Friday, August 28, 2015

3 Ways to Determine If a Dentist is Right for You

I'd like to expand a bit on the topic of How To Evaluate a Dentist.

You should not rush to become the patient of a dentist or dental services chain, just based on a TV commercial or an ad you saw. Your friends, family, and  co-workers can give you advice, but even then, it can be helpful to do some of your own research.

After all, you have to live with your teeth for the rest of your life, unless you get implants, partials, or full dentures.

Your teeth determine your smile, digestion, jaw alignment, and other things related to your overall health.

Here are some things you can do to decide if a dentist is right for you and your family.


Ask the dentist if you can take a look around his office.

You could then see how clean the office looks, especially the treatment rooms. 

You could not watch another patient have treatment without the permission of that patient. It might be a little awkward, unless that patient has been asked in advance. 

I have asked some patients to show their crowns or veneers to other patients who wanted to see how they look. I don't think that I have had a patient request to see a live patient's dentistry. 

Sometimes, I show a patient some photos of dental treatment similar to that patient's needs. Before and after photos can help a patient see the fantastic results that are possible.

I also have shown many of my patients an implant crown in my own mouth. 

They can get a look at it and see how natural it looks. I tell them that I fractured the original tooth biting a peanut. I think it helps them realize that even their dentist has unfortunate things happen to his/her teeth and that there is usually a remedy for that problem. 


You can ask the dentist if a parent is permitted to come back with a child during treatment. Your presence can be comforting and reassuring for a child, especially during their first few visits, or during a complex procedure.

You can ask if the floor plan can accommodate a patient in a wheel chair. I think many offices would permit someone to look around, except during actual treatments of patients.

Another concern is for a patient to ask if there is another dentist covering any emergencies during off days, vacation days, weekends, etc. 

I know of a clinic here in Peoria that extracted teeth on children and did not provide a phone number for any complications, or questions after regular hours. Some of these children had to been seen by dental residents at OSF Hospital and had treatment provided there at taxpayer expense. An after-hours phone number should be available for patients of record for that practice.

Although some dentists perform oral surgery, periodontal therapy, orthodontic therapy (braces), implants, and root canal therapy, most general dentists should have a good relationship to refer patients to knowledgeable specialists for treatment that is more demanding than most general dentists are comfortable treating. Most specialists have a minimum of two years of additional training and most are board certified, which is a high standard. Some even have a diplomat status, which involves special oral and written examination by their peers . 

 A good dentist usually knows what treatment that they can treat in their office and what needs to be referred to a specialist. However, no dentist can guarantee successful results every time. Remember, that the original teeth were made by God and thus, a capable dentist should attempt to do his or her best for each patient.


Finally, a patient should ask about how fees are charged. 

A patient can ask questions about fees for typical services, like an exam, prophylaxis (cleaning), x-rays, etc. Most patients desire to be informed in advance of treatment. 

Most dentists can give a patient a pre-estimate of the treatment and give alternative options, including no treatment. It is important for the patient to talk to the dentist and for the dentist to listen to the patient. The patient has to feel comfortable to ask questions and be comfortable in the office. This builds trust and makes the patient feel important. 

A truly patient-centered focus is essential. Putting quotas and financial goals ahead of the patient is a bad practice and you should be able to sense when this is happening.

In summary, the patient's confidence in a dentist is of extreme importance. It's all about the patient and solving their dental and oral health issues in an affordable and totally professional, high quality manner.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Same Day Dentures and Other Dubious Dental Services

There are dental service chains advertising how you can get new dentures in just one day. Or have dental work done at  a super low price. You see their TV commercials all the time. Their online ads are all over the internet.

This "fast food" type dental service is compelling to many patients. So what's really going on here?

If it sounds too good to be true, you probably should "look before you leap."

Free websites you make yourself typically have lousy SEO values -- and you're often locked into a content management system that won't let you do certain things.

Super cheap used cars generally mean you have to eventually dump a lot of money into repairs to keep them going.

What about "same day dentures" and other dental services that are advertised as cheap and fast?

You tend to get what you pay for.

I will not condemn any specific companies or criticize patients who use such high volume dental services.

But I can tell you that some of those who try these services will likely go to a mainstream dentist to fix what these services have done. Why risk having to pay twice for one dental service?

Google such phrases as "cheap dentures reviews" or "low cost dental implants reviews" and see what kind of patient evaluations, complaints, praises, critique, and horror stories are out there.

Credible reviews will typically not be 100% negative nor 100% positive. 

Trustworthy reviewers tend to mix good and bad remarks, with specifics that seem authentic, true to real life situations. In some cases, a review may be all bad or all good, but even then, you'll notice little details and personal quirks in them that make the reviews ring true and sound authentic.

Do a little research online. Then call 4 or 5 dentists and orthodontists, to get their opinions. Consider all angles, then come to your own conclusion.

if a discount, "fast food" type dental services has caused you problems, contact my office. I will personally consult you on what needs to be fixed, how much it may cost, and various payment options.

Your teeth are among your very best friends in life. 

Treat them with dignity and respect!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

BBC History of Dentistry VIDEO

Check out this entertaining BBC video on the history of dentisty, which has evolved from a sometimes barbaric nightmare to pain free, affordable, high tech dental care.

If you've had a bad experience with a dentist, just that one event can give you a fear or anxiety about going to a dentist's office.

I specialize in such cases. I have developed a calm and reassuring chair-side manner and dental services that are so gentle, you'll be amazed.

Contact my office today!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dangers of High Volume Dental Service Chains

You've probably seen TV commercials and online advertisements for businesses offering what seems to be cheap, fast dental work. These places lure low income people in with splashy promotions that make dental work seem more affordable.

They also try to appeal to patients who have not seen a dentist in many years, in hopes of convincing them that this negligence has caused them to need a lot of dental work.

The old proverbial expressions "buyer beware", "look before you leap" and "you get what you pay for" are  relevant here.

Remember when you were young and bought an old jalopy at a really low price. You were so happy to have a vehicle to get around in. You didn't have to pay much money to acquire it. Life seemed wonderful. You felt  like a really smart person.

Then the car started breaking down. You had to replace this, fix that, and worry about what was going to go wrong next. You hoped you wouldn't be left stranded on a lonely stretch of road in the middle of the night.

You eventually came to a dismal conclusion. You realized that buying that cheap old junk car wasn't a good idea. It may have ended up costing you more than you would have spent on a nicer, newer set of wheels.

Don't let this happen with your teeth.

If you go to a cut-rate dental services provider, you may end up with worse problems due to mediocre work or inferior products in your mouth. And your overall health could suffer.

An ethical, totally professional dentist may cost a little more than these "fast food" type dental clinics, but in the long run, you'll save money and have better results.

Your traditional, mainstream dentist will stay on top of dental technology, spend time explaining things to you, and work with you on payment options that fit your budget.

Here are some hazards associated with high volume, discount dental service chains.

(1) They tend to pressure their dentists to put profits over people.

It doesn't matter if this alienates customers, because they try to replace each disgruntled patient with 10 new victims. It's a numbers game for these businesses. Individuals don't matter, only high volumes.

(2) Their dentists are often encouraged to perform the maximum number of dental procedures on each patient, even if the procedures are technically not necessary.

(3) They set profit goals and quotas, to get their dentists to care more about how much money is rolling in, rather than quality care for patients and what is in the best interests of these patients.

(4) Sometimes they focus on children under Medicaid, and give the kids work that is shoddy or unneeded just to exploit the Medicaid system.

(5) Elderly patients may be taken advantage of through scare tactics, to make them think they need dental work that is not relevant to their actual needs.

(6) Hard-sell tactics may be used to bully patients into getting loans or using credit cards to pay for over-priced and unnecessary treatments.

(7) Since dental school is sometimes more expensive than medical school, new dentists can have large debts. Being unable to start their own practice, they are easy prey for high volume dental chains, who lure them in and hire them with promises of fantastic pay and big bonuses -- if the new dentists go along with their dubious program.

(8) They may take advantage of the fact that most people don't question what a dentist says. Few people seek a second opinion from a different dentist, like they might do when it comes to major surgery. They may even look into a healthy mouth and find all kinds of things that are "wrong" or "bad" and need fixing, so that they can make maximum profit from each patient.

Don't let these predatory businesses take advantage of you or your family.

Seek a qualified dentist.

Contact orthodontist offices -- even the receptionist or secretary will know which dentists in your area are doing good work at reasonable rates.

Regular, mainstream dentists will work with you to find a way you can pay for their services, even offering monthly payment plans.

If you are in the Peoria, IL area and want a free consultation, contact my office today.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dentures and How They Work VIDEO

Here's a great introduction to what dentures are, how they work, and how to adjust to them.

If you live in the Peoria, IL area and have a need for full dentures, partial dentures, bridges, crowns, implants, fillings, or other dental work, please contact my office.
You'll be amazed at my pain free, affordable, high tech dentistry and what it can do for your smile.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Proper Care of Teeth for Kids VIDEO

Sit down with your kids and watch this dental hygiene video together.

It's a pleasant and fun way to spend time together. And it will help educate your children on good habits to preserve their teeth. Oral health of teeth, gums, and jaws are so incredibly important for long life and overall well-being.

Enjoy this instructive video designed to convey vital dental health information in a pleasing format.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Proper Flossing Technique VIDEO

Watch this dentist as he demonstrates proper technique for flossing.

Flossing is mandatory. Brushing alone will not remove bacteria between teeth.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Bluetooth in your tooth? Sensors to detect oral health problems.

Sensors in dental implants could provide to your doctor and dentist some very important data about your oral health.

Some people might find this creepy, Orwellian, or the implementation of too much surveillance. With all the news about the NSA monitoring citizens, I can understand some concerns about this technology. 

"They're tracking my phone calls. Are they now moving from my iPhone right into my mouth?" you may ask skeptically.

Let's look at an article at Gizmag entitled: 

"Scientists developing Bluetooth tooth that spies on your oral habits".

These high tech tooth sensors may give a whole new meaning to "Bluetooth."


National Taiwan University researchers reasoned that if they could hook up the mouth with some sensors, it could help to better understand people’s habits and identify potential health problems, such as if a person is smoking or drinking too much.

Designed to fit into an artificial tooth, it includes a tri-axial accelerometer that monitors mouth movements to figure out when the patient is chewing, drinking, speaking, or coughing, with the readings transmitted to a smartphone via Bluetooth.

Currently, the scientists are still at the proof of concept stage, so their first design dispensed with the James Bond-style artificial tooth embedded with a radio transmitter in favor of a small breakout board that’s been coated with dental resin.

This makes it saliva-proof and able to be anchored to the subject’s dental work with dental cement while the transmitter’s job is done by a wire running out of the mouth. 

This may seem a bit low tech, but it does prevent the subject from swallowing the device if it comes loose.


My professional viewpoint as a dentist on this issue is positive.  

The development of sensors in the mouth may be beneficial in several areas.

It could help people track the carbohydrates, especially sugar, intake in their diet. Also, it could track the pH, ie. acidity of the beverages consumed by a person. 

This could help diagnose if the person may need to alter his/her diet or use a specific toothpaste to help re-mineralize the enamel. 

Perhaps, sensors could track the stress placed upon teeth and may indicate the need for night guard appliances for people who grind or clench, especially at night.

I believe this development is currently in its embryonic stage and will progress to the utilization of sensors that accumulate significant data. 

This will help diagnose existing and potential problems in the mouth and should help to make recommendations in treatment based upon the data collected. This should be a win-win for dental patients and dentists.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Flossing Tips on The Doctors TV show

Check out this video about flossing. From The Doctors TV show.

 Dr.Miguel Stanley participates in this Emmy award winning show filmed at Paramount Studios, Hollywood in 2012. Flossing with bridge work, implants, and other situations.

 Dental cavities tend to start in between teeth, where brushing cannot reach.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Should I Get All My Teeth Pulled and Get Dentures?

If you have a lot of bad teeth, should you get all your teeth pulled and replace them with a set of dentures?

Probably not, but each case must be evaluated on its own. In most cases, we want to preserve the remaining teeth. Bridges, implants, or partials might be the best solution.

Some of my Peoria, IL dental patients come to me with bad teeth.

First, don't be ashamed or embarrassed about it. There are many reasons for rotting teeth. Don't blame yourself or feel guilty.

Dentists are non-judgmental. We focus on compassion, understanding, and solutions!

Some facts about dentures:

(1) Dentures have improved greatly in recent years.

(2) Dentures are generally the last resort.

(3) If we must remove all your teeth and replace them with dentures, it's a lot less painful to do than you might imagine.

(4) Dentures are made of much better materials nowadays.

(5) In the 1800s, poor people had all their teeth pulled, and sold their teeth, so rich people could have dentures made out of them!

(6) Older people often have partial or full dentures, but your teeth don't naturally decay and fall out just because of your advanced age.

(7) Even full dentures must be relined or replaced with new dentures eventually. One set of dentures may not last your entire life.

(8) Do NOT rush to the conclusion that you need full dentures just because you're missing a lot of teeth, or because your existing teeth are in poor shape. Bridges and partials might be a far better, and more economical, solution.

If you have concerns about dentures, or are having trouble with current dentures, please contact my office.

Chances are, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the solutions we can offer you!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My Path To Dentistry by Dr. Raymond Gist, ADA President

Here's a distinguished dentist discussing how he came to be a dentist. Dr. Raymond Gist (DDS 1966) was interviewed while president-elect of the American Dental Association (ADA). On October 13, 2010 he became president of the ADA.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Dry Socket Treatment ADA VIDEO

When you have a tooth extracted (pulled) by a dentist, sometimes improper after-care at home can result in "dry socket."
Here's a good video by the American Dental Association on the topic. It discusses what dry socket is and how to deal with it.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Cleaning and Caring for Your Dentures VIDEO

A patient explains how she keeps her dentures clean and white, plus how to use denture adhesive.

If you have dentures, it's important to know good procedures for denture hygiene and maintenance.

Need dentures? Contact my office and I'll be happy to give you more information and provide the dental services you need.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tips for Patients with New Dentures VIDEO

When you get new dentures, there are some rules to help you succeed with them.

You'll be so proud of your new smile, but chewing and speaking will present some minor issues that are easily overcome. Be sure to leave your dentures in your mouth as much as possible, to help your mouth, gums and jaws to adjust to them.

This video is full of great advice for new denture wearers.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Brush Your Teeth for Kids VIDEO

Here's a cute children's Brush Your Teeth song.
This video is something you can watch with your kids. It's make good dental hygiene fun, and not a chore. Instill good brushing and flossing habits in your boys and girls -- to give them a lifetime of healthy gums and teeth.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Cecil the Lion: A Peoria Dentist Responds

Cecil the Lion.

I have a few thoughts about the “DENTIST” that killed Cecil, the lion.

First, no professional wants to hear that a member of his/her profession has done something very wrong.

I kind of cringe when the news media keeps referring to this man as the “DENTIST” that killed Cecil.  I know that it was wrong and a few people may think that dentists are weird or mean, because this dentist killed a lion.

Personally, I would love to go to Africa some day, but I could never hunt game. I would enjoy seeing these animals in their natural environment.

I also have adopted three dogs in the last twenty years from dog rescue shelters. I presently have a black lab, named, Jack. I would hope that something could be resolved to help the people of Africa.

Perhaps, this dentist could do some volunteer dentistry in Africa helping people in need. Many dentists, including me give countless hours of volunteer dentistry to people of need. We all need to be compassionate to animals and fellow human beings.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

What is a Cavity? VIDEO

What is a cavity in your tooth?

Caries or "tooth foulness and decay" is the technical term for cavities.

This video gives a simple, yet technically precise, explanation of dental cavities. When you learn this information, you'll have more respect for oral health and good dental hygiene.

If you live in the Peoria, IL area, contact me.

You'll love my pain free, affordable, high tech dentistry.