Celebrating 30 Years- Thank You Dental Specialists

This next addition of our letters of gratitude is dedicated to all the specialist dentists with whom I’ve worked during the past 30 years.  Many years ago, I was taught that there are the four “R’s” for fixing teeth. They are Remove, Restore, Reposition or Refer! So, in other words, the buck stops with the specialist.  These are the doctors who take care of patients who have more difficult and unusual and complex problems.  The general dentist will ideally remain as the quarterback for his patients by coordinating his or her treatment with specialists as needed.   So a good working relationship between generalists and specialists is critical. Serving as the patient’s advocate by choosing appropriate and qualified specialists is an important aspect general dentist’s role.

A great specialist is one who is absolutely up to date in the care that is delivered. He or she is an excellent communicator and can explain what possible treatment options are available and/or necessary and why.   I have had the good fortune to work with many such specialists.  What follows is a list of these dentists by specialty who deserve the gratitude of both the patients and the dentists who referred them.

Orthodontists 

Laurene Wolf who is the orthodontist of our hygienist Maria and her husband

Frederic Sterritt and Richard D’Avanzo who have several offices in central NJ.  Dr. Sterritt was my daughter Meredith’s orthodontist

Rick Wright with whom I shared a small world moment as I was walking through the Louvre and who was my daughter Meredith’s orthodontist

Mary Richmond with whom I’ve worked on cosmetic cases and who sees patients in the Skillman and Princeton areas

Barry Rosenfeld who treated my wife Liz back in the 1980’s

Endodontists (root canals)

Annmarie Brennan and Raj Lall who have wonderful chairside manners and are very helpful in helping patients who have pain which is difficult to isolate, teeth with tricky curved or narrow canals, and saviors of those with acute pain.

Oral Surgeons

Robert Albin, Joel Efron and Alan Hecht who have offices in Hillsborough and Somerville.  I have worked with Dr. Albin since first opening in Hillsborough and all three of these doctors since their group formed back in the 90’s.  This group removed my daughter Meredith’s impacted wisdom teeth.

Kerry McKay whose untimely, recent passing is mourned by many friends and patients.  We’ll miss him.

Samuel Levine is located in Princeton and has provided excellent care for several of my patients.

Periodontists

David Goldberg with whom I work very closely on the majority of implants cases.  Dr. Goldberg is well liked and respected by patients and dentists alike for both gum issues and implants.  Dr. Goldberg has a gift in how he works with patients and provides excellent care

Tat Chiang and I have worked on patients together for years.  He is a part-time professor who is well abreast of current techniques and care.

Jean-Pierre Arnoux, Raoul Figueroa and John Lu are located in Lawrenceville and were trained at U. Penn.  I have been working with this group for for about 7 years and have had only positive feedback from patients.  They are a pleasure to work with.

Richard Staller is located in Princeton and has provided excellent periodontal care for patients.

Specialists

I’d like to thank all of the doctors above and any who I may have inadvertently omitted for the excellent care which they have provided for my patients over the past thirty years.  All the best to you for a wonderful holiday and a happy, healthy 2015!

Celebrating 30 Years- Thank You April (and All Our Former Dental Assistants)

Dental AssistantsAs I am writing this letter, April is only a few short weeks away from giving birth to her second daughter! She will be beginning maternity leave at the end of this month and will be painfully missed by our entire team – especially me. I have known April since she was a little girl because she was a friend and classmate of my daughter Lauren.  She has been a member of our dental team for nearly ten years and she has been my favorite dental assistant of all time!

Not too long after April joined our team, I remember our celebrating her 21st birthday.  Liz, Maria and I took April to the Mediterra Bar in Princeton where she was served her first “legal” cocktail. She was very well behaved for a 21-year-old and has been that way for as long as I’ve known her.  It struck me as unusual that she would want to spend that occasion with us but we were very glad that she did.

April has always been an absolute pleasure to work with. She is one of the reasons that I look forward to getting up in the morning and going to work.  Discussing what has transpired since last seeing each other has been a daily ritual and she is the one who I can count on to stay calm in any situation; in a dental office, that type of personality is priceless.  April has some traits of which patients may not be aware.  As many of you know, I sometimes enjoy chatting away while working.  There are times when this “chatting” becomes – shall we say – inappropriate.  Generally, that’s because my mind is elsewhere as I’m focused on the task at hand.  At times like this, I will feel April kick my shin or utter an “ahem” which I have been trained to understand means “close the mouth”.  In a similar way, I have come to depend on April at times to translate what I am trying to say to a patient into words that make sense. Whether the conversation breakdown is due to a gender disconnect or too much “technicalese”, April has a way of conveying the substance of what I’m trying to say in an understandable way. That is an amazing gift.

The truth is that I have had a number of dental assistants with whom I truly enjoyed working.  In the several years before April began, my sister-in-law Zora (Liz’s brother’s wife) joined our team and worked with us until moving to Florida.  Both she and April were amazing because they learned every important instrument, technique and concept necessary to be outstanding dental assistants – and all within a three-month period.  This is not an easy feat and led me to feel that each of these women could be an excellent dentist if they had the desire and time.   Before Zora there was Allison who I also truly enjoyed working with for several years.  Allison joined us at the time I began attending LVI, and she traveled there with me, Liz and our then hygienist, Deanna.  We shared some wonderful times in Las Vegas and having trained together, were better able to implement what was learned there.

All of these dental assistants deserve much credit for the work that they do. Not only do they have to understand the dental materials, the techniques, ordering supplies and how to use the dental software, but they need to be even-tempered psychologists and dental concierges for our patients as well. What they do is hard work and they do it in such a way that the rest of the team as well as our patients are happy.

Celebrating 30 Years- Thank You Office Assistants

Many years ago, we began hiring high school students who would work after school and help us in various ways around the office. These students offered a breath of fresh air because of their youthful optimism, their lightheartedness, their occasional drama and their desire to help. From my point of view, there seemed to be a symbiotic relationship between these office assistants and our team; they received training in how an office is managed and how to be an effective team member.  They also received a paycheck and accordingly learned something about taxes :).   We received much needed help in the afternoons when it was most needed. This made our dental assistants happy.

In recent years, we have had some outstanding high school assistants. First there was Michelle, the daughter of one of our good friends, who was blessed with an infectious smile and upbeat personality to go along with her ability to learn fast and lend a hand. Next was Marissa, who remained with us for over two years before leaving for college. We watched as Marissa grew to be most helpful around the office and another smiling person who could be counted on as a pleasure to be around.  I am sure that she will continue to be very successful in college and I look forward to watching her educational development. Now, we have welcomed Jacqueline – Michelle’s younger sister – as our current assistant.  She has been a very fast learner and proves to be yet another positive asset to our team.

There have been many other such students who have helped us through the years. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them all for being so helpful to our entire team and contributing to the fun work environment that we enjoy.

Office Assistants

Dr. Nadler with Jacqueline and Laura

In addition, over the past few years, we have added a new position to our team – our non-clinical personal assistant. This person is responsible for all non-dental communications with our patients and referring doctors.  It is she who keeps our patients and the public abreast of what is going on in our office, and it is she who creates the various monthly specials and disseminates news and information via social media.   All her efforts have received very positive feedback.

Our first personal assistant was Nicole and she was exceptional in her ability to organize and systematize all of her work.   In addition, she created office brochures, developed social media awareness and introduced me to other doctors with whom I collaborate to help our patients.  After Nicole there was Shilpa and Allison who were friends of each other and were both extremely capable. Our current personal assistant is Laura who you will see in our reception area when you first enter the office. Please make sure to say hello and perhaps ask her what is going on currently.  I am sure that she will have some interesting ideas to discuss.

In closing, our entire team would like to send a big Thank You to each of the high school student assistants and to our personal assistants for all that you have done to help us do what needs doing, and for just being such a pleasure to work with. We wish all the best to each of you for a wonderful holiday season and happiness and success in the future.

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!

These Are a Few Of Our Favorite Things

In this article, we would like to share with you seven of our favorite products and technologies. These are all items or services which we as a team use on a regular basis and recommend to our patients. We feel that each of these is the leader in its field and offers solid benefits. So, without further ado, here is the list:

Number 1: Sonicare Toothbrush

Favorite ThingsThrough the years, we have recommended a variety of toothbrushes ranging from the Rotadent to Oral-B and finally to Sonicare. In our estimation, the Sonicare electric toothbrush is simply the most effective tooth cleaning product on the market. End of story. Having used and Oral-B electric tooth brush for many years and having avoided the Sonicare because I found it to be uncomfortable initially, I began using it regularly and discovered that it was far superior at removing stains and plaque and maintaining gum health. What more is there to say?

Number 2: Closys Toothpaste

Favorite ThingsWe have been recommending Closys toothpaste for the last 10 years or so. It contains chlorine dioxide which kills germs. It does not contain abrasives, extra chemicals or other unnecessary ingredients which would make it a lesser choice for effective oral health. Closys II toothpaste effectively kills germs, helps maintain gingival and dental health as well as providing clean fresh breath.

Number 3: Inter Dental Cleaners

Favorite ThingsThere are a variety of ways to clean between the teeth which we recommend for different patients and for different reasons. I will lump these together as being the third most important thing we love. For those with regular spaces between our teeth, we love Reach Total Care floss by Johnson and Johnson. This is great floss which is effective, tastes good, and is well-designed.

Favorite Things

If you have bridges and are unable to use regular dental floss, then Superfloss by OralB is the choice for you. This product allows you to easily thread the floss underneath your bridges and thoroughly clean them with a minimum of fuss.

 

 

Favorite ThingsFor those who have very wide spaces between their teeth, pipe cleaners are an excellent choice to quickly and effectively clean between your teeth. For those with moderate spaces between their teeth and for those who have had gum surgery ProxaBrushes are the weapon of choice. They are easy to hold and manipulate and are effective at cleaning larger spaces between your teeth. Finally for those people who hate to floss, there is a product by Sonicare called the AirFloss are which is very effective especially at removing debris which gets caught between your teeth.

Number 4: NeoStrata Skincare

Favorite ThingsWe have offered the line of NeoStrata skin care / antiaging products in our office for the past few years. Though it has not been very popular amongst our patients, it is very popular with our dental team. This line of products is meant to care for your skin and these products do what they say they will do. If you have any interest, feel free to ask us for samples and I think that you will be surprised at how effective they are. For your information, this little-known company provides products to various larger corporations whose names you may well know.

 Number 5: Zoom! Teeth Whitening

Favorite ThingsFor many years, we used the BriteSmile system for teeth whitening.  Zoom! Whitening became the standard for tooth bleaching when the show Extreme Makeover was so popular. Some years ago Zoom! Purchased BriteSmile and their newest system offers improvements which make the procedure both more effective and comfortable. For those people who desire whiter teeth, the in-office Zoom!bleaching system is the best.

Number 6: Invisalign

Favorite ThingsInvisalign orthodontics has been available for more than a dozen years. This company continually up grades their techniques and products to offer an excellent alternative to metal braces. There are various bite problems which can now be addressed using Invisalign, and more and more adults are taking advantage of this excellent service to help turn back the clock. FYI, the Invisalign system aligns and levels the teeth using a series of clear aligners which are changed by the patient every two weeks. The results we have achieved with this system have been very impressive.

Number 7: The K7 and TMD Orthotics

Favorite ThingsWe purchased the K7 technology many years ago to assist us in treating patients with head, neck and facial pain. This system has proven to be a wonderful way to help diagnose our patients’ problems and to determine the best way to treat them. Using this system, we are able to have orthotics custom fabricated for patients to wear over their lower teeth. These orthotics have been very effective at eliminating various symptoms of TMD pain and associated symptoms. If you suffer from chronic pain, I recommend that you ask us about how the K7 system and an orthotic may be a blessing for you.  Check out this technology at www.myotronics.com.

It is our hope that you find these seven of our favorite things to be useful for you. If you have any questions about any of these items, please do not hesitate to ask. You may contact us by phone at 908.359.6655 or via our website at www.DesignsForDentalHealth.com.

 

Smile Enhancements for Healthy Aging

Earlier this month, we discussed common dental problems which affect us as we grow older and how to address them.  In this installment, we will describe three popular methods to improve both the appearance and the function of your teeth. At the end of this article, we will reinforce what we believe to be the best ways to improve the health and beauty of your smile.

smile enhancementsYou may be surprised to hear about the first popular procedure which has increased in frequency over the past several years.  Once considered only appropriate for adolescents and teenagers, orthodontics has become an excellent means for adults (even those well into their 60s) to improve their smile, take years off their facial appearance, and improve their self-esteem.  This, in turn, improves their overall outlook on life. Alternatives to the metal braces commonly seen in the past have grown in popularity as they have become more comfortable, effective and invisible.  In our office, Invisalign™ orthodontics has proven to be a discrete and successful method for adults to address bite issues and crooked teeth.  Even patients who had braces as a teenager find the system an excellent way to realign teeth which have relapsed over the years.

invisalign, smile enhancements

Invisalign™orthodontic treatment, combined with either tooth bleaching and/or bonding, can help you to achieve your dream smile, improve your appearance, help you look younger, and feel a renewed sense of self confidence.  In addition, a properly aligned bite serves to preserve your overall health and well-being.  Teeth which are not aligned and bites which are not properly balanced are much more at risk for a variety of dental issues.  These issues include tooth fractures, tooth wear, loosening teeth, gum recession, ineffective chewing ability as well as a variety of jaw, neck, and shoulder pain and headaches.

The second popular dental enhancement which has steadily gained in popularity over the last twenty-five plus years is implants. Titanium implants have evolved and become a staple in the replacement of missing teeth for those who wish for comfort, convenience, and excellent appearance. Implants can be used in a number of different ways to replace missing teeth. The simplest way, of course, is for replacing a single missing tooth. But implants can also be used to replace a series of missing teeth or even an entire arch of missing teeth. Contrary to popular opinion, the placement of implants does not involve significant discomfort and their success rate is very high.

implant, smile enhancements

There are many patients who have struggled with dentures for years. Such patients have had as few as two implants placed to stabilize their existing dentures. The benefits of such procedures are astounding for those who have struggled to eat and speak with loose plates for years. We even see patients who are about to lose all their remaining teeth in one or both arches. Such patients can have their hopeless teeth removed, four implants placed, and a set of teeth mounted on those implants all in a single appointment. That procedure is called “All-On-Four” and requires collaboration between a prosthetic dentist, an implant surgeon and a laboratory technician.  The results in these cases are life changing.

The third popular smile enhancement involves bonding or porcelain to restore worn, broken, or otherwise damaged teeth. “Bonding” utilizes tooth-colored filling material which is placed on one or a group of teeth to restore natural appearance, shape, and color. Similarly, porcelain is used in more advanced cases for those patients who wish to have the most long-lasting and cosmetic solution to their dental problems. Porcelain can be used to cover the entire tooth or limited areas of the tooth as needed in any given situation. The porcelain is bonded to the teeth which results in a very strong, cosmetic, and natural result.

Bonding and porcelain can be used to enhance smiles in a number of different ways. Teeth which have mild misalignment can be made to look perfectly aligned instantly using these materials. Similarly, problems with symmetry, proportion, color and shape can all be addressed using these materials. The next time that you are in our office, make sure to look at some of the photographs on our walls which exhibit the results gained by using these materials.

Finally, let us reiterate the best ways to ensure healthy aging at least as far as oral health is concerned.  As we grow older, we are all more prone to have decay which can sometimes develop very quickly.  It is not uncommon for adult patients to have some gum recession which results in the exposure of root surfaces.  Such surfaces are very prone to decay and must be carefully monitored both at home and in the dental office.  In addition, as our gums recede, food is more likely to lodge between the teeth creating another cause for decay developing.  Increased use of medications and other medical issues may lead to a condition of dry mouth.  Without the buffering effects of saliva, the likelihood for increased dental decay as well as gum disease is highly likely.

dental care, smile enhancements

So what is one to do to prevent an increase in gum disease and dental decay? Here are our favorite as well as most effective recommendations:

  1. Use an electric toothbrush and brush where the teeth and gums meet.
  2. Clean between your teeth with an appropriate sized tool. Large spaces require a proxy brush and smaller spaces require fluffy floss.
  3. Brush before bed!
  4. Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash especially before bed.  During this month we have been handing out Listerine Zero which is a good product found in the grocery store but any similar product which includes no alcohol can be used.
  5. Have regular checkups! This is the best way to make sure that small problems do not become big ones! In the past few years, we have seen more and more patients who have returned after extended periods with more severe problems. Regular checkups will save you money and give you more peace of mind.

In closing, cosmetic dentistry may be key to a person’s health in later life.  Here is a quote from a cosmetic dentist in Texas:

“We often hear older patients just wanting things patched up as opposed to getting something aesthetic. They may have the idea that they are not worth it, or their families have the idea that they are too old for cosmetic dentistry. This may lead to an attitude that things are ending.

“Improving an older person’s mouth can bring them more happiness and joy, not only by improving chewing efficiency, but also bringing joy back. They will want to smile more.”

If you have any questions concerning this article or any other dental questions, please call our office at 908.359.6655 or contact us via our website at www.designsfordentalhealth.com.