Ok, so maybe "blog" isn't exactly the right term, but I thought I'd include here some information that might be interesting or helpful to patients or prospective patients. It might involve dental education, there might be intriguing links to sites--both inside and outside the world of dentistry that I think you might find illuminating. I'll attempt to update it every so often to keep it fresh. If there are topics that patients or prospective patients would like to learn more about, or would like to see featured in this space, just drop me an email and I'll research and post here.
September 20, 2018
In 2016, an inter-professional consensus statement was developed through collaboration between three organizations: The Canadian Dental Association, The Canadian Orthopedic Association and the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease. The issue was around antibiotic prophylaxsis; the prescribing of antibiotics for patients who have had joint or valve replacements prior to some dental procedures. For those patients affected, you typically know who you are. If you've had a hip or knee (or valve) replacement, your dentist or orthopedic surgeon or cardiac surgeon have recommended in the past that you take a single dose of antibiotics one hour prior to a dental procedure that involves "blood-letting" (cleanings, extractions, root canals). This consensus statement now says that this protocol is not necessary. They are saying that research shows that most transient bacteremia of oral origin occurs outside of dental procedures and that the significant majority of prosthetic joint infections are not due to organisms found in the mouth. The tricky part of this is that I am finding most orthopedic surgeons disagree with their association and are instructing patients that they must follow the antibiotic protocol. This puts us dentists in a bit of a bind as we typically have provided the prescriptions but our association is saying we should no longer do this. My approach is to educate patients on an individual basis and encourage them to have the discussion with their orthopod (or cardiac specialist). If they still believe the antibiotics should be taken, I will endeavor to discuss the case with their medical specialist and see if we can come to a consensus. If patients want more information on this issue, check out the RCDSO website: https://www.rcdso.org/en-ca/rcdso-members/practice-advisory-service/information-on-antibiotic-prophylaxis-
May 31, 2018
I thought it would be fun to have a night out with the crew so we decided to take a crack at "Ax throwing" and it was a blast!!! We all (other than Chantalle who had a previous commitment) assembled at "BATL" on Adelaide Street and under the careful eye of coach Zach learned the ins and outs of ax throwing. He taught us the two-handed throw as well as the one-handed throw (aka: The Viking), and then we participated in a round robin tournament. Turns out we were pretty skilled when it comes to juggling sharp implements (who knew?!) and we would definitely go again! If anyone is looking for an active and interesting night out with friends, I would enthusiastically recommend BATL. CLUTCH!!! Dr. Barb
April 29, 2018
ODA convention was this past weekend and it was a pleasure to connect up with colleagues and experience some interesting continuing education. One course in particular was taught by Dr. Deborah Saunders, who is the Medical Director of the Department of Dental Oncology and Assistant Professor at the Norther Ontario School of Medicine in Sudbury. Her clinical and research interests include oral care for oncology patients and, as she pointed out in the lecture, this can be extrapolated to include most geriatric populations as they often suffer from dry mouth and oral trauma. She provided a few "gems" that I've already used in the practice to help patients with dry mouth and oral sores. It's always a pleasure to attend a lecture where it can provide immediate benefit to patients in my practice. Dr. Barb
April 9, 2018
Well I'd love to say "Happy Spring Everyone", but it sure feels like winter out there still!! It's been a busy season since Christmas but we were able to squeeze in a break and head south for a couple of weeks in February to get our batteries recharged. As the practice has continued to grow, we've increased hygiene hours for Tracy, who joined us last summer so we'll now have three hygienists every Wednesday (or Thursday depending on the week), as well as every other Tuesday evening. Thanks to all of our patients who have recommended the practice to friends and family! I'm not a big fan of dental advertising so rely on word-of-mouth to grow the practice and I am very appreciative of the vote of confidence. Next up is ODA convention at the end of the month. We'll be shutting down April 26th and 27th to attend some continuing education courses and catch up with friends and colleagues. Stay warm everybody! Dr. Barb.
December 22, 2017
Greetings and Best Holiday Wishes!! I am writing to you just as the office closes for a 10 day break over Christmas and New Years. The staff have worked incredibly hard this fall and we're all looking forward to a well-deserved break. I will provide my own coverage to patients of the practice. If you have a problem involving swelling or pain, please call the office and you will be provided with my cel number. Please don't hesitate to call if you are in fact suffering from swelling or pain. For all other concerns, please leave a message and we'll return your call after the holiday. We have left lots of spaces that first week to deal with any issues you may have. Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday and all the best in the new year. Dr. Barb.
September 26, 2017
I would ask "where did the year go"?, but I have a fairly good idea! Between launching kids and getting new staff trained and on board, it's been a busy few months! We have had our front desk enhanced by the arrival of Chantalle, who is working part time helping Elaine on Wednesdays and working on her own on Friday mornings. We've also hired another hygienist, Tracy, to add to our Tuesday night roster as that evening is SO popular! During my summer holidays I had surgery on my right hand to deal with carpal tunnel symptoms and there was instant improvement (Thanks Dr. Doherty!). I was able to return to work after 5 days and got right back up to speed. I'm thrilled to be able to get back to knitting and gardening without any numbness or tingling. Yay!
April 18, 2017
A joke for you from Abby, who was in today to have a checkup and tells us she's "5 and 4/4".
Q: What do you call bears with no teeth?
A: Gummy Bears!!!
April 14, 2017
We are excited to announce WE HAVE NETFLIX!! For years we have been playing anything we can get on You-Tube on the screen in front of the dental chair for any patient (especially kids!) who would like a distraction. Unfortunately the "Interweb" is notoriously virus-ridden and our IT guy has finally convinced us to avoid the risk and bring Netflix on board. Kids have been LOVING watching 'Paw Patrol' and we even have a few adults who enjoy watching cartoons during their appointment. If you have a favourite Netflix show, let us know and we'll tee it up for you! Dr. Barb
February 13, 2017
A belated "Happy New Year" to all! It was a busy holiday season with friends and family and it's been lovely getting back in the groove at work. One bittersweet announcement is that Caroline, one of my full time hygienists is leaving this week. Caroline has been commuting four hours per day to work at my office and the drive is getting to be a problem for her. She will be joining a practice in the Hamilton area where she'll be closer to home. We'll miss Caroline, but are happy to announce we've hired Nanci, who practiced with Elaine at her former office. She started last week and Caroline and Ruth have been showing her the ropes. Nanci comes to us with more than 20 years of hygiene experience. She's also a dedicated runner, and I think she's going to fit in perfectly. Don't be a stranger Caroline!! Welcome Nanci!! Dr. Barb
February 16, 2017
We're going to be closing the office starting tomorrow at noon and reopening Monday March 6th for a well-deserved holiday! I'll be travelling to Florida with my husband and kids, and can't wait to kick back and relax. It's been a busy stretch since Christmas so we're all due for a break. Dr. Jordan Gerster will be covering during my absence and if patients have dental problems involving pain or swelling, please call Dr. Gerster's office at 519 473-5888. For less acute concerns, just leave a message on the answering machine and Elaine will get back to you when we return. I'll make sure I bring some warm weather back with me when I return! Dr. Barb.
November 21, 2016
After a fairly mild fall, winter weather has finally arrived and Christmas is just around the corner, Our Philips rep has provided us with some great deals on Sonicare FlexCare Platinum series 8 toothbrushes. Sonicare is a terrific electric brush and we encourage patients to use it for a thorough cleaning experience. The rules about dentists selling products like this is we are not allowed to profit from the sale of products we purchase elsewhere. As a result of this, the cost of the toothbrushes is exactly what I pay Philips for them, with this most recent batch the cost is $124.29 per toothbrush with a 20$ rebate available for patients to send off to Philips themselves. This is a great deal as similar brushes retail for close to $200! We've been buying them in batches of 10 so they last as long as they last then we'll get another batch (with the cost being similar). They make great Christmas gifts so contact the office if you'd like to pick one up! Dr. Barb
September 13, 2016
Wow. Where did the Spring and Summer go?? I am sorry to have been so out of touch, but starting earlier this year I embarked on a massive project here at work getting our Occupational Health and Safety Policy and Procedures all caught up. I attended a lecture at the annual ODA convention this Spring presented by Dr. Clemmes, a former President of the ODA, who discussed Ministry of Labour requirements for dental offices, and although I have a background in the hospital system (and therefore had a fair bit of the material already completed), I wanted to ensure that all of our "i's were dotted and t's crossed". I am really pleased with the result and proud of the program we have. I hope that now that we have the material completed (and every spare second between patients isn't occupied writing policy!), I hope to be contributing to the blog a little more frequently moving forward! Thanks for your patience everyone and Happy Autumn!! Dr. Barb
February 8, 2016
A belated 'Happy New Year" to patients, friends and colleagues! It's not been the coldest winter we've ever seen, but we're still going to head south for a couple of weeks to relax and recharge the batteries! The practice will close this Friday February 12th at noon and we will reopen on Monday February 29th at 8:30 AM. Emergency coverage has been arranged and can be accessed by calling our number, 519 432-2600 and listening to the recorded message. All the best and we'll make sure we bring Spring with us when we return. Dr. Barb
November 30, 2015
It is with mixed emotions that we bid farewell to Karen, our receptionist of over six years. Karen has been commuting over 100 km per day to work here and recently had the opportunity to join a dental practice in the small town in which she lives. She will go from driving an hour per day, to "220 steps to work"!! I am excited and happy for Karen as she enjoys this new opportunity, though we are sad to see her go. Darla will be manning the front desk for the balance of this week, and then on December 7th, Elaine will be joining the reception team. Don't be a stranger Karen!! Welcome Elaine!! Dr. Barb
November 2, 2015
Our landlord has instituted a new parking plan to hopefully increase availability of parking spots, and I just wanted to pass this information on to patients. We have 4 assigned spots on the north side of the parking lot (#'s 1, 18, 19 and 20). Myself and my staff have always avoided these spots to enable our patients to access them. Recently the building manager completed a study whereby they feel there will actually be more sites available if employees of the building use the numbered spots ourselves, and therefore leave more spots in the body of the lot available for patients. So starting today, we'll be doing so. This will be an ongoing evolution I'm sure, but hopefully if employees that work in the building stay out of the main lot, there should be more parking available for patients. Dr. Barb
August 10, 2015
Yesterday I was proud to participate in the first annual "Water Walk" to honour the memory of Alex Foto. Alex was an amazing 19 year old girl who was killed tragically here in London last summer. She had been a World Vision Youth ambassador and, in the past had travelled to Africa to learn about water accessibility issues. In many parts of Africa, individuals (mostly women and children) walk an average of 6 km daily to access water. It was Alex's dream to initiate a national "Water Walk" to raise awareness and funds to support projects in the developing world. After her death, her incredibly brave parents, friends and the World Vision community joined forces to bring Alex's dream to life. Water Walks were held in 7 communities across Canada; Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Moncton, Halifax and of course London, and almost $80,000 was raised. Here in London, 450 walkers participated, carrying 20L jerry cans 6.6 km from Victoria Park to Banting Secondary School (Alex's alma mater). It was a daunting challenge, but served as a reminder of what those less fortunate endure every day. Hugs to Pat and Vito Foto for raising such an incredible young woman. If anyone is interested in participating in the walk next summer, I'm happy to share information or you can check out the WVY website at: http://yourmovement.ca/live-like-alex/
July 16, 2015
Happy belated summer everyone! I've been a bit remiss in keeping up with my blogging, but it's been crazy busy! Paddling season is upon us and it's been great being back on the water. Here at work we survived the installation of a software upgrade in late April and have been slowly getting used to the new system. Our holidays start on Monday July 20th and we'll be shut down for a week. Dr. Jordan Gerster will be taking call for me while I'm off (thanks Jordan!!). Her office is located on Hyde Park just north of Oxford and her number is 519 473-5888, so patients having problems with pain or swelling can contact Dr. Gerster. For more minor issues, just leave a message on our voicemail and we'll get back to you when we return. Have a lovely summer!!
April 13, 2015
Hey I've discovered a really fun new fitness activity! It's called "Kangoo Jumps" and there is a club in London (see info at https://www.facebook.com/kangoojumpslondon). Essentially it's old-school aerobics performed while wearing these ski-boot-like things with springs on them. It sounds crazy, but they were apparently designed by a physiotherapist and reduce impact on your joints during high-impact activities (running etc) by approximately 80%. I tried my first class last week and I'm hooked. At the end of a 45 minute class you feel absolutely worked-out, but there is no knee, back or hip pain, it's all muscle work. Very cool! Dr. Barb
March 9, 2015
We had a lovely holiday in Florida, and though it wasn't the warmest Florida has ever been, it also wasn't 22 degrees below zero, so we were grateful!! Thanks to Dr. Jordan Gerster for providing emergency coverage while I was gone. One of the funny and interesting things was we kept finding shark teeth! I guess even on holiday I just can't get away from teeth! The longest one in the picture below is about 3 cm--glad we didn't find the owner! Dr. Barb
February 6, 2015
A belated happy new year to everybody! My new year's eve plans of a midnight candlelit yoga class with my husband were thwarted by a sick kid :-( Apart from that we had a lovely holiday. News in our universe includes a software upgrade which should happen in late April. We are also planning a two week break at the end of February. Stay warm everybody!! Dr. Barb
December 3, 2014
It appears Winter is upon us again--here's hoping it's not as nasty as last year! I have spent the Autumn months relocating my mom from Sudbury down to London and helping her get settled in her new home just down the street from my office. The result of her being in London is that for the first time in my entire life, we won't be in Sudbury for Christmas. We're looking forward to establishing some new traditions and relocating some of our "Northern Traditions" down south. We generally close the office for 2 weeks over the holidays, but this year the office will be open on Monday December 22nd, Monday December 29th and Tuesday December 30th. Other than that we'll be enjoying some time with friends and family. As always, there will be contact information on the answering machine, so if patients with pain or swelling need to contact me, please do so. For less urgent concerns, leave a message. I'll be in the office periodically over the break to check voicemail. Dr. Barb
September 2, 2014
We are pleased to welcome Darla to the team as a part-time receptionist. Darla will be at the desk while Karen enjoys Fridays off and the two receptionists will be working together on Wednesdays. Darla brings a wealth of experience to the job, having worked as a dental receptionist for many years. Welcome Darla!! Dr. Barb
July 23, 2014
We are SO excited to be watching Canada's Amazing Race since our dear friend Bob Hope is competing on the show with his partner, Rex Harrington! Bob is a dental consultant and we are proud to use his software, Autopia in our practice. He pops in biannually to give us a pep talk and bring us up to speed on the latest developments in dental software. For any patients that are fortunate enough to be here when he visits, you will recall Bob's booming laugh!! Please tune into The Amazing Race Canada!
July 21, 2014
Best wishes to Steph as she departs for quieter pastures! Steph has been working as my hygienist on Mondays since before I opened the new office and made the transition with me when I opened here. She has decided she's going to cut back to four days per week. We will miss her sunny smile (and will be jealous when she sleeps in on Mondays!). Caroline will be taking over Steph's Monday patients. All the best Steph!! Don't be a stranger! Dr. Barb
July 2, 2014
Happy belated Canada Day everybody! We were closed yesterday to enjoy the day and celebrate all things Canadian. I was on the water for a 7 AM paddling practice (doesn't get more Canadian than that eh??), and enjoyed time with friends and family for the rest of the day. We will be off the week of July 28th and again the week of August 25th for holidays, so the office will be closed during those two weeks. Our answering machine gives contact information if patients in the practice are having an emergency involving swelling or pain. For other inquiries, please leave a message on voicemail, I usually check it periodically through the week. Have a lovely summer everyone!! Dr. Barb
Canadian Anti Spam Legislation (known as CASL) comes into effect on July 1st, 2014. This legislation applies to "commercial electronic messages", which means any electronic message (emails, texts etc.) that includes any encouragement to participate in a commercial activity. CASL does not apply to messages sent in response to a request, inquiry or complaint, or if the message is otherwise solicited by the recipient. There is implied consent if there is a "business relationship" within two years prior to the message being sent or if there was an inquiry made by the recipient within the previous six months. In my practice we use your email addresses only for confirming appointments, sending statements or estimates or responding to your inquiries. I never sell my email list, I never send broadcast announcements via email regarding any commercial activity and I never use email to solicit business. My personal belief is that this legislation will do little to stem the tide of overseas spam that clogs our inboxes, and will only serve to inconvenience small business. I will be meeting with my tech advisor on July 9th to ensure we are complying with the legislation. If any patient is receiving emails from my office and does not wish to, please contact us immediately and we will delete your email address from our records. Dr. Barb
April 23, 2014
Well so much for my New Years resolution--lol! Happy to see the sun shining and finally it appears that the worst of this nasty winter is behind us. My family enjoyed a winter break down south in February, and we're currently helping out as both kids get through their post-secondary final exams. We'll all be glad to be done! I am gearing up to attend the annual ODA convention May 7-10th in Toronto. I'll post after the convention if there are any interesting gems from the world of dentistry. I'm also looking forward to some consistently warm weather and getting out on the lake with my dragonboat crew! Dr. Barb
January 28, 2014:
Congratulations to my assistant Tamara on the birth of "Youandi" (pronounced "Yawndi") who arrived at 2:22 pm on Thursday January 23rd weighing 7 lbs 3 oz. Mom and baby are doing better than fine (in fact popped in this afternoon for a visit--see below!). Hugs to the whole family from all of us! Dr. Barb
January 6, 2014
Happy New Year to all! I am SHOCKED to see it's been since May that I have updated my wee blog. My New Years Resolution is to be more on top of this (I'll shoot for at least monthly updates!).
We are back to work today following a lovely two week break. I spent Christmas with my family up in Sudbury and I apologize since it appears that we must have brought their Winter weather back with us when we returned! One of the high-lights of my Christmas was receiving a "Geocaching" set from my husband and I look forward to trying it out once Spring arrives.
We have some exciting news at the office with my assistant Tamara due in 2 weeks with baby #4. Baby #3 turned 1 today so she'll be a busy lady!
Wishing all the best that 2014 has to offer to all friends, colleagues, suppliers, patients and future patients. As always, if anybody has any questions or topics they'd like covered in this blog, don't hesitate to email. Dr. Barb
May 14, 2013:
I am thrilled to report that I have survived "Tough Mudder Toronto Spring 2013"!! I completed the 16 km military-style obstacle course in sub-10 degree weather this past weekend with a group of friends (and I have the bruises to prove it!). The event raises money for the "Wounded Warrior Project" which supports programs which aid wounded veterans. With obstacles such as "Arctic Enema" (submerging in a dumpster full of ice water) and "Electric Eel" (crawling through muddy water while being zapped with electric wires) I can definitely say I'm "Tough Enough"! It was a fun training goal to get through this past winter with this event in mind. Hoo-rah to my fellow Mudders: Dr. Mark Botsford, Dr. Mike Kirton, JulieAnn Lawrence, Cam Halliday and Kerry Logan--couldn't have done it without you guys!. If anybody is interested in participating in future Tough Mudders and is interested on the "inside poop", drop me an email! Dr. Barb
May 7, 2013:
I just returned from the Ontario Dental Association's annual Spring Meeting in Toronto, joining thousands of my colleagues and enjoying a perfect Spring weekend. One interesting lecture I attended was presented by Dr. Scott De Rossi, who is the Director of the Clinical Center for Oral Medicine and Chairman of Oral Health and Diagnostic Sciences at the Georgia Health Sciences University College of Dental Medicine. His presentation was "Oral Manifestations of System Disease" and it was a really well-presented overview of the connection between what we dentists see in the mouth and the general health of the patient. One benefit of attending his lecture was the ability to access patient information from the American Academy of Oral Medicine website. I am always on the lookout for really thorough, easy-to-understand patient information, and the AAOM website fits the bill perfectly. I will be using this resource in the future to help patients understand specific pathology we may diagnose. Very helpful. Dr. Barb
March 21, 2013:
A belated Happy New Year (and Happy Valentines and Happy St. Patricks!!). I don't know where the time has gone since the new year started! Lots to update though! Firstly, welcome baby Jaxon! My assistant Tamara welcomed her new son into the world on January 6th. She's an old hand at this mothering thing, and opted to return to work at the beginning of February. I am thoroughly enjoying having her back and she's thoroughly enjoying being here! Thanks to Brenda for her help in filling in while Tamara was away. March break has come and gone and I was fortunate enough to enjoy a week in Florida with my family. It wasn't the warmest Florida has ever been, but it was nice to get out of the snow. I have also been enjoying Winter dragonboat training and as well am preparing for "Tough Mudder" in Toronto in May! For those of you who've not heard of "Tough Mudder", check out the website! http://toughmudder.com/ Dr. Barb.
December 21, 2012:
I am writing to wish everyone the best of the season as we take our Christmas break. We will be closing today at noon and will return on Monday January 7th at 8:30 AM. If emergencies involving pain or swelling happen while I am away, my cel number is on our voice mail, so give me a call if you need me. If patients have questions or concerns during the break, just leave a message on the machine and I'll return your call over the holidays. Tamara's due date is fast approaching, and Brenda will be assisting me when we start back in January--good luck Tamara!! We will announce her happy news here when we hear it! I am heading north to Sudbury with my husband and children and will be enjoying a white Christmas with my mom and extended family. Best wishes to everyone for a safe and warm holiday season. Dr. Barb
I have recently been invited to join a wonderful local organization called "100 Women who Care", and I wanted to share the experience with my patients, friends and colleagues who read this blog. The concept was initiated in 2006 in Jackson Michigan, and it's quite simple. One hundred women in a community commit to meeting four times per year and contributing 100$ per meeting towards a local charity. At each meeting, any member of the group can nominate a local charity. Three charities are then chosen at random. The members that recommended the names of each of the chosen charities are then invited to provide a simple prop-free presentation to the members at large, outlining why they feel their charity is worthy of support. A vote is taken and the charity that receives the most votes receives a $100 cheque from each of the women in the group. My dear friend Susan Nickel is one of the founding members of the London chapter of this amazing organization and through her tireless efforts we are now the largest chapter in Canada! At our inaugaral meeting 307 women met and listened to compelling presentations from three local charities. In the end, more than $30,000 was contributed to the chosen charity, "My Sister's Place", which supports local women who struggle with homelessness and mental health issues. I am proud to be involved in this amazing group of women!! Below please find the websites for "100 Women who Care" as well as "My Sister's Place". If anyone is interested in participating in this group, please don't hesitate to email me.
My heartfelt thanks to all the patients, colleagues and friends in the dental supply industry who expressed their condolences at the recent passing of my father. My dad, Bob Barnard, died in Sudbury on June 14, 2012 after struggling with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. He was a smoker until my son was born in 1993, then quit and enjoyed almost 20 years smoke-free. Unfortunately, the damage was done and the last few years were gut-wrenching as he struggled to breathe. I would implore ALL smokers to quit. I am happy to provide information to support your smoking cessation journey, just ask next time you're in. Dr. Barb
January 12, 2012: A belated Happy New Year to all! We enjoyed a break over Christmas and New Years and are back to work, enjoying this relatively mild winter. I travelled with my family up to Sudbury to visit my folks, while the rest of the staff stayed closer to London (envious I'm sure of my white Christmas--haha!). All the best for a fabulous 2012! Dr. Barb
January 1, 2012: The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, (AODA) was passed by the Ontario Legislature in 2005 and aims to create a "fully accessible Ontario" by 2025. The 'Customer Service' section of the act became effective today, January 1, 2012. Our office has an Accessibility Policy in place that outlines our policies, practices and procedures and ensures that we:
-respect the dignity and independence of persons with disabilities
-integrate the provision of dental services to persons with disabilities
-provide equal access to persons with disablities
We are happy to provide a copy of our policy to patients or prospective patients either at the office or via email attachment. If for any reason accessible services are not available, the disruption will be noted on this website. We invite patients to provide feedback regarding our policy either via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in person. Your comments will be reviewed and responded to by Dr. Barnard.
November 3, 2011: The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is implementing changes under the Narcotics Safety and Awareness Act, (2010) which will impact all Ontarians who require prescriptions for monitored drugs. These changes took effect November 1, 2011 and essentially it means that if I (or any health care provider) prescribe any monitored drug (prescription narcotics and other controlled substances), the patient must provide identification and this must be recorded on the prescription. The ID can be a Health Card, Driver's Licence, Ontario Photo Card, Birth Certificate, Passport, etc. This ID must also be presented to the pharmacy when the medication is picked up. This change is being implemented to help reduce the misuse, addiction, unlawful activities and deaths releated to controlled medication. For a complete list of the medications involved and the ID required go to www.ontario.ca/narcoticsstrategy If you are interested in how the government uses the information collected, visit www.ontario.ca/privacy. Dr. Barb
July 13, 2011: The London and District Dental Society recently had their annual colouring contest, with submissions accepted through April and May. I am pleased to announce that one of the winners came from my office!! Rhianna, age 6 submitted the following colouring page. Congratulations Rhianna! And everybody make sure to flos your teef and use toofpaste!! Thanks to the LDDS for supplying the colouring contest prizes. Rhianna gets to enjoy a $25 gift certificate at Chapters!
May 3, 2011: The Ontario Dental Association annual spring convention was this past weekend in Toronto. I joined thousands of other dentists to hear lectures about current topics, learn new techniques and see new equipment available on the convention floor. One really interesting lecture I attended was given by a medical epidemiologist named Dr. Gypsyamber D’Souza on the connection between Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and oral cancer. Dr. D’Souza explained that oral cancer is generally found in older men and correlates strongly with heavy drinking and smoking. Rates of oral cancer have been falling over the last few decades as we have seen smoking rates drop. But recently, the medical community is seeing an increase in oropharyngeal cancer in young (30-40) year olds with none of the traditional risk factors (ie: non-smokers and non-drinkers). They are speculating that the same HPV which is responsible for cervical cancer may be causing this uptick in the rates of cancers in the throat (tonsil, pharynx, etc). I believe that the immunization of young women with Gardisil, which is designed to protect them against the HPV strains that cause most cervical cancers should be extended to young boys as well. At the moment, the Gardisil vaccine is approved for use in boys, but the cost is not covered by OHIP. I intend to talk to my family doctor to arrange to have my son vaccinated. Dr. Barb
Well it's been a long nasty winter, but if the daffodils popping up in my front garden are to be trusted, we might see Spring after all! April is Oral Health Month and one of the subjects being featured is Oral Cancer. The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that 3400 new cases of Oral Cancer were diagnosed in 2010. Oral Cancer screenings are performed in my office at every recall and new patient exam as part of a thorough soft tissue examination. The Ontario Dental Assocation website has an interesting article that outlines symptoms, risk factors and prevention of this horrible disease. Please visit the link below for more information. Dr. Barb
The September 2010 Journal of the Ontario Dental Association included a letter from Dr. Arlene King MD, MHSc, FRCPC who is Chief Medical Office of Health for the province of Ontario. The letter outlined the support of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the Ontario Dental Association's position on water fluoridation. The letter states, "The studies are clear and unequivocal and the benefits of fluoridation are well documented." It goes on to outline how the addition of fluoride has reduced the rates of tooth decay, how water fluoridation reduces dental care expenditures and how the health benefits extend to all residents in a commnity regardless of age, education or socio-economic status. Some helpful websites associated with this topic:
A recent letter to the editor in the Journal of the Canadian Dental Association included an anecdontal report by a dentist who recommended a technique to reduce the pain associated with local anaesthetic injections in the lower arch. These injections, generally called "blocks" involve penetration of the needle through the muscle in the cheek to freeze the lower teeth and are generally more uncomfortable than injections in the upper arch. The dentist is a yoga practitioner and noticed that relaxing the shoulders typicaly results in the muscles of the face and neck relaxing as well. When the needle passes through muscles that are flexed, the patient tends to report more pain, but it's challenging to ask a patient to relax their facial muscles while you're coming at them with a needle! This practitioner recommended suggesting patients relax their shoulders as a way to reduce the pain of these lower injections. A simple trick that I'm going to be experimenting with over the next few weeks! Dr. Barb
The May 2010 Ontario Dentist Journal included a review of the current literature on head injuries in competitive athletics. Some of the statistics are sobering. In a Canadian study, 70.4% of university football players and 62.7% of soccer players experienced symptoms of a concussion, and more than 80% in each group experienced repeat concussions. A study of retired football players found a possible link between concussion and depression. Research is ongoing and it is thought that concussion may be linked to other disorders such as dementia. Organized sports at the amateur and professional level must establish guidelines to recognize the symptoms. Athletes, coaches and parents must also understand the potential for long term consequences and require injured athletes to sit out. Interesting articles can be found in the following journals:
Clin J Sport Med, Vol 14, 2004;
CMAJ, Vol. 182, March 9, 2010
An article I read this weekend in the Globe and Mail touched me in a really profound way. It was a feature on Alzheimers and other forms of dementia and related stories of families experiencing this devastating condition. I would encourage everybody to read the article, I have attached the link below: