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Testimonials & Patient Stories

Learn how our patients felt about their experiences with Norge Dental Center under some not-so-unusual circumstances. We love hearing from clients who are beaming about their service at Norge. Why not let us do the same for you?

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Angela Conners

“Dr. Tim is a great dentist and has very professional staff. They aren’t looking for the most expensive solution, they want what’s right for you.”

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Twenty years ago, bound and determined to make a living her first year in real estate, Angela Conners began cold calling and knocking on doors. “Two things I hated,” she said. But when she was told to do 50, she did 100. “I had my standards. I stood by my schedule,” she said. That—and her smile—opened a lot of doors for her.

It’s one reason why she’s been coming to Norge Dental Center for more than 20 years.

Dr. Johnston and his staff aren’t looking for the most expensive solution. They want what’s right for you.

Angela knows her smile is critical to her business. “There are two things you know immediately: people’s smiles and their manners. When a smile lights up their whole face, you get a different opinion of them. People love to be smiled at,” she said.

Since there’s no second chance to make a first impression, Angela takes great care of her smile.

Angela’s experience with the dentist as a child was more about going when something was wrong, and her family didn’t have a lot of money for preventative care. “They had to make sure we had shoes on our feet before good teeth,” she said.

Today, Angela knows it’s important to think long term. She likes to let the experts do their jobs. “If Tim recommends it, then I want it done. I trust him,” she said.

She also refers other people to Norge Dental Center, even though she’s cautious about referrals in general. “The best endorsement is from someone who has worked with you,” she said. “And I love a proactive referral, where someone is jumping up to say ‘I know who you should use.’ Norge is a place like that.”

Angela recalls a time when she had a toothache and called Norge for an appointment. “They told me ‘C’mon in, don’t wait.’ But they couldn’t find out what it was. The x-ray showed nothing.” But the staff didn’t give up. After further investigation, they identified the culprit: a small, clear fish scale lodged between two teeth.

I was impressed they went the extra mile for me. I was in a lot of pain, and I knew they were going to do everything to help me.

Today, Angela and her husband Philip continue the relationship that started more than 20 years ago with Dr. Johnston and Norge Dental Center.

Photo by Sigmon Taylor Photography

Dave Bolt

“You should do the assessment and see if it will work for you. Talk to your doctor and see what your options are – I know that a lot of people aren’t doing anything because they don’t want a CPAP mask, but there are other options.”

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Dave Bolt’s snoring had become legendary. Not only was his wife taking her pillow and heading to the guest room most nights, but Dave’s church youth group woke up bleary-eyed at the events he chaperoned. But the biggest clue that something might be up was how tired Dave began feeling when he woke up – like he’d hardly gotten any sleep.

He knew it was time to do something about it. He went to see his family physician, who recommended an overnight sleep study. Afterward, they told him that he had sleep apnea, a disorder where your breathing repeatedly stops while you are asleep. It was a diagnosis that Bolt sort of expected.

“I knew what it was and I wasn’t really surprised,” he said, “My wife had mentioned that I’d sometimes be gasping at night.”

His sleep specialist told him he had a few options: to exercise and lose weight, to get a CPAP machine (a machine that provides continuous positive airway pressure through a face mask) or to get a dental appliance (a device inserted in the mouth.)

As he considered the options, he eliminated the CPAP machine right away since his apnea was on the mild end of the spectrum. “It just had no appeal to me – I did not want to be wearing a Darth Vader mask to bed. I know it works for other people but to me, it sounded like no fun,” he said.

So Bolt decided to lose weight and see if that resolved the issue. He lost weight, but gained it back. “Stubborn guy that I am, I thought I could lose weight and not wear anything. When I lost weight, my snoring was better, but I wasn’t solving the issue in the long-term,” Bolt said.

Finally, he talked to his dentist, Dr. Tim Johnston at Norge Dental Center. The staff at Norge Dental Center had always made Dave feel at home, and gave him his first good experiences with a dentist.

I was a kid who hated going to the dentist, and eventually grew up into an ‘OK, I’ll go as a last resort’ kind of guy. But now I refer to my visits as my ‘quality time with Dr. Tim.’

When he mentioned his sleep apnea, Dr. Johnston suggested an assessment and for some measurements of Bolt’s jaw to be taken to see what kind of candidate he’d be for an oral sleep apnea appliance.

“Dr. Tim explained what it was and how it would help. To me, it was worth trying – I needed to do something. It wasn’t a hard sell, and the folks at Norge had a ‘can do’ attitude,” Bolt said.

It turned out he was a good candidate, so a mold of his teeth and jaw was made. This method made sure he’d get a customized fit, and in the end, he had his two-piece acrylic appliance. It works by pushing the bottom jaw forward and downward, allowing more air to flow during sleep. It’s customized to what the patient needs and their individual mouth.

Bolt said that learning to put in his device and keep it clean was easy. It’s also adjustable so he could test his comfort versus the effectiveness by asking his wife each morning “Honey, how was it?” to see how much snoring he was still doing.

A portable sleep monitor that he took home helped assess how the appliance was working – and it did work for Dave. The results of the tests showed his breathing and his quality of sleep were improved by sleeping with the appliance in.

Today, Dave is happy with the results. He’s seen an improvement in his quality of sleep and he feels like he has more energy during the day. His wife is happy with it too!

Dave is glad to have an option that works for him, and it’s one that’s a lot easier to travel. “It just goes in my shaving kit in a clamshell retainer case – I don’t have to deal with any extra airport security measures,” he said.

His advice to others? “You should do the assessment and see if it will work for you. Talk to your doctor and see what your options are – I know that a lot of people aren’t doing anything because they don’t want a CPAP mask, but there are other options,” he said.[/gldr_quote]

He was glad to have a dentist he trusted to provide another option for him. As a software engineer, Bolt knows the importance of staying up to date. He said, “It’s easy to become obsolete in any field – if you don’t keep up, you get behind.” Bolt said he’s glad that Norge Dental Center is always staying current on what’s available for their patients.

Photo by Sigmon Taylor Photography

NICK VLAHAKIS

“Norge is a vibrant place, and I love the atmosphere. It’s efficient. I very seldom wait. The staff all work as a group to take care of the patients, and Tim sets the tone that they are quality-focused.”

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Before he retired to Williamsburg in 2006, Nick Vlahakis’ career as a chief operating officer at an aerospace company kept him on the go, and he delayed getting the dental work he needed.

Nick’s childhood experience with the dentist was negative, and tended to be on an as-needed basis. “We only went to the dentist when we had to—it was very reactionary, and not positive. Even as I got older, I avoided going. I had a few toothaches and let me tell you, studying engineering with a toothache was not easy.”

Even though he chose to put off some dental work until retirement, Nick still worried about his teeth.

“I used to think about it a lot when I was eating. Or, I’d imagine the loose one falling out during a meeting. Wouldn’t that be terrible? I had several teeth that needed attention, including a loose one in the front, but I let it go while I was working. I just kicked the can down the road.”

Despite his worries, one of his requirements was to get all the work done at once. He even met with a dentist in Minnesota, but it wasn’t a great experience.

“I was interested in considering implants, but I almost got talked into going down a different road. After the fact, I realized that dentist had been pushing me because he didn’t want to try a newer technique,” he said. “That change-averse style wasn’t going to work for me, I’m glad I didn’t pursue it then.”

By the time Nick retired to Williamsburg, his wife, Kimi, had already found a local dentist. She’d moved down before him. He planned on going to her dentist, but a friend asked if he’d considered Dr. Johnston at Norge Dental Center. Nick decided to book a consultation.

My career was all about quality and reliability, and I looked for the same values in my dentist. I wanted that sweet spot between expertise and technology, and I wanted someone who had done a lot of implants.

Nick’s engineering background helped him understand the mechanics of what would be done in his mouth. Implants involve a degree of building a supportive structure in the mouth, including metal posts and bars, as well as the crowns replacing the old teeth.

“I don’t know a lot about medical procedures, or the interaction between bone and metals, but I can’t divorce my engineering background. I wanted to know as much as I could, and trust on the rest,” he said.

His experience meeting with Dr. Johnston at Norge Dental Center was a positive one. Nick asked a lot of questions, and laid out what he was looking for. He wanted some implants on the top that were not removable, as well as veneers on some of his bottom teeth.

“I wanted things in my mouth to finally be permanent and secure,” he said. “I wanted the skills and technology from the person doing it, and I was impressed with Tim. There are certain things I prioritize on price, but not this. I wanted quality and the know-how of science behind it.”

The timeline Dr. Johnston set out for the work was clear. Nick had the X-rays, molds and procedure necessary for his new implants. Nick was happy with the work. It looks good, and he said he’s had no trouble at all in the last 5 years.

He even recruited his wife to be a patient at Norge Dental Center as well.

“Norge is a vibrant place, and I love the atmosphere. It’s efficient. I very seldom wait. The staff all work as a group to take care of the patients, and Tim sets the tone that they are quality-focused,” he said.

Today, Nick has a lot more time to enjoy himself and his retirement. When he’s not participating in local philanthropic activities like the Vlahakis Education Center at the Hellenic Center, he’s driving the scenic roads of Virginia in his Ferrari.

Photo by Sigmon Taylor Photography

VIRGINIA DECAMP



Gin gets lots of compliments on her new smile. “Sometimes people say, ‘You look different, but I can’t put my finger on it.’ I don’t think my smile can get any better.” 


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When Virginia deCamp (known as Gin to her friends) got the invitation to her 25th high school reunion, she knew it was time to shape up her smile. “My smile was not what I wanted. Over the years, the bonding had cracked and yellowed. It was really starting to bother me. In 2005, I knew it was time to get the work redone. It was an important decision.”



A nurse by profession, Gin took a methodical approach. She headed to the library and researched crowns versus veneers. She asked friends for cosmetic dentistry recommendations. And she scheduled consultations with area dentists to discuss the work.



“I checked on the little things, like how clean their office was, and how long I spent in the waiting room.” 


While she was excited to find the right dentist to help design her new smile, she did have some reservations. Her past experience with dental work wasn’t good. She’d had pitting in her permanent teeth that needed bonding at a young age. At 18, she found out she’d never lost her eyeteeth from childhood. She needed them removed, along with additional remedial work.



“It left a bad taste in my mouth. I had to see an oral surgeon to get the teeth out and then have the adult ones pulled down, which was painful. Then I had to get braces, just as I was heading off for college.”

The cosmetic process would need to address the gap where a good tooth had been removed all those years ago. As she met with dentists in 2005, Gin got a lot of suggestions—combinations of crowns, veneers, bridges and bonding.



“It was a long process because it was important that I find the right person to entrust this to. It’s really an art. I knew this was going to be my smile for the rest of my life.”



When Gin visited Dr. Tim Johnston at Norge Dental Center, she was impressed with him and his office. “I loved their office. It was organized, immaculate, and professional.”After sitting down with Dr. Johnston for a consultation, she was even more impressed.



“He even took a picture of me and then showed me a computerized picture of how my smile would look afterward. We talked about his recommendations and he explained each step. For example, ‘To give the best results, I recommend this…’ He put a lot of thought into it.”



Dr. Johnston made sure to address any remedial work she needed from the past as part of the plan for her new smile. Dr. Johnston also gave her references of other people who’d had cosmetic work done in his office, so Gin could call them to ask about the process.



No one she knew had veneers, so she was curious. “I wanted to know how their teeth looked, but mostly, how did they function? Could they eat an apple?

”

Satisfied with what she heard from patients, and ready to get her new smile in time for the reunion, she decided to work with Dr. Johnston and his team.



“Everything Dr. Johnston told me up front is exactly what happened. It was done nicely, and I’d do it all over again.”



Gin was impressed with the NDC team and office, and continues to get her dental care there. She even switched her whole family to Norge Dental Center. She can get all three kids in for a cleaning at the same time, without taking them out of school. After her negative dental experiences, she wants better for her kids.

“You want cleanings to be a good experience so if there’s ever a problem, they won’t get too anxious about it.”

Gin gets lots of compliments on her new smile. “Sometimes people say, ‘You look different, but I can’t put my finger on it.’ I don’t think my smile can get any better.”