Just weeks after 13-year-old Peter Vanstrom finally got his braces removed, he wrecked his 10-speed bicycle, landed on his handsome face and created a gaping hole in his newly honed smile. “It was terrible. My right front tooth was broken off near the gum line and beyond saving,” he explains. “The year was 1974 and unfortunately the options were limited. My dentist and orthodontist got together and decided that the best course of treatment was to put me back in braces and shift all my upper teeth on that side to fill the large gap left by the missing tooth. So they extracted the damaged tooth, and I spent another grueling 18 months in braces, the 1970s heavy-metal kind. Once all the teeth had shifted, they put a cap on my lateral incisor and it became my central incisor.”
Some kids subjected to that much discomfort in a dental chair might avoid the dentist office for a lifetime. But Vanstrom, a bright and naturally curious teenager, was intrigued by the whole process. “I ended up spending a whole lot of time at the orthodontist’s office and asked a lot of questions which he graciously answered. He became somewhat of a mentor and was influential in my decision to become a dentist.”
In reflecting upon his bicycle calamity and the subsequent course of treatment, Dr. Vanstrom, who is today one of the most recognized and successful cosmetic dentists in the Atlanta area notes, “Treatment options have fortunately evolved significantly since the 1970s. Though it seemed like a good idea at the time, the decision to dramatically relocate six of my teeth created significant problems with my bite and the anatomical integrity of my mouth I have terrible temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. That’s entirely avoidable today.”
Born in Kalispell, Montana, Dr. Vanstrom spent his early years in Minnesota before moving to Southern California, site of that life-changing bike wreck. He received his Bachelors degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara then moved to Atlanta in 1984 to begin his dentistry education at Emory University School of Dentistry. He graduated from Emory in May 1988 but has aggressively pursued continuous postgraduate education with emphasis in the areas of periodontal maintenance and surgery (gum and bone treatment), endodontic (root canal treatment), TMJ, and prosthodontics, including cosmetic and implant dentistry.
Peter Vanstrom, DDS, PC, FAGD, is a 1988 graduate of Emory School of Dentistry and offers a full range of comprehensive services at his practice, Artistic Dentistry, which is consistently ranked as one of the top practices in the country. His expertise includes general and cosmetic dentistry, gum treatments, root canals and implant procedures. He is an active member of many local and national dental associations including:
Dr. Vanstrom serves as a dental expert and consultant for CNN’s medical team, and frequently appears as a dental expert on CNN Weekend House Call and CNN Live and on local affiliates CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC throughout the United States.
An expert on cancer screening technology, Dr. Vanstrom presents seminars and motivational speeches throughout the United States and Canada and publishes articles regarding cancer screening technology, periodontal care and stem cell technologies in dentistry today. In 2007 he was a guest speaker at the prestigious Annual Academy of General Dentistry meeting and published an article entitled “Oral Cancer Screening” in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Journal.
Dr. Vanstrom is active in many community projects and affairs both near his office and at his home in nearby Roswell. He has served as the Chairman of the Northlake Community Alliance and as a member on the Inverness Homeowner’s Association Board of Directors and has recently been named to serve on the Board of Ethics for the City of Roswell. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Betty Thompson, and has two teenage daughters, Christine and Caroline.
Dr. Vanstrom has completed post graduate extended studies and mini-residencies in cosmetics and gum and implant surgical techniques at the following dental schools: the University of North Carolina, Louisiana State University, the University of South Carolina and the Medical College of Georgia.
He was a guest speaker on oral cancer detection technologies at both the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the British Dental Association. He was also a guest speaker on Stem Cell research in dentistry at the prestigious American Academy of General Dentistry.
Dr. Vanstrom continues to speak throughout the United States and Canada to other dentists and their staff about new technologies and developments in dentistry.
“I have completed hundreds of hours of continuing education because I want to be able to offer my patients convenient, high-quality, comprehensive care in the comfort of my office. I want my patients to have the best dental experience possible.” His experience following his bike wreck is never too far from his mind and has motivated him to continuously hone his skills, learn new techniques, embrace new technology and optimize patient care.
“Today when a patient comes to me with a tooth damaged like mine was then, I have the education, experience and expertise to offer a full range of options. If I couldn’t save the tooth with a root canal, I would utilize an implant with a high-quality porcelain crown that would be indistinguishable from the natural tooth and fit perfectly. We would achieve aesthetically pleasing results without compromising the integrity of the bite.” Vanstrom, a Fellow of the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry, explains.
“We wouldn’t have to send our patient to an off-site root-canal or implant specialist–I am an expert at both. And we could complete the treatment with minimal time and discomfort in as little as a few weeks instead of months, depending on the extent of the damage to the natural tooth. We are fortunate to have our lab adjacent to our office, ensuring the shortest turnaround and best possible results for a crown, bridge or implant.”
His commitment to excellence is illustrated by the Smiles for a Lifetime Guarantee. “My work will last a lifetime with proper dental maintenance. If for some reason, it doesn’t, I will fix it. I want my patients to have a positive dental experience, and I am willing to bend over backwards to achieve the results my patients are looking for.”