“It’s incredibly rewarding to, in many ways, change people’s lives. – Dr. Jon Korostoff
Dr. Jon Korostoff is an unsung hero of the National Foundation for Ectodermal Dysplasias (NFED) family. His humble approach to dental care can be misleading because he is truly changing the lives of his ectodermal dysplasias patients.
His career at the University of Pennsylvania (UPENN) has spanned over 30 years. He specializes in periodontics, a branch of dentistry that concerns the gums which support teeth structures.
About ten years ago, a chance encounter with NFED Executive Director Mary Fete would add a whole new dimension to the way he worked. He would go on to establish UPENN as an NFED Dental Treatment Center after learning about the dental complications of the ectodermal dysplasias community.
“It goes beyond any financial award you can get in the dental field.
The ultimate reward for Dr. Korostoff is the reactions of the ectodermal dysplasias patients he treats. He sees them transform from the time they walk in the door to the moment they walk out.
While his work can be rewarding, it is certainly not easy. First, going to the dentist is not often on the top of anyone’s list of favorite things to do. However, Dr. Korostoff finds that ectodermal dysplasia patients have different attitudes.
It can have taken years of searching before Dr. Korostoff’s patients find him and his team. Such patients have endured numerous appointments that led to no results. Their gratitude does not go unnoticed by the dentist. It inspires him to continue his work.
“I am willing to do whatever I possibly can to help. It is a wonderful cause.
The Center’s team at UPENN consists of six or seven specialists and 25-30 residents studying at UPENN. One of the advantages of his center is the availability of seeing multiple specialists in one location.
Because UPENN is a university, they can keep their costs down. In most cases, patients only need to pay for lab fees and the materials used in their treatments. Implant donations from programs like Straumann also help ensure that ectodermal dysplasia patients can afford the care they need.
Looking towards the future, Dr. Korostoff hopes to serve more patients. Many of his patients travel from more than two hours away, sometimes across the country. His team tries to fit in as many appointments as necessary while his patients are in town.
Dr. Korostoff does not actively participate in research, but he is excited for a new addition to the dental program at UPENN. UPENN unveiled a new prosthodontic program in July, which enhanced the Dental Treatment Center.
“Don’t be scared off by what you’re facing.
Ectodermal dysplasia cases can be daunting for dentists who have never seen or treated any of the conditions. Dr. Korostoff recommends that dentists approach such cases with a commitment to providing the best care to their patients. Dentists should try to find other dentists or specialists who have treated ectodermal dysplasia.
At the core of everything Dr. Korostoff does is a dedication to providing the best care for his patients. He is thrilled with how far the Dental Treatment Center has come and looks forward to keeping his patients smiling!