The first thing that most people notice about a person is their smile. While it’s been said that one’s eyes are the windows to their soul, the smile is equally as important. It is a measure of a person’s health and a glimpse of their personality. It was certainly the first thing I noticed when I met Dr. Elyassi. He has a sincere, honest smile. Healthy teeth are a marker of a healthy life!
In 2002, Dr. Elyassi was in the process of creating his dream dental practice in Los Angeles: Wilshire Smile Studio. The Wilshire district is a very diverse community. It houses a unique mix of museums, restaurants, and residences. His office, on 6200 Wilshire Blvd. Dr, is just down the street from LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) where thousands of locals and tourists alike, visit and stand in awe of the impressive art collections and wonders of nature in the La Brea Tar pits. At Wilshire Smile Studio, the art lies in customized dentistry and creating healthy smiles for their patients. The practice is on the sixteenth floor, overlooking the north side of the Beverly Hills, Hollywood Hills and of course, the famous Hollywood Sign. On the west side, views of Los Angeles and the beautiful sunsets over the Pacific Ocean are framed by the large operatory room windows. This makes going to the dentist a less stressful experience.
Dr. Elyassi was born in Tehran, Iran and has four siblings. His father, was a major exporter of dry fruit, and instilled in Dr. Elyassi, the value of being dedicated to his work. While growing up his childhood was interrupted by civil unrest and the Iranian revolution, which caused his family to flee the country they loved and was home for many generations prior. “It was a bad time, they were bombing my country and at the same time with the new regime, it was very difficult to live there because, as Jewish Persians, we were a minority,” he recalls with sorrow in his eyes. “My parents had no other choice than to leave Iran.”
When I ask what influenced his decision to become a dentist he said, “I have family members that are dentists. I always thought of dentistry as a great health profession and the perfect combination of science and art — two areas that are both challenging and fulfilling.” As a kid, he loved soccer and I always dreamed of becoming a superstar soccer player, but now says, “dentistry has surpassed my expectations of what I dreamt my life would be like when I was a child struggling in a war ridden country.”
Dr. Elyassi worked arduously to learn English and continue his education. He was accepted to the prestigious University of Southern California’s School of Dentistry and graduated in 1997. His Wilshire Smile Studio is celebrating its 21st anniversary since its inauguration. At Wilshire Smile Studio, not only are patients greeted by the amazing views of the hills, but by the warm, caring staff who are there to make sure that patients are comfortable and relaxed before their dental procedures.
When asked about his team, “Dr. E” (as his team calls him) replied with pride, “I have an amazing team, some of whom have been with me since WIlshire Smile Studio started. I have a diverse team of dentists, assistants, and staff that really reflect the talent and diversity that Los Angeles has to offer.” Together, the team is fluent in eight languages. Dr. Elyassi is fluent in four himself (Farsi, Hebrew, English, and the Ancient Aramaic) and is now working on learning a fifth, Spanish.
Wilshire Smile Studio has added specialties that will make the process of the treatment complete. “Delivering the highest quality of care is our top priority”. Elyassi added that patients are able to have modern general dentistry and have in office referrals to several specialties including oral surgery and periodontics. Elyassi said: “Having specialists in the practice helps us coordinate the best treatment plan and we are all on the same page about keeping up with the latest technology and advances in dental materials to deliver the best possible care. Our exceptional team offers anything from hygiene visits, to cosmetic dentistry, dental Implants, laser periodontal surgery, sleep apnea, and oral surgery.”
Before entering the treatment rooms, water or coffee is offered to patients and their visitors to help them settle down to read magazines, listen to music just to steady their nerves and anxiety. The smell of scented candles and fresh flowers add to the amazing ambiance of the office. Once you are seated in the treatment rooms, named after the view they oversee, the patient will have a choice between watching a movie on the television mounted at their eye level, listening to podcasts or music to take their attention away from whatever procedure they are about to have. Patient safety and comfort is always a priority. Patient education is very helpful in prevention and maintenance of the oral health of the patient.
Dr. Elyassi and staff pride themselves in learning new health alerts and techniques to make sure that the entire office is well prepared for any issues that arise in the community. Elyassi said: “Every Room is equipped with an intra oral camera which helps us educate our patients.” Dental treatment can be very complex, we use the images of the patients’ scans to help explain to the patient was the status of their oral health is. “Often as dentists, we show patients an x-ray image to explain the need of a cavity filling, but we forget that the patient may not have the same level of understanding of radiographs that we do. With intraoral scanning, it’s possible to show the pictures of the patient’s teeth and gums to help us educate our patients.”
Patient health also involves their habits at home. While many people in the country suffer from obstructive sleep apnea and loud snoring but cannot tolerate the CPAP masks while they sleep, depriving both themselves and possibly their sleeping partner from getting the restful sleep they long for. Losing sleep and struggling to breathe all night affects the health of the entire body. The health of the heart, lungs, ears, nose and throat are vital. Wilshire Smile Studio offers the latest technical advance in addressing these issues.
The appliance that his team offers fits inside the mouth like a night guard. The treatment begins with a sleep study and treatment plan for the candidate for the appliance. This FDA approved appliance is more comfortable and is less invasive than other techniques. Addressing sleep apnea and snoring may one day save your life. He brought to my attention an interesting fact: “Snoring is one of the leading causes for divorce. With fabricating a custom fitted oral appliance, we make sure our patients and their partners can rest well at night.”
When a dentist cares about his patients, it shows in the result of his dentistry. A confident smile has the power to change a person’s life. His team has applied their expertise to deliver some of the most beautiful smiles in Hollywood. From matching the color of a crown to the rest of the existing teeth to straighten crowded teeth, requires skill and patience. Patients really appreciate the time that the team at Wilshire Smile takes to answer any questions they have, in the language that the patient is most comfortable in. The goal is to have a healthy and beautiful smile. This can only be achieved by foreseeing the changes in the mouth and the habit of the patient. “Some patients want a natural smile, some want sparkling white teeth; Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”, Elyassi added: “We listen carefully to our patients and their goal for the treatment.”
When it comes to technology, Wilshire Smile Studio takes the prize. They offer digital X-rays, intraoral scanning with instant digital 3D models of the entire mouth, CT scans and more. The proper tools are needed in order to make an informed diagnosis. When necessary, our CT scans give a 3-D image that is especially important for implants and extractions. Wilshire Smile Studio is ready to take care of your oral health. Dr. Elyassi and his team make sure every patient has the best experience. They are ready to treat Very Important Patients like you, and me.
Igal Elyassi, DDS
Wilshire Smile Studio Dental Group
6200 Wilshire Blvd Suite 1609
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (323) DEN-TIST (336-8478)
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