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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

What Is Dental Public Health? A Look At How It Can Help

Below is an excerpt from an article found on

Many oral diseases can be prevented with routine care and regular dental checkups. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to access adequate oral care. Dental public health programs work to rectify that. They provide assistance and programs so people can avoid the pain and discomfort poor oral health causes.

Recognized by the American Dental Association as a dental specialty since 1950, public dental programs focus on oral health issues within populations and communities rather than individuals. The goal is to assure optimal oral health among Americans through disease prevention and dental health promotion. Here are just a few examples of such programs that aim to improve the oral health of all Americans.

Dental Care for Students

Dental problems in kids can also affect a child's health and even his or her performance at school. In a study of 1,500 elementary to high school children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Los Angeles, California, 73 percent were found to have dental caries, says a study from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California. The study found a correlation between these dental issues, lower grades and increased missed school days.

Dental sealants can reduce child tooth decay by more than 70 percent, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is why several states have implemented school-based programs to provide sealants to children from low-income families who are at risk for cavities. Such programs identify a target market within a school district to meet the needs of children who are less likely to receive private dental care.

Dental Care for Seniors

Cost keeps many people away from the dentist, especially older adults. The problem: Avoiding preventive dental care will only lead to more extensive and expensive procedures later on. Furthermore, the severity of gum disease increases with age. As many as 23 percent of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have severe gum disease, while people of all ages at the lowest socioeconomic level have the most severe gum disease, putting low-income seniors at risk, according to the CDC.

Medicare doesn't cover routine dental procedures and fewer than half of the states offer comprehensive dental benefits through Medicaid, leaving many seniors without necessary dental insurance. Some dental public health solutions include community outreach programs, like the Division of Geriatric Dentistry at Tufts University, which teaches the elderly about denture care and provides oral health and cancer screenings.

Dental Care for Expectant Moms

Dental care is especially important during pregnancy, but many women are unaware that oral health problems during this time can put both Mom and baby at risk. In a questionnaire provided to all maternity hospitals in the state of Iowa, 44 percent of women claimed they didn't visit a dentist during their pregnancy, reports the Iowa Department of Public Health. To help expectant moms stay informed and in charge of their overall health, the National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families launched an app called Text4Baby, which educates mothers on their baby's development and baby care through their child's first year. It can also be used to set reminders for prenatal doctor and dentist visits, so that women can get the care they and their child need. Agencies on the federal, state and local level have partnered with this app to provide resources and information to expectant moms in their communities.

Preventive dental care, from using a quality toothbrush with extra soft bristles especially for sensitive gums like Colgate 360 Enamel Health Sensitive, to regular checkups, is vital for maintaining a healthy mouth and overall well-being. Dental public health programs can improve the lives of those who otherwise wouldn't have access to dental care, while increasing awareness of quality oral care for all.

To read the entire article visit

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Dentists in Top Three Safest Places According to MIT COVID Study

Of course, I've known this to be true all along.   Told ya so!  😁

Dental offices are the LEADERS when it comes to infectious disease control protocols.  The proof is in the pudding, which is that there are literally ZERO cases of transmission of any infectious disease in the normal delivery of dental care while using "Universal Precautions."

Universal Precautions have been used in Dentistry since AIDS / HIV hit the scene over three decades ago.   Consider that even today, hospitals cause 1.7 million "nosocomial" (hospital-acquired) infections PER YEAR in the U.S. Of those 1.7 million infections, 90,000 - 100,000 of them are FATAL.

Dentistry is safe for dentists and patients.

Again... Dentistry has a PERFECT record. Many in the media have claimed that dental offices are "high risk."  They are conflating the facts.  Dentists are OCCUPATIONALLY at high risk due to high EXPOSURE to infectious germs.  That's nothing new.  We are EXPOSED to a lot of germs, because of the nature of our work.  HOWEVER, the risks are very effectively mitigated by Universal Precautions.  We do billions of dental procedures every year in the U.S., and there are virtually no dentists getting sick.  Universal Precautions WORK.

Universal precautions also work to protect our patients.  Again, we have a PERFECT record.  Dental patients don't get sick by visiting the dentist.  Hospitals?  Not so much!

MIT researchers say the dentist is safe!

Today, I came across an article about an MIT study regarding the safest and riskiest places you can be during the COVID "crisis."  Dental offices were in the top three safest places!

Click here to read the article:  MIT researchers say these are the unsafe businesses to avoid during COVID-19, and these are okay.

Consider that the government's recommendations - to close dental offices and keep liquor stores open contradicts what the MIT brainiacs found.

I made this meme summing up the article.  

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 561-736-2377.  

PS:  Here's a video I made a short time ago about what we do (and have always done) to prevent the transmission of germs in our office:

Monday, June 15, 2020

What is Cosmetic Dentistry? Costs and Types

Below is an excerpt from an article found on

If your teeth are stained, discolored, worn, chipped, broken, misaligned, misshapen, or have gaps between them, modern cosmetic dentistry can give you a better smile. A “smile makeover” improves the appearance of your smile through one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures. Cosmetic dentists work with you to develop a treatment plan. Below you’ll find some information that can help you learn more about the various types of cosmetic dental procedures available.

Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening can be one of the simplest and least expensive ways to improve your smile. Teeth can be bleached with in-office products in your dentist’s office for about $500, or you can buy a mold and gels from your dentist to bleach your teeth at home. There are also whitening products available over the counter at retail stores for convenient at-home whitening: whitening toothpastes, rinses, and whitestrips. These products together run about $3 - $50.

Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored porcelain or resin that cover the front surface of the teeth. After removing about a half-millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, these thin shells are bonded (cemented) to the front of the teeth, changing their color, shape, size, or length. Veneers are often called “Hollywood teeth." Living up to that name, this process can cost up to $500-$1,300 per tooth.

Dental Bonding
In dental bonding, a tooth-colored, putty-like resin, which is a durable plastic material, is applied to the tooth and hardened with an ultraviolet or laser light, bonding the material to the tooth. Your dentist then trims, shapes, and polishes it. Bonding can repair decayed, chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth; it is also a good cosmetic alternative to, or replacement for, amalgam or silver fillings. Bonding takes about 30 to 60 minutes, and $100 to $400, per tooth.

Dental Crown
A dental crown, also called a cap, fits over and replaces the entire decayed or damaged tooth above the gum line, restoring its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Crowns keep a weak tooth from breaking or hold a cracked tooth together; they can be used cosmetically to cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth. Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, or ceramic, and cost about $500 to $900 each.

Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays, also called indirect fillings, are made from gold, porcelain, or composite materials and fill decayed or damaged teeth. Dental fillings are molded into place during an office visit; however, inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory and bonded into place by your dentist. The filling is called an “inlay” when the material is bonded within the center of a tooth; it is called an “onlay” when the filling includes one or more points of the tooth or covers the biting surface. Inlays and onlays preserve as much healthy tooth as possible and are an alternative to crowns. This cosmetic dentistry procedure costs about $650 to $1,200 per tooth.

Dental Implants
Dental implants are titanium replacement tooth roots inserted into the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely in the jaw and providing a foundation for a replacement tooth. This procedure can cost anywhere from $1,250 to $3,000.

Other Options
A bridge is made of crowns for the teeth on either side of a gap with false teeth in between. A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth. Dental braces can straighten crooked or misaligned teeth and works by applying continuous pressure over a period of time to slowly move teeth in a specific direction.

To read the entire article visit

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Scaling and Root Planing for Gum Disease

Below is an excerpt from an article found on

Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning below the gumline used to treat gum disease.

Why Do I Need It?
Gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but if they aren’t cleaned well, the bacteria in plaque can cause your gums to become inflamed. When this happens, your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces called pockets. Plaque then gets trapped in these pockets and cannot be removed with regular brushing. If untreated, gum disease could lead to bone and tooth loss.

If gum disease is caught early and hasn’t damaged the structures below the gum line, a professional cleaning should do. If the pockets between your gums and teeth are too deep, however, scaling and root planing may be needed.

A July 2015 study in the Journal of the American Dental Association finds that scaling and root planing is beneficial to patients with chronic periodontitis (gum disease that has advanced past gingivitis). Chronic periodontitis affects 47.2% of adults over 30 in the United States.

What Happens During Scaling and Root Planing?
This deep cleaning has two parts. Scaling is when your dentist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gumline, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. Your dentist will then begin root planing, smoothing out your teeth roots to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planing may take more than one visit to complete and may require a local anesthetic.

After Care Tips
After a deep cleaning, you may have pain for a day or two and teeth sensitivity for up to a week. Your gums also may be swollen, feel tender and bleed.

To prevent infection, control pain or help you heal, your dentist may prescribe a pill or mouth rinse. Your dentist may also insert medication (subantimicrobial-dose doxycycline) directly into the pocket that was cleaned.

Your dentist will schedule another visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. If they have gotten deeper, more treatment may be needed.

Good dental care at home is essential to help keep gum disease from becoming more serious or recurring.  Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft brush, clean between your teeth daily, eat a balanced diet, avoid using tobacco and see your dentist regularly.

To read the entire article visit

Palm Beach Smiles 
Michael Barr, DDS
650 W. Boynton Beach Blvd, Suite 1- Boynton Beach, FL 332426
(561) 736-2377