Electric Toothbrushes: Are They Worth the Hype?

2020-06-11T13:22:25+00:00August 8th, 2019|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dentist Office Monroe NC, Teeth Cleaning|

At Carolina’s Dental Choice, we think the most important thing is to brush and floss regularly. Beyond that, we do believe there are some excellent advantages to owning an electric toothbrush.

 

Before you rush out to buy one, let’s review some of the details.

What the Studies Show

A review of studies done by the Cochrane Library in 2014 showed that “Powered toothbrushes reduce plaque and gingivitis more than manual toothbrushing in the short and long term.” Below you will find key results of the controlled studies where manual and electric toothbrushes were compared.

·    At one to three months of use, there was an 11% reduction in plaque when using the electric brush.

·    After using an electric toothbrush for over three months, there was a 21% reduction in plaque.

·    At one to three months, there was a 6% reduction in gingivitis (with the electric).

·    After three months, there was an 11% reduction (also with the electric).

Though the old-fashion toothbrush has done the job of keeping our teeth and gums clean for years, the electric toothbrush is the future of oral care. There is no denying an electric toothbrush is better at removing plaque and gingivitis. And, there are even more benefits to the electric toothbrush than these.

 

Under Pressure

When we brush, it’s natural to feel the need to apply extra pressure in order to scrub our teeth clean. Unfortunately, we tend to use too much force, which may result in pushing our gums back (in addition to scraping the enamel off our teeth). This little bit of extra pressure exposes the pink membrane that covers the roots of the teeth. Eventually, once the roots of the teeth become exposed due to heavy brushing, they become susceptible to decay and disease. Even worse, once the gums have receded, it is difficult to get them back, often requiring painful surgery with long recovery time. The better solution is to use a brush that knows when you are applying too much pressure so your gums can remain healthy and intact.

Recent studies show that when we use an electric toothbrush, we become more focused on the process of brushing, and therefore apply less pressure.

A side benefit of electric brushing is the unfamiliarity of the appliance requires more attention from our brain; therefore, we pay closer attention to the process of dental care.

Ease of Use May Be Better for Seniors, Impaired and Children

Should children use electric toothbrushes?Another benefit to using an electric toothbrush is that it works much better for those with limited mobility.

With over three million cases cited each year, carpal tunnel—a painful syndrome that restricts mobility in the wrist—can make brushing painful. But with an electric toothbrush, you use your wrists much less. Just turn it on and let the bristles do the work.

Seniors with arthritis in their hands or limited shoulder mobility find electric brushes more comfortable to use.

An electric brush is also beneficial for youngsters. Once they reach the age where they begin to brush themselves, parents often find themselves re-brushing to hit all the missed spots. Children that use electric toothbrushes tend to brush more teeth and do a better job cleaning them, which leaves less work for mom and dad.

It’s a great training tool for kids because most electric toothbrushes have a pressure sensor that lets you know when you are, indeed, pressing too hard. Beginners hear the beep and are better able to find the right level of pressure to apply.

The Cost

One of the biggest (if not the biggest) deterrents people offer for not switching to an electric toothbrush is the perceived high price they often carry. The truth is that issues with gums due to manual brushing and trips to the dentist are way more costly in the end. We definitely believe they are worth investment, but to be thorough, we have broken down the cost factors to that our clients may make an educated choice.

We considered the cost of buying new heads and batteries in our research.

Let’s start by looking at the initial cost according to the level of toothbrush:

·    A basic battery-operated, vibrating toothbrush costs between $5-$25. Now, this price might not seem very high, but to be honest, there’s not much of a difference between electric brushes at this base level and a standard toothbrush. These cheap electrics vibrate only, no oscillating. When it comes to electric toothbrushes, there is some truth to the notion, “you get what you pay for.”

·    The next level up gets you a much more effective toothbrush, but it will cost you anywhere from $75 to $200. Yep, there’s that high price. But, at this level of brush, you will reap the benefits. Plus, depending on the brand of brush you buy, there are additional benefits, such as a timer included in the handle letting you know when to begin and stop brushing; pressure sensors that indicate when you are pressing too hard; a digital reminder letting you know when to replace the brush head; varying brushing modes, and more. This is the level most of us find ourselves shopping. Anything less seems pointless.

·    The third level of brush may cost anywhere from $400-$1,000. These brushes include more capabilities, better construction, and materials used.

Now let’s have a look at the additional costs:

·    Typically, an electric brush head needs to be replaced every 2-3 months. These heads can cost anywhere from $5-$25, depending on the brand and style you have. Most heads can be ordered (in bulk for a discount) or may be found at your local grocery store.

·    If you have a brush that uses batteries, they will need to be replaced every 4 to 6 weeks. This, of course, adds up—but if you find yourself about to purchase a battery-operated toothbrush, chances are it falls into the first level of brush mentioned above, and therefore not any better than your old standard brush.

·    Plug-in brushes don’t require batteries, but they do depend on the power running through your house. The overall cost to charge your toothbrush is small.

When it comes to cost, it’s best to find the brand and style you feel most comfortable with first. Then look into each aspect of the price.

Vibrating or Oscillating? Vibrating or oscillating, which works better?

Vibrating or Oscillating Toothbrush

In a study done by the US Library of Medicine, where a 12-week comparison was done between the two types of brushes, the oscillating brush came out on top. The study specifically states, “The oscillating-rotating power brush provided statistically significantly superior reductions compared to the sonic brush…” and goes on to show the oscillating brush causes less bleeding and does a better job at reducing gingivitis and plaque.

Best Electric Toothbrushes for the Cost

In June of this year, The Strategist came out with a list of the “Best Electric Toothbrushes, According to Dentists,” and here are a few of the ones we liked the best:

Oral-B White Pro 1000 Power Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush ($50)

One of the biggest benefits to this brush is its ability to oscillate and vibrate. It also comes with a timer and pressure sensor and does not require batteries. This is a great way to break into the world of electric toothbrushes.

Oral-B 7000 SmartSeries Rechargeable Power Electric Toothbrush ($128)

This brush has all the capabilities as the Pro 1000, but it has an additional six cleaning modes—including one for your tongue. There is even Bluetooth connectivity so you can monitor and track your brushing habits with your phone. Another benefit to this brush is it uses smaller heads. This can help those who have smaller mouths and/or a sensitive gag reflex.

Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean 4100 Plaque Control ($50)

Even though this brush does not have the circular, oscillating components it does still oscillate—it just does so as one solid piece, rather than multiple cylinders. It comes with a timer, pressure sensor, and naturally soft bristles. Users of this brush note how good the vibration feels, and that the toothbrush does an excellent job at breaking up tartar and plaque.

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Classic Electric Toothbrush ($178)

Much like the Oral-B 7000 Series, this brush is the higher-end version of the Philips 4100 Plaque Control. This brush comes with everything the 4100 has, with the addition of five different brushing modes such as “sensitive” and “gum care.” Users say this brush lasts longer, as it is made of high-quality materials, and that it provides that just-back-from-the-dentist level of teeth cleaning.

Overall, we find electric toothbrushes worth the switch. The cost is a bit more, but if you shop around you can often find them on sale. And, after trying different brushes, doing some research on the best brand for you, we think you will find that the most significant expense is the initial cost.

If you are considering changing to an electric toothbrush, feel free to come to talk with us at Carolina’s Dental Choice so we can help you get the best product possible.

 

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The Hidden Dangers of Mouthwash: What You Need to Know

2021-02-05T18:11:46+00:00June 5th, 2019|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dental Trends, Dentist Office Monroe NC, Oral Health, Teeth Cleaning, Teeth Whitening|

Mouthwash is often touted as a safe and effective method for curing bad breath and improving overall oral health. But recent studies show that not all mouthwashes are created equal. Before you add a mouthwash to your daily dental regimen, take a minute to understand some of the potential dangers that might be hiding in that morning and evening routine.

 

The Problems with Conventional Mouthwash

While advertising may state that conventional mouthwash kills 99.9% of all bacteria, that’s not always the full dental story. Many conventional types of mouthwash contain up to a 26% alcohol content in addition to other dangerous ingredients. When you swish mouthwash twice a day in your mouth for an extended period of time, a number of things occur.

  1. Alcohol destroys the friendly bacteria your body needs to maintain normal blood pressure and positive oral health. Think of it like an antibiotic for your mouth. It doesn’t distinguish between good and bad oral bacteria, it simply kills it all.
  2. Conventional mouthwash dries out your mouth and affects saliva production. This can actually result in worsened breath over time in addition to increased cavity production because saliva acts as a natural barrier for both of these dental conditions.
  3. Recent studies have shown that using conventional mouthwash may potentially lead to high blood pressure issues because of disruption with the body’s production of NO (Nitric Oxide), a molecule inside the body that helps to regulate blood pressure.

A sample of ingredients that are the biggest culprits for these dental issues include alcohol (associated with drying your mouth and killing bacteria), Chlorine Dioxide (used as a bleaching agent to whiten teeth), Chlorhexidine (an antiseptic that is also an allergen), and formaldehyde (dangers include cancer risk and respiratory problems).

 

Discovering Natural Mouthwash Alternatives

There are several natural mouthwash alternatives available over the counter that provide a safer option for those that want to maintain their daily swishing regimen. A few choices are listed below.

  1. The Natural Dentist
    This mouthwash can be found at most major retailers and is tailored towards those with sensitive teeth and gums. The ingredients are all natural and contain 20% Aloe Vera which is a natural antiseptic that replaces conventional use of Chlorhexidine without the side effects.
  2. Therabreath
    This mouthwash is also available at most major retailers and helps increase saliva production instead of drying out your mouth. It also uses natural ingredients including aloe vera and tea tree oil which is another natural antiseptic used to aid in overall oral health.
  3. Oral Essentials
    Created by dentists and thoroughly tested, this mouthwash contains sea salt to help maintain the healthy mineral balance in your mouth. In addition, you’ll find such natural ingredients as aloe vera, coconut oil (a natural teeth whitener), and essential oils (aids in freshening breath). This mouthwash can be found on Amazon in addition to other online retailers.

  

Do-It-Yourself Mouthwash? Why not!

A quick search on the internet for do-it-yourself mouthwash will yield plenty of recipes for you to experiment with. When wading through the never-ending list of oral options, keep a few essential ingredients in mind. 

  1. Aloe Vera
    As mentioned above, Aloe Vera is a top-notch replacement for the conventional mouthwash ingredient, Chlorhexidine. Studies have shown that it is equally as effective as an antiseptic but without all the harmful side effects.
  2. Essential Oils
    Essential Oils are a natural way to freshen breath without the drying effect of alcohol. They also contain antibacterial properties and oils such as lemon contain whitening properties to help keep your teeth shiny and bright.
  3. Sea Salt and Baking Soda
    Both these ingredients have strong benefits for oral health. Used as mouthwash ingredients, sea salt will help to restore the mineral balance of your mouth while baking soda will help to ease gingivitis and whiten teeth.

 

Final Thoughts on Mouthwash

Studies show that conventional mouthwashes are not as effective or as safe as typically advertised. They can contribute to dry mouth, mess with the balance of bacteria in your mouth and even cause increased gingivitis and cavity formation. The best way to keep your dental health in tip-top shape is to work on the problem from the inside out. Keep a balanced diet and stay away from processed foods and sugars. If you still want to make mouthwash a regular part of your dental routine, stick with all natural brands or create your own recipe so that you are in control of the ingredients going into your mouth and body.  For more information, please contact Carolina’s Dental Choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Is Sparkling Water Bad for Your Teeth?

2020-07-16T16:55:40+00:00May 20th, 2019|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dentist Office Monroe NC, General, Oral Health|

There has been a lot of buzz lately about sparkling water, with many people touting it as an alternative to regular or diet sodas. Also, with the many flavorings out there now, sparkling and seltzer waters have become far more attractive as a choice for a soft drink. In fact, sales of sparkling water have doubled since 2011. That said, some have questioned whether sparkling water is bad for your teeth and, if so, how?

It is important to understand the impact of the trend in sparkling water consumption and its impact on your teeth. We want to delve into this controversy, clear up some misconceptions, and give you a few pointers so you can continue to take care of your oral health.

Firstly, it is important to understand that carbonated water has CO2 in it, which gives the bubbly effervescence to carbonated water. But when you drink the fizzy carbonated water, a chemical reaction transpires in your mouth, which turns the Co2 into carbonic acid. But know this: this is a relatively weak acid on its own, so unless you choose sparkling or seltzer waters flavored with citrus (and thus a more acidic sparkling water), the acidic levels are quite low.

In 2016 the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) released a study of the acidity of various beverages. As a baseline, spring water was used (it has a neutral acidity level of pH 7.4) to assess the acidity of sparkling waters. Sparkling water was found to have an average of pH 5 or 5.5 (for example, Perrier is 5.5), making them definitely acidic in nature. The ADA concluded that, on the whole, sparkling water exceeds the acidity of regular tap or spring water. Thus, our attitudes toward sparkling water need to be adjusted slightly, for sparkling water is not the same as any old, regular water.

However, the ADA has not found conclusive evidence of any kind that suggests drinking sparkling water is harmful to your tooth enamel. In fact, the acidity level of coffee is far higher, and thus worse, for your teeth than is sparkling water. Compare coffee’s pH level of up to 6 (depending on the coffee), in contrast to sparkling water’s pH 5 level, and you can see that coffee is a bigger culprit in tooth enamel’s loss.

 

Helpful Strategies

  1. Don’t sip sparkling waters throughout the day, like you would spring or tap water. Rather, drink them in one sitting (in a short span of time), in order to decrease the length of exposure of your tooth enamel to the acidity levels.
  2. If you have dry mouth, which is decreased salivation production due to other illnesses like diabetes, it is best to avoid acidic drinks of any kind.
  3. Brush your teeth after consuming these drinks (and coffee, too, for that matter!). So many of us tend to think we should only brush after eating, forgetting that sugary or acidic elements in drinks we imbibe can be just as harmful to our oral health. So, carry a small toothbrush and toothpaste tube with you to take on the go, and brush after both eating and drinking anything (other than plain water).
  4. Use a mouthwash twice a day, morning and evening. If you are a real enthusiast, you can certainly take a swish-and-spit moment after lunch, following a good tooth brushing. Mouthwash can clear away bacteria and harmful sugars from your teeth. Remember, acidity breaks down tooth enamel and then it is the bacteria, feeding on sugar in your mouth, that creates the problem. Mouthwash can eliminate the bacteria and wash away the sugar—this will preserve your tooth enamel as well.

On the whole, choosing seltzers and sparkling waters is a far better choice for your teeth than drinking regular or diet sodas. The pH levels of most seltzers and sparkling waters are better for your teeth than the average soda. However, from a basic health standpoint (which will always be the best choice for your teeth), drink eight glasses of tap or spring water a day. Plain, pH neutral water is the best choice for your health at every level. And, if you are apt to drink seltzers or sparkling waters, a single swig of plain water after you finish the can, with a bit of a swish of that plain water about your mouth, can help to wash away some of the acidic build-up.

 

Have more questions? Talk to your oral hygienist or one of our dentists at Carolinas Dental Choice.

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Alternative Pain Therapies: Dentist Respond to the Opioid Crisis

2020-07-16T16:55:54+00:00May 14th, 2019|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dentist Office Monroe NC|

It’s been all over the news the past few years and, if you haven’t seen it yet, there are several state attorneys general who are bringing class action lawsuits against the makers of opioid medications for their negligence to disclose how addictive certain kinds of pain medications are. And because surgeries provide the pretext for the prescription of such heavy-duty painkillers, the American Medical Association and the American Dental Association have begun to reconsider the kinds of pain medications they prescribe.

Most people usually think about surgeries at hospitals, but quite a few forget that dentists also perform surgeries, and can also prescribe painkillers to their patients. So, we want to highlight the ethical responsibility we feel, here at Carolinas Dental Choice, for handling painkiller medications. We also want to highlight some of the good things happening across America in a concerted effort to deal with the opioid crisis (as it relates to the dental industry), and lastly, we want to point you in the direction of some pain management alternatives that do not involve taking heavy-duty painkillers. We want you, our patients, both to be well-informed and to know you have choices when it comes to how we administer your oral health care.

The ADA and the Opioid Crisis

The American Dental Association has begun to acknowledge the role it has in diminishing the impact of opioid drugs on Americans. It has begun to address the issue by training dentists, and issuing advisements, about the dangers of opioid addiction, as well as, ways to recognize signs of such addiction in our patients. In 2018, the ADA resolved and enacted a policy regarding the prescribing of opioid painkillers. They committed the organization to three initiatives around the issue of calling for mandatory education on opioid prescription practices: provision for continuing education credits for dentists, developing coursework for dentists on issuing these painkillers, and enacting a phase-in period so that dentists can reach compliance with Congressional concerns.

In other words, the ADA is making strides in seeing how it can, as an organization, ensure that its dentists to not contribute to the opioid crisis and are, therefore, well-educated in how to prevent the spread of addiction to such classes of painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin, or similar drugs. The ADA has also resolved issuing guidelines for dentists, advising them to prescribe a maximum seven-day dosage of opioid-classed painkillers, bringing the ADA into compliance with the CDC’s guidelines.

These resolutions by the ADA mean a safer, better America for us all. They also mean that dentists are better informed about the risks and responsibilities associated with prescribing opioid painkillers to their patients. That means they can better instruct their patients on how to take a painkiller and how to avoid developing an addiction to an opioid. Dentists and patients alike can take responsibility, together, for growing their knowledge of opioid use and thus help put an end to the crisis. A recent webinar, led by Dr. Cathy Carlson and Dr. Aaron Gilson at the ADA, addressed these concerns. Simply know this: the ADA is taking steps to help curb the opioid addiction in this country, and we too are following in their footsteps by adhering to ADA’s guidelines for prescribing opioids. We at Carolinas Dental Choice want you as safe and as healthy as you can be. We know about the crisis our doctors, Dr. Brown and Dr. Kashyap along with the whole team, and are committed to seeing this crisis abate.

The Benefits and Risks of Using Prescription Painkillers

When you have any kind of oral surgery—and the most common or familiar surgery is the removal of wisdom teeth—it means you will have to manage post-surgical pain. So, we want to highlight the pros and cons of using any opioid painkillers, so that you are as informed as possible. Our recommendations draw on the ADA’s advice to patients, found here. We will highlight a few key pieces of information and make a few suggestions, below:

  1. Know what kinds of opioids there are: Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, morphine, and codeine are all drugs that call into the opioid class of painkillers. They can be made from natural substances occurring in the poppy, for example, morphine, or synthetic drugs that mimic the substances of the poppy (fentanyl-based drugs like OxyContin are synthetics).
  2. Understand how they work: opioids work by making you feel that pain is lessened and they also increase the “feel-good” hormone in your brain, called dopamine. (Dopamine is one of several hormones that give you a “feel-good” rush after exercise, for example.)
  3. Pain management choices: over-the-counter painkillers, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can be highly effective painkillers for post-oral surgeries. That said, prescription drugs are available but it is extremely important that you: a) update your medical history to us; b) disclose to us any previous drug addictions or use you (or others in your family) had or have now; and c) keep an open, honest dialogue with us, including asking questions.
  4. If you prescribed an opioid, in consultation with your dentist, then seek to understand: the goal of the prescription; dosage and usage instructions; length of prescription; risks involved in taking the painkiller; how to dispose of extra, unused medication (you can return the remainder to a pharmacist for disposal).
  5. Talk to your family! It is important that they stay informed about your prescriptions and the risks they could pose (not just opioid prescriptions but all of them). They can help monitor your progress, after surgery and while taking painkillers.
  6. It is importation that you, the prescribed patient, are the only one who takes the medication. You should never turn over your medication to others, or give it to another person to use. If you feel at risk of developing an addiction, talk to your dentist as well as your general practitioner/family doctor.
  7. Know those groups at higher risks of developing addictions: adolescents (tooth extractions) and those with a history of past or current drug abuse struggles.

 

This is how we can, together, stop the opioid crisis. It’s up to us, so staying informed about how to handle our responsibilities together means we empower ourselves and each other to make healthy, proactive decisions about prescription painkillers. If you feel at risk, it’s important to convey that to us so that we can help you find alternative ways of planning for pain management, after oral surgery. We want to help you make the best, most informed and healthiest choices for post-surgical care. We are here for you.

Pain Management Alternatives

Because dental providers are among some of the leading prescribers of prescription painkillers, especially for tooth extractions, it is important to know what other choices you have available to you for pain management, besides prescription-strength opioids.

Firstly, be aware that we can prescribe both prescription-strength ibuprofen and prescription-strength acetaminophen, which means they have to be picked up from a pharmacy. These are stronger versions of the over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers you’re used to seeing on the shelf. Many times, regular OTC ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be enough of a painkiller; depending on the kind of oral surgery you have, prescription-strength versions of these can also be highly useful.

If you know yourself to have a relatively high pain tolerance, then consider either OTC or prescription-strength ibuprofen or acetaminophen. There isn’t much use in filling a prescription for a stronger class of painkiller if you don’t really need it. You know your body well, so make an informed decision. And, when it comes to caring for your children, you know their pain tolerances well, also, so bear those facts in mind.

Secondly, consider homeopathic remedies for pain management and pain relief. Some practitioners of homeopathic medicine have made the following suggestions:

  1. Consider taking pre-surgery immunity-boosters. Bulking up on Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, and Vitamin A can help boost your body’s immune system in preparation for fighting off any potential for infections.
  2. See food as medicine: post-surgery nutrition can be part of the solution for easing the healing process. Consider eating foods that have anti-inflammatory properties (like olive oil, avocados, and other foods). Pineapple contains “bromelain,” an enzyme that is meant to help with pain relief; you could make a smoothie that features pineapple.
  3. Make use of supplements: you can use Calendula (marigold) leaves to make a tea or mouth rinse. Calendula contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Or you can use myrrh oil, which also contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, in a homemade mouthwash. Licorice root has numerous properties, which can promote healing and restoration, as well as, reduce pain or inflammation.
  4. Consider ingesting or using (depending on the substance) some natural antimicrobials, like honey, coneflower (Echinacea), or myrrh. A cloth soaked in witch hazel tea, and applied to site of extractions, was a common practice among Native Americans. Slavic peoples of Russia and the Balkans have, for centuries, made use of nettle root to deal with inflammation and pain. Blueberries have also been found to contain anti-inflammatory properties (you can make a paste out of them and apply to inflamed gums.)

If you are interested in exploring, more in-depth, these alterative homeopathic remedies or treatments, look at this site as well as this one. (We highlighted some of the points these websites made in the numbered list above.) Though we as Carolinas Dental Choice cannot endorse or support all of the claims made by homeopathic sites, we do respect your right to explore all of the options available to you for pain management and relief. Just talk to us about what strategy you want to take, if you decide to go the homeopathic route so we can help you to monitor your pain relief and post-surgical recovery.

Final Thoughts

Pain management and relief is a responsibility, and we all need to see it as such. Carolinas Dental Choice sees the need to curb and end the opioid crisis, and we want to assure you that we are committed to making responsible, informed decisions together with you, about your own oral hygiene and care.

We want you to talk to us about any health issues you have, as well as any previous exposure to illicit or prescription drugs. You don’t need to be afraid or ashamed about previous drug use or abuse, but we do need to know so we can make an informed decision. Also, if you feel at risk for developing a dependency on a painkiller, alert us right away. It’s best we know beforehand, during the initial consultation, of any risks you might face for dependency, but we also want to help intervene if you are post-surgery and find yourself growing dependent. We are here to ensure you stay safe and healthy, so keep the lines of communication open with us at all stages of your oral health care.

Let’s sit down and talk about ways to manage pain and find relief after your oral surgery. Our doctors and staff at Carolinas Dental Choice are committed to your total well-being. Let’s make responsible choices, together.

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Our Commitment to Ethics at Carolina’s Dental Choice

2020-07-16T16:57:05+00:00March 25th, 2019|Dental Insurance, Dental Trends, Dentist Office Monroe NC, testimonial|

At Carolina’s Dental Choice we are strongly committed to the ethical treatment of both our staff and patients. These ethics we work and live by are the cornerstone of our business—and they are much more than a mantra to us. Our commitment to ethics can be seen each day you are in our office, and it is our hope that you are encouraged and comforted by our desire to maintain an honest and professional experience.

The American Dental Association outlines a few desired tenets to ethics for all dental offices in the U.S., and we here at Carolina’s Dental Choice follow five important principles when it comes to caring for our employees and patients:

  1. Patient Autonomy (self-governance)
  2. Nonmaleficence (do no harm)
  3. Beneficence (do good)
  4. Justice (fairness)
  5. Veracity (truthfulness)

Of course these sound wonderful, but exactly how we use them to interact with you on a daily basis is a little more detailed. Let’s take a closer look at each principle to see just how we use it.

 

Patient Autonomy

According to the ADA’s Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct document, every dentist has a duty to be truthful with patients. The document states,

“This principle expresses the concept that professionals have a duty to be honest and trustworthy in their dealings with people. Under this principle, the dentist’s primary obligations include respecting the position of trust inherent in the dentist-patient relationship, communicating truthfully and without deception, and maintaining intellectual integrity.”

To us, this doesn’t just mean we are to keep your dental records private. This also means we will keep you in the know when it comes to what is happening with your oral health. It also means you can trust us not to try and manipulate you into having procedures done that are not actually needed. Patient autonomy is the first step in building a trusting relationship.

Nonmaleficence

The ADA’s code of ethics also discusses the importance of nonmaleficence:

 “This principle expresses the concept that professionals have a duty to protect the patient from harm. Under this principle, the dentist’s primary obligations include keeping knowledge and skills current, knowing one’s own limitations and when to refer to a specialist or other professional, and knowing when and under what circumstances delegation of patient care to auxiliaries is appropriate.”

You never have to worry about receiving anything but top-of-the-line, professional care at Carolina’s Dental Choice. We continually work according to the notion that if we are not completely sold on an idea, we will discuss with a fellow professional to gain clarity. This means that if we are not 100% confident of a particular procedure with a particular patient, we will not proceed. We want to best for you, and sometimes that means taking the extra time to have a conversation.

Beneficence

The American Dental Association sees benefice as

 “…the concept that professionals have a duty to act for the benefit of others. Under this principle, the dentist’s primary obligation is service to the patient and the public-at-large. The most important aspect of this obligation is the competent and timely delivery of dental care within the bounds of clinical circumstances presented by the patient, with due consideration being given to the needs, desires and values of the patient. The same ethical considerations apply whether the dentist engages in fee-for-service, managed care or some other practice arrangement…”

Just ask any of our current patients and they will tell you Carolina’s Dental Choice is always working on behalf of the customer. Since our very first day in office, one of our primary goals has been to always operate for the benefit of others. This is continually our commitment you.

Justice

Though life may not be fair, Carolina’s Dental Choice is determined to treat everyone equally, as stated by the ADA’s fourth principle:

“This principle expresses the concept that professionals have a duty to be fair in their dealings with patients, colleagues and society. Under this principle, the dentist’s primary obligations include dealing with people justly and delivering dental care without prejudice. In its broadest sense, this principle expresses the concept that the dental profession should actively seek allies throughout society on specific activities that will help improve access to care for all.”

We do not discriminate or judge at CDC. We see each patient as unique and deserving of the same professional treatment we give everyone.

Veracity

Lastly, the ADA sees veracity as this:

“This principle expresses the concept that professionals have a duty to be honest and trustworthy in their dealings with people. Under this principle, the dentist’s primary obligations include respecting the position of trust inherent in the dentist-patient relationship, communicating truthfully and without deception, and maintaining intellectual integrity.”

We will never share your information with others or every give you reason not to trust us. We aim to create relationships with our customers, and a relationship built on honesty is always the best policy.

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Meet Hannah Autry, Our Social Events Director

2020-07-16T17:23:15+00:00January 22nd, 2019|Adam Brown DDS, Carolina's Dental Choice, Dentist Office Monroe NC|

Receptionists, dental hygienists, and dentists: these are familiar positions that we can put names and faces to when we think about our visits to Carolina’s Dental Choice. However, there are many more people that make Carolina’s Dental Choice an outstanding office and dental practice, and they’re not as behind-the-scenes as you might think. Cue the Social Events Director and dental assistant at Carolina’s Dental Choice, Hannah Autry, and hear more about what she helps CDC bring to the Monroe community. Plus, the next time you’re at the dentist, you’ll have another friendly face to put a name to!

 

Name:

Hannah Autry

 

Place of Birth:

Charlotte, NC

 

Education:

The Dental Staff Institute of Charlotte/CDA

 

What does your position as the Social Events Director entail?

I get to plan, manage, and execute various events in the community, targeting patients who do not currently have a dentist or are looking to find a new dentist. 

 

What does a normal day at CDC look like for you?

I am a full time dental assistant, so the majority of my time is spent helping Dr. Brown and Dr. Kashyap treat patients.  When I am not assisting I am planning new social events and working with other local businesses on ways to improve our marketing. 

 

Why is it important for a dental office to have a Social Events Director?

It brings in new patients, helps us give back to the community, and keeps us on the lookout to improve every part of the office, especially marketing. 

 

Could you tell us about what CDC’s community outreach plan looks like?

We plan on attending and planning various events in the community to prove that our dental office is the best around!

We recently attended the first annual Union County Bridal Show and Expo to reach out to newly engaged couples looking for a new dentist or wanting to improve their smile for the most photographed day of their lives.  We raffled bleach trays and gave out goodies to every bride, groom, and family member or friend who attended the show and stopped by our table.  We also recently provided Treehouse Vineyards with trivia prizes for the month of January.  After all, wine stains your teeth so bleach trays are beneficial to every wine drinker! 

 

Who are these events targeted to?

Families new to the area, businesses that have recently changed dental insurance providers, newly engaged couples, and anyone in the community looking for a new dentist.  

 

Are these events only local to Monroe?

Our events are not limited to Monroe.  We plan on extending our events to Charlotte and surrounding areas in the near future. 

 

What’s the most rewarding aspect of community outreach?

How much joy it brings people to know we are a small, private, locally-owned dental practice with one location and three doctors. 

 

Describe your team at CDC in one word.

Family.

 

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

I do not feel any part of my job is challenging because I have enough confidence in myself to handle any task that comes my way! 

 

How do you start your workdays?

With a nice workout including a long run, a healthy breakfast, and a delicious cup of coffee. 

 

What brought you to Monroe, NC?

I was raised in Indian Trail, NC where I spent all of my childhood.  Steven (my husband) and I bought our house in Monroe, NC back in 2015 and we plan on starting and raising our family here.  After all, we live less than 5 miles from the office!

 

What do you like about living here?

Absolutely everything!  I could not image living anywhere else.  We are passionate about traveling, so what better location could we have than to be three hours from the beach and mountains?  The Charlotte area has and will always be home to us.  

 

What are you passionate about?

My English Bulldogs (Tug Boat and Freight Train) are my children. When my husband Steven and I are not tending to, playing with, and snuggling them we enjoy traveling (the most), hiking, camping, fishing, golfing, being outdoors, working out, cooking, shopping, and spending time with our family and friends! 

 

What is the most important personal attribute you bring to your job?

I have a very bubbly personality and “never met a stranger” attitude.  Anyone who is working with people in the community needs to have a very outgoing personality!  Also, I feel organization is key to being successful.  My OCD plays a huge roll in my everyday life.  Whether it is here at work, at home, in the car, or even at the gym my life is organized in some way.

 

What is the coolest thing you’re working on right now?

Creating a brochure to be used office-wide and passed out at all social events. 

 

What do you hope to accomplish this year as Social Events Coordinator?

Assuring each Union County resident has the best experience in our dental office.  Our clients trust us with all of their dental needs, and we appreciate the confidence they have placed in us by referring their family and friends to our practice and contributing to our daily growth!

 

Where can I learn more about CDC’s outreach events?

Our Facebook page is updated regularly with all events. 

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The 411 on 3D Imaging at Carolina’s Dental Choice

2018-11-05T14:28:46+00:00November 5th, 2018|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dentist Office Monroe NC|

3-D Imaging Device-New Advances in Imaging Making a Difference

3D head Scanner, 3 dimensional digital device, Charlotte NC, Carolina"s Dental Choice

The X Factor

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (1845-1923) was a German mechanical engineer and physicist, who, in 1895 produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known as X-rays or Röntgen rays, an achievement that earned him the first Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901. (Wikipedia). He demonstrated that the rays could pass through human tissue, yet not bone and teeth. Bone and teeth would appear as “shadows” and he learned to make images from these. Like Pierre Curie, Röntgen refused to patent his discovery, instead wanting society as whole to benefit from his work, he even donated his Nobel Prize money to his university.

X-rays are a form of energy, similar to light and radio waves. X-rays are also called radiation. Unlike light waves, x-rays have enough energy to pass through your body. As the radiation moves through your body, it passes through bones, tissues and organs differently, which allows a radiologist to create pictures of them. The views these images are on photographic film or on monitors similar to a computer display.*

X-ray examinations provide valuable information about your health and help your doctor or dentist make an accurate diagnosis.*

The use of x-rays in dentistry of a living person in the United States took place in 1896. Advances in dentistry and the availability of the equipment grew and x-rays became part of the normal dental routine in the 1950s.

3-D Imaging

3-D imaging has become more popular as machines have become more advanced and more available in the medical community. Popular for ultrasounds, mammograms, and other uses, they are helping doctors and dentists better diagnose health issues, while making it easier on the patient. This is truly technology changing lives.

Dental CBCT (3-D) systems have been sold in the United States since the early 2000s and are increasingly used by radiologists and dental professionals for various clinical applications including dental implant planning, visualization of abnormal teeth, evaluation of the jaws and face, cleft palate assessment, diagnosis of dental caries (cavities), endodontic (root canal) diagnosis, and diagnosis of dental trauma. (www.fda.gov)

Also known as, dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), and described by as “a special type of x-ray equipment used when regular dental or facial x-rays are not sufficient. Your doctor may use this technology to produce three dimensional (3-D) images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan.” Adding, “this procedure requires little to no special preparation.” *

More about Cone Bean CT:*

  1. Cone beam CT is not the same as conventional CT. However, dental cone beam CT can be used to produce images that are similar to those produced by conventional CT imaging.
  2. With cone beam CT, an x-ray beam in the shape of a cone is moved around the patient to produce a large number of images, also called views. CT scans and cone beam CT both produce high-quality images.
  3. Dental cone beam CT was developed as a means of producing similar types of images but with a much smaller and less expensive machine that could be placed in an outpatient office.
  4. Cone beam CT provides detailed images of the bone and is performed to evaluate diseases of the jaw, dentition, bony structures of the face, nasal cavity and sinuses. It does not provide the full diagnostic information available with conventional CT, particularly in evaluation of soft tissue structures such as muscles, lymph nodes, glands and nerves. However, cone beam CT has the advantage of lower radiation exposure compared to conventional CT.

At Carolina’s Dental Choice, we use Planmeca 3-D imaging device to help diagnose our patients. Not all damage and disease is visible during a routine dental examination. We strive to limit our patients exposure to radiation. That’s why we make the process quick and painless!

The 3-D Planmeca imaging device is the newest X-ray procedures. Instead of using standard X-ray film, 3-D digital images are produced on the computer screen where we can view them, store them or print them. 3-D imaging take a fraction of the time and uses less radiation.

This technology offers up a profound representation of anatomy, thus offering new possibilities for diagnosis and treatment. These advances assist with many forms of dentistry, including: endodontics, periodontics, orthodontics, implantology, dental and maxillofacial surgery.

The benefits for the patient include:*

  • Cone beam CT scans provide more information that conventional dental x-ray, allowing for more precise treatment planning.
  • CT scanning is painless, noninvasive and accurate.
  • A major advantage of CT is its ability to image bone and soft tissue at the same time.
  • No radiation remains in a patient’s body after a CT examination.
  • X-rays used in CT scans should have no immediate side effects.
  • Non-invasive, there is no need to bite down on a mold or piece of plastic.

Benefits for the dentist include:*

  • The focused x-ray beam reduces scatter radiation, resulting in better image quality.
  • A single scan produces a wide variety of views and angles that can be manipulated to provide a more complete evaluation.
  • Surgical planning for impacted teeth.
  • Accurate placement of dental implants.
  • Determining bone structure and tooth orientation.
  • Locating the origin of pain.
  • Planning orthodontic issues.

What can you expect?

Like traditional x-rays, you’ll be asked to sit very still. While seated, the x-ray source and detector will sweep around you in unison providing a 360-degree rotation (or less, as needed). This typically takes 20-40 seconds for a full scan, and less if the scan if for a specific area only.

Jewelry, eyeglasses, dentures, and other metal objects may affect the images and should be removed in advance. You might also be asked to remove hearing aids and any removable dental work and piercings.

This is a painless procedure and results are quickly available for treatment planning.

The 3-dimensional digital device at Carolina’s Dental Choice combines three different types of 3-D data with one X-ray unit! This will save our patients time and additional discomfort associated with traditional X-ray units. As with all procedures, we’ll work with you and determine if your dental insurance covers this technology.

 

*Radiological Society of North America, Inc.

 

 

 

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