The State of Salivary Diagnostics

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At the core of the dental profession is the desire to better the oral health, and by extension the overall health, of all patients. As time passes and technology continues to advance, dental professionals have discovered better, more accurate, and more efficient means of diagnosing and treating their patients thereby elevating the standard of care.

One such advancement in dental treatment that’s seen a lot of discussion as of late is salivary diagnostics and its role as a rapid point-of-care tool for the prevention and treatment of diseases. A statement from the American Dental Association emphasizes the importance of furthering the research and use of salivary diagnostics in the profession. Specifically the ADA “recognizes the importance of continued research in oral fluid diagnostics, and welcomes the development of rapid, point-of-care tests that provide accurate measurements of clinically validated biomarkers… Advances in the science of oral fluid diagnostics may lead to identification of disease signature patterns of candidate biomarkers and/or confirmation of genetic susceptibility to some conditions.”

While blood has been the go-to medium for diagnosing the majority of diseases for a long time now, an article from DentistryIQ highlights that many of the same biomarkers found in blood are also available in saliva but in much smaller quantities. “Biomarkers in the blood are commonly measured in micrograms, which are one millionths of a gram. Biomarkers in saliva are commonly measured in picograms, one trillionth of a gram, or nanogram quantities, one billionth of a gram. Technology is now at a point where those minute quantities are readily detectable using a number of methodologies…” In the past the limits of technology made salivary diagnostics an impossibility, but in the near future salivary diagnostic tools could become available to all dental professionals.

A specific application of salivary diagnostics in dentistry could be the early diagnosis of periodontitis. Today the traditional approach to diagnosing periodontal diseases consists of measuring periodontal pocket depth and associated bone loss by manual probing of the gingival sulcus mixed with visual examination from a dental professional and radiographic imaging. Ultimately, this approach can leave dental professionals with limited information on disease classification and treatment planning.

In Salivary Diagnostics: the Future of Precision Dental Medicine, an article from Colgate’s site dedicated to the future of oral health, salivary diagnostics’ role in the diagnosis of periodontal disease looks bright: “By virtue of science and research, there is much we know about periodontal disease… the oral health community also knows that there is a variety of salivary biomarkers that can be used to predict disease progression. Now, despite there not being a solitary biomarker as of yet, we are aware of several combinations [such as matrix-related mediators, inflammatory mediators, and microbial mediators] that cater to the multidimensional pathology of the disease and help to identify the patient’s oral health status of his/her dentition.”

These are just a few insights into the evolving world of salivary diagnostics, what are your thoughts on its role in dentistry? Let us know in the comments!

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What’s Wrong Here? 3 Revealing Parts of Your Practice

Many businesses, large and small, have a huge source of great ideas that can help them improve, innovate, and grow, and yet so many of these companies never think of using this amazing corporate asset. What is this highly valuable asset? Its own people. http://ift.tt/2rPKHRQ

Integrated Healthcare in Burlington

Dr. Currie and the team at Pearl Dental would like to wish our patients, Lori and Laurent Pinci, the best of luck in their new venture.

Lori and Laurent will soon be opening a multi disciplinary wellness centre in Burlington called Pillars of Wellness offering alternative and integrated healthcare services.
We’re certain the new facility will be a resounding success and fill a much needed healthcare niche for Burlington residents.
You can find out more about the services to be offered at:    www.pillarsofwellness.ca

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Understanding Dental Coverage for Your Child

Understanding dental insurance can be quite a hassle, but we know it is essential to keep your children’s smiles healthy. Not every plan is the same, and learning about your insurance coverage isn’t always a simple task. If you’ve been left scratching your head about your dental insurance plan and how it applies to your family, keep reading.

Read Your Explanation of Benefits

It might seem daunting to sift through the giant stack of paperwork you receive when you sign up for benefits, aka: your explanation of benefits. However, it is inherently necessary if you are going to thoroughly understand your coverage.

You won’t be able to ask the right questions if you don’t know where to start. Reading your explanation of benefits is a good place to begin. Doing so will allow you to form plan-specific questions.

Get Familiar With Insurance Vocabulary

Oftentimes, the most difficult part of understanding dental insurance is the vocabulary. In order to understand your coverage, you need to understand the language. Get to know familiar terms such as:

  • Deductible – Total dollar amount the patient is responsible for covering before insurance begins paying benefits
  • Benefits – The amount your insurance company is contracted to pay for services and/or procedures
  • Co-Pay – Dollar amount the patient is responsible for at the time of services rendered
  • In-Network/Out-of-Network – Services provided in a dental insurance policy either by a contracted or non-contracted dentist. In-network dentists are considered to be contracted and are therefore obligated to provide treatment coverage as outlined by certain guidelines
  • Open Enrollment – Period of time when you can enroll in dental insurance or make changes to your existing plan
  • Preauthorization – Recommended treatment is presented to the insurance company to determine how much will be approved for coverage

Those are just a few of the basics. Familiarize yourself with more common insurance lingo here.

Take Advantage of Resources

Dental insurance is something that is inherently necessary for the health and well-being of your child, so you want to have as much knowledge as possible about what you’re paying for.

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Don’t be afraid to research and ask for help.

If you are unsure, ask! Have a customer service representative for your insurance company walk you through any portions you are unsure of. It is better to ask many questions than to be left with a bill (or multiple bills) that you don’t understand. Don’t forget to utilize blogs, podcasts, and Google to assist you with general questions that aren’t plan-specific.

Ask Your Pediatric Dentist

Still unsure of how the terms and coverage apply to your child’s needs? You’re not alone. Dealing with insurance companies can be time-consuming and headache-inducing. Oftentimes, your pediatric dentist will offer to call your insurance company and acquire a detailed explanation of your benefits. This helps give you and your child’s dentist a more clear understanding of the services your insurance company will cover.

Maximize Your Benefits

Your trusted pediatric dentist will be able to suggest needed treatments and maintenance for your child. Leftover insurance benefits don’t roll over into the new year, so make sure you get the most out of your plan and schedule an appointment for your child to use up the rest of your benefits.

Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry will be able to help you understand procedures covered and requirements given by your insurance company. We want to make you and your little one’s experience as simple as possible, starting with taking the guesswork out of insurance coverage. We also have a simple and clear bill pay system. If you have questions about how your insurance works with our practice, contact us today!

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Parent Perspectives: Charlotte Pediatric Dentistry Waverly

Trust, convenience, and care are three things that we provide to our patients every day. We know that choosing a pediatric dentist is a big decision. Your child’s dental health is so important, which is why we are dedicated to upholding our values with each visit.

Knowing that parents trust us to care for their children’s smiles is a heartwarming feeling. Our dentists are passionate about what they do, and they truly care about the health and well-being of every patient that they meet. We aim to make trips to the dentist, dare we say it, fun!

Dr. David Moore made the decision to open a office in South Charlotte after learning that parents were seeking a more convenient location for pediatric dentistry. We are proud of how far our Waverly location has come since opening their doors in the fall of 2016. Our Waverly Grand Opening gave us the opportunity to meet many new families!

Parent feedback is crucial to our growth. We are constantly striving to make a better pediatric dentistry experience for our patients and their parents. We have made tremendous strides in growing our Waverly practice to provide the same great care you’ve come to know and expect at our other locations. Here’s what some parents had to say about our new Waverly office.

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From a happy parent and child after a great visit

Dr. Dunlap and the staff at Charlotte pediatric dentistry in the new Waverly location were excellent. Not only is the facility top-notch but the friendliness and knowledgeable staff above and beyond. That combination makes for great patient care. My son Parker wore his sticker with pride the rest of the day and the following. He talks about visiting the dentist office there all the time. Thank you for your excellent care. -Parker B.

From a parent that needed convenience

We love CPD!!! My kids have gone to the Billingsly location for 3 years and we’ve always loved every visit! We just went to our first appointment at the new location in south charlotte and it’s so nice! We love it! It’s closer to home and everyone is awesome!!! My kids get excited to go to the dentist ❤-William D.

From a mom with a tight schedule

Dr. Dunlap and staff were great! They made my (almost) 4 year old daughter’s visit a breeze! Super friendly and professional and got us seen and on our way within 30 mins. Looking forward to our next visit at the Waverly office! -Abby M.

From a mom with a first-timer

Today was my daughter’s first dentist appointment and it could not have gone any smoother thanks to an amazing staff at Charlotte pediatric dentistry at Waverly! -Alisha M.

(See more parent reviews of our Waverly office here.)

We invite you to take a tour of our office, schedule a consultation, and/or come in and meet the Waverly crew! Come get to know Dr. Leigh Wilson, Dr. Carrie Dunlap, and their team. We are looking forward to caring for your little ones’ smiles!

CPD Staff with kids

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Five Ways to be the Best Associate

When I was in dental school, we were told tons of scary stats about being associates and the number of associateships that don’t pan out. It can be easy to get overwhelmed. Below are five recommendations that will pay dividends for your entire career and allow you to get the most out of any job.

1. Communicate—Everyone has heard the saying communication is key; this is my number one tip for a reason. Every patient should be educated on his or her situation. They did not go to dental school, so you need to talk on a level that they understand and inform them on what has, is, and could happen. I make sure that every patient understands that my job is to educate them on what they have and/or need; and if they want, I will fix it. Most of those patients appreciate the fact that I say, “these are your options and needs, what do YOU want?” I typically do not have to sell treatment once I have educated the patient and sold the patient on me as a provider.

2. Sell yourself—Teddy Roosevelt said, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” An easy way to jumpstart the process of showing you care is simply using the patient’s name. Some patients want a dentist that will talk to them about life. Some want one that will coddle them. Others want you to be candid and joking. It is important that every patient has a personal experience and feels special. Service with a smile is just the beginning of a very pivotal aspect of your career.

3. Win the staff—Throughout a long career, you will encounter all sorts of staff. They will all need to see you as a leader and respect you. Lead by example to win the staff’s respect and loyalty and show them appreciation. The staff will generally work harder and go out of their way to make your life easier once they believe in you. And if all else fails, just buy them food. Who doesn’t love free food?

4. Set goals—Being goal oriented is a natural incentive for both you and the staff, which allows you to lead with metrics. Once you have a goal in mind, print it out, share it with the staff, and make sure everyone is on the same page. This is another area where you as a leader must set the example and show them the standard. If they see you sell a nightguard or braces, they will understand that you are making the effort to help them get their incentives. This “team mentality” lights a fire under them when they see you working to help them.

5. Be present—It is hard to be a leader from behind your office doors. Being there for your staff is a simple way to show that you care about the practice in general. It starts with showing up on time and staying until close. A simple rule to help you would be never asking your staff to do something you would not do. Make sure that they know you are always on their side and willing to step in and stand up for them if needed.

A happy staff leads to a happy life. If you set clear goals, communicate them, and then execute them in front of your staff, all while serving the patients, then your office and associateship will prosper. It will be a fun and professional environment. Everyone will be more productive and happier once you set the foundation with these five tips.

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