Truth is Stranger Than Fiction… The Hype And The Truth!

By Dr. Max Zaslavsky

1. Just because you are a dentist on TV doesn’t make you good. It makes you lucky and you met the right people.

2. – Not all silver fillings should be replaced. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t. But to take a filling out because you think it will make you healthier will not change who you are. If you are crazy and you think it is because of a silver filling, then you need more than what I can do for you.

3. – Bleaching your teeth will not create root canals nor will it wear away your enamel. Brushing your teeth with lemon juice like Dr. Oz has said, will however create damage. Why? Because IT’S A LEMON AND IT HAS ACID! Furthermore, bleaching your teeth will not change the color of your fillings or crowns. And no, gold crowns will not bleach. They’re gold.

4. – Also, if you come in and want a 1 hour bleaching and you have like 5 teeth left in your mouth, bleaching should not be the priority. Let’s talk about creating a nicer, healthier, smile in other ways.

5. – When I say that you cannot smoke for a week following me taking out your tooth, I mean it! If you think that you putting a piece of gauze over the extraction site, and going out for a puff will somehow protect you, you should join a group of mimes who can also protect you in their imaginary room and imaginary walls.

6. – If I took a tooth out, and I tell you it will take up to 6 weeks to heal, perhaps you should not be giving your partner oral sex during that time since it’s an open wound and you may get a disease if he or she has been cheating on you. There are other holes to use and risk on.

7. – If you are having a newborn, get your teeth fixed. The bacteria that you have from poor hygiene will be transferred to your child. Children get their oral bacteria from parents kissing them and caring for them. Give your kid a chance. Maybe this is a good time to start flossing.

For all Gentiles who feel left out from Chanukkah, here’s a little poem with help from my good friend Julie Kielts…

By Dr. Max Zaslavsky

Chanukkah Santa (1)

‘Twas the night before Christmas in the life of Dr Max
With crowns ready to seat and dentures in wax
Our patients have been treated with the utmost of care
To use up insurance before End of Year
The patients were nestled all snug in their beds
Pondering “What kind of filling? Do Amalgams have lead?”
We spend many hours talking brushing and flossing

Some patients comply; others think we’re just bossing
When out in the reception room arose such a clatter!
It’s just Dr. Max, perfecting his chatter!

He makes us forget that the dentist is scary
Each patient that leaves, hears stories of Tooth Fairies!
The moon shines so bright on our patient’s new crowns
Giving luster to their smiles, erasing their frowns!
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Blue and White sleigh, with just four reindeer!
Now, who is that driving? So Nimble and Quick?
Hey, Dr. Max, what’d you do with St. Nick???!?

“Guess who I saw while visiting the Zoo?”
Santa was sent to find a good Jew!
Santa told me he wanted to try Hanukkah
So he searched for a man with a nice Yamakah
“I was told you’d be game, you’re such a good guy!”
You’ll have such a blast! Those four Reindeer can FLY!
“But leading the sleigh up there in the front
Her name is Maria and if I may be blunt…
She’ll keep you in line with her red nose and mittens
And may I just say, I suspect you’ll be smitten!
Then Joanne our hygienist shoots cavitron tips as if she carries a Ruger
Don’t fuss at her or she may try to shoot ya!

There’s Monica who always come in blaring!
That little beauty keep all the guys staring!
And Ross our office manager with bags of peanut butter and jelly!
I’ve sent him along to keep food in your belly!
Then, just like that! The Sleigh it took flight!
The reflective Tefillin Tape, shining in the moonlight
Up to the house-tops the rowdy crew flew!
With a Sleigh full of toys, and Dr.Max too!
And then, what was that? What’s that out the window?
It’s Doc Tim and Andre with fresh Pedicured Toes!
We drew in our heads and turned all around
Down the chimney came Dr. Max with a bound.
He was dressed all Captain America from his head to his toe!
Shield on one arm, the other a cross-bow (he borrowed it from Hawkeye)!

A bundle of toys in a florescent blue and white sack,
He looked like a hunter, was he here to ransack?
His eyes were mischievous, yet his heart big and mooshy
Just like Impregum, that stuff is so gooshy!
His mouth was drawn up in a “no good” grin
He does like to drink, so was it Gin?
The stump of a pipe, he held looking silly
He doesn’t inhale, he’s just like Slick Willy!
With a wink of his eye and a twist of his head
He let us know, there was nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word but went straight to his work
And filled all the stocking and turned with a jerk.
He ate all the cookies and then yelled, “Hooray!”
He brushed and he flossed to avoid tooth decay!

He left everyone a new Oral-B
“Use Baking Sode and Peroxide and you’ll keep your teeth!”
And laying a finger on the side of his nose
And give a nose, up the chimney he rose!
Much to our amazement the Reindeer were still present
That Santa’s so smart, he sent Max some Pheasants!
So Doc Max could hung while delivering gifts
And Vacations could happen for Good ‘Ole St. Nick!

 

Your Best Friend Can Be Your Worst Enemy…

By Dr. Max Zaslavsky

“Et Tu, Brute?”

It happened just yesterday. I gave my advice for a patient to get some fillings done. Some were new cavities; some were replacements of some existing silver fillings that were done decades ago and now were failing. I had done the exam 2 months ago, made my recommendations and the patient now had the availability to get work done.

I walked into the room, and my patient said, “I only want to do the one new cavity.” “Alright,” I replied, “Is there any reason why you wouldn’t want to replace the old silver fillings that had cracks in the enamel and the leaks surrounding the amalgam?” At that moment I grabbed my mouse to bring up the photos of her failing fillings I had so meticulously shown her the months prior. Then IT happened (the “it” hit the fan as I would like to say).

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“Well I don’t want to replace the old silvers because I heard from a friend that there are complications.”

“Is your friend a dentist?” I asked.

“No…..but she told me she had problems, and I don’t want to have problems”

“Did your friend see me, and said she had problems with her fillings here?” I asked.

“Well no…., but I just don’t want to have problems.”

At that point I tried to explain to her again that her dental issues could be easily solved and I did not foresee any complications associated with her treatment.  If any thing, if she continued to do nothing to restore her old fillings, she could risk fracture and the need for more than a filling. Regardless, we only did one filling, on the new cavity, and I had not seen her since. I probably will see her when a tooth breaks unfortunately.

Friends…grrrr!

Seriously though, I am glad people want to help, but please when it comes to medical and dental care, never assume what you went through is ever similar to what your friend will go through.  I wish it was that easy where I could be that so across the board. If a filling was just a filling and a patient was just a patient, I think I would be way more successful at streamlining my operation.  My patients are like snowflakes- they all are unique and don’t all require the same set of tools.

We as dentists want to do our best, and we want you as patients to ask questions to become involved in your care. Trust me to know when not to go into so much detail. I do not want to scare you away.

But please recognize that what perhaps your friend went through in Peoria is not what you will go through in Fort Lauderdale. Please do not run away from a needed treatment because a friend “psyched you out.” I am blessed to say that more often than not, patients report back to me saying, “Doc, it wasn’t as bad as I thought.”

One of the biggest aches I recently got is when a patient needed a root canal, and opted for an extraction because they are more afraid of a root canal than they were from the removal.  Even when I attempted to reason with my patient, he brought his friend into the operatory to tell me how bad the experience was for him. Of course I did not do the root canal on his friend, but it didn’t matter. The damage had already been done and we removed the tooth.

At the end of the day, please take into account topics your friends may tell you about their dental experiences- good and bad. Then take them to your local dental health provider and let he or she alleviate your concerns. There are good and bad in every profession. You as a patient, and your friends, together, can come to ask some very good questions that can help you find the right dentist for your care. But please, when you find that right dentist, trust him or her to work with you, to guide you to oral health.

Dr. Max Zaslavsky
6451 North Federal Highway #129
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Ph: (954) 491-3544

“This Opportunity Comes Once in a Lifetime Yo…”

By Dr. Max Zaslavsky

“You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo.”
~ Eminem

I am truly blessed that over the 4 years of being with my dental team, I have seen and treated a lot of wonderful patients. When a new patient comes in for their initial exam, we make every effort in achieving their ultimate want without compromising overall health or function. The journey, whether it be long or short can only begin however, with the patient agreeing to their next appointment.

Recently I had the opportunity to revisit a case where I had made my initial recommendations to a patient back in July of 2012. The patient had come in once for a cleaning. I did my exam after the initial x-rays and photos were taken. I went through the gamut of why this patient needed treatment, which included a series of fillings with the possibility of one root canal. Since July, no treatment had been rendered, it is now February 2013, and now the patient was sitting in my chair with the chief complaint of him thinking he had “lost a filling.”

Eminem1

The Cheapest Your Dentistry Will EVER Be is NOW!

Fast forward 7 months and things look way different then they had in 2012. From some fillings and one potential root canal, we now have graduated to the patient needing 3 root canals and 3 crowns. Obviously the patient asked me now if I could just fill the teeth but that option was gone. The decay was invasive to the nerve, and I tried to explain that putting a filling on top of an exposed nerve would be similar to shaking a soda can and waiting for someone to open it up for the explosion. The teeth without a doubt would need to be treated to a greater degree than before.  This would also mean this would be a tremendous leap in increased expenses if he wanted to save his teeth. Waiting 7 months meant the difference between a filling for about $150 vs. a root canal, and crown for $2500.

The example serves as typical situation where perhaps patients felt no pain and made a decision to wait. Patients have the tendency to want to wait “until it bothers them.”  The problem is that a tooth problem tends to come at 9pm on a Saturday and I am not open. In life it is always better to be proactive and just “get ‘er done,” than to be reactive and suffer.

Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple had an opportunity for a liver transplant 8 months before he passed away. He made a decision to wait. He wanted to treat things holistically and see how it would go. Yes, Steve Jobs waited. The billionaire- Steve Jobs waited, and played with his life.

No matter what education level, I think we all have a tendency to wait. When it comes to your health, however, it doesn’t pay to wait. You can be losing a tooth or more importantly your life. So remember like Eminem says, “You Only Get One Shot, Do Not Lose Your Chance to Blow…”

Dr. Max Zaslavsky
6451 North Federal Highway #129
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Ph: (954) 491-3544

Photo Credit: Noura on Flickr

Broken Teeth – When Humpty Dumpty Can Be Put Back Together

By Dr. Max Zaslavsky

Extreme Sports1

Wow, talk about a Sunday!!

Here I was in my office catching up on bills and paperwork, when the phone rang. A friend of a friend had been playing flag football and ran face first into another player. His tooth was loose and needed help. His tooth was so loose, I probably could have taken it out with just my fingers. Panic? Not me! I’ve done this before, but my patient had not.

So let’s talk about the weekend warrior. You know who you are. The guy who plays flag football, or the guy who decides to relive his Warped Tour days thinking he’s Tony Hawk and gets on a skateboard; or even the guy who plays a little racquetball at LA Fitness. It’s you who I am talking to.

First of all, don’t stop working out. Be healthy, be happy, and go get some frozen yogurt afterwards.

It’s ok, you deserved the fro-yo……put some Nutella on top of it.

Boxer

But look, you need to wear a mouth guard. I know I know, the other boys don’t wear guards. But you’re special. Yes you! I’m talking to YOU! Wearing that mouth guard can prevent tooth loss and even a concussion. So I need you to wear it. Preferably a dentist will make you a custom one. Yes, it is more money than the one you get at Sports Authority, but it will fit way better therefore protecting your teeth more efficiently. Also, by custom fitting it, we can make it sports specific. This means we can create a guard to the specific thickness depending on the sport. A boxer needs a mouth guard with a certain protection that’s at a way different thickness than a mixed martial artist. Each sport has its own special needs in thickness. If you are playing racquetball on the weekends, you do not need the same kind of guard as someone who plays ice hockey.

What is that? You don’t need a guard because you aren’t a professional athlete? Yes you are right. It doesn’t stop people from getting the best golf clubs even when they aren’t very good at golf; or the best clothes from Under Armour even when you are not looking like Derek Jeter. The biggest difference between those examples and a guard, is that this will actually protect you from that one silly mistake where it may cost you thousands in dental bills.

Ok, 2nd thing– Don’t get drunk and fall (dedicated to my Theta Xi fraternity brothers from Auburn University).

Need more? Don’t drink a lot of vodka and fall. I know it’s funny when Snooki on Jersey Shore (or on Snooki and J-Wow) falls from being drunk, but it’s really not cool. I had 2 severe dental trauma cases in one week from drunken falls (and it wasn’t even St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo).  At the end of the day we all become adults. It stinks, but drink responsibly. When you fall, and break your 2 front teeth because you passed out from drinking excessively, you need to take a pause and step back a bit. These repairs from broken teeth will have to be done and redone over your lifetime all because of a split second accident. So please drink responsibly, and be around friends who can help you up when you are down for the count.

The youngest you will ever be is today. Live your life to the fullest. Make the most of it. Just be smart.

Dr. Max Zaslavsky
6451 North Federal Highway #129
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
Ph: (954) 491-3544

Photo Credit: Hakonthingstad and Mimoza291 on Flickr

Sugar is Killing U.S.

By Dr. Max Zaslavsky

Where did we as a nation go wrong? I remember growing up and mom doing the cooking. Now I am 36, so growing up wasn’t too long ago. Eating healthy meals wasn’t difficult. You had your vegetable, your protein, and if you were good and ate all of your food, you had your dessert.

Sugar isn’t anything new. In fact my dessert as a kid could have been an apple or a cookie and both of those contain that wonderful sweetness we all desire. Furthermore, who doesn’t like sweets? It’s ok to not like something for being too bitter, or salty, but you can not deny the sugar. So sugar for all of us has been around since the beginning yet we are becoming an unhealthier nation. Notice I did not say fatter. Yes we are fatter, but I have younger and younger people who appear slim but have diabetes at an extremely early age- from mid to late 20’s.

U.S. children for the first time in history have lesser of a chance to outlive their parents. Amazing, right? Look we all know we are becoming an unhealthier nation. Some of y’all reading this applaud Michael Bloomberg for making his strides in trying to limit soda intake, and some of you may abhor him. Regardless, he recognizes type 2 diabetes is on the rise, and so is obesity. Secondly, he sees one big thing a lot of the media hasn’t touched on and that is the effects of sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

HFCS is now in the majority of products that we consume. From bread, to salad dressings, it’s there. Don’t believe me? Just run into your local Kroger, Pathmark or Publix and look around. Yes, even cereals have it.

So what does this have to do with teeth? I mean this whole time I have been talking sugar yet not talking about decay. Well before I wander into the teeth thing, remember carbohydrates break down into sugar. Where carbohydrates initially break down is in the mouth. So the primary area for sugar break down is the mouth, and if you are eating a primarily Standard American Diet, you are eating A LOT of sugar. More sugar will equal more dental cavities. Even more extreme, diabetes can lead to gum disease and tooth loss.

Tooth loss is not sexy. I say that a lot, but it’s true. For those of you reading this, consider going back to the basics- protein, fruits and veggies. Get rid of soda- diet and otherwise. Consider spaghetti squash to replace spaghetti. It’s wonderful. Eat a banana instead of eating something banana flavored.

Do one thing, and notice the difference. What’s the worst that could happen???

…Healthier teeth and a healthier you!!

Before After Photo

Are Your Dentures Going Gangnam Style on You?

By Dr. Max Zaslavsky

Loose Dentures

In the past I’ve written on why you may need a denture, and some of the medical reasons why you may lose teeth; yet I have not ever written about your long term relationship with your denture. I have found that is it a love/hate relationship when it comes to patients becoming acclimated to their new denture, with love eventually winning.  I wanted to expand on one issue in this blog post regarding the longer you wear your prosthesis- the loss of retention.

In short, we always want to keep teeth. I have never had a patient who says they love their dentures more than they loved their own teeth. In fact, if any of them would go back and reverse their tooth loss, our patients would not hesitate. I have always used the expression to my patients, “Dentures are not sexy.” And even as I say that, day after day, I tend to do quite a few dentures and partials. So let’s fast forward to the love/hate relationship of a patient’s removable and conventional denture.

In the beginning, your denture takes time to adjust. There may be sore spots that need to be corrected and the simple action of chewing takes time get acclimated to. Over time, all is good, and soon we can have you even eating steak and raw broccoli again. But as the years progress, your mouth (with no teeth) remodels. As we all get older, body parts drift, sag, or even become flaccid… and your mouth is no different.

Give it 5 years and that denture that once fit perfect is now moving and loose. You aren’t eating the same way because the denture is wobbly, and it’s at a point where is it uncomfortable. Your mouth is remodeling and YOU have some options on what you can do with your dentist to take care of your wobbly dentures!

  1. Get a new denture. Sometimes the best route to go is to take new impressions and make dentures that are custom to your new remodeled arch. They should fit and feel like what you had some years before. It’s at times the best decision when you have an older denture where even the teeth are worn down.
  1. Relining your existing denture. A reline is where we take the denture you currently have, add impression material to the underside of it, send it to the lab, and in the same day get it back with a new acrylic base added. The greatest benefit to this procedure is not only a lower cost than getting a new denture, but you will get your denture back within the same day. Generally I tend to do this when the teeth are in great shape, but palate portion, or the lower arch of the denture is no longer fitting in a secure fashion.
  1. Placing Implants. Man do I love implants. It not only saves the bone you have left around your arch with no teeth, but we can use these implants as retention to the denture in the same fashion as a button on a shirt. I know that a lot of patients come in with a fear of these titanium root formed objects, but you shouldn’t! A good implant can last you a lifetime so long as you treat it like you would a natural tooth (floss and brush).

If you already had your teeth extracted, it is generally a far better experience having implants placed into your mouth than having teeth taken out. Furthermore, by placing implants, we can actually eliminate the need for items like Fixodent or Poligrip that may interfere with your ability to properly taste foods.

In general, always know you have some options when it comes to ill fitting, loose or wobbly dentures. You shouldn’t have to suffer when you eat, or fear that when you are at a function that your teeth will fall out. Although they will never be as good as what Mother Nature made for you, Fort Lauderdale dentists have progressed to make dentures work better than what your grandfather had.

Photo Credit: Hippolyte