Guatemala Mission Trip

Friday, March 15, 2013 As Lisa, Prema, and I head to Guatemala, I am excited to be a part of this Christian Dental Mission Trip. As we go out to serve as the body of Christ, it is really a great experience every time I have served in the capacity of giving away dentistry to people who are less privileged and otherwise would go without. There is really something to giving of yourself. For me it is not just the joy of a selfless act, as described, #2 of the “22 Things Happy People Do Differently”, but instead there is a deep and lasting fulfillment that comes from living your life with purpose. I was teaching a class about missions recently to my 9th grade students. I separated out the key elements of how to… Read More »

Guatemala before and after

Thursday, March 28, 2013 A lot of people think that when you go on a mission trip to Guatemala that you will do nothing but extractions and that the majority of your impact will be on the physical health of patients as you remove a major source of infection and inflammation from their body. We treated 600 patients alongside a group of 33 Christians, comprised of 21 dental students, 3 dental hygiene students, 5 dentists, 2 hygienists (thank you Lisa and Prema for coming on this trip!!), and 2 assistants. Above I have included the before and after for one of the cases we treated. There were others like this. This patient had teeth like rotten apple cores in the front. Without treatment these teeth would have continued to get worse until they would be… Read More »

Before and After: 2011 to 2014 (Extreme Esthetics)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 When we started this case, the patient came to me stating unequivocally she was not interested in jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery), but she wanted to improve the look of her smile. I explained that if she was willing to do the work that together we could improve her esthetics and her function as well; conceptually, I think of this as functional esthetics. In 2011, she could bite down and stick her entire pinky in her mouth with her teeth closed completely together. Based on the narrow archform and relative jump between her posterior teeth and her anterior teeth in the maxillary arch, we decided the only way to achieve substantial and meaningful closure of her overjet (the space her pinky could fit through without dragging on her teeth) was to remove… Read More »

Before and After: 3 Years of Invisalign with Orthognathic Surgery

Thursday, June 26, 2014 We started this case with our eyes wide open. We knew it would require 3 stages: Stage 1: Invisalign to straighten the crooked teeth. Stage 2: Advancement of the lower jaw. Stage 3 below. From the beginning, we knew that this case included a mandibular jaw insufficiency, Class II div 2. We spent a lot of time developing a plan that allowed all the teeth to remain and would allow us to finish with a correction to the crowding, canting, overlapping anteriors, and the midline correction. After three years, a course of Invisalign, placing brackets on the teeth so that the jaw could be held in place post-operatively, continued correction using aligners, and a refinement phase using clear buttons and elastics, we finished stage 3. Stage 3: Finish straightening the teeth… Read More »

Another beautiful day

A couple of really big dental changes took place for this patient over the past 3 years. I am going to detail the three most significant changes we accomplished with Invisalign, and bonding. I.I corrected end-on-end occlusion to finish the occlusion in mutually-protected occlusion. Before her teeth were end-on-end, leaving her anteriors hitting tip-to-tip, which is not a protected occlusion and leads to the teeth chipping at the biting tip. After we were able to correct the final position, we were able to move the lower arch behind the upper arch. This repositioning allows for a more nearly ideal very slight overbite so that the upper teeth disclude the lower teeth with “anterior guidance” and when the patient moves, her teeth are protected from contact in excursive movements. II.I corrected the archform in which teeth were… Read More »

Why Glass Ionomers? Why now? 2014, (Austin, TX)

McFarlane Dental Announces a New Dental Material McFarlane Dental presents... I am proud to announce that we have added Riva glass ionomer to our offerings of restorative materials. This addition follows the principle of evidence-based dentistry, making decisions based on what research shows is best for patients and long-term outcomes. This material complements our array of restorative options and gives patients a material that is highly rated for it’s strength and handling. The material has been highly rated by Dental Product Shopper, as well as The Dental Advisor, and notably by my friend and colleague Dr. Matt Strepka (of Sandalwood Dental in Houston, TX) Glass ionomers are biocompatible materials, which can stick (adhere) to tooth structure in difficult to restore areas. The only other material we have in dentistry that is as generous with the… Read More »

AED Automated External Defibrillator

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 Why AEDs? Well, I’m glad you asked. “About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year–that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.1” When I was in dental school, one of the electives I took was to become a certified teacher of the CPR class. This elective requires you to pass additional tests and discuss in depth CPR, use of AEDs, and prepare the skillset required to train your classmates in safe and effective CPR. So, let’s go over some basics: Common question - Isn’t CPR all you need in a cardiac emergency? In short, no. Let’s examine this question further. Here we must differentiate between heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). “A heart attack is when a blockage in an artery results in a lack of oxygen… Read More »

Best Practices – Sports Mouthguards

Monday, Ferbruary 16, 2015 If you even casually watch NCAA football, NFL football, or high school football, you have probably noticed a significant change in the discussion of concussions. A professionally designed and fabricated sports mouthguard can make a significant difference in the risk of injury. “Because a professionally-made guard is the most comfortable and provides the best protection against injuries, and they are more durable than many over-the-counter varieties,” they offer the best chance we have at preventing traumatic injuries (AGD Impact, August 2014). The AGD Impact article, “Sporting Mouthguards” relies heavily on positions espoused by the Academy for Sports Dentistry. Custom-made pressure-laminated sports mouthguards were shown in a study published by the dental research journal General Dentistry to reduce the incidence of MTBI mild traumatic brain injury/ concussion injury by 50%, when compared… Read More »