Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hair, Make-up and Braces?

I had to "squeeze in" my patient Miguel of www.MiguelTorresWeddings.com because he is a wedding photographer and it's wedding season. I was surprised to hear from Miguel that brides (and grooms too) after being so careful about getting everything (hair, make-up, gown, suit) just perfect sometimes have to reject an otherwise beautiful photograph because someone's teeth did not look good. If only brides and grooms had the foresight to wear their retainers (or get new ones) just a few weeks before the wedding, they would be ready for those smiling close-ups. A pre-wedding cleaning and whitening will go along way as would polishing out chipped edges and replacing stained fillings.
I informed Miguel that couples with more severe orthodontic problems can enjoy significant improvement of their smile simply by wearing a nighttime retainer for as little as 6 months.
Even the most crooked teeth can be aligned quite quickly using accelerated orthodontics. Accelerated orthodontics is a combination of braces or clear aligners (www.invisalign.com) and gum surgery that works in harmony to allow teeth to move twice as fast as normal (www.wilodontic.com).
To all those couples tying the knot this season may your hair, make-up and smile be perfect for your special day. And for all those couples that are planning that picture perfect day in 2011 0r 2012, log on to www.orthodontic2ndopinion.com and realize your true potential.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Don't Be Bashful

Don't ever be reluctant to ask a doctor for your records in order to get a second opinion. If a doctor is reluctant to cooperate, that would be a good reason to be wary. Good doctors are always open to expanding their knowledge base. They are regularly reading journals, going to lectures and consulting with other doctors. If a doctor is truly interested in your well being his ego will not be bruised by consulting another practitioner. Make it clear to the doctor that you are not leaving his or her care, you are simply interested in getting another perspective to your problem that you will share with him or her. If there are several ways to treat your condition your doctor would prefer to discuss the pros and cons before you start, rather then to deal with doubts once treatment is underway.
Be warned! You must select your second opinion doctor very carefully. This doctor needs to be interested only in what is best for you. He or she has to be ready to provide a second opinion only, in a way that will help you and your doctor. You don't want your second opinion to disparage your doctor in order to steer you to his practice. It is never a good idea to disclose to the second opinion what part of your first opinion that you are not happy with. This will open the possibility for the second opinion to tell you what you want to hear and not what you need to hear. One way to avoid some of these pitfalls is to seek a second opinion out of your immediate geographic area.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Aggresive Dentist

A good friend of mine called me the other day with a problem.
It seems that his dentist was leaving the group he was in and was moving out of the area. On the final visit with my friend a full set of x-rays were taken and my friend was given a clean bill of health. Six months later, my friend was examined, with new x-rays, by a new dentist, in a different practice, closer to his home. He was told that he had a cavity that needed to be filled and that he had a crown that was "leaking" and needed to be replaced.
My friend took the new x-rays back to the old dental practice and was examined by one of the doctors in that group. My friend was told there was no new cavity and that the crown in question was not leaking.
My friend was confused and did not know who to trust. I gave him the following scenario: You pull into a gas station and the attendant tells you that your tires are all worn out and you need to buy a new set from him right away. You drive straight to a tire dealer and after examining your tires, you are told that they are fine for another 10,000 miles. Who do you trust? The dealer that wants to make a sale or the one who tells you that you don't need anything at this time?
Most people know more about tires than dentistry... Get a second opinion!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Choosing The Right Orthodontist; Red Flags

OK, So your clueless about dentistry. How are you supposed to choose the right orthodontist for you or your child? Even if you get a second opinion, how can you evaluate which one is better? It is not easy, but here are a few things to look out for.

Beware of these red flags!

1 - The website pops up first: Good doctors don't need to spend money on advertising, as most of their patients are referred by other patients who appreciate the treatment they have received. It costs a great deal to position a website on the top of the list. You must ask yourself, "Why does this doctor need to spend so much money to attract patients?"

2 - The office boasts a large number of dental assistants: When you or your child are undergoing treatment, you would want as much of it as possible done by the doctor. Do the math, the more dental assistants in the office, the less work will be done by the doctor.

3 - You are told "the work must be done immediately:": The need for "emergency" orthodontic treatment is very rare. If the office is pressuring you to start right away, be suspicious.

4 - The office sees more than 40 patients a day: I did the math. An 8 hour work day has 480 minutes. If you divide that by 40, it gives the doctor 12 minutes to walk to the next patient, put on his gloves, check the chart, find out how the patient is feeling and then do his examination and at least dictate what treatment is needed. Feeling rushed? Some offices see 80 0r 100 patients per doctor!

5 - Appointments scheduled every 2 or 3 months: All kinds of things can go wrong in that period of time to slow or reverse the progress The doctor needs to monitor
the progress more frequently.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Orthodontic Second Opinion

Braces are expensive, but they can change your life if you or your child has a problem with chewing or are unhappy with the appearance of their smile.

Most people are unaware of the sometimes radical differences in approach among even well trained orthodontic specialists. Depending on the orthodontists treatment philosophy, one Doctor may suggests extracting teeth, while another would recommend against it, or maybe jaw surgery was considered. Sometimes dentists can't even agree on when treatment should get started!

How do you choose the right treatment for yourself or your child? Educating yourself is always a good idea, but every case is different, so what might have worked very well with one person will not apply to someone else. Getting a referral from a trusted family dentist is a very good start, but getting an OBJECTIVE second opinion is always a good idea.

Why is the emphasis on objective? Simply going across the street or across town to another orthodontist may not get you the information that you need. The second orthodontist is a business owner as well, and may be more interested in converting you into a patient at his office than discussing difficult issues. When this happens, the patient &/or parent becomes even more confused. You need to consult with an orthodontic specialist who's only concern is to give you information and has no interest it winning you as a patient.

That is what Orthodontic2ndOpinion.com can do for you. All the necessary x-rays and photographs can be submitted on line and a trained specialist can review them and email some very valuable information back without missing time at work or school. The service is not free, but it can save you time and money in the long run.