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Posts Tagged ‘dental’

Is Teeth Whitening Dentistry?

In Teeth Whitening on June 16, 2011 at 4:30 AM

It is according to the state of Connecticut. We’re pretty sure a good number of dentists out there would agree.

According to a recent DrBicuspid article referencing a local New Haven Independent publication…the Connecticut State Dental Commission has ruled that tooth whitening is dentistry and can no longer be performed at spas, salons, and shopping malls unless it is done under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

Tooth whitening at the shopping mall…what’s next Botox® in the dental office?

While at-home whitening methods may yield short-term results, we have to understand that in order to properly diagnose any problem or potential problem related to our teeth and gums before undergoing any whitening procedure; we would require the help of a professional.

The same holds true of certain aforementioned wrinkle wrecking cosmetic procedures!

Bleachorexia issues aside, applying some whitening strips and following the directions on the box to magically transform our corn colored chompers into dazzling white chicklets does offer some convenience, but at what cost?

And we don’t mean the $50 or so the products cost, we’re talking about the cost of our optimal oral health. Convenience is great, but is it really that much more convenient and cost-effective (never mind safe) to knock out the teeth whitening while we’re browsing the discount rack at the local mall?

Maybe it is, and maybe most of us are completely comfortable with the idea of shopping mall teeth whitening.  When you think about it, we do some pretty weird things already, and plenty of things that don’t make sense when we consider the consequences and potential pitfalls.

Who is to say we can’t do 32 cumulative things at one time that don’t make dollars or sense?

The local beauty salon could certainly be another place to throw down some cash on a super terrific bright smile package; even the ubiquitous nail salon could pull off some teeth whitening to diversify their product offering.

But with hair care and mani-pedis already reaching critical mass on cost quotient, how much can we expect to pay at these places to have our smiles enhanced?

And will it really be a safer, more affordable option than simply asking our dentist about safe and effective teeth whitening options performed by a professional in the field?

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The Whole Tooth and Nothing But the Tooth

In Dental Humor - Oxymoron? on April 26, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Do you know your dental hygienists first name?

Do you really know your dentist?

Do they have a family?

Do they live locally?

Where did they go to school?

Any hobbies, charitable contributions, or other outside-of-dentistry interests?

Have they ever performed emergency surgery on a shark attack victim?

In our never ending quest to promote locally identifiable and socially connected dentistry, we’ve chosen to examine the dental patient and dental practice relationship with this meaningless blog post. Screenings for oral cancer and the top 5 best tasting mouthwashes are interesting and all, but we want to delve into the people that make up our dental experience. The people on the front lines, our chosen dental practices we trust, the dedicated professionals battling the cavity creeps at every turn, these are the everyday heroes we wish to recognize.

We may not think going to the dentist is a leisurely activity, and we may not necessarily look to meet new people at our thrice annual teeth cleaning and check-up, but wouldn’t it make you feel better if you could answer such pedestrian questions about your dentist?

Believe it or not, most of us couldn’t answer these questions if it meant free teeth whitening for life!

But that doesn’t mean we should remain this clueless about the people in charge of treating our gum disease, cavities, and root canals. Following our intensely researched and purely unscientific thesis polling Moms in grocery store lines, college students buzzing on caffeine, and singles out mingling, we’ve determined people know more about their baristas than their dentists. Surely this has to be a geographical thing. Big cities will take coffee over dentistry any day, and they’re entirely too busy to be concerned with such trivial matters such as “the dentist’s office.” And small towns already know their dentist on a more personal level anyway, because everyone in small towns knows and likes each other. Right?

We think not. And we can all do better!

Mini earpiece wearing urban sophisticates, financially strapped college students, Sherman Tank driving Soccer Moms, and rosy-cheeked Normal Rockwell subjects; we all have one thing in common – or anywhere from 1 to 32 things in common…our teeth.

Even denture wearers can unite over something other than a Martha Raye or Mrs. Brady television commercial!

Take care of them, treat them right, and for goodness sake take some interest in the people interested in taking care of yours. Couldn’t we all appreciate things more if we knew there was some commonality between us?

Check out this most uncommon dentist – emergency surgery and a shark attack while on a surfing vacation in Fiji!

If you know something too-cool about your dentist, please share it. And if you have some questions for your dentist that we didn’t ask, please speak up. And please, take an active interest in your dentist and everyone involved in maintaining your optimum dental health.

Reception Area Entertainment or Education?

In Dental Care on March 31, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Some people prefer the calming effects a fish tank can have; others like to flip through the latest issue of People® or ESPN® magazines. Kids and younger generations are generally known for tapping away at their mobile phones every chance they get, the dental office isn’t any different.

It is only the kids thumbing their phones, right?

Whether it’s pop culture, politics, sports, or hobbies, mobile phones are quickly becoming everyone’s media consumption mode of choice. Maybe a mobile app of a fish tank would be popular. Picture it; we walk into the dental office for our thrice yearly appointment, check-in at the reception desk, and rush to go pull up the latest greatest virtual fish tank. Then the fun begins, staring at fake fish on a 3” screen… ahh, the beginnings of a truly sublime dental experience.

We can do better.

Lots of dental practices have already taken the patient experience to a whole new level. Some reception areas have transformed from dental office to a high tech electronic showroom. Flat screen HD TVs, video gaming consoles for the kids, even a Xoom® or iPad® in the reception area, have all been reported.

The video games are only for the kids, right?

That’s all well and good for the news or entertainment fix, but what about the reason we’re at the dentist in the first place, isn’t it possible to communicate and absorb some important (if not entertaining) dental health information?

The ADA recently released Toothflix, a DVD patient education series aimed at letting us know what’s going on in our mouths, popular cosmetic options, and the oral connection to our overall health. The videos can also assist in explaining complicated treatments such as root canals, scaling and root planing, dental implants, or tooth extractions.

Research continues to yield results, and treatment methods continue to evolve as both technology and information present a clearer picture of optimum oral health. We can’t possibly keep up with everything, it’s up to the people we trust with our health care to disseminate and divulge the important information. The reception area, not to mention the chair, is where we can absorb that important dental health info. Will you tune in or out?

No matter what the dental office reception area evolves into, one thing can be certain. Dental patients will determine what stays and what goes. Share some of your reception area ideas and photos, the holographic fish tank wall accoutrement we’re developing is taking longer than expected and we’d like the help. You never know, your idea could be the next quantum leap in dental reception area entertainment and education – like the virtual fish tank app!