The Winchester Dental family welcomes Donna Greco, DMD! Dr. Greco earned her DMD from University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, and has been practicing in northern Virginia since 2002. As she tells us in this interview, her educational background and her interests in early orthodontic treatment and helping older patients to regain their dental health are well-matched to our practice’s holistic philosophy.
Dr. Greco, about which areas of dentistry are you passionate?
First, I’m passionate about making sure patients are comfortable, and really helping them to improve and/or restore any lost dental function and their health. That’s my primary goal. The other area that I really enjoy and feel good about is providing interceptive orthopedic and orthodontic treatments to younger patients, to help create beautiful smiles for them and to help them grow into natural smiles.
What made you feel that Winchester Dental would be a good match for your skills and philosophy?
Several reasons! The providers at Winchester Dental have a very high standard of care, and the practice embodies the team approach to dentistry. I think a lot of practices promote that, but Winchester Dental really does have a cohesive team. Our singular goal is what is best for our patients. The providers have a wide variety of skills, they’re innovative in their application, and everyone works well together. I love what Dr. Gio says: “The more brains you have in the group, the more ideas you have to draw from.”
What is your experience with holistic treatment (the basis of the practice at Winchester Dental)?
My experience is that oral medicine as a discipline really must not be understated, and quite often it is. As dentists, we must remember that we’re basically doing surgery inside the body, and I think we’ll find in the next few years even more evidence linking its importance to systemic health.
I had practiced holistic treatment before coming to Winchester Dental, and I had studied it under Dr. Craig Miller, DMD, and Dr. Donald Falace, DMD, who authored the most commonly used oral medicine textbook in dentistry. Their contention is that you cannot have a diseased portion and have a healthy whole.
As a dental student, you received a Dental Clinical Research Fellowship to the NIH, where you studied head and neck development. How did that experience prepare you to help patients in practice?
That was a very interesting experience because it was a year-long clinical and bench (laboratory) research program. From that experience, I really learned to effectively and critically evaluate research, and claims about efficacy of treatments within clinical research. The fellowship gave me the tools to clearly understand what goes into research, and to be able to truly evaluate the quality of the research and its implications. There’s a lot of good research and a lot of faulty research out there. Being able to discern which is which is very helpful.
You’ve averaged over 100 hours of continuing education and training courses per year since dental school. What are some of the most valuable courses you’ve taken recently, and which courses are next for you?
Most recently, I’ve taken recently some advanced orthodontic and dentofacial orthopedic courses. With younger patients, if we can influence their growth pattern more favorably and they can grow into healthier tooth and jaw relationships, then they have better function and they’ll be more stable as they grow up and throughout their life. I’m now planning to take a course that will focus on orthodontic finishing. The overarching principles of orthodontics are fairly straightforward, but the tiny details require precise attention.
Another area I plan to study focuses on older patients who may have missed orthodontic treatment opportunities during their growth phases, and older patients with compromised dentition. I’ve studied this in the past, and now want to study more about rebuilding functional bites that are comfortable, stable, and look great!
What’s your favorite aspect of working at Winchester Dental so far?
The patients I’ve met so far are just fantastic, and the staff has been very supportive. Being well-supported helps me to do my best!