On the Scene with Hawaii dental surgeon David Haynes
Dr. David Haynes is a member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He has been practicing in Hawaii since 1997.
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Dental surgeon David Haynes grew up in New Jersey, went to college at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and went from there to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey where he received his dental degree in 1992. He completed a four-year residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C., in 1996, and then traveled west until he settled in Hawaii.
Dr. Haynes, 53, is a member of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. He has been practicing in Hawaii since 1997.
What you do sounds like a combination of what we lay people think of “things dentists do” and “things doctors do.” Where does it fit?
The profession itself straddles dentistry and medicine. I would guess that about a third of the oral surgeons who are practicing do have both degrees but that’s not a requirement. Traditionally you go through four years of dental school and then you do a residency for four years and 12 months of services rotations in medical fields with a (medical doctor).
What is it about oral and maxillofacial surgery that interested you?
I like the broad scope of treatments. We do (dental) implants, we also do trauma, pathology, benign tumors and cysts, as well as repair cleft lips and pallets in young kids. I also like the idea that you can do some major services for a patient that really helps them out and makes an impact in their lives that way.
What are some examples?
If someone has been injured — a broken jaw in an accident or an assault, and, since I was trained in D.C. I saw a lot of gunshot wounds to the jaw — we can repair their jaw and realign their teeth so they get their bite back, and do things that are cosmetic as well as functional. With other people, who have been living with dentures, or their teeth are failing, we can put in (dental) implants and rebuild their smile.
When did dental implants become a practical alternative to dentures?
In the mid-’70s (Per-Ingvar) Branemark, a Swedish M.D., discovered that bone just will grab on to titanium and bond to it in a way it doesn’t do with any other material. He saw the application for dental implants, and so in 2019 implants are the preferred treatment for missing teeth.
How does this work in practice?
There was a woman in her late 60s or early 70s. She’d had lower dentures for a long time and the bone in her lower jaw had resorbed until it was almost flat. The nerves that normally come through lower down by your chin were now coming through near the top and so every time she wore dentures she had a lot of pain. We put four implants in her lower jaw with a titanium bar in the middle so she had teeth that didn’t have to come in and out, and she was able to chew without pain.
Unrelated to implants, but a general dentistry question — fluoridated water, good or bad?
It’s good. There’s not really any downside that we’ve seen in the 50 or 60 years that we’ve been watching fluoridated water.
What do you like to do outside your practice?
I’m active in my church. I go running two or three times a week. This spring for the first time I did the Great Aloha Run, and since then I’ve been running consistently more. The funny thing is that I’ve lived in Hawaii 21 years but I still like to go skiing in the winter when I get the chance.