First Impressions

By Roseanne Bottone

When you chat with a new acquaintances, you will initially make eye contact. During the rest of the conversation, you’ll watch his or her mouth and notice the teeth. Dr. Helfst is an oral and facial surgeon who creates or restores his clients’ beauty and integrity from the neck up.

Even in today’s economic climate, people are still electing to have cosmetic eye surgery and face or neck lifts. Dr. Helfst says, “People want to look and feel good to improve their chances of getting a good job.” Younger people in their 30s and 40s are just as interested in having minor procedures and Botox treatments. A desire to look good goes well beyond vanity; psychology researchers at New York University in the field of impression management say, “In spite of the congeniality of many professional gatherings, judgments are being made and impressions formed all the time.”

Dr. Helfst also works with trauma patients referred to him from the Pocono Medical Center and local dentists. He specializes in rebuilding bone structure with minimal surgical intervention and a focus on patient comfort. He’s currently working with a teenager who fractured her jaw and broke seven teeth in an accident. Dental implants will restore her bright, white smile and a lovely aesthetic. “We’re restoring her face and mouth to its natural state. This is particularly important for a teenager’s self-esteem,” Dr. Helfst says. He’s also treating an Iraqi veteran whose nose, eye socket, upper pallet and upper jaw were injured from ballistics. “We…diagnose and treat facial pain, facial injuries, and fractures. Our goal is to provide top quality service to our clients and follow-up with them closely for life.”

Dr. Helfst was a biology and chemistry major in college. “I always knew I wanted to go into a medical field,” he reflects. As is common with young people, he was influenced by a mentor – an oral and facial surgeon. He studied dentistry at Stony Brook University on Long Island. “I was in a program where there were only 28 students,” he says. “We had one-on-one instruction, and I received a quality education.” In addition, oral and maxillofacial surgery requires hospital-based surgical and anesthesia training after graduation from dental school. He moved to the Poconos in 1999 and opened his own practice in 2001.

Dr. Helfst’s surgical staff is comprised of experienced, certified oral and maxillofacial surgical assistants.

“Coming into a medical office can be intimidating. Sometimes people feel fearful. I want my patients to be as comfortable as possible so we have taken care to create a calming environment,” Dr. Helfst says. “We have over-stuffed, comfy couches in our waiting room, a soothing fountain, and candles. We even make sure our place smells pleasant!”

There’s no need to go through life with broken or missing teeth or a sagging neck, if you desire a change. The choice is personal, and whether it’s medically necessary or elective, Dr. Helfst and his staff invite you in for a consultation so you can discuss your options for looking and feeling better.

Stroud Oral & Facial Surgery is located at 208 Lifeline Road, Suite 202 in Stroudsburg. For more information, visit or call 570-420-8180.

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We are the premiere lifestyle magazine of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.