Tuesday, December 29, 2009

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him."

Friday, December 25, 2009

Never too late to learn

As someone who has been practicing dentistry with his father for almost 17 years, I am always happy to see an article like this! And MY dad has "only" been practicing for 50 years!

Retire? Are you kidding?? I'm just getting started.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All you lovers of sports drinks and "energy drinks" should beware:  They all contain a high amount of acid--enough to seriously erode teeth.

Our teeth are wearing away at a faster rate than ever before, and one culprit is all that acid we're consuming. Dental erosion is the loss of the protective enamel on teeth and occurs when the enamel is worn away from acids in the mouth. When this happens, our teeth become sensitive, cracked and even discolored.

In addition to sugar and acid, the following contribute to dental erosion:
Savoring a drink by holding it in your mouth to enjoy the fizz and flavor
Acid reflux disease
Eating disorders associated with chronic vomiting

What can you do to protect and strengthen the enamel on your teeth?
Make sure you get enough fluoride. The best way to do that is by drinking tap water from public water sources instead of bottled water. Also, use a fluoridated toothpaste and fluoridated mouth rinse.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

High Tech? or just High Blech

Now that we've upgraded our office with digital radiography (X-rays) and computerized operatories, I have been noticing other doctors offices and the ways they use some of these capabilities. I have come to a few decisions.
1)     I do NOT wish to place flat screen TV's blasting CNN (or whatever) in my reception area. We're bombarded with media intrusions nearly every moment of our waking lives. Believe it or not, when I go to the gas station to fill up, there is now a TV showing ads right above the pump.
     I prefer offering my patients some nice music (jazz, folk or classical.. I detest "doctor office music").
2)     I also do NOT put pictures of teeth and smiles all over my office. Many practices have big 'before and after' smiles on all the walls, as well as not-so-subtle advertisements for teeth whitening services and products.
      My patients are pretty bright, so they already know they're in a dentist's office. I don't have to remind them with cheesy self promotion. We love doing esthetic enhancements and improving peoples' smiles, but it is not for everyone. I have plenty of excellent before and after photographs on my computer to show the people who ask to see them. For everyone else, beautiful, artistic, non-dental paintings and lithographs (many done by my patients) are a better demonstration of my commitment to providing a pleasant environment for my patients.

     Medical offices which ooze media/TV/promotional material are a big turn off for me. Especially when you still get a clipboard shoved in your face so you can "Sign In".
     High tech advances are a wonderful thing, but they do nothing for our patients unless we add a dose of humanity as well.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Remote Area Medical

Now here is an organization we should be able to respect. I have been a member for a few months, although I have not gone on a mission yet, I hope to do so this coming spring. They have a website  ( Remote Area Medical)),   and they accept even the smallest donations gratefully.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Paranoia and the Great Health Care Debate.

Paranoia will always defeat reason. 
However, the treatment for the paranoia will be excluded by your insurer's mental health care restrictions. So either way you're pretty much out of luck.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Universal health care??

      Personally, I'm appalled at our ability to justify leaving so many people out in the cold. And whenever I get together with other doctors, I am one of the few who would be happy for a government run system which covered everybody, even if I had to get paid by the government.
    The problem with those on the other side (by which I usually mean Republicans) is that they aren't selfish enough. They lack the insight to see that a country who's citizens' health is protected is a stronger, more resilient, more productive and ultimately richer society.  (But I wouldn't waste my breath trying to explain that to Sara Palin)

60% ? ? That was a "D" back when I was in school !

     There were two interesting articles in the NY Times today, side-by side with one another. One article was an excellent review of the advances we've made in dental implant therapy. The other was a history of water fluridation going back to the 1930's (when Fluoride's beneficial effects on developing tooth enamel were discovered).

     Unfortunately, the article also says (with a note of triumph) that almost 60% of public drinking water in this country is now fluoridated. How they score this as a victory is beyond me. Back in school, I remember 60% being a "D".  The lack of fluoridation in some of the richest partis of this country, such as the "gold coast" of Long Island, is a national disgrace. If 60% of children were being vaccinated, or if 60% of women were getting adequate prenatal care we would be appalled. Water fluoridation costs pennies per person per year, and is one of the great public health triumphs of the 20th century. Pity that we let luddites and science-averse "leaders" determine the course of public health policy in this country

Monday, November 16, 2009

The problem of tooth grinding and clenching has not only become more prevalent (bad) but also more often recognized (good) This article was a fresh reminder to me of the interaction between our oral health and our general health. Stress affects our immune systems, our GI system, and of course our nervous system.