As we have grown at Davidson Family Dentistry, it has been important to develop our organization structure so that we can continue to deliver the same level of customer service that we had when it was just Dr. David Davidson and a staff of 3.
One of the ways we do that is with team leads who coordinate our activities and make sure we are consistent in delivering a high level of patient care. Another is through continued training for all staff both in and out of the office. The third way is by having coordinators who manage some of the specialty functions of the office. We thought we would discuss the role of the coordinators in the office with this blog.
Scheduling Coordinator – Nancy is our scheduling coordinator and it is her responsibility to keep watch on the 21 columns of patient care. While any of our front desk staff can schedule patients, Nancy double checks to make sure that patients are with the doctor or hygienist they requested, that the correct amount of time has been scheduled, and people who are on our call list for specific times or days are contacted. She also confirms a number of appointments each day. Nancy is well suited for this function since she is one of the friendliest people you will meet.
Invisalign and Marketing Coordinator – Mary Ann is our Invisalign and Marketing Coordinator. While the marketing portion of the job has little interaction with patients, the Invisalign portion gives her closer contact over a year or more with patients who are doing orthodontia through Invisalign. Mary Ann is a huge believer in using Invisalign since she used it many years ago and has been extremely satisfied with the results.
Sedation Coordinator – Tracy is our sedation coordinator and has a love for helping patients go from fearful to comfortable with dental procedures. Since many times sedation patients need a number of dental procedures done, she helps them coordinate both insurance and financials. She also works closely with Dr. Michael Davidson and his two primary dental assistants. As a trained dental assistant, she can also step in and assist with sedation if need be.
Equipment and Supply Coordinator – Chrissy is our equipment and supply coordinator and she makes sure all 15 of our patient operatories, as well as the sterilization and lab areas, have properly functioning equipment and that all necessary supplies are available. As one of the dental assistants at Davidson Family Dentistry, her coordinator’s job is not one you see unless equipment is not working or supply prices go up. However, be assured she and the other dental assistants are very good at shopping for great pricing and staying on top of repair orders.
Insurance Specialist – Kathy is our insurance specialist and works one on one with many patients to coordinate insurance coverage for dental work. Dental work, because of the equipment and supply costs, lab expenses and time involved, can be expensive. Many patients who have dental insurance coverage want to know what assistance, if any, their dental benefits will provide. Kathy heads up our preauthorization process and is very good at calling patients to explain the Estimate of Benefits received from their insurance companies. After spending years as an officer in the insurance industry, we are pleased that Kathy is at Davidson Family Dentistry.Posted November 10th, 2016
The end of the year is rapidly approaching and is a busy time of the year for everyone. However, most insurance and flexible benefit plans work on a calendar year basis and if you don’t use your benefits before year end, they are gone and new benefits start next year.
If you know you have dental work that needs to be done or if you suspect that you have some work that needs done, now is the time to get it scheduled. This is especially true for those of you where your coverage limitations under your insurance policy is set at $1000 or $1500. In the dental world, it doesn’t take long for those benefits to be used up.
By waiting you can end up needing to pay the cost of needed dental work out of pocket or paying for more procedures (i.e. a root canal and a crown vs. just a crown.)
We have lists of patients with dental work which has been preauthorized by insurance companies but not yet scheduled. Some of you are waiting to see if you will have other dental work that you need to get done in 2016 (i.e. something is hurting) before going forward with dental work on teeth that are not currently hurting. Now is the time to schedule that work. Remember that crown and bridge work takes at least two appointment times with space between them. Implants, partials and dentures take more appointments than that and everything must be finished by December 31st.
Sedation appointments for wisdom teeth removal or other procedures for Thanksgiving week and winter holiday are also filling up quickly. The hygiene schedule fills quickly during that time as well for workers and students who find it difficult to get away during non-holiday times.
Finally, remember that while most insurance companies provide that cleanings need to be six months apart, some provide two cleanings at any time during a calendar year. It is always important to figure out what your individual dental insurance policy provides. Flex programs are almost always on a calendar year and if your benefits are not used during the year, they are lost.
Our six dentists and nine hygienists are available Thanksgiving week and the whole month of December so that we can help you meet your dental needs in the most financially advantageous manner possible. Please give us a call.Posted October 26th, 2016
For the month of October we are running a “Whitening” Special!! Whitening trays will be $125 for upper OR lower arch! Regularly $180 each this is a GREAT bargain! Call our office today 515-279-3848 to schedule an appointment and put the pizzazz back in your smile!Posted October 3rd, 2016
Sealants are one of the best cavity prevention measures available today. Sealants help prevent cavities on the biting surface of molar teeth by filling in deep grooves and pits where food particles and bacteria tends to hide. Most insurance companies cover it at 100% on both 6 and 12 year molars for children.
The American Dental Association recommends children receive sealants as soon as the adult teeth erupt. It is quick, easy, painless and relatively cheap (as opposed to future dental bills). However even as an adult, if you have teeth that have deep grooves and pits that do not already have sealants or restorations in them, we would encourage you to consider getting sealants. While most insurance don’t cover sealants for adults, it is still much more economical to get a sealant than a filling.
The next time you and your family are in the office, ask the dentist about applying sealants to molars.
Making Smiles Happen!
Davidson Family DentistryPosted August 23rd, 2016
It’s that time of year again. The nice weather of the summer allows people to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities. School is just around the corner and with school comes the fall sports season. It’s always great being active this time of year but it is important to stay safe doing your favorite activities.
Many activities require protective equipment to help prevent injury. Biking, roller-skating and football all require helmets to protect your head. It’s also important to think about protecting your teeth! Chipped and broken teeth are common sports and outdoor activity injuries which can easily be prevented by wearing a mouth guard.
A mouth guard is a simple appliance which can be made to fit your teeth to provide protection from bumps, falls and collisions. This protection can mean that a broken tooth is no more than a bruised lip! We would recommend wearing a mouth guard for all contact sports as well as any activities where you may accidentally fall or bump teeth.
There are many types of mouth guards. Although, they can be bought at many sports stores, the custom made ones from Davidson Family Dentistry are better (and easier). The most important thing to remember is that you and your family need to actually wear them each and every time. The quality makes no difference if the mouth guard isn’t in your mouth!
Have a great rest of the summer! Go USA in the Olympics!!
Making smiles happen,
Davidson Family Dentistry
Posted August 3rd, 2016
Davidson Family Dentistry is now at the 1 year anniversary mark for publishing our blog. We have done as promised – written a twice monthly blog that dealt with commonly asked questions, general topics of interest in the dental field, or updates from our office. We have written every blog ourselves (with the occasional typo or grammar error to prove it).
We would at this point like to ask our readers for feedback. What do you think? Are you finding them worth your time to read? What topics would you like to see covered in the future? Is there something we could do to improve them?
Please take a few minutes to let us know your thoughts. Facebook posts work, but e-mails work the best. Please send them via firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for your time and effort!
Making smiles happen,
Your Davidson Family Dentistry Team
Posted July 25th, 2016
We would like to welcome Dr. Alyson Siegrist to our office. Dr. Siegrist is a native of Wesley, Iowa, earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Iowa and was the recipient of the American Academy of Orofacial Pain award at graduation.
Although Dr. Siegrist is new to our office, she is not new to dentistry. Dr. Siegrist has practiced at other offices in Des Moines as well as the Twin Cities.
Dr. Siegrist has volunteered with numerous community service projects involving dentistry including Iowa Mission of Mercy, Children’s Dental Services in Minneapolis, MN, and has an extensive list of Honors, Awards and professional memberships.
Outside of practicing dentistry, Dr. Siegrist is an avid runner and competes in half marathons. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, plays the violin and piano, and is active in her church.
Please welcome Dr. Siegrist to Davidson Family Dentistry when you have the chance. We know she will be a wonderful addition to our office and we feel privileged to have her.Posted July 8th, 2016
Implants are the closest thing we have to replacing teeth. Someday dentists hope to grow new teeth for people but sadly that is not yet available. So what can implants do for you? Well the obvious thing is to simply replace a tooth that was lost to decay, gum disease, or cracking. If one of these has happened, or you know you have a tooth that needs to be pulled, do not despair! Replacing the tooth with an implant will restore function to the same or nearly the same as before you lost the tooth.
Some people occasionally ask us since they don’t have beautiful teeth if we can just pull them all and give them new teeth. This really isn’t the point of implants. Instead, dentists will use crowns or veneers to make the teeth pretty. If there are missing teeth and teeth that don’t look great, a combination is possible of implants and crowns.
Now, if you have teeth that don’t look great because they have problems this totally changes the conversation. Dentures, no matter how well done by themselves are HORRIBLE. There are some people who can eat anything under the sun and just love them but they are a unicorn in rarity. Implants are a huge blessing for denture wearing patients. Implants can be used several ways for people totally without teeth on either the upper, lower, or both.
One way is to make a denture and instead of having it float around like a hockey puck in your mouth, we give it the ability to attach to an implant. This can make dentures work. Another option is making a bridge on top of implants for a treatment that is almost like getting your teeth back. After doing something like this most people will have more beautiful and better functioning teeth than they have had for a long time, or possibly ever.
You can live a happy life without a tooth or even any teeth. People in third world areas live without teeth for decades. While this is possible having a missing tooth causes problems. When a tooth is missing beyond the obvious esthetic issues there are two functional issues that arise as well. Movement of teeth and loss of bone. As a tooth is missing progressively bone is lost that can lead to a space where no replacement is possible. Teeth like to have friends. When a tooth is pulled the opposite chewing partner of the tooth will start to come down (or up) trying to find a partner to chew with. Often with time this makes the replacement of that tooth difficult and may even result in the need to pull the opposite tooth and do two implants when a single timely implant would have worked earlier in life.
Missing all your teeth, even with a denture, poses significant problems with chewing. Studies show that patients with either dentures or no teeth live 10 years less than people with the same health issues. Also people that don’t have teeth or simply dentures take 20% more medications. Teeth do matter. People who have replacement with implants or supported denture with implants revert to being similar to people with teeth.
Lack of teeth is not just an annoyance it can compromise esthetics, function and even health.
At Davidson Family Dentistry, we strongly believe in implants as a solution to lost teeth. However, the cost of placing implants in the office of a specialist (usually an oral surgeon) made it restrictive to many patients of modest means. We have made it a priority to start doing all steps of the implant process in our office so that implants are a more cost effective solution for all our patients. Dr. Michael Davidson has recently completed his training in implant placement and has started to place implants for our patients. The placement can be done with or without the addition of IV sedation. The restoration of the implant, will continue to be performed in our office by the dentist preferred by the patient.
So if you were holding off on doing an implant because of cost, timing, or the fear of going to someone new, now is the time to rethink what an implant can do for you.
Making smiles happen,
Your Davidson Family Dentistry teamPosted June 20th, 2016
As any of you who have had appointments in the last three months know, Dr. David Davidson has been on medical leave while he has been recovering from surgery to his right shoulder to repair his torn rotator cuff. The surgery was successful at repairing the tear and Dr. Davidson has been faithfully performing physical therapy to regain full use of his right shoulder. Originally, it was hoped that he might have only a 2 month leave of absence, but because of the stresses put on the shoulder by dentistry, it was decided by his orthopedic surgeon and physical therapist that it was more prudent to give him longer to recover.
Dr. Davidson will be back in the office effective Monday, June 6, 2016. He is expected that he will need to take some breaks during dental procedures at the beginning as he builds up his strength and endurance. However, he will be able to perform all the same dental procedures that he did prior to his surgery. Hopefully without pain now!
A big thank you to all the patients who prefer to see Dr. Davidson during your dental visits for your willingness to see a different dentist from our office during this period of leave. We have a wonderful group of dentists in our office who stepped up to work extra during Dr. Davidson’s period of leave. They have enjoyed being of service to you and hope that if the need arises again you will think of them.Posted June 6th, 2016
Why do I have to pull these teeth…for that matter why do I have them?
We will start with the second question first. Wisdom teeth are biologically designed for helping replace a tooth that was damaged by having a caveman’s diet of eating rocks (or close enough). Of course, cavemen lost these teeth at a MUCH younger age so your wisdom teeth will not do the job of a tooth that you lost through extraction in adulthood. An implant or bridge will be needed to replace the gap caused by the extraction.
Okay that is why I have them but why do I have to pull them?
Wisdom teeth are just a problem waiting to happen. Most wisdom teeth have two stages of problems. Your first stage is as they are trying to come in. People always empathize with babies as they are teething but really wisdom teeth can be way worse. As they develop, wisdom teeth can not only give you the pain of erupting through the bone and gums but also the pain of pushing against the tooth in front. This eruption into the mouth gets stopped for almost everyone because people don’t have space (refer back to eating rocks). Since they don’t have space, the teeth get stuck (or impacted is the other word for it). As they are stuck, trouble develops in the partly erupted tooth. Bacteria gets down between the gums and the partly erupted tooth and can cause infection between the teeth, (pericoronitis), or a cavity on either the wisdom tooth or more importantly the tooth in front of it. The cavity on the tooth in front can lead to losing a good tooth just because of a wisdom tooth.
Later on in life all of these earlier troubles can still happen but there are additional risks of getting a cyst around the wisdom tooth that can eat away the bone leading to a fractured jaw.
Well if my wisdom teeth may not cause me problems until later in life why don’t I wait until then to remove them?
The difficulty in removal is not the same at age 18 as it is at 60; especially for impacted wisdom teeth. An impacted wisdom tooth removed at 18 will make for a sore weekend of sitting on the couch. An impacted wisdom tooth removed at 60 can lead to a horrible couple of weeks or even a hospital stay. Wisdom teeth removed at the right time, (talk to your dentist here), when they are not fully developed is ideal. As those roots develop, they can grow around the nerve of the jaw leading to a dramatically increased risk of permanent nerve numbness to the whole lower jaw. And as mentioned earlier, waiting can cause a cavity on the tooth in front of the wisdom tooth leading to the patient losing a good tooth.
Fine, you convinced me. I know I need them out, who should pull them?
Talk to your dentist at Davidson Family Dentistry. Dr. Michael Davidson of our office does a number of wisdom teeth removals and generally recommends twilight sedation for the procedure. Usually the patient has no memory of the surgery at all.
Well if they specialize in surgery why don’t I just go to an oral surgeon?
Specialists are great to have. Especially for situations where you have a cyst that has pushed your wisdom tooth up by your eye. Or a wisdom tooth that grew too long and grew around the nerve. God bless specialists. Many other times referral to a specialist is just overkill. For routine wisdom teeth, a general dentist can do it at a lesser cost in the same office that has made you comfortable.
My dentist told me to keep my wisdom teeth so I’m confused.
There are times, albeit rare, that wisdom teeth do not need removed. This is when the wisdom tooth is buried so far under the gums in a high risk area that the benefits do not outweigh the risks. It doesn’t mean the benefits of removing the wisdom teeth have gone away; it just is too risky. The other set of people who do not need to remove their wisdom teeth are people that have space. By the time wisdom teeth start coming in, it will be obvious if you have space and your dentist will tell you if you are one of the lucky ones.
Of course with all of this if you have questions the best thing you can do is talk to your dentist. And please remember that individual advice from your dentist for your unique situation trumps any article written to discuss the subject in general terms.
Making smiles happen,
Your Davidson Family Dentistry Team
Posted May 19th, 2016