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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Why Are My Teeth Sensitive to Sugar?

Below is an excerpt from an article found on Crest.com 

Do you have a sweet tooth, but cringe in pain every time you enjoy a sweet treat? If you have teeth sensitive to sugar, you may wonder if there’s any way to get relief. This likely means that the enamel of your teeth is damaged, and is making your teeth sensitive to sweets and other foods. Fortunately, for those whose teeth are sensitive to sugar, there are solutions to help you enjoy your favorite foods and avoid discomfort. 

To read the entire article visit Crest.com.

The remainder of the article details the following:


Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Saturday, October 6, 2018

What are Wisdom Teeth? Purpose, Symptoms & When They Come In

Below is an excerpt from an article found on Crest.com

Wisdom teeth grow in at the back of the mouth, behind your molars. There is a set on the bottom as well as the top. Wisdom teeth often grow in crooked, sideways, or otherwise misaligned. As they grow in, they can push on other teeth, causing problems of overcrowding and misalignment for them as well.

Function and Purpose of Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are believed to be "evolutionary relics," and were helpful to our distant ancestors who ate diets that consisted of rougher foods like sticks and reed plants. As teeth wore down or fell out, wisdom teeth provided replacements. Nowadays, with modern advancements in oral hygiene and softer diets, we don’t need these replacement teeth, but they still grow in. Essentially, our mouths can hold 28 teeth, but including wisdom teeth, we have about 32 teeth all vying for space. Wisdom teeth symptoms such as overcrowding, bone and nerve damage, infection, etc. can all result.

To read the entire article visit Crest.com.

The remainder of the article details the following:


Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Dental Assistant

Learn more about what the American Dental Association has to say about the role played by your Dental Assistant!


The above video is found on the American Dental Association YouTube Channel.

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Dr. Oz Says Dentists Are Scamming You!

Dr. Oz says dentists are scamming you!

I've written about Dr. Oz's dental segments several times before.  My opinion of his "journalistic acumen," clinical accuracy, and advice has not been flattering.  He seems to have it in for dentists, sometimes.  Though, I understand the financial incentives of making "good television."  I also understand that there ARE instances of the story being told in this new segment about inconsistencies in the dental profession. 

Yesterday's "Dr. Oz" episode (Sept 28, 2018) featured a segment, "Undercover Investigation:  Could Your Dentist Be Scamming You?"

https://www.doctoroz.com/episode/undercover-investigation-dental-scams-are-you-being-overdiagnosed-and-overcharged?video_id=5841028832001
Screenshot from video preview.  Click on the image to go to Dr. Oz's site.  I'll add the video if it becomes available.


A correspondent went to multiple dentists and got multiple treatment plans, some of them quoted with significantly high costs.  This isn't the first such report.  Many years ago, Reader's Digest, did a similar report that got national attention.  PBS did a similar exposé.

 

Is Dr. Oz right?

As a dentist who is passionate about the profession, I can't help cringing when I see these reports.  I cringe for two reasons.  First, I cringe because I know that MOST dentists are consummate and dedicated professionals, driven by a calling to help their patients.  These reports are often sensational, rife with inaccuracies, and perpetuate dental mythologies resulting in fear and avoidance of important dental care.  Even Dr. Oz can get it wrong.  And, that's not good.

The second reason I cringe, is because I know that there is some truth to the reports.  There ARE dental offices that engage in dubious practices that may be driven purely by the desire for financial gain.  I've seen it in my 30 years of dental practice.  I hate it.  But, I've seen it.

The implication of Dr. Oz's report is that if the treatment plan is more expensive, then it must be wrong.  Of course, that's simply not true.

So, who is telling the truth?

Boynton Beach Dentist Dr. Michael Barr
I'd like to first point out that there CAN be differences in opinion between two or more dentists, yet they can all be correct.  There is acceptable latitude in diagnosis and treatment planning (within some limits, of course).  Diagnosis, and particularly treatment planning, can occupy a spectrum that depends on the dentist's training and experience.  It can also depend on the patient's history (medical and dental).  Dentistry is primarily scientifically-based.  But, it can be reasonably argued that the practice of dentistry is a bit of an "art," as well.

For example, when is a "cavity" really a "cavity," and when should it be treated?  The answer is, it depends on many factors.  It depends on how it looks to the dentist.  Is the dentist using magnification (surgical telescopes) and a bright headlight?  (He or she should be.)  X-rays can help, too, but they are not the only test.

White fillings by Boynton Beach dentist, Dr. Michael Barr
Magnified view of a cavity that appears very small on the surface, but is much bigger underneath. 
(Actual case by Dr. Michael Barr at Palm Beach Smiles.  Learn about white fillings here.)


It also depends on the patient's history.  Is the patient 25 years old with half of his / her teeth already filled (lots of cavities in the past), three root canals, two teeth missing, and shows up at the dental office infrequently and usually only when something hurts?  Or, is the patient 45 years old with only two fillings in his / her entire life and never misses a 6-month preventive care appointment?  The first patient should be treated differently than the second patient.  Small cavities might be more aggressively addressed and treated in the first patient.  The first patient may also need more preventive professional care and a strict home care regimen.  A very small cavity in the 2nd patient might be monitored, instead.

Which dentist to treat your teeth?  Trust your gut!

I have long advised people who ask me (both in office and socially), to trust their instincts!  If you don't feel comfortable with a dentist, get another opinion.  A good doctor-patient relationship is CRITICAL.  Is the dentist listening?  Is the dentist taking TIME with you?  Or is the dentist rushed?  Is the dentist discussing the diagnosis and treatment plan with you?  Or is that delegated to someone else like the assistant or business manager?

What is Corporate Dentistry?

There is a trend in dentistry that has followed medicine and optometry.  That is the "corporatization" of dentistry.  Corporations and investment groups are buying up and building multiple-location, large group practices.  These "dental chains" or "dental mills" employ a team of dentists and market heavily.  They are usually "in network" with all the insurance plans, making them attractive to those patients.  "They're on my plan!"   BEWARE.

I've written about Corporate Dentistry previously on this blog.

In a large group practice, you should ask:  Who owns the practice?  Is it a dentist?  If so, where is that dentist?  Does he or she practice in this location (or at all)?  If it's NOT a dentist owner, who is it?  Will I see the same dentist every time I visit?  (These McDentist offices typically have a very high turnover of staff.) 

I've been a dentist for 30 years.  I've seen it all, and I don't like what I see with corporate chain dental offices.  The treatment decisions are often made by MANAGEMENT.  The worker-bee dentists don't get much say.  If they try, they don't last long at the job.  These offices often have "unspoken" rules about treatment planning.  I'll use their words and then explain.

  • "All occlusal fillings become occlusal-facial-lingual fillings."  (There are no 1-surface fillings allowed.  1-surface cavities get turned into more expensive 3-surface fillings.)
  • "All MOD (mesial occlusal distal) cavities get crowns."  (A back tooth that can be adequately restored with a 3-surface filling is turned into a more expensive restoration.)
  • "Most new patients need 'deep cleanings'." (Baloney!  Ask to see your periodontal charting.  Are there multiple deep pockets?  Is there bone loss evident on the x-ray?)
In layman's terms, they are turning a less profitable service into a more profitable service by overstating the diagnosed condition and over-treatment planning.  I hate to say it, but it's true.  And, it's bullshit!  Of course, there are patients who DO need a crown or "deep cleaning."  The question is whether the recommended treatment is driven by corporate motivations, maximizing what can be billed to insurance, or by the dentist's professional judgement?

These "McDentist" clinics have monthly production quotas enforced by "corporate."  Believe it or not, the profit margins in dentistry are fairly thin.  So, when you add layers of people (corporate) who are getting a slice of the pie, you've got to crank up production.  In a traditional solo private care dental practice, after all expenses are paid, there is only the dentist to pay (from profits).  With corporate McDentistry, there are MANY people who need to be paid (who aren't even present at the dental office nor involved in the care of patients).

How do I find the right dentist for me?

Find a Private Care Dentist with whom you feel COMFORTABLE.  Get personal recommendations from friends or coworkers.  Research them online.  Read reviews.  What do the majority of reviews say?  Are they credible reviews?  Look at the dentist's website.  Does the message resonate with you?

Boynton Beach Dentist
The Palm Beach Smiles team!
Dr. Michael Barr, Sandy, Jo-Ann, and Kim

 Once you're in the office, what is the "vibe?"  Is the team happy?  Is it a positive vibe?  Or, do they seem rushed and bothered?  Do they know your name?  Are they running behind with a reception room full of people waiting?  Did the dentist answer your questions?  Did the dentist listen to you?  Were you presented with alternative treatments along with their advantages and disadvantages?  Were the fees explained BEFORE you begin treatment?  Again, trust your instincts.

Thanks, Dr. Oz!

I believe Dr. Oz engages in sensationalism, and his "advice" should be taken with a giant grain of salt.  Especially his dental advice!  Dr. Oz once recommended brushing with lemon juice to whiten your teeth.  Don't EVER do that!  But, I appreciate the opportunity to address the problems he revealed in this episode in a proper, professional context.

Feel free to visit our website at:  Palm Beach Smiles- Boynton Beach Dentist.  Or give us a call at our Boynton Beach dental office:  561-736-2377.  You can also schedule an appointment online by clicking on the button below!

Click here to schedule your appointment online!

Toothache: Home Remedies, Causes, Relief for Sore Teeth

Below is an excerpt from an article found on Crest.com

Common Toothache Causes
Are you wondering why your teeth hurt? If you have aching teeth, it may be due to a dental problem such as cavities, gum disease, bruxism, TMJ or a non-dental problem, such as a sinus infection or even stress.

  • Sensitive Teeth: Some types of toothache pain occur if you are using dental care products like peroxide-based whitening agents that penetrate into your teeth causing tooth sensitivity.
  • Bruxism: If you have aching teeth with no signs of tooth decay or gum disease, you may be experiencing bruxism. Bruxism is the technical term for grinding your teeth. Bruxism is a common cause of aching teeth that affects millions of people of all ages in the United States. If you experience aching teeth and other symptoms of bruxism, see a dental professional as soon as possible. If left untreated, chronic tooth grinding can damage crowns and fillings, and wear away tooth enamel, putting your teeth at increased risk for infection or decay. Causes of bruxism that lead to aching teeth include crooked teeth, poor jaw alignment, and stress or anxiety. If bruxism is due to misaligned teeth, straightening your bite with orthodontia could help solve the problem. But if bruxism is due to chronic stress, stress management techniques may be needed to help relieve your aching teeth. Your dental professional may recommend a mouth guard to wear at night to help prevent tooth pain associated with bruxism.
  • Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction: If you're stressed to the point of clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth, you can develop tooth pain associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ is the joint that hinges the lower jaw to the skull, enabling you to eat and talk. Clenching your jaw and grinding your teeth put additional stress on the muscles of the jaw, which can cause tooth pain. If your tooth pain is caused by TMJ syndrome, your dentist may recommend a TMJ dental splint to reposition the lower jaw. But in less serious cases, warm compresses applied to the jaw, eating soft foods, and taking measures to reduce stress can help.
  • Damaged Teeth: Your toothache pain could be caused by a cracked or broken tooth. If this is the cause of your pain, see your dentist as soon as possible. A broken tooth can contribute to tooth decay.
  • Decayed Teeth: Tooth decay is one of the most common causes of toothache pain. Tooth decay occurs when acids from plaque bacteria penetrate into the tooth enamel causing a loss of tooth mineral which, if it progresses, can ultimately cause pain in the tooth’s inner layer, the pulp.

To read the entire article visit Crest.com.

The remainder of the article details the following:


Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/

Dental Hygienist

Learn more about what the American Dental Association has to say about the role played by your Dental Hygienist!


The above video is found on the American Dental Association YouTube Channel.

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
COSMETIC & FAMILY DENTISTRY
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377
http://palmbeach-smiles.com/