MANATEE COUNTY — With the click of a mouse, Dr. Prashant Pandya pulls up a picture of one of the many people who changed his life.
The man in the image had come to Shands Jacksonville Medical Hospital with a bloodied mass for a face. Prashant, who was then studying to be an oral and facial surgeon, helped transform it.
He clicks the mouse again, and this time, a picture of the same man appears with a face that is scarred but recognizable.
The ability to help piece lives back together so profoundly is what propelled Pandya from his lifelong dream of being a dentist to becoming an oral surgeon.
“It gave me instant gratification when I could help them out and achieve good results,” Pandya said. “I knew I wanted to be an oral surgeon. I wanted to be involved in the community and be available to help people who need this service. I just love it.”
Pandya ventured to Manatee County after finishing his medical training on June 20, filling a need for an oral and facial surgeon at Manatee Memorial Hospital. He opened his own practice on Lena Road, the Manatee Oral and Facial Surgery Center, on July 6.
From his new East County location, Pandya can do consultations and procedures such as pulling out wisdom teeth or giving Botox injections. For more complicated procedures such as dental implants or bone grafting, he can work on patients at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center or at Manatee Memorial, he said.
Pandya was introduced to oral surgery during his second year of dental school at the University of Louisville, Ky. Trauma cases, in particular, sparked his interest. Although Pandya had come from a long line of dentists, he realized surgery was his life’s calling.
“I got exposed to surgery, and that changed everything,” he said.
After dental school, he began his training at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center at the University of Florida to become an oral maxillofacial surgeon. As Pandya worked to finish his residency, he began looking for places where he could relocate his family and start his practice.
“I felt like there was a void in Bradenton because there’s nobody doing facial trauma at the hospital,” Pandya said. “On the east side of Bradenton, there was this beautiful community that had to travel way west or way south to have their oral surgery needs taken care of. I grabbed onto that.”
Contact Pam McTeer at email@example.com.
The Manatee Oral & Facial Surgery Center
ADDRESS: 5460 Lena Road, Bradenton
LIST OF SERVICES
Lesion and evaluation
Celft lip and palate
Facial cosmetic surgery