Dr Andrew Navakas is the dentist we all dream of finding. He quickly puts you at ease with his friendly manner. His expertise and huge experience are quickly apparent to our patients. He loves to hear your stories, especially ones about travel, and has a curious and inventive mind which will give you confidence you are in the safest of hands.
Since graduating from University of Adelaide as a very young dentist in 1981, Andrew has spent most of his working life in the inner west of suburbs of Melbourne which has been a great privilege. He began his career working for the NT Department of Health in Darwin and had the opportunity to work with some excellent mentors. He soon became skilled at providing dentistry in all kinds of challenging settings such as remote cattle stations and aboriginal settlements. It was a superb training ground which has stood him in good stead ever since. It taught him to be creative, inventive, to work efficiently and to always find a solution to a problem. His patients have appreciated this over the years.
Arriving in Melbourne in 1985 he quickly found a start in Yarraville. Fortune smiled in 1986 when a chance came up to establish a small practice in Kensington within the Kensington Medical Centre at the time run by the inestimable Dr Ian Chau. Since then the practice has grown from a one dentist/nurse modest service to a multi-disciplinary practice with dentists, dental hygienists and an oral health therapist. Re-locating to a bigger premises two doors up was essential to offer the range of services we now provide of which the whole team is very proud.
All the while we have been providing a valuable comprehensive dental health service for the local community. Andrew and his team are now caring for the third generation of local families and have been fascinated by the demographic changes as the Melbourne population has grown.
What Andrew loves most is doing quality work for his patients. Whether it is a simple restoration or a number of crowns where there is a need for pinpoint accuracy as well as attention to the artistry of colour and contour, he derives a great satisfaction from helping people. He gets a buzz when he sees some 30 year old examples of his work still looking beautiful and intact. These days photography is so sophisticated that he has spectacular records of his work.
While his work has stood the test of time, he is always looking to embrace change and new technology where it helps to solve problems for patients and improves treatment outcomes. Andrew was one of the first dentists in Melbourne to use Zeiss microscopes for all his work. It gives spectacular vision and ensures accurate and thorough work that the naked eye simply cannot achieve. He has always been at the forefront of new developments in dentistry such as digital x-rays and 3-D imaging and is a member of the Melbourne Seattle Study Club and Spear Study Club both leading organisations in the education and development of new and better ways to deliver dental treatment.
Doing complex rehabilitation of a mouth either aesthetically or functionally transforms people’s lives and drives Andrew’s love of what he does. The interaction with people whether it is sharing a joke, despairing at the state of contemporary politics or hearing stories about family and children motivates him to go the extra mile for all his patients. Dentistry for him is all about the person and the putting people’s oral health in the context of the total physical and mental health.
Andrew has a great family - his partner Vivienne, who’s been a great help running the practice with him, and three sons all of whom are working and studying in health-related fields. There is also an energetic and super smart border collie Leo who keeps the family moving. Andrew currently has the honour of being President of the Victorian Wine and Food Society, the oldest of all such groups in Victoria and enjoys sharing the table with like-minded aficionados!