Meet Dr. Marc A. Cirelli, DMD, our Dental Health Partner of the Month. Dr. Cirelli is a Reno, Nevada-based dentist whose passion for carpentry and home improvement seamlessly blend with a compassionate approach to helping veterans with dental care, free of charge.
Why did you become a dentist?
I majored in biochemistry, Spanish and history while in college. I found that I really liked dealing with people more than laboratory work. I was also fortunate that my parents owned rental properties. I quickly learned how to become proficient in all of the trades with respect to home improvement. I especially liked framing and other areas of carpentry work. It turns out dentistry is a lot like being a carpenter, but there is still an artistic approach to it.
How long have you been practicing dentistry?
I’ve been practicing dentistry since 2007, graduating from Oregon Health and Science University. When I returned to my home state of Nevada, I worked for three years in a public dental clinic, followed by two years as an associate in private practice. I then purchased my dental practice in December 2012.
What are some of the challenges facing dentistry?
Getting people to recognize the importance of oral health and how it affects other systems of the body is one of the greatest challenges facing dentistry today. I like to use the analogy of a person with severe acne. You see the effects it does to your skin, and you want to clear it up, so you go to a dermatologist. With an oral cavity, people aren’t aware of what happens in the mouth, so they don’t see a dentist until they have a toothache.
We take intraoral photos in an effort to educate patients about the importance of regular dental care. This has been a great motivator for better hygiene and preventive treatment.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my free time, I enjoy running, hiking, skiing, target shooting, martial arts and, of course, home improvement projects.
Tell us one of your funniest stories from the dental office.
As every dentist knows, esthetic cases can be the most challenging. You not only have to meet the patient’s desires but those of their significant other.
In one such case, the patient was in the office for a complete maxillary denture. Esthetics were great: The patient liked the shape, size, form and, most importantly, function of the denture. He’d even provided us with a picture from before he lost his teeth.
We ended up meeting the demands of the patient, but his wife had us redo the denture to meet her demands. She wanted him restored into her ideal husband! I still remember going through the wax try-in and he gave me a look that said, “I like the first, but I need to satisfy her, so go with the second!”
What is most rewarding about your career?
Seeing the results of your work and how it changes a person. Our office works with a program called Adopt a Vet. Since most veterans are not eligible for treatment through the VA, we see veterans on a volunteer basis and do all of their treatment at no charge. They come to the office in pain, and some can’t even chew. We get them out of pain and restore their dentition, often completing dentures so that they can smile and enjoy a good meal again. To me, that’s what dentistry is about.
We’d like to take a moment to congratulate Dr. Cirelli and thank him for the work he does for his community.