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Meet Dr. Maryse Gellad

Pictured above: Dr. Maryse Gellad and her pet boxer Rocco relax after a long day at Western Dental’s Roseville, CA office.


Dr. Maryse Gellad grew up surrounded by dental and healthcare professionals. Her father is a respected dentist, her mother a former physician, her aunt practices general dentistry, her cousins own a large dental lab, and there are numerous pharmacists in her family. So it was no surprise that Maryse was naturally led to the healthcare field and the practice of dentistry.


It helped, too, that Maryse had a deep love of art. “Dentistry requires artistry,” she says. “If you don’t like art or enjoy the creative process, you will really struggle as a dentist.” Before entering the University of the Pacific, she studied ceramics, painting and drawing at an all-girls Catholic high school. Then, as a Biological Sciences major specializing in Pre-Dental, she supplemented her studies with several dance classes (Modern, Ballet and Jazz), earning her a spot on the UOP Dance Team. Always creating (she’s also an avid cross-stitcher), her artistic side has been a big asset in making beautiful smiles for her patients.


A multi-linguist (she speaks four languages), Maryse immigrated from the Middle East with her family at age four, settling in Montreal during her early childhood years and then moving to Sacramento with her family, where her father, Dr. Samer Gellad, continued his practice of dentistry at Western Dental. Daughter Maryse followed closely in his footsteps.


“My interest in dentistry began at an early age,” recalls Maryse. “I would hear my dad talk about his patients, how he made them happy, relieved their pain, gave them a new smile and helped them regain self-confidence. I knew that’s what I wanted to do, too.”


After completing undergraduate studies at the University of the Pacific, she earned a degree in dentistry, graduating with honors from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco and later becoming one of Western Dental’s youngest new dentists. 


Her dental career has already been colorful and varied. After starting in Western Dental’s Sacramento offices, she spent 1½ years in San Antonio, Texas at Western Dental’s affiliate, Brident Dental, later being asked by Western Dental to bring her Managing Dentist skills to open the Denver office for the company. “As a young person, it was a dream opportunity, because I was able to gain exposure to different places, people and lifestyles,” she said. Maryse moved back to Sacramento with her pet boxer Rocco, and has been there ever since.


Maryse likes the “big office” feel of Western Dental. “I like working with the other specialists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, etc. We’re all here in the same office, I can consult with them, and I don’t have to send my patients somewhere else to take care of any special needs they might have.”


And as for the personal side of her practice, it’s not uncommon for patients to stop by just to say thank you, or bring her a bag of apples or a hand-made bracelet. It’s an indication of the genuine patient-doctor relationship she builds with every patient. “It is very fulfilling when a patient mentions how pain-free their appointment was or how they appreciate the extra time I take to explain a complicated procedure,” she said. “At the end of the day, I always feel I can enjoy my evening, knowing my patients have received great care, while Western Dental has taken care of all the administrative details.”


That’s a real plus for anyone’s peace of mind. Including Rocco’s.


Expanded Medi-Cal Benefits Improve Lives of Many California Dental Patients
By John Luther, DDS, Chief Dental Officer Dental care benefits under Medi-Cal – and the over 13 million Californians who depend on them – took a big hit in 2009. State budget constraints caused by the onslaught of the Great Recession resulted in deep cuts to state services, including basic dental care under the Medi-Cal program. Eight years later, as the economy slowly recovered, California lawmakers passed a bill that fully reinstated those reduced benefits, providing improved dental care services not previously included as covered benefits under Medi-Cal. The changes took effect January 1, 2018. The Medi-Cal Dental enhancements are substantial. Patients are now covered for procedures like scaling & root planing (SRPs or “deep cleaning”), treatment vital to the management and prevention of gum disease in high risk patients. Root canals on back teeth, instead of extractions, are now a possibility for many. Partial dentures are an option for denture patients. And many other services – exams, x-rays and fillings – are now included. This is good news. For example: It means that, if clinically appropriate, a denture patient doesn’t need a full mouth extraction to receive dentures – previously the only option under Medi-Cal – because partial dentures, which require fewer, if any, extractions, are now covered. Partial dentures not only provide significantly better performance and comfort than full dentures, but they also save existing teeth, help maintain bone and a provide a better quality of life. A patient requiring a root canal on a back molar is now covered for that procedure, saving the tooth and preserving bone and the overall health of the patient. Under previous Medi-Cal coverage, the patient’s only option was extraction. Scaling & root planing, now covered, is critical in controlling gum disease. Untreated gum disease makes it harder to control diabetes and is linked to other diseases such as heart disease, respiratory diseases, and even cancer. It’s been gratifying to see significantly more patients now enjoying this enhanced quality of dental care coverage. At the 191 Western Dental offices in California, we’ve seen an increase of 20% in Medi-Cal Dental patient visits since the beginning of the year. Being the largest provider of Medi-Cal Dental services in the state, we’re geared up to meet this pent-up demand. Our doctors and staff have been preparing for months in anticipation of the influx, and we expect to see a continued flow of new and returning patients as more patients with Medi-Cal Dental learn of their enhanced benefits.
How to Get the Most from Your Dental Plan
  Going to the dentist is probably the last thing on your mind this holiday season. But while you’re making your to-do list, you might add “make dentist appointment” because December is an ideal time for a visit. Kids are out of school for their holiday break, appointment slots are available, and for many of us, dental plan benefits expire at the end of the year.  That makes getting in to see the dentist a higher priority this month.   If you’re in the middle of dental treatment, it can be important to make that next visit. For example, as patients receiving a dental implant know, there are several steps to receiving your implant. If your last appointment was for bone restoration a few months ago, you may be ready for placement of the implant. Or the doctor may have your permanent crown ready to replace that temporary crown you received a few weeks ago.   Scheduling a cleaning with the hygienist is wise every six months, and more often if you had periodontal care on your last visit. Coming in for an appointment now to continue treatment you’ve started means you can use up deductibles and maximize your plan’s benefits this year.   You may also want to start needed treatment with any remaining benefits you may have this year, and then pick up where you left off with fresh new benefits in January. Many people split care over two year’s benefits this way for best coverage.   Don’t neglect your oral health altogether this holiday season. Squeeze in an hour of your day to see your dentist just one more time before year end.  You’ll know you’re getting the most out of your dental plan, and you’ll feel good about starting off the New Year with a fresh new smile!