Interview with Robert Ferdowsmakan, MD, DMD

About Dr. Ferdowsmakan

Dr. Robert Ferdowsmakan Dr. Ferdowsmakan's Profile

DF: Tell us a little about yourself.

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: I grew up in Scottsdale, AZ where I attended Arizona State University for my bachelor's degree in biology. I then attended the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine at which time I became interested in oral and maxillofacial surgery. I enjoy hiking and camping. I like to spend time with my wife Noushin and our dog Maddie.

DF: Why did you initially go into dentistry? Did you always want to become an oral surgeon?

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: I became interested in dentistry after spending time with my uncle who practices dentistry in Milan, Italy. I spent several summers with him during my college years and quickly became interested in dentistry. I didn't know I wanted to be an oral surgeon until after I started dental school. I quickly became interested in oral surgery after exposure during the first semester of school.

DF: Tell us about the training required to be an oral surgeon

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: After undergraduate studies and dental school, I completed medical school and then an oral and maxillofacial surgery residency. I finished the medical school curriculum and completed the USMLE examinations. I then did a one year internship in general surgery with exposure to various surgical subspecialties including neurosurgery, plastic surgery, head and neck surgery, vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and general surgery. I then completed a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

DF: How would you describe your practice setting/atmosphere?

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: We strive to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for patients because of their already increased anxiety. Our scheduling allows us to see patients on time with very little wait.

DF: When most people hear "oral surgery" they think of wisdom teeth extractions. What are some of the other services that you provide?

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: We provide dental implant treatment in conjunction with the restorative dentist. We also treat patients with facial injuries although this is often done in the hospital setting. We offer surgical correction of malocclusions (orthognathic surgery). We treat patients with head and neck and oral lesions which may require biopsy and further definitive surgery. We perform cuspid exposures for orthodontic purposes.

DF: If there was one thing that you'd like the general public to know about oral surgery, what would it be?

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: Although oral surgery may sound scary to most people, the vast majority of patients relate that their experience was much better than they would have imagined.

DF: What dental problems do you face most often in your practice?

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: Impacted wisdom teeth and missing teeth requiring dental implants.

DF: Did you have your wisdom teeth removed? How was your experience and did you learn anything from it?

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: Yes, I had my wisdom teeth removed as a teenager. The experience was easy because I had general anesthesia and had no recollection of the procedure. The recovery was very uneventful.

DF: What is the most difficult part of your job?

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: I find performing surgery on very young children is the most difficult aspect of my job because of the child's and parents' emotions centered around the event.

DF: What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: I am extremely satisfied when a patient returns for a post-operative visit and reports that the experience was better than they expected it to be. Fortunately most patients find that the surgical procedure was not nearly as difficult as they had expected.

DF: What are characteristics that make for a great oral surgeon?

Dr. Ferdowsmakan: Besides the clinical and academic training that every clinician must have, I feel that the most important traits that an oral surgeon should possess are empathy and gentleness in their interactions with patients. Patients that come to see us are already extremely anxious about the anticipated experience. I find it very helpful to see them for the first visit in a relaxed manner and to answer questions and address any concerns or fears. I prefer to perform the surgical procedure on a future date so that the patient can have time to think about our pre-operative discussion and to make certain that our office is right for them.

Visit the Dentist of the Month Archive