It’s been the hallmark of my practice for over 35 years.  It has to be if I’m to give you the best advice and care.

I was asked this week by a potential new employee how we train to improve?

I must watch or read 5-7 online articles or videos a week.  I also routinely read 5-6 journals and attend lectures and seminars regularly.

New York State mandates a meager 40 hours of continuing education over 3 years for Dentists.   That’s not nearly enough to just stay afloat.  I must do that every 3-4 months!

I’m now preparing for a 5 hour lecture I’ll be giving in Israel in April.  The lecture is on the Oral-Systemic Practice.  It’s about a way of looking at people and not just teeth and gums.  It’s an integrative approach, one that was reinforced to me when I spent a weekend at the Cleveland Clinic this summer.

Here’s an example.  A patient came in with a sudden increase in cavities.  Rather than just focusing on the job of fixing them, I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out why this was happening?

I did figure it out.  She had GERD.  Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease is a very common problem.  I know this because the drugs used to treat the symptoms (heartburn) are among the most commonly prescribed and bought in pharmacies.

And, GERD also affects the mouth.  It causes the mouth to be very acidic, which leads to decay, demineralization and erosion, very commonly seen problems, at least in my Manhattan practice.

Acid affects more than your esophagus and mouth.  It affects your entire body in a negative way.  Being overly acidic is toxic to many of your body’s organs.  It causes deterioration, disease and aging.

Finding out the “why” takes time.  It requires a thorough oral history and exam. This isn’t what most insurance companies cover as it can often take an hour  to perform and so most insurance-focused dentists just don’t devote the time.

Which would you prefer?  A cursory examination that just uncovers “work” that has to be done or a thorough oral physical that uncovers why you’re having the problems and how you can prevent their recurrence?

I know which one I’d want.

To your health and wellness

Dr. Michael J. Goldberg