Dentists Journal

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ADA and others recommend to establish a Dental Home for your child

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), recommend to establish a “Dental Home” for your child by around one year of age. Children who have a dental home at younger ages are more likely to receive appropriate preventive and routine oral health care, as well they are more likely to avoid future dental issues and disease. They also learn early to love the dentist and are less apt to have fear and phobias with coming to see us.

The key…EDUCATION! At our NoPo Dental office we know how hard being a parent can be and that teeth and oral hygiene are not always your top focus in the early years. As a pediatric dentist and a mother of two, Doctor Staci and her team are full of tips and tricks to get you dental savvy and to help your child become more cooperative and compliant for oral hygiene routines. We will review daily recommendations with a strong focus on diet, as well as helpful positioning to brush and floss and clever strategies to make all of it fun while you do it!

Parents are allowed to stay with their child at our NoPo Kids Dentistry office for routine cleanings, check-ups and treatment, and whether it is their very first dental visit, or their twentieth, the team at NoPo Kids Dentistry strive daily to create the most positive, loving, upbeat, and motivating appointment for you and your child. 

by Doctor Staci

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Views: 509

Dentistry as one of the oldest medical professions

Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions, dating back to 7000 B.C. with the Indus Valley Civilization.  However, it wasn’t until 5000 B.C. that descriptions related to dentistry and tooth decay were available.  At the time, a Sumerian text described tooth worms as causing dental decay, an idea that wasn’t proven false until the 1700s!

In ancient Greece, Hippocrates and Aristotle wrote about dentistry, specifically about treating decaying teeth, but it wasn’t until 1530 that the first book entirely devoted to dentistry—The Little Medicinal Book for All Kinds of Diseases and Infirmities of the Teeth—was published.

By the 1700s, dentistry had become a more defined profession.  In 1723, Pierre Fauchard, a French surgeon credited as the Father of Modern Dentistry, published his influential book, The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth, which for the first time defined a comprehensive system for caring for and treating teeth.  Additionally, Fauchard first introduced the idea of dental fillings and the use of dental prosthesis, and he identified that acids from sugar led to tooth decay.

In 1840, the first dental college (Baltimore College of Dental Surgery) opened, establishing the need for more oversight.  In the United States, Alabama led the way by enacting the first dental practice act in 1841, and nearly 20 years later, the American Dental Association (ADA) was formed. The first university-affiliated dental institution, the Harvard University Dental School, was founded in 1867.

By 1873, Colgate had mass produced the first toothpaste, and mass-produced toothbrushes followed a few years later.

What may come as a surprise is that the first African American to earn a dental degree dates all the way back to 1869, and the first female dental assistant was employed in New Orleans in 1885. What might be most surprising of all is that most Americans did not adopt good brushing habits until after World War II, when soldiers stationed abroad brought the concept of good oral health back to the United States!

Other Fun Teeth Facts:

-Hesy-Re was an Egyptian scribe who lived around 2600 B.C. and is recognized as the first dental practitioner.

-Paul Revere, famous for warning Colonial troops that the British were coming, was also trained as a dentist by America’s first dentist, John Baker.

-Edward H. Angle, who started the first school of orthodontics in 1901, created a simple classification for crooked teeth in the late 1800s, a system still in use today.

-The first dental X-ray was used in 1896.


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Views: 506

Invisalign is the Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth

For many years, orthodontic treatment required wearing bulky, uncomfortable metal braces and wires. The shame and embarrassment of sporting these bulky metal braces prevented many people from seeking the beautifully straight smile they desired.

Invisalign was created for the patient that wants straighter teeth without wearing visible, uncomfortable metal braces. Invisalign patients wear a series of clear, plastic aligners that gradually shift teeth into the desired position and alignment. Because of the nature of the aligners, patients can maintain a normal looking smile while simultaneously straightening their teeth.

What Invisalign Can Correct

Invisalign corrects cases of minor tooth misalignment or poor spacing, where the problem is mostly cosmetic. This includes small spaces between the teeth, crowding of the teeth, an overbite (i.e., the upper teeth bite over the lower teeth), and a crossbite (i.e., the upper and lower jaws are misaligned).

Patients that have substantial structural issues with the teeth or problems with the bite are typically better suited for traditional braces or another orthodontic alternative.

Advantages of the Invisalign System

There are many reasons why patients prefer Invisalign to traditional braces, including the following:

Aligners fit comfortably and don’t irritate the inside of the mouth

Aligners don’t disrupt speech

Aligners can be removed to eat so patients can enjoy all of their favorite foods

Aligners are inconspicuous and virtually undetectable in the mouth

Total treatment time is usually shorter than other orthodontic treatments

Treatment Details

Invisalign aligners are custom-fabricated to the exact specifications of the patient. No two treatment plans are precisely alike.

The first step to of Invisalign treatment is to capture information about the teeth’s current position. The dentist takes photographs and digital impressions that are used to create a three-dimensional “map” of the teeth’s planned movement. The map charts the teeth’s original position through Invisalign treatment to their final position. This information is then sent to the dental laboratory that constructs the series of customized aligners.

The patient receives their first set of upper and lower aligners and should wear them for 20 to 22 hours per day (removing them to eat and clean). The aligners put gentle pressure on the teeth to move them into the correct alignment and position. Patients may have a slight adjustment period, getting used to the way the aligners feel, but they usually don’t experience discomfort. They can eat, speak and smile normally while wearing the aligners.

After two to four weeks, that set of aligners is swapped out for the next set in the series. This repeats until the teeth have shifted into the desired position and alignment.

Invisalign patients are supervised by a dentist throughout treatment. The dentist periodically checks the progress of treatment and examines the teeth and bite for any potential problems.

Total treatment time varies by patient, but many Invisalign patients are able to complete treatment in less than a year.

At Dental Health Associates in Sylvania Ohio, our dentists are thoroughly trained and extensively experienced with Invisalign treatment. We enjoy helping our patients transform their smiles easily and comfortably!

by Andrew Marshall Huntzinger

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Views: 470

Tips for taking care of your toothbrush

Our mouth is home to millions of germs, including those living in the plaque on our teeth, so it's no surprise that these germs can collect on your toothbrush. 

But bacteria from your toilet can also end up on your bristles. When you flush a toilet, the swirling water that removes waste from the bowl also mixes with small particles of that waste, shooting aerosolized feces — called fecal coliform bacteria — into the air. 

This phenomenon is known as a toilet plume, which can reach as high as 15 feet, says Philip Tierno, a microbiologist at New York University. And studies have shown that it can end up on your toothbrush. 

While it's not believed that the germs on your toothbrush can directly cause health problems, regularly cleaning your toothbrush, storing it properly, and knowing when to replace it is important for maintaining good oral hygiene. 

After all, what's the point of brushing your teeth if your toothbrush isn't clean? Here's how to prevent the spread of germs to and from your toothbrush and the best ways to clean it.  

1. Wash your hands before and after brushing your teeth

First, it's important to wash your handswith soap and water for at least 20 seconds whenever you'll be touching your toothbrush. 

Your hands are the main vehicles of transmission for bacteria and viruses, so washing your hands before and after brushing will help stop the spread of germs to and from your bristles. 

"You can't overemphasize the importance of washing your hands, whether it is flu season or allergy season," says William Martin, President of the Maryland State Dental Association. "People are vulnerable to the germs that end up on their hands and under their fingernail beds." 

2. Rinse and store your toothbrush properly 

You should thoroughly rinse your toothbrush with tap water after every use to remove any remaining food particles, toothpaste, and plaque debris, according to the American Dental Association (ADA). 

After rinsing, store it in an upright position and allow it to air-dry. The bacteria that live on your toothbrush are mostly anaerobic, meaning they die in the presence of oxygen, so air-drying will kill most of the bacteria. 

In addition, germs flourish in moistureand closed containers or cabinets, so it's important to leave it in the open air. But try not to store it close to your toilet — and close your toilet seat before flushing — in order to protect against germs from toilet plumes. 

Lastly, avoid storing multiple brushes, such as those of family members, in the same holder or in a drawer together. It's best if they do not contact each other, as germs can also spread that way. 

3. Disinfect your toothbrush 

If you want to take extra precaution — or, say you drop your toothbrush on the floor, and it's visibly dirty — you may want to disinfect your toothbrush to better kill germs. 

Hydrogen peroxide is an effective disinfectant that can destroy essential components of germ cells and deactivate a wide range of microorganisms. Antiseptic mouthwash contains various active ingredients, such as alcohol, menthol, and eucalyptol, which can all kill bacteria. 

According to this 2011 study, soaking your toothbrush in either a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution or antiseptic mouthwash killed 100% of germs. 

4. Keep your toothbrush safe while traveling

To keep your toothbrush germ-free while traveling, you should unpack it, remove its case, and store it properly everywhere you go. 

Air-drying your toothbrush for as long as possible — and ideally until it is completely dry — before putting it back in its travel case is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from germs. 

You can also clean your travel case by rinsing it in hot water to loosen any dirt, and washing it with soap or soaking in antibacterial mouthwash for 10 to 15 minutes, just as you would with your toothbrush. 

5. Know when to throw your toothbrush away 

Toothbrushes should be replaced approximately every three to four months, or sooner if the bristles become matted or frayed, according to the ADA. 



by Hannah Roberts (Insider)
Views: 446

Toothpaste matters: The evidence for stannous fluoride

Amber Auger, MPH, RDH, expounds upon the benefits of stannous fluoride toothpaste and its use in patient home care.

I have never practiced a day without being asked, “What toothpaste should I use?” Patients are constantly overwhelmed by the toothpaste aisle and the products that seem to promise all the same benefits, but with better results than the toothpaste sitting next to it. 

A patient’s goals typically include whiter teeth, a healthier smile, and fresh breath. As dental professionals, we must understand the science behind the active ingredients and the challenges of home care and patient compliance that will lead to better health outcomes. Reducing inflammation and bleeding in the mouth will not only benefit the oral health of the patient but also reduce the inflammatory load. 

The secret weapon against gingivitis

Daily removal of biofilm is essential in the reduction of gingivitis. We know that our patients don’t brush long enough, often miss areas, and struggle to clean interdentally. This leads to inflammation that is directly induced by the microbial biofilm. We also know that subgingival bacteria thrive in an anaerobic environment and produce bacterial virulence factors (i.e., toxins).1 The byproducts of these toxins trigger an immune inflammatory response that causes further breakdown of periodontal components. 

To prevent the negative systemic effects of chronic inflammation, it is essential to prevent the formation and progression of gingivitis. Interdental aids and proper brushing are foundational in the elimination of these destructive biofilms. For the biomass left behind, a toothpaste intervention should be implemented to help restore symbiosis. 

According to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, patients who implement a home care regimen that includes a highly bioavailable stannous fluoride demonstrate a 51% reduction in bleeding when combined with mechanical plaque control above using a sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate product.  Let’s look further into what this means. 

The value of meta-analysis

A meta-analysis is a statistical procedure for combining data from multiple independent studies. The meta-analysis review is a Image courtesy of P&Gquantitative, formal, epidemiological study that is designed to systematically assess previously published studies. Because scientific research is carried out in a variety of settings by different individuals over time, reviewing many studies together provides a better picture of what is actually happening. Meta-analysis plays an essential role in evidence-based medicine and is conducted to assess the strength of evidence present on diseases and treatments. 

The challenges of home care

I ask each of my patients what they are doing for their home-care regimen. If this is my first time with a patient, they are often surprised by the question. They must think about what product is on their bathroom countertop. I often play detective, asking them about the label and the texture of the paste to determine what it is that they are using. In fact, sometimes I can narrow it down by visual clues their mouths are giving me. Often, in my opinion, if a sensitivity toothpaste is used, there tends to be a greater amount of calculus present. 

Most patients can’t differentiate between toothpaste types and often underestimate the potential efficacy of ingredients. For example, most patients don’t know there are different types of fluorides in toothpaste, such as stannous fluoride, sodium fluoride, and sodium monofluorophosphate. 

One of the easiest things to adapt into the patient’s home-care regimen is a change in toothpaste. One formulation of stannous fluoride has demonstrated the ability to remain active in the reduction of bacteria and their metabolic byproducts (toxins) up to 4 mm below the gumline (Crest Gum Detoxify).

Additionally, the antibacterial gum protection for 12 hours provides all-day protection for our patients.


A meta-analysis is considered the highest level of the scientific studies. The evidence demonstrates unequivocal relevance in the efficacy of the stannous fluoride molecules to enable better oral health outcomes. As clinicians, we should expect more for our patients and help guide them toward products that can produce positive oral health outcomes, such as an electric rechargable toothbrush and well-formulated stannous fluoride toothpaste. There are ample benefits to stannous fluoride that make it a simple solution for our patients. Stannous fluoride works to protect against cavities and prevent erosive toothwear, gingivitis, plaque, bad breath, and tooth sensitivity.

by Amber Auger, MPH, RDH
Views: 376

The four different types of Sedation used to make many patients more comfortable

Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. 

Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your dentist about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre-and post-sedation instructions. 

Types of Sedation 

Oral Conscious Sedation

Through the use of sedatives and pain relievers, oral conscious sedation produces a relaxed state of consciousness to lessen pain and discomfort. Patients who receive oral conscious sedation are still able to speak and respond to questions during treatment, and express any pain or discomfort they may be having, although they may remember very little or nothing about the procedure. Other side effects include headache, nausea and vomiting. 

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as "laughing gas," is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for 5-10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. 

IV Sedation

Intravenous ("IV") sedation is sometimes known as "sleep dentistry" or "twilight dentistry," and involves administering a dose of sedatives directly into the bloodstream via an IV. IV sedation is highly effective for patients who are fearful or anxious about their dental visits, as the sedatives will calm the patient almost immediately. It also acts as an amnesiac, causing them to not remember the dental operation afterwards, even though the patient will remain conscious and responsive during the procedure. 

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia puts a patient completely to sleep during a dental procedure. The anesthesia can be administered in a variety of ways, including injection, gas inhalation or through an IV, depending on the circumstances. Aside from keeping the patient unconscious, the sedation also acts as an amnesiac, causing the patient to forget the events immediately before and after the procedure. General anesthesia is very safe under trained supervision.

Views: 309

Heading back to the dentist for your cleaning or filling will look a lot different in this COVID-19 era.

"We're at high risk, dental hygienists, the dentists," said dentist Stephen M. Miller of Pittsburgh PA.  "We were put out of business for eight weeks, maybe nine. COVID is a relatively simple virus to kill, if you can find it—it's invisible." 

Dentists and hygienists wear PPE and take extra precautions. According to data from the Department of Labor, compiled by the group "Visual Capitalist," their profession is at high risk for COVID-19 exposure. The virus is spread by respiratory droplets from the mouth or nose.

"There is tremendous research that oral health affects your systemic health," said Dr. Miller. 

With that in mind, Dr. Miller turned to the newest technology available to him to keep his patients and staff safe: a UVC unit. 

What is that, you may ask? Well, it’s a bright light. Actually, it’s ultraviolet light that kills pathogens on surfaces, like E. coli, salmonella, listeria and even COVID-19 in just a matter of minutes.

What is that, you may ask? Well, it’s a bright light. Actually, it’s ultraviolet light that kills pathogens on surfaces, like E. coli, salmonella, listeria and even COVID-19 in just a matter of minutes.

UVC Cleaning Systems Dental Sales Director Jim Gaitan said, "It's just it's impossible to spray everything. So if you want surfaces clean, and you want to make sure that the practice in the air is also clean, this light will broadcast in the room. So whatever remnants of COVID may be passing through the air, this can zap it and help make the environment cleaner."

He says hospitals have been using this type of technology for years and recently, more and more industries from dentists and hotels to day cares are demanding it. 

It takes ten minutes to clean this 10-foot by 10-foot exam room with the device being moved to two different spots. The makers say you can tell it worked by the smell in the air, similar to what you'd smell after using a tanning bed. Or you can look at these UVC dosimeters, which change color from the light. 

The device slowed down the number of patients that can be seen in a day, according to dental hygienist Kathleen Stec. "We have to have 20 minutes in between patients to be able to get this room back to a point where I feel comfortable letting the next person sit down."

But waiting for the room to be thoroughly cleaned helps patients feel at ease.

"I think it's a sensible, safe and scientific way to go about it," said a patient. 

But like most technology, it comes with a price. The UVC unit cost Dr. Miller more than $10,000. But for Dr. Miller, it's worth it. 

“It was a very large investment to do this, but I wanted to know that I could make my operatory rooms in my office as safe as I could make it for my patients, for my staff to come back and feel comfortable and for anyone that comes through,” said Dr. Miller. “Because you know what? COVID is one disease that you don’t want to get.”

by Ashley Bishop

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Views: 280

What are common personality traits that many dentists share?

Dentistry is an unusual profession because while dentists are mostly focused on patient care, they also often own and run their own businesses. Many dentists have a diverse set of personality traits that allow them to work both closely with patients and be successful managers of their practices.

A successful dentist is…

Comfortable with close personal interaction.   If you think about it, much of a dentist’s time is spent with his or her face and hands extremely close to patients’ faces. Successful dentists are comfortable with being very close to other people, even if sometimes patients have bad breath.  

Easy to talk to.  Successful dentists try to learn about patients on a more personal level before beginning treatment to make patients feel more comfortable. This puts patients at ease and makes them feel like the dentist truly cares about them as whole healthy people, not just about their mouths.  

Trustworthy.  Since dentists are working with sharp metal objects in the mouth, a very sensitive area of the body, it is really important that they are trustworthy. Patients need to trust that their dentist will try his or her best not to hurt them and will take all precautions necessary to make their experience pain free.   

A detail-oriented person.  The mouth is an extremely small space to work in, so dentists must be detail oriented. The smallest misalignment of something in the mouth can wreak havoc on a patient’s bite and tooth health.   

Artistic.  Dentistry is often referred to as an art. It requires mastery and technique unique to the profession. Dentistry is largely based on maintaining proper oral health, but is also an aesthetically focused practice. A large part of dentistry involves restoring teeth and making a smile beautiful, one that the patient is happy to show to others.   

A leader.  Dentists may own or work as practitioners within a practice, so they often are natural leaders. They must not only lead a team of dental hygienists, technicians and assistants, but must also manage any other employees, such as the receptionist, while also making high-level business decisions for the practice.  

Excited about the profession of dentistry.  Successful dentists enjoy the work they do every day and are fascinated by the mouth and all of the connections it has to the rest of the body.   

Passionate about providing care to those in need.  Dentists often participate in community service, helping those in need with oral care and treatment. Many dentists enjoy helping those with no access to care receive treatments for painful or unattractive parts of their mouths.  

Caring and concerned about how the patient feels during procedures.Because dentists work in a very small and sensitive space of the body, a good dentist communicates with the patient during every step of a procedure, making sure they are okay and not in too much pain. Good dentists go to great lengths to make their patients comfortable and relaxed without pain.   

Good communicator.   A successful dentist has a keen ability to distill complex procedures and processes into simple language so that the patient can understand exactly what is going on in his or her mouth and any procedures that the dentist suggests. 


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Views: 223

Dentist Shannon Barker is on a quest to reach the highest summit on every continent.

Doctor Barker recently completed his second climb, Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.

Shannon Barker started climbing 2 years ago and he's already climbed 2 peaks

When people go on vacation because they need a break, they tend to go somewhere relaxing. When dentist Shannon Barker takes a break, he climbs a mountain.

Not just any mountain, either. Barker specifically seeks out the highest summit on each continent. First, Mount Elbrus in Russia, and most recently Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.

"You've spent so much time being goal-oriented toward this one goal and when you get to the top, there's a huge emotional release," Barker said.

"Most people that summit these mountains tend to cry at the very top."

Barker was born in St. John's Canada but grew up in Labrador City, and he's been seeing dental patients out of a practice in Mount Pearl for almost 20 years.

With two of the world's highest peaks under his belt already, it's hard to believe that he's only been climbing for two years. Barker's passion for climbing took hold quickly after being inspired by friends.

"I met a friend who had done Kilimanjaro and she showed me pictures and looked fantastic and I was very intrigued," Barker said.

"Fast forward two months later, another friend of mine who had also climbed Kilimanjaro said, 'I'd like to climb Mount Elbrus.

'"Barker decided he would too, and he signed himself up for the journey and began training, travelling up and down Signal Hill in St. John's three times a day to begin his physical conditioning. As the peak is covered in snow and ice, climbing it required Barker to familiarize himself with the tools and techniques, such as crampons — spikes you affix to your mountaineering boots — and ice axes.After the success of his first summit, Barker planned and prepared for his trip to Argentina, a trip he returned from only weeks ago. Barker said he found it to be a far more difficult climb.

"Taking on Aconcagua, initially I was excited. Until I got there and learned the gravity of what I'd signed up for," Barker said.

"I felt that a few points in time I've bitten off more than I can chew."

A big struggle was Barker's body trying to acclimate to higher elevations than ever before.

The higher the altitude, the less oxygen in the blood. Bodily functions and physical movement are increasingly impaired based on elevation, with some altitude uninhabitable to humans.

On Barker's first day in South America, the group's guide drove them to the border of Chile and Argentina. That was an altitude of more than 4,000 metres, then they hiked past 4,500 metres over the course of two hours, and had lunch there to help acclimate them to that elevation."That hike was more strenuous and technically challenging than all of Elbrus," Barker said.But Barker rose to the challenge and crossed the second summit off his list. He credits his success and his survival on the instincts and expertise of his guides and climbing partners.

Barker is heading to Alaska next, where he will attempt to summit Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America. 

He hopes the winter conditions and the need to pull your own sled on Denali will prepare him for the ultimate challenge of conquering Mount Everest. 

"That feeling of achieving that goal and the camaraderie with your teammates, you do this together, you each help each other up that mountain," Barker said.

"That feeling I'm chasing … it's a nice feeling."

by Stephen Miller

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Views: 195

We think about your child’s body as a whole and not just your child’s teeth and mouth

As a holistic dentist and a member of the Holistic Dental Association, Doctor Staci thinks about your child’s body as a whole and not just your child’s teeth and mouth.  We thoroughly examine and discuss how one part of the human body can affect another part and talk a lot about how we are interconnected system…not just a bunch of separate body parts. 

In using the term biological dentistry, we are not attempting to stake out a new specialty for dentistry but rather to describe a philosophy that can apply to all facets of the dental practice and to health care in general: to always seek the safest, least toxic, and least invasive way to accomplish the mission of treatment and to discover the root cause of the issue to prevent it from happening again. 

We uphold and attain all of the same goals of modern dentistry and try our best to do it while treading as lightly as possible on the patient’s biological terrain. A more biocompatible approach to oral health is the hallmark of biological dentistry. At NoPo Kids Dentistry, we have the following holistic and sustainable offerings at our office:

1. Mercury free

2. BPA/bis-GMA free

3. Non-invasive treatments like ozone and remineralizing options

4. Limit the plastics and waste in our office and emphasize recycling

5. Digital xrays to reduce exposures

6. Electronic charting to reduce paper waste

7. Multipure Water Filtration System for drinking water for all patients and staff and the advanced Ezee Klean by Oasis filtration for during treatment appointments

by Dr Anastacia Whitman

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Views: 176

Did you know? Mark Spitz always wanted to be a dentist from the time he was in high school but then swimming got in the way

Long before there was Michael Phelps, there was Mark Spitz.

A confident competitor with his own signature style, Spitz rocked a ‘70s style mustache even though many athletes believe body hair slows a swimmer down in the water. It didn’t seem to slow Spitz down: In the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, the U.S. swimming star won seven gold medals and set new world records in each of those events. His achievement remained unmatched for decades… until Phelps won eight gold medals in Beijing 36 years later.

Spitz’ Olympic victory made him a household name and a highly marketable sex symbol. A poster of him wearing nothing but a skimpy Speedo, seven gold medals and, of course, the moustache, sold over 1 million copies. Yet as hard as he worked for Olympic gold, he was working equally hard on something else at the same time: his pre-dental studies at Indiana University.

“I always wanted to be a dentist from the time I was in high school, and I was accepted to dental school in the spring of 1972,” Spitz told Time magazine in 2004. “I was planning to go, but after the Olympics there were other opportunities. I did some television and speaking engagements, and things just went from there.”

Spitz landed endorsement deals with Xerox, Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, General Motors and General Mills, among others. Later, he went into the real-estate business in Beverly Hills and became a motivational speaker.

As for having his medal-winning record broken, Spitz said he bears no ill will toward Phelps:

“What greater thing could I leave to the sport than to inspire somebody to have the desire to do what I did and take it a step further?” he told USA today in 2012. “I had that record for 36 years. That’s an awfully long time.”

(First photo from the Bob Hope Special)

by Dear Doctor

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Views: 140

Researchers suggest that people with history of gum disease have higher risk of some cancers

People who have periodontal (gum) disease may have a higher risk of developing some forms of cancer, suggests a letter published in the journal Gut detailing a prospective study.

US researchers found that a history of periodontal disease appeared to be associated with a raised risk of esophageal (gullet) cancer and gastric (stomach) cancer and this risk was also higher among people who had lost teeth previously.

Previous findings on the relationship of periodontal disease and tooth loss with esophageal and gastric cancer have been inconsistent.

Therefore, a team of researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in Boston, USA, carried out a study of data on patients over decades of follow up.

They examined the association of history of periodontal disease and tooth loss with the risk of esophageal and gastric cancer in 98,459 women from the Nurses' Health Study (1992-2014) and 49,685 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1988-2016).

Dental measures, demographics, lifestyle, and diet were assessed using follow-up questionnaires and self-reported cancer diagnosis was confirmed after reviewing medical records.

The results showed that during 22-28 years of follow-up, there were 199 cases of esophageal cancer and 238 cases of gastric cancer.

A history of periodontal disease was associated with a 43% and 52% increased risk of esophageal cancer and gastric cancer, respectively.

Compared to people with no tooth loss, the risks of esophageal and gastric cancer for those who lost two or more teeth were also modestly higher -- 42% and 33%, respectively.

In addition, among individuals with a history of periodontal disease, no tooth loss and losing one or more teeth were equally associated with a 59% increased risk of esophageal cancer compared to those with no history of periodontal disease and no tooth loss.

Similarly, the same group of individuals had 50% and 68% greater risk of gastric cancer, respectively.

The authors point to possible reasons for an association between oral bacteria (oral microbiota) and esophageal and gastric cancer, with evidence from other studies suggesting that tannerella forsythia and porphyromonas gingivalis -- members of the 'red complex' of periodontal pathogens -- were associated with the presence or risk of esophageal cancer.

Another possible reason is that poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease could promote the formation of endogenous nitrosamines known to cause gastric cancer through nitrate-reducing bacteria.

This was an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, and the researchers cannot rule out the possibility that some of the observed risk may be due to other unmeasured (confounding) factors.

However, they conclude: "Together, these data support the importance of oral microbiome in esophageal and gastric cancer. Further prospective studies that directly assess oral microbiome are warranted to identify specific oral bacteria responsible for this relationship. The additional findings may serve as readily accessible, non-invasive biomarkers and help identify individuals at high risk for these cancers."

by BMJ
Views: 131

A new study has confirmed that regular smokers have a significantly increased risk of tooth loss

Male smokers are up to 3.6 times more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers, whereas female smokers were found to be 2.5 times more likely.

The research, published in the Journal of Dental Research, is the output of a long-term longitudinal study of the EPIC Potsdam cohort in Germany carried out by researchers at the University of Birmingham and the German Institute of Human Nutrition.

Smoking causes gum disease:

Tooth loss remains a major public health problem worldwide. In the UK, 15% of 65-74 year olds and over 30% of 75+ year olds are edentate (have lost all of their natural teeth). Globally, the figure is closer to 30% for 65-74 year olds.

Lead author Professor Thomas Dietrich, from the University of Birmingham, explained, “Most teeth are lost as a result of either caries (tooth decay) or chronic periodontitis (gum disease). We know that smoking is a strong risk factor for periodontitis, so that may go a long way towards explaining the higher rate of tooth loss in smokers.”

Smoking can mask gum bleeding, a key symptom of periodontitis. As a result, the gums of a smoker can appear to be healthier than they actually are.

Professor Dietrich added, “It’s really unfortunate that smoking can hide the effects of gum disease as people often don’t see the problem until it is quite far down the line. The good news is that quitting smoking can reduce the risk fairly quickly. Eventually, an ex-smoker would have the same risk for tooth loss as someone who had never smoked, although this can take more than ten years.”

Gum disease is only the beginning:

Kolade Oluwagbemigun, from the German Institute of Human Nutrition, said, “Gum disease and consequential tooth loss may be the first noticeable effect on a smoker’s health. Therefore, it might give people the motivation to quit before the potential onset of a life-threatening condition such as lung disease or lung cancer.”

The findings were independent of other risk factors such as diabetes, and are based on data from 23,376 participants which aimed to evaluate the associations between smoking, smoking cessation and tooth loss in three different age groups.

The association between smoking and tooth loss was stronger among younger people than in the older groups. In addition, the results clearly demonstrated that the association was dose-dependent; heavy smokers had higher risk of losing their teeth than smokers who smoked fewer cigarettes.

Professor Heiner Boeing, also from the German Institute of Human Nutrition, added, “In addition to the many noted benefits for cardiovascular health, and risk of lung disease and cancer, it is clear that dental health is yet another reason not to take up smoking, or to quit smoking now.”

by Journal of Dental Research
Views: 128

The American College of Dentists is not about to let COVID-19 stop it from celebrating its 100 years of service

Gaithersburg, Md. — The American College of Dentists knows a thing or two about responding to pandemics.     It was born in 1920 — in the immediate end of the 1918 flu pandemic — with a mission to advance excellence, ethics, professionalism and leadership in dentistry. It’s not about to let COVID-19 stop it from celebrating its 100 years of service.    

The American College of Dentists will commence virtually its 2020 Annual Meeting and Centennial Celebration on Oct. 14-15.    “From early March to the present, we have been in what has been referred to as suspended animation,” said Dr. Theresa S. Gonzales, executive director (photo). 

“Most, if not all, conferences have been canceled for the foreseeable future and this was necessary in the context of risk mitigation and more importantly, life preservation.”    

The virtual meeting and celebration, which replaces the in-person event scheduled Oct. 14-15 in Orlando, Florida, will include two full days of events. These include the Fellows Forum and a keynote address by Dr. Karl Haden, who will discuss the nine virtues of exceptional leaders based on his best-selling book of the same name.    

In addition, Dr. Gonzales will deliver Our First 100 Years — the Narrative History of the American College of Dentists.    “Born in the Roaring Twenties, [the college is] now celebrating a century of service in what may come to be known as the ‘Raging Twenties,” Dr. Gonzales said.    In addition, the virtual event will involve the convocation of new fellows, President-elect Leo E. Rouse’s address, and recognition of the 2020 award recipients, including Drs. David W. Chambers and Jeanne C. Sinkford, this year’s William John Gies Award recipients.    

The college had planned a series of 100th anniversary celebrations this year, culminating with its annual meeting and centennial celebration. In January, the college’s New England Section, in conjunction with the Yankee Dental Conference, hosted a black-tie event at the Copley Plaza Hotel, the site of where the college was founded in 1920.

That celebration was followed by festivities at the Chicago Mid-Winter Meeting and the New York Section meetings.    However, by March, the

COVID-19 pandemic halted the remaining in-person celebratory plans. Founded on Aug. 20, 1920, by the president, president-elect and secretary of the National Dental Association — now the American Dental Association — and other dental leaders, the college is the oldest major honorary organization for dentists.    

During its 100-year history, the college was instrumental in founding the American Association of Dental Editors and Journalists and developing related standards for professional publications. It pushed for the founding of a national dental examining board and initiated a student loan program.    “I have been a proud member of ACD for over 20 years,” said Dr. Kathleen T. O’Loughlin, ADA executive director. “The ACD’s focus on ethics has elevated the profession’s reputation and emphasized as core to the profession of dentistry. Congratulations on this fantastic milestone. Happy anniversary, ACD.”    

In recent years, the college has organized four ethics summits and produced several white papers on ethics, provided over 152,000 online ethics courses, and the college has distributed the Ethics Handbook for Dentists to dental students in the U.S. and Canada.“It is not possible to know what the next one hundred years will bring to our organization and our combined missions but if past is prologue, our future has limitless possibilities as we embark upon our second century of service,” Dr. Gonzales said.

by ADA

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Dr Bill Dorfman is one of the most famous cosmetic dentist in the world

Affectionately known as “America’s Dentist,” Dr. Bill Dorfman is widely recognized world-wide as a leading dentist who is responsible for creating smiles for many of Hollywood’s brightest stars. In fact, Dr. Dorfman has become a star in his own right as the featured dentist on the hit ABC series, “Extreme Makeover,” where he performed amazing dental transformations on the show’s participants as well as a recurring guest co-host on the new Emmy Winning daytime CBS talk show, “The Doctors.” In addition, Dr. Dorfman is a world-renowned lecturer & author of the best-selling cosmetic dentistry book, The Smile Guide and the NY Times bestseller Billion Dollar Smile.

The innovative & accomplished doctor is also renowned in his field as an energy-brimming inventor & brilliant entrepreneur who has brought award-winning innovations to the world of dentistry.

Dr. Bill Dorfman has been interviewed extensively for numerous television shows & magazines including ABC’s Good Morning America, The View, Oprah, CNN’s Larry King Live, NBC’s The Today Show, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Dr. Phil, The Rachael Ray Show, Steve Harvey Show, FABLife, The Doctors, The Tyra Banks Show, Ricki Lake Show, Entertainment Tonight, MTV’s The Osbournes & Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica, The Wayne Brady Show, The Sharon Osbourne Show, Living It Up! With Ali & Jack, EXTRA, Soap Talk, Access Hollywood & E! Entertainment Television.

As a 1980 graduate from UCLA Dr. Bill was honored with the prestigious “UCLA Outstanding Senior Award.” He then received his dental degree in 1983 from the University of the Pacific in San Francisco, where he was one of the youngest graduates ever to receive his doctorate degree. Upon graduation, he completed a two-year residency at a dental hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1985, Dr. Dorfman returned to the United States & established his private practice in aesthetic & general dentistry.

In 1989, at the age of 30, Dr. Bill formed the hugely successful company, Discus Dental, Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer & distributor of tooth-whitening, oral hygiene & aesthetic dental products. Here he helped develop such ground-breaking professional take-home teeth whitening products as Nite White, Day White, Breath Rx, Zoom! , and Brite Smile.

Dr. Bill is a member of the American Dental Association & he is one of only 100 Fellows in the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

His humanitarian & philanthropic involvement has led to his being honored with 14 Life Time Achievement Awards in addition to 2 Guinness World Book records and in 2018 he was Knighted by the Royal Order of Constantine!

His personal fitness regime includes a strict, healthy diet and outdoor activities that include water & snow skiing, biking, climbing, swimming & scuba diving.

When Dr. Bill Dorfman is away from his busy dental office, he enjoys spending time with his three daughters, family and friends.


Views: 115

COVID-19 closure order for California from July 13 does not impact dental practices

Monday Gov. Gavin Newsom took an additional step to slow the transmission of COVID-19 by closing indoor operations for many business sectors throughout much of the state.

At this time, these restrictions do not affect the provision of essential health care services, including dental care.

Dentists are advised to continue to adhere closely to CDPH guidance, including the recommendation to have two weeks of PPE available, and to access CDA’s Back-to-Practice Resource Center for training, checklists and other tools to support dental practice during the pandemic.

by From CDA

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Lynn Yamamoto had no idea in 1973 that there were any female dentists

Dr. Lynn Yamamoto is the fifth of six dentists in her extended family, she really came into dentistry on her own. While encouraged to pursue a profession, she was not steered toward dentistry. “I liked going to the dentist (I know–I was odd!),” Lynn says.

She initially planned on becoming a dental hygienist. When she was applying to college, a family friend asked why she didn’t want to be a dentist instead of a hygienist. “Back in 1973, I had no idea that there were any female dentists! That conversation changed my career course.” She worked in a dental laboratory and for her uncle’s dental office in the summers, which was incredibly helpful early in dental school. Lynn had a context for the lab exercises that were assigned and felt it was a great fit for her. “I love helping people, I love fixing things, and I love meticulous work.”

In 2002, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, the first in her family to have breast cancer. She had led a relatively healthy lifestyle, and was eight marathons into reaching her goal of running 10 marathons by her 50th birthday. Following her treatment, a friend asked her to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer with her, which is a two-day, 39.3-mile walk to raise funds for education, treatment and research.

The event changed her life, and gave meaning to her having cancer. “I was tired of being a breast cancer patient, and I knew that if I could finish another marathon, I would no longer consider myself a patient. I would take my life back from cancer.” In 2013, Lynn completed her 10th Avon Walk, and will continue walking until a cure is found. “AND!” says Lynn, “I finished 10 marathons before my 50th birthday!“

Dr. Yamamoto returned to her native Sacramento, California to enjoy the long, hot summers, which she loves. When not working, you can often find her dancing hula, knitting or reading. She shares her love of reading by volunteering with the Sacramento Public Libarary Adult Literacy Program. Lynn would one day like to be a docent at the Crocker Art Museum, but until then, she volunteers at the museum in any way she can. You can also find her seeking out and petting other peoples’ dogs, as she waits to adopt another furry companion.

Dr. Lynn Yamamoto graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1983.  In 1984, she completed a general practice residency at Southern Illinois University, Alton, Illinois.  She has completed mastery courses at Seattle Institute for Advanced Dental Education. Lynn purchased the practice from Dr. Larry Feist in 1985, and practiced solo until 1995, when Dr. Steven Lee joined.

The two met on the Dental Health Committee for the Sacramento District Dental Society, and had done a Flying Doctors trip to provide dentistry to the village of Bacadehuachi, Mexico. On that trip they found that they had similar philosophies and values.


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How about Dental Sealants?

Dental sealants are thin, plastic coatings that seal over the narrow grooves found on the chewing surfaces of back teeth (molars and premolars).

When placed perfectly on these deep pits, sealants can prevent a significant amount of tooth decay (cavities) by protecting sensitive tooth surfaces from acid that causes cavities.

Sealants are not generally placed on baby teeth but on the tooth enamel of permanent teeth (“adult” teeth).

Dental sealants function much like sealing cracks in a driveway or on the sidewalk. The grooves in the chewing surfaces of back teeth are sealed so that food particles and bacteria will not settle within the fissures, causing cavities.

Application of sealants may be appropriate for some pediatric dental patients to prevent tooth decay in kids. However, they are not a substitute for brushing, flossing, and a healthy diet.

Dental sealants can be placed by your dentist, dental hygienist, or other dental professional. Some states dental boards have laws governing by whom, how, and in what circumstances dental sealants can be placed.

While I will recommend sealants at my office, I do so with very strict criteria, application techniques, and only the cleanest materials. So, are dental sealants worth it for your children’s dental health?

How are sealants applied to teeth?

Sealant placement is a relatively easy process.

First, the teeth are cleaned of plaque or food particles and then thoroughly examined for tooth decay.

Each tooth is dried and surrounded by absorbent material so it remains dry throughout the procedure.

The tooth is cleaned with a mild etchant (acid etch solution) to roughen the tooth surface and encourage bonding of the sealant material.

The etchant is rinsed and the teeth are dried again.

Depending on your material of choice, a thin layer of bonding agent may be used prior to the placement of the very viscous sealant material.

The sealant is painted directly onto the chewing surface of each tooth.

Finally, a curing light may be used to harden the dental sealant.

The teeth must be nicely isolated so no contaminants, such as saliva, affect the bond. Ozone gas can be applied to ensure bacteria on or around the tooth is reduced or eliminated prior to sealing.

If a small cavity is detected, air abrasion or a dental laser or drill can be used to clean out the infection prior to any material placement.

by Staci Whitman DMD

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We came up with the idea of adding a collar for added protection against COVID-19 says Dr Daniel Araldi who ordered 13 dozen after seeing the sample May 14

"I worked with Catherine, head designer for UjENA, to create a gown to help protect our staff and patients from COVID-19," says Dr Daniel Araldi (Dentist in Saratoga, California).  "We came up with the idea of adding a collar for addeded protection.  I got the sample May 14 and I loved it.  I loved the fabric, the blue color and I ordered 13 dozen.  I think I was their first dentist to order.  They are working out great."

At least in California dentists need to change into a new gown for each patient.  "I really like the fact that these gowns are reusable," says Dan. "Much better for the environment.  And even through these cost a little more, in the end it will save me money."

The gown can be washed at least 100 times.

"The biggest challenge we have," says Bob Anderson (CEO and marketing director for PPE by UjENA) "is making these gowns fast enough.  We have our factory working at top speed.  We have sold and shipped out thousands (especially in royal blue) of our Universal Gown since May 14  and we have more coming in daily.  We are adding more production people to keep up with demand."

"We are so excited to offer our gowns to dentists around the country," says Catherine Anderson, designer and production director.  "Our feedback has been very good.  The one issue has been trying to keep up with demand but we are working on that.  This will continue to improve.  We appreciate your understanding at this early stage of our new division.  Be safe.  We have your back."

Here are the product details:  The PPE by UjENA Universal Isolation gowns are made with 100% Microfiber virgin non-woven polyester fabric. Each gown is hand-crafted in our own factories. While cutting, sewing and packaging the gowns, all of our employees are protected and safe.

The Univiversal gown is our most popular style. For added protection this design has a collar. These gowns are washable. They are sold in packges of one dozen units. One size fits all. 



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US dental offices are quickly bouncing back

Yes, U.S. dental offices are quickly bouncing back, but it won't be business as usual. Expect social distancing, layers of protective gear and a new approach to some procedures to guard against coronavirus.

Dental offices largely closed, except for emergency care, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in March that they should delay elective procedures like teeth cleaning and filling cavities.

By April, only 3% of dental offices were open for non-emergency care, according to Marko Vujicic, chief economist with the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute.

Polling data shows about two-thirds were back open in May and Vujicic expects that to reach 97% by the end of June. He estimates that only 1% of dentists will ultimately sell their practices, retire or file for bankruptcy. 

“They seem to have weathered the storm,” Vujicic said. 

Dentists say government loans helped some of them survive the shutdown, and demand for their work is pushing them to reopen quickly.

“The need for even routine dental care never went away,” said Dr. Terri Tiersky, who runs a small practice in Skokie, Illinois. “We needed to get back to our patients ... and our staff needed to get back to work, of course.”

Tiersky closed her office to all but emergencies in mid-March. She then helped arrange donations of personal protective equipment from the Chicago Dental Society for health workers treating COVID-19 patients. 

She opened in early June after buying air purifiers and stocking back up on protective gear.

“We are bending over backwards to make sure our offices are ready and safe,” said Tiersky, who wears two masks when she sees patients. 

Nickolette Karabush was one of Tiersky’s first patients to return after she cracked a tooth while eating popcorn. The 58-year-old Highwood, Illinois, resident has an autoimmune disorder and had been hunkered down at home since COVID-19 hit.

“The thought of having to go to a dentist office really just freaked me out,” she said. 

Karabush settled down after she saw everyone in Tiersky’s office wearing masks and no one else in the waiting room. 

“Everything was very clean,” she said. “It felt like a very safe environment.”

Tiersky and other dentists have taken several precautions like removing waiting room magazines and asking patients about COVID-19 symptoms before they receive care.

Dr. Kirk Norbo has an employee stationed in the foyer of his Purcellville, Virginia, dental office to take visitors’ temperatures before they enter the waiting room.

Then there’s the gear. 

More of a “Star Wars look with the face shields and the mask and stuff and the gowns that a lot of offices had not used,” said Norbo, who remembers not even wearing gloves decades ago in dental school.

Some practices are charging an additional fee to cover the cost of that extra gear. Neither Norbo nor Tiersky say they are doing this.

Dentists also have changed how they practice. Coronavirus is spread from person to person mainly through droplets in the air when someone with an infection coughs, sneezes or talks. That’s why masks and social distancing are encouraged. 

Dental work requires close quarters, and can generate a spray of saliva and water. Norbo and other dentists have returned to using hand tools for procedures like a teeth cleaning instead of instruments that may do the job faster, but create more of that spray.

Norbo said a paycheck protection loan of about $250,000 helped him bring back his staff and pay them until the business caught up after his office re-opened in early May. 

Practices are climbing out of a big hole as they reopen. Personal spending on dental services dropped 61% in April compared to the same month last year, according to the nonprofit health research firm Altarum. That’s twice the decline experienced by the entire health care sector.

It might take a while for all business to return. Altarum economist Ani Turner noted that a lot of dental care is discretionary and can be postponed, and patients will still be worried about being exposed to the virus. 

“People may tend to procrastinate on cleanings and maintenance anyway,” she said. 

Norbo said those who have returned to his practice so far are glad to be back. He thinks the visits help people feel like they are “getting back into somewhat of a normal life.”

“It’s way more than just dentistry,” he said.

by Tom Murphy
Views: 87

When you think about visiting the dentist, do you look forward to it?

Do you think that you’ll have a pleasant experience, or do you worry that it will be uncomfortable? If you’ve ever visited Dr. Brian Carlin’s dental office in Okemos, Michigan just outside of Lansing, you know that visiting the dentist can be comfortable and rewarding. Everyone needs to see the dentist regularly if you hope to keep your smile healthy, bright, and beautiful, which is why we encourage you to visit our office for your checkups, restorative dental care, and cosmetic dentistry. Once you have, you’ll know what a difference excellent dental care can make.

How do we make your dental visits so pleasant? Our staff is friendly, compassionate, patient, and non-judgmental. We’re also highly skilled and experienced in the field of dentistry. Our services run the range from simple regular general dentistry care to children’s dentistry for your family and complex treatments like dental implants. We believe that individualized treatment is essential, and we make it convenient for you to receive emergency dentistrywhen you need it. You’ll also find that our office environment is tranquil, pleasant, and comfortable, setting your mind at ease.

We partner with you to ensure that your oral health is completely supported. But we also know that you prize your smile’s appearance; after all, a beautiful smile can help you live a more satisfying life. We can use cosmetic dentistry care such as teeth whitening, Invisalign®, and porcelain veneers to really enhance your overall look and make sure you have the luminous appearance that everyone is looking for.

We think you’ll be amazed at the comprehensive list of dental care services that we offer. Beyond crown and bridge, dentures, and root canal therapy – the staples of restorative dental care – we also offer treatments like sleep apnea therapy. Sleep apnea therapy involves the use of intraoral appliances to alleviate a serious health problem that can detrimentally affect your entire life as well as your health. Sleep apnea therapy can also stop or greatly reduce snoring, which is positive news for your spouse!

For Okemos, MI and other communities in the Lansing, Michigan area, Dr. Brian Carlin provides dental care you can trust and the high quality of service you expect. When you visit our dental office, you’ll feel right at home, and we hope you’ll feel inspired to take great care of your smile. Your oral health is important to us, but so is your comfort; we work just as hard to make sure that your experience is pleasant as we do to make sure it’s clinically excellent.

by Dr Brian Carlin

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The toothshower will let your brush, flossing, working to encourage you to handle all of your oral hygiene tasks as part of your daily shower routine

While we all like to think that we’re honest people, the truth is that little white lies spring up all the time. You don’t intend to lie. But through surprise or embarrassment or just a desire not to start a situation, falsehoods start tumbling out of your mouth.

Like the last time your dentist asked if you flossed. You probably said yes. That was probably a lie because we know only about 30 percent of us actually do floss every day. But at least we’re mostly honest about our lying because almost half of us admit we’ve exaggerating our flossing regimen to our dentist.

It’s usually not because you hate flossing. It’s just so easy to forget. However, that might no longer be the case with the help of something like the ToothShower Water Flosser Suite 2.0.

The ToothShower takes a stealthy approach to your flossing, working to encourage you to handle all of your oral hygiene tasks as part of your daily shower routine.

Unlike the mess of a countertop water flosser that inevitably sprays everywhere, the ToothShower hooks easily to your showerhead so you can handle the whole procedure right there in the shower with zero mess.

And this isn’t just an irrigating water spray in your mouth either since the ToothShower is actually a three-piece system. First, you can use the dual-headed toothbrush to scrub the fronts and backs of your teeth at the same time. Then, fire up the irrigating gum messenger, which both exercises your gums to increase blood flow while loosening plaque that can form at the gumline. Finally, you can swoop in with the irrigating tip to help flush out and expel any remaining bits of food still stuck in your teeth.

Everything stays stored in the ToothShower’s handy side compartment and the whole process won’t add more than an extra minute or two to your morning shower.


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Microbes in your mouth are a reminder to floss your teeth and go to the dentist

Most people know that good oral hygiene -- brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits -- is linked to good health. Colorado State University microbiome researchers offer fresh evidence to support that conventional wisdom, by taking a close look at invisible communities of microbes that live in every mouth.

The oral microbiome - the sum total of microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, that occupy the human mouth -- was the subject of a crowd-sourced, citizen science-driven study by Jessica Metcalf's research lab at CSU and Nicole Garneau's research team at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Published in Scientific Reports, the study found, among other things, a correlation between people who did not visit the dentist regularly and increased presence of a pathogen that causes periodontal disease.

For the experiments, carried out by Garneau's community science team in the Genetics of Taste Lab at the museum, a wide cross-section of museum visitors submitted to a cheek swab and answered simple questions about their demographics, lifestyles and health habits. Microbial DNA sequencing data analyzed by Metcalf's group revealed, broadly, that oral health habits affect the communities of bacteria in the mouth. The study underscored the need to think about oral health as strongly linked to the health of the entire body.

"Our study also showed that crowdsourcing and using community scientists can be a really good way to get this type of data, without having to use large, case-controlled studies," said Zach Burcham, a postdoctoral researcher and the paper's lead author. Senior author Metcalf is an associate professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and a member of CSU's Microbiome Network.

Cheek swabs

Back in 2015, paper-co-author Garneau and her team trained volunteer citizen scientists to use large swabs to collect cheek cells from museum visitors - a naturally diverse population -- who consented to the study. These trained citizen scientists helped collect swabs from 366 individuals -- 181 adults and 185 youth aged 8 to 17.

The original impetus for the study was to determine whether and to what extent the oral microbiome contributes to how people taste sweet things. In collecting this data, which was also reported in the paper, the researchers noted more significant data points around oral health habits.

To help translate the data, Garneau turned to Metcalf's team of experts at CSU. Burcham and the microbiome scientists employed sophisticated sequencing and analysis tools to determine which microbes were present in which mouths. Sequencing for the data was performed in collaboration with scientists in Rob Knight's group at University of California San Diego. A nutrition team from Michigan State University also brought in expertise on the importance of child and maternal relationships to the data analysis.

"Together, we had a dream team for using community science to answer complicated questions about human health and nutrition, using state-of-the-art microbial sequencing and analysis," Garneau said.

Flossing and regular dental care

The study grouped people who flossed or didn't floss (almost everyone said they brushed, so that wasn't a useful data point). Participants who flossed were found to have lower microbial diversity in their mouths than non-flossers. This is most likely due to the physical removal of bacteria that could be causing inflammation or disease.

Adults who had gone to a dentist in the last three months had lower overall microbial diversity in their mouths than those who hadn't gone in 12 months or longer, and had less of the periodontal disease-causing oral pathogen, Treponema. This, again, was probably due to dental cleaning removing rarer bacterial taxa in the mouth. Youth tended to have had a dental visit more recently than adults.

Youth microbiomes differed among males and females, and by weight. Children considered obese according to their body mass indices had distinct microbiomes as compared to non-obese children. The obese children also tended to have higher levels of Treponema, the same pathogen found in adults who hadn't been to the dentist in more than a year. In other words, the researchers saw a possible link between childhood obesity and periodontal disease. "This was very interesting to me, that we were able to detect these data in such a general population, with such a variable group of people," Burcham said.

Other data uncovered: The microbiomes of younger participants, mostly in the 8- to 9-year-old range, had more diversity than those of adults. However, adult microbiomes varied more widely from person to person. The researchers think this is due to the environments and diets of adults being more wide-ranging than children.

They also saw that people who lived in the same household shared similar oral microbiomes.

"When you look at families who live together, you find they share more of those rare taxa, the bacteria that aren't found as often in higher abundances," Burcham explained. It was a data point that underscored the relevance of one's built environment in relationship to the microbial communities in our bodies.

Working on the mouth study was fascinating, albeit outside Burcham's normal scope; he is usually focused on studying microbial ecology of decomposition.

"I think how our lives are essentially driven by our microbiomes, and affected by our microbiomes, is interesting, no matter what system we're looking at," Burcham said.

The study was made possible by a Science Education Partnership Award from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health (Award #R250D021909).

by Anne Manning

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What Dentists Say about the Use of Hydrogen Peroxide to Whiten Teeth

You can blame it on Hollywood or Instagram, but it’s undeniable—everyone wants a bright, white smile. This has led to an explosion of teeth whitening or “bleaching” products, and many of them contain hydrogen peroxide. 

“Hydrogen peroxide has actually been used in teeth bleaching products and oral care products like toothpaste and mouthwash for decades,” dentist and Waterpik spokesperson Chris Strandburg, DDS, tells Health.

But how safe is the ingredient really, and—for those who’re on a quest for the perfect Hollywood smile—how effective is it as a teeth whitener?

What is hydrogen peroxide and how does it make teeth whiter?

Hydrogen peroxide is an acidic chemical compound with the formula H₂O₂, and in its pure form, it’s a very pale blue liquid. Oral care products aside, it’s often used as a household cleaner, bleaching agent, or antiseptic. 

Although hydrogen peroxide has only one more oxygen molecule than water (that’s the H₂ part of its chemical formula), it has very different properties. It’s a powerful oxidizer in high concentrations, and can be corrosive to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. For this reason, it needs to be used with caution on people and animals. 

It’s hydrogen peroxide’s strong bleaching properties that make it a common ingredient in teeth whitening products. “Hydrogen peroxide brightens and whitens the teeth via a chemical process, by breaking down the stains from polymers into monomers via an oxidation process,” UK dentist Dr. Lisa Creaven, co-founder of Spotlight Oral Care, tells Health. “In teeth whitening products, it works to dissolve stains so teeth are gradually and safely whitened without damaging tooth health.”

But because hydrogen peroxide is a potent bleaching agent, it’s typically diluted with a whitening product, such as baking soda, to prevent damage to the enamel and gums. 

How safe is it to put hydrogen peroxide your teeth? 

When regulated and controlled, hydrogen peroxide is completely safe, both in toothpaste and other products, like a gel that is squeezed into a rubber tray that wraps around the user’s teeth, or teeth whitening strips. These products allow hydrogen peroxide to come in close contact with the tooth surface; where it breaks down stains and brightens the overall shade of the tooth. “Hydrogen peroxide has a long track record of safety for bleaching teeth without significantly affecting the strength of tooth enamel,” Dr. Strandburg says.

However, it is possible to overdo it and cause damage to your teeth and gums over time. Teeth whitening products containing hydrogen peroxide typically contain concentrations of the compound from 3% to 20%—even higher in the dentist office. Most toothpastes and mouthwashes, for example, contain a lower amount of hydrogen peroxide, which makes the bleaching properties weaker and therefore safer for long-term use. In these situations, hydrogen peroxide has another role to play—helping to kill the bad bacteria that contributes to gum disease, which results in improved gum health. 

Teeth bleaching strips or gels, however, contain hydrogen peroxide in higher amounts, and so should be used less frequently. “Prolonged bleaching with these high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, especially when used multiple days in a row, can lead to highly irritated gums and sensitive teeth,” Dr. Strandburg warns. “Gum irritation can get severe if more bleaching is done when the gums are already irritated. Tooth sensitivity is usually temporary (24 hours or so), but significant bleaching can increase tooth sensitivity permanently with long term use.”

Dr. Strandburg recommends limiting an initial treatment to seven to 14 sessions. An even safer approach is to give your teeth and gums a day’s rest in between sessions. If you have more than 20 bleaching sessions per year, you risk affecting the integrity of your teeth’s enamel, due to the slightly acidic properties of high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. If you follow this advice, Dr. Strandburg says most people “get a nice boost to their tooth brightness with little to no lasting negative effects.” 

Orthodontist Heather Kunen, DDS, MS, co-founder of Beam Street, advises against using any whitening product course with hydrogen peroxide more than once or twice per year. “Once you have achieved the level of whitening you want (over the course of three to 10 days), wait at least another six to 12 months before whitening again,” she tells Health.

You can buy hydrogen peroxide solutions over the counter at your pharmacy and online, but great care should be taken if you create your own teeth whitening mixture at home. “The bleaching agent can badly burn your gums and damage enamel if the concentration is too strong,” Dr. Kunen warns. She recommends at least a 1:1 ratio of water to hydrogen peroxide if you are creating your own solution, but always check with your dentist first.

Are there teeth-whitening alternatives to hydrogen peroxide? 

Hydrogen peroxide isn’t the only teeth whitening ingredient out there. Although baking soda isn’t a true bleaching agent, Dr. Kunen says it helps to lift stains from teeth to give them a nice sparkle. Pthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP) is another bleaching alternative. “Other whitening brands are starting to stray from traditional peroxides and use new formulas that are less harsh, such as pthalimidoperoxycaproic acid (PAP),” she adds. “PAP is far less harsh on the enamel and gum tissues than hydrogen peroxide, so this formula may become more popular for other brands in the near future.” 

You may have also heard about charcoal for teeth whitening, but Dr. Creaven advises against this. “Research shows that toothpastes and teeth whitening products that contain abrasives such as charcoal can cause irreversible damage to the tooth surface,” she says. “Charcoal-based toothpastes work by mechanically removing the outermost layer of the enamel surface, which physically and permanently removes tooth structure. When these products are used over a long period of time, they can make the top surface of the teeth rough and dull, leading to a more yellow appearance overall.” 

Regardless of how you choose to whiten your teeth, it’s a good move to chat to your dentist and make sure your teeth and gums are in good shape. “Dentists have the health of your mouth as their first priority so making them part of your routine will ensure excellent oral health throughout your life,” Dr. Creaven says.

by Claire Gillespie

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Dr Dara is passionate about her work and loves the instant gratitude that comes from seeing patients smile with confidence

"Dentistry is a unique profession," says Krasnodara Gashparova.  "Both challenging and rewarding and offers constant opportunities for growth. Being a dentist and a business owner challenges me to fuse clinical with personal and in that process build long-lasting relationships."

Dr. Gashparova, also known by her patients as Dr. Dara, has been practicing dentistry for nearly 20 years now. She is known by her staff at Advanced Dentistry of Alhambra in California for her approachable personality and willingness to listen. Her patients describe her as skilled, caring and especially gifted at calming patient’s fears and anxieties.

Why Did You Decide to Become a Dentist?

Dr. Dara’s parents believed strongly in the power of education and encouraged her to become a physician. Since she loved chemistry and biology, the natural career path seemed to lead to medical school. However, she quickly realized that something was missing and decided to go to dental school instead. Dentistry combined her sense of compassion and her desire to work directly with her hands.

Today, Dr. Dara is still highly passionate about her work. She loves the instant gratitude that comes from seeing patients smile with confidence after hiding their teeth for a while. Plus, the field of dentistry is improving every day with new technology and techniques, which makes it very easy to stay enthusiastic about it!

Where Did You Study Dentistry?

Dr. Dara received her Doctor of Dental Science in 1996 from the prestigious University of Medicine, School of Dental Science in Sofia, Bulgaria. She started her first private dental office in her home country but eventually chose to move to California and complete her Doctor of Dental Surgery in 2005. She constantly pursues continuing education opportunities at USC and UCLA, as well as courses through SPEAR. She is also trained in CEREC and Invisalign technology.

Outside of the Dental Office, What Do You Like to Do?

Dr. Dara and her husband have been married for 21 years and have two wonderful daughters, one in college and one in middle school. Neither of the girls officially wants to become a dentist yet, but that’s okay – if you want to be successful in that career, you have to love it! Meanwhile, her husband is a very important part of the dental office, helping with software, computers, handyman repairs, and much more. When she isn’t busy at work, she likes to travel, watch her daughter soccer games, play with her rescued cats, and tend to her vegetable garden and fruit trees. She loves to dance traditional Bulgarian dances and just spending time with her family.


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Can You Vacation Safely This Summer?

Canceling or postponing a long-awaited vacation is never fun, but it’s a disappointment that many of us have faced over the past few months. In fact, a recent travel industry survey indicated that nearly 50% of Americans have cancelled trips that they had already planned and paid for. And, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the majority of those would-be travelers also say they aren’t considering any alternative vacation plans this summer. But taking time to unwind and unplug is more important than ever, and with a little careful planning, you can still get that much needed getaway.

Concerns over COVID-19 are one reason “staycations” are increasingly popular right now. The idea of a staycation -- exploring adventures or leisure activities within an easy driving distance – is appealing because you can return to the safety of your home every evening. Staycations are also budget-friendly, and a great way for families to plan several excursions so each family member gets to choose a destination or activity at some point. But if the thought of spending another week at home leaves you feeling depleted instead of rejuvenated, it’s time to think about a “safecation” instead.

If an exciting international vacation isn’t in the cards this year, and a staycation or two isn’t enough to lift you out of the coronavirus doldrums, a safecation – or a safe vacation -- is the perfect middle ground. A safecation can include air travel, hotels, and dining out just like any other vacation. It can be adventurous or relaxing, luxurious or low-budget. Whatever your vacation needs are, the key is planning a getaway that puts safety and staying well as the top priority. Keep an open mind, take some additional precautions, and with the help of these tips you can still have the perfect vacation this year.

Choose your destination wisely. Many places, especially throughout Europe and Asia, are closed for tourism right now. Closer to home, Hawaii, Alaska and other states have mandatory 14 day quarantines that may be in place through the summer. Chose a destination that is safe and has implemented special precautions, is welcoming to tourists, and has accessible healthcare in case of emergencies. Before you make any plans, review the travel guidelines and up-to-date COVID-19 information on the CDC website.

Compare airlines. While most US airlines have committed to keeping the center seat empty in order to reduce crowding and the spread of disease, it’s important to confirm that before booking. You’ll also want to review cancellation policies, as they change frequently and a refund for flights you may need to cancel isn’t necessarily guaranteed. Also ensure that the airline staff will enforce mask wearing for all passengers throughout the flight. Just one passenger that refuses to wear a mask could put the entire plane at risk.

Be extra picky about hotels and other accommodations. Most national hotels have strict cleaning, sanitization and social distancing policies posted on their website. For smaller hotels or home rentals, ask about their specific cleaning processes and ensure they are complying with the enhanced guidelines developed by the American Hotel and Lodging Association in accordance with CDC standards. Be extra cautious with hotels that are offering bargain rates: lower rates can mean more bookings – and crowded lobbies, restaurants, hallways, and elevators that can make social distancing difficult. Finally, if having a pool or access to a gym is important to you, confirm that they will be open to guests, and that social distancing, frequent cleaning and other precautions will be in place.

Assume responsibility for cleanliness. While airlines, hotels, restaurants, and tourist attractions are being cleaned and sanitized frequently, this is not the time to let up your guard. Keep a supply of disinfecting wipes with you at all times, and give the surfaces around you – doorknobs, remote controls, tray tables, etc. -- an additional wipe down just to be extra safe. The peace of mind alone will be worth the minimal effort it takes.

Maintain strict personal hygiene. By now we all know that the best way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is through frequent handwashing. This is especially true when traveling. Wash your hands at every opportunity, and without exception after touching any common surfaces. Use sanitizing spray or gel when you don’t have access to soap and water. Even if you’re in an area with a low rate of coronavirus infections, you should still wear a mask anytime you are out in public. It’s easy and painless, and shows courtesy and concern for others. Plus, wearing a mask will help remind you not to touch your face.

If in doubt, stay home. If you or a member of your traveling party don’t feel well, don’t travel. Even if you think it’s just a cold, any minor illness can make you more susceptible to COVID-19 and other serious illnesses. Stay home, rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat nutritious meals, and try to reschedule your vacation when you’re feeling healthy again.

Keep calm and have fun. Reminders that we’re experiencing a life changing pandemic are everywhere, and can be especially unsettling when you’re in an unfamiliar place. But don’t let that ruin your vacation. Remind yourself that you’ve planned ahead and taken precautions to stay safe and healthy. Then take a deep breath, relax, and have fun exploring new areas or spending time with family and friends. After all, if you don’t enjoy your time away, it’s really not a vacation!

by El Camino Hospital
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Keep your teeth for the rest of your life with these four rules of oral health

According to the Australian Dental Association's 2020 Adult Oral Health Tracker, nearly a third of the adult population in 2020 has untreated tooth decay, up from 25 per cent in 2018, while less than half the adult population report brushing twice daily or visiting a dentist in the last 12 months.

Understanding the processes going on in your mouth is critical to preventing poor oral health, according to dentist Dr Crystal Koh, from at Lakeside Studio in Swansea, NSW.

"Bacteria feed on food and debris left on teeth surfaces, producing acid, which causes break down of tooth structure, leading to cavities.

"Bacteria in the mouth also leads to inflammation of the gums (gingivitis), which manifests as swollen, red and bleeding gums.

"Gingivitis can progress to periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss.

"Bacteria also produce odor which left unbrushed will lead to halitosis (bad breath)."

In the lead-up to Dental Health Week (August 3-9) the ADA is urging adults and children to follow four simple rules to maintain good oral health.

1. Brush morning and night

Saliva plays a pivotal role in flushing the oral environment during the day but when we are asleep, our salivary glands produce very little saliva.

"That's why it is so important to brush before you go to bed and when you wake up," Dr Koh said.

"Brushing before bed removes food particles that bacteria may feed on, and brushing in the morning will help remove the by-products of that bacterial activity, for a fresher morning breath."

There are also some golden rules when it comes to the right way to brush your teeth to maintain gum hygiene.

Use a small soft brush so as not to damage enamel or gums.

Use one pea-sized blob of fluoride-toothpaste.

Tilt your brush at 45 degrees to clean gums.

Brush in circles gently.

If using an electric toothbrush hold the brush still for three seconds on each tooth.

Brush inside and outside on all chewing surfaces. Then upper and lower teeth. Don't miss inside front teeth. Brush up and down to reach these properly.

Brush tongue to get rid of bacteria.

2. Floss regularly

It is important to floss every night to ensure that food or debris in between the teeth is removed before going to bed.

"Brushing only cleans three out of five surfaces of your teeth," Dr Koh said.

"Flossing helps clean in between the teeth, where toothbrush bristles cannot get access to.

"This will help minimize the occurrence of halitosis, gum disease and cavities."

Dr Koh suggests a "Wind, Guide, Glide and Slide" approach.

"Wind the floss between your fingers to form a 3cm to 5cm string, guide that string between your teeth, glide it across the base and contours of the tooth and slide it up and down," she said.

 3. Nutritious diet low in sugar

Food choices and frequency of consumption will affect not just your general health, but also your oral health.

"Frequent consumption of bottled fruit juices, soft drinks, energy drinks and snacking on foods with hidden sugars like biscuits, crackers, cereals, chips and even dried fruit can cause acid attacks on your teeth," Dr Koh said.

4. Visit your dentist regularly

Regular dental check-ups and x-rays will reveal issues that can be easily fixed before they turn into something more serious and painful.

"Regular scaling and cleaning will also help maintain gum health and keep gum disease at bay," Dr Koh said.

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Dental implants are the closest you can get to healthy and natural teeth

Dental implant is considered to be the greatest breakthrough in dentistry replacing loss teeth. Thanks to dental implant, missing teeth is no more “nightmare” to people.

Dental implant may be a good option no matter how many teeth you lose. Dental implants are metal posts or frames made of titanium that are positioned into the jawbone through surgery. Once integrated in jawbone, a tooth-shape crown is placed on to recover both function and appearance of missing tooth.

Titanium material is credited to its excellent biocompatibility, which is also used in groin repair surgery.

Modern dental implants have been used successfully for over 30 years. They are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth – and even better, they allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally.

When performed by a trained and experienced dental implant dentist, dental implant surgery is one of the safest and most predictable procedures in dentistry.

Five facts about dental implants:

Ancient dental implants have been traced back to around 600 AD, when tooth-like pieces of shell were hammered into the jaw of a Mayan woman.

Dental implants are the only dental restoration option that preserves natural bone, actually helping to stimulate bone growth.

In 1951, a small group of dentists who were successfully placing dental implants formed the AAID – American Academy of Implant Dentistry – to share their knowledge on the practice of implantology. AAID is the first professional organization in the world dedicated to advancing implant dentistry.

In 1952, Swedish orthopedic surgeon P.I. Branemark discovered that titanium naturally fuses with bone, eventually switching his research focus to the mouth from the knee and hip.

3 million people in the United States have implants, a number that is growing by 500,000 annually.


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Why did Lars and Madeline Berk limit their practice to children?

Our decision to limit our practice to Pediatric Dentistry at Lil' Teeth by Oloph (in Spring Hill, Florida) is consistent with our passion for helping children achieve their greatest potential along with our genuine enthusiasm in helping young ones maintain a healthy smile. 

The satisfaction we receive when we help children feel comfortable and “at home” in our office is very rewarding.  Simply put, our ultimate goal is to welcome your child into a different type of dental office; a kid-friendly place where advanced technology is combined with a gentle, warm, fun, and relaxing atmosphere.

(Dr. Madeline Berk has regularly attended continuing education courses to increase her knowledge in the ever evolving field of dentistry and stay abreast of advances in materials, techniques, and technology, with a particular focus in children's dentistry.

She is happily married to her husband, Lars who is also her busines partner.  Together, they have two awesome children:  Alec and Kathlyn. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dancing, hanging out at amusement parks, travelling, and of course, savoring every precious moment with her lovely family.)

by Dr Madeline Berk

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Decatur Illinois Dentist Mary Cole has ran a marathon in all 50 states

Mary Cole had never called herself a runner, but now at 46 years old, she wears the label like a badge of honor.

"I didn't like the name before, because I never thought I could do it," she said. "It is now a compliment."

A Decatur dentist, Cole is also part of an elite group of people who have run a marathon in all 50 states. According to the 50 States Marathon Club, nearly 4,500 runners have crossed this finish line.

"It took two years and nine months," she said of completing a marathon in each state.

She finished her last state, Alaska, in 2018.  Cole had planned to meet her goal by the age of 50, but set a faster pace for herself.

"I was going to make it an eight-year plan," she said. "Then I got impatient and did it a little quicker."

As a child in Louisville, Ky., Cole wore orthopedic shoes to correct her pigeon toes, so she didn't participate in sports.

"I was the person everybody asked for test questions," she said. "You weren't going to pick me for a sports team."

Although she was not a runner, she did join the Navy in her 20s, and physical activity became a part of her daily life. In boot camp she was required to run 1½ miles, during which she quickly would become sick.

"Running was not my thing, so I chose swimming," Cole said. "You had to do push-ups and sit-ups, but swimming was my better sport."

After eight years as a Navy dentist, life happened quickly for Cole and the years brought heartache. She and her husband struggled to have children, losing three babies during two separate pregnancies. The first baby who died was from a set of triplets. The death caused Cole to suffer depression.

"I didn't work or anything," she said. "I just took care of the kids."

The couple added one more child to the family and eventually moved to Decatur. For more than 10 years, exercise was not a priority for the new mother.

"My family dies early, 45, 60, most of them died from strokes or cancer," she said.

Cole researched what she needed to do to get going, and as she began improving her health, she said she felt better. She also watched what she ate.

"Everything you put in your body affects everything," Cole said.

Cole began her first exercise challenge with a 5K run. Although she struggled through the 3.1 miles, she found other runners to be positive influences.

"I couldn't do it at first, but everyone was so encouraging," she said.

In the beginning, marathons were not a consideration. She wanted to focus again on swimming, so she tried a mini triathlon. The challenge encouraged her to try more running, so she tried a half marathon and felt good afterward, she said.

As she took on more steps and longer runs, she introduced another challenge to her life: She wanted to see the world.

Cole's first marathon was in Springfield Illinois and she gradually added to her race itinerary, attempting one every weekend.

Cole said her journey to run a marathon in all 50 states isn't about the run, but to inspire others to be more confident, "and to do things they thought they could never do before, at any age," she said. "Age is just a number."

Cole adheres to the idea that runs should be fun, and she dresses up for many of the marathons in outfits such as Dorothy from "Wizard of Oz," Wonder Woman or an old lady.

"I like to inspire people to finish and just be healthy," she said. "I have a different aspect than the majority of others."

Many mishaps can prevent a runner from finishing a marathon, including an injury or getting lost, things Cole has experienced and overcome.

"It can happen," she said.

Cole does not focus on her marathon times, but instead finishing before the allotted time has expired.

"It's not about winning anything," she said. "Sometimes I stop and take pictures."

(Dr. Mary Cole graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1994 from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, where she is originally from. Dr. Cole, then, received her Doctors of Dental Medicine Degree from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in 1998.  Mary and Ron Cole work together in their business called Cole Family Dentistry) 

by Donnette Beckett

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Dental Associates in Northeast Wisconsin is using new devices to help stop the spread of COVID-19

It's called Mr. Thirsty.

"We use our cavitron. That cavitron produces aerosol so bacteria, viral products are produced," Hygienists Ann Leclair said.

The purple device helps reduce aerosols, or spray, that comes from a person's mouth and are sent out into the air. "Essentially it just sucks it in so it's not at risk to myself or to patients," Leclair said.

Leclair said otherwise droplets can reach as far as six feet from your mouth.  The Mr. Thirsty website touts the ability to cut aerosol spread by 90%.

Dental Associates is also taking other actions to stop the spread of the coronavirus.  "Every time I come into work, I have to get my temperature taken to make sure I don't have any symptoms of COVID or any symptoms," said Leclair. "Each patient that comes in gets their temperature taken as well."

Patients also have to rinse their mouth with a peroxide solution.


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Looking at IV Sedation

By offering sedation dentistry, it is our goal at our office to make our patients relaxed by reducing their anxiety and fears about dental treatment. Patients generally cannot recall the procedure, thus making the dental experience more pleasant and pain-free.

In general, it is safer for a patient's cardiovascular system, in that they are more relaxed and can avoid high stress levels.

Dr. Martone is trained and certified in IV Sedation. At Westfield Dental Associates, sedation is available for all dental procedures. For those patients who opt for IV conscious sedation, we require that you have someone drive you home after your procedure.    

Some of the most common dental fears that  sedation dentistry can relieve are:

Fear of embarrassment about the condition of teeth

Fear of gagging

Fear of injections

Fear of not becoming numb when injected with Novocain

Fear of pain

Fear of drills 

What are the five main advantages of IV sedation?

1. IV sedation tends to be the method of choice if you don't want to be aware of the procedure - you "don't want to know". The alternative in the use of oral sedation using Halcion, but oral sedation is not as reliably effective as IV sedation.

2. The onset of action is very rapid, and drug dosage and level of sedation can be tailored to meet the individual's needs. This is a huge advantage compared to oral sedation, where the effects can be very unreliable. IV sedation, on the other hand, is both highly effective and higly reliable.

3. The maximum level of sedation which can be reached with IV is deeper than with oral or inhalation sedation(nitrous oxide).

4. Can be ideal for those with a phobia of dental injections.

5.  Unlike General Anaesthesia or Deep Sedation, conscious IV sedation doesn't really introduce any compromises per se in terms of carrying out the actual procedures, because people are conscious and they can cooperate with instructions, and there is no airway tube involved.

Is it safe?

Dr. Martone does full cardiac monitoring during IV Sedation. This means that your pulse rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, breathing rate, and carbon dioxide level are always being watched. Our office is fully supported with the required emergency equipment and with office personnel who are trained in its use.  

by Dr Jane Martone

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Five Dental Issues Most People Will Eventually Have

Many of us are embarrassed by the dental problems we have, but the truth is that just about everyone has some sort of dental malady or another.

It’s not unusual, and therefore is nothing to be embarrassed about – as long as you’re getting it treated, that is! Here are five of the most common:

1) Bad Breath - If you have bad breath, you are not alone. The truth is, there is no larger oral health problem than bad breath, also called halitosis. In 4 out of 5 cases, a dental condition is to blame. This can be dry mouth, having cavities, gum disease, bacteria on your tongue and other factors.

2) Mouth Sores - If you have them, don’t worry. Lots of people do. They come in many varieties, too. Canker sores, cold sores, fever blisters, ulcers, and more among the most common.

Thankfully, they are rarely anything more than a nuisance. They often go away after a few weeks. Once in awhile one of them can point to a bigger problem.

If you have a mouth sore that lasts for more than two weeks, see your dentist!

3) Cavities - The scourge of tooth decay is one of the most common oral health problems in America, and in fact it’s one of the most common medical problems of all.

Cavities hit almost as many Americans as the common cold. If you brush twice a day, however, and remember to floss, watch what you eat , and more, you’ll enjoy the best defense – which is prevention!

4) Gum Disease - Technically this is known as periodontal disease. Gum disease happens when the gums surrounding your pearly whites become infected. This usually begins with gingivitis.

After a while it progresses and may lead to tooth loss. Gum disease is actually the most common reason for tooth loss among adults

5) Oral Cancer - Oral cancer doesn’t get the attention other cancers do, so you might be surprised to learn that there are 300,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year. At any time, millions of Americans may have oral cancer.

As with any cancer, it can be a deadly problem if left untreated, but thankfully it’s also very treatable, especially if caught early. That’s a good reason to see your dentist regularly!

We’re sure almost everyone reading this has suffered from at least one of these at one time or another. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. Just be sure to see your dentist regularly so small problems don’t become big ones!

by Dr Daniel Araldi

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How will COVID-19 alter the future of the dental workforce?

Will it influence a potential medical school applicant to choose dentistry instead? Will it encourage a potential dental school applicant to adopt a nonhealth-related career? Will the pandemic create longstanding changes to practice operations? 

“Even in a post-COVID environment, the future for the dental profession is bright and will remain so,” said Richard Manski DDS. “However, for the next year or two, there will be challenges and troubled waters ahead that we must navigate. While it will be our responsibility to adopt new best practices to ensure the safety of patients, staff and ourselves, we will also need to adapt to changing patient perceptions and concerns.

While the need for dentistry has not changed, we will experience a new equilibrium resulting from pent-up demand offset by patient apprehension. Additional attention to best practice management processes will be needed to optimize each patient encounter and to reassure patients.” 

Researchers will need to continue considering future supply and demand of dental services. But for now, general dentists — both practicing and aspiring — have plenty of challenges and opportunities to keep furthering the profession. Manski is optimistic.

“Even with the difficulties that we currently face, dentistry is a wonderful profession in which our colleagues are able to provide an important needed service, contribute to society in a meaningful way and live a very nice life,” he said.

Analysis in “Projecting the Demand for Dental Care in 2040” by co-authors Richard J. Manski, DDS, MBA, PhD, and Chad D. Meyerhoefer, PhD, provides a more mixed prediction. The authors surmise that: 

Total dental visits will increase from 294 million in 2017 to 319 million in 2040. 

Dental visits per person will decrease from 0.92 in 2017 to 0.84 in 2040. 

The percentage of the population with a dental visit will rise from 41.9% in 2015 to 44.2% in 2040.

by Kelly Rehan

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What is dental school like under the stay-at-home order?

Get to know CDA’s July Student Spotlight, Jose Acevedo from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC class of 2023.

What is dental school like under the stay-at-home order?

Our education has changed drastically due to the unprecedented crisis. Teaching has been conducted remotely and on digital platforms. Our summer trimester was supposed to be heavier on the preclinical aspect, and we were transitioning into more hands-on courses such as periodontics and indirect restorations. It has been difficult learning how to prep a crown through Zoom, but it has given us more time to fully understand the concept. I trust that once we are back to sim lab, we will be able to apply those concepts and overcome these challenges with the guidance of our experienced faculty.

Has the pandemic changed your career plans?

My career aspirations have not changed due to the pandemic. It is very difficult to predict what the future holds for dentistry, but no change will deter me from continuing to pursue my passion. Dental professionals are needed now more than ever. Many people have lost their jobs due to the pandemic and without insurance, people will be searching for more affordable dental care.

What has been your favorite dental school moment or experience so far?

Despite only being in my third trimester of dental school, I’ve had many memorable experiences. My favorite experience thus far has been visiting a community in my home country, Mexico, to provide dental care to those in need. I had the opportunity to provide dental cleanings and oral hygiene instructions to children from lower-income households. I believe that educating patients on preventive care will leave a strong, lasting impact that will empower these communities to improve their oral health. It has been a rewarding, yet emotional experience as I was finally able to give back to the same communities where I grew up.

What made you interested in dentistry?

Growing up in rural Mexico, oral health was not a priority, and it was not until we were in the United States that I made my first visit to the dentist. I didn’t know the language. It was foreign to me and I was frightened. I remember not being able to communicate with the doctor to explain all the discomfort I was having. He explained what he was doing and guided me through the process, making it less frightening. The dentist helped me overcome my fear and therefore created a meaningful doctor-patient relationship ― one that would impact my decision to pursue a career in the dental field years later.

Click on link for the full interview.

by California Dental Association

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Did you know that Edgar Buchanan was a dentist before becoming an actor?

A Western star of a different sort, Edgar Buchanan appeared in dozens of Wild West movies throughout the 1940s and ‘50s. However, the actor was probably best known for his work in “Green Acres,” “Petticoat Junction,” and “The Beverly Hillbillies.” The work he rarely gets credit for? His time as a dentist.

Before becoming an actor, Buchanan earned his DDS degree from North Pacific College and had a dental practice with his wife Mildred, who was his classmate in dental school. The couple moved to California in 1939, where Buchanan caught the acting bug.

He was born March 20, 1903 and died April 4, 1979.  He is most familiar today as Uncle Joe Carson from the Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies television sitcoms of the 1960s.


Views: 65

There are 15 dentists in the Skelley family and many are Dugoni School of Dentistry alumni

The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry is a family. The community on campus and beyond is tight-knit and cooperative. But did you know that every graduating class is filled with family members of previous graduates? Recently, 10 to 20 students in each class at the dental school have Dugoni School of Dentistry graduates and practicing dentists in their families.

“We have several families at the Dugoni School of Dentistry who can boast three generations of graduates—the Dugoni and Hovden families to name a few,” shared Dr. William van Dyk ’73, past president of the Alumni Association, at the 2016 Annual Alumni Recognition Luncheon. Another such three-generation legacy family is the Skelley family of San Francisco.

The Skelley family has a long history in dentistry and in San Francisco. Their dental dynasty started with Dr. Fred Skelley, P&S Class of 1915. He grew up in San Francisco and met his wife of Finnish decent, Ingrid Arvonen, while attending Glen Park Grammar School. He and his family were long-time inhabitants of San Francisco and all survived the 1906 Earthquake.

Fred began his practice in San Francisco when he opened his dental office on Mission Street near 29th Street shortly after graduating from the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Now, 100 years later, the family includes 15 dentists, many of whom are Dugoni School of Dentistry alumni.

Photo: Drs. Lila Marie Skelley ’74, Eugene Skelley ’54 and Jocelyn Yvonne Skelley ’90 at the 117th Annual Alumni Meeting


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Getting back to business during these challenging times

Spending lots of time in patients’ faces makes dentists and their staff uniquely vulnerable to contracting Covid-19. But dental offices are struggling to find the protective equipment they need, even as they begin to reopen across the country.

While dentists are spending tens of thousands of dollars on air-purifying gadgets, air-suction devices and room filters, they are having issues securing the basics: personal protective equipment like N95 and KN95 respirators, high-grade surgical masks, gowns and face shields.

“It’s been impossible to get enough proper PPE equipment,” said Don Yoshikawa, a 71-year-old dentist with a private practice in Huntington Beach, Calif. “My dental supply company has been on back-order for months.”

Have you visited a dentist since social distancing restrictions were eased? How was that experience? Join the conversation below.

Dr. Yoshikawa has spent around $25,000 on equipment such as high-efficiency particulate air filters and extraoral vacuums—large suction devices that are placed near the patient’s mouth. But he hasn’t been able to obtain new N95 or high-grade surgical masks, he said. He has some left over from pre-Covid days, and he and his colleagues will have no choice but to use them more than once, he said. He reopened his practice this week after closing it in mid-March when the American Dental Association recommended dentists postpone all elective procedures.

The ADA’s recommendation expired April 30, and the group said it was up to local governments to decide after that. In an ADA poll from mid-May of 6,504 dentists, 53.2% of those whose practices were closed said they were unable to reopen because they lacked an adequate supply of PPE. Around a quarter of those respondents said they were concerned about transmission of Covid-19 to their dental team.

“That is the No. 1 concern I am hearing from members,” said Chad Gehani, president of the ADA, adding that he gets around 60 phone calls and more than 100 emails about PPE shortages each day.

by Sarah Toy
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Digital X-rays don’t require any chemical processing

X-rays are a standard tool in the dental industry that we use to identify issues in the teeth, surrounding tissues, and jaw that would either be hard to see or hidden from a routine visual examination.

Some examples of problems we can spot with X-rays include tooth decay around restorations, deep cavities, jawbone infections, gum disease, abscesses/cysts, developmental abnormalities, and some types of tumors.

Chun Family Dentistry uses digital X-rays, because they have numerous benefits over their conventional counterparts. Digital X-rays don’t require any chemical processing, which means we get images faster and it’s easier on the environment. They also emit much less radiation, keeping you safe in our care!



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The Dentist will see you now but should you go?

Dental offices have begun seeing patients return for routine procedures. Seattle dentist Kathleen Saturay has increased the layers of protective equipment she wears when treating patients.

Add dental visits to the list of services you can book now or shortly as cities, counties and states continue to modify their months-long stay-at-home orders aimed at reducing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

Dental offices were largely shuttered across the United States after being advised in March by the American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to close their practices to all but emergency care. 

The hope was that by allowing dentists to continue to treat serious cases — such as intense tooth pain and infections — those patients would stay out of hospital emergency rooms, where medical workers were busy with severely ill coronavirus patients. And because the personal protective gear dentists and other health care providers need was in short supply, routine dental checkups and cleanings.

More recently though, the restrictions against routine care have been loosened in many places. So, is it really safe to go to the dentist now?

Dr. Gregory Poland, an infectious disease specialist at the Mayo Clinic and a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, says he thinks some infections in dental settings are likely to be inevitable.

"But the hope is that recommendations for their practices that all dentists should be following will mitigate that risk," Poland says.

The concern about the risk of transmission of COVID-19 during a visit to the dentist is understandable. Dental settings have "unique characteristics that warrant specific infection control considerations," says Michele Neuburger, a dental officer for the CDC's Division of Oral Health and a member of the CDC's COVID-19 Response Infection Prevention Control Team.

"Dental health care personnel use instruments such as dental [drills], ultrasonic scalers and air-water syringes that create a visible spray that can contain particle droplets of water, saliva, blood, microorganisms and other debris," Neuburger says.

Large droplets can land directly on others in the exam room and can contaminate frequently touched surfaces. The spray could also include small "aerosolized" droplets of COVID-19 if a patient has the virus. And those droplets can remain in the air for up to three hours, according to some estimates, and potentially spread the virus to dental staff or the next patient unless stringent precautions — such as personal protective equipment for staff and disinfection of the treatment room, instruments and surfaces between patients — aren't taken.  This is why it is important that PPE gowns and drapes are used and new ones for each patient.  

No cases of COVID-19 traced to dental offices so far

Despite these potential risks, the good news is that both the World Health Organization and the CDC say there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 transmitted in a dental office so far. And that includes follow-up by the CDC of news reports suggesting such infections, Neuburger says.

In mid-May, in sync with the American Dental Association, the CDC issued more guidance for dental practices, which continues to be periodically updated.

Ron Greenberg, 62, a computer science professor at Loyola University in Chicago, returned to his dentist in early June. "I have been nervous about going anywhere since mid-March," he says. But when he finally screwed up the courage for his delayed checkup, the dental office had "lots of procedures in place" that made him feel better. A member of the staff called with a list of questions about his health a few days before the appointment, then again on the day of his checkup.

Greenberg was told to call the receptionist from his car when he arrived and then wait to let a staffer open the office's front door — so he didn't even need to touch a doorknob.

"They led me straight to the hand sanitizer," he says. "Next was a temperature check. ... Everybody wore masks until I had to take mine off for them to work on me. And the hygienist and dentist had full face shields for when they were working close in."

Greenberg says he was confident enough after experiencing all those extra precautions to schedule a follow-up appointment for several days later to repair a chipped tooth.

Screen patients before each appointment, and when they arrive, for symptoms of COVID-19 — such as cough and fever — and postpone if they have symptoms that could indicate they have the virus.

Use each patient's car or a spot outside the office as the waiting room.

Remove items such as toys, magazines and coffee stations [which can be infection sources] from waiting rooms.

Require masks for patients and anyone with them while in the office area and immediately after procedures and checkups.

Place a plastic or glass barrier between patient and reception staff.

Avoid using powered tools when possible — some practices no longer use a polisher for teeth cleanings, for example.

Leave out only the tools needed for each individual patient so other tools cannot potentially become contaminated.

Use rubber dams over a patient's mouth for procedures when possible to limit spray of secretions.

Use multiple dental workers when doing aerosol-generating procedures when possible to speed up the visit and minimize exposure.

Install high-efficiency particulate air filters to improve room filtration, which might, research suggests, reduce transmission of airborne particles of the virus.

Although a weekly survey by the American Dental Association of dental practices nationwide found that their volume of patients had reached 65% of pre-COVID-19 levels as of June 22, dentists know at least some patients continue to be worried enough to stay away, even if they're in pain or overdue for important procedures such as gum surgery.

Delaying checkups or care for dental pain can potentially turn a small cavity into a root canal or tooth extraction and add to treatment time, higher costs and even more pain, says Howard Golan, a dentist in Williston Park, N.Y., who recently reopened his practice after seeing patients only for emergency care since mid-March. In rare cases, he says, missing out on dental care can result in serious infections and even death.

Dentists have a vested interest in taking all possible precautions.

"Dentists are typically 12 to 18 inches away from their patients," says Louis G. DePaola, associate dean of clinical affairs at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry in Baltimore. "To do their work dentists have to lean close in to what currently is the most infectious part of a person if they have COVID-19 — their mouth."

Protecting the health of others working in the office is paramount, too.

What about the orthodontist?

Daniella Smith of Silver Spring, Md., saw her dentist for a cleaning in late May, and that's when she also resumed orthodontist visits for her two children, ages 12 and 15.

"I was pretty impressed by all the new measures," says Smith, including staff opening all doors and not using the high-powered polisher during her cleaning. The kids were advised to brush their teeth just before coming to the office, to cut down on saliva being sprayed during an appointment.

"With all the time and money spent on the kids' braces, we really didn't want their teeth to move back," Smith says, "which is why we made appointments when the office opened back up."

Ideally, dentists would test their patients for the coronavirus ahead of their appointments and reschedule anyone who tested positive. But the "point of care" tests that can give results in about 15 minutes can produce false results, says Marko Vujicic, chief economist and vice president at the American Dental Association's Health Policy Institute.

"We're keeping our eyes on testing to see if there will be an effective way we can truly determine the COVID status of patients before treatment," Vujicic says. "Until then, we are advising dentists to take an abundance of caution according to the guidelines when it comes to treating patients."

"I think everyone is looking for the best science as we go forward," says Connie White, president of the Academy of General Dentistry and interim dean for clinical programs at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is soliciting coronavirus-related research proposals on, among other things, ways to improve disinfection and prevent disease transmission.

Meanwhile, White and other dental leaders also say they realize continued upticks in coronavirus cases across the U.S. could result in dental offices being told to shut again in certain regions.

"I hope that's not the case, of course," White says. But with openings and closures in flux, it's a good idea to make sure any dental procedure begun during one appointment can be concluded soon thereafter. "Patients should discuss with their dentist what is necessary to do right now and what can wait," White advises.

Remember, infectious disease specialists note, that we all have important responsibilities as patients, too, to let the dentist know before or on the day of the appointment if we're feeling sick in any way. We're all in this together — if you're sick, stay home.

by Fran Kritz
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