Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Changes in Dentistry

"My dentist just retired" exclaimed a patient after the dentist she has been seeing for over two decades retired.  A mix of disappointment and anxiety was quite evident in her comment..
With each retiring dentist or physician,   traditional healthcare, as we know it; is disappearing.  Hence the anxiety of these patients with long term relationships with their healthcare providers is quite understandable.

 With the infiltration of health maintenance organizations, personalized care has significantly eroded. Very few practices are able to balance current standards of regulation, digitalization, drastic insurance reimbursement reductions  and yet maintain one on one care. Unable to cope with the steep rise in multi faceted  challenges, many quality oriented health care providers have retired and or moved onto associate roles in corporate settings.

At conventions and other dental professional gatherings, I have been labeled a "walking dinosaur" for managing a solo private practice with traditional care.. With added vigilance and regular updating of technology and professional skills, it is still rewarding to extend personalized care to each of our patients. At the end of the day, there is more gratification with our professional work and patients certainly appreciate and value  the continuity of care.

"After all health care is a service where the building of trust, rapport and an ongoing relationship is just as important as rendering appropriate care" adds Dr. Cherukuri from her Chino, California practice.  "When the focus is on exceptional patient care, business aspects simply align themselves and fall into place.

 Visit www.chinosmiles.com for the online reviews.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"The Dreaded Root Canal"

Countless times, I have heard the expression, "I would rather have a root canal",. As much as it started off having a negative connotation with a touch of sarcasm, over the years: it has evolved into a statement of fact.

Our office has had great success helping patients who are apprehensive of dental visits or have had bad prior dental experiences.
The once "dental chickens"( as some in the profession refer to this group of patients) turn around to enjoy their dental visits and many of them, after they have had the "dreaded root canal" performed. 

The current technology and available choice of materials facilitate one visit root canals that can be completed within a half hour to an hour based on the number of canals and roots. The range of anesthetics available make it relatively painless for even the most abscessed tooth. With a touch of tender, compassionate care added in the office, trust is established and root canals are completed fast and easy.

"It is extremely gratifying to have patients who have refrained from dental visits for years leave our office amazed with how painless the visit was and go on to write glorious reviews.  The direct patient experience reviews encourage others who are still hiding behind the phantom fear of a root canal."

Visit www.chinosmiles.com for more information and read the reviews.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How often Should I Change My Toothbrush

The simple practice of changing your toothbrush regularly improves oral health and significantly reduces dental care costs.

Adults and children should change their toothbrush every 3 months because of the wear of bristles.  Electric toothbrushes usually have good brush heads and may only need to be changed every 6 months.

In patients with gum or periodontal disease, toothbrush must be changed every 4 to 6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles.. Always rinse the toothbrush in hot water after each use and change it after you have been sick.

Coinciding the change of the toothbrush with your scheduled dental recare visits establishes a pattern that is relatively easy to follow through. "A New Year is a great time to assess the 'old' and make room for the 'new'., including your tooth brush" adds Dr. Cherukuri from her Chino, California dental practice.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Oral Health: A Window to Your Overall Health

 Oral health is more important than most people realize. The mouth is an indicator of overall health just as the smile is an expression of the personality.
What is the connection between Oral Health and Overall Health?

Mouth is teeming with bacteria, most of which are harmless.  Under normal body’s natural defenses and good oral hygiene, these bacteria can be under control.  However, without proper oral hygiene; bacteria can reach levels that lead to oral as well as systemic infections.

Medications used to manage medical conditions like antihistamines, diuretics, pain killers, decongestants can reduce salivary flow, increasing the potential for dental disease.

Below is an excerpt from the Mayo Clinic-

What conditions may be linked to oral health?

Your oral health might affect, be affected by, or contribute to various diseases and conditions, including:
  • Endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your heart (endocardium). Endocarditis typically occurs when bacteria or other germs from another part of your body, such as your mouth, spread through your bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in your heart.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Some research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke might be linked to the inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause.
  • Pregnancy and birth. Periodontitis has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
  • Diabetes. Diabetes reduces the body's resistance to infection — putting the gums at risk. Gum disease appears to be more frequent and severe among people who have diabetes. Research shows that people who have gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels.
  • HIV/AIDS. Oral problems, such as painful mucosal lesions, are common in people who have HIV/AIDS.
  • Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis — which causes bones to become weak and brittle — might be linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss.
  • Alzheimer's disease. Tooth loss before age 35 might be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease.
  • Other conditions. Other conditions that might be linked to oral health include Sjogren's syndrome — an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth — and eating disorders.
Because of these potential links, be sure to tell your dentist if you're taking any medications or have had any changes in your overall health — especially if you've had any recent illnesses or you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes. 

How can I protect my oral health?
To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene every day. For example:
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit between-meal snacks.
  • Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups.
Also, contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. Remember, taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.