Poorva Parnaik, DMD

Mastering the art & beauty of dentistry

Dr. Poorva Parnaik has always been an artist. “When I was a kid, I loved doing art. I still do charcoal and pencil – I have pieces hanging on my wall in my office. And I love biology. I think the field of dentistry is both. It has art and it has biology, which makes it the most amazing job. It brings together aesthetic and function. It’s a perfect combination.”

Poorva Parnaik, DMD
owner, dental creations

Dr. Parnaik sees her dentistry practice as its own kind of art. Each smile is special and unique, and she works hard to ensure every outcome is beautiful.

“It’s all about how you see lines and how you create shapes,” she says. “It’s so amazing to have an artist’s eye in this field, because you don’t look at teeth the same way. Because I have that artistic side, it gives me a very good understanding of what the lines should be. I’m so engaged in what I do, because every tooth has the potential to be a beautiful tooth. It’s something I thoroughly enjoy.”

Dr. Parnaik trained and practiced in India until 2001. She then moved to Canada, and in 2006, she moved to the United States and purchased her practice. That wide range of experience influences her holistic approach to dentistry, which extends far beyond basic dental care.

“There is so much connection between what happens in your mouth and how it affects your body,” she says. “It’s incredible, when I look at a patient, I can tell from the way they close their mouth and how their bite is whether they have some kind of airway issues, snoring or other sleep issues. When I ask patients about it, they look at me in total awe.”

“I love to learn and to educate. I love to help people understand that it’s not just about your teeth – what happens there affects the whole person. And when patients say, ‘Wow, I feel so good about my smile!’ I know I’ve done something important.”

In addition to helping solve problems with sleep or jaw pain, Dr. Parnaik helps her patients understand how diet and nutrition influences not just oral health, but overall wellness.

“I have a nutrition certification from Cornell University,” she says, “So in my office, I talk with patients about diet and nutrition. The food you eat and the way you’re chewing your food, affects everything else in your body.”

Dr. Parnaik also knows the work she does has a massive impact on her patients’ lives in more ways than one.

“It’s about your self-confidence and your social life,” she says. “If you’re not able to chew, you stop going to social events, and you dissociate from people. Food is such an integral part of our culture. It does affect your life.”

And a smile is about far more than just how you look in a photograph. Dr. Parnaik knows it can change your day-to-day life and supercharge your confidence.

“A smile you love is an instant mood enhancer,” she says. “I mean, people are just attracted to those who smile more. It’s such an inexpensive thing to wear.”

Dr. Parnaik understands that not everyone feels comfortable at the dentist’s office, but she hopes her compassion and understanding will help patients overcome their fears.

“I try to feel what patients feel, treat patients how I want to be treated and see things from their perspective,” she says. “If I was in the chair, what would I think? I keep that in my head all the time. It makes my relationship with my patients a partnership.”

When she’s not seeing patients, Dr. Parnaik’s favorite thing to do is compete in ballroom dancing. It’s just one more form of art that she feels is interconnected with her work.

“It’s an incredible hobby, and I’m very proud of it,” she says. “It’s a tough sport, but having an athletic hobby makes me a happy dentist. It’s about coordinating the left- and right-side brain with music, rhythm, timing and hand coordination. All of that makes me a better dentist.”

 

Why everyone should be practicing face yoga

Dr. Poorva Parnaik knows that sitting in a dental chair with your mouth open for an extended period of time can result in some stiffness and muscle pain. Plus, other dental issues and even stress can contribute to face and jaw clenching, teeth grinding and more. She teaches her patients “face yoga” to help relieve the strain.

“I tell people how to massage certain areas to release the tension,” Dr. Parnaik says. “It’s easy to frown, and most people don’t realize they’re doing it, but they don’t understand how that can cause tenseness and even wrinkles.”

To relieve stiffness, Dr. Parnaik suggests lowering the shoulders and relaxing the neck. Then, beginning at the center of the chin, just along the jawbone, apply gentle pressure with your fingers in an upward, massaging motion. “Once you get to the temples, lift up and in, toward the forehead,” she adds. “A very simple massage can really loosen muscles and remove tension. It’s nature’s muscle relaxer.”

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