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Monday, September 15, 2008

Nitrous Oxide

As of late, I have heard a lot of controversy regarding nitrous oxide use in the dental office. There have been many studies regarding employee exposure and safety. There seems to be some evidence that links miscarriages and offices that have nitrous oxide systems. I have reviewed a handful of these studies. (You can find just about any topic on PubMed.)

While I am not a research scientist, I have had some statistics and research experience. These studies indeed show that there is enough data to be concerned. I work in a fairly new office designed by Dr. Steve Friedrichsen. When he designed the office, he was very particular in choosing safety features, including the nitrous oxide systems. There is an inline scavenger system in each operatory’s nitrous oxide cabinet. Fortunately, there have been no miscarriages involving our staff.

I worked full time throughout my two pregnancies up until I delivered without any problems. With that being said, are we just lucky or is having a scavenger in place and using it the key?

Let me know what you think by posting comments below!

Welcome to my world.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

When patients make me smile

Many of my patients have congratulated me on my recent award of distinction. It is very humbling and it touches my heart that my patients are proud of me.

Today, I received the nicest compliment from a long-time patient. Gloria has been struggling with arthritis for more than 20 years. She has very limited use of her right hand and cannot floss unless she uses floss picks. Gloria also has severe crowding and a tiny mouth. She never complains and has such a positive attitude. “It could always be worse,” is her motto. Today, she greeted me with a hug. While cleaning her teeth, Gloria told me that she probably would have given up on flossing had I not introduced her to alternatives. She thanked me for caring so much and said coming to see me is always a treat. Not every patient tells me that, that’s for sure! I was smiles the rest of the day.

Welcome to my life.

Gone soft for Soft-Picks

Sunstar developed a great new product called GUM Soft-Picks. I absolutely love these little gems. I received them as samples and ordered them for the office, since almost every patient can benefit from using Soft-Picks. No, they don’t replace flossing, but as hard as it is to admit, not every patient follows through with my recommendations. These are a great second to flossing and I have seen terrific results.

The ideal patient thus far would be men with big hands and small mouths that refuse to floss or tooth pick. Patients with crowns or implants have also embraced this new product. I actually passed Soft-Picks out at a BBQ last week at our home—they were a hit!

Most drug stores carry the product in multi-packs that include a little carrying case for purse or car convenience. To order online, click here.

Give them a try—you’ll be hooked.

Welcome to my life.

Good to be back

I am finally home and things are settling down after a summer of traveling. It’s really good to be home and back at work. I missed the interaction of my patients and fellow team members. We all had our summer vacation stories to share with each other. I took a week or so to get back into the routine of waking up to my alarm clock.

While out of the office, there were hygienists filling in for me. Being a little obsessive compulsive, I had to take a deep breath when I found things put away, but not in the exact place I had left them. I prefer the toothbrushes all facing the same way and the floss samples in neat little rows. Admittedly, these little things really don’t matter to a normal person. The most important concern was how my patients did without me. Of course, they did fine…but they missed me!

It’s good to be back.

Welcome to my life.