Spring Lake Dental Group

Stay Safe

Author: Kimberly N. Powell, DDS, MS, FAGD

We are headed for the end of 2019, how quickly it came and went. Now is the season of love, appreciation, cheer, and giving. Christmas is a festive holiday, but is an opportune time for ones whose desire is to receive rather than give. It is imperative that you are aware of your surroundings. Keep your keys, purses, wallets, personal belongings close, always knowing where they are. Know the location of your vehicle especially at night, wandering in a parking lot with bags makes you susceptible to unwanted attention. Be cautious of strangers, even older individuals or young children, offering perfume samples as these can be intended to render you vulnerable or unconscious. Let someone know of your whereabouts; if no one knows where you are, how will they know where you should be. These are just a few tips to help you this holiday season. Please be aware and stay safe!

Thankful for… The Products We Use!

Author: Dr. Alison Vitelli, DMD

Day by day we have so much to be thankful for, and here at Spring Lake Dental Group we strive to provide our patients, with the best options for your dental needs. Today, I will highlight some of the products that I am thankful for that we use in office that will help your oral health.

Most of these products will benefit the majority of our patients. The first one is the Burst sonic toothbrush, which has proven to be extremely efficient in dental plaque removal specifically for our patients with different challenges of proper plaque control. The Burst toothbrush is a very affordable option to incorporate this technology into your daily routine. As an addition, it has charcoal in its soft bristles giving the benefit of mild whitening while brushing. Our amazing hygienists at Spring Lake Dental Group are ambassadors of this toothbrush meaning you get a discounted price when you use their online code. Make sure you ask about it during your next visit or click the link above to check it out!

We also offer an excellent medicated mouth rinse called OraCare. This rinse has been designed to target the bacteria that produce volatile sulfur compounds (which causes bad breath), viruses, and fungi. It helps our patients with halitosis, gingivitis and also kills the bacteria associated with more advanced stages of periodontal disease without staining your teeth as compared to Chlorhexidine Gluconate (Peridex). OraCare is sold exclusively at Spring Lake Dental Group!

These are just two of the many products we have to help you achieve good oral health. We are always on
the lookout for the best products and services to make your visit as comfortable and easy as possible.

Have a great Thanksgiving week!

Thankful for…Our Patients!

Author: Dr. Rima Solanki, DMD

It is that time of the year again and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. We celebrate and rejoice in the good times that we share with one another and should be grateful for the food, shelter, and other basic necessities that we may ordinarily take for granted. At Spring Lake Dental Group, we are so grateful for our wonderful and loyal patients. It is a privilege and an honor to be trusted as a dental provider. We love and cherish the memories that each encounter with our patients brings. It is through our patients, that we are able to grow as a team and be a vital part of the town of Spring Lake and the surrounding counties. We appreciate each and everyone of our patients for entrusting their care in our hands and for sacrificing time out their busy schedule to carve time for us. We, as doctors, transcend on this wonderful journey when it comes to their individualized treatment and it gives us a great joy to see the wonderful results staring back at us when a patient beams with a bright, beautiful smile. Our patients truly make us who we are and make our dream into a reality. We continue to look forward to seeing your smiles and forming wonderful memories filled with laughter at Spring Lake Dental Group.

Thankful for…

Author: Kimberly N. Powell, DDS, MS, FAGD

Hygienists. This month we give thanks for the things we hold dear in our personal and professional lives. The dental profession is made better because of hygienist like Angela, Bonnie, Shannon, and Tracey. The hygienist at Spring Lake Dental Group have more than 90 years of combined experience. They provide optimal patient care by keeping abreast of changes in patients’ medical and dental histories, of current dental topics and research, and of new guidelines for treating a compromised population. Our hygienist encourage open dialogue with patients regarding their concerns, expectations, and outcomes. They are educators, stressing the importance of proper dental care and the connection between oral health and whole body health. Our hygienist are brilliant, enterprising, hardworking, compassionate, but firm when needed. Hygienist and dentist are co-providers who work together with their patients to help maintain oral cavities that are free of disease. The hygienist at SLDG are patient-focused and purpose-driven. We thank you!

“Caveat Emptor”

Author: Dr. David Dickerhoff, DDS, MAGD, FOCOI

I know that you have seen those advertisements on television and other modalities that advertise moving your teeth with aligners where you can get comfortable orthodontics at half the price of traditional orthodontics. They are primarily put forward by a company called Smile Direct. The American Dental Association has raised concerns with Congress about the prudence of this company marketing directly to the public and was met with some pushback from congress members. Congress is extremely sensitive to restraint of trade issues and was hesitant to back the ADA is their efforts to raise concern about direct marketing to the public for orthodontic services. The ADA has since initiated a citizen’s petition to lobby congress to intercede on the citizen’s behalf. The ADA filed its citizens petition with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) on April 25, 2019 , stating that SmileDirectClub is placing the public at risk by knowingly evading the FDA’s “by prescription only” restriction which the agency (FDA) has placed on teeth aligning materials. This petition is still active and in place even though public statements from SmileDirectClub have stated otherwise.

SmileDirectClub requires customers to self-report their dental condition. As the ADA explains in its citizens petition, customer self reporting does not meet the applicable standard of care because it does not satisfy a dentist’s requisite professional due diligence. The ADA believes this to be deceptive under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. While you may say this is dentist’s being territorial of their turf and only wanting to guard the profits they achieve through traditional orthodontic work. And while moving teeth without knowing all aspects of a patient’s oral condition is possible with changes in today’s technology (digital scanning and software programs that artificially move teeth), this effort holds the potential to cause bone loss, lost teeth, receding gums, bite problems, jaw pain and other issues. The stomatognathic system (jaw joints, muscle, bone, ligaments and nervous connections) is very complex and still being studied aggressively in an attempt to treat and understand “TMJ problems”.

Our patients need to understand that orthodontic movement and problems of malocclusion basically come in two flavors. Tooth malocclusion, crowding and esthetic shortfalls versus skeletal or bone problems. You cannot move teeth where there is no bone. Sometimes the solution is to move the bones first before tooth aligners are used to correct the initial problem. Additionally, all of this has to be done in concert with harmoniously placing teeth and bones in a place where they do not disturb joint or nerve function. And so I say to my patients, “Caveat Emptor” which is Latin for “Buyer Beware”. The ADA understands that this is a very complicated issue and the professionalism of an expert opinion matters when you are talking about orthodontically moving teeth. Spring Lake Dental Group works in conjunction with Dr. Thorpe Whitehead, a board certified orthodontist who offers free consults on Wednesdays and Saturdays. He will agree with me when I say that all potential good we can create for our patients is through sound and effective treatment planning which is based on meticulous data gathering and analysis. Don’t sell you oral health short. Invest appropriately in yourself. Caveat Emptor.

What Is An RDH and What Does It Mean?

Author: Angela Weaver-Blake, RDH

We have come to the end of another National Dental Hygiene Month. As a dental hygienist, this is a very important month for me. Dental hygiene month is not all about celebrating the dental hygienist, it is about celebrating importance of what we do. Dental hygienists are a very dedicated group of health care professionals that really care about our patients oral health and total body health. This is a month that we celebrate making the public aware of the importance of supporting good oral health.

What is a dental hygienist and what does “RDH” mean? RDH stand for Registered Dental Hygienist. What does that mean to the dental hygienist? It means that they have passed credentials that are set up by the state they are practicing in. General requirements for the dental hygienist include graduating from an accredited dental hygiene program, passing a written national examination, and a state clinical examination. The RDH license must be kept up by hours continuing education to stay knowledgeable about the work they’re doing to help patients be successful in achieving good oral health. We are professionals that focus on preventing and treating oral disease which in turn help our entire body to stay healthy. Your hygienist is a highly trained professional that is here to help you remove plaque and tartar from your teeth that causes decay, gum disease and potentially the loss of teeth. Hygienist help educate you on how to continue with good oral care at home. Because everyone has different needs, they will help you with your own personal regimen that is unique to you. It is important to see your dental hygienist regularly. We all have different dental needs, your hygienist with the help of the dentists supervision will be able to guide you on what is best for you. Your needs could be 6 months, 4 months or even 3 months for cleanings. Your hygiene appointments are very important in comparing your oral health from past to your current appointment. Because these appointments are determined for your specific needs, it is very important to stick with the prescribed schedule that has been determined by your hygienist. This will help keep you from dental emergencies like broken teeth or advancing to periodontal (gum) disease. Hygienist want to keep you out of the emergency room. At regular hygiene appointments you will also get a routine oral cancer screening. If you do not see your hygienist on a regular recall many things can go unnoticed, things that can be treated if caught early.

We would like for you to help us celebrate dental hygiene month all year long by taking care of your oral health which in return, you will encourage a healthy body. If you have googled or searched the web for “the best dentist near me”, search not further, here at Spring Lake Dental Group, we are all smiles and ready to welcome you into our dental family. We give 100% daily to make us “ the best dental office near you!”

Electric vs. Manual Toothbrushes

Author: Shannon Sutton, RDH

Which one should you use? With all of the choices on the market, it can be hard to decide. I am going to go over some of the pros and cons of electric and manual toothbrushes so you can decide which one is right for you.

First, I will go over the long used manual toothbrush. Some people do great with a manual toothbrush and you can too if using correct techniques but here is a breakdown of the pros and cons to using one.

-Very affordable ranging anywhere from $1-$10, making manual toothbrushes the most affordable option.

-Readily available at grocery stores, gas stations, etc. It is easy to find a manual toothbrush making it easier to replace every 3 months as recommended.

-No batteries, charging or accessories needed like electric toothbrushes.

-It is easy to brush too hard or incorrectly. If you don’t use the correct technique with manual toothbrushes you can cause damage to your teeth and gums. And you need to make sure your toothbrush is soft to avoid further damage. Most dental professionals recommend the modified bass or Fones (circular) brushing techniques. If you are unsure of how to use one of these techniques, here is a link of video instruction for each.
1. Modified Bass https://youtu.be/HoRrWfhBhOE
2. Circular https://youtu.be/wpNaJcK3C0M

-There is no timer on a manual toothbrush so most people do not spend the recommended 2 minute time brushing. You need to brush at least 2 minutes to ensure that your full mouth receives the adequate amount of plaque removal.

Next, I will discuss the pros and cons of electric toothbrushes. Most dental professionals will recommend an electric toothbrush for those that use a manual toothbrush correctly and still have plaque build up on their teeth.

-You cannot physically do with a manual toothbrush what you can with an electric. Whether sonic or oscillating, your looking at thousands of movements per minute depending on which type you get. This results in a better overall reduction of plaque and gingivitis.

-You usually only need to change out the toothbrush head vs the entire toothbrush every 3 months, which results in less waste.

-Most electric toothbrushes have timers that don’t stop the toothbrush action until the recommended 2 minutes brushing time is complete. Some even pause at 30 second intervals to let you know to move to another area of your mouth.

-Some electric toothbrushes can be very expensive. The prices range from $15 to over $200 for an electric toothbrush.

-Finding replacement heads is always another issue. You can usually save money buying multipacks but you have to find ones that fit your specific toothbrush. Replacement heads should be changed every 3 months or whenever you have been sick.

-Can be damaging to teeth and gums if not used correctly. Using too much pressure or using a scrubbing action is not recommended for an electric toothbrush. Higher end electric toothbrushes haves sensors or stoppers to keep you from using too much pressure.

-Batteries and/or chargers- either may be needed to keep your toothbrush charged. Batteries require additional money invested.

The best toothbrush is one you will use 2 times a day for 2 minutes with proper techniques to avoid damage and to remove the optimal amount of plaque. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find what is right for you so listen to the recommendations of your dental hygienist at your next dental cleaning as they can help steer you in the right direction. I hope that this information helps make it a little easier to decide which is best for you in the future.

The Sugar That’s Good For Your Teeth

Author: Bonnie Lott, BS, RDH

It is widely understood that decay in teeth is caused by the carbohydrates or sugars that we consume in our diet. Naturally occurring bacteria breakdown sugar and turn it into acids, which then weakens the enamel of the teeth. But did you know that there is one sugar that is actually good for your teeth?! Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from plants that is equal in sweetness to sugar. It is a sugar alcohol and is used as a sugar substitute which can be found in chewing gum, toothpaste, confections, nasal spray, and dietary supplements. Bacteria in the mouth are unable to digest xylitol, thereby reducing the number of acid producing bacteria and helping to keep a neutral pH level in the mouth. Xylitol prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth, resulting in less plaque. It has virtually no effect on blood sugar and
insulin levels and has 40 % fewer calories than sugar.

For the amount of xylitol to be at decay preventing levels, it must be listed as the first ingredient on food labels. Health food stores are usually a good source for xylitol products, as well as several companies online. Xylitol has been approved for safety by the US FDA, but only for human consumption. Beware of your pets consuming products with xylitol, especially dogs, as it can be life-threatening! Always check your peanut butter before letting your dog eat any, as xylitol is now added to many brands of peanut butter!

In order to maintain optimal dental health, remember to brush thoroughly twice a day, floss once a day, limit your exposure to sweets, and chew xylitol gum! Visit your dentist and hygienist regularly to keep your smile beautiful!

Taking Accurate Blood Pressure Readings

Author: Dr. David Dickerhoff, DDS, MAGD, FOCOI

We at Spring Lake Dental Group believe that the oral cavity is a part of the larger body. We treat the entire body and understand that there are many variables that will influence treatment and the general health of our patients. We frequently treat some of our at risk patients on monitors while we are delivering care. This includes positive pressure oxygen delivery with or without nitrous oxide (laughing gas), pulse oximetry, and monitoring and recording the arterial pressure, diastolic and systolic blood pressures and heart rate. We believe that preventing a problem is better than reacting to a problem. All of our patients get screened for hypertension and our patients on blood pressure medication have their blood pressure monitored routinely. A recent article in the dental journal, General Dentistry (September/October 2019, Volume 67, Number 5) outlined basic steps for accurate blood pressure measurement.

I present these suggestions below to help us to help you

1.) Ask the patient to refrain from smoking cigarettes, drinking caffeinated coffee, and participating in strenuous activity such as exercising for at least 30 minutes before measurement.

2.) Ask the patient to urinate before the BP is taken.

3.) Have the patient take a sitting position with feet flat on the floor (legs uncrossed) in a seat that provides back support.

4.) Ask the patient to relax for 5 minutes before the BP is taken.

5.) Ensure that the patients arm is bare, no clothing should be on the arm.

6.) Ensure that the patients arm is supported at the level of the heart, the patient should not support his or her own arm.

7.) During the BP measurement, ask the patient not to; talk, move the arm, use a mobile phone or read.

8.) Minimize the background noise.

9.) Have the manometer positioned at the clinicians eye level.

10.) Use the correct cuff size

We have three different sizes of cuffs in our clinic and three different stations to house a vitalometer

But by paying attention to our patient’s blood pressure, we are treating the entire body and the complete patient. Blood pressure is one of the chief indicators of stress, dysfunction and how the body homeostasis is performing. We use this data to better treat our patients in their efforts to have a healthy oral environment.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting….. Your Braces To Come Off

Author: Kimberly N. Powell, DDS, MS, FAGD

Today day is the day! Months and even years of getting wires changed, debonded brackets, multiple appointments, sore cheeks, tender teeth, denying yourself popcorn, gum, and caramel, the wait is over. It is truly an exciting time! Your brackets will be popped off with the wires and cement removed from your teeth. Brushing and flossing now will be something that dreams are made of, Heaven! However, it will take some time to get used to the retainer. Saliva can pool underneath which causes you to swallow more often, and the teeth can hurt. Talking will be a challenge with the retainers too, enunciation will be tricky! Then there are the awkward moments of removing and inserting them in public places because you can’t resist the chocolate candy bar at the department store counter, hilarious! Although initially uncomfortable and somewhat inconvenient, it is necessary to wear them as prescribed by your orthodontist. In my case, I am to wear them all the time for six months except to brush and eat. If post-op treatment is not maintained, teeth will relapse and the time spent correcting tooth alignment and bite will be all for naught. As patients, we must adhere to the plan as the orthodontist addresses our concerns. The relationship between the patient and the orthodontist is a marriage. So, cheers to a long, healthy, happy relationship!