The word insurance is defined as “protection against a loss”. The term has been used in medicine, as catastrophic loss can occur as a result of sickness or accident. This term has been used in dentistry, but it is a misnomer. “Benefit” more aptly describes the allowance which is negotiated for an employee between his/her place of employment and “insurance” company.
Throughout my dental career I have pursued the highest level of preventive and treatment excellence to offer you, my patient. The following will spell out how a third party like dental insurance can muddle a relationship and stand in the way of the excellence that I want to provide for you.
Years ago, after several years of experiencing the frustrations attendant to being a dental insurance provider, our practice severed ties to insurance contracts, gutted the entire facility and turned it into a Dental Wellness Center. Our premium approach to client wellness starts with the premise that we are not operating a production line, but a caring, competent and responsible approach towards a commitment to our clients’ best interests.
As two of the most frequently asked questions we hear from people calling our office are,“Do You Take Insurance? How Much Does it Cost?” I thought it would be appropriate for me to explain why the answers to these questions are often not simple.
Information about “Silver Amalgam” Fillings, Our Protocol for Removing Them, and Basics Regarding Their Replacement – Download PDF
The only mercury in our office today resides within the fillings of patients who may have them. The following is some information about the metal element mercury, fillings that have mercury amalgamated within them, how we handle their removal and the rationale for their replacement.
One of the world’s leading authorities on dental materials, Dr. Russell Giordano said: “Amalgam is my least favorite tooth restoration, not because of mercury but because it does nothing to reinforce the tooth and actually, in my opinion, greatly weakens the tooth.” Let’s look at his points more closely, so you, the reader, can fully appreciate his and my opinion of this outdated and overused tooth restorative material.
It wasn’t long after dental school that I learned while mercury may look different when it is mixed and hardened with other metals, while being placed in a patient’s tooth its vapor is emitted in large quantities – as well as when they are being removed from teeth – “details” that were missing in our dental education and still not given credibility in traditional dentistry.
As a health-centered practice, the Dental Wellness Center’s mission is primarily patient education, an essential element of a health development process between a wellness health practitioner and patient. The goal is to discover the cause of a disease condition with the assignment of mutual responsibilities on the part of both practitioner and patient to gain a desired level of health. I can think of no more important area of health relative to the mouth-body connection than that of pH – a measurement of the relative acidity/alkalinity of the body. As the mouth is part of the body, the state of its health can both affect and be affected by that of the rest of the body – a reciprocal effect.
I was prompted to write this after I read an article indicating the increasing number of U.S. citizens who are crossing the border into Mexico and flying to other countries outside the U.S. to have dental treatment, known as “Dental Tourism.” Also by questions I am sometimes asked about my take on the relative quality of U.S. dentistry compared to that performed outside the U.S.
Learn more about what metabolic syndrome entails…
New evidence lends further support to the need for dentists to caution patients about the dangers of tongue piercing, which can lead to severe infections, chipped and fractured teeth, gingival recession, and even death.
In addition to being mercury safe, there are several technical and procedural precautionary measures employed in The Dental Wellness Center that go beyond the usual.
It cannot be denied that tooth decay was on the decline during the 70’s and 80’s, but it is on the rise again. A review of literature on this subject seems to provide answers as to why this is occurring.
One area in dentistry where there seems to be a divide is in the field of endodontics, or root canal therapy,1 which has to do with the safety of root canalled teeth. I wrote this article to inform patients and potential patients about my take on root canal treatments and the rationales behind my reasoning.
A short update on what’s new in our office!
There is no simple answer to this question, as it has many subjective and objective factors that have to do with quality of care, which represents a mosaic of a dentist’s caringness, innate talent and desire to learn the best techniques and technologies that would best serve the patient.
Oral Environment – Hygiene Arm of DWC
Having clean teeth embodies a lot more than just a “sparkling smile.” True teeth cleanliness involves not only what is seen above the gums, but it also has to do with what’s “down under,” where bacterial action, inflammation and infection can reside, most often without the patient even being aware of it.
Bad breath (aka Halitosis, Oral Malodour), has been a scourge of mankind probably from the beginning of time. So what causes this embarrassing condition and what can we do about it?
Well, that’s something that can’t be sugar-coated!
With origins dating back over 4,000 years, green tea has long been a popular beverage in Asian culture, and is increasingly gaining popularity in the United States. Researchers have recently found that routine intake of green tea may also help promote healthy teeth and gums.
One of the unique features of the Dental Wellness Center is that all new patients undergo an oral environment assessment that includes using high-tech instruments that can detect oral pre-cancer and cancer, pH testing for oral alkalinity-acidity, and several assessment technologies to determine the state of one’s periodontal (gum) health and predisposition to tooth decay.
One of the basic oral assessments we perform with new patients is to determine the relative acidity or alkalinity (pH) of the mouth through placing their saliva on pH strips. Why? Because bacteria flourish in an acidic environment.
A new patient entering the Dental Wellness Center does not have their teeth cleaned until a determination is made of the state of their gum health through a complete periodontal probing, as well as laboratory biofilm tests that show exactly the type and amount of the 1000+ species of bacteria that can reside within the patients’ mouth.
Learn more about how the mouth is an excellent gauge of one’s general health.
While teeth cleanings are still an important aspect of oral health, they are only a singular component of developing and maintaining a healthy oral environment. The information we gain through your medical and dental histories, along with the various assessments made along the route to learning about your oral and general health, leads to preventive and treatment processes that address your unique situation.
Some of the most important tools you can employ to lower your risk of cancer are a
toothbrush and dental floss. Use them properly and you may lower your chances of early cancer death by up to 80 percent.
Simply cleaning teeth without doing a thorough and in depth assessment might be like washing a car with areas of rusted out metal – it may look good and feel better to drive, but it won’t solve the underlying problem.
One of the most frequent questions we hear from new patients is “Why do these dental problems keep happening?” The mission of the Dental Wellness Center was in large part developed to answer this question.
“How healthy do you really want to become?” is the central question from which a mutual game plan can be developed.
While dental technology has advanced, the one area of dentistry that hasn’t seemed to improve is in the area of trust, as it is estimated that as many as 75% of US adults experience some degree of dental fear, from mild to severe. Our team has found that an interesting upshot of this patient educational process is the development of that all-important missing element cited above – trust!
Our oral assessment, educational, preventive and treatment protocols have been designed to work with individuals who have a high desire to optimize their oral health and are willing to embrace their role in its development.
In traditional, insurance-driven dental practices, the main thrust is on finding the results of dental conditions, such as decay and gum disease, and then providing repair, teeth replacements and cleanings, with relatively little emphasis on the cause of the decay and gum disease
I believe that the diverse meanings of the word “diagnosis” characterize the reason why the United States rates only 37th in the World Health Organization’s ranking of the health care systems out of 191 countries.
I have found through my course of years being a dentist, that the best of technical (preventive, esthetic, functional) care can only occur within the confines of a sound relationship.
I have noticed through the years the tremendous differential in the quality of technical care and personal service existing within the field of dentistry. I have discovered that these differences ultimately lie within the head and heart of the dentist – his developed philosophy of care based on inherently held personal values.
The purpose of the Dental Wellness Center is to teach its patients about the status of their oral system to such a degree that they can make informed choices about its future. A corollary to this educational process is the building of a relationship along an educational path that is based upon mutual respect, knowledge, trust, shared values and perspectives about disease and life. Does this involve love?
The following is a brief history of Dr. McBride’s own learning process as a dentist and how his practice evolved into becoming a holistic Wellness Center.
A dentist with a holistic approach is not just checking your teeth and gums, looking for decay and periodontal (gum) disease, or wanting to sell you on the idea of an improved smile through the wonders of cosmetic dentistry.
Recent studies support the root canal truth we report today—that teeth that receive proper endodontic treatment do not cause illness.
For those who may be searching for a new dentist, the following will highlight aspects of The Dental Wellness Center that shaped its formation, and how it contrasts with most other dental practices.
The value of this first appointment is incalculable as it is the start of a process that can reverse any negative attitudes towards dentistry and set the stage for a lifetime of oral health. Keep reading to learn more!
Fundamental to a more holistic, or wellness mode is a recognition that symptoms have causes, therefore therapy is based upon meticulous assessment that identifies the cause(s) from which preventive and treatment regimens are developed.
The following is a brief history of Dr. McBride’s own learning process as a dentist and how his practice evolved into becoming a holistic Wellness Center.
The uniqueness of our Dental Wellness Center lies in its model of health developed through extensive research of healthy oral systems which includes the muscles, ligaments, joints, gums, and yes – the teeth.
The purpose of the Dental Wellness Center is to inform its patients about the unique nature of their oral status through a co-learning process between doctor and patient that empowers them to make informed choices regarding its future.
The first appointment is so vital; it is dedicated quality time between the doctor and patient, a chance to get to know one another to discuss patient dental concerns and to set goals to resolve those concerns.
An essential attribute of a holistic approach is patient compliance and collaboration based upon the patient’s high interest in becoming healthy – an interest that has been aroused through a process that lets them understand the origin of their problems.
What really differentiates a holistic from a traditional dentist? I believe that it begins with an attitude on the part of the dentist emphasizing discovering the nature of, and prevention of oral problems, rather than one of simply treating and repairing their results.
Although I didn’t realize at first that the pursuit of continued education would have so many twists and turns, forcing me to make some big decisions along the way, it has been well worth it. Thanks to the great number of patients that value what we have to offer, The Dental Wellness Center has evolved to its position today of growth by leaps and bounds, offering a rare combination of health-centered services.
At The Dental Wellness Center we offer information that will help individuals understand how the mouth functions as a system and why their oral health has an influence over their overall physical health.
Dentistry is considered to be a helping profession. In any helping relationship, trust needs to be at its core.
It is our intention to build healthy relationships with our clients. Without a trusting relationship it is very difficult to have successful communication and understanding.
Dr. McBride expands upon the dictionary definition of the word “holistic:” “concerned with all factors, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual that affect health, rather than treating isolated diseases and symptoms.”
The Dental Wellness Center offers an environment where a friendly and efficient team works with each patient, allowing adequate time depending on the persons’ individual needs.
The wellness doctor develops a solid, mutual trusting relationship with his patients wherein they each commit to their respective roles as teacher/student.
The purpose of a thorough oral examination and Review of Findings appointments in The Dental Wellness Center is to teach my patients of the potentials and liabilities that exist within their oral system.
The Dental Wellness Center mission is to educate its patients about their oral system to such a degree that they can make informed choices about its future. It is the result of over forty years of evolution that has the oral and systemic health of its patients at its core.
When we make the child’s first visit a positive one, we will be making sure that the next one will be a winner to pave the way for a future of optimum health.
Dr. McBride discusses how the considerations of full denture service are completely different from other types of restorative dentistry such as fillings, fixed bridgework or implant dentistry, and how that affects his treatment protocol.
A branch of dentistry relatively new on the scene is Bioesthetics, in which a model of dental and oral health was derived from this research of these fortunate individuals who comprise 10 – 14% of the population. Their common attributes have become the guidelines that direct the dentist trained in Bioesthetics in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of the oral system.
TMJ dysfunction has come to light within the last 15-20 years, because people are living longer and many are keeping their teeth for a lifetime. It is important for the dentist to have a sound, tested and workable philosophy in dealing with these problems. It is also important that the patient understands the rationale behind these steps prior to taking the first step.
Always striving to be at the forefront regarding the usage of healthy dental materials for its patients, the Center is now offering a zirconia ceramic implant system to be used as an alternate to titanium implants. Keep reading to learn more!
There is one element of oral health that is most often overlooked by dentists which is the subject of “occlusion” – that is, the way the teeth meet in relation to the jaw joints (“TMJs”).
The purpose of this article is to have the reader learn about the single factor most commonly overlooked by many dentists when applying these cosmetic technologies to their patients. It is a fact that the teeth are only one component of an extremely unique and integrated system, and are always in relation to the surrounding bone, muscles, nerves and ligaments.
At The Dental Wellness Center we believe that it is especially important to have a holistic approach with pediatric dental patients, as their experiences within the dental office will shape their attitude towards future dental health.
The MELISA® test (Memory Lymphocyte Immuno Stimulation Assay) measures hypersensitivity to numerous metals, including mercury, by placing a series of metals into contact with the white blood cells of the person being tested and then monitoring the reaction.
The following is information about Biological Dentistry – it is taken from the website of the IAOMT, an organization that I have belonged to for years. It explains the many facets of Biological Dentistry. More information and articles can be found on the IAOMT website, http://iaomt.org
This article will introduce you to our approach in assessing and treating TMJ disorders. TMJ is an acronym for temporomandibular joint, which are hinge-like and connect the lower jaw (mandible) to the upper jaw (maxilla).
Snoring may be an indication of obstructed breathing, called Sleep Apnea, and should not be taken lightly.
Dr. McBride’s training and teaching experience in Bioesthetics with Dr. Robert Lee allows for our clients who have tooth wear and jaw joint problems to obtain a treatment plan to develop their oral system as close to the Bioesthetic* ideal as possible.
The word “Biomimetic” is derived from two terms: “biology,” the science of life or living matter in all its forms, and “mimic,” to imitate or copy. Keep reading to learn more about how biomimetic philosophies are applied in dentistry.
Clifford Materials Reactivity Testing (CMRT) is a laboratory screening process used to help identify existing sensitivity problems to various chemical groups and families of compounds in an individual patient.
Should wisdom teeth, or 3rd molars, be removed? It all depends.