The Anthropology of Teeth – Part 1: An Interview with Dr. Brunacini

The Anthropology of Teeth – Part 1: An Interview with Dr. Brunacini

It may surprise you to know that our wonderful Dr. Brunacini loves to learn about teeth!  Not just as a dentist, but also as an anthropologist… Dr. Brunacini is fascinated by the field of Dental Anthropology.  We had to get to the root of the matter, so we’re kicking off Part 1 of an interview series with Professor Brunacini to learn more about the history of our teeth and Dental Anthropology.

What is Dental Anthropology?

Dr. Bruncaini:  Dental anthropology is a branch of physical anthropology that focuses on the development, evolution, and variability of teeth and related orofacial structures.  In other words, it’s about the history of teeth in humans.  What more could a dentist ask for in a field of study?

What interests you about this field?

Dr. Brunacini:  A lot!  By learning about how structures in the mouth form, we can learn how we are related to other animals.  We can also learn about the history of different cultures throughout time.  For example, we can learn about the foods they ate or how healthy they were overall. 

What is something that surprised or fascinated you in your research?

Dr. Brunacini:  I had no idea how long basic dentistry has been around.  There is a record of beeswax dental fillings from 6500 years ago!  It is incredible to witness the drive of humans to innovate and try to improve their well being by using their environment.  This is something we still do today.  

Where can people learn more?

Dr. Brunacini:  People who are interested in learning more can visit The Dental Anthropology Association website.  It’s a great resource.  Or patients can feel free to ask me more at their next appointment!  


Thank you, Dr. Brunacini!

We’ll continue this exploration and delve a little deeper into this interesting topic in the coming months.  If you have a question about dental anthropology or need to schedule your next appointment please give us a call at 207.781.5900.


The Future of Dentistry! An Interview with Dr. Brunacini

As we begin a new year, one cannot help but think about the future.  What lies ahead?  How will things change?  How will our lives improve?  When it comes to oral health care, there are a lot of interesting developments in the works and on the horizon.  To gain a better understanding of what the future may hold for dentistry, we spoke with Dr. Brunacini.  

1.When you think of the future of dentistry, what is most inspiring to you?

Itero Element 2 Digital Scanner

Dr. Brunacin:  The digital workflow in dentistry will be a significant gamechanger.  By using a digital scanner (pictured, right) instead of traditional impressions, we can achieve better fitting crowns and dentures in a much more efficient and comfortable manner.  Digital scanners are a wand-like device that allow us to capture a 3D image of a patient’s mouth. 

We can now begin planning oral rehabilitations digitally before performing any surgeries as well.  This helps us better anticipate any challenges that may arise and creates improved predictability, which also helps us achieve one of our top priorities:  a much better patient experience!

Also, replacing teeth with dental implants will continue to increase in prevalence because they combine both great esthetics and function for the patient.  There are so many advances  to look forward to in dentistry!

2. Have there been any takeaways from the COVID-19 pandemic that you think will impact the future of oral health care?

Dr. Brunacini: During the pandemic, I’ve been struck by the power that stress has on our bodies.  The increase in stress and anxiety that we all feel has correlated to a significant increase in TMJ symptoms and broken teeth.  Of course, we need to treat teeth with cavities due to decay, but broken teeth due to bruxism (grinding/clenching) is new to a lot of people and really can do significant damage to the teeth and gums over time.  As we’ve discussed before, it will continue to be important for patients to consider their whole body health as part of their oral health.  It’s all connected…when you’re stressed, it shows in your mouth.   

3. Integrative Dentistry is an important part of the oral health care philosophy at FDA.  How do you see that evolving in the years to come?

Dr. Brunacini:  Integrative Dentistry is a care philosophy that views the oral cavity – mouth, teeth, and gums – as another system in the human body that requires a whole body approach when thinking about care.  I’m looking forward to the continued increase in collaboration between medicine and dental care.  For so many years, dental care has always been separate from the medical model.  Over time, I expect more connections between oral health and overall health to increase, which will create more motivation for both the patient and provider to improve oral health.  

4. Technology is advancing all the time.  What are some of the exciting technological advances taking place in oral health care?  

Dr. Brunacini: As I’ve mentioned before, the digital workflow using digital scanners and 3-D printers will continue to improve in quality; therefore, it will soon become the preferred way to fabricate crowns and dentures.  This will create a more efficient and more effective treatment for the patient, which is really sensational!  

5. What’s one thing patients can do to improve the future of their oral health?

Dr. Brunacini:  Proper homecare and diet continue to be the best way to improve oral health.  I tell patients repeatedly that the best dentistry is no dentistry.  If a patient can maintain proper oral hygiene plus a healthy diet to minimize decay risk, then a majority of dental problems can be prevented.  So keep brushing, flossing, and eating healthy!


Thank you, Dr. Brunacini!

Your teeth have a lot to look forward to in the future!  As Dr. Brunacini recommends, keep those teeth healthy and happy by following a proper home care regimen: brush twice-a-day, floss daily, and come in for your regular check ups!  And don’t forget to eat well and find ways to reduce stress in your life, too.  If you have any questions about your oral health care, or need to schedule an appointment, call us today at 207.781.5900.


*Scanner image courtesy of


Season of Giving: FDA’s Favorite Dental Charities

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…to give back! Healthy smiles are one of the best gifts, and we believe that everyone should have access to oral health care.  That’s why we work with Dental Lifeline and Dancing with the Dentists to help people in our community receive the dental care they need.  If you haven’t heard of these two wonderful organizations, let us help you learn more about great work being done in oral health!

Dental Lifeline is a national charitable organization that was founded in 1974.  Its mission is to improve the oral health of people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically fragile.  Through its flagship program, Donated Dental Services (DDS), oral care is provided to people who cannot afford necessary treatments and cannot receive public aid.  With its network of 15,000 dentists and 3,500 labs nationwide, the DDS program has provided $378 million in donated therapies and transformed the lives of 120,550 people.

Our beloved Dr. Knock envisioned Dancing with the Dentists and drew from his local dental network to build a ballroom dancing competition that generated funds for several local charities.  Our very own Dr. Brunacini and his wife, Jenny, won the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy in Season 1!  Dancing with the Dentists Season 4 will take place in 2022, and will feature 10 courageous dental professionals on the ballroom floor, showing off their moves to raise money for The Root Cellar and Dental Lifeline.  A fun competition that also makes a real impact, Dancing with the Dentists raised over $40,000 for charity at their last event!

We have also worked with Dentists Who Care for ME and look forward to continuing to support their great work when they are able to hold the next event for their services.

Giving back and caring about our community has never felt more important. 2020 has been full of challenges, to say the least.  This holiday season, we also look forward to supporting our local business community.  As a locally-owned small business, we feel grateful to be a part of such a conscientious and kind community.  We’re all in this together!

We wish you a wonderful and safe holiday season!  Thank you for being a part of the FDA Family!

*Image courtesy of


Behind the PPE – An Interview with Dr. Brunacini

Safety and infection control has always been a top priority for us in providing you with the highest quality oral health care.  Perhaps you’ve seen our staff wear PPE for certain appointments in the past, but today per the guidance of the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) we now wear them for every appointment.  It’s a change for all of us and does shift the feeling of the environment we create for your care.   A big part of our oral health care practice is to make sure that as our patient you are comfortable, your needs are accommodated, and you feel connected to our compassionate team of professionals.  That can feel harder now that our team is behind layers of equipment, but even if you can’t see our smiles, please know that we are so happy to answer questions and want to do everything we can to help you feel safe and comfortable in our office.  Many of you have questions about our PPE, so we thought we’d give you a peek behind the mask and tell you about the components of our protective equipment and what it’s like for us to wear them.  We spoke with Dr. Brunacini to learn more.

1. What are the elements of the PPEs you and your staff wear?

We have always practiced “universal precautions” in the clinical areas which include gloves, surgical masks, and safety glasses. Now, because of the nature of dentistry and how coronavirus is spread, we have taken additional precautions to manage what is called the “droplet precautions.” These additional precautions include surgical caps to cover our hair, N95 masks, face shields, shoe covers to protect our shoes, and washable full gowns. We are basically covered head-to-toe!  There are even plexiglass barriers installed at the front desk for safety.  

2. How does wearing the PPE affect your job?

Of course, wearing many layers of PPE can get pretty hot, so the A/C is running colder than before.  Also, I find the need to change gowns for each appointment slows me down in checking patients throughout the day.  The biggest challenge is maintaining the relationship aspect with our patients.  Feeling buried in PPE can create a challenge for us to help our patients feel comfortable and trusting, especially when we are meeting someone for the first time.  Patient comfort is one of our top priorities, so we are all doing our best to find ways to communicate our compassion.

3. I hear there is a shortage of PPEs in our country, is FDA concerned?

During the closure, it was very difficult to obtain PPE through the normal supply chains.  There were some days that I simply searched for ways to obtain the PPE, and didn’t know when it would even arrive as a lot of PPE was backordered.  It does seem that the PPE production backlog has improved slightly, which is allowing us to get the necessary PPE.  

4. What do I need to do to help protect you and your staff during my appointment?

We are requiring all patients to arrive wearing masks until they are escorted into the dental room.  We are also asking everyone to be patient and understanding of the screening questions that we must do prior to their appointments.  It may be repetitive, but it is prudent to do in order to keep people safe. We are grateful to have our wonderful family of patients to care for, and really appreciate everyone doing their part to keep our office safe for everyone.

Thank you, Dr. Brunacini!

From our FDA family to you and your family: thank you for being our patient…we’re in this together!  We’re happy we can continue to safely provide you with the highest quality oral health care.  If you have any questions about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice, please visit our COVID protocol page or give us a call at 207.781.5900.  If you are overdue for your appointment, rest assured we will be in touch as soon as we catch up on our backlog; we appreciate your patience!  We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

Your Childhood Dentist: An Interview with Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos

You go to see Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos for your dental care. But where do Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos go to get their teeth checked? Where did they go when they were kids? What inspired them to get on the other side of the dental chair? Let’s listen! 


1.Who was your childhood dentist? 

Dr. Brunacini: My dad! My father, Timothy, was my dentist. I grew up at his dental office, watching dentist videos on VHS. The Charlie Brown special, The Dental Flossophy, was my favorite. 

Dr. Karagiorgos: His name was Dr. Arnold Weiss. He was still practicing when I went to dental school! 

2. Did you look forward to going to the dentist? 

Dr. Brunacini: Yes. I always had good exams and good experiences. 

Dr. Karagiorgos: I did. I really liked everything about going to the dentist. 

3. What was your favorite part of a trip to the dentist? 

Dr. Brunacini: I was part of the “No Cavity Club” for a while. We had our pictures taken with a Polaroid camera and hung on the wall. That was cool, but eventually I got a cavity. My dad wasn’t happy about that. 

Dr. Karagiorgos: There was an airplane mobile on the ceiling above the dentist chair that I liked to look at. After my exam, I’d get to choose a prize from the toy chest. The jelly hands were my favorite. 

4. Did your childhood dentist inspire you to pursue dentistry? 

Dr. Brunacini: Not really. Even though he was my dad, he never pressured me to be a dentist. I’ve always been medically-minded, and I liked that the dental office is a fun, cheerful, uplifting place to be. Everyone’s smiling! 

Dr. Karagiorgos: No, not Dr. Weiss. But my cousin was also a dentist and she really encouraged me to pursue the field. She knew that I liked people and appreciated the science side of things. It was a practical option. 

5. How do the dentists at FDA help younger patients to love their dental visits? 

Dr. Brunacini: We’re always striving to be accommodating and to be good listeners to all of our patients. We do give out little toys and stickers, but we empower young kids to be responsible for their dental health. They get excited about it. 

Dr. Karagiorgos: The dentists and hygienists here all work hard with our younger patients to meet and talk to them on their level. We explain things in a way they can understand, and always answer their questions. I would encourage parents to make sure that they are always talking about their own dental cleanings and procedures in a positive light–kids listen to everything! 

Do you have more questions for Dr. Brunacini and Dr. Karagiorgos? Ask them at your next exam! To schedule, please call our office at 207.781.5900.

Image credit: Peanuts Worldwide LLC

A Valentine to Your Teeth

Cinnamon floss is red, mouthwash is blue.

Brush twice a day, and to your dentist be true!

Happy Valentines Day from Falmouth Dental Arts! In celebration of a day of love, we have a list of the Top Ten Reasons to Love (and take care of) Your Teeth!

10. Your teeth give you the ability to smile at the people you love! 

9. Your teeth are how you bite into candy hearts, and…

8. Your teeth help you chew those candy hearts! (Just remember to brush after enjoying your Valentine’s sweets!)

7. Your teeth support your oral structure and speech, allowing you to say “I love you.”

6. Feeling more theatrical? Your teeth let you sing “I Will Always Love You.”

5. If you’d rather whistle Whitney, your teeth help you do that, too! 

4. Your teeth enable you to chew gum. Heart shaped bubbles, anyone? 

3. Doctors and dentists agree that oral health affects heart health. Show your teeth some TLC and keep your heart healthy in the process!

2. Your teeth bring you and your dentist, Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos, together! We love getting to know our patients, and we have  your teeth to thank for that.

1. Your teeth hold the rose while dancing the tango with your sweetheart.

As you celebrate Valentine’s Day, your team at Falmouth Dental Arts reminds you to enjoy sugary sweets in moderation. Don’t forget to show your teeth some love by brushing and flossing twice a day, every day of the year! If you have any questions or would like to schedule a cleaning, please call our office at 207.781.5900.