30 Days of Thanks- Dental Technicians and Laboratories

I have had the pleasure of working with several wonderful dental technicians and laboratories and during the past three decades. Since it has always been our goal to provide excellent dental care for our patients, selecting the right dental laboratories to be our partners was critical. In the process of advancing our dental techniques and treatment planning, it was incumbent upon us to find dental laboratories and technicians who shared the same philosophy and passion to do great work. In that regard, to find a good fit, we depended upon word of mouth from our peers. Such has been the case since the late 1980’s and several labs with whom we have worked deserve our sincere thanks.

dental technicians and laboratories

Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the use of gold for fine dental restorations was still common. So, to learn how to provide excellent gold inlays and onlays, I took advantage of an opportunity to become a member of the exclusive Richard Tucker Gold Study Club. Members of this club met in dental offices and brought actual patients on whom to practice their technique.  These doctors were very particular; Tucker trained doctors used only Tucker trained technicians.  As a result, I was fortunate to have met a man named Dale Jones who handmade the finest gold restorations I had ever seen. Times have changed, and patients no longer wished to have gold visible in their mouths. So we began doing a similar service using modern dental ceramics for beautiful restorations. The problem was that Dale did not work with porcelain, but I asked him if he knew someone who was as good with porcelain as he was with gold. That is how I was introduced to Krisann Shaler and her lab called Porcelain Designs.

dental technicians and laboratoriesKris and I began working together in the early 90’s and we still work together today. Her lab is in California, but we were able to spend some quality time together around the year 2000.  We arranged to meet while I was taking a course at the Las Vegas Institute and it was then that Kris, Dale and I, along with our spouses, went to dinner and got to know each other on a personal level. Kris actually made the restorations for my wife, Liz, that were being prepared while I was attending courses at the Las Vegas Institute. When I inserted these restorations, the other doctors with whom I attended classes and the teaching doctors commented on how beautiful the porcelain work was. Kris is still providing beautiful restorations like those for my patients today.

As I learned more about restoring patients with major bite problems, the need arose for more complex restorations using increasingly difficult techniques.  As a result, I was introduced to larger laboratories that had both the necessary equipment and knowledge to produce these complex cases.  The two labs which have provided this fine service deserve to be thanked as well and their names are Aurum Ceramic Dental Laboratories and Microdental Laboratory. Each of these labs have several outstanding technicians, but I’d like to call out Ulf from Aurum and Gloria from Microdental who have acted as integral members of our team during the production of many of our larger cases.

dental technicians and laboratories

There are several other laboratories with which we have worked over the years and they deserve our gratitude as well. Many times, it is these laboratories who make us look good because they allow us to provide excellent care and service for our deserving patients. So in closing, I’d like to give a huge Thank You to Dale, Krisann and all of the lab technicians who have taken such great care of us for the last 30 years.

Celebrating 30 Years- Thank You, Marty Schayowitz

It is a pleasure to write this thank you note to a man who I have known since the late 1980s, a man who has been involved with my dental practice since we first met, and a man who has grown to be my friend – Marty Schayowitz.

Marty was building his new dental supply company around 1987 or 88. I met him at a meeting of a dental study club to which I belonged where he was a guest ostensibly introducing his new company.  I distinctly remember cringing at the way Marty was treated by the dentist running the meeting, so I approached Marty once the meeting had ended and offered my apologies for this bad behavior.  I asked him if he would like to call on me to see if we might work together and I have been with Marty ever since.

Marty is not one to be complacent. After a few years, he sold his business to another bigger supply company but liking Marty so much, we stayed with him. Since then, he has moved on twice more and we are still with him and would not think of working with anyone else.

What makes Marty so successful? He is one of those special people who truly cares about those he calls on. If we ever had an issue, Marty would address it and find a solution pronto. If we needed additional information or recommendations regarding dental materials, disposable supplies, or the myriad of other items which a dental office uses, Marty would either know the answer or find the right person who could answer the question for us. He’s just one of those people who always seems to give more than he receives.

Marty Schayowitz and Richard Nadler

Over and above his caring for us professionally, I believe that Marty actually considers his clients as extended family. Every year, on at least one occasion, Marty arranges “appreciation dinners” or fishing trips or meetings at beautiful restaurants for his fortunate clients.   As a matter of fact, I am attending one such dinner this evening at a restaurant in Morristown where we will learn about new dental restorative materials. Thanks to Marty, my wife Liz and I have enjoyed many interesting and unusual outings with a great group of dentists.

In addition to these professional events, Liz and I had the pleasure of attending Marty’s wedding to his wife Arlyn.  A few years later, we and several other clients of Marty’s were guests at a dinner honoring Arlyn for her public service. Marty has always made us feel like friends rather than just clients and both Liz and I feel a special bond of friendship with him.

In conclusion, Thank You Marty Schayowitz for years and years of caring for our dental practice, helping us when help was needed, and for just being our friend.

Sincerely yours,

Richard and Liz Nadler

30 Days of Thanks- Post Graduate Teaching Institutes

Perhaps it will not be so surprising to hear that when a person graduates from dental school, he or she still has much to learn. To that end, there are a variety of post graduate teaching institutes available to engage those dentists who choose to carry on the learning process. There are schools or curricula for learning implants, dentures, crowns and bridges, cosmetics, TMJ and a variety of specialties and sub-specialties. It is up to each individual dentist to decide which path he or she chooses to pursue.

After graduating from dental school, and having served an “apprenticeship” in offices other than my own, I knew that basic drill and fill dentistry was not for me. I found that the study of occlusion – how the teeth, jaws and muscles work as a system – was fascinating for me and provided the basis for practicing dentistry with excellence. What we were taught about occlusion in dental school was adequate for a basic understanding only. So, I decided to begin studying this subject and have been studying it ever since.

I will be writing thank you letters to the important mentors in my life later this month, but I must mention Dr. Peter Dawson who is considered by many to be the father of modern occlusion–he actually wrote the book on it. In the late 1980s, I traveled to Richmond, Virginia to take a course from Dr. Dawson. As luck would have it, I ran into him at a restaurant in the airport as I was traveling home after his course. We had a very interesting conversation, and he suggested that I attend the L. D. Pankey Institute in Florida if I was serious about learning and understanding occlusion. I came to learn that this Institute was the premier of its kind and was attended by dentists from all over the world. So I did enroll as Dr. Dawson recommended.

post graduate teaching institutesI traveled to Key Biscayne, Florida on several occasions for the multi-day courses which were offered at this beautiful institute. I pursued the study of occlusion there over a four-year period and learned much, much more than simply occlusion. We learned about the practice of dentistry as well as a philosophy encompassing the balance between work, play, love, and spirit. The L.D. Pankey Institute changed my life, and allowed me to provide a level of dentistry of which I could be quite proud.

Las Vegas Institute_LargeMany years later, as Y2K approached, I became fascinated with providing more and finer cosmetic dentistry for my patients. At that time, the economy was in major growth; and patients had the desire as well as the means to improve their appearance. I had heard about a place called the Las Vegas Institute where outstanding cosmetic dentistry was being taught. The name of the Institute caused a bit of apprehension on my part, because I assumed that dentists went there simply because of its location, but I proceeded to take a course there. I actually brought a patient and performed her dentistry in their clinic after the associated classroom lectures. The patient who came with me was my wife, Elizabeth, and both she and I were ecstatic with the result.

As it turned out, students from all over the world also attended this teaching institution, and like my experience in Florida, they taught a philosophy of dentistry with which I became intrigued. It is here where I learned a different point of view about occlusion, and it is here where I developed my ability to better help those with Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction and head or facial pain. I traveled there on many occasions over a period of more than 10 years and completed their entire curriculum of courses. During that time, the quality of my dentistry constantly improved and I loved the entire process.

I feel blessed to have found each of these two institutions which helped to shape me into the dentist that I am today. It is the dedicated teachers and researchers at these facilities who provided such amazing information about technique and materials as well as the philosophical basis for providing excellence in dentistry and life in general.

The next time that you are in the office, you will see two walls which are covered with certificates from those institutes. I am proud to have attended these two prestigious schools and THANK them for shaping my career into one of which I am proud.

To learn more about Dr. Peter Dawson, please click on this link: http://dental.thedawsonacademy.com/author/dr-peter-dawson 

To learn more about The Pankey Institute, please click on this link: http://www.pankey.org/the-pankey-experience/the-institute/photo-tour/

To learn more about The Las Vegas Institute, please click on this link: http://www.leadingdentists.com/about-lvi/

Celebrating 30 Years With 30 Days of Thanks Kicks Off

30 Days of Thanks Kicks OffThis year, we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the opening of our dental practice in Hillsborough. To accomplish this, we have designated the month of November as Celebrating 30 years With 30 Days of Thanks. To that end, we have created a list of 30 different ways to express our gratitude to the many people and business partners who have contributed to the evolution and success of our dental practice. It is all these people who provided the support, fun, excitement, challenge and fulfillment which have made this last 30 years such an amazing adventure.

Each day this month, we will find a different way to express our thanks. Among those who will be honored are my mentors, significant teaching institutions, wonderful doctors and dentists to whom we refer, those who refer patients to us, our partner dental labs, our IT partners, our wonderful team, friends, family and last, but certainly not least, our amazing patients.

We will express our thanks in a number of different ways. Many will receive public letters of appreciation, which will be posted on our blog and social media pages. You may find many of these letters to be interesting as we plan to share stories about the practice and the people involved with it. There will be at least three of these each week during the month. In addition, there will be giveaways each week for our patients and we have ordered special commemorative gifts for that purpose.

Before our dental assistant, April, begins her maternity leave at the end of this month, we will enjoy a luncheon to honor of our fabulous team. Finally, we are working to complete our gift of appreciation to the town and people of Hillsborough. Details will be announced at the end of the month.

To kick off these 30 Days of Thanks, the entire list of people and entities to be thanked was reviewed in order to decide who should come first. Without hesitation, it is our wonderful patients who deserve to be celebrated first. Without these people, we would not be able to do the work that we love. Over the years, we have shared each other’s happy times, sad times, difficulties and joys. Many, if not most, of the patients who began coming to our office in the 1980’s were around the same age as me. So our families have grown up at the same time and we have shared similar experiences.

I will never forget that my team and I hosted a “VIP” (Very Important Patient) party way back in the late 80’s and it was held at my home. Our family of patients was still intimate enough to invite every one of them to this event. It was a summer party and was attended by many families who had children about the same age as my own. I still fondly remember the wonderful afternoon that was enjoyed by our team and patients alike. Many of those patients remain in our practice to this day.

Not too many years later, I turned 40 and a surprise 40th birthday party was thrown for me again at my home. Our entire dental team at that time attended that party and provided some of the “entertainment.” Specifically, an exotic dancer presented herself at my front door and proceeded to engage in a most provocative dance with yours truly – I believe her name was ”Katja”. Talk about embarrassing… That same night, my dental assistant – not Liz – came out of her shell and made quite a hit with some of the guys in attendance culminating in one of them sipping champagne out of her shoe. What a crazy, fun night.

30 Days of Thanks Kicks Off

But enough reminiscing; how shall we thank our patients? Every person who has been a regular patient for at least five years will receive a gift certificate. That certificate increases in value with every five-year period that they have been our patient. Look for yours to arrive by mail. We are still checking, but I believe that there is one person who has been a continuous patient for the last 30 years! Naturally he will receive a special certificate!

In addition, any patient who is seen on a Friday this month will receive a commemorative gift. Also, every Monday, one random patient will receive a special gift. We’ll try to keep you posted on who wins what.  These will most likely be featured on our Facebook Page.

Most importantly, Thank You to all of our patients, both current and past. We are extremely grateful for the pleasure of having cared for you for the past 30 years. You provided us with friendship, laughter, challenges, happiness and fulfillment, which has made our lives meaningful. We Love you all!

Celebrating 30 Years With 30 Days of Thanks

This year, during the month of November, we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the creation of our dental practice in Hillsborough.  In November of 1984, we opened a single operatory office on route 206 in a space currently occupied by a hair salon. I say “we” because the practice was originally a partnership between me and a fellow graduate from my dental school class.  The plan was for each of us to work in the practice three days each week until our practice grew to the point where we would both work in the office full-time. Our official first day was mine alone and there were two patients scheduled that day. There was no receptionist, dental assistant or hygienist. There was just me, and I clearly remember waking that day with a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach, probably not dissimilar from stepping out of a plane on your first skydive. Needless to say, the day ended extremely well owing mainly to the wonderful first two patients, one of who is still in our practice today!

30 Years of Thanks

While I was busy working on setting up this practice, I had a job with a dental clinic in Wayne, New Jersey where there was an amazing assistant whose name was Liz. I really enjoyed working with this particular dental assistant and asked if she had any interest in working in my new dental practice. Her response was an enthusiastic “yes” and she began working with me in early 1985 as our first and only team member.

As you may have figured out, the partnership with my classmate lasted only about a year at which time I decided to continue on alone. Over the next couple of years, our team grew with the addition of another dental assistant freeing Liz to become the receptionist.  Next, we hired a part-time dental hygienist and we were all set with a solid team and growing!  Those first several years were the happiest of my life. I absolutely loved working on my practice – watching it grow and prosper – and always enjoyed the patients who provided our team with such a sense of fulfillment and friendship.   Many of them remain our close friends today. 

We outgrew that first office in a couple more years and moved to our second office on Amwell Road, not far from where we are today. In that second office, we grew from two operatories to three and remained there for over 10 years. Then, in the early 2000’s, we moved to our current location where we built an office which works beautifully for us.  It expresses who we are and our patients find it to be both attractive and comfortable.


30 Years of ThanksEverything good that happened with regard to the success and growth of our dental practice has been due to  many, many people to whom we wish to express our gratitude during the month of November. In planning for this “30 Days of 
Thanks”, I had the opportunity to think back on all the wonderful times which were shared with my evolving team, patients, vendors, and mentors. I plan to share many stories with you during the month of November by writing public thank you notes to many of those wonderful people. I hope that you enjoy these stories and stay tuned for your turn to be thanked during next month.  Please watch our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/nadlersmiledentist – and our newsletters for information about the various prizes and giveaways which will also occur during our 30th Celebration Month. 

The last 30 years have been an adventure, a joy, a challenge, and a passion.  I look forward to this opportunity to formally thank so many of you who have become our friends over the past 30 years. All the best to you during this Thanksgiving month and throughout the Holidays!

A Healthy Mouth and Healthy Aging

For over 20 years, September has been designated healthy aging month. This is an annual celebration of the positive side to growing older. During this month, a variety of sources provide Inspiration and ideas for baby boomers and adults aged 45 and above to help them to improve their physical, mental, social, as well as financial well-being.  It is our hope that we at Designs For Dental Health can provide some pertinent information to contribute to our fellow baby boomers.

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It is interesting to note that there are over 76 million baby boomers today over the age of fifty and the first of the 82 million Generation X-ers are about to reach that milestone in 2015.  Why not use September as a time to look back on where you’ve been and consider what you might truly like to do with the rest of your life.  If you’re happy and fulfilled with what you’re currently doing, keep on keeping on!  If not, this is definitely the time to make a change.  From my point of view, I’m happy to keep on doing what we, as your dental care providers, love to do most.  Help to keep you healthy! dreamstime_l_21764121

So, with that in mind, here’s our question for you today: How’s your smile? 

  

First of all, research supports the idea that those who smile more are just plain happier.  Secondly, those with a healthy mouth are much less likely to develop a myriad of diseases commonly suffered by those of us in the 60+ population. So ask yourself- when is the last time that you had a comprehensive dental examination to determine your overall oral health and the best methods used to maintain it?  I promise to provide such a comprehensive examination free of charge for anyone over age 55 who has been a patient in our practice for more than 5 years and who requests it.  That’s right!  All you have to do is ask! I’ll sit down with you for as long as it takes to discuss your concerns and desires.  Then, we’ll do a comprehensive examination including an oral cancer screening, evaluation of your teeth, gums, and bite. Together, we’ll discuss any options that might be available to you to improve your dental health and from that discussion we will arrive at the best treatment plan for you.

 

Consider this – a mere 60 years ago, it was assumed that we would lose all of our natural teeth as we aged.  Now we know that a healthy mouth and teeth will help you to not only look good, but to eat delicious and nutritious foods, to speak clearly and to be confident.  An excellent quality of life demands a vibrantly healthy mouth.  Just consider the fact that those whose oral health is subpar are at risk for various serious medical conditions including: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia, cancer, and various other diseases which are common in older adults.

 

What are some common oral health problems?

 

  1. Dry mouth.   Reduced salivary flow is most commonly the result of cancer treatments, the use of certain medications, and certain diseases. Dry mouth is a significant cause of decay and gum disease in older patients because saliva serves to buffer acids that are produced as we eat.  Without the protection of these buffers, rapidly advancing problems occur. 

  2. Darkened teeth.   Our teeth tend to darken with time as the pulp in our teeth recedes and the outer layer of enamel becomes thinner, thus allowing the darker dentin to show through. There are various methods available to whiten the teeth for a more youthful appearance.  These techniques do not harm teeth and most patients are extremely happy with their whiter, more beautiful smiles. 

  3. Root decay. As the gums recede, exposure of the tooth roots result. Exposed root surfaces are less resistant to decay than enamel and decay here is quite common. Good brushing and plaque removing habits go a long way to protect these surfaces. In addition, the judicious use of fluoride rinses can be most helpful to protect these exposed surfaces. 

  4. Gum disease. Inflammation of the gums and resulting bone loss in more advanced cases is quite common in adults over the age of 50.  Gum disease is worsened by poorly fitting tooth restorations, less than ideal dietary choices, and certain diseases like anemia, cancer, and diabetes.  The best way to fight gum disease is to practice excellent oral hygiene and have regular dental exams and cleanings as recommended in your particular case. 

  5. Tooth loss. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss; however, teeth which have broken due to old, large silver fillings or simple attrition require prompt attention to avoid unnecessary loss of teeth!  Restoring a broken tooth is always better and less expensive than losing a tooth and later trying to replace it. 

  6. Uneven jawbone. This common problem is a result of premature tooth loss.  Once a tooth is lost, the bone previously around that root vanishes and teeth adjacent to and opposing the missing tooth will shift.  This causes an uneven bite and places for food and bacteria to become trapped. 

  7. Oral cancer. Routine examinations are essential to identify possible cancerous conditions in the mouth. Always report unusual lumps or bumps or discolorations to your dentist or hygienists promptly! 

So what is the best way to maintain your good oral health?  It’s the same regardless of your age!    

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  1. Brush at least twice a day with good quality toothpaste as recommended by your dentist or hygienist. The most important time to brush is just before bed!! 

  1. Floss or otherwise thoroughly clean between your teeth at least one time each day. 

  1. Visit your dentist or hygienist on a regular basis as recommended by them for regular cleanings and oral examinations.  

  1. Use appropriate rinses or fluorides or other such adjuncts as recommended by your dental professionals. 

healthy-aging

If you have any questions about healthy aging month or would like a complementary comprehensive examination please call us at 908.359.6655 or contact us via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

Alzheimer’s Disease And The Oral-Systemic Connection

Infections in the mouth are now considered as potential risk factors for the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that inflammation – like that which results from dental disease like periodontitis (gum disease) – has a role in the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Inflammation caused by specific bacteria in the mouth cause an inflammatory cascade throughout  the body which impacts our systemic health.

4-Nursing-Diagnosis-Nanda-for-Alzheimers-Disease

A dental infection can cause severe illness requiring hospitalization.  Such infections are more common than most people might think. Some months ago, one of our patients postponed an appointment during which a tooth infection was to have been treated.   This infection was found on an x-ray, and this patient had no pain or other obvious symptoms of a problem.  Several days after the original appointment we received a call from the patient that she had developed severe swelling over her eye.  This infection ultimately resulted in this patient’s being hospitalized for four days and requiring IV (intravenous) antibiotics.

Just to be clear, oral diseases which are more chronic in nature than the example above may not only be direct causes of systemic disease. They indirectly cause an increase in severity especially in those diseases which are known to be inflammatory in nature.  It is clear that eliminating oral inflammation reduces the inflammatory impact on many systemic inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis. Although Alzheimer’s disease is generally not considered to be inflammatory disease, inflammation does have a role in accelerating the progression of this disease.

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CBS News’ 60 Minutes produced a wonderful show about aging                                   which presents interesting information about Alzheimer’s Disease.

Here’s a link to view this show: 

www.CBSnews.com/news/living-to-90-and-beyond/

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Research has identified five specific pathways by which gum disease and oral infections seem to influence the progression of Alzheimer’s disease:

1. Bacteria from the mouth can directly enter the bloodstream.

2. These bacteria cause systemic (whole body) inflammation impacting Alzheimer’s disease.

3. The bacteria P. gingivalis plays a role in the formation of blood clots and thereby cardio vascular disease and strokes which are both risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Germs from the mouth can travel directly to the brain.

5. Some people have a genetic predisposition which can increase the effects of oral inflammation

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To summarize, the ways by which oral infections and periodontal disease affect disease progression is not always direct. However, the link between diseases of the mouth and body is established, and the evidence is clear that maintaining a healthy oral environment is crucial to minimize the progression of various systemic diseases including Alzheimer’s disease.

If you have any questions about the oral-systemic connection or diseases of the mouth, feel free to call us at 908.359.6655 or contact us via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

Snoring, Sleep Apnea and Dentistry

Continuing our discussion concerning the health connection between the mouth and the body, we will review the condition known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea, its common symptoms and what can be done to minimize the potentially devastating effects of this disease.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which patients repeatedly stop and restart breathing during sleep. The throat muscles intermittently relax during the sleep cycles, and the airway becomes  temporarily blocked.  The muscles normally support the soft palate and tongue. When these muscles relax, the airway either narrows or closes as a breath is taken, and the flow of air is blocked. As a result the blood level of oxygen is reduced, the nervous system thereby senses impaired breathing and awakens the patient so that an open airway is restored. These events can occur as many as forty or even more times each hour throughout the night. The end result is an inability to reach the normal, deep, restful and necessary phases of sleep.  This lack of quality sleep results in sleep deprivation.

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People with sleep apnea usually snore (often loudly), may wake during the night with  gasping or choking, or may seem to stop breathing periodically according to their bed partners. OSA is most commonly seen in middle-aged and older adults and people who are overweight.  Men are more frequently affected, but women and children may also exhibit symptoms of Sleep Apnea.

Common signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring (often loudly)
  • Episodes of interrupted breathing during sleep
  • Abrupt  awakenings during the night
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Dry mouth or sore throat in the morning
  • Morning headaches
  • Mood changes including depression or irritability insomnia

In addition, certain factors increase the likelihood of a patient’s having Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  Those with one or more of these signs are urged to speak with their primary care physician about the need to be tested for OSA. These factors include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having a neck size greater than 17 inches for men and 16 inches for women
  • Having high blood pressure especially if resistant to medications
  • Having a narrow airway possibly due to enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Diabetes — type I or 2
  • Family history of sleep apnea
  • Smoking
  • Frequent use of alcohol

 

If a patient is unaware of their Sleep Apnea condition or if is left untreated, a variety of complications may develop.  Conditions associated with OSA include:

  • Cardiovascular problems including high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, heart attack, as well as heart failure and stroke and heart arrhythmias.
  • Daytime drowsiness, fatigue and irritability as well as difficulty concentrating.
  • Children with OSA may have problems in school and commonly have attention or behavior disorders.
  • Sleep deprived partners — commonly bed partners may choose to sleep in a separate room.

 

In addition to seeking the advice of your doctor, there are steps that you can take to at least minimize the effects of OSA.

  • Try to sleep on your side
  • Avoid drinking alcohol close to bedtime
  • If you are drowsy, avoid driving or using machinery
  • If you are overweight  lose weigh
  • Exercise regularly
  • Quit smoking
  • Use nasal decongestant

If you are diagnosed as having Obstructive Sleep Apnea, there are three traditional therapies which are used to control this condition.   The first is positive airway pressure in which a device called a CPAP is worn over the nose and/or mouth while you sleep.   It employs a steady stream of air to maintain an open airway.

Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP)

Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP)

The second is a dental appliance which is designed to hold the jaw in a downward and forward position.  In this position, the tongue and soft tissue at the back of the mouth are held  to effectively maintain an open airway. These devices are also used to minimize or eliminate snoring.

                                      Sleep Appliance
                                              Somnodent Sleep Appliance

Third, there are various surgical procedures which may be appropriate for some patients.

If you have any questions about obstructive sleep apnea or the oral appliances which are used to treat this disease, please call us at 908.359.6655 or via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

 

 

 

Oil Pulling – A Dentist’s View

I first heard about oil pulling several years ago when one of my more “holistic” patients asked about it. Recently, the subject has been raised with increasing frequency. “Oil pulling” is an ancient Indian folk remedy in which oil is used as a kind of mouthwash. This technique is touted to improve oral health as well as provide many incredible detoxification benefits.

What is oil pulling and how does it work?

A tablespoon of oil is placed in the mouth and is swished around the teeth for twenty minutes. During this swishing process, bacteria that are present on the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth become trapped in the oil. Certain bacteria like Streptococcus Mutans cause gingivitis and dental decay, and eliminating them certainly leads to improved oral health. After the twenty minutes, the oil is expectorated (spit out) into the trash, not the sink or the toilet so as to avoid causing a clog.

Various different oils are recommended. The original technique apparently called for sesame oil, but more recently there seems to be a trend toward using coconut and sometimes sunflower oil. It is very important that the oil not be swallowed as all the collected bacteria could lead to systemic illness if ingested. Some people recommend performing this technique every day, while others suggest that four to five times a week is adequate.

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So what are the professed benefits of oil pulling?

This technique acts as an antibacterial and antiviral system, and so detoxifies the mouth and indirectly the entire body. The potential benefits of this treatment include:

  • Whiter teeth
  • Healthier teeth and gums
  • Improvement of acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions
  • Clearing sinuses and helping allergy sufferers
  • Eliminating halitosis
  • Helping with general pain issues
  • And many more

Is there any truth to all of these claims?

As a matter of fact, there is reason to believe that this technique does provide detoxification benefits. This is one of a number of methods which can be used to clean the mouth so thoroughly that the body is better able to heal itself. Apparently there is a study which was published in 2008 in which oil pulling using sesame oil resulted in a significant reduction in Streptococcus Mutans after two weeks. However, this technique was not as effective as chlorhexidine mouthwash which is commonly recommended by dentists and periodontists to control gum inflammation. In addition, a serious limitation of this technique is that the oil only travels about one millimeter deep into the gums around the teeth, and the more damaging infections are more than three millimeters deep. This technique should not be used by people with active gum disease.

The most interesting thing about this technique is that it highlights the fact that as our oral health improves, so does our general health. Everything in the body is connected. So that improvement in the sinuses, the throat, the cardiovascular system, the skin and various other body systems is a very positive byproduct. When the mouth is healthier, the level of inflammation in the body is reduced, the body is better able then to heal, and we feel better and look better.

Oil pulling may be considered as an alternative to an excellent oral homecare regimen. Such a regimen would include brushing for two minutes twice each day and especially before bed, flossing between the teeth regularly, and perhaps using a WaterPik with an antimicrobial agent on a regular basis as well. Ideally people should have their dentist or hygienist recommend an oral care system specifically designed for him or her. In addition, nowadays we even have a DNA test which can determine specifically which bacteria are present in each patient’s mouth, and if they have the specific marker which might make them more susceptible to periodontal disease.

If you have any questions about oil pulling or would like information about developing a homecare regimen for yourself, please feel free to contact us by telephone at 908.359.6655 or via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com

All-on-4®, A Dental Miracle

All–on–4® is the name for a technique used in the total rehabilitation of patients who have lost or will soon lose all of their teeth in one or both arches. This system was developed in the 1990s through studies which were funded by Nobel Biocare which has been a corporate leader in the implant industry since the early 1980s.

The All-on-4® treatment concept is a miracle because patients arrive at their dentist’s office in the morning with either no teeth or teeth which cannot be saved in one or both arches.  At that appointment, the implant surgeon (usually a periodontist or oral surgeon), the prosthetic dentist (in this case, me) and a lab technician work collaboratively.  A few hours later the patient leaves the office with a complete set of teeth which are not removable, which function well and which look amazing.

In addition, no grafting is required before placing the implants with this system. Therefore, most patients who have been told that they are not good candidates for implants because of a lack of bone, or large sinuses, or other anatomical circumstances are perfect candidates for the All–on–4® procedure.

There is no grafting, and no lengthy healing time required. Four implants are placed in each treated jaw. This procedure takes advantage of the dense bone which is available in the front of both the top and bottom jaws and places two implants there. Two more implants are placed in the back of the jaws and at an angle to both avoid sensitive anatomic areas as well as to take advantage of available dense bone there. Permanently fixed bridges can then be secured to these four implants immediately because of the solid primary stability which is gained by these strategically placed implants.

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The full dental bridge which is attached to these implants is not removable, has no coverage of the palate, and can be used immediately to eat a complete diet without restriction. After four to six months, a final fixed prosthesis is placed over the implants once total healing is assured.

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The advantages of All–on–4® are many:

1. Get implants in one day with minimal surgery.

2. Entire procedure completed in one location and one day.

3. Avoid the expense and healing time of bone grafting.

4. Have fixed, not removable teeth.

5. Have a complete new set of teeth which look and feel natural – Smile Again!

6. Have the ability to again eat all the foods that you desire.

If you have any questions about the All–on–4® procedure or if you know someone who would benefit from it, please contact us at 908.359.6655 or via our website at www.designsfordentalhealth.com