By Becky Wiese
Try saying “Doran, Capodice, Efaw and Ocheltree Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons” five times fast — it’s quite a mouthful! Despite its tongue-twister qualities, the name represents a longtime, go-to dental specialty group that specializes in surgeries of the mouth (oral), jaw, and face (maxillofacial), including (oddly enough) cosmetic surgery.
This group of practitioners has been a staple in Central Illinois for 24 years, long enough to have performed dental extractions, implant placements, bone grafting procedures, and other dental surgeries for multiple generations. “Oh, definitely,” says Dr. Jack Capodice, one of the surgeons. “I pulled a teenager’s tooth today and have to perform a similar extraction on his grandfather later this week.”
Having multiple members in a family, whether siblings or generations, as patients shows that not only has the practice served many people over a long time, but also that people choose to return when dental surgical issues arise. “We don’t necessarily see people on a regular basis like a general practice dentist who sees patients once or twice a year, but we do see repeat customers, family members, and generations of the same family over time,” Capodice explains. Over the last two decades, it’s safe to say that more than 100,000 individuals have been treated at Doran, Capodice, Efaw, and Ocheltree’s office.
The reason people come back is because, Capodice believes, the doctors and staff at Doran, Capodice, Efaw, and Ocheltree have a similar philosophy about patient care. They treat people how they would want to be treated, and when something doesn’t turn out as planned, they do everything they can to make it right, taking into consideration the human body is fickle and does not always behave as desired or expected.
“We’re all from here, so our attitude about treating patients is that they are friends and neighbors. The person you’re helping today might be driving your kid’s school bus tomorrow — we want to do everything we can to give them a positive experience and outcome.”
The Practice’s History
Dr. Steve Doran is a Bloomington-Normal native who practiced in West Virginia for four years after completing his training. He and his wife wanted to come back “home,” however, so in July 1990, he opened a practice “from scratch” — meaning he did not partner with an established oral surgeon. Things were going well enough that 18 months later, Dr. Capodice joined the practice, also returning home to Bloomington.
The practice continued to thrive, and six years later, Dr. David Efaw returned to the area and joined Doran and Capodice. Dr. Efaw left for a 15-month fellowship in facial and cosmetic surgery in Seattle, and then came back to practice in Bloomington-Normal. Even the
“newest” member of the team, Dr. Tom Ocheltree, Jr., is from McLean County and had a desire to return to the community to practice.
“It’s unusual, really, since we did not know each other prior to joining the practice. We all were born and raised in central Illinois, went to local high schools, and attended Midwestern undergraduate and dental schools,” says Capodice. “I’m sure it’s rare that a specialty practice has four docs from the same area.” With the stable economic conditions, good mix of employers, and solid Midwestern values, it wasn’t a tough sell to have them come back. “We all felt like this was ‘home’ and wanted to come back to practice and raise our families.”
The depth of commitment to Central Illinois (the main office is in Bloomington; satellite offices are located in Lincoln and Watseka, with an office in Morton set to open soon) goes above and beyond simply coming back “home” to practice. In addition to serving patients in their office, the doctors, along with other volunteers from the McLean County Dental Society, have offered, for more than 16 years, a free extraction clinic twice a year for patients who cannot pay or do not have dental insurance, donating more than $1.5 million in dental care over that time.
Both Dr. Doran and Dr. Capodice have served on the John Scott Health Services board, and the practice won the McLean County Dental Health Award for providing services and benefits of dental care to the residents of McLean County. They have also held various officer positions in the McLean County Dental Society and Illinois State Dental Society. Add to this their board certifications, membership in professional organizations, and commitment to continuing education, and it’s easy to see that they are highly qualified and deeply committed to providing patients with the highest quality of care possible.
The Original Office-Based Surgery
Oral and maxillofacial surgery as a field of dental medicine has some unique qualities. The recent trend of office-based surgery and surgicenters, basically the idea of performing surgery somewhere other than a hospital setting, has long been the status quo for oral surgeons. “We have always done office-based surgery,” explains Dr. Capodice.
In addition, oral and maxillofacial surgery requires extensive training — the longest, according to Dr. Capodice, of any other dental specialty. “It takes another 4–6 years of training after dental school, and includes rotations in anesthesia, general surgery, internal medicine — along with options for additional training in emergency medicine; ear, nose, and throat; and neurosurgery. We spend as much or more time training for our specialty as general dentists do in dental school.”
Another interesting fact about oral and maxillofacial surgeons: They also do a fair amount of cosmetic surgery. Historically, oral and maxillofacial surgeons were one of the four surgical specialties represented in the MASH units during the Korean War. “Between the general surgeons, neurological surgeons, urologists, and oral and maxillofacial surgeons, they could cover about any acute injury,” Capodice explains.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons became experts in treating facial trauma, and cosmetic surgery became a natural extension of that experience. Although they don’t advertise their expertise in cosmetic surgery, they can and do perform procedures such as eyelifts, brow lifts, and botox injections. More often, cosmetic surgeries are performed due to accidents such as fractured eye sockets, broken cheekbones and noses, and upper and lower jaw damage. “We do mostly trauma reconstruction, but it is within the scope of our training to do other cosmetic surgeries,” says Capodice.
The Scope of the Practice
As with most fields of medicine, technology has helped the doctors become more efficient and effective in treating patients and helping them recover. For example, the Cone Beam 3-D Scanner is a miniature CAT scan that provides a detailed, 3-D view of half of a patient’s jaw at a time. This enables the doctor to see a detailed view of the jaw in situations such as extracting an impacted wisdom tooth that lies close to a nerve or when placing implants.
Other advances include BMP (bone morphogenetic protein), a human-derived signal protein that stimulates new bone growth for procedures that involve bone grafting or reconstruction of a jaw; and using platelet rich plasma, a procedure which involves harvesting a patient’s own platelets and placing it on the surgical area to stimulate faster healing after surgery and produce better bone grafting results.
The vast majority of the procedures done by the surgeons at Doran, Capodice, Efaw, and Ocheltree include dental extractions (simple and complex), implant placement, and bone grafting procedures. Because they do so many of these procedures, and because of their extensive training and experience, they strongly encourage patients who may be facing oral surgery to take the time to know the background, history, training, and experience of the person they are trusting to perform any kind of oral surgery.
“It’s fair for a patient to ask these types of questions — for example, who will be available for any questions or complications that may arise after surgery? Is this person qualified to handle complications? Does this person know about the patient’s health history? Is the person board certified in this specialty?” says Dr. Capodice.
The answer to these questions for a patient at Doran, Capodice, Efaw, and Ocheltree is yes. Their number one goal is quality patient care and safety, and success is defined as leaving things better than you found them. The doctors and staff feel a strong sense of responsibility to their patients and the community — after all, this is home for them as well.
Drs. Doran, Capodice, Efaw, and Ocheltree provide a full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery with expertise ranging from wisdom tooth removal and dental implants to bone grafting procedures and corrective jaw surgery. They can also perform facial cosmetic surgery.
For more information, you may call 309-663-2526 or visit them online at www.dceooms.com. Their office is located at 109 N. Regency Dr. in Bloomington with satellite offices in Watseka and Lincoln.
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