CLINTON — A new hire is joining her father on the staff of Great River Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Clinton.
Stephanie Dalton joined her father, Michael Dalton, at Great River Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, in early September. Dalton, who originally grew up in Dubuque, went to undergraduate school at Notre Dame. She followed after obtaining her undergraduate degree by attending dental school at the University of Iowa. She then completed her residency training in La Crosse, Wisconsin, at Gunderson Health System. Dalton said she decided to return to the area and work at Great River Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery due to the proximity to her original home and the opportunity presented by working with other professionals.
"I wanted to come back to the area," Dalton said. "There's also a great group of surgeons to work with at this practice. Looking around the other practices around the country as well it's great to be able to join a group practice. In other words having a total of now six of us and then to be a part of that as opposed to going out on your own. It's nice to have mentors and a well-established practice with good assistants and the support staff as well. And I wanted to come back to the area. It's a great area to be."
Dalton will split her time between the Clinton office, located at 511 S. Fourth St., and also will work at Great River Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery locations in Dubuque and Platteville, Wisconsin. Dalton said with her addition to the staff, there will be a surgeon at the Clinton location every day. Dalton and the other five oral surgeons at Great River Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery offer various services to patients who may not be able to be addressed with general dentistry.
"What most people know about oral surgery would be wisdom teeth, extractions, tooth extractions and dental implants, which are a great way to replace missing teeth," Dalton said. "It's a fairly natural way to replace a missing tooth. You can replace one tooth or all the teeth with implants. We also care for patients who have broken jaws, facial trauma, infections and pathology of the jaws. So like cysts and tumors of the jaws. Those are the main areas that we are involved with. Also, jaw surgery. Some patients get jaw surgery as part of their orthodontic treatment plan."
Dalton said often patients are referred by their dentists after identifying a certain issue that needs to be addressed, such as the removal of a tooth. She said a benefit of oral surgeons is they have extensive training in anesthesia, allowing patients to be asleep during the removal of a tooth. She said it is important for a patient to have regular contact with a dentist to have a long-term plan after work is done by oral surgeons at Great River Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
"It's always a good idea to have a general dentist just to have a whole plan," Dalton said. "OK, we're going to take a tooth out but then what are we going to do once it's gone. It's nice to know what the options are for tooth replacement. To have someone on board taking a look at the big picture and having checkups can avoid a trip to see us. Not always, but to fix smaller problems."
Dalton cited the "great staff" at Great River as a major reason why community members should consider coming to them with any issues, ranging from the surgeons to the assistants, nurses and front desk staff. She said the surgeons additionally make an effort to communicate with the dentists who refer patients to their practice to address the patient's issues effectively.
"We make a very strong effort to have good communication with the dentists who refer patients over," Dalton said. "So to get a sense of what that patient's goals are and communicate the overall plan with their dentist. And really make an effort to have up-to-date technology and equipment and stay up to date in terms of the latest procedures, surgical techniques while emphasizing patient safety as well. That's a big part of the anesthesia. Coming to an oral surgeon, there's often the option, not for every single person but there's often the option to have some type of sedation or to help with some of that anxiety that can accompany the types of procedures that we do."
Dalton said growing up with a father who was an oral surgeon allowed her an opportunity to be aware from an early age on what an oral surgeon does and provides to patients. She said she had the opportunity to look around after her residency and decided Great River Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery was the best fit, adding she is excited to get more acclimated with the Clinton, Dubuque and Platteville areas.
"This is a great place because he's here but also the rest of the group as well," Dalton said. "I'm really glad to be starting here and looking forward to getting to know all the other dentists in the Clinton area and the Platteville area and the Dubuque area. And I'm excited to work with the patients here."