You and Your Dentist
How to get the most from your partnership!
Think of the relationship between you and your dentist as a partnership, your dentist can offer a range of dental treatment options for many oral health problems. Theses option will vary in complexity, durability and cost but working together, you can choose the treatment options that best suit your needs and budget.
A good dentist will explain each treatment option, including it’s benefits and drawbacks. It is important that you tell your dentist about yourself and your needs and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask the dental team questions if necessary in order to help you understand their oral treatment recommendations.
The key to all good relationships is trust and understanding as it should be between you and your dentist, you should therefore try to build a relationships based on open and honest communication. A good dental team will be more than happy to explain the oral care program they are proposing for you but if you don’t understand any aspect you may want to ask some or all of the following questions.
Can you give me a step by step breakdown as you make your oral examinations?
What are the treatment options in respect of my specific needs?
Are there any alternative treatments I should consider?
Which of these options would give me the best outcome?
What needs to be treated now and what can wait to be treated later?
What can I do infuture to avoid similar problems reoccurring?
Confidence and trust are key factors when visiting your dental team, a dental expert said, “Dentists are trained to understand their patients worries and cam empathize with them. Your dentist should be an expert, not just in technical dentistry but in communication, empathy, understanding and be able to deliver care in a professional manner”. He also stated “that cost was actually quite low on their list of concerns, a hygienic, friendly environment is more important for most people”.
Many people have a level of anxiety when visiting their dentist, probably based on a bad experience from their childhood when dental techniques were not as good as they are today. Things are somewhat different today as modern dental care and new techniques and advances mean that the discomfort you may remember from your childhood is considerably less today.
Don’t wait for your dentist to sort out your problems, our expert stated “Avoid problems by sticking to a good mouth care routine in the first place, healthy teeth are within everyone’s reach”.
Remember you and your dentist are a team and good oral health is your goal.
The Mouth Body Connection
Periodontal disease has been linked to a variety of health conditions. Good periodontal health not only maintains the health of your mouth, it also helps in maintaining the health of your body.
Periodontal Disease and Inflammatory Conditions:
Research has shown that there is a connection between periodontal disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal disease but may also help with the management of other inflammatory conditions.
Periodontal disease and Cardiovascular Disease:
Researchers have found that people suffering from periodontal disease are twice more likely to suffer from coronary Artery Disease compared to people without periodontal disease.
Several Theories exist to explain the link between periodontal disease and coronary Artery Disease.
One theory is that the oral bacteria can effect the heart when they enter the blood stream through the gums, attaching to fatty plaques in the coronary arteries (arteries supplying blood to the heart) and contributing to clot formation. Blood clots can obstruct the normal blood flow, hence restricting the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the heart. This may lead to a heart attack.
Another theory is that the inflammation caused due to periodontal disease increases plaque build up, which may cause swelling in the arteries.
Periodontal Disease and Stroke:
Additional studies have also pointed to a relationship between periodontal disease and stroke.
Periodontal Disease and Pregnancy:
Some studies have suggested that pregnant women who have periodontal disease may be more likely to have a baby that is born too early or too small. The two postulated mechanisms by which periodontal disease could play a role in pre term births are:
- Increased inflammatory response
- Maternal bacteremia along with placental transmission
However more research is needed to confirm how periodontal disease may affect pregnancy outcomes. The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that women considering pregnancy should have a periodontal evaluation.
A regular periodontal evaluation is very important along with a regular professional cleaning to maintain periodontal health.
A Periodontal evaluation may be especially important if you
– Have a high risk of periodontal disease
– Have Heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease or osteoporosis
– Are thinking about becoming pregnant
– Have a family member with periodontal disease ( research has suggested that bacteria that cause periodontal disease can pass through saliva)
– Have a sore or irritation in your mouth that does not get better in two weeks.
Give Kids a Smile
On 11th February, 2011 Dr. Priti D. Advani volunteered for the “Give Kids a Smile” program
This is an annual program organized by the Santa Clara County Dental Society to help the children in our community.
In this program participating dentists volunteer their time and services. The activities include screenings and oral hygiene instructions for the children.
Dr. Priti D. Advani and her staff had the privilege of volunteering at James Lick High School in San Jose.
It was a fun experience for both the students and the dentist.
The students were screened and were given oral hygiene instructions. All participating students were also given a small oral hygiene kit, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash.
Congratulations to SCCDS on successfully organizing this program every year and thank you to all the volunteering dentists that help make this program a success.
Water Fluoridation In Your Area
Dental Caries remain a major public health concern. Water fluoridation prevents cavities in both children and adults, with studies estimating an 18–40% reduction in cavities when water fluoridation is used by children who already have access to toothpaste and other sources of fluoride.
World Health Organization expert committee suggested a level of fluoride from 0.5 to 1.0 mg/L (milligrams per liter), depending on climate. Bottled water typically has unknown fluoride levels, and some domestic water filters remove some or all fluoride.
Leading health organizations support water fluoridation. These include:
World Health Organization (WHO)
U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
American Dental Association (ADA)
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
San Jose is the largest city in the US that does not fluoridate its water.
San Francisco implemented water fluoridation in 1953. Palo Alto in 1956. In 2004 80% of Palo Alto residents voted to retain fluoridated water.
Good news is that in November 2011 the Santa Clara Valley Water District board of directors voted to fluoridate San Jose water. Fluoridating water at the district’s treatment plant will greatly increase the number of county residents receiving fluoridated water.
Presently the following areas in the Santa Clara County are fluoridated:
Milpitas (95% of residents and all schools)
San Jose (Evergreen, Alviso, North of Trimble road)
Parts of Cupertino
Parts of Los Altos
Parts of Los Altos Hills
Santa Clara (95054 zip code)
Sunnyvale (North of El Camino Real)
Non fluoridated areas are:
Parts of Cupertino
Parts of Los Altos
Parts of Los Altos Hills
Most of San Jose
Santa Clara (except 95054 zip code)
Sunnyvale (south of El Camino)