Wednesday, May 27, 2009


In deciding the topic of my next entry, I always try to put myself in the patients' shoes and think from a patient's perspective. What came to mind recently is the discomfort that most people automatically associate with dental treatment. In my mind the vast majority of the "usual" discomforts of dental treatment can be avoided. In other words an assumption that dental treatment is inherently uncomfortable is false. My staff and I always try to pay attention to the smallest detail in dealing with patients and our priority is to keep our patients mentally and physically comfortable at all times. This attention to detail goes a very long way and the positive reaction of our patients even surprises me at times. Not a day goes by where I don't get a "Wow, that wasn't bad at all" and I take pride in the fact that I am exceeding my patients' expectations on every level. So the next time you find yourself apprehensive at the thought of dentistry, just remember it doesn't have to be that way!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Benign neglect

Benign neglect is a policy or attitude of ignoring a situation instead of assuming responsibility for managing or improving it. I take this topic very seriously as I've had some experience with it and it's consequences. Years ago when I took over an existing practice, I came to realize that some of the patients did not want any treatment unless they were in pain or half of their tooth fell out! I found myself explaining and educating my patients as to the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of conditions that they were not aware of. Later after some investigating I realized that the previous dentist rarely did a thorough examination and basically if the patients did not have a complaint they were given a clean bill of health and sent on their way. This practice may seem like a conservative approach on the surface but of course it is not only detrimental to the health of patients, but also unethical. It is a proven fact that by the time a patient experiences some symptoms, some irreversible damage has already occurred. For example some recurrent decay under an existing restoration is usually diagnosed at a periodic exam and subsequently the filling and decay are excavated and a new restoration placed. Now, if the same tooth is neglected, the nerve could easily become invaded by the advancing decay and become infected, thus requiring more invasive treatment such as root canal therapy. I feel that it is my professional and ethical duty to use all technological advances at my disposal to make thorough diagnosis on a regular basis and protect the health of my patients in the long run.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sticking with your treatment

Some of us are lucky and have very few dental issues in the way of gum disease or recurrent decay.
On the other hand the majority of the population, at one point or another, will develop more than one form of pathology at the same time. In these situations it is imperative to have a comprehensive approach in treatment. Now it's human nature to deal with your problems one at a time and it is totally understandable that to many people problems in multiple areas of their mouth seem overwhelming. I have been told by some of my patients, "why don't we deal with this first and then we'll see....." and over and over again the result is a vicious cycle that never ends! One needs to always keep the big picture in mind. The pathologies that are put on the back burner not only don't go away, but by the next check-up are worse and would require even more invasive treatment. The much wiser approach is to hunker down and try to eliminate all problems as soon as possible. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and by addressing all issues, one can quickly get back on track.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dental Implants

Although you have a number of restorative options for the treatment of missing teeth, none have proven to be as functionally effective and durable as implants. In many cases, dental implants may be the only logical choice for the restoration of all necessary functionality of the teeth and supporting structures. An important advantage of dental implants over more traditional forms of treatment such as a fixed bridge, is that your other teeth are not prepared to hold the prosthesis. Thus they are much more conservative in terms of your own teeth.
Today's dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from other teeth. This appearance is aided in part by the structural and functional connection between the dental implant and the living bone. Implants are typically placed in a single sitting but require a period of osseointegration. Osseointegration is the process by which direct fusion of a dental implant root and the bone of the jaw occurs. An osseointegrated implant takes anywhere from three to six months to anchor and heal, at which point we would complete the procedure with the placement of a crown. Dental implants can also be utilized to replace multiple teeth.

Flossing & Overall Health

By the time we reach adulthood, most of us know that the consequences of not flossing are pretty tough on our teeth. Daily flossing is a vital part of dental care and promotes healthy teeth and gums. Sounds easy enough. But what if you knew that this simple daily ritual not only protects your mouth, but also may protect your heart and arteries? Suddenly, that little white string becomes more like a lifeline.
True, lack of flossing can lead to gingivitis and periodontal diseases, but the consequences of poor dental health may reach beyond your mouth and to your heart. Research has shown a distinct connection between periodontitis and cardiovascular disease. Researchers speculate that bacteria from the mouth may enter the bloodstream and contribute to inflammation and artery clogging. In one emergency room study, patients who came to the ER with chest pain were found to have a higher rate of recurring gum infections. Researchers are not sure what is behind the connection, but the worrisome data makes the simple task of flossing a no-brainer for optimal health.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"The check-up"

check-up, recall, re-care, cleaning, prophy, really doesn't matter what you call it but what does matter is that you have at least two a year. I have been a clinician for 17 years and if there is one piece of advise that I could give, it is to never miss your bi-annual dental exam & cleaning.
This may seem very obvious to some but too many times I have seen patients stay away for too long and get into trouble because of it. Regardless of how much or how little treatment you are having, those periodic "check ups" should not be missed. Also one needs to realize that there is no substitute for these visits meaning that just because you have had some other treatment at the dental office doesn't mean you can miss your 6 month cleaning/exam. It is ONLY at these visits that your dental professionals can preform a comprehensive and thorough evaluation of ALL your teeth and recommend an appropriate course of action or alter an existing plan.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Statistics show that many people tend to be dissatisfied with the appearance of their teeth. This is usually due to discoloration, spaces or uneven positioning of teeth. I would like to discuss a possible solution to many of these common issues called Lumineers. Lumineer porcelain veneers are custom designed to give you the beautiful smile you desire and much easier to place than you may have thought. It used to be that when we did a traditional porcelain veneer case, some of the enamel had to be removed from the teeth being treated. This was to make room so the veneers would fit properly and usually required anesthesia and some form of temporization in between visits. However unlike traditional veneers, there are no shots and no drilling of sensitive tooth structures with the Lumineer system. Due to advances in technology, Lumineers are fabricated to be as thin as a contact lens and for this reason there's no reason to make room by removing your own tooth structure. Also, this process actually increases the bond strength between the veneers and the teeth because enamel is the best material to bond to and much less of it is removed with this system. Lumineers have been proven to last over 20 years which is significantly longer than traditional veneers. They’re even reversible. So to summarize one can have a safe and permanent new smile in two easy and comfortable visists that consist of impressions and delivery.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Delaying Treatment

Putting off recommended treatment is never a good idea, but particularly in dentistry it is guaranteed to aggravate the condition and require even more work down the line. Weather we are talking about some recurrent decay under an old restoration or gum disease, procrastination will ensure more involved treatment and irreversible damage in the future. An old silver filling that is defective can usually be excavated and restored with an onlay, but the same tooth ~6months to a year later may require root canal therapy, post and crown. A relatively mild case of gingivitis, if untreated can escalate into periodontitis and permanent bone loss. So always remember that just like life in general, if problems are ignored they will come back to haunt you!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

when to brush and floss

Everyone knows that we should brush and floss our teeth daily. What's not that clear to some is when is the most important time of day to do it. The answer is before bedtime because teeth and gums are most vulnerable to decay and disease during the night while we sleep. The reason is that when we are sleeping our salivary flow decreases significantly and saliva happens to be a natural defense against cavities and gum disease. Saliva neutralizes the acids that are produced by the bacteria in dental plaque, which would lead to cavities or decay. Any plaque that stays on various surfaces of your teeth overnight can do damage. So all teeth surfaces should ideally be brushed and flossed before bed.


If you ever wanted to straighten your teeth or improve your bite, but conventional metal braces were out of the question, then Invisalign maybe the answer for you. Utilizing the Ivisalign system we can move teeth into a more desirable position by having patients wear a series of transparant aligners or trays. This technology eliminates the need for conventional metal brackets and wires and is practically unnoticeable. The Invisalign system is a proven method which is also utilized by many Orthodontist and quite simple to employ. My staff and I are trained and certified to provide this service to our patients.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

existing restorations

Contrary to popular belief and regardless of type of restoration( filling, bonding, inlay, onlay, crown, etc.), nothing is truly permanent. The oral cavity is subject to lots of wear and tear and in my experience no matter how well a restoration is placed, eventually it will fail. Now as depressing as this may sound, there is some good news! We can all minimize the risk of dental defects by following certain guidelines such as having good hygiene habits( proper brushing and flossing) and regular check-ups to remove plaque and calculus and to diagnose problems as soon as possible.

Conservative & timely treatment

One of the most important keys to better dental health are regular check-ups. The American Dental Association(ADA) recommends a minimum of two cleanings and exams a year. Our philosophy is to always do the most conservative treatment as soon as possible when faced with a defect or pathology. By having an examination every six months, we are able to catch and treat most conditions in a timely manner.

The importance of teeth

It's never too late to improve your dental care. As adults we only have one set of teeth and they are so important in so many ways. Not only are our teeth essential for health reasons but they are also a huge part of our personal and professional appearance, influence and self confidence!