George K. Markle, DDS

WHAT’S REALLY GOING ON DURING YOUR HYGIENE APPOINTMENT?

It’s time for your cleaning! Yes! Why am I so excited? I guess it’s because we accomplish so much in this short time together, it’s nothing short of a miracle. Ok, maybe not a miracle but definitely pretty great. 

So I thought you might like to know what’s behind the curtain, so to speak, when you come in for your hygiene appointment, and share some ideas with you that can help to ensure that your visit unfolds exactly as you like. 

So, you may think you are here for “just a cleaning” but it’s not just a cleaning to us. Here’s what really happens in that 50 min supercharged appointment!

-Review medical history, recording and discussing any changes, including doctor visits, medications, etc. 

-Discuss anything that might be bothering you in your mouth and do any diagnostic tests to gather information for Dr. Markle

-update any periodic and recommended x-rays

-perform an oral cancer screening and soft tissue examination

-check the condition of all teeth, existing fillings and crowns and take any intra oral photos or additional x-rays for Dr. Markle to view

-assess teeth alignment and bite in relationship to overall oral health

-record periodontal probing to aid in the diagnosis of gingivitis or periodontal disease and explain findings related to both oral health and the impact it may have on overall health. This includes measuring pocket depths, bleeding points, recession, furcations, mobility, etc.

-develop a dental hygiene treatment plan, present it to you, and review with the doctor

-administer nitrous oxide, if applicable

-perform oral prophylaxis (yeah, that’s the cleaning part-but it’s so much more!) 

-apply fluoride varnish, perform laser bacterial reduction or antimicrobial irrigation, if warranted

-polish teeth

-floss

-perform oral hygiene instructions and dispense and demonstrate any recommended tools

-clean retainers or night guards, if applicable

-periodic oral examination by Dr. Markle, if applicable

-answer any questions 

-assist you in making your next appointment, disinfect operatory, complete chart notes and sterilize instruments

-and my favorite part—-getting to know you and hopefully becoming more than your hygienist.

Whoa!! Seriously? That’s a lot, right? And I’m sure I left something out. 

But here’s the thing. We love the opportunity to provide you with the most detailed and comprehensive care available. And our goal  is for you to leave feeling like you had an excellent experience. 

And I believe that in order to make that happen for you, we need to be on time. Am I right? Because we know you have places to be!

So, in order to make the most of the time we have together, please let us know before the day of your appointment (as soon as possible, really) if there are any specific issues you would like to discuss with the doctor. The time with your hygienist is pretty much planned out to include all the above-mentioned, incredible services (thank you very much!) and we want you and Dr. Markle to have the time you both need, and deserve, to address anything unexpected or additional that has come to your attention. If you let us know in advance, we can allow time on his schedule as well, and it won’t interfere with the service we provide for you during your hygiene appointment.

Now we are talking about a well-oiled machine! 

As your dental team, we want  to offer you amazing dental health care and awesome customer service. We also want to be able to answer any questions, and for you to leave our office feeling like you had an excellent experience and are part of the family. 

Thanks for being our wonderful patients, and see you next time!

Lorna Smith, RDH 

Botox and Dermal Fillers in Dentistry

Dentists are uniquely qualified to help patients improve their smiles and maintain good oral health.  But did you know that specialty trained dentists, like Dr. Markle can also enhance the face to smooth and relax the muscles and skin? For example,  the lips can be gently enhanced to compliment your smile.  Fine lines and wrinkles around your nose, forehead and eyebrows can be smoothed and relaxed with Dermal Fillers and Botox combination treatments.  Ask us to help you evaluate your particular needs and develop a plan to keep your face and smile looking healthy and youthful.

Yes, You Still Have to Floss.

The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health.

Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed.

The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. You can prevent gum disease by maintaining a clean mouth over a long period of time. Wayne Aldredge, President of the American Academy of Periodontology explained: “gum disease is a very slow disease”. In his interview with the AP he recommended long-term studies which he believes would clearly show the difference between people who floss and people who don’t.

Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study? What do you think?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to.

Aldredge also pointed out that most people floss incorrectly, using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

It’s a shame that studies on an important tool such as floss have yielded poor results, but it’s a bigger shame that the studies themselves were poorly designed. Oral hygiene is a long term process, and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the mean time, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today at 415-781-4725!

March: Walking for Those Who Crawl

March of Dimes
Premature babies are those that are born before the normal 37-week gestational period. These babies have various health issues, which can affect them over their lifetime. Sadly, some premature babies won’t make it – which is what March of Dimes aims to prevent.

What is March for Babies?
March for Babies supports the prevention and research of pre-term births through charitable walks in the month of March. The goal is to raise funds to help mothers give birth to healthy, full term babies while researching the possible causes and preventions of premature birth.

Why You Should Get Involved
Whether you’re a mother, father, kid, soon-to-be mother/father, know someone who’s been pregnant or is thinking about children – this affects you and you can make a difference. Becoming informed and learning more about premature babies is the first step.

How You Can Help
March for Babies makes it easy to help! Spread awareness about premature babies and encourage everyone around you to do the same. If you are interested in donating, rest assured that your money will go toward supporting premature babies through research into prevention and causes of premature birth.

You don’t need to donate money to help. Some other ways to contribute include:
• Getting informed by visiting the March for Babies website: https://www.marchforbabies.org/
• Raising awareness
• Walking in a local event

Donate a Homemade Hat to a Local Hospital
If you can knit or crochet and are interested in hand-making a preemie baby hat, consider donating one to a local hospital! Local hospitals are always in need of hats for babies and you can take pride in knowing that you are keeping a baby’s head warm.

Will you help us get the word out?

Taking Care of Your Veneers

Congratulations! You’ve just received your brand new veneers. Your smile has never looked this good, and you probably want to make sure it stays that way! Good veneers can last a long, long time, but only if you take good care of them along the way.

Here are some tips to make your veneers last a decade and even more:

Treat Them Like Teeth
You can ensure that your veneers last a long time if you brush them with the same care that you would your original teeth. Brush twice and floss once daily for best results!

Regular Cleanings
It’s important that we continue to schedule appointments with you so that we can make sure your veneers are looking their best, and that they stay that way. The week after the veneers are placed is the most important visit, followed by your regular dental hygiene visits, during which we can keep an eye out for potential problems.

Try Not to Grind
Many people grind their teeth, but it’s important that you let us know if you have a history of doing so. Measures can be taken to avoid damage to your new veneers over time, such as a nighttime mouth guard to protect your new smile.

Avoid Damage
Biting down on hard food is dangerous for any teeth, and even more so for veneers. Avoid using your veneers to bite down on hard materials and foods. The less stress you put on them the better.

Staining
Veneers keep their shade beautifully over the years, but they are not immune from staining. Avoid the same foods and beverages that you do for your natural teeth such as coffee, tea, wine (and smoking)!

What is involved in the procedure?
First we evaluate your teeth using various kinds of imaging and impressions to ensure that veneers are a good choice for you. Next we create a mock-up so that you can see what your teeth will look like after the procedure, before you make your final decision. If you decide to proceed the first step is to remove a thin layer of enamel from the teeth and then make an impression from which we can build the veneers. The veneers are bonded to the teeth with dental cement and hardened using a special light. That’s where the procedure ends and your new smile begins.

If you are ready for a smile upgrade with veneers, give us a call at San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-781-4725!

Missing Teeth: More than Just a Gap in Your Smile

While it is true that the most obvious effect of missing teeth is a gap in your smile, missing teeth can cause other problems that you might not be immediately aware of. For example, did you know that for every missing tooth you have you lose 10 percent of your chewing ability? Read on to get a better idea of how a missing tooth can affect your life.

Surrounding Teeth
A missing tooth usually means more stress for the remaining teeth. In addition to that, if you are missing a tooth on the lower jaw, the opposing tooth on the top can grow longer to fill the gap in a process known as superuption or extrusion. This could lead to teeth tilting and move out of place by drifting into the space that was left by your missing tooth – a disaster for your beautiful smile!

Digestive Health
If you are missing teeth, you can’t enjoy all of the foods that you are used to eating – bad for your health and bad for your mood! Say goodbye to caramel apples, saltwater taffy, crunchy carrots and even gum. And because the variety in your diet is reduced when a tooth is missing, digestive problems are unfortunate yet common.

Decay and Hygiene Problems
The shifting of your teeth may cause new hygiene issues as it may be difficult to brush and floss like you normally would. This leaves your mouth more vulnerable to gum disease and tooth decay.

Facial Aesthetics
People with more than one missing tooth may also have issues with a collapsed bite which causes a loss of vertical dimension. This could make your face appear shorter, as the distance between the tip of your nose and your chin would decrease.

The good news is that you don’t have to suffer anymore! Dental implants can help you avoid all of the problems listed above and let you live your life normally again. It’s never too late for a dental implant, give us a call at San Francisco Office Phone Number 415-781-4725 to find out about this life-changing procedure.

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