Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How to fit proper dental care into any budget!

Last time I shared with you one part of a conversation that I had with four women in the health food store. Part one was about the limitations of dental insurance and what it really cost one mother…the ability to choose the type and quality of the health care she desired for her family. This week’s blog is about another mother’s concern about not being able to afford braces for her child.

Sharon was distraught. She was educated enough to recognize that her daughter was having early warning signs of TMJ…and that the clock was ticking when it came to getting proper treatment. It wasn’t just that Beth’s lower jaw was beginning to stick out like “Jay Leno”, that she rarely smiled or even that she was becoming more introverted…she was more concerned, and rightly so, that Beth was having jaw joint pain, grating and clicking in one jaw joint, frequent headaches and a noticeable “slouch” in her posture.

Sharon already knew that getting Beth into braces while she was still growing was crucial…and she felt terribly guilty because her daughter was suffering, both emotionally and physically. The helpless and hopeless feelings were gut-wrenching. However, what Sharon didn’t know was that braces could actually fit into her “single mother going back to school” budget. Ahhh, relief!

Nearly anyone with a good credit history can be easily and quickly approved for payment arrangements that fit comfortably into any budget. You can even pre-qualify online in the comfort and privacy of your own home. Simply visit www.springstoneplan.com or www.carecredit.com for an application. It doesn’t affect your credit rating to apply, it costs nothing and the results are fast.

Then, give our office a call at 342-0989 and schedule a complimentary orthodontic consultation. Sure, the confidence and self-esteem that comes from a great smile is one of the best head starts you can give your child in life. We wish it wasn’t so, but we all know that looks do matter. But even more important is the gift of good health…. and when it comes to helping the jaws to grow and develop properly via orthodontics, timing does matter…. a lot.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Insurance and Dentistry

I was in our local health food co-op recently and soon found myself chatting with four other women about their health, or the lack thereof. After hearing their stories I knew I could help, so I offered each of them a free consultation to learn more about how our unique style of dentistry could help them feel better.

Over the next few blogs I will offer you a glimpse into our conversation. If you find yourself with similar problems, I will extend the same free consultation to you, a loved one, or a friend. Just call Danny at 342-0989 and he will take care of the details.

With a pony tail pulled high, a baseball shirt and a healthy glow that didn’t come from makeup, Kim asked if I wasn’t Dr. Kelly and reminded me that I had treated her son 7 years ago. Back then she was a mother of three. Well read, health centered and determined to find doctors that would respect her wishes…she would not be vaccinating her kids, she would be breastfeeding until they were toddlers and there would absolutely be no poisonous mercury fillings to insult their immature little immune systems…period. Since I had never placed a silver mercury filling in 22 years and spend more time getting to know people and educating them about their treatment options than we spend in actual treatment time, she felt like it was a match made in heaven. Even though getting to Dakota Smiles meant a drive across the state, she was determined to get the right care for her family.

As I was deciding between the mung beans or the red lentils, she went on to describe their recent visit to a non-holistic dentist that her husband had asked her to go to because they “took their insurance”… and what a mistake it was. Not only didn’t she feel listened to, she felt amiss when the insurance based dentist couldn’t answer her questions about ozone therapy or Price-Pottenger’s work concerning how nutrition and allergies affect the growth and development of the dental arches. I nodded with empathy and felt a swell of pride knowing we are, and always have been, on the leading edge ….and then I rightly took her scolding that I should advertise more because I am the areas only holistic dentist focused on whole body wellness.

True to her inquisitive nature she goes on to ask me to explain this whole dental insurance thing. As I shared with her the following points I couldn’t help but notice a tinge of embarrassment and a bit of regret when it dawned on her that she had turned over that in which she took so much pride and found power in…her right to choose and to care for her family on her terms.

Lets look at some disturbing facts about choosing a dentist based on insurance;

1. If premiums had kept pace with inflation over the years Kim would be entitled to nearly $7000 in dental services, but instead she receives only $1000 or less.
2. Insurance companies profits are made by limiting total benefits, paying for average or below average materials and services and having established a monopoly over the doctors.
3. Dentists that “take insurance”, like Delta Dental for example, are contractually required to write off the difference between what Delta pays and their regular fee.
4. The above is bound to cost someone, somewhere…in service, product quality, etc.

Then, without missing a beat in our conversation and as automatic as her next breath, she lifts up the corner of the baseball shirt, which I wasn’t too sure she didn’t borrow from her son’s drawer, and puts baby number four to her breast…. and confidently says…”I will be back in to see you very soon.”

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I was surprised and intrigued to come across an article this week about TMJ and Cranial-Sacral Work…. for horses. It was of particular interest since I had just spent last week training with Dr. Michelle Walker, a chiropractor from Missouri that specializes in cranial-sacral work in humans. I flew her in to teach myself, and a local chiropractor, Dr. Alan Juel, more about how to co-treat complex TMJ, back, neck and pain cases for optimum results.

The article was written by Maureen Rodgers and she uses the same principles to treat horses and dogs that we use in treating people with TMJ or what we call “Dental Distress Syndrome”. Here’s an excerpt from her article. “I urge you to take a close look at your horses TMJ functioning. It can be easily overlooked. As I said earlier in this article I consider it the “Master Link” in the chain of healthy equine biomechanics and movement. I see far too many hocks and backs get injected that actually have TMD; although there will often be some temporary improvement especially if corticosteroids are used, after a while the imbalance shows up somewhere else, often the feet or neck. Unkink the master link and be sure the feet are balanced and you will see the life force flow through your horse’s entire body. You may still have body work to do and old postural compensations to correct, but it is much more possible for the horse to achieve a state of self perpetrating wellness, vitality, and strength with a healthy happy TMJ. This is homeostasis, every cell in the body has a built in intelligence to allow well being, it is natural and it is where they want and need to be.

She goes on to explain…
The Stomatognathic System and Guzay’s Theorem
The TMJ Mechanism connects to the body through an intricate system known as the Stomatognathic System. The Stomatognathic System consists of the parts of the head, the neck, and the upper thorax. This system is concerned with muscular, osseous (bone), ligamentous, fascial and nervous system control of biting, chewing and swallowing, and is comprised of twenty-seven bones, one of those bones being the mandible. Thus, each part must be addressed to truly treat any TMD condition. However, another joint area that is connected to and highly affected by the condition of the TMJ is that of the atlantoaxial joint. This is the area where the atlas, the first cervical vertebra (C1), articulates with the axis, the second cervical vertebra (C2).

Side view of a retrusion of the mandible, TMD - the masseter muscle here shows slight atrophy and other muscles have started to compensate for this. Guzay's Theorem. a: mandible, b: temporal bone, c: condyle, d: occiput, e: atlantoaxial joint
Guzay’s Theorem states that the atlantoaxial axis of rotation acts as the primary joint for mastication/ chewing. Although the TMJ, in the immediate structural and physiological sense, seems to be the axis of rotation of the mandible, a deeper look shows that the TMJ acts as the secondary joint of mastication. These two joints, the TMJ and the atlantoaxial joint, interact in every moment to provide healthy function for the mandible (see diagram). To properly address any TMD condition, it must be treated holistically, attending to the whole Stomatognathic System. Treatment that does not address all parts will not rectify a dysfunctional component of the Stomatognathic System; treating a singular area will only achieve a rearrangement of symptoms. This is the reason that, although it is a vital component, dental work alone will not resolve most TMD conditions.

These are the very principles we use (plus Low Level Laser energy medicine, chiropractic, nutrition and lifestyle) in our “Destination Dentistry” program to relieve headaches, migraines, ringing in the ears, dizziness, back pain, neck pain, fingers that fall asleep at night, snoring, sleep apnea and other chronic degenerative conditions.
In my opinion it is nonsense to take better care of your animals than you do of yourself. So use your good “horse sense” and give us a call today at 605.342.0989 and let us help you achieve “homeostasis” and optimum health.
As an incentive to take action, we will be giving away a FREE VIRTUAL CONSULTATION, valued at $500, to the first three inquiries.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Cleaning

We are all familiar with Spring Cleaning. It’s a great way to get yourself organized and back on track. Out with the old; in with the new. Time to straighten up for the rest of the year and get things looking good again.

While you are in the mood for Spring Cleaning, why not consider your dental health schedule for the year. Regardless of how you pay for your dental health care, an annual schedule for basic care for you and your family should be the basis of your annual plan. As part of getting organized this spring, I suggest you make your schedule for cleanings and exams.

Regular cleanings are the best way to ensure that placque build up does not damage your teeth or gums. Your daily brushing routine gives you a good basis for a healthy mouth, but professional cleanings give you a deep cleaning necessary to avoid gum disease and weakened teeth enamel. You may be surprised at the new technologies available to achieve this purpose.

Your annual exam is important for a variety of health reasons. One of the most important reasons for regularly scheduled exams is to have a proper oral cancer screening. This painless screening for the first signs of oral cancer is just as important as any skin cancer screening you would get at your primary care physician or dermatologist.

So, as part of your Spring Cleaning and organization, why not plan out cleanings and exams for youself and your family members? It’s a great way to prioritize your dental health. If you have any questions about any of this, especially oral cancer screening, please feel free to contact me today.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Interesting trend in sports

In my blog, I frequently talk about TMJ pain and the Tempromandibular Joint Disorder. Normally, the discussion of TMJ or jaw alignment centers around the wide range of pains and discomforts caused when the jaw is not aligned. But, recently, anyone who has been paying attention to sports has seen the positive effects of aligning the jaw.

Many key players from the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints football team used a special mouthpiece called the Makkar PPM that aligns the jaw. Users of the Makkar PPM note an improvement in strength, speed, balance and agility. In the Olympics, US skier Bode Miller also used the Makkar PPM in his Gold medal winning performance in the Vancouver Olympics. The spotlight is now on the Makkar PPM but for the past several years, athletes seeking improved performance in their training and competition have utilized this simple yet effective technology.

For all of you golfers, weight lifter and weekend warriors, I offer a mouthpiece which can be custom designed for your improved athletic performance. This neuromuscular technology can improve your performance in any athletic endeavor.

The Makkar PPM and the recent success enjoyed by some of its users is a real lesson about neuromuscular dentistry. The alignment of the jaw clearly is critical to peak performance. If your jaw is out of alignment to the point where it is causing pain and symptoms of discomfort, you can imagine how much your potential is decreased just doing day to day tasks. If you or someone you know is suffering head pain, migraines, neck or jaw pain, please contact me today. This is a condition that can be treated with non-invasive techniques and you can see what you might consider a championship-level improvement.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Root Canals

Root Canal. Just hearing the word can cause the imagination to go wild. Some would “rather have a baby than have a root canal”. President Obama says “fixing our economy will be about as popular as having a root canal.” As a laser owner, you need not fear! I just had a root canal myself, and thanks to the Q1000 Laser (and my laser trained dentist, Dr. Kelly Lytle, which I introduced to you last month) it was a pain free, totally comfortable experience.

True Story. The night before I was scheduled to leave for a 2 week business trip I was awakened with one hell of a toothache. If you haven’t ever had one, consider yourself lucky. For those of you who have , it was the kind where you feel each and every heart beat pounding inside of your tooth. The kind that you would give anything to make it stop!

Since my laser is always within arms reach, I placed the QLaser 660 probe directly on the throbbing tooth for 2 minutes. That was followed up by putting the 880 probe on jawbone where the root tip is. Within minutes, the pain had totally stopped and I was back sleeping like a baby. In the morning I made my plane, kept my lecture tour. I continued to laser the tooth daily until I got home and could get into the dentist. The laser kept my pain at bay for two full weeks!

Had I not owned a laser (or have raised a fabulous dentist that would take care of her ol’ dad even if it was 2am) it would have certainly meant a trip to the hospital ER that night. I also would have had to reschedule my AM flight, missed my scheduled lectures, disappointed hundreds of customers and who knows how much business would have been lost. One thing I do know for sure….it certainly would have been more than the cost of the Q1000 Laser!

But moving along. I made it home, had my root canal and have 3 pointers to share with you should you ever need one yourself.

#1. Avoid them in the first place! Teeth need root canals when they become traumatized by either decay, injury or a “bad bite” and the nerve dies. A neuromuscular dentist aligns the teeth and jaws to eliminate these problems. Call me biased, but I’d recommend Dr. Kelly Lytle. Visit her website at www.dakotasmiles.com or call 605-342-0989 to inquire about becoming a Destination Dental Guest.

#2. Take the Q1000 laser with you to the dentist. Laser the tooth as described above then ask the doc to begin treatment without numbing the tooth. If the nerve is already dead, you won’t feel anything other than vibration. (If it isn’t fully dead you will know it and the doc will get you numb.

#3. Partner with your doctor. Doing a good root canal requires that the root be cleaned and sealed down to its tip, but not past it. X-rays are used to guage this but sometimes can be misleading, and not all dentists have the special instrument called an “apex locator” that can measure it…but they do have you! If your tooth is not put to sleep during the procedure you can tell the doc if the cleaning instrument goes out the tip of the root. It no big deal, just feels like a “pin prick”.

So that’s it…my “up close and personal” story about how the Q1000 Laser (and the best laser, neuromuscular, cosmetic, biological dentist in the country… who, by the way, you too can see!) made it a pleasant, comfortable and totally painless experience!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Living with TMJ?

Do you know someone who is making excuses about living with TMJ pain? It happens all the time. Whether it is the popping and clicking jaw, the soreness caused by grinding teeth during sleep, headaches or other pain in the head and neck area, for some reason people tend to avoid TMJ pain. So they take pain relievers or prescription medicines to mask the pain. However, it is not a cure and things tend to get worse if not treated.

One of the main reasons why people tend to put off treatment is that they think major surgery is needed to repair the problem. They may have read this in their research or have been told that by a doctor. If they are thorough in their research, they will also discover the non-invasive neuromuscular treatment. This is the treatment that neuromuscular dentists administer for TMJ that does not include surgery.

My neuromuscular training comes from the world’s leading post-graduate institute on the subject: The Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. Every day, TMJ suffers are treated successfully by LVI graduates without one jawbone being broken and reset. Our specialized treatment resets the jaw without surgery and places the jaw and all the interconnected tissues back to a normal, functioning position, eliminating the pain and discomfort.

This is good for you to know because many of us know someone who suffers in this condition. They think surgery is the only option and therefore decide to live with their pain. Sometimes simply mentioning the non-invasive neuromuscular option is all that is needed to make a difference.