By Cathy Wharton
For Hometown News
Go ahead, say it fast: Florida Oral & Facial Surgical Associates, or FOFSA. It may be a mouthful, but if or when the need should arise, the name is easily pronounced and always remembered. Reason: It is this area's premier facility for oral/maxillofacial and cosmetic surgery.
Started in 1956 by Dr. P.T. Fleuschaus, the business was first on Mason Avenue in Daytona Beach. In 1963, Dr. Richard T. Gaines joined the practice, bringing with him a keen interest in orthognathic surgery, or corrective jaw surgery, a procedure that realigns the jaw, thereby improving both function and esthetics for patients with facial or jaw deformities.
In 2003, the associates opened a new state-of-the-art surgical center on Health Boulevard in Daytona. Since then, the center's specialties have expanded even further as have the number of doctors and staff who treat patients and perform day-to-day procedures.
The facility provides a vast array of services that range from tooth extraction and dental implants, to facial trauma and reconstruction, to corrective jaw surgery. The center also specializes in oral pathology, temporomandibular joint disorder, bone grafts, sleep apnea -- even eyelid and ear surgery.
Also, Oral & Facial Surgical is recognized for its expertise in facial cosmetic surgery. The experienced staff is well qualified to perform a host of corrective procedures either for functional improvement, for trauma or disease, or for aesthetic purposes. Among the many aesthetic services available are brow lifts, facelifts, neck lifts, and augmentation of cheeks, chin and lips. Other procedures, less invasive, include Juvederm, Botox, skin peels and microdermabrasion. The center has the latest and most advanced laser surgery system available, Sciton, for treatment of hair removal, spider veins and skin care treatments.
The excellence at Oral & Facial Surgical, however, begins with its highly trained, board-certified team of doctors, each a specialist in facial and dental surgery.
Qualifications for this type of practice require four years at an accredited dental school, plus a hospital-based residency program with training in trauma management, facial surgery, anesthesia and other medical disciplines. High standards of proficiency and continuing education are required in order to attain board certification. Each of the doctors is a member of the American Association of Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons, an organization that promotes continuing education and research as well as strict adherence to its exemplary standards.
The center's physicians are Richard T. Gaines, John O. Akers, Curtis J. Schalit and Roger Thayer. As experts in the field of oral/facial surgery, the doctors work closely with general dentistry practitioners and orthodontists whose special cases often are referred to them.
Besides corrective jaw surgery, Dr. Gaines specializes in dental implants, tooth extraction, facial trauma and reconstruction, mandible joint disorders and sleep apnea. He also is a humanitarian, giving his time to help people in third-world countries, including working on Hospital Ship Hope. Dr. Gaines also donated his services to the people of Haiti after the 2008 hurricanes.
In 1981, Dr. Akers joined the team of associates. One of his primary interests is dental implants, first introduced to this area in 1985. Dr. Akers has also traveled to third-world regions where he's performed a number of dental operations, including cleft-lip and palate surgeries.
When Dr. Schalit came aboard in 2000, he brought to the center cosmetic facial surgery. Dr. Schalit also donates time to Operation Changing Lives, a non-profit organization of medical professionals that provides reconstructive surgeries to children born with facial deformities. He started the Flagler American Youth Football program for kids who otherwise couldn't afford to play football.
Most recently on board at the center is Dr. Thayer, another highly trained oral surgeon who provides services in trauma-related emergencies at both Halifax Health in Daytona and Florida Hospital Flagler.
"They give back in a large way. I am proud and honored to be part of a team that is dedicated to offering the utmost in patient care," Administrator, Dawn Stipanovic said "We are all about our patients."
Florida Oral & Facial Surgical Associates is at 549 Health Blvd. in Daytona Beach. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, by appointment. Phone (386) 252-6438 or visit floridaoralfacial.com.