On a rainy afternoon in March, we had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Erela Katz Rappaport, head of Complete Health Dentistry SoCal in Poway. We discovered interesting facts about dentistry, Dr. Katz’s approach, and her need to honor her Holocaust survivor parents.
Professionally Dr. Erela Katz’s goal is to transform her patients’ approach to dental care. Every procedure, from a dental cleaning to restorations, allows Dr. Katz to renew her patients’ confidence and improve their general health.
“Many people think of oral health as separate from overall health,” says Dr. Katz. “We should understand the mouth is the entrance to our body; thus, many medical issues start at the mouth.”
Tooth decay and gum disease, when left untreated, can lead to severe problems, including brain or heart infections, she explains.
Dr. Katz has extensive training in Dental Sleep Medicine. This means she can diagnose sleep apnea and offers tailored treatments to resolve sleep-disordered breathing. The innovative technique also works for snoring, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and associated TMJ symptoms such as chronic migraines. The treatment is effective, minimally invasive, and affordable.
Dr. Katz’s strong work ethic can be traced back to her roots. A daughter of Holocaust survivors, Erela grew up in awe of her father’s heroism. “Not only did he survive the ghetto in Poland, the transportation to the camps) Auschwitz and the Death March,” she marvels. Michael Katz “joined the Palmach in Israel and participated in the War of Independence and the Sinai Campaign. He is considered a war hero.”
Dr. Katz shared a story his dad used to tell about a visit from Golda Meir to his Palmach unit. According to Dr. Katz, the team was stationed near a bridge that connected to Jordan, where Meir was to meet King Hussein. Meir disguised herself as a man to avoid being detected while crossing. She was back after a couple of hours; the negotiations had failed. “Boys, you must blow up the bridge,” Meir ordered. At night, after a failed attempt to destroy the structure, the unit’s expert in explosives asked for help. Michael Katz volunteered, and both men crawled on their stomachs toward peril. Soon, enemy bullets started buzzing over them. Still, he accomplished his mission.
Later, the family moved to the US, where Michael owned a gas station. Here, Erela witnessed his strong work ethic and fair treatment of employees and customers. Dr. Katz has carried on these lessons to her dental practice. She makes a point of giving back to the community. She and her staff have “adopted” families during Christmas, ensuring they could have food on the table and gifts for the children. She has helped and empowered many women to get training and resume their dental practice.
Dr. Erela Katz Rappaport is a member of the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, and the San Diego County Dental Society, to name a few. She is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine and a Qualified Dentist with the American Association of Dental Sleep Medicine. Her office is located at Complete Health Dentistry SoCal, 15706 Pomerado Road Suite 205 Poway, CA, 92064. Contact her at (858) 674-5954.