The waiting room of Dr. Aki Shirakura’s dental office in a historic home in Armonk is warm and welcoming with cozy armchairs and sunlight peeking through the windows. On top of the coffee table is a binder with patient testimonials and as you peruse through it, you’ll see many comments on his friendliness, professionalism, patience and gentle touch.
Dr. Shirakura has been practicing in Armonk since 2008 and is currently a faculty member at NYU Lutheran in Brooklyn.
He attended dental school in Buffalo, New York, and also completed three additional intense years in Prosthodontics at Eastman Dental Center at the University of Rochester. He has extensive experience in restoring and replacing teeth through the fabrication of veneers, implants and dentures and has performed full mouth reconstruction. He refers to his dentistry work as an “art”–the teeth must be functional and also improve the patient’s smile. Prior to moving to the United States, he was a dental technician in Tokyo for more than two decades which gives him a unique perspective on what he does and how he helps his patients achieve truly beautiful, healthy smiles.
As a prosthodontist he has worked to restore or replace teeth on patients that have been in accidents, had oral cancer or cleft palates. He also does cosmetic dentistry to help those patients who may have damaged teeth due to age, poor dental maintenance or those who just want to enhance their smiles.
Shirakura and his staff of nine employees provide regular dental check-ups and take care of many Northern Westchester-based patients from young children (even babies) to senior citizens. He recommends that patients follow the American Dental Association guidelines that now suggest that babies be seen as soon as their upper and lower baby teeth erupt so that they are on a good track for preventative care.
Recent scientific research is starting to show a link between oral health and general health. Shirakura urges patients to maintain their oral health with regular check-ups every six months.
Being in the dental field for more than three decades, Shirakura is pleased to see that “implants are becoming more of the gold standard in dental care with some good dental insurances now covering it.”
An implant’s success rate is very high compared to older procedures like a bridge, which can cause tooth decay over time. He also uses a 3-D CT scan on patients, which is safer and more multi-dimensional than traditional X-rays. Shirakura’s office contains an in-house lab, which is a huge bonus if teeth need to be quickly repaired. The practice also offers Invisalign and teeth whitening services. Shirakura is proud to utilize his background in geriatric dentistry to conduct dental check-ups as a volunteer on residents at the Bristal, an assisted living facility in Armonk.
In addition, his practice is an active member of the Armonk Chamber of Commerce. This spring he hopes to teach local Byram Hills kindergarteners and first grade students about the importance of oral health.