New practice stresses connection between teeth, full body health
Starting a new business is never an easy task, but Laura Railand has high hopes for a somewhat simplified life now that she has opened Holistic Dentistry of Port Washington.
That simplification hasn’t happened yet.
Although she has regular office hours at her office at 222 N. Franklin St., Railand continues to work in northern Wisconsin with Douglas Cook, one of the “founders of holistic dentistry,” as well as at a Kenosha clinic.
“On days when I go up north, I have to get up at 3 a.m. so I can be there by 7:30 a.m.,” she said.
“I would like to build my practice here to the point where I don’t have to worry about going to those other clinics.”
Railand is committed to a holistic approach to dental care, a philosophy that preaches “do no harm.”
It is a philosophy that she said fits in well with the approach used by former Port Washington dentist Steve Carini.
“Steve is a great guy and he has been a real help in getting my practice going here,” Railand said.
Railand graduated from dental school at Oregon Health and Science University in 2010, finishing with honors that include induction into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the dental honor society.
She completed a one-year residency in Santa Fe through the University of New Mexico Medical School.
It was during that time, Railand said that she discovered how patients’ general health is often linked to their dental health. The medical staff saw the same thing she did, and patients were required to get dental clearance before undergoing surgery.
Her passion for holistic dentistry brought her to northern Wisconsin, as did the pleas from her husband Pete’s family back in the Badger State.
The couple now live in Milwaukee’s North Shore and have two daughters, ages 4 and 5. Her husband teaches music at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha.
Railand said it is her goal to “treat patients with compassion, a gentle hand and a dedication to high-quality dentistry.”
As part of that approach, Railand said, she avoids the use of mercury, BPA and fluoride dental products.
Railand said she follows the International Academy of Oral Medical Toxicology protocol when removing old silver fillings, which when drilled can vaporize metals that are harmful to patients and the dental staff.
Railand said holistic dentistry looks at patients “as a whole,” which includes checking gums and supporting bone for chronic infections.
She also emphasizes the use of biocompatible crowns, bridges and partials and practices minimally invasive techniques that conserve tooth structure whenever possible.
Railand said patients who come to her office travel from as far away as Minnesota, but she realizes that is not a sustainable business plan.
“My hope is to start drawing more patients from the Port Washington area,” she said.
It is part of a strategy for setting her professional roots in the community.
“Please tell me I will never have to move again,” Railand said, citing a litany of challenges that make such a move stressful.
“I think Port Washington is a lovely community, and I hope to soon have the time to go around downtown and shake a few hands.”
Although already an established dentist, Railand said opening her Port practice has been a learning experience.
“I’ve never had my own practice before, and I am starting to realize there is a lot more to it than I first thought,” she said.
She said she also keeps the financial constraints of patients in mind when setting rates, including working out payment plans.
“I never want money to be a deterrent for people getting the dental care they need,” Railand said.
Image Information: LAURA RAILAND HAS opened a new dental practice, Holistic Dentistry of Port Washington.Photo by Mark Jaeger