Thursday, January 11, 2018

Less Is More

As a dentist and certified prosthodontist, I have been in private practice for twenty five years. So it is needless to say that I've diagnosed and treated many different dental conditions during my career. One thing I am sure of is that when in doubt, it is always better to be conservative with treatment provided. Not to say that when more aggressive treatment is obviously necessary one should wait. Certainly I've stressed timely treatment of pathologies in the past. However, sometimes a diagnosis may be inconclusive or the outcome of a certain type of treatment doubtful. In these situations a less experienced clinician may be pressured to do "something"! Experience has shown me that less can be more in the long run. Unfortunately I have witnessed overaggressive treatments that waste many resources and in the end leave the patient wanting more and/or regretting what was done. I feel all clinicians must exhaust all resources to come up with a definitive diagnosis first. This may include referrals to other specialists or palliative treatments and reevaluation later on.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Ethical Treatment

Timely and conservative treatment is essential to dental health and longevity. It is crucial to have at least two cleanings and examinations in a year to be able to diagnose potential problems and treat them in the most conservative way possible. A more conservative approach in dentistry will lead to less issues in a life time. Over-treatment with unnecessary procedures is not only unethical but will also compromise long term health.

I occasionally come across a patient who has been given an extensive treatment plan and has come to our practice for a second opinion. After preforming a comprehensive examination, I discover that some recommended treatments are not necessary. These situations put all parties involved in an awkward position. I do realize that different clinicians have different philosophies but in my humble opinion as long as oral structures are healthy and the patient is functioning alright, there is no real need for treatment. Now don't get me wrong, if a patient requests some elective treatments(cosmetic or otherwise), then so be it. However, to try and "sell" unnecessary treatments to patients who had not requested such is unethical. I would urge anyone with an unexpected treatment plan to ask questions and request a proper explanation. In some cases a second opinion should be in order.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Natural Homemade Mouthwashes

In addition to regular flossing and brushing, using a mouthwash has been proven to be beneficial for treating inflamed gums(gingivitis).

There are many brands of store bought mouthwashes to choose from and we usually recommend a fluoridated product such as Listerine Total Care. However, some prefer a more natural alternative. There are several types of homemade mouthwashes that people can mix to treat gingivitis. These include:

1- Lemongrass oil mouthwash

A 2015 study found lemongrass oil might be more effective at reducing gingivitis and the plaque that causes it than traditional mouthwash.

To make a lemongrass mouthwash, dilute 2 to 3 drops of lemongrass oil in water. Swirl around the mouth and then spit out. Repeat up to three times daily.

2- Aloe Vera mouthwash

A 2016 study found that aloe Vera was as effective as the active ingredient in traditional mouthwash at treating gingivitis symptoms.

Aloe Vera juice does not need diluting and can be used on its own, so long as it is pure. Similarly to other mouthwashes, people should swirl it in the mouth and spit out then repeat up to three times daily.

3- Tea tree oil mouthwash

A 2014 study found that tea tree oil mouthwash can reduce the bleeding associated with gingivitis significantly.

To make tea tree oil mouthwash, a person should simply add 3 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water then use in the same way as the other homemade mouthwashes above.

Tea tree oil can interact with some medications, so it is best to speak to a doctor before using it for the first time.

4- Sage mouthwash

A 2015 study found that the bacteria that cause plaque were significantly reduced by sage mouthwash.

To make sage mouthwash, add 2 tablespoons of fresh sage or 1 tablespoon of dried sage to boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then strain the mixture and leave to cool. Use the resulting liquid as with other homemade mouthwashes.

5- Guava leaf mouthwash

Studies have shown that guava leaf mouthwash can help to control plaque due to its antibacterial qualities. It may also reduce inflammation.

To make guava leaf mouthwash, people simply need to crush 6 guava leaves and add to 1 cup of boiling water. The resulting mixture should then be simmered for 15 minutes and left to cool. It can then be used, as with other homemade mouthwashes, after adding a small amount of salt.

Lastly it is important to realize that these options should be utilized in conjunction with regular professional care to ensure best results.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Canker Sore or Cold Sore?

In or out? That's the first question to ask when you're trying to figure out whether you have a canker sore or a cold sore. If it's inside your mouth, it's most likely a canker sore; outside, probably a cold sore.

The two may seem similar, but the similarity ends with the fact that both are connected with the mouth and both cause pain and discomfort. So knowing which one you have is the first step to knowing how it's caused and how to treat it.

 Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are tiny, clear, fluid-filled blisters that form around the mouth and are caused by the herpes simplex virus (usually type 1, or HSV-1) living inside your nerve tissue. Cold sores usually do not last longer than two weeks. However, the sores are highly contagious and tend to recur when the virus is reactivated by a trigger such as stress, sunlight, fever or illness.

 Most cold sores are mild and do not require treatment. Antiviral medications can reduce the frequency, duration and severity of outbreaks. Medications with a numbing agent, such as benzyl alcohol, can help alleviate a cold sore's burning, itching and pain. Emollients can reduce cracking and soften scabs. Applying aloe vera balm three times a day to the cold sore also can help fight the infection and enhance healing.

Like cold sores, canker sores, also known as aphthous ulcers can be quite painful and often recur. While cold sores are caused by a virus, the formation of a canker sore is unknown and may be triggered by multiple factors such as stress, food allergies or a weakened immune system. A canker sore forms in the soft tissues of your mouth and is not contagious.

Pain from a canker sore generally lessens in a few days, and the sores usually heal without treatment in about a week or two. If sores are large, painful, or persistent, your dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouth rinse, a corticosteroid ointment, or a prescription or over-the-counter solution to reduce the pain and irritation.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


    I am a family practitioner and certified prosthodontist in private practice for over twenty years. Throughout the years I have witnessed countless dental conditions and evaluated, diagnosed and treated umpteen cases. Being a good clinician in my field of work depends on many things such as a solid base of great training, years of experience, state-of-the-art techniques, equipment and materials, proficient lab technicians, etc. But as I reflect back, it seems obvious that one of the most important aspects of my work is simple and effective communication.

    A good doctor has to realize that regardless of how well trained or how much experience he/she has, it's ultimately the patient that needs to understand the treatment. Communication is the key to any relationship and the doctor/patient interaction is no exception. People come from many different walks of life and have many preconceived notions about how certain things should work. However, these notions are not always accurate and unless discussed properly beforehand they may lead to dissatisfaction due to unrealistic expectations. I have found that the more the patient understands the existing condition and proposed treatment, the more they will appreciate and accept the end result and all parties involved will be much happier.

     George Bernard Shaw said it best-  The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.        
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.
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The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. George Bernard Shaw
Read more at:
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. George Bernard Shaw
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Celebrating 15 Years of Business Success

Here at Elite Dental Studios we are celebrating 15 years of dedicated service in our beautiful community! It is hard to believe that so many years have passed us by in a seemingly short amount of time. The journey wasn't always a smooth one and as expected we've had to deal with many obstacles and growing pains along the way. However, through great dedication and hard work we've been able to not only overcome but also to grow stronger and smarter. I am extremely proud and grateful to my amazing wife and partner, Lucy and all of our wonderful support staff. I feel that much like life in general, treating others with respect and care and always doing the right thing will result in success in the long run. I also attribute a constant emphasis on quality of care to our success over the years.

Our purpose has always been;

     - To help each and every patient reach optimum dental health through education and state-of-the-art techniques in a warm and comfortable setting.

     - To make everyone in our dental home feel better about themselves by improving their quality of life and raising their self esteem.

     -  to provide such a pleasurable experience, where everyone feels so well taken care of that they would enthusiastically invite others to experience our practice.

Lastly I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our friends, colleagues and patients for their support through all these years. We couldn't have done it without you and we will strive to continue to serve you for many years to come!

Thank you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dental FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions in a dental setting;

1- I'm interested in changing the look of my teeth, what options are available?

A thorough exam including some X-rays would be necessary to properly evaluate your options. Typically a few options are available depending on the current condition of your teeth. These are orthodontics(Invisalign), professional in-office and/or take home whitening treatments, simple bondings, porcelain veneers and/or crowns.

2-  I need to go to a new dentist. how can I find one?

Your best bet is always word of mouth. you should ask family, friends and colleagues for a recommendation. A reputable practice will offer a tour of the office. This is a good chance to meet the doctor and staff and to observe the physical settings. A progressive office will have a website, Facebook page, online reviews, blogs and etc. Also try to consider a few different practices before making a decision.

3-  How safe are dental X-rays?

Advances in dentistry over the years have lead to the low radiation levels emitted by dental X-rays. Some of the improvements are new digital X-ray machines that limit the radiation beam to the small area being X-rayed, higher speed X-ray films that require shorter exposure time compared with older film speeds to get the same results. In addition, federal law requires that X-ray machines be checked for accuracy and safety every two years, with some states requiring more frequent checks.

4-  Should I be using a mouth rinse?

Using a fluoridated mouth rinse in conjunction with regular brushing and flossing is always a good idea. topical fluorides strengthen tooth structure and help in preventing cavities.

5- How important is it to floss?

In my experience there really is no substitute for regular flossing. If you are only brushing your teeth, then you are missing ~30% of tooth surfaces. These are the areas between the teeth that are constantly exposed to plaque. Lack of flossing can lead to gum disease and cavities.