My BEST Dentists Journal

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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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 MurphyViews: 3

Tulsa Dentist sees more Dental Issues due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has turned many of our routines upside-down and that, some dentists say, is leading to dental problems.

Dentists across the country are warning people that all the added stress - is causing us to grind and crack our teeth more than usual.

When Oklahoma hit Phase 3 of re-opening, Dr. Neil Hasty of Aspire Dental in Tulsa says patients started coming back.

He started seeing about 30% more complaints about dental pain.

He says he's treating more cracked or ground-down teeth, and shattered crowns and fillings, than usual.

He believes work-from-home posture could also be contributing to patients’ issues.

"Maybe they're sitting on the couch and kind of folded up a little bit more, working on a laptop versus sitting in normal business attire and sitting up,” Hasty says. “And the posture all from the shoulders, to the slumping of the neck - all that plays a role across the musculature and architecture up by your face."

Hasty recommends alleviating stress by relaxing, meditating, praying, or reading.

Depending on the severity of your situation, he says it could be fixed by adjusting your bite or by wearing an over-the-counter mouthguard. 

 However, the damage may require fillings or extractions.

by Dave David Views: 13

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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ECU School of Dental Medicine receives $3.2 million to fund scholarships for disadvantaged students

The ECU School of Dental Medicine has received a $3.2 million grant to continue its Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program, funding scholarships for economically disadvantaged students over the next five years.

The grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is a renewal of a similar award in 2016.

The grant continuation provides opportunities for the school to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including underrepresented minority students, who will eventually practice as primary care dentists in underserved areas of North Carolina.

“The scholarship program is exactly in alignment with our school’s mission,” said Dr. Margaret Wilson, vice dean of the School of Dental Medicine. “HRSA has been wonderful in their support of us.”

The number of scholarships awarded through the grant will vary depending on the number of eligible students who apply, said Dr. Wanda Wright, project director, assistant professor and division director of dental public health at the School of Dental Medicine. 

Students must apply for the scholarship each year, so some might receive the scholarship all four years while others might receive it for one, two or three years.

For some students with talent, potential and the desire to serve, cost is the biggest barrier to an education in the health sciences, Wright said.

The School of Dental Medicine uses HRSA guidelines to identify students who meet eligibility criteria for Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students. Priority will be given to students with severe financial need.

Once students are accepted into the dental school, they can apply for the scholarship funding, show that they meet HRSA’s strict program requirements and outline their intent to eventually practice as primary care dentists in one of the state’s areas of need.

Part of the win-win format of the grant, Wright said, is that many of the students who benefit from the scholarships come from rural areas. They, in turn, are familiar with the challenges these areas of the state face and are likely to practice in similar communities.

The ECU School of Dental Medicine also recently received a $3.1 million HRSA grant, directed by Dr. Michael Webb and Dr. Mark Moss, to provide intensive instruction to residents on how to care for patients with special needs.

by Fantasia Harvey

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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 KritzViews: 30

Doctor Sam Sajoo is a specialist in smile restoration services and cosmetic dentistry.

Dr. Sam Sajoo has lectured both nationally and internationally on cosmetic dentistry, veneers, implant dentistry and full mouth rehabilitation. As a dentist and prosthodontist, he is well versed in the restoration and replacement of teeth.

His extensive training and education makes him uniquely qualified to bring the best out of your smile. Among his competencies in the field are the application of dental crowns, bridges, porcelain veneers, and complete and removable partial dentures.

He also has considerable experience in remedies for TMD-jaw joint problems, traumatic injuries to the mouth's structures and/or teeth, snoring and sleep disorders, and oral cancer reconstruction. Moreover, he is surgically trained to place dental implants, a superior method of replacing missing teeth.

Finally, as an award winning dentist (Consumer's Research Council), he is well prepared to handle a full range of emergency-based and general dental treatments. Coupled with his cosmetic and restorative dentist expertise, new patients can now benefit from a comprehensive care plan that often eliminates the need to engage multiple dental specialists.

"My goal first and foremost, is to make sure that you are comfortable during all dental treatment and that all procedures are painless. I believe it is important for you to fully understand all aspects of treatment and to be involved in the dental procedure.

"When you come in for your consultation, I will listen and answer all and any questions that you may have; together we will decide on a course of treatment that is best for you."


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Manhattan Endodontics: Improving Patient Care in 2 Important Ways

Root canal therapy is an investment of time and money, but it is also an investment in your health. Avoiding root canal treatment can lead to a variety of health and dental problems—the most concerning being an active infection.

Having your root canal procedure done at a Manhattan Endodontics office may cost more than having it done at a general dental office, but the investment is totally worth it. Endodontic specialists have more experience, and one of their main focuses is on finding ways to improve patient care.

2 Ways a Root Canal Specialist in NYC Works to Improve Patient Care

There are 2 ways in particular that NYC root canal specialists are working hard to improve patient care.

Reducing Stress through Better Communication

Root canal procedures are stress-inducing enough. Add to that the anxiety a patient might have over the cost of the procedure and the likelihood for physical and emotional discomfort is high. A root canal specialist works hard to reduce the patient’s stress by openly communicating with them.

They do this by thoroughly explaining the procedure—verbally and with diagrams. At Fifth Avenue Endodontics, we even provide educational videos so that our patients understand what a root canal procedure is, why it’s needed and what will happen during their appointment. All of this contributes to a more comfortable patient experience.

The Utilization of New Technologies

Endodontists receive extra training to become a specialist. Their training doesn’t stop when they graduate, though. NYC root canal specialists are required to continue their education throughout their career, and a quality Endodontist will not just focus on the basic requirements. Fifth Avenue Endodontic in Manhattan have the latest, cutting edge technology. This technology improves the quality of their work and the patient’s comfort.

The latest technologies include:

Dental operating microscopes for improved vision

Piezoelectric ultrasonic energy for minimally invasive procedures

Nickel-titanium endodontic instruments for accuracy and predictability

In addition to these, science has provided us with better filling materials, CAD/CAM technology, and high-tech machines. These newest advances in Endodontics have helped Endodontic offices in Manhattan and elsewhere to practice with predictability. In addition, more teeth are being saved because of technology; whereas in the past the damage many have been too pervasive to save the tooth.

by Fifth Avenue Endodontics

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US Top Dental School University of Michigan

The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation's leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service. General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan. The dental school of the University of Michigan, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan was established in 1875. It is currently the number one ranked dental school in the U.S. and fifth in the world according to two independent rankings.

Major renovations and expansion started in the fall of 2018. Updates were made to further the school’s state-of-the-art facilities for teaching dental students, serving patients from around Michigan and conducting world-class research that advances the dental profession. House at the University is the Sindecuse Museum of Denistry. One of a few museums of it's type around the world. d within the School of Dentistry, is one of a handful of museums throughout the world devoted to preserving and exhibiting the history of dentistry


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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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What Sets us Apart?

Our unique office has been designed to help facilitate your child's visit to the dentist. We suggest that in order to help you and your child prevent dental problems, the first visit should be by twelve months of age. Our mission is to create a dental home and establish a partnership with you regarding your child's oral health. Learning the fundamental's of preventive care at an early age will establish long term dental health for the rest of their lives.

Our staff is highly trained and skilled in working with your child in helping you with your child's dental health, prevention, treatment and special needs plan.  We will discuss all treatment options with you helping make the proper choices for your child's dental care.

Our office staff will make the best attempt in assisting you with your insurance and billing questions. We will try and schedule appointments to meet your busy life. We serve patients throughout the South King and Pierce County.

by Dr Sidney R Gallegos

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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 Views: 39

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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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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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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With proper care, even teeth that have had root canal treatment can last a lifetime

But sometimes, a tooth that has been treated doesn't heal properly and can become painful or diseased months or even years after treatment. If your tooth failed to heal or develops new problems, you have a second chance. An additional procedure may be able to support healing and save your tooth. If you have pain or discomfort in a previously treated tooth, talk to an endodontist about retreatment.

Why do I need another endodontic procedure?As occasionally happens with any dental or medical procedure, a tooth may not heal as expected after initial treatment for a variety of reasons:

Narrow or curved canals were not treated during the initial procedure. 

Complicated canal anatomy went undetected in the first procedure.

The placement of the crown or other restoration was delayed following the endodontic treatment.

The restoration did not prevent salivary contamination to the inside of the tooth.

In other cases, a new problem can jeopardize a tooth that was successfully treated. For example:

New decay can expose the root canal filling material to bacteria, causing a new infection in the tooth. 

A loose, cracked or broken crown or filling can expose the tooth to new infection.

A tooth sustains a fracture.

During retreatment, the endodontist will reopen your tooth and remove the filling materials that were placed in the root canals during the first procedure. The endodontist then carefully examines the tooth, looking for additional canals or new infection. The endodontist then removes any infection, cleans and shapes the canals, and places new filling materials. The opening is then sealed with a temporary filling. Once the tooth heals, a new crown or other restoration is placed on the tooth to protect it.


by Source

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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 from 5'2" to 6'2".


Unisex Standup Mandarin Collar Mandarin collar includes draw string and ties at back

Raglan shoulder Raglan Sleeve 34" from collar seam to wrist. Firm fit cardigan at wrists

Adjustable ties around waist. Waist measures comfortable for 28" to 48" Length (from neck to hem) 47"

Buy eight dozen and receive a 10% discount. Buy 12 dozen and recieve a 15% discount.

Product number: Q910

Available in Four Colors: Royal Blue (Q910BL), Black (Q910BK), White (Q910WH) and Light Grey (Q910LG)

$342 per dozen. Buy 8-11 dozen at $307.80 per dozen. Buy 12 or more dozen at $290.70 per dozen.



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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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Have you considered Holistic Dental Services?

Holistic healthcare is the examination of the patient as a whole, not just their oral care. We believe that the body is one system that, in order to function properly, needs attention as a whole. For example, issues with your gums may be causing issues controlling your diabetes. Holistic care focuses on the benefits of treating the whole body.

Reasons to Choose Holistic Dentistry

We use biocompatible Materials - Many dental treatments typically use toxic materials. However, we believe that you should not add any more toxic chemicals to your body than you are already exposed to on a daily basis. Instead, we use new, bio-compatible materials that do not cause many of the issues that traditional materials cause. Bio-compatible materials are used in fillings, crowns, and orthodontics.

We Practice Safe Mercury Removal - We do not believe in the use of fillings made of mercury because of their toxic materials and we do believe in removing these fillings and replacing them with bio-compatible materials. However, we know that it is important to safely remove mercury fillings so that you do not breathe in or swallow any mercury during the procedure. We utilize many special precautions to keep you as safe as possible during the procedure. 

We Stress Education - We know that the most important part of holistic care is your understanding and education about your body and oral health. We believe in teaching our patients about the benefits of a healthy diet, ingredients to avoid, and organic alternatives for your dental care. We know that by living a more balanced lifestyle, your overall oral and physical health will improve!

by Dr Colin Yoshida

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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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When you don't brush regularly, harmful bacteria multiply and plaque forms.

Although most people think they know the reasons for proper, daily tooth brushing, few people realize that clean teeth and healthy gums can protect against a variety of general, even life-threatening, health problems.

When you don't brush regularly, harmful bacteria multiply and plaque forms. Combined with sugar, saliva, mucus, and food debris, plaque creates a strong acid substance that eats away protective tooth enamel to cause tooth decay. A downhill slide can result.

Over time, the decay works its way below the enamel to infect tooth dentin, and this can cause pain and kill teeth. Meanwhile, plaque build up on tooth surfaces irritates gums, causing them to pull away from the teeth and expose the sensitive tooth roots. Loose gums form pockets where bacteria and infection gather.

This nasty stuff can destroy the bone that holds teeth secure, resulting in tooth loosening or loss. Finally, chronic gum disease can break down the protective barrier between oral bacteria and your blood stream. This allows bacteria to enter your blood stream and increases the risk for a host of health problems like heart disease, stroke, respiratory illness, diabetes complications, and pregnancy complications.

The Uphill Climb

Maintain good oral health by establishing a solid habit of brushing twice daily with a soft toothbrush, using the proper technique and quality fluoride toothpaste, and flossing carefully once a day. What's the best brushing technique? That depends on your personal dentition, but general guidelines apply to all patients.

First, choose toothpaste with the ADA seal of approval. You should spend at least three to four minutes brushing with a small, soft, angled brush in little, circular motions across all tooth surfaces and the gum line. Cover two to three teeth at a time, applying gentle pressure. Harsh brushing can damage gums and cause painful sensitivity.

After brushing your teeth, remember to brush or scrape your tongue to remove germs and bacteria that harm teeth and cause bad breath. Finally, rinse your entire mouth with water and spit out the debris. Brush twice daily or after meals, and floss between teeth once a day.

For more thorough brushing, consider purchasing an electric toothbrush. Some models feature an automatic cut off or warning light that kicks into action when you brush too harshly.

Replace your toothbrush every three to four months so that the bristles remain effectively positioned and clean. For fresh breath and further prevention of bad bacteria, follow up with an over-the-counter mouthwash.

by Dr Terrence O'Keefe

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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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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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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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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 ToyViews: 37

Dentist and record store owner Dr. Anton Grobani dies from coronavirus

Dr. Anton Grobani retired from dentistry three times. 

The contrast between Dr. Anton Grobani’s two careers often took people by surprise.

The day after Keith Moon died, the Annapolis dentist took out the 1975 record “Two Sides of the Moon” and put it on prominent display in his record shop.

“Dr. Grobani would not be the first guess as the sort of person to pay homage to a member of the band that regularly smashed its equipment at the end of performances," a Sun writer remarked in 1978.

A father of five, Dr. Grobani was a dentist by trade as well as a music lover who ran record stores in Maryland and Virginia. A longtime baseball fan, he wrote a book on the sport some refer to as “The Grobani Bible.” His friends call him a “Renaissance Mensch.”

Dr. Grobani died April 15 in Baltimore of complications from the coronavirus. He contracted the virus while a patient at Levindale’s subacute rehabilitation center, owned by LifeBridge Health. The 87-year-old was one of multiple patients in the unit to test positive for COVID-19.

His wife and two daughters chose to care for him at home in his final days rather than risk having him die alone at the hospital, said his daughter, Abby Grobani. 

“Ultimately we were just very alone with him,” Ms. Grobani said. They remain in quarantine days after his death.

Born in Philadelphia in 1932, Dr. Grobani moved to Baltimore with his family at age 9. His father, a Russian-born opera singer named Benjamin Grobani, worked as a cantor at Oheb Shalom in Baltimore. “A lot of people of a certain age were tutored for their bar or bat mitzvah by him," recalled Ms. Grobani. His mother, Pauline Grobani, was a pianist.

by Christina Tkacik Views: 26

In Dr Marissa DeAngelis’s spare time she enjoys running and often participates in 5ks, 10ks and half marathons

Dr. DeAngelis is a Californian by birth and Italian in heritage. She grew up in Northern Virginia and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. She will always be a Hokie at heart, but has no problem cheering on UVA as well (as long as they aren’t playing VT).

After college, Dr. D returned to Northern Virginia and worked for a year as a dental assistant, which inspired her to pursue a career in dentistry. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree at Virginia Commonwealth University, and subsequently completed a General Practice Residency at the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

The mountains of Asheville hooked Dr. DeAngelis, but she was eager to return home to Virginia and found a perfect fit in the Shenandoah Valley. She has enjoyed providing comprehensive, compassionate care to patients in the Charlottesville area for several years now and is excited to continue at Crozet Family Dentistry. Her goal is to help patients to understand dental care and treatment so they can be active team players in their own long-term oral health.

Dr. DeAngelis prides herself on her attention to detail and enthusiasm to maintain high standards in the practice of dentistry. She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry and is diligently pursuing the Fellowship award, a distinction that recognizes a commitment to continuing education.

In her spare time, Dr. D. enjoys running and often participates in 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons. She also enjoys hiking and is currently planning her next adventure to a national park. When she’s not out and about, she enjoys reading and hosting dinners and game nights with friends. A vegetarian and animal lover, Dr. DeAngelis lives in Charlottesville with her husband, Jon, and friendly cat Mulan.


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First Orthodontic Visit?

Getting started with orthodontic treatment can seem like a lot of work, but at our office, Dr. Lautt and our team will help you every step of the way. During your first visit, we will discuss your oral goals and needs, and get started with creating a personalized treatment plan for you.

Your first visit at our practice is very important; it is where our orthodontist will evaluate your oral health, collect records, and begin developing a treatment plan for your smile. In total, your first visit may take between 60 and 90 minutes, but it is the initial stepping stone to your orthodontic treatments. Several things will take place during your first visit, including:

Transferring records from your dentist or other health care providers.

Discussing your personal oral goals and concerns with our orthodontist.

Taking X-rays and photos for our records and to assist in developing a treatment plan.

Making an impression of your teeth to study their alignment.

Creating treatment plans based on the condition of your bite, your goals, and payment options.

During your first visit, our Treatment Coordinator and Dr. Lautt, will be happy to discuss any diagnoses and potential treatment options; to accomplish this we will carry out a thorough analysis of the information we gather in this initial consultation before presenting you with Dr. Lautt’s clinical diagnosis. We will explain in detail any treatment recommendation to ensure we have covered all of your specific needs so you can receive the best care possible. If you have questions about what you can expect during your first visit, we welcome you to call or visit our office.


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Here is what our office is doing to keep our patients and ourselves safe

We sent this out to all our patients.  As many of you already know, we officially reopened for cleanings and all general and cosmetic procedures earlier this month. 

I wanted to let you know about everything we're doing to keep you safe.  Needless to say, we're following all CDC guidelines and we exceed OSHA standards for infection control.

First off, I want to highlight a cool aspect of Saratoga Dentistry that sets us apart from other dental offices: Each of our four treatment rooms have full walls and a door. So once you are in your room, you are not sharing air-space with other patients.

Additionally, we run high speed IQAir Pro Health Plus hyper hepa filters in each of these rooms, which turns over the room air in as little as 6 minutes. 

More patient safety specifics: When we confirm your appointment the day beforehand, you will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms both by phone and electronic form.  Every patient and team member is screened before entering the office, including a (no-touch) temperature check. 

We're allowing no more than two people at a time in our waiting room, and only after they've been screened. (For minors, we do allow up to two guardians in the waiting room, as long as they wear masks and stay socially distanced.)

Everyone wears a mask in the office - all patients, companions, and staff. Myself and other staff members also wear a face shield during treatments.

All common area surfaces are wiped clean many times per day with hospital grade disinfectant. This includes disinfecting all door knobs, doors, front office countertops, etc. (Treatment rooms have always been cleaned and wiped down with a hospital grade virucidal/bacteriocide/fungicide product for each new patient, but this now applies to the entire office.)

Hepa UV filters run in the waiting room and front office areas.

All staff members will change into new sterile full-length gowns for each patient they treat.

I purchased 13 dozen of the PPE Universal Isolation Gowns from PPE by UjENA and they are working out great. See photo.   

by Dr Daniel Araldi

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What is the Pinhole Surgical Technique?

The Pinhole Surgical Technique is the minimally invasive way to treat moderate to severe gum recession. This procedure doesn't require sutures or painful recovery! Unlike soft-tissue grafting, this technique begins by creating a pinhole in the gum tissue that is receding. Once the pinhole has been created, a device is placed into the hole.

No Cutting. No Sutures. No Second Surgical Site. Pinhole Surgical Technique is the Minimally Invasive Gum Surgery Alternative!

There are several things that could be causing your receding gums. Some factors could be out of your hands while others can be easily identified and managed with proper oral hygiene techniques and healthy lifestyle habits.

Whatever the cause for your receding gums, a gum rejuvenation treatment should be high on your priority list! Without their protective gum tissue surrounding them, your teeth are at a much higher risk for sensitivity, decay, and periodontal disease. The Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST™). PST™ is a ‘breakthrough’ technique invented by John Chao D.D.S. that is a much less invasive alternative to traditional gum surgery.

With PST™ we do not have to make large incisions, use stitches, or take any tissue from a second surgical site! Before treatment we will ensure the area to receive the gum rejuvenation is properly numb allowing for the most comfortable experience possible.

A small ‘pinhole’ is made in the gum tissue and special instruments are used to loosen and pull down viable gum tissue over the areas of recession. Collagen strips are placed to encourage healing and an immediate cosmetic result can be seen before you even leave the chair! Many patients can even resume their daily routine shortly after leaving the office.

Benefits with the Pinhole Surgical Technique™

No bleeding, discomfort, pain, or swelling associated with traditional gum surgery, Corrects receding gums without surgery, No cutting, no stitches, and no second surgical site

Minimally invasive, Instant cosmetic results, Quick healing and recovery time, Multiple teeth can be treated at one visit, Restore a beautiful and healthy smile

Receding gums can happen so gradually, most patients wait until it is too late. Guard your teeth against devastating periodontal disease and restore a beautiful healthy smile with PST™; a minimally invasive gum rejuvenation solution!

(Editors note: Dr. Wehle is trained and certified to provide her patients the unique gum rejuvenation treatment known as the Pinhole Surgical Technique (PST™).  The second photo is Dr Wehle and Dr Chao the inventor of PST.)

by Dr Danielle Wehle

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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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Preventing Tooth Decay in Children

As a parent, you want the best for your child, and that includes their dental health. Although baby teeth are temporary and will eventually be replaced with permanent teeth, it is still essential to keep teeth and gums clean and free of decay.

Some of the reasons why caring for baby teeth is important include:

Tooth decay may compromise your child’s immune system: Infection and inflammation related to tooth decay are often painful. More importantly, there is a link between oral health and overall health. Maintaining excellent dental care will reduce many related health risks.

Lost baby teeth may cause orthodontic problems: Some infants and toddlers experience decay so severe, their teeth must be removed. The gaps created by removing baby teeth too early may cause misalignment of their adult teeth.

It’s never too early to start good oral hygiene: Kids that grow up learning healthy habits are much more likely to continue those habits as they grow older. Make oral hygiene a priority, and your kids will, too.

It is vital to protect your child’s oral health even before their permanent teeth emerge, and it all starts at home.

 Practice Healthy Dental Habits

Good dental habits start at a young age. Children begin observing before they start practicing these habits themselves. Be a good example for your child, showing them the importance of brushing twice daily and flossing once per day. If you are not following this routine, it will be hard to convince them to do the same.

You can start brushing your child’s gums before they even have teeth. As soon as your child starts on solids (purees), begin brushing their gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush. You can even let them hold and chew on it if they want.

Once the first teeth erupt, your child will already be used to the concept of brushing. Flossing doesn’t need to start right away, but should still be established early, especially if your child eats foods that easily get caught between their baby teeth.

Talk about what you are doing and why when you brush their teeth. You can even make a game of it, asking them to list what they’ve eaten so you can be sure to “find” and brush it all off.

Encourage a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Sugars are not only bad for your child’s body, but they wreak havoc on their teeth as well. Limit the amount of sugar in your child’s diet, particularly sugary drinks like juice and soda. Sticky foods like caramel, taffy, syrup, and honey should also be limited.

Increase the amount of water-dense fruits and vegetables your child eats. These can help protect your child’s teeth by increasing saliva production. Cheese and nuts are also great acid fighters, which can protect their teeth against decay.

The more water they drink, especially instead of juice or soda, the better. This will also help to create more saliva, a natural protective coating designed to prevent bacteria buildup.

Ask About Sealants

Tooth shape also plays a role in your child’s risk for tooth decay. Even the most diligent parent – the one who starts brushing and flossing from infancy and practices healthy eating habits – can have a child succumb to tooth decay. Deep grooves in the chewing surface of the molars can be hard to clean out, even with regular brushing. Here your dentist can help by placing dental sealants.

Sealants are placed on the first and second molars when these teeth that have not had any prior work or decay. The treatment is painless and requires no drilling or anesthesia. It is a special resin placed on the chewing surface of molars and cured with a light.

Sealants are becoming more popular as a result of their proven effectiveness. More and more insurance companies are starting to cover them, as well. According to the CDC, dental sealants can prevent 80% of cavities within two years of placement and 50% for up to four years. They can continue to protect teeth for up to 9 years after placement.

Visit a Professional Regularly

If you follow all of these precautions and your child still develops tooth decay, don’t be too hard on yourself or them. Some issues are genetic, causing problems no matter how much you brush and floss.

You can reduce the amount of damage that results by addressing small cavities early and recruiting the help of a professional. Schedule your child’s first dental appointment before their first birthday or after the first baby tooth is visible, whichever comes first. By making dental care a priority, you can give your child the best opportunity to keep their smile beautiful throughout their lifetime.


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What is Cosmetic Dentistry?


Cosmetic dentistry combines the best dentistry practices to give you a smile that is both healthy and attractive. A beautiful smile can change your life. It can brighten your entire outlook on life, improving your self-confidence and creating great first impressions.

However, it is important to understand that cosmetic dentistry is not just about aesthetics; it also places a strong emphasis on treating your condition so that you can maintain excellent oral health for years to come. This balance between the functional and aesthetic sides of dentistry makes cosmetic dental restorations the best option to treat your condition.


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Your dentist has referred you to an endodontist because he or she understands that you will benefit from the specialized training and experience that a root canal specialist can offer. An endodontist is a dentist with special training in diagnosing and treating problems associated with the soft tissue inside of the tooth. To become an endodontist a dentist must complete an ADA certified, two-year, full-time program of advanced training in endodontics. We will work with you and your dentist to hold on to your natural dentition.


There is nothing as good as your natural tooth! Your dentist has recommended a root canal because saving your teeth is the natural choice. There are many new ways to replace a missing tooth, but not even the most advanced implants or bridges can in fact replace your natural tooth. Not all teeth can be saved, but whenever possible saving your tooth should be your first choice it’s the natural choice!


Root canal treatment doesn’t cause pain it relieves it! A toothache is most often caused by infection or other damage to the soft tissue inside the tooth. Root canal treatment removes this damaged tissue from the tooth, thereby relieving the pain. Occasionally the healing can be delayed by pre-existing conditions such as infection and inflammation but in most cases conditions start improving after a few days.


Yes! Root canal treatment is a safe and effective procedure. Starting in the 1930s and continuing until today, research has shown that people with root canal fillings are no more likely to be ill than people without them. There is no relationship between the presence of endodontically treated teeth and the presence of illness.


Recently a few very vocal dentists and physicians have been claiming that teeth that have received root canal treatment contribute to the occurrence of illness and disease in the body. This claim is based on the now obsolete studies performed by Dr. Weston Price from 1910-1930. Dr. Price believed that bacteria trapped in the teeth during root canal treatment can cause almost any type of disease, including arthritis, heart disease, kidney disease, and others. Although he and others meant well, their claims resulted in many millions of unnecessary extractions and mutilated mouths. Back then, many people in their 30’s and 40’s had all their teeth extracted for nothing and had to wear dentures for the rest of their lives. Sound like anyone you met?


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Maybe you need to get a crown?


If you have extensive tooth decay that’s threatening the health of a tooth, the teeth surrounding it, or your gums, then your tooth may require more than a dental filling. It may be necessary to cover the tooth with a dental crown after removing all of the decay. A dental crown may also be necessary if your tooth has decay in a spot that is difficult to fill effectively.

What Is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown sits on top of a damaged tooth and can help strengthen the tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling on its own. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking, or restore one that’s already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped and is also used to cover a dental implant.


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Sindecuse Museum is devoted to preserving and exhibiting the history of dentistry

The Sindecuse Museum exhibits and preserves a historical museum collection containing over 25,000 objects focused on the history of dentistry with particular interest on dental practice and technology in the United States and Michigan dating from the 18th century to today. It is dedicated to educating it's audiences about the history of dentistry through museum exhibition, related programs, research, and preservation of the collections.

The museum was established in 1991 with a grant from Dr. Gordon H. Sindecuse, a 1921 graduate of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. Its first professional part-time curator was hired that year. However, the museum's collections had been forming for several decades before the museum was established, as members of the School of Dentistry faculty, including Dr. Charles Kelsey, Professor Al Richards, and dental librarian Sue Segar, preserved and stored equipment, photos, and documents relating to the history of dentistry and the history of the dental school.

The Museum has a collection of more than 15,000 catalogued items, about 15 percent of which are displayed at one time.

For many years, dentistry in America was regarded as a low trade, a sort of “tooth carpentry” practiced by barbers, blacksmiths, and other multitasking professions.

In the early 1800s, practitioners began working to legitimize the profession and lift it to the ranks of a respected medical science. To make tooth care easier, more comfortable, and less hazardous, dentists developed specialized tools and furniture, refining them over the decades. These innovations eventually led to the modern dentist office. 

The Sindecuse Museum is located in the atrium connecting the Kellogg Building with the School of Dentistry on the UM campus. The best way to access it is through the main entrance of the Kellogg Building located on Fletcher Street just off of North University Ave. The main entrance has stairs, but a handicapped entrance is available on the northern side of the building.

Parking can be hard to find on the busy University of Michigan campus, but parking structures are available in the nearby downtown district of Ann Arbor, Michigan.


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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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CDA is urging dentists to contact their dental plans to stress the need for financial relief that will help sustain dental practices in the new COVID-19 environment.

As California dental offices are resuming preventive care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the obligation to implement new safety protocols and provide additional PPE to protect staff and patients has become a financial burden. CDA is aware that members are searching for ways to offset the rising cost of maintaining a clean and safe environment, which may include charging patients a new infection control fee. While CDA continues to advocate for financial relief for members, the following guidance is recommended to help members navigate this growing issue.

Communicate with patients and consult dental plans about additional fees

While dentists have incurred additional PPE costs as the result of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s important to recognize that patients may also be incurring financial hardships due to job loss or reduction in hours, and potential loss of their dental benefits. Some dental practices have opted to alter their charged fees to account for the increased overhead costs due to PPE requirements, while others have opted to charge a flat fee.

Regardless of how a dentist decides to address the increased cost of care, we encourage educating patients about why this is occurring. For an overall increase in fees, it may be a brief statement to patients about the increasing cost of care. Charging a straight PPE charge may require more nuanced patient education and messaging to ensure patient retention.

Dentists who participate as contracted providers for dental plans will need to review the terms of their participation agreements as well as accompanying documents, such as their provider handbooks, or confirm if they are able to charge the plan or the patient a fee and how to obtain payment. Many plan contracts have limitations on charging additional administrative fees or costs that are to be presumed to be bundled in the existing cost of covered services.

Providers are advised to check the dental plan’s website and provider portal area for any plan communications that address how the plan may be assisting providers with PPE costs. The ADA offers a summary and guidance on billing for PPE as well a listing of the dental plans currently providing financial assistance during this time.

A dentist can submit a predetermination of the patient’s treatment plan and the PPE charges to the plan via the dental plan’s online portal to validate what the plan may pay for. Most dental plan contracts include the cost of PPE within the reimbursed amount to the dentist and may disallow participating providers from billing the patient for PPE in the event the plan denies the charge.

CDA’s Practice Support can assist members with general interpretation of their dental plan contracts, but it is not a legal analysis.

Maintain ethical practices

The ADA Code of Ethics advises that it is unethical for providers to only charge uninsured patients or only seek reimbursement for insured patients to address the surge in PPE costs, with the exception of Medicaid enrollees due to federal and state restrictions. The fee a provider charges a patient without insurance is considered the dentist’s full fee and should be represented to all third-party payers.

The CDA Code of Ethics provides similar guidance, noting that dentists have the obligation to bill for services in a manner that is not fraudulent or misleading. PPE surcharges cannot be billed subjectively, but must be applied to all patient visits, regardless of whether the patient is uninsured or whether a commercial dental benefit plan reimburses for the charge.

At this time, CDA recommends dentists do not charge additional PPE fees directly to patients covered by Medi-Cal. The state has not provided guidance on whether dentists can charge a separate PPE. It likely will not be considered a separate noncovered service, but required as part of covered services with the cost built into the current state maximum allowance fee. CDA is actively opposing draconian cuts to the existing Medi-Cal provider rates as well as pushing for the state to recognize the increased cost of PPE by providing a reimbursement as other state Medicaid programs have done.

Anti-gouging laws

If a PPE surcharge is appropriate for your practice, there are additional considerations when determining the amount you may charge patients. California anti-gouging law prohibits businesses, including dental practices, from raising the price of goods and services by more than 10% after an emergency is declared, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the global PPE shortage, providers are exempt from charging pre-COVID prices for PPE but should not charge more than 10% of the current market rate amount of the PPE supplies needed during a typical patient visit. 

CDA advocating for third-party reimbursement

Dental benefit plans, which have continued to collect millions in premiums from patients during the pandemic while dental offices were limited to emergency procedures, have a responsibility to share the high cost of additional PPE. CDA is advocating for state lawmakers to hold dental benefit plans accountable in sharing the new costs of extensive PPE without which dental care cannot be provided.

CDA is urging dentists to contact their dental plans to stress the need for financial relief that will help sustain dental practices in the new COVID-19 environment. Act now by sending a letter to your dental plan.

by California Dental Association (CDA)

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Why can a dentist office visit be so frightening to an autistic child?

A trip to the dentist’s office can be a frightening experience for an autistic child. But with just a bit of strategic planning, parents with autistic children can make dentist office visits go much smoother.

In this story, the San Diego child dentist experts at ABC Children’s Dentistry will share a few steps to help parents of autistic children tackle dentist office visits.

Why can a dentist office visit be so frightening to an autistic child?

Even children’s dentist offices, which is typically designed and decorated to put a child at ease, can be intimidating to children with autism. This can be from any number of factors, including the sounds, bright lights, and strangers.

How can I make the dentist office visit better for my autistic child?

Here are a few suggestions to help smooth your child’s visit to the dentist’s office.

Be sure the appointment is not for a day that will already be a busy one for your child. Relaxation and minimized stress are very important on the day of your child’s visit to the dentist.

Before the appointment, try to introduce your child to the idea of visiting the dentist. If possible, take photos of the office setting beforehand. In addition, toy dental instruments can be beneficial in helping children overcome certain dental phobias.

Pack earplugs and sunglasses if your child has problems with bright lights and loud noises.

Make your child as comfortable as possible by bringing along favorite items, including fidget toy, blanket, stuffed animal, etc.

While it’s on your mind, get in touch with us now to schedule your child’s appointment. We provide customized care that is skilled and fun!


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When do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

Your wisdom teeth get their name because they are the last teeth to come in, hopefully when you are older and wiser. In most cases, wisdom teeth begin their descent during the later teenage years or early 20s. At this point, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon, particularly if their eruption causes undue pain, crowding, or other complications that threaten your oral health.


If you’re facing the removal of your wisdom teeth (extraction), never fear. You are not alone. In fact, only about 15% of the population have the healthy space and appropriate wisdom teeth positioning to let them come all the way in without extraction. The other 85% of us require one, two or even all four to be removed in order to keep our other teeth in proper alignment, and to prevent pain or discomfort in the mouth.

For many, the removal of wisdom teeth is the first “surgery” they will ever have. While most only require a local anesthetic to numb the general area and remove emerged wisdom teeth, some individuals require general anesthesia, allowing us to cut into the gum and remove the wisdom teeth before they begin causing further problems. This is typically the case for patients who have “impacted wisdom teeth” – which are wisdom teeth that can’t emerge properly and can even be positioned sideways – rather than upright.

Wisdom teeth can cause problems if they aren’t removed when they should be

If you’re not one of the lucky 15% who get to keep their wisdom teeth, the emergence of these teeth can cause:

Pain, swelling and discomfort. If adult molars block wisdom teeth, they get stuck while trying to emerge. This can cause intermittent or chronic swelling, discomfort and pain.

Infections. In many cases, wisdom teeth emerge partially and then stop because they can’t move any further. The skin around them becomes inflamed and irritated. This tissue can cause infection, causing further pain and discomfort (including swelling, stiffness and even illness). Over time, infections become much more serious if they spread.

Crooked teeth. If wisdom teeth are able to emerge, they sometimes do so at the expense of your other teeth, causing crowding or a shifting of their natural position. Not only does this change how your smile appears, it can also affect your bite and make your teeth and gums more susceptible to bacteria build up that can lead to gingivitis.

Tumors and cysts. Finally, and most serious of all, poorly positioned wisdom teeth can cause tumors and/or cysts to form. These are very dangerous because they eventually cause the jawbone to erode and can destroy your healthy teeth.

The good news is that absolutely none of that ever has to happen if you have your wisdom teeth removed when your dentist or oral surgeon recommends it.


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Guidance from CDC, CDPH provide roadmap for dentists to resume care

As dentists continue their return to practice, official guidance from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health offers a roadmap for resuming dental care to patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many dentists were awaiting an update to the CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response. That update came May 19 to include recommendations for resuming deferred and preventive care, not just emergency care. The update includes important guidance for patient screening, facilities and equipment, disinfection and administrative controls, among other procedures.

For additional details on the  CDC’s updated interim guidance, watch the June 3 Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity webinar for key highlights.

The May 19 update from the CDC follows a similar update from the CDPH that was issued May 7. CDA is pleased to have both sets of guidance to provide specific recommendations that pave the way for dentists to safely resume care.

Following the latest from the CDC, CDPH will be reviewing its interim guidance to determine if adjustments are needed to align with the CDC recommendations. For example, the CDC guidance includes a specific recommendation to wait 15 minutes after the completion of clinical care and exit of each patient before beginning to clean and disinfect the operatory surfaces. CDPH is expected to revise its guidance only if it determines a need to do so.

by California Dental Association (CDA)

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A PPE fee at the dentist? New requirements could raise prices for patients

When the dentist’s office called to cancel Laura Lizcano’s appointment for a crown and cavity filling in March because of the coronavirus, she wasn’t terribly worried.

The 25-year-old freelance musician didn’t know at the time the pandemic would keep medical offices closed for months — and prevent her from getting her teeth taken care of before she lost her health insurance.

Ms. Lizcano will be dropped from her mother’s insurance plan at the end of May after turning 26, the age limit for children to be covered by a parent.

Now, at a time when she’s lost nearly all her income, Ms. Lizcano will pay at least $1,200 out-of-pocket for the procedure.

As dentists resume services put on hold during the pandemic, they face new infection-control requirements that could lead to higher costs — and perhaps less access — for patients. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has said dental practices must have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) for all providers and has urged dentists to avoid procedures that “create a visible spray” of saliva or blood from patients’ mouths unless necessary as part of emergency treatment.

Dentists agree the protections are important in a line of work where faces come close, but they are cash-strapped after two months without any income and are concerned about how they will cover the new expense. Dental insurance plans may cover part of the cost; dentists could charge a PPE fee directly to patients or raise prices to account for the additional expense.

Dental care is a financial pressure point for families even in good times, and any of these approaches will likely lead to high costs for patients at a time when many have lost jobs, income and health insurance.

“It’s understandable there would need to be more precautions,” said Ms. Lizcano, who isn’t sure if her dentist will now charge an additional PPE fee, “but why does it have to be me who foots the bill?”

Dentists used masks and protective equipment before the pandemic, but the new guidelines require a bigger investment in more advanced equipment than is usually necessary, such as N95 masks.

“The additional PPE is definitely a significant expense,” said Neil Uffner, owner of Broad Street Braces, whose practice donated many of its masks and gowns to hospitals at the outset of the crisis. “It’s something that we’ve never really had to consider.”

To cover the cost long-term, the American Dental Association has proposed creating a new insurance billing code or adjusting existing billing codes. Whether insurance companies will agree to cover new fees remains unclear.

America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an association that represents major insurance companies, including several national dental insurers, said it expects the cost of dental care to increase.

“How this will be covered by patients, either out-of-pocket or through insurance coverage, is a question that needs to be responsibly considered,” said Tom Meyers, a vice president for AHIP.

In the meantime, dental practices eager to resume care and get money flowing again are temporarily absorbing the new infection-control costs.

by Sarah GantzViews: 22
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