Carini, Schwartz share holistic philosophy, focus on patient wellness
Port Washington dentist Steven Carini has prided himself on building personal relationships with his patients since opening his downtown practice in 1975.
That explains the careful deliberations he made when considering taking on a partner for his holistic practice. He describes his approach as “health-centered dental care.”
Carini is convinced he has come up with a match made in dental heaven after agreeing to bring dentist Bryan Schwartz into his practice late last year.
“I don’t believe in accidents,” Carini said in outlining how the partnership came about.
“Through the years, some of the most memorable and meaningful events in my life have occurred after a seemingly chance happening, some event that gave me goosebumps or that made me feel — this is important.”
Carini traces his connection with Schwartz to an encounter more than a year ago.
“Over the past 10 years, it has not been unusual for me to receive a few letters per month asking to list my practice for sale, promising they had the perfect dentist to take over for me,” he said.
“I routinely tossed them out.”
But, Carini said, he kept one of those unsolicited pitches.
“I cannot really tell you why … this letter just felt different to me, one of those important feelings,” he said. “It took me over a month to act on it but when I finally did, I found myself having coffee with Dr. Bryan Schwartz.”
The dentists planned a more formal meeting after Carini returned from a trip to California to visit with his son, who runs a winery.
Before that meeting could be scheduled, however, he ran into Schwartz while attending a show at the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee.
They took the chance encounter as another example of fate intervening in their lives.
“We were surprised to see each other, saw a good show and spent the rest of the evening chatting about my office and each of our plans for the future,” Carini said.
A month later, the would-be partners met for dinner.
Schwartz had just returned from a continuing-education course in biomemetric dentistry, also known as tooth conservation dentistry.
Biomimetics means “to copy what is lifelike,” to return decayed or damaged tooth structure to its original strength, function and appearance.
“It was a term I was not familiar with, but a concept upon which I had, unknowingly, built my entire restorative practice around,” Carini said.
“Bryan was excited to tell me about the techniques he had learned, and as he did, I recognized the similarities to techniques I was currently using,” he said.
“We were blown away by listening to each other talk about what is important to us, how Bryan longed to treat clients with integrity and how I have been doing this for 38 years of practice. Understanding Bryan’s passion for quality care was foundational to me before I could consider furthering a professional relationship with him.”
It wasn’t long before the dentists saw how much they had in common in terms of their philosophy of treating patients, and a partnership agreement was crafted.
Schwartz took over ownership of the practice in November. After 38 years in the dental business, Carini continues to see patients, but stepped away from the administrative responsibilities of running the practice.
“I never believed I would find a dentist who had the same passion for dentistry as I do. I wondered how I would find someone who cares as deeply as I do about doing quality treatment, sincerely, carefully, with integrity, from the heart,” Carini said.
Having two dentists on staff means office hours will be expanded to five days a week.
Schwartz graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 2002 with a degree in dental surgery. He has practiced for 11 years in Wisconsin and Colorado.
For the past four years, Schwartz was a partner in a Brookfield dental practice.
“After graduating, I quickly realized the ‘drill and fill’ dentistry taught in dental schools and practiced in the majority of private dental practices holds too many empty promises,” Schwartz said.
“I’ve witnessed this approach lead to patients suffering with years of never-ending dental visits, destruction to teeth and mounting financial costs. That was the stimulus for my saying, ‘I just can’t do this anymore.’”
He has completed comprehensive coursework at the Los Angeles Institute of Clinical Dentistry, the Academy of Biomimetic Dentistry and the Academy of Clinical Technology.
“I believe dental wellness has a strong influence on whole-body health. When a client seeks dental care, I want them to feel secure, understood and listened to,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz and his wife Jamie have three children and live in Summit.
The office is at 222 N. Franklin St.