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.
May 10, 2021
We are pleased to announce that we have a new receptionist joining the practice! Sandy is starting today and will fill the
vacancy left by Elaine as she retires from the dental universe to focus on her bookkeeping business. We will miss Elaine and her fantastic front desk skills, but are excited to get to know Sandy. Don't be a stranger Elaine!
January 13, 2021
With yesterday's announcement by the province that Ontario is in a "State of Emergency", just a reminder to everyone that we continue to see patients for all treatment including hygiene care. The designation of "essential" remains and we are open and able to provide all care for patients. We recently received notification that dentists and their staff are in the first group of vaccine recipients and we are hopeful that we are able to receive the vaccine soon and help to contribute to the herd immunity that will eventually beat this nasty virus. Stay safe everyone. Dr. Barb
December 22, 2020
All of Ontario will move into a lockdown on Boxing day in a bid to curb climbing COVID-19 case numbers and spare hospitals and their intensive care units from being inundated in January. Dentists and dental offices have been deemed to be essential and as a result we will not be closing, apart from our previously scheduled holiday break from December 18 to January 3rd. Our college has provided guidance to augment our already strict PPE protocols in light of this change and as a result it is my intention to reopen as planned on January 4, 2021. If rising COVID cases results in a change to this plan, any patients affected will receive an email. Happy holidays and stay safe. Dr. Barb
December 18, 2020
Happy Holidays everyone! We were initially planning to work until Tuesday December 22nd but with rising COVID numbers and the MLHU recommending that people stay home as much as possible, we have decided to close today for our Christmas break. Patients booked on Dec 21st and 22nd have been contacted. Our intention is to be back to work for January 4th, and hopefully numbers in London will be down and things will feel more in control. If there are changes to this plan we'll alter the message on our voicemail and update this site as well. Stay safe this holiday season and we'll look forward to a much, much better 2021! Dr. Barb
November 24, 2020
The first snowfall reminds us that winter is coming as Canada struggles through the second wave of this awful virus. We continue following Public Health guidelines and are pleased to be able to continue offering dental care to our community. One thing that this virus has shown us all is that life is short. The time we spend with our loved ones is precious and in light of that sentiment, we have decided to alter our evening hours moving forward. Rather than working 12-8 on Tuesdays, we will be working 11-7. This was a request from staff to enable them to spend more time in the evening with their families, and I was happy to comply. If you have an appointment already scheduled after 7, Elaine or Chantalle will be contacting you. As we are booked so far down the road, the time might not shift immediately, but moving forward, we won't be booking after 7 on Tuesdays. Thanks for your understanding in this! Stay safe. Dr. Barb
October 15, 2020
Greetings everybody! Hope you all had a lovely (but socially distant "bubble") Thanksgiving weekend. We took a couple of extra days off as a well-deserved break. We have been working diligently to get through our hygiene backlog and see patients who need dental care. It is gratifying that people are so appreciative of the care we can provide. We are continuing to prescreen and screen patients prior to their visit and have purchased air exchangers to help keep the air in our operatories fresh and clean. We continue to follow Public Health guidelines and those of the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and the Ontario Dental Association. As we have worked through the last couple of months we have tweaked our processes a bit, and will continue to do so as this pandemic evolves. At this time we ask patients not to phone from their car when they arrive for an appointment. Simply come into the clinic with a mask on, and socially distance yourself if you find another patient in the foyer. We have spaced appointments to keep the numbers at the front desk down, and we find that we rarely have more than one or two people at the front, so it's easy to keep distant. Thank you all for your patience as our new protocols do slow things down a little, especially at the front desk. If you need to book an appointment, don't hesitate to reach out to the ladies at the front desk by phone or email.
June 3, 2020
We're back to work!! Despite the fact that the new regulations are somewhat overwhelming and the ladies at the front desk are swamped, it's GREAT to be back! I've attached our "welcome back" letter below. Please be patient when contacting us for an appointment, we're having to reduce the number of patients we see by about 25% to achieve appropriate physical distancing, so lots of appointments need to be re-jigged, plus we have an 11 week backlog to deal with. But it'll all work itself out. We will still prioritize patients who need to get in so don't hesitate to call or email if you need us. Looking forward to seeing everybody.
Dear Patients and friends,
Life has been anything but normal this spring and we sincerely hope you and your family are in good health. We are happy to inform you that with the Ministry of Health lifting restrictions, we are now able to provide dental care to our patients. While many things have changed in this challenging time, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your health and safety. Our office has always maintained strict infection control standards and in order to keep us all protected during this pandemic and in the future, we have updated our protocols. When we see you at your next appointment, things will be a little different.
•You will be asked to wait outside the office or in your car and call us when you arrive to minimize the time you are in the office. If you don’t have a cel we ask that you knock on the door when you arrive, and our front desk staff will let you know when you can enter. •We will ask some screening questions before your appointment and then again when you arrive. I would encourage you to answer these questions honestly. I appreciate people are really anxious to get in to see us, but the screening questions are asked to keep ourselves, our families and our other patients safe. •If you have an upcoming appointment and develop symptoms of COVID, or have to travel out of the country or to a hot spot within Canada, please advise the office ahead of time so we can determine whether rescheduling makes sense. •We will ask that you wear a mask or face covering (scarf, bandana) when you enter the clinic. Due to a shortage of PPE, we cannot provide these to you. •We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter and exit the clinic. •Our waiting room will no longer offer magazines or books since those items are difficult to fully disinfect. We have reduced the capacity of our waiting room and, generally speaking we will admit you to the clinic when we are able to bring you directly into the operatory to avoid having patients use the waiting room at all. •Appointments will be timed to allow for physical distancing between patients. This might mean less flexibility for scheduling your appointment, but it will also reduce the number of patients in the clinic at one time. •We ask that you enter the clinic alone. Exceptions will be made for children that need parents present or for translators or caregivers.
If you have already booked a hygiene appointment in the future, it is likely that this appointment will need to be juggled. Please be patient and we’ll contact you to sort that out. If you have any questions, please let us know.
To make an appointment, call our office at (519) 432-2600 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for patience and loyalty throughout this ordeal. We value your trust and look forward to welcoming you back!
Dr. Barbara J. Barnard BSc., DDS
May 28, 2020
Hello again, I hope this finds you all safe and healthy. As you may have heard the province announced yesterday that they are opening health care clinics, including dental clinics. The immediacy of the order is somewhat of a surprise, and our college, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario is scrambling to ensure we have the appropriate regulations in place so we can treat patients safely. The last 10 weeks has been really challenging professionally. The RCDSO and the Ontario Dental Association both released guidelines in the last couple of weeks that would have made it virtually impossible to run a viable practice. Dentists were howling that the regulations would have been more stringent than hospitals! (once example: after doing a filling we'd need to have our rooms sit empty for three hours! yikes!). We have heard rumours just in the last 48 hours that these regulations are going to be altered to align more with what science is telling us about how this virus spreads. Things will be different and we'll be conscious of pre-screening patients, social distancing, etc., but hopefully we can find a way to get back to work safely providing desperately needed services but doing so in a way that is practical. In the meantime, please be patient. We will send out an "everybody" email when we're up to speed.
April 3, 2020
In the midst of this COVID-19 crisis I thought I'd touch base. We haven't yet seen the peak of infections and my family and I are
in self-isolation as per recommendations from the government and public health authorities. I have had requests from patients who are in the nursing field and have donated to them all extra masks we had in the clinic. If we can't use them I'm happy that someone can. We send our best wishes to our colleagues on the front lines. I have spent time at home sewing masks that hospitals are able to use for visitors and non-critical workers. I'm happy to help, though it honestly feels like a drop in the bucket. Please read the entries below if you're looking for information about what constitutes a dental emergency if you feel you need to be seen. I send out my warm best wishes to you all and can't wait to get back to work.
March 20, 2020
What is it they say about "the best laid plans..."??? My intention as per the March 16 post below was to be available to patients on an emergency basis only for a couple of hours per day. Our college, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario has advised us that we are only allowed to see patients with a very specific set of guidelines. Those patients must be suffering from 1) significant oral-facial trauma, 2) prolonged bleeding, 3) significant infection that cannot be controlled by medication or 4) pain that cannot be controlled by medication. If you have chipped your tooth and it's sensitive or painful and you can take medication to deal with the pain, I cannot see you. If you have facial swelling from a dental infection and it can be controlled by an antibiotic, I cannot see you. This is not dentistry that we are used to practicing and it is making me feel sick to be unavailable to help people, but this is the reality we face. I am starting to think this shutdown is going to carry on for months, so please take care of yourselves. Try to ramp up your oral hygiene to help reduce the odds of cavities or gum issues and of course, wash your hands, maintain social distancing and respiratory etiquette. Know that I am out here anxious to get back to work as soon as we get the "all clear".
March 16, 2020
Dear patients, colleagues, vendors, contacts and friends,
As we meet the challenges of COVID-19, I have decided to close our clinic for two weeks starting today, for all but emergency patients. Reception staff will be in touch with all patients currently scheduled from March 16 to March 27 to reschedule.
This proactive step is in keeping with what experts are recommending, to help curb the spread of COVID-19. In countries around the world, we are seeing a marked acceleration of infections, hospitalizations and deaths caused by this novel coronavirus. Canada has fewer infections at this point, but it my belief that if we don’t take reasonable steps now, we too will see our health care system overwhelmed.
Current information tells us that this virus can be infectious for days before symptoms are experienced. As a result, we have no way of knowing whether any of those entering our clinic (staff, patients, IT support, suppliers, sales representatives, etc.) are infected. Many of our patients are elderly or suffer from disorders which make them more vulnerable to the disease. This is another reason that I am taking this necessary step.
We will suspend hygiene treatment at this time and ask our hygienists to stay home for the next two weeks. Reception staff Elaine or Chantalle will answer phones daily to ensure patients are able to communicate with the office. I will be available to see patients suffering from pain or swelling on a daily basis. Office hours, yet to be determined, will be shorter and limited but we will endeavor to see those in need. We will set up appointments such that patients won’t overlap and therefore won’t have to sit in the waiting room together. If patients need to be accompanied to their appointments (i.e.: parents of children, support workers for patients), they will either be asked to accompany the patient into the operatory or wait in the car. In this way we plan to provide emergency dental services to our patients without putting patients or ourselves at risk. As we receive further updates over the next few days, we will make decisions about the status of the clinic following the two-week period. For the time being, if you have an appointment on or after March 30, 2020, assume you will be attending as scheduled. If that changes, we’ll be in touch.
Please let me reassure you that I and my staff have no symptoms of COVID-19. None of us have been out of the country in the last 14 days and our health is good. I have great confidence in our infection control procedures; however, the reality of this pandemic is the less contact we have with each other the safer we will all be. The measures taken by my office are designed to provide continued excellent care to our patients, to support our front-line health care workers and to slow the spread of this virus.
In closing, please remember to wash your hands, practice social distancing and respiratory etiquette. Stay safe and healthy. If anyone has questions please don’t hesitate to call (519 432-2600) or email (email@example.com) and I would be happy to discuss.
Barbara J. Barnard BSc., DDS
March 12, 2020
The novel Coronavirus and the illness it causes, "COVID-19" have now been declared to be a pandemic. The World Health Organization definition of a pandemic is "the worldwide spread of a new disease". It doesn't speak to mortality (and this one appears to be higher than seasonal influenza but lower than 2003's SARS epidemic), but does speak to spread. What seems to be making this more challenging to contain is the fact that infected individuals can be contagious before becoming symptomatic. For this reason recommendations include "social distancing" (avoiding large crowds), "respiratory etiquette" (coughing and sneezing into elbows), and staying home if you're sick. We encourage patients who are feeling unwell to call or email to cancel their dental appointments. We also recommend self-isolation for 14 days prior to attending at our clinic if you have been travelling to current "hot spots" (as of today; China, Italy, Iran, Washington State, but keep an eye on the news for updates occurring daily). We have always waived cancellation fees for people who are ill and that practice will obviously continue. I would also advise people that wearing surgical masks in public does little to protect you in the case of exposure to the virus. Surgical masks (not the N95 masks) are designed for single use. Once they become wet (for instance with the humidity of your breath), they are no longer effective. Dentists worldwide are struggling with a mask shortage that is causing concern in terms of our ability to provide care. We are keeping a close eye on our stock and searching for supplies, but would encourage the public to refrain from hoarding masks or using them inappropriately. I will continue to update this blog as we receive information. Stay healthy out there. Dr. Barb.
February 11, 2020
As I'm sure most of you are aware we are currently experiencing a world-wide epidemic of a new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). According to the Government of Canada website, symptoms include fever, cough, difficulty breathing and pneumonia in both lungs. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus. In Canada (as of today) there are 7 confirmed cases with the recent addition of 2 cases in British Columbia. The Ministry of Health for Ontario maintains the risk level here in Ontario remains low. We in the dental community have been asked to screen patients before they present to our clinic for appointments. If a patient has fever, and/or new onset of cough or difficulty breathing AND have traveled from Hubei Province in China in the past 14 days OR have had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of 2019-nCoV OR have had contact with someone with acute respiratory illness who has been to/from Hubei Province, China in the 14 days before symptoms, should not attend at our clinic and should, instead contact their local emergency room. Our two-day reminder emails do contain information about contacting us prior to attending at our clinic if you have recent onset cough or fever. I will update in this blog as I receive direction from the Ministry of Health or my College. My heart goes out to all impacted by this devastating event. Dr. Barb.
January 3, 2020
Happy New Year!! Happy New Decade! Again, my apologies for being out of touch. As ever, my new year's resolution is to try to be more active on this wee blog! 2019 was a great year in the practice with tons of new patients and some fascinating continuing education courses and activities. The practice continues to grow, and staff that have joined us over the last couple of years have settled in nicely. We are just back from a 10 day holiday and are refreshed and excited about the upcoming year. My best wishes go out to all patients, colleagues and friends as we embark on the 2020's! Dr. Barb
May 27, 2019
The month of May has been a busy one as we say farewell to Ruth after 12 years of hygiene practice with me (45 years in the business). We're also enjoying having Amela shift from part time to full time and getting to know Carrie, who has recently joined us part time. May 8th was Ruth's last day at work and we saw patients until noon, then surprised her with a luncheon and an open house celebration with family and friends. The Asti was flowing and Ruth enjoyed the steady stream of well-wishers stopping by to offer their best wishes. We purchased a Muskoka chair and had a small brass plaque made for it that says "Ruthless" (which is what we'll be!). It was a fun send-off, but bittersweet for us all as we'll miss Ruth's wisdom and diligence. Dr. Barb
March 28, 2019
My apologies for being so negligent in keeping my wee blog up to date! It's been a very busy year! We have been through some staff changes as our hygienist Fran retired to be more accessible to family out west and Tracy moved offices to eliminate her commute. In May of this year Ruth will also retire after 45 years in the business! She has earned a break and we are thankful that she has stayed as long as she did. We were thrilled to hire Amela who had recently relocated to London from the GTA and with her hiring streamlined things a bit to eliminate multiple part time positions. When Ruth retires on May 8th, Amela will take over the full time position and I am in the midst of hiring one part time hygienist to give us some support on Tuesday evenings (which is a really popular slot) and another day per week. Whew! We were fortunate to find Amela who had worked 17 years for a classmate of mine in Woodbridge, Dr. Crispino, who is a gem. She's fit in beautifully and we've enjoyed getting to know her and her family. Apart from staff being rejigged, comes the usual busyness involved in running a practice, keeping my own house in order, caring for my (almost) 85 year old mother and watching my 20-something kids launch. In May I'll attend the annual ODA convention in Toronto and am looking forward to some interesting continuing education (and perhaps some fun with colleagues!). I will endeavor to be a better blogger moving forward! Dr. Barb
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: