By Deborah Bostock-Kelley
Dr. Lyndsay McCaslin loves helping people.
As a college undergrad in 1998, she came to New Port Richey to train under the tutelage of her uncle, Dr. Shelton, Dr. Thompson, and Dr. VonSick. There she found her calling of attending dental school.
A cum laude graduate of the University of Kentucky, Dr. McCaslin started her first practice within Dr. Shelton’s.
“Dentistry is an artistic and very social profession. Helping people, changing smiles and people’s lives are the main reasons I chose this profession,” says Dr. McCaslin.
In 2011, she founded Expressions Family and Cosmetic Dentistry with only two employees. Six years later, the practice’s popularity outgrew its initial location, forcing them to move to a more prominent location by Eastlake High School.
“The community has truly blessed us. We were surprised yet extremely pleased to have grown so much in such a short amount of time. The hometown atmosphere is one of the reasons why I love practicing here.”
Her dental office on Ridgeline Blvd has expanded to thirteen employees, and in 2018 they added Dr. Goodwin as an associate dentist.
“Dr. Goodwin has been a blessing and incredible asset to our office. She does the same dentistry but focuses on dental implants, while I concentrate on sleep apnea and airway obstruction dentistry. I work Monday through Thursday, and she works Tuesday through Friday. Having an associate dentist allows us to keep our practice open longer to serve our patients better.”
Sleep apnea is a severe sleep disorder when your regular breathing is interrupted during sleep. Dr. McCaslin’s interest in sleep apnea began while training at her uncle’s practice.
“Dr. VonSick was at the forefront of bringing dental and sleep apnea medicine together, and he originally got me interested in this field. He talked to me about it as a mentor,” she said. “I went through numerous hours of continuing education and learned how to help patients by not just concentrating on their teeth, but helping them breathe better, allowing them to live healthier lives.”
Dr. McCaslin consults patients about symptoms like high blood pressure, headaches, shortness of breath, diabetes, depression, daytime sleepiness, acid reflux, snoring, and inability to lose weight. She looks at tonsils and adenoids and monitors airway obstruction issues.
“A lot of things in our bodies can be affected if we don’t get enough rejuvenation sleep. A dental device is a gold standard for mild to moderate sleep apnea. For severe sleep apnea, a CPAP is recommended. Unfortunately, there’s only a 45% compliance with the CPAP machine, so something is better than nothing for those who don’t want to wear one. The device we use provides an alternative.”
Instead of a CPAP, Dr. McCaslin opens the airway with a “bite guard.”
“It is an upper and lower device that brings the lower jaw slightly forward to open up the back of the throat, the airway, so people can breathe better while sleeping. As dentists, there are certain things we look at for possible airway obstruction when doing our initial patient’s exams or re-care routine evaluations.”
The device is custom-fabricated and fitted for each patient. Some medical insurance carriers and Medicare cover oral appliances or have a benefit for the treatment of sleep apnea.
“Basically, in our daily practice, I put my dentistry hat on when talking about teeth and my medical hat on when talking about the airway.”
While the American Dental Association recommends a bi-annual visit to the dentist, Expressions Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offer individualized plans of treatment, completely customized to the patient.
“The frequency of visits usually depends on people’s genetics and bacteria in the mouth. We always set up our patients depending on their individual oral health plan.”
Not only do they provide cosmetic dental offerings of teeth cleaning, bridges, fillings, dentures, gum therapy, teeth whitening, and Invisalign invisible braces, but Dr. McCaslin and her team go a step beyond. They offer state-of-the-art, non-invasive technology for oral cancer screenings at low prices. Being a primarily digital office, they don’t provide temporary crowns but can make new crowns within two hours.
Having lost her mother and having a brother who is a survivor of oral cancer, Dr. McCaslin uses advanced screening technology for her patients. Sometimes oral cancer can be asymptomatic.
“We invested in the VELscope® fluorescent light for oral cancer screenings to illuminate abnormalities not visible to the naked eye. We give our patients an extra screening tool, especially those in a high-risk population. We recommend all of our patients have a VELscope® exam at least once a year. The price is $19. We keep it low to offer the service to all of our patients.”
Dr. McCaslin said that what sets Expressions Family and Cosmetic Dentistry apart is her team and how they treat each patient. Whether a three-year-old toddler to a teen in need of Invisalign or a busy working entrepreneur to their oldest patient of 97 years, premium care and generations of patients is the ultimate goal of the family practice.
“We treat our patients like family. We are not high-pressure salespeople. We educate and explain procedures to our patients, building value in what good dentistry will provide them. I think our patients appreciate that more than anything else. Our goal is to make everyone feel comfortable. Nobody loves the dentist, but we try to make a pleasant experience out of what most people think is unpleasant.”
Expressions Family and Cosmetic Dentistry is located at 3007 Ridgeline Blvd., Suite A, in Tarpon Springs. Hours of operation are Monday 9:00 – 2:00, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8:00 – 5:00, and Friday 8:00 – 1:00. Extended hours by appointment. Visit “http://mypalmharbordentist.com/” for more information and find out about CPAP alternatives at “http://gotosleepdental.com/”