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Posts Tagged ‘dentist’

Why Going to the Dentist is Like Getting an Oil Change

In Dental Care on August 18, 2011 at 4:30 AM

It’s been said that an oil change every 3000 or so miles goes a long way toward maintaining the longevity of our vehicle’s engine. Jalopy or Jetsons, we’ve pretty much followed this rule as a mandatory maintenance milestone.

Whether or not that recommendation still holds true or not, was the question posed by the NY Times in an article published last September.

It seems that with advancements in fuel technology and engine components, that long standing belief might not hold water anymore…or oil.

Even in the face of this conflicting info between generational automotive axioms and technological leaps forward in everything from manufacturing to maintenance, we can still relate oral health to auto care.

Preventative Maintenance

No matter which side of the oil change debate our family resides, hopefully we can all agree that the main reason – benefit – for changing the oil is to take some preventative maintenance.

Internal engine parts need proper lubrication, changing the oil at regular intervals ensures contamination is kept to a minimum and viscosity is optimally maintained.

This precautionary action maintains optimal engine performance while also saving us money.

The idea being if we invest a small amount of money regularly toward maintaining peak engine performance, we ultimately save ourselves from having to fork over huge sums of money later for things like cracked heads, busted seals, and sludge covered valves.

If we ignore this regular attention to our vehicles, it will come back to bite us in more places than the bank account.

This same principle can be applied to dentistry too, at least from our perspective as dental patients.

Just as internal engine parts require lubrication, our teeth and gums require proper care and preventative maintenance to sustain our own optimal oral health.

Replace cracked heads with cracked teeth, and sludge covered valves with visible tartar build-up, and things start to come into focus.

We need not walk around with a busted grill just because we’ve ignored our smile appeal.

Ignore the dentist and not only will we resemble Austin Powers from the nose down and the chin up, we’ll be doing even more of a disservice to our overall health too.

It’s no secret that oral health directly correlates with overall physical health. Recent studies have linked periodontal disease to breast cancer, even to complications inhibiting conception and negatively impacting pregnancy.

This is no joke. For a little preventative dental maintenance, we can not only save ourselves money in the long run, we can also make sure our internal operating systems are at peak performance…or at least somewhere near approaching healthy.

Read more about how oral health affects overall health in this study published in the August 2010 issue of the Journal of Periodontology. Researchers found that subjects who maintained a healthy weight and had high levels of physical fitness had a lower incidence of severe periodontitis.

Periodontitis, or gum disease, is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the supporting bone and tissues around the teeth. Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults, and research has suggested gum disease is associated with other diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. (Another Reason to Stay in Shape: Healthy Teeth and Gums – perio.org)

Does a regular cleaning, oral cancer screening, and possible diabetes indicating, dental exam appointment really seem like a better choice than ignoring the inevitable?

Don’t change our oil, and our vehicle’s engines will die earlier than they should.

Don’t take care of our teeth…and we can always get dentures, right?

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Should Our Dentists Screen for Diabetes?

In Dental Care on August 2, 2011 at 4:30 AM

In case you missed the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Dental Research, we’ll choose this incredibly popular social dental-centric forum to pass along some important health information that recently made the dental headlines.

OK, you’re right – it’s not such a popular forum, but this news is…

According to a recent study out of the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, our dentists can now accurately test for diabetes and prediabetes. (Journal of Dental Research, July 2011, Vol. 90 No.7, pp. 855-860).

In the study titled, Identification of Unrecognized Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes in a Dental Setting, published in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Dental Research, researchers at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine found that dental visits present a great opportunity [for our dentists] to identify people with diabetes or pre-diabetes who are unaware of their condition.

Click the link to read more about how dentists can help identify diabetes or prediabetes risk factors.

Old news you say, we already helped broadcast this message in a factually correct and tirelessly researched, grammatically perfect previous (if not meaningless) blog post?

Right again; but with this news on diabetes and dentistry, why are we not all clamoring away asking our dentists if they are going to offer such a screening on the regular?

And, why are we even asking IF our dentists should administer this completely pain-free, non-invasive, and relatively simple [for our dentists] diagnostic procedure?

Because, it seems like there is some concern as to whether or not this is going to become a normal part of our dental patient experience. If you’re interested in the debate that surely involves more politics than the local Royal Order of Antelope meeting, you can click the link toward the bottom of the page to open the recent article from DrBicuspid.com.

In case catching up on the latest dental news doesn’t really warrant your click thrus , allow us to paraphrase – however loosely defined that may be.

In the DrBicuspid.com article examining dentists screening for diabetes, a dentist from Texas discussed the widespread adoption of the new screening protocol; saying that while he agrees the suggested screening procedure is easy and that screening is important, it is unlikely most dental offices will do it.

Dr. Marc Whitmore goes on to mention, “In fact, much like comprehensive oral cancer screening, it is unfortunately a niche service,” he told DrBicuspid.com.

“Some dentists and dental personnel are actively educating patients about their overall systemic health and the implications of the oral health markers.”

“But is this level of concern common in our profession? Sadly, no.”

Read the complete DrBicuspid.com article by clicking this link, Should dentists screen for diabetes?

We think Dr. Whitmore makes a great point; how only some dentists are actively educating their patients about their overall systemic health.

We’re sure if you’re still here reading this, you’re lucky enough to be in the minority of dental patients out there that actually have a dentist (and dental team) that not only cares enough to utilize state of the art technology in performing their magic, but also employs cutting edge patient communications to keep you up to date on the most important dental and overall systemic health information!

Be sure to choose your dentist wisely; and the next time your dentist asks for a testimonial, do them one better and use technology to broadcast your tip-top tooth doc to the masses via Facebook, Google +1, Angieslist, Healthgrades…or any of your preferred local online review websites of choice!

It feels good to give something back.

Believe it or not, some dentists actually feel invasive if they ‘bother’ us with such information by way of email, or newsletter, or direct mail piece. Let them know that’s not the case.

Could our overall systemic health ever become a bother?

 

 

 

 

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.