Spring Lake Dental Group

Flu Season

Author: Dr. Rima Solanki, DMD

Around this time of the year, most of us get sick with the flu or flu-like symptoms. These symptoms include fever, body aches, sore throat, cough, headaches, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea. Best way to help fight the flu is to get flu shot in the months of October and November. If you haven’t gotten one this year, it is still not late to get one. The other way we can help ourselves is by limiting contact with people who are sick and if we get sick, it is best to stay home until you are fever-free for 24 hours. Kids miss school days and adults miss work days. Being in the health care facility, we are constantly disinfecting all surface areas and washing our hands as much as possible in addition to being complaint with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). We will be happy to reschedule your appointment if you have the flu or flu-like symptoms!


Plan and Do

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

2019 has come to an end. We tend to look over the year and evaluate our lives through our successes, failures, joys, sorrows, regrets, relationships, blessings, etc. With the greatest intentions, we vow to make the next year better than the one we left behind. If your dental health is one area of your life that needs attention, I encourage you to get started. Make it a part of your new year goal, “new year, new smile”. Come to Spring Lake Dental Group for an initial assessment of your teeth, soft tissue, head and neck, to continue treatment that has been started, as we know life can get in the way of living, or address some issue that is causing you discomfort. Our staff, hygienist, dentists are equipped to help you get to a place of health with your best interest at heart. Spring Lake Dental Group is here for your present and future needs as it has always been for your past. Appointments can be made by calling directly (910-497-3200) or requesting an appointment online. We will be here for you in 2020, we’re waiting!

“Be true to your teeth, or they will be false to you!”


Anecdotal Versus Evidence Based Dentistry

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

The profession of dentistry is undergoing a revolution in evaluating how we make decisions and provide a diagnosis for our patients. Treatment is always based off of that diagnosis, but are our treatment regimens based on good science or gut feelings? An example that I can give you is based on my military history as a dentist providing care for our soldiers within the military. Because I had the ability to follow up on care that I provided to my soldiers and that soldier was required to follow my advice to his commanders, I was always able to feel comfortable in using a decision matrix that kept my treatment guidelines fairly conservative. I did not give much thought to the possibility that I would be receiving a letter from a lawyers office because a soldier was dissatisfied with a less that optimal result in my treatment. This gave me the latitude to treat more conservatively with the ability to adjust my treatment based upon appropriate follow up with my patients. Soldiers are a bit of a captive audience and I knew how to get their attention if I needed it

In private practice, because my patients receive a bill for services rendered, they expect a positive outcome one hundred percent of the time and sometimes their expectations for symptom relief area can be a bit unrealistic. Because of this, I have noticed that my prescribing tendencies are a bit skewed towards using antibiotics more frequently than when I was in the military. Right or wrong, I wrote the prescription based on anecdotal experience and not any evidence based science. The problem with this strategy is that while patients like to be prescribed antibiotics for any number of reasons, they are not without their downside. Allergic reactions, anaphylaxis, and resistance are three of the major downsides to antibiotic overuse

In the November 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (IADA), the ADA published their guidelines for clinical practice in antibiotic use. A well researched and thorough article put together over a decade of study, this guideline will help our profession be better at treating a diagnosis in a more evidenced based approach. It puts meat on the bones on what we need to do in order to more ethically and effectively treat our patients

We at Spring Lake Dental Group, in our upstairs classroom, have studied and discussed this important article. We have modified our prescription writing tendencies and hope that by endorsing a more evidence based approach, will provide care to our patients that will protect not only their health, but the health of the general public as well.


Happy Holidays!

Author: Dr. Alison Vitelli, DMD

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We are just two weeks away from saying goodbye to 2019 and welcoming 2020!  I am sure a lot of you will agree when I say that this year has brought a lot of twists, turns and challenges, but most importantly blessings to each one of us.  What better season to contemplate what we have accomplished, than Christmas! True, many days have been full of challenges, but look at the mercy of God and how He got us through each and every day.  This season, let us count our blessings, be positive and look into this new year as an opportunity to grow, challenge ourselves to be better at everything we do.  Let’s not forget the true reason for celebrating Christmas, that is to celebrate the birth of the most beautiful sacrifice anyone could ever give: God gave his Son, our Savior Jesus, in whom our we can trust to get us through every day.

To all of our patients, I truly wish you a Merry Christmas and that you all get to have a wonderful time with your loved ones, and that the new year brings blessings and peace to all of our Spring Lake Dental Group families!


Your Dentist CAN Help With Sleep Apnea

Author: Dr. Rima Solanki, DMD

Yes, it is correct that your dentists at Spring Lake Dental Group can help you with sleep apnea! It is common for your primary care doctor to diagnose you with a sleeping disorder called sleep apnea. This disorder is often determined through sleep studies that can be done at home or in a hospital settings. Your primary care doctor may recommend you to use CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine or MAD (Mandibular advancement Device). CPAP is a bed-side device that delivers air to the patient via a hose and mask attached to patient’s nose, mouth or both. MAD is an oral appliance that brings major muscles of the tongue forward improving the airway shape in the oropharynx and allowing air to flow more rapidly to the lungs. In mild to moderate cases, patients can be treated successfully using MAD. MAD also has a higher compliance rate than CPAP machine due to associated intolerance. Patients at Spring Lake Dental Group must be referred from their primary care doctor to have MAD custom fitted. Feel free to talk to your dentists at Spring Lake Dental Group to discuss sleeping disorders and treatments!


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.