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"Quality Dentistry, Affordable Service, Compassionate Care."

Vegan/Vegetarian Diets and Dental Health

Progressively more people have decided to move to a vegan or vegetarian diet for both health benefits and environmental impact. It is always a good idea to discuss large dietary changes with your dentist and physician first. They may be able to discuss with you the vital vitamins and minerals you may have to supplement.

Dietary changes can cause issues with dental health if not done carefully. Eating a plant based diet can change the pH balance in your body and mouth, which can cause an increase in tooth decay and gum disease.

A study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vegetarians are much more likely to suffer from tooth decay, more acidic salivary (spit) pH levels, and lower stimulated saliva flow than non-vegetarians.

What is it that is missing from vegan and vegetarian diets that is leading to this tooth decay?  Not getting enough vitamin D and calcium.

Vegans looking for vitamin D probably will need to look at supplements. Supplements can be challenging because often they are not as regulated as other health products. Keeping with larger brands is usually more predictable with supplements for getting what is advertised. Check the labels carefully, as some of the ingredients in the supplements may be derived from animals. Often vitamin D is derived from ground bones. Vitamin D2 and D3 from lichen are vegan friendly.

Vegan sources of calcium include: calcium fortified soy or nut milks, tofu, soybeans, soy nuts, bok choy, broccoli, collard greens, Chinese cabbage, kale, mustard greens and okra.

There are 3 main concerns when a diet lacks meat and dairy: snacking, acid, and a lack of re-mineralizing food products.

Vegans and vegetarians often include snacking to maintain their bodies need for energy due to the lower fat content in these diets. However, constant snacking is a huge problem for oral health.  The pH level in your mouth drops the moment food goes in and stays lower for 30 minutes. This creates a more acidic environment that wears down tooth enamel and provides a breeding ground for the bacteria that causes tooth decay. This acidic environment continues for 30 minutes. If you eat a snack every 30 minutes you will stay constantly in a lower pH. Neutralizing the acid found in plaque can be aided by adding garlic or ginger to your diet. It also helps to rinse your mouth with water after a snack or better yet brush and floss after each snack. Take a break between snacks and meals to give salivary glands, teeth and jaws the proper rest they need.

What further complicates this approach to eating is the type of food vegetarians and vegans are prone to snack on: carbohydrate-rich acidic fruit, or dry sticky fruits. This double-whammy of a constantly acidic mouth from snacking combined with even more acid from fruit is a recipe for weak enamel and cavities. Dried fruit, even organic, has a lot of available sugars for bacteria and can become a huge problem.

To counter this effect, snack less, avoid sticky fruits, choose from more firm, less acidic fruits and keep a bottle of water nearby to continually rinse your mouth. Seek out more complex carbohydrate choices such as whole grains, nuts, and whole fruits.

Research also suggests that meat, dairy and seafood help teeth in 2 ways. They may counteract acidity in the mouth, and aid in the remineralization of teeth that have been demineralized in an acidic environment. Nuts, green leafy vegetables and sea vegetables can help with remineralization.

Vegan and vegetarian diets can be wonderful in many ways. As with every diet make sure you follow it in a way that will help your health. Food choice is the most important drug you can take. Also consider supplements that will provide proper balance of vitamins and minerals lacking in whichever diet you choose.

Please remember that diet is a vital part of a person’s medical history. Patients should always inform their dentist and dental hygienist if they follow special forms of diet.

Maintaining healthy teeth is an important part of healthy living!

Davidson Family Dentistry

Posted June 21st, 2019

Dr. Dave’s Retirement Plans

With the addition of Dr. Clause to our team and Dr. David Davidson’s approaching 65th birthday, many of you have asked regarding Dr. Dave’s retirement plans.  While plans can change, the current plan is as follows:

Posted June 14th, 2019

New Technologies at Davidson Family Dentistry

In a world of constant change, it seems that if we are not moving forward then we must be moving backward.  At Davidson Family Dentistry, our goal is always providing “Quality Dentistry, Affordable Service, and Compassionate Care”.  With new technologies we want to ever enhance our mission.  We are always moving forward.

We are happy and proud to announce the addition of two new technologies that enhances our mission of “Quality Dentistry” without breaking the pledge of “Affordable Service”.

Our first new technology is a Cone Beam CT X-Ray.  This is an x-ray machine that we use to see 3-D.  Always in the past our x-ray images were confined to a two dimensional view.  Now we have the ability to make a three dimensional image which is especially useful in diagnosing and planning surgical procedures like implant placement and complicated extractions like difficult impacted wisdom teeth.
Dr. Michael Davidson and Dr. John Biegert in our office have both been trained in implant placement and have been very thankful for our 3-D Cone Beam CT machine.

For our patients who remember Dr. David Davidson’s original business partner Dr. Joseph Cortese, you will enjoy what old-time radio and television personality Paul Harvey would call “the rest of the story”.  Dr. Cortese had the first x-ray machine in Des Moines in the early 1950’s and now we have one of the few 3-D x-ray machines in central Iowa.  Dentistry has come a long way.

Our second new technology announcement is a Digital Impression Scanner.  A digital scanner replaces the gooey paste in a tray we have used historically to reproduce the inside of the mouth for such things as making crowns and bridges.  Some of the new treatments – implant crowns, orthodontic aligners, and dental sleep appliances – are perfect fits for this new technology.  And yes, the traditional crowns, bridges, and partial dentures can also be made using a digital scanner.The other exciting part of this new x-ray is the incredibly low amount of radiation it emits.  It has less radiation than the typical film based panoramic machines we used in the past in our original Beaverdale office.  In fact, it is estimated that you will receive equivalent radiation on a transcontinental airline flight from New York to Los Angeles.

Posted January 11th, 2019

Merry Christmas from Davidson Family Dentistry

Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, and Happy Holidays from all of us at Davidson Family Dentistry.  For a second year I have been recruited to write a holiday, year-end message to you.  After last year, I wondered why I hadn’t done this in the years previously.  Here is our news of the year.

Davidson Family Dentistry, LLC

As of the first of April, the practice converted from a sole proprietorship to a limited liability company in which Dr. Michael Davidson has an ownership interest.  It means little to you has a patient other than to offer to you the assurance that Davidson Family Dentistry will continue to be here for you for many years to come.

New Employees

Swapna joined us on March 26 as an administrative assistant.  Swapna is a dentist and has recently immigrated to America with her husband, daughter and son from India.  Only American trained dentists are allowed to receive a dental license in Iowa so we are very fortunate to have her knowledge of dentistry.  We hired Swapna shortly after returning from India on vacation.  Isn’t life ironic sometimes?  Swapna is the third foreign trained dentist to work for us.  Olga from Russia and Sulochana from Nepal have gone on to receive American based dental training and are practicing dentistry.  Olga is in Chicago and Sulochana is in New York.

Kristin joined us on June 4 as an administrative assistant and insurance specialist.  Kristin is a graduate of Des Moines Lincoln High School and comes to us with considerable and competent experience working for my dental friends, Drs. Kris and Kevin Shay in Urbandale until they retired.  Kristin loves following her favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs.

Jessie, RDA joined us on June 25 as an expanded function dental assistant.  Jessie is originally from Mount Ayr but eventually found her way to Oklahoma.  Her last employment in Tulsa was as the structure and program coordinator for the dental assisting program at Platt College.  She is very creative making decorative home items.  We’re very thankful to have her back home in Iowa.  Jessie will also be helping me with my expanded function dental assistant class in 2019.

Rachel, RDH joined us July 9 as a dental hygienist.  Rachel is originally from Paulina in Northwest Iowa.  She attended Northwestern College in Orange City for a year where she played basketball before transferring to the University of South Dakota graduating this year with a BS in dental hygiene.   Her abilities far exceed her time in dentistry reminding me of someone with 5 or 6 years of experience.

Aubrey, RDA joined us August 14 as an expanded functions dental assistant.  Aubrey has lived in various areas of Iowa with her family before settling in Des Moines and graduating from Des Moines Roosevelt.  Aubrey has great skills as a dental assistant and we are very fortunate to have her.  One of her hobbies is singing karaoke.  You might just find her singing to you when you are in the dental chair.

Mandy joined us as an administrative assistant on August 20.  Mandy comes to us from the world of banking with experience as a personal banker.  She has jumped right in learning a new language – dentistry.  Mandy graduated from Dallas Center – Grimes and attended UNI.  One of her hobbies is bow hunting.  You can be sure I’ll be on my best behavior when her quiver is full. :-)

Ashley joined us as a dental assistant October 8.  Ashley is a graduate of Dunbar High School and Marshalltown Community College.  We love Ashley’s bright smile and we are very happy she is part of our team. Ashley is a competitive body builder.

Our team continues to grow to serve you.  There are 42 of us now.  We’ve come a long way from our Beaverdale days.


Three of our doctors added to their families this year.  Dr. John Biegert and his wife, Erin, had a baby girl in January.  Her name is Rose.  Rose is their first child.

Dr. Amanda Vonnahme and her husband, Shane, had a baby boy in February.  Ryan joins brother, Jack, and sister, Sarah.

Dr. Justine Stemper and her husband, Matt, had a baby girl in July.  Her name is Eliza and she is their first child.

New Equipment

We made a couple of new additions to our technology and a few replacements as newer models were deemed a better option than repairing their predecessors.

We are very pleased to add the latest and greatest x-ray technology currently available in dentistry, a Cone-Beam CT 3-D X-Ray.  This machine will be used for 2D panoramic images along with three dimensional radiography.  It will be especially useful in surgery.  We are now able to do more complicated implant placements with the Cone-Beam CT.  We are especially pleased that the radiation emission is especially low.  Frequent airline travelers receive more radiation than this type of x-ray.

We are equally pleased to add a digital impression scanner to our restorative arsenal.  It has the benefit of replacing the gooey impression pastes we have used historically.

New Training

Dr. Michael Davidson completed his extensive training in Implant dentistry through the Implant Maxicourse at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Dental School.  He is now eligible to pursue a Fellowship in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

Dr. John Biegert is also pursuing advanced training in dental implantology.   We are very pleased that both he and Dr. Michael are pursuing this cutting edge education.

Drs. Vonnahme, Stemper, Baier, and I didn’t venture as far from home this year for our continuing education.  We took advantage of educational opportunities through the Des Moines District Dental Society, the Iowa Dental Association, and the University of Iowa, College of Dentistry.

All of our clinical staff and doctors further their dental education every year to improve our knowledge and clinical skills.  In addition, our non-clinical staff are trained annually in areas of infection control, OSHA safety, and general dental knowledge.

Welcome patients from Dr. Jon Allison, DDS

One of our Urbandale dental colleagues, Dr. Jon Allison, retired this year in August.  We are pleased that he ask us to help him transition into retirement by “adopting” his patients.  With the addition of some additional staff, we were able to open time for his patients and add more new patients to our dental family.  Thank you Dr. Allison.  You have earned your chance to take it easy after a life of service to your patients.

Shoulder Surgery Cancelled

As many of you know, in 2016 I had rotator cuff repair of my right shoulder and my left shoulder needs the same type of surgery.  I was already to have the surgery after the first of the year until I re-injured my right shoulder after very little exertion.  The right shoulder is non-repairable surgically except with a replacement and the surgeon won’t do the replacement until I’m 70.  Oh well.  Not everything goes as we expect.  I continue to be blessed beyond measure.


Last year I made these requests and again I am making my petition to you.  Our practice continues to grow because of the many wonderful patients who join our practice through your referrals but with the America’s mobile society, some of our patients move away and we want to replace them.

Two of the most common sources of new patients in our practice come from direct referrals of your friends, family, and coworkers and indirect referrals through Google reviews.

If you have written a Google review for us, thank you.  If you haven’t and are so inclined, would you be willing to write a review so your experiences can be reflected to those who you don’t even know?  We would be so appreciative!

As always, if we ever miss the mark in your expectations, please tell us so we can improve for you and be the best dental office you have ever experienced.

Holiday Wishes

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Season’s Greetings to you all.  We are so grateful you have chosen to place your dental health with us.  We wish for you a blessed season and a healthy and prosperous 2019.

Dr. David Davidson


Posted December 20th, 2018

5 Star Reviews and the Quest for Perfection

It’s no secret that Dr. Dave and Diane love to travel.  There are photos around the office and artifacts from their journeys. They forgo golf memberships, fancy wardrobes, and other luxuries in order to find an adventure and travel to “parts unknown” to them. It was on a recent trip that Dr. Dave had an interesting observation that has led him on a fun research project.

In Paris they were preparing for a day visiting the Louvre. So as not to miss any of the most famous of the Louvre’s art exhibits, they checked in with Mr. Google for his assistance.  The search was “top 10 things to see at the Louvre”? The first information that popped up was the Louvre’s Google rating: 4.7 stars out of 5. Huh, wouldn’t one think that the world’s most famous and renowned art museum would be a shoo-in for a 5 star Google rating?  They have the Mona Lisa for crying out loud! Who knows, maybe it got dinged for all the stairs when some have knee problems – like Dr. Dave and Diane. (They would gladly give the Louvre 5 stars anyway)!

At Davidson Family Dentistry, we strive for 5 stars from everyone – all the time. We have hundreds of reviews in aggregate on the many internet sites that are available to an internet researcher. Dr. Dave especially wants his Google score high because that is the search engine he uses. (Currently Davidson has over 130 Google reviews with a 4.8 star Google rating). We strive for all of our patient encounters to be 5 stars and are disappointed when the rare person doesn’t have a 5 star experience.

With Davidson Family Dentistry at 4.8 and the Louvre at 4.7, Dr. Dave decided to compare us with other famous places. Here is our list:

Davidson Family Dentistry                           4.8

Smithsonian Museums:

  1.   National Portrait Museum                4.8
  2. Art Museum                                           4.7
  3. Air & Space                                             4.7
  4. American History                                  4.7
  5. Natural History                                      4.5

World Sites:

  1.  Stonehenge (England)                              4.4
  2. Church of the Holy Seplechure (Israel) 4.4
  3. Berlin Zoo (Germany)                               4.4
  4. Disneyland Paris (France)                        4.5
  5. Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany)        4.5
  6. Pyramids of Egypt                                      4.5
  7. Parthenon (Athens, Greece)                     4.5
  8. Eiffel Tower (Paris)                                    4.6
  9.  Sydney Opera House (Australia)            4.7
  10. Paris Opera House (France)                     4.7
  11. Ankor Wat (Cambodia)                             4.7
  12. St. Peters Basicilica (Rome)                     4.7
  13. Sistine Chapel (Rome)                               4.7
  14. Louvre Art Museum (Paris)                      4.7
  15. d’Orsey Art Museum (Paris)                     4.7

7 Modern Wonders of the World:

  1. Great Wall of China                                    4.2
  2. Taj Mahal (India)                                        4.6
  3. Petra (Jordan)                                             4.7
  4. Colosseum (Rome)                                     4.7
  5. Christ the Redeemer (Brazil)                   4.7
  6. Chichen izta (Mexico)                                4.8
  7. Machu Picchu (Peru)                                 4.8

Midwestern Sites:

  1. Mayo Clinic (Minnesota)                           4.3
  2. Graceland (Memphis, Tennessee)           4.4
  3. Mall of America (Minneapolis)                4.5
  4. Science & Industry Museum (Chicago)  4.5
  5. St. Louis Gateway Arch (Missouri)         4.7
  6. Mt. Rushmore (South Dakota)             4.7
  7. Chicago Art Institute (Chicago)              4.8
  8. Henry Dorley Zoo (Omaha)                     4.8

Iowa Sites:

  1. Iowa Hall of Pride (Des Moines)            3.9
  2. Iowa Cubs (Des Moines)                          4.0
  3. Des Moines Science Center                     4.0
  4. Blank Park Zoo (Des Moines)                4.4
  5. Iowa Wild                                                   4.5
  6. Des Moines Civic Center                         4.5
  7. Old Capital (Iowa City)                           4.6
  8. Des Moines Art Center                            4.6
  9. Salisbury House (Des Moines)              4.7
  10. Des Moines Symphony                           4.8

National Sites:

  1. Statue of Liberty (New York)                4.5
  2. New York Natural History Museum    4.6
  3. Disneyland California                             4.6
  4. Yellowstone National Park                    4.7
  5. DisneyWorld Florida                              4.7
  6. Grand Canyon National Park             4.8
  7. Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco)   4.8

To paraphrase America’s greatest president, Abraham Lincoln, (Dr. Dave gives him 5 stars) “you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.

At Davidson Family Dentistry we are at your service to provide 5 star dentistry, 5 star customer service, and 5 star patient satisfaction. Dr. Dave likes to say “if we meet or exceed your expectations, please write a review and tell the WORLD. If we don’t meet or exceed your expectations then please tell US so we can make it right”.  We want to be the best dental office you have ever experienced!

To your good health and entertaining travels,

Davidson Family Dentistry



Posted June 18th, 2018

And the rest, is History!

A long time ago (1981) in a galaxy far, far away (Beaverdale) David W. Davidson, a young 26 year old dental school graduate, was eager to begin practicing in the Des Moines area.  After a quick six month stint as an associate in a local dental practice, Dr. Davidson took his 1980 University of Iowa Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree with him on a chance meeting with Dr. Joseph A Cortese, Des Moines’ first pediatric dentist.

Dr. Cortese was 59 years old and was looking ahead to his own retirement and Dr. Dave was looking for a place of his own to enter his chosen profession.  Dr. Davidson and Dr. Cortese worked out an office sharing agreement that they cemented with a handshake.  Dr. Cortese would often tell Dr. Davidson “I have three sons but none wanted to be a dentist, now I have a fourth son who is a dentist”.   Dr. Dave and Dr. Joe practiced together for 5 years before Dr. Cortese retired in January of 1984.

Dr. Davidson and Dr. Cortese were very close and enjoyed the comradery of working together and sharing common experiences.  They had mutual respect for each other and were willing to help each other at all times.  Dr. Dave tells the story of Dr. Cortese choosing when to retire…”Joe came in one morning (January, 1984) and said his 64th birthday was in two weeks so he was going to the social security office to check on the government rules for retirement.  He came back that afternoon and told me he was retiring in 2 weeks.”  Now that was the ultimate two week notice!  As the years passed, they would recall that day and laughed at the unexpected suddenness of his decision.

The office at that time had 3 treatment rooms and Dr. Dave had 2 employees.  He called his dental practice “Beaverdale Family Dentistry”.  (Dr. Dave still uses drbeaverdale as his email address.)   As the years passed, the practice grew and expanded into space in the adjacent building.  Beaverdale Family Dentistry then had 5 treatment rooms, 7 employees, and nothing but blue sky into the future.

Everything changed when Dr. Davidson’s son, Michael, was studying at Iowa State University. Michael applied and was accepted into dental school at The University of Iowa College of Dentistry and told his father,  he would like to practice dentistry with him when he graduated.

Michael’s (Dr. Michael Davidson) acceptance into dental school was good news but the 5 treatment rooms in the Beaverdale office were going to be quite inadequate for two full-time dentists.  The search began for real estate to rent/purchase or land to purchase for building a new office. The natural place to look was in Beaverdale.  After considerable examination, Dr. Dave was unable to find a suitable location in Beaverdale so the search was widened.

Utilizing patient zip codes as a base for the search, our Urbandale location was found.  It was right in the center of the target for the majority of our patient base.  Dr. Dave and (Dr.) Michael then traveled the state to visit and study dental offices that would be a similar size to our future needs and offices that had moved from one location to another.  Additionally, they wanted to glean knowledge of other father/son dental practices.

Any kind of a move or building project is stressful.  Dr. Davidson had neither moved a dental clinic nor had he built a dental clinic but he was fortunate to have his attorney & wife, Diane, who was able to step in and help with both.  Diane had 25 years of experience in the world of real estate law and at the time was general counsel for a large real estate developer in Des Moines.

After 25 years practicing dentistry in Beaverdale, Dr. Davidson opened the current dental clinic in Urbandale and changed the name from Beaverdale Family Dentistry to Davidson Family Dentistry.  The clinic went from 5 to 9 treatment rooms.

In the Beaverdale days, Dr. Davidson had had two different dental friends work as associate dentists in the clinic on a limited, part-time basis.  Dr. Thomas Treska was a friend of Dr. Dave from his days in the Iowa Army National Guard and Dr. Thu Ha Dixon was a friend from church.  Dr. Treska had retired from the VA Hospital and helped out a few days a month for 6 months before his final career retirement.  Dr. Dixon worked a few hours a week and during her 6 years with Dr. Dave, she and her husband had 4 babies.  When her youngest was born, she left the dental workforce to stay home with her children.  Dr. Dave is still close friends with both Dr. Treska and Dr. Dixon.

When the clinic moved from Beaverdale, Dr. Susan Nguyen was hired as the first full-time dentist working for Dr. Davidson.  They knew each other from Dr. Davidson’s teaching senior dental students from The University of Iowa at Broadlawns Medical Center where she worked.  Dr. Nguyen was from Illinois and worked at Davidson Family Dentistry for 4 years before moving back to the Chicago area to be closer to her family.

Dr. Amanda Vonnahme joined Davidson Family Dentistry in 2008 followed by Dr. Michael Davidson in 2009.  Dr. Andrew Majaren worked part-time for a year and a half (2013-2015) until he found a permanent position across town.  Dr. Justine Stemper came in 2014 followed by Dr. John Biegert in 2015 and Dr. Alyson (Siegrist) Baier in 2016.

In 1981, Dr. Davidson had 2 part-time employees, 2 treatment rooms and started with family members as patients.  In 2018, Davidson Family Dentistry has 37 part-time or full-time employees, 15 treatment rooms and several thousand patients.  Dr. Davidson often laughs and says we are going to put a McDonalds type sign up that says “Billions and Billions of Teeth Treated”.  It is a bit of an exaggeration but still funny.

Throughout the years, the philosophy of Davidson Family has always stayed the same.  We treat all our patients as family and live by our mission statement: Quality Dentistry, Affordable Service and Compassionate Care.


Posted April 6th, 2018

Seasons Greetings from Davidson Family Dentistry

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Seasons Greetings from all of us at Davidson Family Dentistry.  In all of my 63 years, I have never written a Christmas or holiday message to anyone.  My wife, Diane, of 42 years has always written our family’s yearly message to our friends and family until now.  Let me share with you about our “news” from Davidson Family Dentistry in 2017.

New Employees

Charissa T is our newest dental hygienist.  She is originally from Boone and did her hygiene training at Iowa Central Community College in Ft Dodge.  She hit the ground running as our assistants and other hygienists took her under their wings from the git-go.  Her very first patient asked to be rescheduled with her in 6 months – this hasn’t been her only unsolicited testimonial.

Linda G joined us the in business office.  She is a very experienced in the dental field.  She worked as an office manager in her previous dental office in Washington DC.  We are so fortunate to have such an experienced employee with so much knowledge about dentistry, dental insurance and patient care.


Dr. Alyson Baier (Dr. Alyson Siegrist) married Andrew Baier on April 22.  Andrew and Alyson have made their home in Johnston.  Andrew will obviously make a great life partner for Dr. Alyson.  As you recall, Dr. Baier joined us in 2016 after my shoulder surgery.  Many of you have already had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Alyson and have experienced her gentle touch.


Laura T and her husband Joe had a son born on January 5.  Joshua weighed in at 8 pounds 1 ounce.  Joshua joins older sisters Tenley and Emma.   Laura and Joe are wonderful, loving parents.  You will know Laura as a friendly voice on the telephone or by her beautiful smile at the front desk.

Sarah B and her husband Trent also had a son.  Grady weighed in at 7 pounds 14 ounces and was born on October 25.  Sarah is part of our dental hygiene team.  Grady is Sarah and Trent’s first child and they are learning the wonders, joys and sleeplessness of parenthood.  Sarah is still on her maternity leave and we look forward to her return after Christmas.

Elizabeth M and her husband Stephen had a son.  Elizabeth is Dr. David Davidson and Diane Davidson’s favorite and only daughter.  Charles Walker Miller was born on January 20 and tipped the scales at 8 pounds 12 ounces.  Charles is their first child.   Walker is a family name in Dr. Davidson’s family.  If Elizabeth had been a boy, Walker was to be her middle name.  Elizabeth and Stephen live in Cedar Falls.

There is nothing like a baby to give us all hope for the future and to have three babies is triple the blessing!

Babies of the Future

Dr. John Biegert and his wife Erin are expecting a daughter in January.  She will be their first child and they are understandingly beyond excited.

Dr. Amanda Vonnahme and her husband Shane are also expecting a baby in January.  They have decided to be surprised by their new arrival’s gender.  Dr. Amanda and Shane already have a son, Jack, and a daughter, Sarah.

With all these babies, there must be something in the water.  What do you think?

New Equipment

We had several equipment purchases this year which includes a machine to make nightguards, a soft tissue laser, a new intraoral x-ray machine and a couple of new intraoral cameras.  The machine to make nightguards has meant we have lowered the fee for that service since we no longer have a laboratory charge.  We are also looking to purchase a 3D x-ray (cone beam) machine.  As always, our equipment purchases are to enhance the care we deliver to you.

New Training

Dr. Michael Davidson has been doing extensive training in implant dentistry through Implant Maxicourse.  It is one of leading implant training centers in the U.S. When he finishes his training he will be eligible for the distinction as a Fellow in the American Academy of Implant Dentistry.

Dr. Justine Stemper and I attended the American Dental Association’s annual meeting that was held in Atlanta.  I focused most of my coursework in cone beam digital x-ray diagnosis and technology.  Dr. Stemper and I attended a seminar on dental forensics and mass casualty identification.

Dr. Stemper also completed education in laser dentistry and new technology in the dental field.  Additionally, she represented the Iowa Dental Association as Iowa’s representative to the Young Dentists Conference.

Dr. Michael Davidson and Dr. John Biegert attended a conference in Las Vegas that focused on new technology in dentistry.  Dr. Stemper attended the same course in laser dentistry in Minneapolis that Dr. Biegert and Dr. Michael Davidson had previously attended.

Dr. Vonnahme and Dr. Baier completed their continuing education here in Des Moines sponsored by the Des Moines District Dental Society and the Iowa Dental Association.  The instruction was an update on prescription drugs and their interactions and contraindications in dental care.

New Knee

If you didn’t know already, I had my left knee replaced in August.  It wasn’t because of arthritis but it was because of a fracture in the condyle of my femur (end of the thigh bone).  It’s not quite apparent how I broke my leg, but it was not the greatest 8 months of my life.  (It took several months to make the correct diagnosis.)  Needless to say, I am doing well and my quality of life has improved dramatically.   I was off work for 2 months in healing and rehab.

In the three months prior to my knee replacement surgery, we did a testimonial contest:  “What do you like about Davidson Family Dentistry?”  We had over a hundred entries.  During my convalescence, I read through the entries and chose the winners.  I could have had 10,000 get well cards that wouldn’t have had the effect the beautiful entries gave me.  Thank you all for your love.  It was and continues to be greatly appreciated!


After my shoulder surgery in 2016 and my knee replacement in 2017, I have decided to “slow down” a bit more.   My typical work schedule is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings.  Jokingly I like to tell our patients that they now know the magic formula to either be in the office when I work or to avoid my work times.  LOL.  I have no plans to completely retire at this time and fully expect to work this schedule for quite some time.



Finally, I have two requests.

  1. If you appreciate how we deliver dentistry to you, would you be willing to write a Google review for us? Our team is prepared to help your friends and people you don’t even know and you have the ability to influence their decision of choosing our dental office.
  2. If you ever find we are short of the mark and don’t deliver for you an exceptional experience, would you tell me so I can make it right for you?

Holiday Wishes

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Seasons Greetings again to you all.  We are so grateful you have chosen to place your dental health with us.  We wish for you a blessed season and a healthy and prosperous 2018.

Dr. David Davidson


Posted December 8th, 2017


Since we began our dental practice in 1981, we have been Medicaid providers.  Over the decades, we have treated hundreds of patients needing a hand up.  Because of the low reimbursement rate, approximately 30%, we have to limit the numbers of patients on Medicaid.  We lose money on every Medicaid appointment.

My entire life I have believed in the Biblical principal of the tithe.  For those of you unfamiliar with this, I commit 10% of my income to further the work of the church, help those in need, or being a Good Samaritan to those who have gotten in trouble through no fault of their own.  This is one reason for the flag display in our office.  These are countries where I have done missionary dentistry.  The flags remind me of the many people I have been able to help.   It is also a reason that I have been instrumental in the formation of the IMOM (Iowa Mission of Mercy) free dental clinic in Iowa including being the President of the Foundation a few years ago.

New Medicaid rules for patients over the age of 18 have placed us in a real dilemma.  If we continue to participate in Medicaid with the new rules, we will be unable to limit the number of patients we treat who are on Medicaid.  Since we don’t have the ability to treat every Medicaid patient who calls and I have no interest in violating federal law with respect to this or any other program, we have decided after 3 ½ decades of Medicaid participation to end our participation in Medicaid for those over the age of 18.

We have many, many patients who have special needs and are part of the Medicaid program.  We will not abandon them, ever.  I have chosen to continue treating them on a pro-bono basis as part of our charitable works. We will continue to do what’s right and will do it for the right reason.

As ever, thank you all for understanding we run a business.  The new rules have forced our hand in a new direction.

Dr. David Davidson

Posted August 25th, 2017

Pregnancy and Oral Health

A common question we hear is “If I’m pregnant can I have dental work done?” Preventative dental cleanings and annual exams are not only safe, but recommended. Preventative dental work while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth.  Cavity fillings and crowns should be treated to reduce the chance of infection.

If dental work is done during pregnancy, the second trimester is preferred.  The safest course of action is to postpone all cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening until after the baby is born.

Lidocaine is the most common medication used during dental work. Even though it does cross the placenta after administration, it is not toxic to the developing baby. Dental work often requires antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin to prevent or treat infections.  These are labeled as safe during pregnancy.

Routine x-rays can usually be postponed until after the birth. In the case of an emergency the American Dental Association has stated that no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing embryo or fetus.

Be on the lookout for these common conditions during pregnancy:

  1. Gum disease. During pregnancy, teeth and gums need special attention.  Regular tooth brushing twice a day, flossing daily, eating a balanced diet and regular visits to the dentist will help reduce dental problems during pregnancy.
  2. Enamel erosion. Morning sickness can be a major symptom of pregnancy for some women. Along with the nausea comes additional acid that can erode your teeth if left in your mouth.  Be sure to rinse your mouth out with water or a fluoride mouthwash to keep the acid level under control.
  3. Pregnancy gingivitis. The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums and potential infection.
  4. Dry mouth. Dry mouth during pregnancy can put women at a greater risk for tooth decay and infections. Remember to drink plenty of water and chew sugarless gum to enhance production of saliva.

So, brush and floss daily. More if you experience morning sickness. Keep your appointments. Maintaining dental hygiene visits every 3 to 6 months is important to minimizing gingivitis and the problems that can result.  Morning sickness often fades after the first trimester, so many women find the second trimester the best time for dental visits.

Posted June 7th, 2017

How your dental health impacts your total health

The condition of your mouth is closely tied to your overall health.  Taking care of your teeth isn’t just about having a nice smile and pleasant breath.  Gum disease is a problem that not only affects your mouth but also your entire body, often before you have any idea that it’s happening.

There has been increased interest in possible links between oral health and body health.  In one recent study, people with serious gum disease were 40% more likely to have a chronic condition on top of it.

Bacteria that builds up on teeth make gums prone to infection.  The immune system moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed.  The inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control.

Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place.  The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis. Inflammation can also cause problems in the rest of the body.

According to the American Academy of Periodontology, about three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. Gingivitis is an infection and inflammation of the gums caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar at the base of the teeth.  Periodontitis is more severe and typically occurs when gingivitis goes untreated or when its treatment is delayed, and the infection and inflammation spread to the ligaments and bones that support the teeth, eventually causing them to loosen and fall out.

Numerous studies have shown that untreated chronic inflammation of the type that characterizes gum disease can spread and lead to more severe health complications such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, pancreatic cancer, osteoporosis, eating disorders and even Alzheimer’s disease.

People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease according to the AAP, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications. Those people who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk to develop periodontal disease.

As we get older, the likelihood that we will develop gum disease increases, partly because of naturally occurring bone loss after age 40.  Genetics and certain medications can reduce saliva flow and as we age our mouths produce less saliva. Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.

To protect your health, practice good oral hygiene every day.

Contact Davidson Family Dentistry as soon as an oral health problem arises.  Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.


Posted April 6th, 2017