Dr. Sam Romano

You Can Pick Your Friends…

Uncle Joe

There’s an old saying “You can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.” We’ve all heard that phrase before. It’s usually used when we need to rationalize behavior within our family that didn’t sit well with us.

Well, every family has its ups and downs, we all know that. For me, I have been blessed in my life in many ways, but none greater than the gift of my family. This past week, my family lost its patriarch, Joe DeMarzo. He passed away on Wednesday Oct. 12 after a long illness and a courageous fight. He left us on Wednesday the same way he lived every day of his life, surrounded by his family.

“Uncle Joe”, as many of us called him, (I think he was everybody’s uncle) was larger than life in my eyes, a legend. My mother and father made sacrifices throughout their lives to make sure my brother and I received the best they could afford. My father (rest in peace) has been gone for many years now, and my Uncle Joe was like a second father to me. He will be remembered by us in many ways.

He was a happy guy with a contagious smile. He always had some silly joke, and it seemed that whatever life threw at him he just rolled with it. He was a friend to everyone. He gave advice and comfort to those around him. It was common place to “go ask Uncle Joe what he thinks.” He always had an answer. It may not have been the one you wanted to hear, but it was the one you needed to hear.

He was always supportive and when he said “it’s going to be ok” somehow you knew it was. He was always the go-to guy.

He will be remembered for his passion for his work. It is said that you can’t be great at something unless you love it. Uncle Joe loved his work. Honestly, I never think he really “worked” a day in his life. He didn’t go to “work” in the morning; instead he went to do what he loved to do, build homes. There is a quote from François-René de Chateaubriand that pretty much sums it up.

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”

I don’t think anyone has built more houses in Madison than he did. The hundreds of homes he built that grace our beautiful town will serve as a lasting reminder of his great spirit, commitment to excellence, and love for his town.

He inspired those around him. Over the years, in my dental practice, I have hired professional consultants to coach my staff and me to be the best we can be. The lessons always came down to making my vision and purpose clear to my team, having the “right people on the bus”, and delivering dentistry that exceeded our patient’s expectations.

For all the times I sat there and listened to the experts, I kept thinking to myself, “I’ve seen this before.” All you had to do was go to one of Uncle Joe’s job sites, spend a day, and ask anyone on the job. They knew what his vision was and they wanted to be part of it.

If you weren’t the right person for the job, he thanked your for riding his bus and let you off at the first stop. The speed of construction, precision, and quality that went into his houses could only be achieved through great leadership. What Vince Lombardi was to football, or Henry Ford was to car-making, Uncle Joe was to home-building. Thank you, Uncle Joe, for all those valuable life lessons and especially for teaching me to have the courage to pursue your vision, and that “good” is not good enough.

What I will always remember most is his passionate commitment to our family. Family trumped all else, period. He was old-school and he was the glue that kept it all together. As we all grew up, sons, daughters, cousins, nieces, and nephews, and grandchildren, Uncle Joe was always there either in the foreground or background.

He was the steady hand on the tiller that kept the family on course. In Fr. Robert J. Spitzer’s Book “The Spirit of Leadership”, the highest level (level IV) of happiness you could obtain was where you were involved with something of ultimate significance, to create something that would live beyond you.

For a long time I thought this was limited to creating a foundation, or starting a charity. But I missed it. Everyone can experience level IV happiness. Uncle Joe taught that to me. You have everything you need right in your own home: your family. There is no greater asset, no greater gift, no greater level of happiness to be obtained than the love for one another in your family. It will live with you every day and last for generations. It’s right there in front of you. Grab it and embrace it with your whole heart. Hopefully, you are living it now. If not, maybe you’ll be like me and be lucky enough to have an Uncle Joe to show you the way.

God Bless,

Dr. Sam Romano.

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Is Madison really Mayberry?

For years, I’ve heard how wonderful Madison is and how people who move here compare it to Mayberry from the Andy Griffith Show. (I can still whistle the tune). Having lived and worked in town all my life, I feel uniquely qualified to weigh in on their assessment of Madison. I was onlypartly right.

First of all, let me tell you a little about myself. I was born in 1959 and grew up on Bardon Street. My mother, who is 83, still lives there. I went to Central Avenue School,the Junior School, and Madison High, graduating in 1977. I went to Fairleigh Dickinson University for undergrad and UMDNJ in Newark for Dental School. I’ve lived in Madison all my life with the exception of a few years in Florham Park and a year in Chatham. Not exactly the world traveler.

I started to realize that Madison was special while I was in dental school in Newark.

When the doctors on staff found out I was from Madison, they would say “that’s a good town.” I never thought much about it, I was more focused on exams.

After I finished school and in the early years of my career, I worked at several practices in North Jersey, both urban and suburban settings. That’s the first time I started to “get it.”

You see, having never really lived or worked anywhere before, I thought every place was just like Madison. I didn’t know what I had because I didn’t know what others didn’t have.

When those newbies in town become so enamored with Madison, I remember thinking, “Yea, I remember when it really was Mayberry.” As a kid, if I rode my bike in a part of town that I wasn’t supposed to be in, my mother knew about it before I got home. And there were no cell phones back in those days! (Opie’s got nothing on me.)

A long time has passed since I began my career, and I have traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and even to Central America to practice dentistry. The places ranged from nice resorts to inner city hospitals and small remote villages. But for all the places I’ve been to, I realize that Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” had it right when she said, “there’s no place like home.”

As I start my fifth decade in town, I’m happy to see the storefronts in the downtown filled with new businesses. I’m happy many of my friends and fellow business owners are still around. They have ridden out the financial storm and have kept their businesses in town. In spite of a significant slump in the housing market, homes in town still keep selling.

My vision for the future of Madison is bright. I was disappointed that New Jersey Monthly didn’t include Madison in the top 100 towns in New Jersey!
(What’s up with that?) I know we have a parking problem. I know about the
budget. I know taxes are high. I know we have all the same problems as most other towns. I encourage those in town who have the responsibility of decision making to keep in mind the image of what Madison looked like in
the past and to see what the future needs to be and make decisions that support
that vision.

You know, I’ve never won the lottery. I don’t have much luck in Atlantic
City. I have enough losing raffle and 50/50 tickets that if I burnt them in the fireplace, I could heat the house for the month of February. But that’s OK, because I’ve been blessed to live and work in a great place: Madison. And I don’t even have to click my heels three times to get there.

For more information, please
visit our website at www.DrSamRomano.com

Thanks for the ride,

Sam Romano

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“Pursuing Dental Excellence”

Dr. Sam Romano is recognized by Dr. John Kois at the 2011 Kois Center Symposium in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Romano was recognized for his creative vision which led to the publication of “Pursuing Dental Excellence” The book is written for patients to help them understand the level of commitment and dedication to excellence that graduates of the Kois Center have for dentistry. It was distributed to the 400 dentists from the U.S. Europe and Asia at the meeting last week. Please pick it up and give it a look the next time you are in the office. I’m very proud of it.

Dr. Sam Romano is recognized by Dr. John Kois at the 2011 Kois Center Symposium in Seattle, Washington

For more information on Dr. Sam Romano visit www.drsamromano.com

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Are You Ready For 80?

The National Institute on Aging reveals that elderly
Americans are now living longer and enjoy better health. The numbers speak for
themselves – life expectancy has jumped from 12 years for 65-year old Americans
in the 1900s to 18 years in 2000. This, in part, can be attributed to better
access to health services and advanced treatment methods. But much has to do
with how we take care of our body and mind. So, does this mean that a more
recent estimate indicating there will be over a million Americans aged 100 and
above by 2050, will actually come true? And will you be one among these
privileged few?

The right attitude to health can reap rich rewards
Living to the ripe old age of 80 and more need not be a
distant dream – you can make it happen. Not only can you live longer but live
the years in good health. Healthy aging does not require a miracle solution –
you only need to follow a few basics with regard to diet, exercise and stress
to boost life expectancy and cut risks of age-related disorders. You may even
be familiar with some, but reiterating them will reinforce their importance and
motivate you to incorporate positive changes into your life.

Watch what you eat
Here’s a tip from Okinawa (in Japan), the land with the highest
number of centenarians-“eat till you are 80% full”. In other words, practice
portion control to keep weight gain and associated diseases at bay. Cutting
portion size and eating 5-6 smaller meals a day is advocated by most
dieticians. Follow this eating best practice – it’s easy, just make sure you
don’t load your plate till it tips over and order smaller-sized portions in
restaurants (if the restaurant doesn’t offer this option, share the order with
a friend or family member).

An important part of ‘eating right’ is whipping up a
balanced meal with a high nutritional content. Hold the red meat and try
sumptuous seafood (rich in Omega 3 fatty acids that keep heart disease and
Alzheimer’s at bay) instead. Incorporate garden vegetables, nuts and grains in
your diet; they all form a part of the daily diet of Okinawans and Sardinians,
who share the highest centenarian accolade with Okinawa.
Limit intake of processed food, and replace sodas with fresh fruit juice.

Exercise your way to 80
A sedentary lifestyle is a deal killer as far as both your
mind and body are concerned. You can’t blame the fast paced technological world
for making you inactive. Even if you are required to spend long hours at the
computer, take some time out to go for a jog or swim, or even just take breaks
to go for quick walks, and make time for an hour or so to exercise or indulge
in outdoor games on weekends. There are many ways to plan your exercise
schedule in accordance with your lifestyle – all you need to do is put some
effort into it. In this regard, you can seek some inspiration from the
Sardinians, who ‘exercise’ by cutting wood, pasturing sheep, feeding cows and
trimming trees. Of course, you may not be able to do this, but you can bicycle
to work or the supermarket, and cut and trim your lawn.

Manage stress better
You cannot avoid stress, what you can do is manage it and
try to cut it down. Experts suggest a few ways to beat the stress, which
includes building the right supportive social circle and spending more time in
the company of your family. The focus on family is particularly important in
view of a research establishing that that the life expectancy of married people
and grandparents who stay with their families is higher than single and
divorced people.

Pay attention to all aspects of health
Even as you lead a healthy lifestyle, get the clean chit
from doctors by scheduling timely check-ups. As you age, your body becomes more
susceptible to specific debilitating disorders. Heart, eye and dental check-ups
are imperative, as are other examinations in connection with factors like
gender and family medical history.

For more information about our office please visit www.drsamromano.com

DNA

According to the American Dental Association, an estimated 75% of all Americans over the age of 35 have some form of periodontal disease. Furthermore, science is showing a direct link between oral health and overall health. Specifically, there has been shown to be a link between periodontal disease and heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer.
Periodontal disease is caused by a bacterial infection. A simple DNA test can now determine the specific type and quantity of disease-causing bacteria in your mouth! These bacteria, if left untreated can cause periodontal disease, tooth loss, and also affect your risk for developing other systemic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (among others).
Swishing a small amount of sterile saline throughout the mouth for 30 seconds performs this gentle oral rinse procedure.
A lab report will identify the presence or absence of bacteria associated with periodontal infection, and allow development of a personalized treatment plan!

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Sedation Dentistry. “What’s up with that”?

As one of the very few dentists licensed to administer IV sedation in NJ (other than Oral Surgeons there are less than 100 IV sedation permits in NJ) I get a lot of patients calling the office for the service. They come from throughout northern and central NJ looking for something that almost all don’t and can’t offer.

Do you need to be Sedated?

There is a lot of talk these days about Sedation Dentistry. It has become a life changing experience for many. Millions of people avoid going to the dentist each year because of fear, anxiety, negative childhood experience, gag reflex to name just a few. Many people have asked me to talk about the topic. Sedation dentistry is the fastest growing alternative to traditional dental treatment. When your body gets into the anxious mode it releases hormones and chemicals that can leave your muscles tight and tired. While sedated, your body is relaxed and all those corrosive chemicals are absent. You wake up feeling refreshed and relaxed. You can get more dentistry done in one visit rather than multiple visits making it convenient and less stressful. IV Sedation, may be a more appropriate alternative for people who are nervous or apprehensive about dental procedures or who require complicated or lengthy treatments.

This sedation will allow you to be relaxed throughout the entire procedure. You will remain conscious (unlike general anesthesia) but you will be in a complete state of relaxation. Your vital signs are constantly monitored. When you awake you will feel refreshed and have little memory of the procedure.

For more information about Dr. Sam Romano please visit my website www.drsamromano.com

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Symposium on bone and soft tissue grafting

Dr. Sam Romano and Dr. Mike Pikos

Dr. Sam Romano and Dr. Mike Pikos

I Just got back from a symposium on bone and soft tissue grafting by Dr’s. Pikos, and Salama. They are world famous for their work in the area. One of the additional speakers was Dr. Eduardo Anitua from Spain. His presentation was amazing. His pioneering research will change how we do things in regard to growing bone in areas that are currently deficient. The good news is the future is now. I’m really excited to be bringing some of his techniques into the office in the next couple of months.

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SEDATION DENTISTRY/Serving Morris County NJ

Understanding Dental Phobias
First of all, you need to understand that dental phobia is very common among a lot of people. The main cause of triggers of dental phobia may be the fear of shots, hearing and fearing dental drill, and also the typical cold atmosphere that people would normally experience inside the dental practice. Other triggers are strong gag reflex, difficulty in becoming numb, previous traumatic experience during dental treatment, and sensitive teeth.

If you are interested in our Sedation Dentistry services, please contact Dr. Romano and his team today in Madison, NJ and schedule a consultation.

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ORAL DNA

As you may be aware, the past 10 years have provided much insight into what has come to be called… “The Oral / Systemic Connection”. There does appear to be a link to chronic inflammatory periodontal infections and systemic diseases such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Some forms of cancer and other diseases

The National Institute of Health (NIH) and other research facilities are aggressively pursuing this link as well. For More information regarding the Oral/Systemic Connection, visit the following links online:

  • National Institutes of Health: nha.gov 
  • American Dental Association: ada.org
  • Academy of Periodontology: perio.org
  • American Dental Hygienists’ Association: adha.org

As we continue to learn more about the severity of periodontal infections and how closely linked they are to your overall health, having detailed information about your genetic susceptibility (MyPerioID® PST®) and the bacteria that are present in our mouth (MyPerioPath®) will be critical in determining your oral and overall general health.

To find our more about oral DNA contact Dr. Sam Romano in Madison, New Jersey, or visit our website at drsamromano.com

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