S _ _ _ Happens.

Sometimes no matter how cautious we are, accidents happen.   Here are a few helpful hits in case something happens to your mouth.

  1. Get help (professional if you can) and get it as quickly as possible.
  2. Stop bleeding by applying pressure.
  3. Ice the traumatized area;10 minutes on and 10 minutes off for 2 hours.
  4. Keep any lost fillings, caps, teeth or pieces of teeth, keeping them moist in milk or water.
  5. If you can, take an anti-inflammatory such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve).
  6. Don’t go it alone or wait….call your dentist as soon as you can.

To your health and wellness,

Michael

Technology, techshmology

Being high tech means nothing if it doesn’t help people.   This week, one of our technologies might have saved someone’s life.

We’ve seen carotid artery blockages before on people by carefully analyzing our digital panoramic scans.   Never before have we found this on such a young person!

This unexpected finding of a calcification or sclerosis was brought to the person’s cardiologist’s attention and he can now be  evaluated and possibly treated.  Such blockages, called Atheromas, can cause a lack of blood flow to the brain resulting in a ‘TIA” (transient ischemic attack) or worse, a piece could break away causing a Stroke!

Technology works when it can help keep people healthy and prevent disease.

tech

We always look for ways to help you.

To your health and wellness,

Michael

http://drmichaelgoldberg.com/2013/06/2625/

Beauty Sleep

Sleep Apnea Syndrome is one of the most talked about medical conditions today.  What is it? And, why am I, a dentist, talking about it too?

Here are some the symptoms of Sleep Apnea:

EDS (excessive daytime somnolence):  being sleepy during the day.
Witnessed apneas (breathing stops)
Snoring
Irregular breathing during sleep
Impaired memory
Impaired concentration
Feeling of clumsiness
Morning headaches
Mood changes, such as irritability and sadness
Sexual dysfunction

Here are some of the associated risks of Sleep Apnea:

Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Stroke
CHF (Congestive Heart Failure)
Traffic Accidents (from sudden onset of sleep)
Depression

New associations are being uncovered daily.

The reason I’m talking about this is because there’s a huge oral component to Sleep Apnea as well.   In fact, your dentist might be the first one to recognize it and talk to you about it.  I send people for sleep studies all the time when I suspect it.

You Dentist can also be part of the cure.  A good deal of Sleep Apnea is cause by airway problems.   Something might be blocking air from getting into your lungs.   It can be nasal, it can be oral or it can be in your throat (pharyngeal).

If the problem is in your mouth, such as your tongue, an appliance that repositions your tongue might be of help.

Don’t ignore the problem.   70% of people who snore have some form of sleep apnea.  Your dentist might be able to help.

To your health and wellness,
Michael

EYE TEETH

I saved someone’s sight last week. Yes I’m a dentist.

A patient came in complaining of a toothache.  Sonia ( not her real name) lives in Asia and only comes to New York once a year, so I don’t see her as regularly as I’d like.

Of course I examined Sonia’s teeth.  I took an x-ray, and I saw nothing.  Since  I knew there must be something to Sonia’s complaint, I looked further.  I took a panoramic scan.  I compared it to a scan I had taken several years prior.

I found something!

I saw a change in Sonia’s left sinus.  There appeared to be a growth.

I referred Sonia to an ENT Doctor and this week Sonia had surgery to remove a fast-growing tumor from her sinus.  It was pushing on her eye and had it progressed, Sonia would have lost sight in that eye.

I love solving problems and I love helping people solve theirs.  You need a Doctor like that and if you have a problem that’s not being addressed, look elsewhere.

I’ve received more satisfaction this week from saving Sonia’s sight than I could ever have imagined when I first went to dental school.  I am so thankful I am a Dentist.

To your health, wellness and eyesight,
Michael

What does your Doctor tell you about the medications you take?

Do you know that hundreds of medications affect your mouth? Some effect your gums, some dry out your mouth, some cause bad breath. Both prescription and over-the-counter medicines are culprits.

Please ask your Doctor, ask your Pharmacist and ask your Dentist about any medications you take and their affect on your body. Look on the Internet or email me.

If you anticipate a medication may affect your mouth, there are steps you can take to counteract them. Knowledge and action are what you need.

I’ve seen gums swell and teeth rot unnecessarily. Don’t let it happen to you.

To your health and wellness,
Michael

Want to save money?

Does you Doctor make money by getting you healthy or preventing you from getting sick?  Or does s/he make money by doing ‘procedures’.

Which is better?

I guess if you were sick, you’d say that you want to get healthy and are willing to pay for it.

If you’re healthy, I suppose you’ll want someone who will help you stay that way.

No one wants ‘procedures’ unless it’s the only way to solve the problem you have.

Prevention is always best and it often doesn’t cost much.  So why don’t we see more of it?

  • Could it be that drug companies don’t make money from it?
  • Could it be that insurance companies don’t pay for it?
  • Could it be that most Doctors aren’t trained to do it?

Probably all of the above.

In dental school, there’s a course in ‘Prevention’.  It’s often slotted in with other much more difficult and ‘important’ courses in the second or third years.   Most of a student’s time is taken up by learning ‘procedures’.   That’s the skill the schools teach.

Then the student graduates.  S/he might do some advanced study in guess what?   Procedures!  And when s/he finally gets into practice s/he finds out that not only doesn’t it pay to take the time to do prevention, even insurance companies don’t cover it.   Not wanting to upset their new patients and charge for it, out of pocket, they just don’t do it.

I’m not justifying the process.  I’m just explaining it.  The system is broken.

That doesn’t mean that you have to buy into the system.  It does mean that you have to educate yourself to ‘do it yourself’.  That’s why it’s so important to read this book, as it gives you information that will help you save money and prevent disease.

It means that you have to aggressively seek information from your healthcare providers.   If they’re good, they’ll know about prevention even if they chose not to share the information with you.  Make them.

Prevention isn’t costly, it’s just time consuming.   If you’re lazy, go ahead, wait and get sick and then see the Doctor.   Just don’t complain about it.

To your health and wellness,

Michael

The Future of Dentistry

“Corporate” dentistry is exploding and it’s not good for you.  Let me explain.

Corporate dentistry is a term for dental practices that are owned by large corporations and fueled by low interest rates and the need for hedge funds and investment vehicles to get a better return on their investments.

Low interest rates are great for some things.   In this case, it’s pushing money to find a more lucrative yield and dental offices make money.

But money isn’t what dentistry should be all about.   Ultimately, dentistry, like any other healthcare system should be about preventing illness, promoting health, maintaining wellness and curing illness.

My concern (and I hope yours too) is that because a corporation is faceless and your face is unknown to the corporate decision makers, decisions that add to the bottom line and take away from the “mission” will be made.

Doctors are being squeezed.   They’re not being paid for their care, skill, judgment and gifts.   They’re being treated as commodities.  Doctors are seen as replaceable cogs in a corporate wheel.

These corporations know that if they don’t give a reasonable return on investment to the funds they’ll be shut down or sold.   So it’s in their corporate best interest to add to the bottom line.   That might not be in your best interest.

Corporate ethics are not dictated by State and Organized Dentistry.   Some would say that Corporations have no ethics other than profit.  They certainly aren’t subject to the same rules and regulations as licensed dentists and hygienists are.   Their only worry is from legal action or scathing reports such as the one aired on 60 minutes

I’m sure you don’t feel that your doctor is a replaceable cog, especially if you’ve had a relationship.   Corporate Dentistry doesn’t care about relationships because you can’t put a $ value on it.   It’s not quantifiable.

You want your healthcare provider responsive and answerable to YOU and not some corporate, paper pusher who sits in an office building far away.

Too bad, because I don’t see this trend going away any time soon.   In fact, I see it getting bigger, bigger and bigger and it’s NOT in your best interest.

I have no solutions other than to really know who owns the practice you intend to trust your health to.   Then you have to make a decision about where to go.   At least you’ll be making an informed decision.

To your health and wellness,

Michael

Sequestration and you

I don’t know about you but when I hear the “S” word, my eyes glaze over. The reality of a government in paralysis is beyond my ability to control or understand so I just don’t worry about it.  I did my civic duty and voted.  I’ve even written letters!

I don’t worry about it and neither should you. While we’re unable to change Washington, we can control our own actions.   And, we can make decisions that protect us.

I can’t give you advice about money. Should you buy gold?   Invest in the Market?  These decisions are beyond my expertise.

One of the decisions you make every day is about your health.   Staying healthy is the best strategy to save money. Preventing health problems goes a long way to reduce your dependence on expensive treatment and expensive medications, not to mention the time it takes away from other pursuits.

When it comes to dental health, prevention is the key to long-term overall health and minimizes long-term financial expense.

Who can help you make such decisions? NOT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY.

Insurance companies care about their bottom line. If you don’t receive the correct care or have ‘big problems’ they have limited their exposure.  That’s one reason why they limit their yearly maximum payout.

So whom should you trust?

Trust yourself.  Trust your intuition. Gather information (read my book).  Look at your health care provider’s eyes. Do they truly care about you?  Do they rush you in and out without answering your questions?  Do they take the time to ask about your health and habits?  Do they look out for the cause of problems and not just recommend treatment for conditions?

Does insurance cover the time it takes to do thorough exams, histories and preventive care?  You know the answer.  If you’re lucky they’ll cover a “cleaning or 2 a year.”  What if you periodontal care more often?  You’re out of luck….and money.

During all times and especially during fiscally challenging times, preventing problems and uncovering causes makes sense.  It makes sense for your overall health and for your oral health.

We’re living longer and as a result have to take better care of out bodies. Over 35 years, it’s impressed me that those who take the best care spend the least.

Don’t worry about things out of your control. Controlling the things you can such as your dental care and oral health makes more sense now than ever.

To your health and wellness,

Michael