The local dentist aims to provide painless care

By Jeff Theodore, Contributing author

Dr. Lavana joined the Garg Foundation in the Dominican Republic, whose mission is to provide free dental care to patients for implant placement. (Radio submitted)

NORTHBOROUGH – Anticipating pain before a dental visit is truly a thing of the past thanks to new dental techniques and technologies.

Archana Karkhanis-Lavana, who operates Family Dental Group in partnership with her husband, Nikhil Lavana, makes it a priority to provide patients with a pleasant visit and minimal pain.

Family Dental Group has offices in Northborough, Paxton and Gardner.

“Over the past five to six years, dentistry has become more digital and computerized,” Karkhanis-Lavana said in a recent interview. “And it’s a change for the better, making dental appointments faster and less painful.”

Some of the most popular advancements include:

  • Intra-oral scanning and digital printing, which provides real-time visualization for an exact copy of the mouth in 3D HD images, enabling much faster diagnosis.
  • CT scans, which only take a few minutes and are non-invasive, allow dentists to examine what lies beneath the surface of the teeth and gums.
  • Laser technology, which reduces the need for anesthesia, allowing virtually painless dental work
  • Dental implants, which are basically artificial teeth that dentists attach to the jawbone, are becoming more popular every year. More than 500,000 Americans receive implants each year. Overall, the process has a 97% success rate.

The dentist notes the value of the implants

Karkhanis-Lavana underwent intense training to become a specialist in the dental implant procedure.

“It used to be that only specialists performed dental implants, but now the training has evolved so that general dentists like me do them,” she said, noting that she started doing it in 2016.

Compared to dentures, Karkhanis-Lavana believes that dental implants are the best choice for most patients.

“Implants can be placed all over the mouth whereas dentures are quite bulky,” she says. “Implants are like getting a tooth back.”

Karkhanis-Lavana says she finds doing dental restoration very rewarding because it helps build a patient’s self-esteem.

“Dentistry is an important part of getting back to normal life,” she said. “I appreciate aesthetics and it’s satisfying to put a smile on your face. The condition of a person’s teeth can hold them back. So, making someone smile again is what inspires me every day.

Karkhanis-Lavana graduated from Tufts University Dental School in 2000. In the same year, her husband, Nikhil, graduated from Boston University’s Goldman School of Dentistry. Mohamed Hassan, the third member of the dentistry group, is a board-certified periodontist and faculty member in the department of periodontics at Harvard University.

Karkhanis-Lavana, a self-proclaimed “people person”, says word of mouth is a great way to attract new customers. However, education is also a valuable tool, so the dental group is distributing “share enough to care” cards, which offer new patients an exam and bitewing x-rays for just a dollar, provided a customer schedule regular cleaning at the same time.

The dentist shares his advice

Karkhanis-Lavana says it shouldn’t be intimidating to keep a nice smile. She advises her patients to brush their teeth twice a day, floss, and schedule dental visits at least twice a year. She said that during the pandemic, she’s noticed patients are falling behind when it comes to their dental maintenance, and that’s an easy problem to fix.

“It’s important not to ‘fall off the wagon’ because simple care will prevent your teeth from giving you a hard time with cavities and gum disease,” she said.

Learn more about Family Dental Group by visiting their website,

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