Over the course of the last 26 years, Mark Farina, D.M.D. (Doctor of Dental Medicine) has built a reputation as one of the finest and most respected orthodontists in Tampa Bay. And, while that has helped him make a great living, he now finds even more joy in the services he provides for free as part of his Smiles For The Soul foundation.
“We’re transitioning from our success to significance,” says Dr. Farina, the long-time New Tampa and Wesley Chapel orthodontist who estimates he has fixed more than 20,000 smiles.
But, what’s the point of a great smile if there’s nothing to smile about? To that end, Farina takes great pleasure in helping those with unfortunate circumstances, like wiping clean the bill of the mother whose son has just died, or bringing a former Navy Seal to tears with a free smile as a thank you for his service, or for many others who have been nominated to receive assistance from Smiles For The Soul.
“It’s just wonderful to give back,” Dr. Farina says. “These are the stories that make me the happiest. Seeing the reactions and seeing the different ways we help — that’s powerful stuff.”
Farina’s success has opened many doors, including those at his modern, cubist-style office on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. between the Shops at Wiregrass and AdventHealth Wesley Chapel.
The three-floor, 16,000-sq.-ft. building is a testament to his success and his vision for the future. Farina Orthodontic Specialists operates out of the building’s first floor, and half of the second floor has offices handling oral maxillofacial surgery, periodontics and implant dentistry (with Dr. Matthew Waite, Dr. Mary Elizabeth Joyce and Dr. James Wilson) as well as endodontics (root canals) with Dr. Christian Kamaris and Dr. Frank Delgado.
The other half of the second floor has recently been completed, housing the office’s communications and support center. It will serve as a training center for other doctors nationwide and locally and will host speakers and even conferences. There are two 85–foot screens for presentations, and easily movable furniture that allows the space to be reconfigured for various needs.
Dr. Farina says the office is right out of what you might see at a start-up in Silicon Valley, or even at Google.
The entire building is set up as a multi-interdisciplinary facility, where all of the specialties can come together to give a treatment plan and the best possible outcomes for patients.
Orthodontics, however, are still the engine that drives Farina Orthodontic Specialists.
Top-notch customer service, clear and concise consultations and a friendly waiting room offering a beverage bar and iPads are a precursor to the advanced services offered by Dr. Farina and his professional staff.
A 3D impressionless scanner at Farina Orthodontic Specialists can create a digital 3D model of your teeth in minutes. An i-CAT 3D Machine takes a 3D image of not just the patient’s teeth, but also the bones and airways in his or her head. Best of all, the process takes all of five seconds.
An iTero 3D impressionless scanner can create a digital 3D model of your teeth in three minutes — without the need for that traditional, dreadful goop.
The 3-D printers also can produce tooth aligners and retainers on site.
“We have always been at the forefront of new technology,” Farina says.
In addition to traditional braces, Farina Orthodontic Specialists uses the Invisalign® brand of clear aligners. Farina says that today, most of his patients (60-70 percent) are fitted with Invisalign®, and advances in that area have led to a rapid growth in the number of adults, particularly men, who now visit his practice.
In fact, Dr. Farina says he is the top Invisalign® provider in the area, and one of just a few orthodontists nationwide who has reached Elite Status with Invisalign®.
Dr. Farina also offers his own trademarked system, called ClearTech, which is designed for “touch ups” and more minor tooth movements and relapses.
Those are just a few of the hi-tech options available, with more to come. Farina says his practice will soon start using DentalMonitoring, where a patient is given a ScanBox Pro to use at home and their teeth can be monitored remotely.
“It will map the movements of your teeth,” Dr. Farina says. “It’s pretty awesome stuff.”
It’s a big part of the growth of virtual care, which Farina Orthodontic Specialists emphasizes. Not only does it offer a virtual smile assessment and consultation from the practice’s website (FarinaSmiles.com), it also uses Zoom calls to save some patients a trip to the office.
The new technologies have allowed Dr. Farina to double the number of patients he now sees, he says.
Farina Orthodontic Specialists also treats sleep apnea and snoring, both of which can be the result of an obstructed airway. The imaging also can detect airway development problems in children.
Dr. Farina earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biology from Boston College in Boston, MA. He earned his D.M.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia and did his post-graduate orthodontic training at New York University in New York City, NY.
He also has received advanced training in the integrated diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, and has served on research teams at both New York University and Penn to help find new and better ways to solve orthodontic problems.
His training has led to his successful career, and while he has always been charitable, that success has allowed him to focus more on making a difference with Smiles For The Soul.
And, that new charitable endeavor is what brings a smile to his face.
“It’s all very gratifying,” Dr. Farina says. “As this point for me, it’s not really work anymore, it’s just fun.”
For appointments and more information about the Tampa Palms (15303 Amberly Dr.), Wesley Chapel (2370 BBD Blvd., Suite A) or any of the three locations of Farina Orthodontic Specialists, call (813) 972-2929 or visit FarinaSmiles.com.