Parkview Pediatric Dentistry will be sponsoring the Kid’s Fun Run during the 2019 Mayor’s Marathon on April 28.
This content was originally published here.
Parkview Pediatric Dentistry will be sponsoring the Kid’s Fun Run during the 2019 Mayor’s Marathon on April 28.
by Dr. Joseph Mercola
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, 92% of adults aged 20 to 64 have had cavities in their permanent teeth. Interestingly, Caucasian adults and those living in families with higher incomes have had more decay, or at least have been treated for more cavities. Adults in the same age range have an average of 3.28 decayed or missing permanent teeth.
While many believe water fluoridation is an effective way of preventing tooth decay, supporting facts are just not there. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) data reported by the Fluoride Action Network, the U.S., which provides fluoridated water to 74.6% of community water systems, has higher rates of tooth decay than many countries that do not fluoridate their water, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden.
If fluoridation were effective, you would expect to see higher numbers of cavities in communities without fluoridated water and the number of cavities to decline when fluoride is introduced. Instead, demographic studies have demonstrated fluoridated water has little to do with cavity prevention.,,
Instead, caries often follow demineralization of the tooth triggered by acids formed during bacterial fermentation of dietary sugars. Just as depression is not triggered by a lack of Prozac, dental caries are not caused by a lack of fluoride — a neurotoxic compound that has no biological benefits. Excess dietary sugar is the most significant factor driving dental decay.
The American Dental Association (ADA) claims the Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature (CDT) as their intellectual property. In 2000, the code was named as a HIPAA standard code set, and any electronic dental claim must use these procedural codes. According to the ADA, there are times when a code is not available and dentists are encouraged to request additions and revisions.
This process is different from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) based on data developed by WHO, which copyrights the information and publishes the classification. An adaptation of the classification for use in the U.S. is completed by National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and must conform to WHO conventions.
Oftentimes when expensive surgery or a regimen of pills is recommended, most seek a second opinion. However, the same is not true when you’re sitting in the dentist chair. A Cochrane review of dental studies finds many of the standard dental and cosmetic treatments are not substantiated by research.
For instance, they could not find enough evidence to support or oppose the surgical removal of asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth, to prove if antibiotic prophylaxis is effective or ineffective in those at risk for bacterial endocarditis before a dental procedure, and only three trials were found analyzing the efficacy of filling cavities in primary teeth, none of which were conclusive.
In other words, much of the research in the field of dentistry is sadly lacking. While the recommendations may be appropriate, they may also not be, and many simply do not have adequate evidenced-based science to warrant their use.
As noted in recent article in The Atlantic, “[W]hat limited data we have don’t clearly indicate whether it’s better to repair a root-canaled tooth with a crown or a filling.” Derek Richards, director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry at the University of Dundee, commented on the gaping hole of evidence in the field of dentistry:
“The body of evidence for dentistry is disappointing. Dentists tend to want to treat or intervene. They are more akin to surgeons than they are to physicians. We suffer a little from that. Everybody keeps fiddling with stuff, trying out the newest thing, but they don’t test them properly in a good-quality trial.”
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, at least 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from sensitive teeth. They describe the sensitivity as being caused by the movement of fluid within tiny tubes located in the dentin, or the layer of tissue found beneath the hard enamel. When the fluid reaches the nerve, it causes irritation and pain.
These tiny tubules are exposed when your enamel is worn down or the gums have receded. This increases your risk of experiencing pain while eating or drinking hot or cold foods. The Cleveland Clinic lists some factors that may lead to sensitivity, including brushing too hard, gum disease, cracked teeth, teeth grinding and acidic foods.
The tubules branch throughout the tooth and are different between peripheral and the inner aspects. The branching pattern reveals an intricate and profuse system crisscrossing the intertubular dentin.
Studies demonstrate anaerobic bacteria and gram positive rods, as well as a large number of bacterial species, may be found within this tubule system in those suffering periodontal disease. The researchers concluded:
“It seems clear that, in more than half of the infected roots, bacteria are present in the deep dentin close to the cementum and that anaerobic culturing of dentin is more sensitive than histology to detect these bacteria.”
Further research finds a necrotic dental pulp may develop unnoticed for years and the course of the disease is modulated by the variance of the microbiota in the root canal space and the capacity of the individual’s immune system.
Another study found the environment of the deep layers of the endodontic dental area is anaerobic, favoring the growth of anaerobes, including Lactobacillus, Streptococcus and Propionibacterium.
Root canals are not your only option. Teeth are similar to other systems in your body as they require blood supply, venous drainage and nerve innervations. Teeth that have undergone a root canal are dead and typically become a source of chronic bacterial toxicity in your body. In one study published in 2010, the authors wrote:
“Root canal therapy has been practiced ever since 1928 and the success rate has tremendously increased over the years owing to various advancements in the field. One main reason is the complete understanding of the microbiology involved in the endodontic pathology.”
If any other organ in your body lost blood supply and lymphatic drainage it would die. Your physician would recommend it being removed so necrosis and bacteria would not kill you. But dead teeth are commonly left in your mouth. Anaerobic bacteria thrive in your dentin tubes and the blood supply surrounding the dead teeth drains the toxicity, allowing it to spread throughout your body.
This toxicity may lead to a number of diseases, including autoimmune diseases, cancer, irritable bowel disease and depression. Dr. George Meinig has a unique perspective on the underlying dangers of root canal therapy as he was one of the founding members of the American Association of Endodontists, root canal specialists.
When he wasn’t filling canals, he was teaching the technique to dentist across the country. After spending decades practicing endodontics, he retired and began pouring over the detailed research of Dr. Weston Price. He was shocked to find valid documentation of systemic illnesses resulting from the latent infections lingering in the filled canals.
The result was his book “Root Canal Cover Up.” In an interview with me, Meinig describes the result of Price’s research findings and credible reasons why you should avoid a root canal. Price’s work demonstrated that many who suffered chronic degenerative diseases could trace the origins to root canals.
The most frequently reported conditions were heart and circulatory diseases. The next most common diseases were of the joints and those of the brain and nervous system. Meinig assumes all root filled teeth harbor bacteria and other infective agents, but not everyone is made ill since those with strong immune systems may be able to prevent bacterial colonies from taking hold.
However, Meinig cautions that over time, most who have undergone a root canal seem to develop some type of systemic symptoms. If you choose to have a dead tooth removed, just pulling the tooth is not enough. Price found bacteria in tissue and bone adjacent to the tooth’s root. Consequently, Meinig developed a protocol he describes in his book to ensure no bacterial growth is left.
Historically, dentistry and medicine were separated. It’s unfortunate how many fail to fully appreciate the influence oral health has on overall health. The delicate balance of bacteria in your mouth is as important to your health as your gut microbiome.
Periodontal disease, which affects the soft tissue and bone, is triggered by an increase in Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacteria that impairs your immune response. Dental caries have been causally linked to Streptococcus mutans. In turn, your oral health impacts the rest of your body and they have a significant impact on your risk of disease.
For example, Type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease are strongly connected, as are cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease. Research has demonstrated failing to brush on a daily basis may increase your risk of dementia by 22 to 65%, compared to brushing three times a day, and good oral hygiene may lower your risk of pneumonia by 40%.
When the bacteria causing tooth decay and gum disease enter your circulatory system, your body increases the release of C-reactive protein known to lead to many chronic diseases. Therefore it’s only common sense to pay attention to your oral health, and develop good habits that support your oral microbiome.
One step toward achieving good oral health is to seek out a biological dentist, also known as a holistic or environmental dentist. These doctors operate according to the belief system that your teeth are an integral part of your body and, hence, your overall health. They recognize oral and dental health have a major influence on disease and any medical treatment takes this into account.
While I recommend using a biological dentist for all your dental needs, if you’re considering the removal of dental amalgams, it’s absolutely essential. Most conventional dentists are unaware of the dangers involved and lack the experience to remove amalgam fillings without placing your health at risk in the process. Another strategy biological dentist use is to check the compatibility of dental materials with your body.
The silver fillings in your mouth are dental amalgam. As noted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), dental amalgam has been used to fill cavities for more than 150 years in hundreds of millions of patients around the world.
Amalgam is a mixture of metals consisting of elemental mercury and a powdered alloy of silver, tin and copper, 50% of which is elemental mercury by weight. The FDA also admits amalgam fillings release low levels of mercury in vapor form that may be inhaled and absorbed in your lungs.
Mercury is a neurotoxin. How your health is affected will depend on the form of mercury, the amount in the exposure and the age at which you’re exposed. Additionally, how long the exposure lasts and your underlying health will determine symptoms you may experience.
Symptoms of prolonged exposure to elemental mercury may include emotional changes, insomnia, headaches and poor performance on mental function tests. In 2009, the FDA issued a final rule on dental amalgams reclassifying mercury from a class I (least risk) device to class II (more risk) and designated a special controls guidance document for dental amalgam.
The WHO found mercury exposure, even in small amounts, may trigger serious health concerns and can have toxic effects on lungs and kidneys, as well as the nervous, digestive and immune systems. It is considered one of the top 10 chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern.
As Meinig discussed in our interview, the only scientifically-proven way to prevent tooth decay is through nutrition. He related how in Price’s travels he found 14 cultural pockets of natives who had no access to “civilization” and ate no refined foods.
While their diets varied, they all ate whole, unrefined foods. Without access to tooth brushes, floss, fluoridated water or toothpaste, each group were almost all 100% free of caries.
For a discussion of how you may integrate holistic and preventive strategies, such as making your own toothpaste, flossing guidelines, and information on oil pulling and nutritional supplements to support your oral health, see my previous article, “Dental Dedication: Improve Your Oral Health.”
It’s estimated that 75 percent of Americans are ignorant about that fact that amalgam fillings are actually 50 percent mercury, and this is no accident. The American Dental Association (ADA) popularized the deceptive term “silver fillings” so consumers would think amalgam is made mainly of silver when actually it has twice as much mercury as silver.
Mercury is an incredibly potent neurotoxin; it doesn’t take much to cause serious damage because it’s an absolute poison. If you were to take the amount of mercury in a typical thermometer and put it in a small lake, that lake would be closed down due to environmental hazards.
Yet, amounts much higher than that are readily put into your mouth if you receive a “silver” amalgam dental filling, as the majority of material in the filling is actually mercury. Download your free copy of “Measurably Misleading” and learn how the FDA and dental industry are misleading consumers and why that’s bad for American families and our planet.
We believe in inspiring progress — and nowhere is the progress more evident than the work of Consumers for Dental Choice and its Campaign for Mercury-Free Dentistry. So consider donating your funds where you know it will get results.
Consumers for Dental Choice takes the Holistic Approach to Advocacy. You wouldn’t go to a traditional dentist who uses mercury amalgam fillings. So why would you go to a traditional activist to fight for mercury-free dentistry? That’s why so many people, including myself, support Consumers for Dental Choice’s holistic approach to advocacy.
The following organizations can help you to find a mercury-free, biological dentist:
Consumers for Dental Choice and its leader Charlie Brown continue their full-court-press campaign to bring mercury-free dentistry to the U.S. and worldwide. If you wish to stay informed, I encourage you to follow them on Facebook; if you wish to stay informed by receiving their announcements, you can sign up by .
You can help stop dental mercury today! Please consider donating to Consumers for Dental Choice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating mercury-free dentistry.
Read the full article at Mercola.com.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Dental Caries in Adults 20 to 64
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Community Water Fluoridation
Fluoride Action Network, Tooth Decay in F versus NF Countries
European Journal of Oral Science, 1996; 104(4):452
Caries Research, 1993; 27: 201
Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 2002; doi.org/10.1034/j.1600-0528.2000.028005382.x
World Health Organization, Fluoride in Drinking Water
American Dental Association, Frequent Questions Regarding Dental Provision Codes
American Dental Association, Code on Dental Procedures and Nomenclature
World Health Organization, Classifications
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ICD-10-CM
Cochrane, Priority Reviews
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, June 13, 2012
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, October 9, 2013
Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, April 15, 2009
The Atlantic, May 2019
Academy of General Dentistry, Why Are My Teeth Sensitive?
Cleveland Clinic Tooth Sensitivity: Possible Causes
Archives of Dental Biology, 1996;41(5)
Journal of Endodontics, 2001;27(2)
International Endodontic Journal, 1990;23(1)
Journal of Conservative Dentistry, 2010;13(4)
American Association of Endodontists, AAE History
Frontiers in Microbiology, 2016;7:53
Microbiology Reviews, 1986;50(4):353
Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, 2010;14(3):148
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 2012; doi.org/10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.04064.x
Annals of Periodontology, 2003;8(1):54
Scandinavian Journal of Infectious Disease, 1993;25(2):207
Dr. Weil, Holistic and Biological Dentistry
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, About Dental Amalgam Fillings
Environmental Protection Agency, Healthy Effects of Exposure to Mercury
WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Jose Mas-Fernandez, 33, for allegedly practicing dentistry without a license.
“Why people would go to someone like this, we don’t know. We can only speculate, but it is against the law. You have to have a license,” said PSO Community Relations Director Kevin Doll. “You have to be licensed by the state, and this individual obviously did not have that.”
The arrest was the result of a joint investigation between the Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Health.
Authorities said Mas-Fernandez offered to pull teeth for both an undercover detective and an undercover health department investigator. He reportedly offered to provide antibiotics for $150 and numbing medication for $20.
Inside Mas-Fernandez’s apartment, investigators found dental equipment and medication. Doll said he told detectives the supplies came from Cuba.
PSO’s documents state that after his arrest, Mas-Fernandez admitted to performing dental work, like teeth cleanings and extractions, out of his home. It’s unclear how many people he may have treated.
“Any medical doctor who’s not licensed working on your body can be very dangerous,” said Doll. “That’s why we suggest anybody who did see this individual to go to a real dentist and have their teeth checked out.”
Doll said Mas-Fernandez told detectives he worked as a dental assistant at Land O’ Lakes Dental Care. The office was closed Friday.
According to Brad Dalton, press secretary for the state health department, the DOH received 1,051 complaints of unlicensed activity during the fiscal year of 2018-2019. The department issued 593 cease-and-desist orders during that time.
Dalton said of those, 67 complaints and 36 cease and desist orders were related to the practice of dentistry. The DOH said Mas-Fernandez received one of those cease and desist orders.
The DOH reminds the public that being treated by an unlicensed medical professional could result in injury, disease, or death. License information for health care practitioners can be found at: www.flhealthsource.gov/ula.
Her breakthrough came when she won a university scholarship. She is now in her second year of a dentistry degree, and fulfilling a life-long dream
“I am very passionate about education,” said the 21-year-old, who fled war-ravaged Aleppo with her family in 2013. “My dream was to go to university, and I studied very hard to achieve this dream.”
Her achievement reflects a single-minded determination to continue her education, even when it seemed she might not get the chance. She missed her final year of high school in Aleppo when fighting forced the closure of local schools, and when she first arrived in Turkey, she lacked the paperwork needed to enroll.
“The day I went back to school was beautiful.”
Unable to study, she took a full-time job packaging goods in a medical supplies factory while teaching herself Turkish in her time off from books and YouTube videos. A year later, when she secured the refugee documentation needed to resume her education, she vowed to make the most of it.
“The day I went back to school was beautiful,” she said. “The worst thing about war is that it destroys children’s futures,” she continued. “If children don’t continue their education, they won’t be able to give back to society.”
After graduating from high school top of her class with an overall mark of 98 per cent, Sidra then went one better to score 99 per cent in her university entrance exams. The results helped her to secure a vital scholarship from the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB).
While tuition fees at Turkish state universities have been waived for Syrian students, the scholarship provides Sidra with monthly support, enabling her to concentrate on her studies. Without this support she says she would not have been able to study her preferred subject of dentistry due to the extra cost of buying equipment such as cosmetic teeth to practice her skills.
“Without the scholarship, I would have had to choose a different major, different to dentistry, and to work to cover my university expenses,” she explained.
Sidra is one of around 33,000 Syrian refugee students currently attending university in Turkey. The country is host to 3.68 million registered Syrian refugees, making it the largest refugee hosting country in the world.
Since the beginning of the Syria crisis, YTB has provided 5,341 scholarships to Syrian university students, while a further 2,284 have received scholarships from humanitarian partners. This includes more than 820 scholarships provided by UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – under its DAFI programme.
Access to education is crucial to the self-reliance of refugees. It is also central to the development of the communities that have welcomed them, and the prosperity of their own countries once conditions are in place to allow them to return home.
Enrolment rates in education among refugees currently lag far behind the global average, and the gap increases with age. At secondary school level, only 24 per cent of refugee children are currently enrolled compared with 84 per cent of children globally, with the figure dropping to just 3 per cent in higher education compared with a worldwide average of 37 per cent.
In Turkey, this average has been raised to close to 6 per cent thanks to the priority attached to education, including higher education for refugees.
Efforts to boost access and funding for refugees in quality education will be one of the topics of discussion at the Global Refugee Forum, a high-level event to be held in Geneva from 17-18 December.
Turkey is a co-convenor of the event, which will bring together governments, international organizations, local authorities, civil society, the private sector, host community members and refugees themselves. The event will look at ways of easing the burden of hosting refugees on local communities, boosting refugee self-help and reliance, and increasing opportunities for resettlement.
“Successful people can support the country they’re living in.”
Sidra is convinced that education holds the key to her own future success, and is determined to live up to the nickname she has earned among her fellow students.
“People call me ‘çalışkan kız’ which means: ‘the girl who studies a lot’,” she explained. “With education we can fight war, unemployment and illiteracy. With education we can reach all our goals in life.”
“Successful people can support the country they’re living in,” she continued. “Turkey has given me a lot of facilities, and it honors me that one day I can give back to its people and be an active member [of society], to work and practice dentistry with their support. I take pride in this.”
The Milky Way is one of the most magnificent sights in the universe. In addition to housing our very own solar system, the Milky Way is extremely large, as it has been discovered that an entire trip across the galaxy would take, at light speed, a total of 200,000 years. Well, that’s not the only recent discovery about the Milky Way as, much like a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, it is large, beautiful, and covered in grease.
But how much of this “space grease” is out there gunking up the beauty of the universe? According to a recently published paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, it’s at the very least known that there’s enough grease that your spaceship would need a trip to the carwash.
Thankfully, due to the solar wind, experts don’t expect the grease to have any major effects on our own solar system. This is great news, as this solar system already has plenty enough grease in our restaurants, meals, and arteries.
While we may always dread that occasional trip to the dentist, the practice of oral care has definitely improved over its long history. Dentistry itself dates back to 2600 BC, where the first-ever reference to dental work was made. However, we know what you’re thinking, “But when did horse dentistry get started?” Admit it, that’s exactly what you were thinking.
According to researchers, horse dentistry may have dated back to 3,200 years ago, when Mongolian pastoralists attempted to remove teeth from the animals in order to utilize metal bits. The researchers, who published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also made a connection between this discovery and the dawn of mounted battles and longer travel in certain Asian civilizations soon after.
You have to admit, it’s not often that you get the opportunity to read a story that teaches you the early history of equestrian dental hygiene. Well, now you have something to talk about at your next dinner party.
To study the brains of Neanderthals, researchers have mainly focused on analyzing fossilized skulls to infer what they might have contained. However, a team at the University of California, San Diego is employing a new tactic: growing Neanderthal minibrains in a lab. At the UCSD “Imagination and Human Evolution” conference, geneticist Alysson Muotri, Ph.D., revealed that his team had used stem cells containing Neanderthal DNA and the genome editor CRISPR to create pea-sized lumps that could mimic the brain’s cortex.
For the experiment, the team focused on the protein-coding gene NOVA1, which likely helped produce more than 100 proteins in Neanderthal brains. It takes months to grow a minibrain from Neanderthal stem cells and the results have not yet been officially published. However, Muotri and his team think that the study could shed light on the links between the human and Neanderthal brain. Plus, many academics hope that this new brain-growing tactic could help Scarecrow achieve his dream of having a brain.
Three thousand years ago, a horse in Mongolia had a toothache that was probably making it—and its owner—miserable. So the owner tried to help, by attempting to saw the painful top off the offending incisor. The procedure is among the earliest evidence of veterinary dentistry in the world, according to a new study, and the practices that flowed from it may have helped horses transform human civilization.
“It’s a great study,” says Robin Bendrey, an archaeologist and ancient horse expert at the University of Edinburgh who was not involved in the work. As horses became more important, he says, nomadic herders “are investing greater effort in understanding how to care for them.”
William Taylor, an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, first came across the strange sawn tooth in the collections of the National Museum of Mongolia in Ulaanbaatar. “I could not for the life of me muster an explanation,” he says.
He turned to his Mongolian colleagues, archaeologists Jamsranjav Bayarsaikhan and Tumurbaatar Tuvshinjargal, who grew up in the Mongolian countryside and have firsthand knowledge of traditional horse husbandry. The group concluded that the sawn tooth was an early, if inefficient, form of dentistry. The tooth had grown in crooked and was likely painful, but rather than pulling the incisor out completely, the notch shows that the ancient herder tried to cut its top off to restore a flat chewing surface, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (The procedure may not have worked, as the herder only made it halfway through the tooth. Shortly after, the horse was sacrificed and ritually buried.)
Together with another cut tooth from around the same time, the discovery shows that about 2000 years after horses were first domesticated, people were still figuring out the best way to take care of their teeth using basic stone tools.
Over time, horse dental care in Mongolia became much more systematic, Taylor and colleagues found. In the 3000-year-old horse skulls the team studied, many horses still had their “wolf teeth”—small, pointy teeth that grow in the space between the teeth in the front of a horse’s mouth and those in their cheeks. Wolf teeth are an evolutionary relic, and horses no longer use them for chewing; many horses don’t even develop them.
In today’s horses, when wolf teeth do grow in, they occupy some of the space where the bit sits. The contact between the tooth and the metal riding equipment can cause pain and tooth damage, so both Western veterinarians and Mongolian herders routinely remove these teeth.
But back when ancient herders were making their first forays into horse dentistry, bits were still made of leather. With softer equipment, early domesticated horses could keep their wolf teeth.
Beginning around 750 B.C.E., however, nearly all of the horses Taylor’s group examined were missing their wolf teeth. In many of the skulls, they could see a healed hole where a wolf tooth had been pulled out. That shift coincides with the adoption of bronze and iron bits in Mongolia, which gave riders much greater control over their horses—but meant that wolf teeth had to go.
“They’re adapting to new ways of riding and new ways of using the horse,” says Alan Outram, an archaeologist at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom who studies horse domestication and wasn’t involved in the new research. “People innovated fairly quickly.”
Without such innovations, world history might look a lot different. Metal bits enabled herders to use horses in war and for long distance travel, shaping Mongolia and its nomadic cultures in ways that ultimately led to the rise of Genghis Khan’s mounted army and the Mongol Empire that controlled most of Eurasia in the 13th century. “Horses absolutely transformed Mongolia into a cultural and economic center of the world,” Taylor says.
It turns out that reluctance in visiting the dentist isn’t just limited to children. According to a report from the American Dental Association, more than half of adults with private dental insurance haven’t visited the dentist in over a year.
Regular dental care helps avoid more serious and costly dental procedures down the road and can highlight potential conditions like cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
New Providence, New Jersey-based HENRY the Dentist was designed to overcome the general hesitance of going to the dentist by providing services using its fleet of RV-sized mobile practices to allow employees to get dental care at their worksite.
Since its launch in 2017, the startup has signed up more than 70 customers including major enterprises like Merck, ADP and Vonage.
The startup’s mobile practices have three chairs and can see 24 patients a day. HENRY works with its client to determine the length of stay and how many times the company returns throughout the year.
The 40-person company has been boosted with a $10 million in funding led by Forerunner Ventures to expand its service offerings across New Jersey and Pennsylvania and in metro areas like New York City and Atlanta. San Francisco-based Forerunner has backed a number of successful consumer brands including Warby Parker, Jet and Hotel Tonight.
HENRY CEO and co-founder Justin Joffe said the company was formed to update the staid image associated with dentistry and create a new Uber-like experience for patients. Joffe started the company with his wife Alex after seeing how the largely fragmented industry has failed to update its customer experience in line with other segments.
Mobile dental models have been around for a while, but Joffe pointed to his company’s differentiator as offering a full medical team as part of its mobile practice. Every HENRY mobile clinic includes a dentist, a dental assistant, two dental hygienists and one office manager.
Besides performing dental checkups, teeth cleanings and teeth whitenings, the mobile practice has the ability to fill crowns, custom fit night guards and even perform quick turnaround impressions and orthodontics work through its physical clinic.
The founding team’s experience building consumer brands has also helped them develop an updated and more comfortable experience for patients.
Instead of flipping through outdated magazines in the waiting room, patients make their appointments online and are greeted to a visit where they are outfitted with Bose headphones, have their choice of entertainment options and enjoy a massage-featured exam chair.
The company’s expansion is based around a hub-and-spoke model, with mobile clinics built around a physical brick-and-mortar location that provides enhanced specialty services and lab work. Currently the company has one physical practice in New Jersey, but is working on opening its second location in Pennsylvania.
HENRY dentists are salaried, which Joffe says incentivises clinicians to provide better and more preventive care. The company also works to ensure the same dental team is matched up with the same companies for greater continuity of care.
HENRY’s services are offered at no additional charge to its employer clients. By working with insurers like Aetna, Cigna Delta Dental – who are looking to boost utilization – the company ensures that its providers are in-network with major plans.
Ashley Thomas, a wellness coordinator at real estate company Realogy, helped institute HENRY’s services at a former employer and plans to do the same at her current company.
“My primary dentist’s office felt like it was stuck in the 1970s,” Thomas said. “HENRY felt shiny, clean, high-tech, convenient and 21st century. I mean, I don’t know many dentists offices that let you watch TV while getting your teeth cleaned.”
Thomas added that HENRY helped her team with the outreach necessary to get employees engaged with the mobile dentistry service.
Joffe said the company is hoping to build on its strong momentum into 2020, with a planned Series B funding round to fuel expansion into five more states. Joffe’s growth plan calls for a presence in 15 to 20 states in three years as the company looks to develop national relationships with its existing employer clients.
As it expands, Joffe said the company is experimenting with new delivery methods for its services, including HENRY in the Boardroom, which would bring clinicians directly into the office for scheduled practice hours.
“We works with these great brands and companies and they often have phenomenal dental plans,” Joffe said. “Everyone needs preventive care and we’re proud to build a company that increases access to care and improves the experience for both patients and providers.”
Picture: HENRY the Dentist
After dinner one evening in September 1813, Jane Austen sat down to write a letter to her sister Cassandra. Austen, who had published Pride and Prejudice earlier that year, had much to report from the home front. She had accompanied three nieces and her brother Edward to a Wedgewood china shop, she wrote, where they’d perused the wares. Other news was less pleasant: Earlier that day, they’d been to the dentist for an hour of “sharp hasty screams.”
“The poor Girls & their Teeth!” Austen wrote. “Lizzy’s were filed & lamented over again & poor Marianne had two taken out after all.” The dentist—a Mr. Spence, who could have been one of several Spences working as dentists at the time—had even gone after her niece Fanny’s teeth, though they had seemed in decent shape. “Pretty as they are,” Austen recounted, the dentist had “found something to do them, putting in gold & talking gravely.” That didn’t sit right with Austen, who wrote that the tool-happy man “must be a Lover of Teeth & Money & Mischief.” Austen remarked that she “would not have had him look at mine for a shilling a tooth & double it.” Her note, which is going under the hammer at Bonhams on October 23, is an intriguing (if squirm-inducing) dispatch from an era of grisly dental work.
At the time Austen penned the letter, dentistry was still painfully unstandardized. Treatments varied widely, and troublesome teeth were often yanked out by people from all sorts of professions. “In London and large towns, surgeons were available to pull out teeth, but elsewhere, apothecaries, quack tooth-drawers, and even blacksmiths might oblige,” write historians Roy Adkins and Lesley Adkins in Jane Austen’s England: Daily Life in the Georgian and Regency Periods.
Austen’s reference to filings in the letter “shows the diversity of practice because of the lack of scientific understanding of the causes of decay,” explains Rachel Bairsto, head of museum services at the British Dental Association Museum, in an email. There was a lot of disagreement about whether various interventions would offer the patient relief, or just plunge them deeper into pain. Though filing had historically been used to smooth out uneven teeth, Bairsto adds, some practitioners recommended it as a way to prevent cavities. Others disagreed, arguing that it “made more space to trap food.” In any event, Bairsto writes, “overzealous filing could make the teeth more sensitive.”
Even where tooth-pullers and oral hygiene tools were available—and it was mostly the wealthy who could access them—they weren’t necessarily a good idea. “Early toothbrushes with their horsehair bristles often caused more problems than they prevented,” writes medical historian Lindsey Fitzharris in The Guardian. “Toothpastes or powders made from pulverised charcoal, chalk, brick or salt were more harmful than helpful.” Eighteenth- and 19-century animal-hair bristles were breeding grounds for bacteria, which could make any existing mouth trouble even gnarlier.
Though holes in teeth were sometimes patched, fillings “were not commonly practiced, as they were expensive and often didn’t last long,” Bairsto writes. Extraction was the more common, and decidedly miserable, route. An extraction was often accomplished with the help of a dental key (also called a tooth key), which Bairsto describes as “rather a fearsome-looking instrument.” It’s a nightmarish claw-and-rod contraption, and it would have been wielded without anesthetic. Bleeding and infection often followed.
Once the infected incisors or meddlesome molars were out, they would sometimes be replaced with dentures, which could be made from walrus or hippo ivory, porcelain, or teeth removed from other unfortunate people, living or dead. (When the Battle of Waterloo felled thousands of soldiers, “clients back in England were happy to wear dentures made from the teeth of fit young men killed in battle, which became known as ‘Waterloo teeth,’ or, more coyly, ‘Waterloo ivory,’” Adkins and Adkins note.) Dentures weren’t without their drawbacks, Bairsto writes: They had a tendency to stink and rot in the mouth, “and the use of a fan was required to waft the stench.”
By the middle of the 19th century, the world’s first dental school had opened in Baltimore, Maryland, reported, and across the pond, Queen Victoria had helped make it fashionable to own a personal set of dental tools. Her scalers—tools used to scrape off gunk—were outfitted with mother-of-pearl handles and gold detailing. That was of no help to Austen.
Because oral hygiene was expensive, Bairsto writes, “it is unclear” whether the Austens routinely used toothbrushes. For the most part, writes historian and Austen biographer Lucy Worsley in Jane Austen at Home, “Jane and her family simply had to put up with the small aches and ailments of life.” Even so, references to dentistry—and the anxiety that a visit to a dentist might incite—appear in some of the writer’s fiction. In Emma, Harriet has “a tooth amiss,” and is reported to appear a bit “out of spirits.” That’s “perfectly natural,” readers are told, “as there was a dentist to be consulted.” In Austen’s realm, even fictional characters knew that a visit to a dentist could sour an afternoon.
Janeites are a devoted bunch—the sight of her writing table, at the Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, England, often prompts rapt reverence, or even tears—and the letter is likely to be catnip for her most enthusiastic reader-disciples. (Bonhams expects the letter to sell for somewhere between $80,000 and $120,000.) For everyone else, it’s a macabre memento from a time when the sharp end of a dentist’s tool was a place you really, truly did not want to be.
Iron Mountain, MI – The John Fornetti Dental Center will present Dentistry For Our Vets on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Dentistry For Our Vets provides free dental care to our veterans in need.
Dr. John and Dr. Dan Fornetti, along with their team of employees, volunteers and sponsors will be hosting their 5th annual Dentistry For Our Vets on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Those over age 18 in need of dental care will be able to choose between one free extraction, filling or hygiene cleaning. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. and patients will be seen on a first come, first served basis until 3:00 p.m.
The media is invited to join the many volunteers and patients to spread free smiles across Iron Mountain through Dentistry For Our Vets at The John Fornetti Dental Center. We are turning our parking lot into an outdoor waiting room, with a heated waiting area and burn barrels, but please remember to bundle up and stay warm.
91% of U.S. veterans are ineligible for dental benefits. Dr. John Fornetti of Iron Mountain, MI, thinks as Americans, we can do better. In response, Dr. John started Dentistry For Our Vets. The John Fornetti Dental Center’s 2017 event was able to serve 58 veterans, providing over 162 procedures, and over $20,000 in services donated.
Dentistry For Our Vets will be held at The John Fornetti Dental Center, located at 100 S. Stephenson Avenue, Iron Mountain, MI. from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Anyone interested in volunteering their services for the event can find more information by calling (906) 774-0100 or visiting us on the web here and on Facebook.
VALDOSTA — Being an entrepreneur isn’t always easy and everyone does it a little differently.
Some open online stores, while others open brick-and-mortar storefronts.
Some go all in and invest their lives into a new venture, while others start a new business as something to do on the side. Regardless of the type, entrepreneurs help drive the local economy.
Larry Black, owner and dentist at Valdosta Family Dentistry, didn’t begin his career in dentistry until he was in his mid-30s.
At 17, he left Valdosta and joined the Navy for six years.
He worked as an electronic technician doing satellite communications and cryptography.
After leaving the military as an employee, he worked as a civilian contractor for the Navy for six years doing similar work.
The work required Black to travel regularly, and he eventually decided he wanted to settle down.
“We traveled about 11 months out of the year,” he said. “We traveled anywhere the Navy was having trouble with communications equipment. I decided that I was ready to quit traveling and started back to school.”
Being from Valdosta, Black returned to attend Valdosta State University to earn a biology degree.
After three years of undergraduate work and a degree in hand, Black had been introduced to the world of dentistry through Dr. Greg Morris, he said.
So, Black attended the Medical College of Georgia for four years to to become a dentist.
By the time he attended MCG, he was the third oldest student in his cohort. Black said being a non-traditional student was beneficial to him.
“I was one of those people who could not have done and focused on school at 18,” he said. “Part of the reason I went into the Navy was I knew that about myself.
“When I came back from the Navy and started school, it was much easier for me having already had life experience and improved time-management skills. Knowing where I wanted to be and how to get there helped me jump through the hoops or check off the boxes to get there.
“I knew what I wanted and was wiling to work harder for it and put in the time.”
After graduation, Black came back to Valdosta in 2004 and opened his first office, Quitman Family Dentistry in Quitman.
“When I got out and looked at a place to set up my office, there was still plenty of room for more dentists in Valdosta, and having grown up here, I felt that it would be easier to start up a business in my hometown,” he said.
In 2009, Black opened an office in Valdosta.
“When I was working in Quitman Family Dentistry, myself and Dr. Eric Castor felt there would be a need for an emergency dental clinic in Valdosta,” he said. “We spent a year with this office as an emergency-only clinic.”
Based on customer requests, Black expanded to a full-service dentist office in 2010.
After being in practice for almost 15 years, he said the hardest part has been operating the business side.
“Running the business is probably the toughest part of what I do,” he said. “The toughest part for most dentists is we tend to be very technical. We enjoy working with our hands and working with people. And dental school prepares you for all the knowledge you need to do dentistry.
“The tough thing is they don’t prepare you to run a small business. When you come out of school and you have to learn about tax structure and accounting.”
Black said he leaned on his late wife, Dana Black, when he first opened his business.
“I got into it thinking you get out, put your sign on the door and you go to work,” he said.
While he worked with the clients, Dana learned how to run the business for him.
“She was a big part of why we were able to do what we did,” he said.
Dana passed in 2017.
As for advice for new or potential business owners, Black suggests taking a few years to learn about the selected industry. He also recommends utilizing the small business resources available.
“If you are going to open up your own business, understand that business,” he said. “Most people have an idea of what a business is but they haven’t worked in it before. They don’t have an idea of how it works. Take a few years and start from the bottom and work in a few positions.
“Then go and take some accounting classes and business classes either through (Wiregrass Georgia Technical College) or the (University of Georgia Small Business Development Center at Valdosta State University) that’s here in Valdosta because both of those guys helped me out after I got started.”
Valdosta Family Dentistry, 2935 N. Ashley St., Suite 130, is open open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Quitman Family Dentistry is open Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, call (229) 333-8484.
Jason Smith is a reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times. He can be contacted at 229-244-3400 ext.1257.
As you grow older, it’s important to keep up with your teeth. Perhaps you or your companions don’t see the need to go to the dentist, but the impact of good dentistry on your teeth and overall health is undeniable.
Here, we’ll explore all you should know about geriatric dentistry.
With retirement, spending time with family, and other life events in full swing, it can be difficult to prioritize your oral health.
Here are some specific reasons why seniors don’t visit the dentist:
Your oral health is important in so many ways. Some of the top reasons include:
Your oral health doesn’t just benefit your teeth and gums. Poor oral health can lead to:
Neglecting to visit a dentist can lead to specific oral issues like:
There is an aesthetic appeal to good oral health.
A white, aligned smile is self-assuring. It can help you feel confident and allow you to more fully enjoy social interactions.
Ceramic crowns, veneers, and other types of cosmetic dentistry from Calgary, for example, all help seniors smile with confidence. More standard services, like teeth whitening and cleaning, help preserve your smile for life.
If the cost of going to the dentist is daunting, use these tips for going to the dentist on a budget.
At home, be sure to care for your teeth. Take these preventative measures:
Even though skipping out on visits may save you money temporarily, it isn’t a financially-savvy habit. Attending regular visits prevents the need for costly treatments down the road.
Look up different dental offices around you. They will vary in price based on the services they offer and the areas where they operate. Consider driving to a nearby area with a lower cost of living. The extra minutes it takes to drive to a different location can save you money, especially on costly procedures.
Some offices offer special coupons or deals for new customers. Look actively on saving sites like Groupon or browse your local newspaper.
In many areas, you can see a dental hygienist without a dentist present. These types of visits are significantly less expensive than regular office visits. Be sure to research the regulations in your area. Some areas restrict what a hygienist can treat.
If you’ve been going to the same office for years, consider asking for a discount. Most dental offices are willing to negotiate a price, especially on a costly procedure. Do so before you receive treatment. You can also request treatment to be performed in different stages. This way, you have time in-between visits to save money to pay for your treatment.
Managing your oral health as a senior can be intimidating. As with other adults, seniors should have their teeth cleaned twice a year. You should also get X-rays at least once a year to ensure there are no underlying problems with your teeth or gums.
Take command of your oral health as a senior!
The post The Importance of Geriatric Dentistry appeared first on LivingBetter50.
Recent BYU graduate Lauren Olsen wanted to be a dentist since she was 4 years old, but while at BYU, her advisor influenced her to pursue a different career path. She ended up graduating in 2018 with a degree in public health.
“He looked at me and was like ‘You know, if you’re a dentist, you’ll have a really hard time being a mom,’” Olsen said, describing the conversation that led her to change majors. “I left and just cried a lot.”
Olsen said a public health internship in Cambodia helped her realize she needed to return to her roots and study dentistry. While there, she met a young girl with an infected tooth and a swollen face who couldn’t speak. There were no dentists available in the area to assist her.
“I was flying home the next day and thought ‘I didn’t do anything for her,’ and it’s one of my biggest regrets,” Olsen said. “When I got home, I started having a lot of little experiences that reminded me that I wanted to be a dentist all along.”
Olsen said once she got home, she asked family members if they knew any women in dentistry. She eventually learned about Jennifer Klonkle, who is a mother and works one day out of the week as a dentist in Arizona.
Dentists like Klonkle inspired Olsen to find a way to share their stories with other aspiring female dentists.
“If only other girls at BYU could see this,” Olsen said. “I know these nice, normal, smart girls are dentists and moms and whatever they want to be.”
Despite the small number of female dentists in Utah, Olsen established the Women in Dentistry committee at BYU to inform others that there are women who have successfully forged a career in dentistry.
Only four percent of dentists in Utah are women, while 28.9 percent of dentists are female nationwide, according to a 2017 study by the Utah Medical Education Council.
Women in Dentistry president Kendra Law said the group has grown from six to about 30 members. Law said she believes the numbers have increased because of the committee’s support for students who would otherwise be discouraged from a career in dentistry.
“It just helps to have this support group of women who are all trying to reach the same goal,” Law said. “Even when some people are saying, ‘No, you can’t do it,’ we can turn to each other, and we have a good network of people supporting and pushing us to all reach the same dream.”
The Women in Dentistry committee volunteers for organizations like Community Health Connect to help youth from low-income Utah County families receive the dental care they need. Members of the committee participate in a fluoride varnish program where they check children’s teeth and refer severe cases to dentists who offer dental care free of charge.
“They get a chance to see and understand that there are kids that really don’t have a toothbrush or can’t take care of themselves,” said Julie Francis, Dental Assistant Program Coordinator of Mountainland Technical College. “They get that feeling to help people and become more involved in the community.”
Olsen said she is expanding the Women in Dentistry committee to reach female dental assistants who are juniors and seniors in high school.
“Ninety percent of the high school students we talked to signed up to learn more,” Olsen said. “It taught me when you teach young girls about their potential, they want to do big things.”
Olsen is now completing prerequisites at UVU so she can apply for dental school next summer. She is also creating a website where young women can observe the examples of female dentists who have successfully balanced their career and other interests.
“So that there will never be a girl again who comes to BYU and gets told ‘No, you can’t be a mom and a dentist. You can’t be a Young Women’s president and a dentist,’” Olsen said. “We’ll have a database of interviews showing that you can and that women all over the country are doing it.”
For updates about BYU Women in Dentistry club meetings, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.
Reporting crimes perpetrated by Illegal Immigrants.
The Goel Family Dentistry staff at a recent outing to Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards. (courtesy Goel Family Dentistry)
Goel Family Dentistry, which has been serving the Cazenovia community for the past decade, has announced some major changes coming up for its business, not the least of which is a move to a new building and a re-naming of the practice.
The change is really about expansion — the practice has hired a new dentist and a new hygienist, has 9,500 patients from all over the Cazenovia area, and needs more room for working and more room to grow, said Dr. Vikas Goel, owner of the practice currently located in the Atwell Mill building on Albany Street.
“We’re busting at the seams here,” Goel said. “I’m nervous, excited, everything. It’s a good move for us, and also for Cazenovia.”
Goel has purchased the former Pro-Tel building at 4 Chenango Street and is currently undertaking some upgrades and renovations to prepare for a move-in that he hopes will be in January. Pro-Tel owner Eric Burrell sold the building after he moved his offices to 95 Albany St.
Goel’s new offices will double his current footprint from 2,400 to 5,000 square feet, he said. Patients will enter from the parking area through the lower level of the Chenango Street building, where the reception and waiting room will be, then take an elevator upstairs to the clinical space where there will be 11 chairs for patients, he said.
Goel recently hired Dr. Tyler Maxwell, a graduate from Buffalo University, as the third dentist in the practice, joining Goel and Dr. Anna Romans. He also recently hired another hygienist.
“Right now, we have three doctors, five hygenists and six chairs — the math just doesn’t work anymore,” he said. “And it’s just time I get my own place.”
With the new building, more chairs and more staff, an increased number of appointment times will also open up for their patients, Goel said.
The new dental office will not only have a new address, but also a new name: Creekside Dental. Goel said that with three dentists now, to keep his name alone on the business was “not really fair.”
Goel Family Dentistry is currently located at 135 Albany St., but will soon be moving to its new location at 4 Chenango St. For more information, call 315-655-5885 or visit the website at doctorgoel.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.
With September and the launch of a new school year, we inevitably begin to think about learning and education. When it comes to facilitating the learning and development of new healthcare professionals, mentoring is noted as being a key mechanism to accomplish this goal. While mentoring may not be as prevalent in dentistry as it is in other health professions, the principles and expected benefits are equally applicable and relevant.
The process involves the pairing of an experienced dentist, the mentor, with a less experienced dentist, the mentee, in order to help the latter attain professional goals and to progress throughout their careers. The mentor serves as a support person and facilitator for the mentee, with the goal of promoting professional development and growth of the mentee through the sharing of knowledge, information and perspectives.
Mentoring relationships can be initiated formally or informally. Formal relationships may be facilitated or encouraged if working within a larger organization or as part of a professional association or group. In these scenarios, a new dentist is paired with a dentist willing and trained to act as a mentor as part of a formal and structured program with clear goals and objectives. Informal mentoring relationships are typically formed when a new dentist independently seeks out an experienced dentist to serve as a guide. These relationships tend to be less structured with variable objectives and outcomes.
Keys to successful mentoring
The success of any type of mentoring relies on a productive and functional relationship between mentor and mentee that is based upon reciprocal trust and respect. This is facilitated when mentors and mentees enter the relationship with clear expectations. The setting of ground rules is essential and requires a frank discussion to determine parameters around such things as communication, commitment, responsibility and timelines. Strong commitment between both parties is essential, and open and ongoing communication is required for success. Mentoring is a two-way street and both the mentor and mentee have equally important roles to play.
Personal characteristics and traits also serve as key determinants of success. Good mentors exhibit qualities of openness, humility, patience and empathy. Mentors who offer the most are those who practice active listening, can be reflective and are able to serve as a professional role model and guide. It is not essential that a mentor be able to address every question or concern of the mentee, but rather is able to facilitate learning and growth by directing the mentee to the required tools and resources. Mentees who will gain the most from the experience are those who have a desire for learning, are eager to develop, enthusiastic, open-minded and receptive to feedback and guidance. An important skill to develop for mentees is critical reflection, as success of the experience requires an honest self-assessment of one’s learning and development needs.
Benefits of mentoring
Best practices of mentoring dictate that the mentor will guide the mentee in the creation of learning objectives that are required to achieve the desired professional development and growth. These objectives will serve as a starting point for discussions around the relationship and what it may entail. While a mentee may have an idea about where they want to go, it is the mentor’s role to guide and support the journey, or where appropriate, suggest alternate routes.
The benefits of mentoring include creating a sense of belonging, improving productivity, achieving goal clarity, increasing confidence and greater job satisfaction. Mentoring can be a rewarding experience not only for the mentor and mentee but also for the organization and profession by creating a positive climate and culture. A fruitful and effective mentoring relationship is a win for everyone involved. Dentists at all stages of their careers should consider becoming involved in mentoring. Whether as a mentor or mentee, the sharing of knowledge, wisdom and perspectives will provide a meaningful experience.
About the Author
Dr. Shawn Steele graduated from Western University with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2005 and entered into private practice. While continuing to practice dentistry, Dr. Steele earned a Juris Doctor degree and a Master of Education degree. He is an Assistant Professor at Schulich Dentistry, the City-wide-Chief of Dentistry for London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London and continues to work in private practice. Dr. Steele serves as the Clinical Coach for dentalcorp’s Associate Development Program and is committed to supporting the development and growth of dentists and the dental profession.
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — It can be hard to keep smiles healthy in rural areas, where dentists are few and far between and residents often are poor and lack dental coverage. Efforts to remedy the problem have produced varying degrees of success.
The biggest obstacle? Dentists.
Dozens of countries, such as New Zealand, use “dental therapists” — a step below a dentist, similar to a physician’s assistant or a nurse practitioner — to bring basic dental care to remote areas, often tribal reservations. But in the U.S., dentists and their powerful lobby have battled legislatures for years on the drive to allow therapists to practice.
Therapists can fill teeth, attach temporary crowns, and extract loose or diseased teeth, leaving more complicated procedures like root canals and reconstruction to dentists. But many dentists argue therapists lack the education and experience needed even to pull teeth.
“You might think extracting a tooth is very simple,” said Peter Larrabee, a retired dentist who teaches at the University of New England. “It can kill you if you’re not in the right hands. It doesn’t happen very often, but it happens enough.”
Dental therapists currently practice in only four states: on certain reservations and schools in Oregon through a pilot program; on reservations in Washington and Alaska; and for over 10 years in Minnesota, where they must work under the supervision of a dentist.
The tide is starting to turn, though.
Since December, Nevada, Connecticut, Michigan and New Mexico have passed laws authorizing dental therapists. Arizona passed a similar law last year, and governors in Idaho and Montana this spring signed laws allowing dental therapists on reservations.
Maine and Vermont have also passed such laws. And the Connecticut and Massachusetts chapters of the American Dental Association, the nation’s largest dental lobby, supported legislation in those states once it satisfied their concerns about safety. The Massachusetts proposal, not yet law, would require therapists to attain a master’s degree and temporarily work under a dentist’s supervision.
But the states looking to allow therapists must also find ways to train them. Only two states, Alaska and Minnesota, have educational programs, and they aren’t accredited. Minnesota’s program is the only one offering master’s degrees, a level of education that satisfies many opponents — dentists generally need a doctorate — but is also expensive.
“I would have to relocate to another state to go to school, and if you need to work and you still have a job, why would you do that?” said Cathy Kasprak, a dental hygienist who once hoped to become a therapist under Maine’s 2014 law.
Some dental therapists start out as hygienists, who generally hold a two-year degree, do cleanings and screenings, and offer patients general guidance on oral health. Some advocates of dental therapists argue they should need only the same level of education as a hygienist — a notion that horrifies many opponents.
Some lawmakers in Maine, which will require therapists to get a master’s from an accredited program, are optimistic about Vermont’s efforts to set up a dental therapy program with distance-learning options. It’s proposed for launch in fall 2021 at Vermont Technical College with the help of a $400,000 federal grant.
Nearly 58 million Americans struggle to afford and make the trip to dental appointments in thousands of communities short on dentists, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
One of the biggest benefits of dental therapists, proponents say, is that they can make preventive care easier to get by lightening the load of dentists, whose appointment slots are often stolen by complex procedures.
Even in states where therapists must practice in dental offices, like Minnesota, they can shorten travel times by opening slots for simple procedures closer to home, a small but growing body of evidence shows.
Christy Jo Fogarty, Minnesota’s first licensed advanced dental therapist, said the nonprofit children’s dental care organization she works for saves $40,000 to $50,000 a year by having her on staff instead of an additional dentist — and that’s not including the five other therapists on staff.
Dental therapists make $38 to $45 an hour in Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Dental Association. Dentists, meanwhile, average over $83 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to state law, at least half of Fogarty’s patients must be on governmental assistance or otherwise qualify as “underserved.” She has also achieved the level of “advanced” therapist, meaning she has practiced with at least 2,000 hours of supervision and can make outreach trips on her own, to places like Head Start programs and community centers.
“Why would you ever want to withhold these services from someone who was in need of it?” she said.
Ebyn Moss, 49, of Troy, Maine, went without dental appointments for seven years before breaking a tooth below the gum line in 2017.
Moss has since had four teeth pulled, a bridge installed, a root canal, two dental implants and seven cavities filled at a cost of $6,300, and expects to shell out another $5,000 in the next year — a bill Moss is paying off with a 19% interest credit card and $16,000 in annual income.
“That’s the cost of choosing to have teeth,” Moss said.
Now, Moss gets treated at a dental school in Portland — a two-hour drive for appointments that can last 3 1/2 hours.
A dental therapist nearby would have made preventive care easier in the first place, Moss said.
The ADA and its state chapters report spending over $3 million a year on lobbying overall, according to data from the National Institute on Money in Politics. The Maine chapter paid nearly $12,000 — a relatively hefty sum in a small state — to fight the 2014 law that spring.
Some opponents of dental therapists argue they create a segregated system that gives wealthy urbanites superior care and puts poor, rural residents on a lower tier. Dental groups in Nevada and Michigan had argued lawmakers should instead boost Medicaid reimbursement to encourage dentists to accept low-income patients.
Some see less noble reasons for opposition: competition and potential loss of profits.
“They’re afraid if dental therapists come in to take care of the poor, they’re going to compete for their patients,” said Frank Catalanotto, a dentistry professor at the University of Florida.
Despite signs of more openness, successes aren’t uniform. Legislation failed in North Dakota and Florida this spring. Bills are pending in Kansas, Massachusetts and Wisconsin, as well as Washington, where therapists could be authorized to practice outside reservations.
“Available data have yet to demonstrate that creating new midlevel workforce models significantly reduce rates of tooth decay or lower patient costs,” ADA President Jeffrey Cole said in an email.
But the recent authorization of dental therapists in so many states may indicate the lobby’s influence and the arguments of other opponents are beginning to lose power.
“There is no justification, no evidence to support their opposition to dental therapists,” said dental policy consultant Jay Friedman.
He and some cohorts suggest dental therapists may need only as much education as a hygienist and argue they shouldn’t be working primarily in clinics. Such rules don’t help vulnerable groups like poor children in rural schools, he said.
“It’s no longer a question of if dental therapists will be authorized in every state,” said Kristen Mizzi Angelone, manager of the Pew Charitable Trusts dental campaign, which has waged its own push for dental therapists. “At this point it’s really only a matter of when.”
(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
This past fall, our Indiana University School of Dentistry (IUSD) ASDA chapter partnered with our local Ronald McDonald House to serve families who are displaced while their seriously ill or injured child receives care at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. We helped provide home-cooked meals for families on a monthly basis, interacting with them and spreading information about our resources at IUSD, which is located across the street. These dinners also served as a time for the family members to share their child’s story and connect with other parents who may be going through similar experiences.
We established this programming because we recognized the need for volunteers at our local Ronald McDonald House, and with the facility being only a short walk away from the dental school, it became a no-brainer in terms of getting dental students and the dental school more involved.
One of the toughest parts of the dinners was hearing some of the heart-wrenching stories from the families. For example, one family had multiple other children at home over four hours away. We listened to how they balanced time between being with their child who was receiving treatment at Riley Hospital and tending to their other children at home. As a dental student, it is so easy to get caught up in the exams, crown preps and denture projects that we may forget about the hardships others are facing right in our backyard. Partnering with and serving at Ronald McDonald House taught us how to be a little kinder and more open to listening to and comforting those in need.
My experience at our dinners was always heart-warming and meaningful. Watching my fellow students come together in the kitchen to serve those away from their home for several weeks or even months allowed me to see how much can be accomplished when a group works together and how big of a difference just a warm meal can make.
It is important to continue outreach to displaced populations such as the families at the Ronald McDonald Houses. For children facing a serious medical crisis, nothing is scarier than not having family nearby for love and support. Ronald McDonald Houses provide places for families to call home so they can be near their child at little to no cost.
My advice for a student wanting to start their own outreach project for displaced populations is to tap into local resources to see how you can collaborate to give back. You can make an even bigger difference when multiple organizations come together united. In addition, be creative and optimistic, realizing that no matter how small or large the project is, ultimately, a difference is being made. This event has impacted my understanding of oral health by illustrating to me how without outreach events, those in the community who may need care the most might not know about it or receive it.
One thing I wish I’d known earlier about the event was how much the families at the Ronald McDonald House truly appreciated the meals and the interactions. I had no idea how meaningful this work would be, and I found that sometimes a parent just needed someone to listen to them. Participating in this event as a health care provider taught me how to truly get to know people in the community who are struggling in some of the most challenging aspects of life, having an ill or injured child. This event illustrated the importance of a group of volunteers coming together for a cause and making a difference in the lives of those displaced from their homes.
~Sydney Twiggs, Indiana ’21
ASDA thanks Colgate for their exclusive sponsorship of the National Outreach Initiative. This backing includes funding for the Dentistry in the Community Grant and free oral health care supplies to any chapter that requests them.
This content is sponsored and does not necessarily reflect the views of ASDA.
Chances are a dentist has told you to floss more. But studies from the Cochrane Institute and the American Dental Association have found that many common oral health recommendations such as biannual cleanings, yearly x-rays and flossing have not been verified through scientific research. Forum discusses efforts to steer dentistry toward more evidence-based practices and we’ll talk about challenges facing the field, including charges that many dentists overtreat their patients.
Mentioned on Air:
The Truth About Dentistry (The Atlantic)
Joel White, distinguished professor in restorative dentistry, UCSF School of Dentistry; vice chair, Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences
June 20th, 2018: We are beyond thrilled to announce our new partnership with MobiDent, an India-based company aimed at making in-home, prevention-oriented dental care accessible and affordable to everyone.
“MobiDent is attempting to create a new Ecosystem for dentistry by creating a new generation of dentists (called Digi Dentists), who are trained in home dental care at the MobiDent Academy for Digital Dentistry, empowered with Caddy Clinic and connected to families who can use our Digital Dentistry Revolution Platform to avail on-demand preventive dental care that is convenient, inexpensive and safe. Now if there is a currency available to all connected parties, why wouldn’t we use it?”, shares Vivek Madappa, Co-Founder at MobiDent.
MobiDent was founded in January 2011 by Dr. Devaiah Mapangada and serial entrepreneur Vivek Madappa in Bangalore, India’s Silicon Valley. Its unique proposition is called Caddy Clinic, or “dental clinic in a suitcase” and it comprises a portable dental chair and dental instruments and equipment required for basic dental procedures.
Through its revolutionary mobile dental care services, MobiDent brings benefits to both patients and dentists. Patients receive regular dental care right at lower costs and without the unpleasant time-consuming visits in the dental offices. Practicing dentists have the opportunity to treat more patients and young professionals can start their career with lower risk and great savings compared to the investment needed for opening a conventional dental practice*. For the last 4 years the concept has attracted 40 dentists across India with 65 000 patients.
In 2016, MobiDent was placed among the Top 10 from 19,000 business ideas, participating in India’s largest entrepreneurship competition organized by The Economic Times & IIM-A. From the same 10 projects, MobiDent won the first prize awarded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, London.
* Unlike in conventional dentistry where founding a clinic typically costs upwards of Rs.8 lakh ($12,000), the MobiDent taxi model costs only Rs.75,000 ($1,125) and its van model – between Rs.1.5 lakh ($2,250) and Rs.3 lakh ($4,500). Source: www.knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu
MobiDent also differs from traditional dentistry by its strong focus on preventive dental care, which reduces the chances for serious problems by 80-90%, and thus reduces the costs and pain, according to Dr. Devaiah Mapangada. On that note, MobiDent offers special annual packages for home services which include two home visits per year for a check-up, cleaning and polishing, as well as unlimited tele-consultations, a dental health report, and 10% off on any further treatment.
“This digitized, prevention-oriented, patient-centered approach towards dentistry is in complete alignment with the core mission of Dentacoin. We believe that our cooperation with MobiDent will help dentists achieve the needed higher efficiency while simultaneously dramatically improve patients’ access to preventive dental care,” comments Ali Hashem, Key Account Manager at Dentacoin Foundation.
“The moment I heard about Dentacoin, I was open to explore its potential. If the world is heading into a digital revolution, it is necessary to have a new, universal currency, which is not influenced by governments, countries and politics. A currency that can connect all of us digitally, ensuring trust and transparency”, explains Vivek Madappa, Co-Founder at MobiDent.
Now each purchase of Caddy Clinic (available on Indiegogo) will allow dentists to receive a 5% discount and claim their reward in Dentacoin, if they start using Dentacoin Trusted Reviews and accept DCN as a means of payment for their services.
In the upcoming months, MobiDent plans to release a mobile app to easily connect patients with dentists, where Dentacoin will also be implemented.
MobiDent in cooperation with Dentacoin sets a new direction in dentistry, focused on improving dental care and making it affordable through shifting the paradigm from “sick care” to patient-centered preventive dental care and utilizing the digital technology advantages. This partnership will also help expand the Dentacoin network, which currently consists of 4000+ dentists using our tools and thirty five clinics in 14 countries, accepting DCN as a means of payment for dental services. See all Dentacoin partner clinics
The dental trio of Dr. Joseph D’Angelo, Dr. Ashley Olson and Dr. Ryan Hoffman comprise one of the largest dental practices in La Jolla — in both number of dentists and office space.
Recently, they expanded their hours to make their comprehensive dentistry services more convenient for their patients. Now, the La Jolla Dentistry office is open Monday and Wednesday evenings, and also on Saturdays, which is quite unusual for a dental practice.
Dr. Ryan Hoffman, who joined the team almost two years ago, told the Light that accommodating the lives of their busy patients is important. “In addition to the technology and all the services we provide, the convenience of coming here is key for working families with children in school, or for college students with strict schedules.”
The D’Angelo, Olson, Hoffman dental office has been located at 1111 Torrey Pines Road since 2004, when Dr. D’Angelo ran a solo practice. “I started out with one or two treatment rooms and gradually doubled in size,” he said. “Then, we doubled again. We have 10 treatment rooms now, and we’ve increased the types of services we provide.”
He said the office is fully equipped to handle just about any dental concern — from implants to veneers, gum recontouring, cosmetic and restorative dentistry, and Invisalign treatments.
Dr. Olson, who joined Dr. D’Angelo seven years ago, noted: “We are continually evolving technology in our office so it gives us added tools to provide exceptional care.”
The philosophy of providing impeccable care permeates throughout the staff, and Dr. D’Angelo is proud of creating such a culture. The office space has a warm and welcoming feel and the treatment rooms have TVs in the ceiling and mounted on the wall.
Dr. Hoffman pointed out that more younger clients are coming in the door these days: “I’m seeing and hearing a lot more in terms of cosmetics, whether it’s Invisalign or veneers, or before-and-after products, because social media makes dentistry so accessible to many more people these days.”
Dr. D’Angelo added: “Every patient seems to have an understanding that they need to take care of their teeth, and fillings and crowns and cleanings are part of that. But I still say two-thirds of what we do is want-based. For the vast majority of people, even though they have regular dental needs, the things they want seem to take precedence over things they know they need.
“People have come to realize that a smile they feel comfortable with — and a smile they can share with other people — impacts everybody around them.”
He explained that patients aren’t accepting ugly removable appliances and bridges anymore, either, they want implants and Invisalign, and they want their teeth white. Those desires drive the practice, with 3,000 patients and more walking through the door each day.
All three dentists agree that it really all comes down to the power of a smile.
As Dr. Olson put it: “(A beautiful smile) improves your work life, your love life, and your sense of self-esteem.” Dr. Hoffman added that on a personal note, “I have friends who’ve never been in a serious relationship and they’ve invested in their smile and now they’re engaged! It’s not necessarily the smile that did that, but it’s the confidence that came from the smile that altered their personality.”
And that smile power is also reaching seniors. Dr. D’Angelo commented: “It’s amazing how many people in their 70s are still highly concerned about how their smile looks. When they feel confident about their smile it makes them feel younger, feel healthier, feel more engaged. We’re changing people’s lives. From that standpoint, what we do is incredibly rewarding.”
The La Jolla Dentistry office of Dr. Joseph D’Angelo, Dr. Ashley Olson and Dr. Ryan Hoffman at 1111 Torrey Pines Road, Suite 101 in La Jolla is a fee-for-service practice, which means it participates with all PPO plans as an out-of-network provider. (858) 459-6224. joethedentist.com
— Business Spotlight features commercial enterprises that support La Jolla Light.
I remember my grandmother(Pauline Campbell Bearden) telling me a story once when they were staying with her grandparents( Pappy and Grandma) during the Great Depression.
Dr. Charles Campbell (Pappy) served as the local country doctor for Fosters and surrounding Tuscaloosa county area for many years.
Dr. Charles M. Campbell MD 1867-1939
On this certain occasion she and her brother(HT Campbell) watched out the front window as Pappy pulled a neighbor(John Ed)teeth with nothing but forceps and a cane bottom chair.
She said John Ed would hold on to the chair and give a grunt with each tooth extraction.
Dr. Campbell’s only claim to fame is he delivered a local baby Lurleen Burns Wallace who became the first and only female Governor of Alabama…By the way he was payed a calf for his delivery services of the future governor.
Some stories include:
By (author): Donna R Causey
Shannon Hollon lives in McCalla Alabama graduated from McAdory High School and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Served 9 years in the US Navy Seabees with one tour in Afghanistan.Currently employed with US Steel and serving on the board of directors for the West Jefferson County Historical Society. http://wjchs.com/
Liked it? Take a second to support Alabama Pioneers on Patreon!
A Tampa man was arrested for allegedly practicing dentistry without a license and throwing away medical trash at his home Winham Street.
Think of a visit with your usual dental hygienist, and you probably think: Yeah, I’ll get my teeth cleaned and a little lecture about flossing, and that’s it. Every appointment is just like another – though each patient’s dental needs are not.
Fortunately, there are growing numbers of hygienists who think outside this box. Free from its confines, we can take a “whole body systems” approach to oral and overall health.
We call this Biological Dental Hygiene.
As a biological dental hygienist, I’m concerned with how the mouth affects the body and how the body affects the mouth. Each patient’s treatment plan is unique, customized to their personal oral-systemic health situation and needs.
Conventional dentistry has a pretty set plan for how a hygiene appointment should go:
Things go a bit differently at a Biological Hygiene appointment. For one, we start by talking with you outside of the operatory. We want to know
In other words, we want the big picture before we move on to the operatory.
Though each biological dental hygienist may work a little differently, I always start by taking your blood pressure and giving a blood glucose test. (There’s a strong relationship between diabetes and gum disease!) I also screen for head and neck cancer.
If any x-rays are needed, we take them – digitally, to minimize radiation exposure. (Some also provide homeopathics to counter the effects of radiation.) I also take intra-oral photos of your mouth and then look at a sample of your subgingival plaque with a phase contrast microscope, to get a glimpse of the health of your oral microbiome.
You get to see this in real time, too, observing pathogens – “bad bugs” that may be wreaking havoc with your health. When you do, it raises an obvious question: “How do I get rid of them?” You can see the infection for yourself.
We know that infection produces inflammation not just in the mouth but throughout your body. With the phase contrast microscope, you can see its cause – and have a better understanding of how your teeth, gums and the bone that supports their teeth are affected by these disease-related bacteria.
The biggest difference between this and a conventional dental visit, though, is the conversation we have with you. We’re not there to lecture you on flossing. Instead, together we explore a set of factors that play a big role in both oral and systemic health, identifying your challenges and creating a plan for conquering them.
These factors are summed up nicely in an acronym: HONEST AGE.
H – HYGIENE
O – OCCLUSION
N – NUTRITION
E – EXERCISE
S – STRESS
T – TOBACCO
A – AGE
G – GENETICS
E – EXERCISE/ EXPERIENCE
Let’s break down what these mean:
Hygiene: How does the way you brush your teeth impact the health of your teeth, gums, and body? Do you floss? Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? How many times a day do you brush and floss? How effective are you?
Occlusion: How do your teeth fit together? Which teeth are affecting your bite relationship? How does this affect your mouth? Are there areas that are hard to reach?
Nutrition: Is your diet well balanced? What can you do to improve it?
Exercise: Are you getting enough physical activity? What can you do to get more of it into each day?
Stress: How do you handle stress? How would you rate your stress level on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is “maxed out” and 1 is “pretty mellow”? What can you do to lower that number?
Tobacco: Do you smoke or chew? How much is too much? Do you want to quit?
Age: Are you having any difficulties with mobility and dexterity as you age? Are there other, easier ways to do what you need to get done?
Genetics: Are you predisposed to certain illnesses? How do the ones that affect you affect your oral health?
Experience: Do negative dental experiences in your past keep you from seeing your dentist or hygienist regularly? Are you able to take care of yourself in the environment you live in?
Talking about these points in an open, honest, and nonjudgmental way empowers you to take charge of your oral and overall health. The info we uncover and share becomes the basis of a game plan for improving both.
After this strategizing, we’ll have you swish a disclosing solution in your mouth that will highlight any plaque on your teeth. (Dental plaque is invisible to the naked eye.) You’ll be able to see where you’ve been cleaning effectively, as well as areas you’ve been missing with brush and floss. I’ll take an intra-oral picture of this, as well, so we can compare it to results at your next visit. That way, we can track your progress.
And so you can progress, I’ll give you a mirror to look in as we review home care techniques. Most patients don’t realize how hard it can be to remove mature dental plaque. So I ask you to show me your brushing technique so I can advise on what you can do to get better at removing those soft deposits of bacteria. We may review flossing technique, as well.
And I may suggest other tools you can incorporate into your home care routine to get better results – for instance, oral irrigators, interproximal/interdental (“proxy”) brushes, rubber tips, power brushes, sulcus brushes, and more.
Once we’re done with that, I’ll ask you to rinse with a fluoride-free, alcohol-free rinse in preparation for your cleaning. Before scaling – scraping the biofilm from your teeth – I’ll irrigate with ozonated water or use a subgingival laser (i.e., a laser that goes below your gumline) to reduce the bacterial load in the pockets (sulci) that flank each of your teeth. This lessens the bacterial cascade into the body that can happen during a deep cleaning.
I then scale the teeth to remove both hard and soft deposits (calculus and plaque, respectively). If I’m using an ultrasonic scaler, I’ll use ozonated water in it to further eliminate harmful bacteria. Afterwards, I’ll irrigate again with ozonated water and then polish your teeth with a fluoride-free, organic prophy paste, followed by a good flossing.
Your next appointment is then booked based not on some predetermined schedule but your actual needs.
Another biological dental hygienist may do these things in a different order or in a different way, but all of us take into account the whole body picture with respect to your oral health and opt for the least invasive nontoxic ways of providing the care you need.
Conventional dentistry trains patients to be relatively passive in their care. The dentist and hygienist are the ones who “do things.” The patient is the one “done to.”
We want to bring about an end to what I call “the Yes Syndrome” – where patients agree with whatever the hygienist or dentist says, just to get on with the cleaning so they can get out of the dental chair and on with the rest of their day’s business.
In the biological model, though, we expect you to be engaged in your own treatment plan, as well as your home care routine. We want you to be involved in your own oral and overall health.
After all, it’s YOUR mouth we’re working on.
The “In My Feelings” challenge inspired by Drake’s latest single has sparked thousands of viral dance challenge videos.
“It offers something we’ve never known in dentistry before”
Authorities have arrested an illegal alien for practicing dentistry without a license, the Louisiana Attorney General announced Tuesday.
Greenfield woman reflects on the rigors of dental school; her desire to work in her hometown
Even under a decent plan, you’ll have to dig deep in your pocket for crowns, bridges and implants. The mouth isn’t covered by insurance the same way as the rest of the body, and this division has deep roots in history and tradition.
Is Dentistry the Number 1 Job in America? US News sure thinks so. I guess they’ve never looked at a ballooning dental school student loan statement.
August 9th, 2018: Following this week’s signing of Dr. Gupta, inventor of PerioQ, we are happy to announce that East Tremont Medical Center, based in Bronx, NY, USA has begun accepting Dentacoin as a means Read more…