Oral Surgery

George A. Maranon

Meet Each Need With Dignity Clinic, Northridge Medical Center

Dr. George A. Maranon puts his money where other people's mouths are.

Maranon is one of two oral surgeons who do pro bono work for MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity), a Pacoima-based organization that does medical and dental work for people without insurance. Maranon treats up to 40 people a month for free at the clinic. And he has been known to invite his MEND clients to his own private practice, for free, if their oral surgery needs are too complex to be handled with the not-quite-up-to-date equipment at MEND.

Maranon's money-making activities come from his private practice in Tarzana, which thrives on referred clients. He is perhaps the most widely respected oral surgeon in Los Angeles by dentists, who regularly refer patients to him. He performs more than 750 surgeries a year and treated almost 1,000 patients last year, most of whom were referred by colleagues.

Dr. Mark Friedman, a restorative dental specialist with the Center for Dental Aesthetics in Encino, says he refers "a significant number of patients" to Maranon. He adds that there are other oral surgeons who can do the work Maranon does, but few who offer the same personal service. "He's easy to work with, pleasant, and he gives a great deal of attention to the referring dentist's needs."

By that, Friedman means that the patients he refers to Maranon rarely have any post-operative complaints, and they almost always say that Maranon treated them with great care.

Such rave reviews, of course, help referring dentists to maintain a good reputation with their patients. And the dentists return the favor by continuing to feed Maranon a steady stream of clients.

Oral surgery isn't just your standard teeth pulling. In addition to dental extractions, Maranon specializes in bone grafts, dental implants, reconstructive jaw surgery, and treating facial trauma.

Maranon also gets consistently high marks from colleagues on bedside manner. He knows it's stressful enough to have to go to a dentist or oral surgeon his goal is to make it relatively pleasant for everyone involved.

"Both my kids go in there and take him cookies," says Karen Harper, a longtime patient. "In this day and age, it's impossible to find someone who is such a perfect example of why men and women become physicians. He took the (Hippocratic) oath and hasn't forgotten it."

Veronica Stroesenreuther, dental clinic coordinator at MEND, says Maranon is the only doctor at the organization who actually thanks his patients, and who helps clean up at the end of a long evening of surgeries. "He's a wonderful person; he has to be if he's volunteering here. He's easy-going, relaxed, and he doesn't get stressed."

Maranon, 42, is licensed to practice in both California and New York. Originally he wanted to be a general dentist and had a general dentistry practice in Ontario, Calif. from 1983 to 1987. He performed a lot of oral surgery procedures as a part of his general dentistry practice, and eventually decided to focus on it.

"Oral surgery was something I always enjoyed. As it worked out, it became my passion," he said.

In 1987 he went to New York Medical College when he realized he needed additional training to do more specialized procedures, like reconstructive surgery and trauma treatment for gunshot wounds, mandible fractures and injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents. Now he is on call at the Northridge Medical Center, which has one of largest and busiest trauma centers in the Valley.

Jolie Gorchov

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