Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Teledentistry - How Does It Work?

 Teledentistry is considered to be the dental form of telemedicine.


  • ·         Offers live streaming for face-to-face visits with a dentist or practitioner
  • ·         Provides patients a secure patient portal to access data you share
  • ·         Offers secure messaging so they can start clinical conversations
  • ·         Offers live video consultations for visual evaluations and assessments
  • ·         Ability to pre-screen for dental visits and emergencies
  • ·         Check-ins
  • ·         Treatment planning
  • ·         Remote Triage

And many more options… 

It can also be used to transfer documents and information and consult with other providers in the industry.  It’s HIPAA compliant, mobile friendly and secure.  Who knew? 

Keep Smiling!

Monday, February 26, 2024

Prepping Children For The Dentist

Do you have a young child who needs to visit the dentist? Are you worried about how they will handle the visit?

Preparation is the best method when it comes to going to the dentist.

Here are a few tips on preparing your child for their first trip:

  • Choose a dentist wisely - Seek out a dentist that will fit your child's needs. You may want to consider a pedodontist (pediatric dentist) these dentists specialize in children's dentistry and usually their offices are very inviting to children such as they have games while waiting, a theme throughout the office. etc.
  • Let them observe - Take your child to one of your dental appointments and let them watch. The best observation is a dental cleaning!
  • Sunglasses - This will help keep the bright out of their eyes and allow them to keep their eyes open to reduce anxiety.
  • Trust the staff - This is not the first time they have worked with children, they will have tricks up their sleeve to help make the experience go smoothly. 
Always remember that the office staff wants you to have a great experience!

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Before you Consider a Dental Insurance Plan...Read This!

 I read a really good article recently that makes a good argument for Dental Plans! Not directly, of course, but if one considers that dentistry is among the most expensive in terms of healthcare and that there is no regulatory agency that holds dental prices in check, a Dental Plan can be extremely beneficial. Dental insurance companies pay little to nothing and put a cap on your benefits.

Now, when I say Dental Plan, I don't mean the ever growing "in-house" type of plan that some dentists are trying to promote; those will save you very little money overall and if a problem arises...well, where are you going to go? The plan would not be accepted by another facility! No, I'm suggesting a bonafide, BBB accredited discount plan.

Dental plans go far beyond what insurance companies do in terms of savings.  More procedures are covered, there is no limit to benefits, coverage is immediate and there is no waiting 12 months for a large procedure...Seriously, why would one NOT consider a dental plan? Do your homework, but at least check it out. You'll find that the savings and a small investment for a membership are well worth the effort, especially now, in an uncertain market.  Everyone needs dental work at some point.  Be prepared with a good dental plan.

** Additionally, Medicare Advantage Dental Plans are NOT what they are cracked up to be.  Sure, $4000 looks good on the brochure, but trust me, you are not likely to get anywhere near that amount in coverage.

Don't wait for a toothache!!

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Natural Ways To Heal Canker Sores

We all know how uncomfortable and painful canker sores can be, right? I'm sure you have tried Orajel and Canker X to help heal the pain but have you tried any natural remedies? 

Lists below are some natural remedies to help heal those painful sores:
  • Alum Powder (kitchen spice) - Place a small amount of alum directly on the sore, allow it to sit for 1 minute then spit it out. *Do not swallow*.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) - Soak a cotton ball in ACV and apply it to the sore.
  • Vitamin E - Open a vitamin E casual and apply directly on the sore.
  • Aloe Vera - Put some fresh aloe Vera juice on the sore 3-4 times a day.
Hopefully, with the help of these, you will get some relief from the pain and discomfort.

To help prevent Canker sores you should brush your teeth after every meal and floss twice a day to keep your mouth free of food particles that trigger these painful sores.

If you still end up with a canker sore, use a soft toothbrush such as a perio-toothbrush to prevent irritation while brushing, and avoid toothpaste and mouth rinses that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Tooth Enamel Will Not Regenerate by Using an OTC Product!

There are alot of "snake-oil" treatments out there that claim to be able to regenerate tooth enamel and heal cavities.  Don't fall for it!

Dental enamel, unlike bones, does not regenerate or "heal" once it is damaged. Dental enamel is formed during the original growth of the tooth underneath the gums. While there are many factors that can contribute to the loss of dental enamel, such as poor dental hygiene or certain hereditary conditions, there is good news. Researchers are actively seeking treatments and therapies that could change everything. Of course, proper hygiene and regular visits to your dentist are the best way to combat any kind of dental dilemma, but for dental enamel in particular, there are now certain treatments that can help slow the process of enamel degeneration that can be applied during your regular dental visits as part of your preventative maintenance regimen. 

Keep Smiling!

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Post Teeth-Whitening Pain - Is There A Solution?

Have you ever had your teeth professionally whitened? If so, you probably have experienced the post-whitening pain. I know I have and it was not a pleasant experience!

While scrolling the internet, I came across this article by Dr. Bicuspids Meliss Busch.  

"Giving patients ibuprofen plus potassium fluoride prior to in-office bleaching may be effective in reducing tooth sensitivity and pain, according to a study published on January 22 in the Journal of the American Dental Association.

However, using ibuprofen and potassium fluoride separately before tooth whitening was inconclusive, the authors wrote.

“It provides a superior analgesic effect,” wrote the authors, led by Dr. Raniel Peixoto, PhD, an adjunct professor with the department of restorative dentistry at the Federal University of CearĂ¡ in Brazil.

Easing the pain

Despite breakthroughs made in the field of teeth whitening, a standard protocol for reducing post-bleaching tooth sensitivity does not exist. It has been established that, when given preemptively, ibuprofen can reduce the inflammatory process generated by free radicals that reach the dental pulp. Desensitizing agent potassium fluoride 2% decreases the amount of peroxide that diffuses through dental tissues by sealing dentinal tubules.

Though teeth whitening sensitivity isn’t completely understood yet, the authors hypothesized that there is a synergistic effect involving the mechanisms of action of ibuprofen and potassium fluoride that may help cut tooth sensitivity.

To explore the analgesic effect of preemptively administered ibuprofen -- either alone or in combination with a 2% potassium fluoride -- on post-bleaching tooth sensitivity, a triple-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial was completed with 15 patients. Researchers used a crossover design for drug administration and a split-mouth design for the desensitizer agent.

Patients were either given ibuprofen and potassium fluoride, ibuprofen and placebo potassium fluoride, placebo ibuprofen plus potassium fluoride, or placebo ibuprofen and potassium fluoride. Tooth sensitivity was measured using the visual analog scale, and data was collected at baseline and after six, 30, and 54 hours, according to the study.

Compared to the placebo group, 400 mg of ibuprofen in addition to 2% potassium fluoride appeared to be more effective in decreasing sensitivity after tooth whitening (p < .05). In the placebo group, the risk of experiencing moderate or severe tooth sensitivity was about four times higher than in patients who were given ibuprofen plus potassium fluoride (relative risk, 4.00; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 15.81; p = .025), the authors wrote.

However, preemptively using ibuprofen and potassium fluoride separately were inconclusive. Statistically, their results were like a placebo, they wrote.

More to study

Nevertheless, the study had limitations, including that only one drug and bleaching agent were used at conventional levels, the authors wrote. In the future, new studies with varying drug and bleaching agents, as well as different concentrations, need to be completed, they wrote.

“The synergistic effect of the mechanisms of action of IBU (ibuprofen) and the desensitizer may justify the preemptive use of IBU plus KF2 (potassium fluoride 2%) in reducing levels of sensitivity to tooth bleaching,” Peixoto and colleagues wrote."

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Is Your Mouth Always Dry? There is Help For That.

 You might be surprised by how many people suffer daily from a condition known as Xeristomia or Dry Mouth. Dry mouth can be brought on by any number of medical maladies and various prescription drugs. 

Some causes include: 
  • Medications such as antihistamines, sedatives and diuretics,  
  • Chemotherapy
  • Dehydration
  • Diabetes
  • Poor hygiene and tooth decay
  • Autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren's disease, MS and Lupus
  • Dry, arid climate
Most sufferers can find little relief from this condition and find themselves constantly drinking more water in hopes of quenching their thirst.
New studies have shown that gums, candies, rinses and sweeteners containing Xylitol offer comfort to those suffering from dry mouth. Xylitol coats the soft tissues of the mouth sealing in moisture and stimulates saliva flow.
A plethora of amazing over-the-counter products are endorsed by dentists for treating dry mouth. Some products worth checking out are Biotene, Oasis and Sensodyne for Dry Mouth.
Be sure to check with your doctor if you have the symptoms of dry mouth.  Make sure you find the cause before you use any OTC treatments! 

As always, Keep Smiling!  

Monday, February 5, 2024

What's In A Smile?

A great smile can help you to look and feel your best. 

A smile radiates beauty, and a dazzling smile has the power to boost your self-confidence and project a picture of health. 

A smile is ageless and it never goes out of style.

The smile has taken center stage as the ultimate symbol of beauty-more than beautiful eyes, great hair, and even more than a sexy body. 

There's a reason why the smile is the universal language. 

If you want to improve your smile and need some dental work to do that, check out Savon Dental Plan to help get you that smile you have always wanted and deserve!

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Hate Going to the Dentist? - They Have Their Dislikes Too!

The following is a serious (but humorous) accounting of information I have gathered over the years...believe me, the dentists have horror stories too, they just don't complain as much...to us, that is! Here we go:

1. The number one complaint is: "No Shows". That's right, this is the flip side of us having to wait for an hour past our appointment time. When we don't show for an appointment, it costs them money in the form of what we call "chair time". Not that they don't welcome the break....I once witnessed a dentist who had some free time on his hands dancing up and down the hallway wearing reindeer antlers (made out of plastic gloves) and singing Christmas Carols. And he was very out of tune!

2. They hate it when they've done a treatment plan, recommended a root canal or filling and then the patient doesn't follow the professional advice and a year down the road, oh oh...it's abscessed, and the patient declares an emergency! Know what the dentist is thinking? Something like this: "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part....." But of course he/she would never tell you that so the office receptionist graciously sets an appointment and the dentist quietly fixes your tooth because that is what he/she was trained for... (and yet we still dread the dentist!)

3. They dread being bitten, kicked and spit at...and I'm not talking about children! There are adults out there who literally cannot control themselves. I swear, someone should publish a book with some of the stories I've been told. It would be a #1 Bestseller.

4. Frivolous complaints to the dental board. My goodness...you would not believe some of the things that are brought up in front of the Board. Some years ago I was given a copy of a complaint filed by an elderly woman against her dentist because during her treatment she was cold and he didn't have a warm blanket in his office to offer her. True story!

5. The proverbial "dental jokester". Seriously, do you know how many times in their career a dentist hears the words "I hate the dentist", or, "that was expensive, am I helping to pay for your Mercedes?". Now, there are a few dentists out there with a sense of humor but....really?

Well there it is...the other side of the coin. In retrospect, the dentist really does get a bad rap. Trained to heal, just like a doctor, and dedicated to the patient, most of them anyway. I guess it's important to consider that Dentists are people too!

Keep Smiling!