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My Toughest Case

Dr. Charles Silvia always knew he wanted to be in medicine.

“My grandfather was a surgeon, and as I got older I met quite a few physicians and dentists,” he says. “I really liked the fact that as a dentist, you had more control over your schedule but you could still perform surgeries.”

Although born in Rhode Island, Silvia spent most of his life in California.

“My dad was a Navy aviator; he flew helicopters,” he says. “So our family relocated a few times. We spent a lot of years in the San Diego area. I went to college in Los Angeles and then San Francisco for dental school.”

He says that it was during dental school that he solidified his desire to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon – a dental specialty focused on treating injuries, defects and diseases of the face, head and neck.

“I’ve always been really interested in the anatomical sciences, and I love working with my hands,” he says. “I just knew it was a really good fit for me.”

At Southern Oral Surgery’s two locations, Silvia and his partner, Robert Lane, DDS, treat a wide array of problems, from removing wisdom teeth to dealing with major facial deformities.

“Our more difficult cases typically occur when patients present to our office for dental implants and they don’t have enough bone to support them,” he says. ”Many of these cases used to require complex bone grafting, but we have been using unique shorter and wider implants that no one else in the city, or even the rest of Louisiana, is using. I am lucky – we have an amazing collection of excellent, well trained general dentists in the New Orleans area, and they make these cases go much smoother and with greater success.”

Although these types of cases are clearly extreme, Silvia says he never addresses a case thinking it will be easy.

“Sometimes it’s the ones you think will be easy, like a wisdom tooth, that actually turn out to be difficult,” he says.

The more drastic the change, however, the more rewarding the work.

“When a patient comes to see me and is unable to chew or even smile, and I am able to help them, it’s a real life changer,” he says. “When they come to me in pain and I can remove that for them, it’s so rewarding.”

He says he especially enjoys his work with younger patients.

“By removing wisdom teeth I can save them from problems down the line,” he says. “And if a tooth isn’t erupting properly, we can surgically expose the tooth and place an attachment so the orthodontist can guide the tooth into its proper position. Those patients, and their parents, are very grateful. There are really so many rewarding things about what I do.” 

Southern Oral Surgery
3525 Prytania St., Suite 216, New Orleans 70115, 899-8173
4224 Houma Blvd., Suite 230, Metairie 70006, 454-4515, SouthernOralSurgery.com

Years in practice – 21; Degrees – UCLA BS in Kinesiology/Physiology; UCSF School of Dentistry; LSU School of Medicine – Medical degree; Native of Rhode Island


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