Friday, October 23, 2015

Times Are Tough, But Keep Your Teeth Healthy Anyway

I recently read that the national unemployment rate for September was 5.1%. But the percentage of working age people (25-65) that are actually employed is only at 62.5%.

That means that more than one out of three adults is not working.

And many people are:
  • underemployed, working part-time
  • underpaid for their education and/or experience 
  • working in a lower paid occupation, not in keeping with what their education or experience warrants. 
  • not counted as being unemployed because they've given up looking for work. 

In Peoria it was listed that the unemployment rate for September 2015 was 5.7% vs. 7% for September 2014.

It also stated that there were 2,600 less people employed since September of 2014. That means that many have either given up or moved away.

With the recent news of Caterpillar cutting thousands of jobs and Mitsubishi closing in Bloomington there well be less people employed locally. Obviously, there will be less disposable income or money for restaurants, movies, entertainment, etc.

Some people will skip going to the dentist to save money.

Our office tries to help our patients in our practice that have lost their jobs.

(1) Patients can ask our hygienists if it is possible for them to have their teeth cleaned every nine months instead of the usual six month interval.

(2) Sometimes, we can patch a broken tooth with a large filling, instead of restoring the tooth with a full crown. The tooth can be preserved and hopefully in the future the economy will improve and the patient saves the tooth. 

(3) For some families our office has done dentistry at reduced usual and customary fees and sometimes we have done dentistry for family members at no charge. We can usually work a plan to help our patients keep their teeth and have good oral health.

(4) We also have local service agencies that can help especially for children and emergency dental care. I have volunteered my time at various agencies in Peoria and continue to assist the needy.

(5) You may qualify for monthly payments via our CareCredit program.

Most people want to keep a healthy smile and people who have a good looking smile feel better and look better.

They also will be more apt to be hired versus someone who shows missing teeth when smiling or talking.

Your oral health is important to us.

Eventually, the economy will improve and people’s income and lives will improve.

I look forward to helping you keep a good healthy smile, regardless of your current financial situation.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

All About Baby Teeth and more dental health news

Here's a roundup of interesting recent news items related to dental issues.

(1) "Everything You Need to Know About Baby Teeth"

(2) "Dentist Asks Kids to Give Back Halloween Candy To Help a Good Cause"

(3) Did the people of doomed Pompeii have better dental health than we do?

(4) "Water Pick or Floss?"

(5) "Dentistry not covered in Obamacare, but needs to be included"

(6) "Best and Worst Foods for Healthy Teeth"

(7) "Debunking 10 Popular Myths About Children's Teeth"

(8) "Good Oral Health Gets Harder As We Get Older"

(9) Newborns who breathe tobacco smoke are 50% more likely to suffer poor dental health.

(10)  Discovery of 47 teeth in Chinese cave changes picture of human migration out of Africa.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Oral bacteria linked to Alzheimer's

We all dread becoming senile when we get old. It's a very sad and tragic health problem.

But by keeping your teeth and mouth healthy, you may be able to prevent or at least greatly delay the onset of cognitive impairments like Alzheimer's.

An article in the Journal of Oral Microbiology states that oral infections can be a potential contributing factor to the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a scourge of longevity that will drain enormous resources from public health budgets in the future. 

Currently, there is no diagnostic biomarker and/or treatment for this most common form of dementia in humans. 

AD can be of early familial-onset or sporadic with a late-onset. Apart from the two main hallmarks, amyloid-beta and neurofibrillary tangles, inflammation is a characteristic feature of AD neuropathology. Inflammation may be caused by a local central nervous system insult and/or by peripheral infections. 

Numerous microorganisms are suspected in AD brains ranging from bacteria (mainly oral and non-oral Treponema species), viruses (herpes simplex type I), and yeasts (Candida species). 

A causal relationship between periodontal pathogens and non-oral Treponema species of bacteria has been proposed via the amyloid-beta and inflammatory links. Periodontitis constitutes a peripheral oral infection that can provide the brain with intact bacteria and virulence factors and inflammatory mediators due to daily, transient bacteremias. 

If and when genetic risk factors meet environmental risk factors in the brain, disease is expressed, in which neurocognition may be impacted, leading to the development of dementia. 

To achieve the goal of finding a diagnostic biomarker and possible prophylactic treatment for AD, there is an initial need to solve the etiological puzzle contributing to its pathogenesis. 

This review therefore addresses oral infection as the plausible etiology of late-onset AD (LOAD).


As for diagnostic biomarkers, increased antibody levels to specific oral pathogens in particular to P. gingivalis may be used as a monitoring tool years before clinical manifestation of AD. This is important because treatment will probably have to start early.


The importance of good dental hygiene and oral health hits home when we consider how keep our mouths clean and free of infections can have an impact on our mental health and cognitive functioning as we age.

Dentistry Today provides this information about oral infections and their link to dementia issues.


Severe systemic fungal infections have dramatically increased among the elderly during the past 30 years, the researchers noted. 

Oral yeasts can be found in periodontal pockets and root canals, as well as on the mucosae and underneath dentures. 

Also, fungal molecules including proteins and polysaccharides were detected in peripheral blood serum. Fungal proteins and DNA were demonstrated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the brain tissue of AD patients as well.


Friday, October 16, 2015

Peoria dentist on how to avoid dental service scams

Doing it Right and Doing the Right Thing

I've enjoyed my profession as a dentist since 1975. I've met a lot of nice people and helped improve the smiles and oral health of many patients.

The technical improvements in dentistry have advanced the standard of care.

When I first started as a dentist, I wasn’t allowed to advertise. There were state regulations prohibiting any advertising. Even the signage listing your name was regulated.

I believe that lawyers were the first profession to advertise. Then physicians, dentists, hospitals and everybody else started advertising.

I have mixed feelings about professionals advertising their services, due to the many abuses I see.

It's important for people to be exposed to new services targeting their needs. Advertising is a major way for dentists to make known and explain their services.

Dentists also use it to seek new patients for their practice.

However, there are some ads that are borderline deceptive and give some people unrealistic expectations. 

For example, and I'm sure you've seen them, ads that promise dentures delivered in the same day.

While this can be done, all of the records and laboratory procedures have to go exactly right.

In our office, we usually schedule separate appointments for impressions, bite records, and do a tr-in of the denture(s) to check the accuracy of the bite records and check the aesthetics with the approval of the patient.

Sometimes, I require additional one or two appointments to take another impression or re-set the denture teeth for another try-in. It takes time and patience to get it right. It also takes time for the laboratory technician to get it right.

You want your dentist to use the best materials for you. There are some cheaper acrylics (plastics) and cheaper denture teeth that some dentists prescribe.

Our office only uses IVOCAP processing.

Our lab technician desires 3 working days to process a denture. It actually takes twenty four hours of time to process the denture.

Most people do not want their dentist to “rush” their dental service. When a case is rushed, there's no opportunity to really perfect the fit, make adjustments, or redo the case.

"Fast food" type dental services emphasize, unrealistically, the extreme frustration of waiting for quality dental work. The ads make it seem like everybody wants dentures, or implants, immediately. Right now. No waiting.

Ads will state that implants can be done in one day.

Yes, in certain cases it is physically possible.

What is disclosed in fine print, is that most patients are not ideal for immediate placement of implants with the final prosthesis (crowns) and there is a lower success rate in these immediate cases.

I aim for a high success rate for all my Peoria, IL patients.

Happy patients tend to engage in word of mouth advertising for a good dentist -- telling their friends and family members about their positive experience.

You expect me to know what I'm doing. You expect me to recommend what's in your best interests, not to meet some corporate quota. You don't want to be treated like a cash cow.

You expect me to keep your real interests as my top priority, not a fast dollar using speeded up processes, cheap material, and shoddy workmanship.

I sleep better at night knowing that I treat my patients the way I'd want to be treated by a dentist.

I feel confident knowing I have taken the ideal amount of time in preparation or fitting, used the best materials, and provided high quality workmanship for my patients.
Sometimes, I have seen patients in my office seeking a second opinion. They have seen a corporate dental center for a dental exam and have shown me their proposed treatment plans.

I had one patient that was told that she had eleven (11) cavities.

After my exam, I told her that she had no cavities. I recently had a patient who was told that her proposed treatment would be $6,500.00.

She was referred to me for a second opinion and I informed her that her dental treatment should be approximately $2,500.

About twenty years ago, I had a patient who was a school teacher. She was purchasing towels in a local department store in the evening. She noticed that inside the department store that there was a dental clinic. 

She had one lower tooth that was sensitive to cold temperature.

She decided at that evening to just stop in the clinic and find out what could be done to help her sensitivity. She was examined and told that her tooth needed a root canal.

She then had the root canal done.

She came to my office a couple of days later with numbness of her lower left lip and part of her lower left jaw.

She stated that the went to the clinic because it was open at night and convenient.

I informed her that my records showed that that tooth had gum recession and the exposed root surface was likely causing the sensitivity to cold.

Prior x-rays showed no deep fillings or evidence of a cavity on that tooth. I informed her that that the tooth likely did not need root canal therapy and only needed Sensodyne tooth paste applied to the root surface. 

This story gets worse.

The material used to fill the root canal was not the standard material, gutta percha, to fill the canal. The dentist used a new type of acrylic, over instrumented the canal, and injected the acrylic past the end of the root into the mandibular nerve canal.

 This caused the numbness in her lower left side.

I referred her immediately to a local oral surgeon, who then referred her to the University of Chicago oral surgery department.

After much professional consideration, it was determined to leave the material in place, due to the risk of causing more trauma by attempting to remove the acrylic from the nerve canal.

Eventually, most of her numbness abated, but there was no guarantee of future complications.

As a dental consumer, you have to be careful of advertising. You cannot read the fine print in the television ads. If you do not trust the recommended treatment, or can't understand the reasons given for it, be bold and assertive.

You owe it to yourself. Avoid unnecessary grief and expense.

 Get a second opinion.

Call my office for a free consultation.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Update on Cecil the Lion

News media are reporting that Walter Palmer, the dentist who killed Cecil the Lion, will not face criminal charges in Zimbabwe.

I have stated here:

... that this dentist should offer to provide free dental services to the Zimbabwe people as a gesture of true apology and making amends.

A wonderful creature is gone. An apology seems like not enough.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Do Whitening Toothpastes Really Work? VIDEO

Many of my Peoria, IL dental patients have questions about making their teeth whiter.

One of the potential solutions is toothpaste that is advertised as "whitening" -- but do they actually chemically lighten your teeth?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

10 Dental Health Tips VIDEO

Here are 10 good tips on how to take better care of your teeth. An oral health video that my Peoria, IL dental patients will like. It's simple and clear, but good for reminding us about good dental habits.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How To Teach Kids About Dental Health VIDEO

A dentist explains to children how to take care of your teeth. My Peoria, IL patients enjoy anything that will help educated their kids -- and this video is very good.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Healthy teeth and gums are vital for life, success, and love

Dogs use their mouth like a hand. They need strong teeth to grab things, bite for self-defense, and chew their food.

Teeth are important for humans, too.

Keep yours in vibrant health and they'll serve you well all your life.

The medical world is increasingly emphasizing the impact that dental health has on many aspects of our lives.

Healthy teeth & gums =

* brighter smile

* more attractive facial structure

* fresher breath

* increased self confidence

* enhanced social relations

* clearer speaking

* more dates and better chances for marriage

* improved chewing of food

* better digestion

* stronger biting when necessary (like emergency situations when you have no knife or scissors

* improved heart health

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Videos About Partial Dentures

Here are some well produced and narrated videos dealing with Partial Dentures. If you have more questions about partials, contact my office. I'll be happy to answer your questions.


 Dr. Burquez "Partial Dentures"


 Polident "Partial Dentures and Full Dentures"


 Sebastian Gonzales DDS "Types of Partial Dentures"


 Collins Family and Implant Dentistry, Vancouver, WA "Partial Dentures and Bridges: Hidden Attachment Systems"