Dr. Leonard Machi's Interview on AM920/The WOLF


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Interview Transcript

Gregory John: It's time for Be Our Guest! I'm Gregory John and today we are visiting with Doctor Leonard Machi of Oral Implantology of Southeast [pause] let me do that again, Oral Implantology of Southeastern Wisconsin.  Did I get it right doctor?
Dr. Leonard Machi: Yes you did-you got it very right!
Gregory John: That's a mouthful, that's a mouthful.  Uh we're going to talk obviously about implants, very fascinating topic matter but, first tell us a little bit about your practice...
Dr. Leonard Machi:  Ok, well my practice is located in the Milwaukee area in Wauwatosa and we do all kinds of dentistry and we focus mainly on people that have complex needs or problems they've had getting done at other offices. Because we are very comprehensive in our outlook and very individualized in our treatment, so we cater to people that have had trouble getting their dentistry done often times uh, because it's too complicated and they don't even know sometimes the options they have until they see us.
Gregory John: You've been around for like 30 years right?
Dr. Leonard Machi: Yeah been a dentist for 35 years and I've been focused on implants for over 25 years now.
Gregory John: You got the family involved now huh?
Dr. Leonard Machi: Yes I do!  I have a son [John] that recently got out of the military and he's decided to go dental school and he did get in at Marquette and we're all excited because he starts in August. And now he's around at the office telling me how to do my job. It's great!
Gregory John: I see. See that, you gotta do this! Oral implants! Is that recent or has that been around for awhile?
Dr. Leonard Machi: Actually there's an organization called the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and it actually started in 1952. And implants were done from that time on until the late 70s and basically individuals figured out how to do implants uh but not to the level of regularity and success until more recently in the early 80s late 70s [when] there was some research done that showed how to make an implant take in the bone on a regular basis. And once they figured that out then implantology exploded and many major companies got involved and the public really got a lot out of it then.
Gregory John: I can imagine the technology just keeps improving every year huh?
Dr. Leonard Machi: Yes it does, yes it does. The companies are continuously trying to make the implants easier to place, more reliable and faster to use.
Gregory John: Okay. So a person maybe a root canal doesn't work, do you go with an implant...is that how that works?
Dr. Leonard Machi: Yes uh absolutely. When a root canal is not an option or is an option that may not have very good success, a lot of dentists now are recommending the implants now as a treatment that is preferable.
Gregory John: And I can hear people, listeners right now going oh that's gotta hurt! You know, basically what you're doing is you're putting a screw into the bone, right?
Dr. Leonard Machi: The main kind of implant that is being done right now is basically, it's an artificial root that can be screwed in or pushed in, but it's basically inside the bone. And there are some other implants that really aren't inside the bone. Um they aren't used very regularly but they are used sometimes when patients have a severity of jaw bone loss and that's the only way we can treat them. So there's a lot of different ways to treat people with implants, but the main one is what they call endosteal or in-the-bone implants.
Gregory John: Ok so and I mentioned pain, it's not like when we were kids. Doctor, there's no pain right?
Dr. Leonard Machi: Actually- [for] implants, if you think about the way the body works, the body is really smart and makes bone. And bone is for support so it doesn't allow a lot of stuff inside bone, so there's just not a lot of nerves in bone. So it's actually easier to get a person numb to place an implant than it is to do even fillings a lot of times. So it's a pretty easy service to do and people usually do quite well afterwards.
Gregory John: So a lot of your patients are referred to you by their personal dentists.
Dr. Leonard Machi: Yeah I get referrals from various dentists and of course the patients I've done over the years at this point and it's a lot! So, they come from everywhere, so I see people from all parts of the city and even the United States and other countries.
Gregory John: Well I can imagine that a lot of people are wondering about insurance, and covering insurance. Let's talk about that.
Dr. Leonard Machi: Ok, usually, to be quite frank, there really isn't a lot of dental insurance out there when it comes right down to it. Dental insurance works backwards, unlike car insurance where you have a deductible, and then if your car gets totaled they pay for it. Dental insurance works the other way. They pay for your cleanings and if your mouth gets totaled they still pay you know maybe $1000 a year or $1500 something like that, but that's the cap. So even if they cover implants, they are really not going to replace your mouth full of teeth with that kind of money. So yes they are getting better and it's certainly, you know, shown to be very cost-effective long-term as far as other treatments versus implants. But right now the way dental insurance works, they either don't cover it or it's covered to a minimal amount, so it's really not driving the consumer to use the service.
Gregory John: For more information obviously you can go to your website. I love the website's name: Call4smiles.com. I like that! Call4smiles.com. Did you come up with that or did John come up with that?
Dr. Leonard Machi: John came up with that!
Gregory John:  Of course he did. Of course he did. Also the phone number too is 414-4SMILES. That's what you specialize in, making smiles!
Dr. Leonard Machi: Exactly.
Gregory John: Dr. Leonard Machi, we appreciate you spending some time with us.
Dr. Leonard Machi: Thank you.