6979 Chippewa
St. Louis, MO 63109
tel: 314-644-0440

ETHICS AND ST LOUIS HILLS DENTAL GROUP

At St. Louis Hills Dental Group we take the responsibility of the care of patients very seriously.  We are members of the American Dental Association, the Missouri Dental Association and the Greater St. Louis Dental Society.

The Code of Ethics of the American Dental Association is a 21 page document that guides us through our decision making on all of the aspects of our patient treatment.  We are very proud of our opportunity to provide the best care possible for our patients by following the information in the “code”.

A recent study by the American Dental Association (ADA) showed that 70 % of patients are more likely to choose an ADA member knowing that those dentists follow the “code”.  The same study also showed that 75% of patients would choose a dentist knowing they were ADA members.

At St. Louis Hills Dental Group we have a hard copy of the “code” available if any of our patients would like to see it.  One of the monthly articles in the ADA Journal is on the “code” and questions from ADA dentists who encounter unusual issues.  We are always reviewing the “code” to make sure we are doing the best for our patients.

 

 

Dental Care in Mexico

Recent articles in national news publications have discussed Americans and Canadians using Mexican dental clinics to save money from the cost of care they may have received in the U.S.  A large percent of those receiving this care are senior citizens and have the time to travel thousands of miles for care.

As with all things it is “buyer beware”.  Mexican dentists do not have the educational background or the clinical training that U.S. dental graduates have.  In addition,  operating costs in Mexico are far less than here.  They have cheaper labor costs and fewer regulatory requirements.  In addition, many of the supplies, instruments. and materials are not the same quality of those in the U.S.

At St. Louis Hills Dental Group we pride ourselves on keeping quality at the highest level we can while still trying to provide a good value for our patients.  Let us know if we can help you, your family, or your friends.

Pacifiers: At What Age To Stop Using Them

We are often asked at St. Louis Hills Dental Group at what age should children stop using pacifiers.  The largest pacifier available in stores is one for an 18 month old child.  We encourage parents to start weaning their children off pacifiers at that age if not sooner.  There is an increased risk of children developing posterior crossbites or anterior open bites if a pacifier is used past the age of 2 years.  In some situations these bite problems may not self correct if pacifier use is not stopped by that time.

 

We recommend a 6 week program to stop pacifier use:

1. Both parents need to be in agreement about the timing of stopping the pacifier.

2. In week two the pacifier can no longer leave the house.  Don’t have it in the diaper bag or car rides or going to the store.

3.  In week three the pacifier can no longer leave the bedroom.

4.  In week four the pacifier can no longer leave the bed.  If the child goes to daycare or a baby sitter this is a good time to get the child used to sleeping during the day without one.  The child may have to have its back patted while going to sleep but things will get better.

5.  In weeks five and six the child should be pacifier free 75% of the time.  Parents can cut part of the tip off of the pacifier to decrease the suction of the pacifier.  Sometimes even the whole tip can be cut off to eliminate the ability of the pacifier to be held between the teeth.

Some families decide to have the child give up the pacifier “cold turkey”  giving it to Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or a new baby in the family.  The child can then be given a new toy, like a stuffed animal, to compensate for the pacifier.

ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSHES: THE BENEFITS

Some patients who are using manual toothbrushes have excellent oral health.  Far more frequently this is not the case.  Switching patients to a power toothbrush makes an immediate and positive impact on their oral health.

Power toothbrushes have many times the brush strokes of a manual brush. Some power toothbrushes have more brush strokes in one minute than a manual brush has on one month.  Power toothbrushes are so significantly superior there is no comparison.

Using a power brush with fluoridated toothpaste helps remove biofilm, stains, and helps decrease tooth decay.  Power brushes can also improve the gingival health of patients who have gum disease.  All benefits of the use of a power toothbrush.

The brush heads of power brushes need to be replaced just as you would replace a manual brush.  When the bristles become visibly splayed it is time to replace the head.  Heads come in several sizes.  Larger sizes are generally better because they have more bristles.  In some patients with small mouthes or hard to reach areas small heads are better.  Small headed brushes may take longer to remove the biofilm, but the brushes have timers to help make brushing more effective.

When we see our patients at St. Louis Hills Dental Group, we are always looking for ways to improve their oral health.  The benefits of power toothbrushes can not be denied.

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