start to heal. He or she may recommend an antibacterial medication, to help reverse the effects of this disease.
Regular hygiene treatments can help you maintain a lifetime of optimal oral health. Plaque buildup can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and/or periodontal disease. Our hygienists will gently remove plaque and calculus (build-up), check for periodontal health, and provide home-care tips. For your convenience, we offer prescription rinses, fluoride gels, and electric toothbrushes available for purchase.
Ann Arbor Smiles Dental Group was founded in 1981 and for 40 years has brought superior dental care to thousands of patients across southeast Michigan. With multiple doctors at three convenient locations, the practice provides nearly every dental service from routine care to specialized treatment plans. Ann Arbor Smiles continually invests in education, equipment, technology, and their team, to make sure patients have the best and most comprehensive dental care possible.
Meet our Doctors
- Dr. Dan Kennedy
- Dr. Christopher Marzonie
- Dr. Steve Gray
- Dr. Emily Kennedy Marlow
- Dr. Patrick DiDonato
- Dr. Susan Haddock
- Dr. Irene Zillich
- Dr. Daniela Garcia
- Dr. Alexander Marlow
- Dr. Liane Racelis
- Dr. Heather Hoffman
- Dr. Robert Ault
Dr. Daniel Kennedy, DDS is an Ann Arbor native who received his BA in History of Art Honors, and a minor in Zoology from the University of Michigan. Dr. Daniel Kennedy is also the Director of Dental Sleep Medicine at Apnea Alternatives. Dr. Kennedy is a member of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM). While working to complete a Masters degree in Physiology at Eastern Michigan University, he decided to follow his passion for helping people, aesthetics and science. Dr. Kennedy continued his studies at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, graduating in 1981. For thirty years his development of expertise in several specialties of dentistry including orthodontia, cosmetic dentistry, oral sleep medicine, endodontics, implants, computerized dentistry, conscious sedation and advanced restorative care has kept his excitement for dentistry and providing top patient care fresh. Dr. Kennedy and his wife, Nancy, support the work of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, love traveling to northern Michigan, and spending time with their four daughters. His many interests include working on intellectual and creative projects.
Dr. Christopher Marzonie, DDS is a Texas native who received his BSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1976. Graduating from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1981, he has been a partner in this practice since 1983. An impressive ability to successfully execute complex and detailed dental procedures makes Dr. Marzonie an outstanding clinician. He specializes in a stimulating mixture of orthodontics, restorative care, prostheses, periodontal surgery, oral sedation, extractions, and implant services. He and his wife, Sheryl, enjoy international travel, mission work in underserved countries, a quiet life in the country, and working within the local parish of Christ the King. He enjoys spending time and traveling with his three adult children and grandchildren when possible! He is an accomplished musician and long distance runner. Dr. Marzonie has even performed at the University of Michigan’s 37 Bell Carillon at Burton Memorial Tower.
Dr. Steven Gray, DDS is a Sterling Heights native who received his BSE in chemical engineering in 1998 from the University of Michigan. Dr. Gray graduated from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 2002, becoming a partner at Ann Arbor Smiles in 2005. With his primary focus of restorative dentistry, he expanded his practice to include comprehensive cosmetic work, computerized dentistry, endondontics, conscious sedation, dentures, and sleep medicine. His passion for helping others improve oral health and function as conservatively as possible makes him a top clinician. Dr. Gray brings a strong clinical science background to the practice as the most rigorously trained biological scientist and is a past researcher with Parke Davis, Pfizer and Esperion. He looks at his practice as an extension of his faith to bring healing and compassion to his fellow humankind. He enjoys mission work in Latin America and leadership in New Life Church, playing and coaching soccer, working on his family’s new home, and vacationing with his wife, Emily, and their four adorable children.
Dr. Emily Kennedy, DDS a native of Ann Arbor, graduated from the University of Michigan in 2007 with a concentration in the History of Art, and again in 2013 from the U of M School of Dentistry. Her dental interests include aligning teeth, prevention, education and empowerment with patients and the public, learning and sharing information about sleeping, airway patency, and nasal breathing–how that all connects to teeth and jaw development, and improving smiles and overall health. Her greatest professional joy is improving the lives of others by sharing all findings during an exam with patients so they feel supported, understood, and able to achieve their dental goals. She is a member of several professional organizations that encourage active learning and evidence-based-research to help her patients succeed. Spending time with her daughter, June (2), her husband (Dr. Alex Marlow–also a dentist here), and their two french bulldogs, Barry Sanders and Indiana Jones, is her favorite thing to do. Other interests include public health, civil rights, gardening, painting, cooking, and reading about food, art and flowers. Dr. Emily can’t wait to meet you; every person is welcome in her practice.
Dr. Patrick DiDonato
Originally born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Dr. Patrick DiDonato is excited to return and join the Ann Arbor Smiles team. Dentistry was a natural choice when he realized it combined his detailed craftsmanship, science, and his compassion for others.
He is a graduate of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry where he was proud to be the Co-Chairman of Victors for Veterans – an innovative program to provide free, comprehensive dentistry to veterans living below twice the poverty level in northern Michigan. One of his greatest role models is his late grandfather who was a navigator in World War II. Patrick was looking for an opportunity to give back his time in service of others and has multiple veterans in his family, so Victors for Veterans was a natural fit.
Dr. Patrick enjoys being able to help patients regain their oral function, health, and a confident smile. Within dentistry he takes particular interest in restorative dentistry, endodontics, oral surgery, and integrating the latest dental technology to provide his patients with the proper care they need, want, and deserve. He sees dentistry as an extension of his Christian faith to treat patients as he would want to be treated.
Prior to dental school, he graduated summa cum laude from Adrian College in 2013 with a B.A. in Biology, and a minor in Chemistry.
Inspired by St. Mother Teresa, his dental motto is: Do small things with great smiles! In his spare time, Dr. Patrick enjoys exercising, carpentry, making wine, archery, and spending time with his large family.
He is a member of the ADA (American Dental Association), MDA (Michigan Dental Association), and AGD (Academy of General Dentistry).
Dr. Susan Haddock has been providing excellent compassionate dental care for over 25 years in Ann Arbor. She is a Wolverine, receiving all her degrees from the U of M. These include her dental degree, a bachelor’s degree in botany and chemistry, and a masters degree in linguistics.
Dr. Haddock has been actively involved in organized dentistry her whole career. She is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), the Michigan Dental Association (MDA), and the Washtenaw District Dental Society (WDDS). She served on the board and is past President of the WDDS, was a delegate to the MDA for several terms, and is currently Co-Chair of the WDDS Education Committee.
Dr. Haddock is passionate about providing dentistry to the underserved. Her volunteer work includes serving as a dentist for the Mission of Mercy and the Washtenaw Children’s Dental Clinic. Dr. Haddock’s interests include gardening, hiking and music, and she and her husband enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren.
Dr. Irene Zillich
Along with Dr. Susan Haddock, we are also lucky to be gaining her daughter Dr. Irene Zillich. Dr. Zillich is a Graduate of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, having graduated Magna Cum Laude in Electrical Engineering from University of Michigan’s College of Electrical Engineering. She holds advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD residency) from the University of Florida, Jacksonville. Dr. Zillich will practicing with Dr. Haddock at our second location on West Stadium Boulevard.< /p>
Dr. Daniela Garcia received her dental degree in 2008 in her home town Caracas, Venezuela. She moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2009 to pursue further education in dental materials and advanced dental aesthetics. In 2012 Dr Garcia earned a postdoctoral training Master of Science from The University of Michigan School of Dentistry, and worked as a full time Clinical Assistant Professor from 2012 until 2018 at the department of Cariology Restorative Science and Endodontics with a clinical focus on both undergraduate and graduate students.
Having the opportunity to be a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan was an amazing experience, both in the didactic portion and at the faculty clinic. At the beginning of this year Dr Garcia decided she wanted to join Ann Arbor Smiles to pursue her dream of making an impact in her community and on her patients’ lives. At the same time she’s an Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor. She believes this way she can help more patients achieve their dental goals and to provide the adequate function and aesthetics they deserve combining the clinical and academic portion of dentistry.
Dr. Garcia has called Michigan home for the last 10 years where she enjoys spending time and having a healthy lifestyle with her family; husband Juan, son Santiago (4 y/o), daughter Anabella (2 y/o) and dog Gala. She loves to swim, practice yoga, run and spend time outside doing fun things with her family.
Dr. Garcia is a member of the ADA (American Dental Association), MDA (Michigan Dental Association) and Washtenaw Dental Society
Dr. Alexander Marlow is an Iowa native who is excited to join Ann Arbor Smiles and practice alongside his wife, Dr. Emily Kennedy Marlow, and father in law, Dr. Dan Kennedy. Dr. Marlow graduated in 2009 with his bachelor of Science in Cell and Developmental Biology and Minors in Chemistry and Sociology from the University of Iowa. In May 2013, he graduated with his Doctorate of Dental Medicine from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio and has been practicing in Southeast Michigan ever since. Dr. Marlow’s areas of expertise include CERECs, Endodontics, Extractions, Implants, Bone Grafting, and Veneers. He volunteers with Dentistry from the Heart and is a member of the American Dental Association. In his free time, Dr. Marlow is an avid Iowa Hawkeye football fan. He loves woodworking, as well as spending time with his lovely wife and his two dogs, Barry Sanders and Indiana Jones.
Dr. Liane Racelis is a born and raised Ann Arbor native. Prior to graduating from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Dr. Racelis completed her undergraduate studies in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan. As a former portrait photographer, Dr. Racelis’ past patients have said that she is in the “business of smiles”. Combining artistry, attention to detail, and fine-motor skills Dr. Racelis is able to work with patients to achieve their dental esthetic and functional goals all while ensuring patient comfort while in the dental chair. One of Dr. Racelis’ goals is to allow patients to feel heard and understood in addition to helping patients understand their own dental health.
Throughout Dr. Racelis’ years in Ann Arbor, she has been heavily involved with the Ann Arbor Rotary Club – an international community service organization that believes in “Service Above Self”. This is the phrase that Dr. Racelis brings to her practice and her patients. In addition to serving her local community, Dr. Racelis loves children ensuring that our youngest population can have a good experience while visiting the dentist!
During her free time, you can find Dr. Racelis cooking spicy food from Singapore, visiting the Michigan Sailing Club, and taking long walks in the Arb with her husband and her fluffy pooch, Ozzy!
Dr. Heather Hoffman , DDS, Pediatric Dentist, began her dental education at the University of North Carolina (UNC), where she earned a BS in Biology in 2010. She then earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in 2014 from the prestigious New York University (NYU). A kid at heart who has an innate ability to empathize with kids and anxious young adults, Dr. Hoffman pursued and earned her Pediatric Dentistry Certificate in 2016. She earned her diplomate status from the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry in 2017. She loves how sweet, strong, and appreciative children can be and enjoys helping kids get the best start for a lifetime of excellent oral health. Her focus is on preventing issues while creating a positive dental experience for those under her care.
Dr. Hoffman practiced for two years in Maryland while her husband Dr. Moe Hakim – also a dentist – completed his Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency in Washington DC. She spent another two years practicing in Boston as Moe completed a fellowship in TMJ arthroscopy at Harvard/MGH. Because Ann Abor is such a charming, family-friendly town, Dr. Hoffman and Dr. Hakim are thrilled to raise their growing family here. When she’s not in the office, Dr. Hoffman loves to paint as a hobby, enjoys date nights with Moe, traveling, working out, boating, hiking, and listening to live music.
Dr. Robert Ault , DDS, grew up in Lansing and earned his doctorate from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, but his dental journey began long before dental school. His experiences in orthodontics and in treatment for genetic tooth abnormalities fascinated Dr. Ault. He felt so much joy going through the process that made him happy with his smile. Dr. Ault loves the meticulous nature of dentistry and the pure art form of teeth.
While attending dental school, Dr. Ault fell in love with our community. He considers it a privilege to be part of the comradery, overall helpfulness, and support everyone has for each other. This love of our community and even his love of dentistry itself is ultimately because of the people. Dr. Ault finds that the ability to interact with his family of patients is the best part of his day. Helping you not only see, but also feel the benefits of a healthy, functional smile brings him great joy, but witnessing how happy it makes you feel is his greatest reward. Dr. Ault knows that most people don’t enjoy going to the dentist and his aim is to change that. He hopes to develop trusting relationships where you enjoy your visits and even look forward to them because you know how important they are to your overall health and the beauty of your smile.
In his free time Dr. Ault enjoys spending time with his wife Janet, who is also a dentist and is working towards her specialty certification in periodontics. Dr. Ault loves to spend time outdoors. Landscaping, mowing the lawn, fishing, and being outside helps him keep life in perspective. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, trail riding, or four wheeling.
© Ann Arbor Smiles Dental Group 2020