Pi Dental Center Undertakes Exercise Challenge

Posted by Chris Raines on Jan 14, 2019 4:47:17 PM

Pi Dental Center is taking the Squat Challenge. Daryl organized this project.

Exercising to feel comfortable and energize you throughout the day

Being a dental professional can have a huge impact on your body. Musculoskeletal disorders have become epidemic among dentists, assistants and hygienists. To combat these physical problems, Pi Dental Center’s staff is exercising more regularly, practicing proper ergonomic postures and taking the Squat Challenge! Daryl, an Expanded Function Dental Assistant, organized the project. Fifteen staff members are participating.

Dentistry is physically demanding. Many dentists suffer with chronic lower back, neck, hand and wrist pain. This can make working difficult and affect quality of life. There is a direct relationship between decreased fitness levels and musculoskeletal disorders. One of the main causes of these musculoskeletal problems is prolonged static dental posture; seated while leaning forward, neck turned and twisted to the side and arm stretched out. Typically, dental professionals lean forward at the waist with the head extended forward. This position increases the risk of injury when it is maintained for long periods of time and can eventually lead to the muscles “shutting off,” thereby relaxing the stabilizing muscle structures of the spine.(1) In this posture, the loads on the lumbar spine are 40% above normal forces. During forward flexion and rotation, the pressure can increase to 400 %.(2)

It is important to recognize any discomfort while working. Common signs of a problem are pain in the hips and legs and also down the arm into the hands. These symptoms are red alerts that should not be ignored.

Repetitive tasks can shorten muscles—making them tight and painful. Stretching may increase range of motion in the joints and lengthen muscle and their associated tendons.(3) Adjust your dental seat and frequently shift position. Get up and move around whenever possible.

An article in Silver Sneakers Magazine mentions that the squat is the single most important exercise we can do when exercising. This is because life demands that we do it many times daily. We stand up, sit down, and get out of a car repeatedly every day. This is why it is important to establish a good foundation for this movement pattern. Click here for beginner squat guidelines.(4)

Repetitive motions can also contribute to muscular problems. Colgate Corporation recommends 5 easy stretches to reduce shoulder pain. Click Here to learn about exercise for dental hygienists and dentists.

Stretching throughout the day is recommended. This Article Outline Several Stretches.

Many dental professionals practice Yoga to stay in shape. Click here to view a Yoga training video designed by a dental hygienist.

Daryl is an enthusiastic advocate for healthy exercise. Before introducing the Squat Challenge to the Pi staff, she designed a worksheet with tips and goals. Next she posted a sign-up sheet, discussed the Challenge with everyone, and had a physical therapist give a demonstration. Every day, Daryl sends text messages to the staff with encouraging reminders. Since not all of the staff are at the same fitness level, the challenge is adjusted and customized to each individual. We are now on day 14 with 85 squats a day. When this challenge is complete, she plans to begin a different challenge.

Andrea, an EFDA and OSHA coordinator at Pi Dental Center, stays fit by doing yoga to stretch and relieve muscle tension. She recommends practicing proper ergonomics as outlined in OSHA’s guidelines. Ergonomics, fitting a job to a person, helps lessen muscle fatigue, increases productivity and reduces the number and severity of work related musculoskeletal disorders.

Here are some of OSHA’s recommendations. Consult the OSHA manual for a complete explanation.

  • Dental assistants should sit higher than the doctor
  • Keep feet flat on the floor or on a foot rest.
  • Arms should rest on the chair arms
  • Keep your back straight with arms and legs at a 90 degree angle.
  • Align the patient in a comfortable position to avoid strain.
  • Use a mirror to reduce awkward twisting of the head when possible.

Care should be taken when lifting heavy objects:

  • Lift with your legs and not your back, keeping the object close to your body.
  • Do not twist while lifting.
  • Always bend at the knees and not the waist.

Consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regimen. Take any exercise program at your own pace. If you feel discomfort from the exercise regimen, stop exercising and consult your doctor. When exercising, maintain proper form and perform all exercises in a slow, controlled manner.

  • Musculoskeletal Disorders And The Impacts On The Dental Professional , Mahmoud Zaerian, CSCS (Oral Health Group) https://www.oralhealthgroup.com/features/musculoskeletal-disorders-and-the-impacts-on-the-dental-professional/
  • Evangelos C Alexopouls, Ioanna-Chrisina Stathi, and Fotini Charizani, prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders in dentists. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorder,. 2004; 5:16.
  • Merz B. Workout for aching hands. Harvard Women’s Health Watch. 2010.
  • The #1 Exercise All Older Adults Should Be Doing – Silver Sneakers Magazine, https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/beginners-guide-squat/

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Tags: Dental Hygienist, fitness for dental staff

National Dental Hygiene Month

Posted by Chris Raines on Oct 25, 2018 5:43:43 PM

Veteran Dental Hygienist, Julia, chats with patient during oral hygiene appointment

October is National Dental Hygiene Month.

Dental hygienists provide a crucial role in oral health by helping you to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Our hygienists work with you and your dentist to maintain a healthy mouth.

Julia has been treating patients as a Registered Dental Hygienist at Pi Dental Center for 22 years. When asked why she chose this career, Julia acknowledged, “Dental hygiene is rewarding. I see immediate results. Most patients come in for dental hygiene visits twice a year. We create friendships. When we treat patients, we don’t just look at the teeth. We look at the person as a whole. Other issues in a person’s personal life can spill over and impact their dental health. We look at those issues to help us determine the best way to address problems.”

The mouth is a window to the rest of the body that allows the dental team to detect early signs and symptoms of systemic disease. A dental hygienist is often the first person to notice changes in the mouth.

The connection between oral health and medical health has been well documented. Dolly, a dental hygienist at Pi Dental Center, is proud to be part of Pi Dental Center’s clinical team. Dolly maintains, “With the correlation between coronary heart disease and gum inflammation, I value my role as a hygienist more than ever.” She continues, “I feel that a dental hygienist is of vital importance to the patient’s general overall health.”

Oral hygiene education is a vital part of a hygienist’s role in treating patients. The number of people with missing teeth and periodontal disease in the United States attests to the need for oral hygiene education. According to the American College of Prosthodontics, 178 million Americans are missing at least one tooth and about 40 million Americans are missing all of their teeth. American Academy of Periodontology reports as of 2010 approximately 64.7 million American adults, have some form of periodontal disease.

Hygienists teach patients correct brushing and flossing techniques, discuss medical/dental health issues, recommend appropriate oral hygiene products and design individualized oral hygiene regimen for each patient. They provide smoking cessation counseling which helps to prevent periodontal disease and oral cancer.

Hygienists play a crucial role in communications between the patient and dentist. They are ardent advocates for their patient’s health and well-being. Julia states, “Some patients are fearful about expressing their dental health problems to the dentist. But they will talk to their hygienist.”

At Pi Dental Center, our whole team, including our dental hygiene department, has your best interest in mind. Call us to schedule your next visit (215-646-6334) or click the link below to contact us.

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Tags: dental hygiene, Dental Hygienist, oral health, prevent tooth decay

More Mobile Phones Than Toothbrushes? Fact or Fiction

Posted by Chris Raines on Aug 3, 2016 2:14:28 PM

More Mobile Phones Than Tooth Brushes? Fact or Fiction

Did you ever hear there were more mobile phones than toothbrushes?  We wondered whether this startling statement was actually true. The Mobile Marketing Association of Asia originally reported this data, stating that, ‘out of 6 billion people on the planet, 4.8 billion have a mobile phone while only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush’ Link to article. 

Jamie Turner of 60 2nd Marketer attempted to determine the validity of this statement.  A Google search using the phrase, “number of mobile phones worldwide,” showed that there are 4.6 billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide. Yet, the true number of phone owners is more complicated than it seems. In some parts of the world, people have more than one subscription. When this variable was considered, the number of mobile phone owners dropped to 4.2 billion. 

Mr. Turner had even more difficulty determining how many people own toothbrushes. Colgate reported having 34 percent of the market share in manual toothbrushes. Oral-B stated the yearly toothbrush market is $5 billion. By calculating the cost of toothbrushes on Amazon, he determined an average cost to be $3.00 in the US, but closer to $1.55 worldwide.

Ultimately, Mr. Turner concluded that approximately 3.22 billion toothbrushes were sold last year. And although it is almost impossible to determine the actual numbers of toothbrushes or mobile phones, the statement that there are more mobile phones than toothbrushes seems to have some validity. 

3.22 BILLION TOOTHBRUSH OWNERS < 4.0 BILLION MOBILE PHONES OWNERS

Regardless of the exact number of toothbrushes or mobile phones, the real issue is the state of people's oral hygiene and dental health. Is oral hygiene protocol satisfactory to maintain good oral health? 

Recently, ABC News broadcasted an Associate Press story claiming that the medical benefits of dental floss are unproven and challenged the dental profession's recommendation to floss daily.

The American Dental Association has affirmed flossing as an essential part of tooth and gum care and has a web page outlining the benefits of flossing along with an instructional video.

Do the doctors and dental hygienists at Pi Dental Center recommend flossing? 

Dr. Glenn Wolfinger, Board Certified Prosthodontist at Pi Dental Center states, "For most dental implant patients, a toothbrush and Waterpik may be the most ideal method for oral hygiene.  For those with natural teeth, brush and flossing is recommended. Flossing not only removes debris between teeth, but if done properly, could provide positive stimulation to the gingival tissues."

Daily oral hygiene home care can include dental floss, oral irrigators, proxabrushesConnie Hartranft, RDH at Pi Dental Center, affirms, “As a Dental Hygienist who has worked in the field for over twenty years, I do find it surprising that there are limited long term studies on the effectiveness of flossing.  It is accepted that brushing reduces the sticky matrix, filled with bacteria known as plaque on teeth and gums when done properly. Brushing, however, cannot reach the areas between the teeth and slightly below the gum line where quite a bit of bacteria accumulates.  After spending countless hours treating patients, I feel that I have the practical knowledge to state there is a definite difference in the health of the gums and teeth when flossing is done properly in conjunction with brushing.” 

Ms. Hartranft continues, “Many dental hygienists and dentists agree that flossing is not the only way to remove plaque. Other aids include interproximal brushes, water flossers, air flossers, interdental sticks and end tufted brushes. I continue to strongly recommend the importance of removing plaque between teeth to our patients, whether through flossing or other interdental aids.”

Registered dental hygienist, Dolly Kituskie, suggests that patients brush at least twice daily, in the morning and evening. She goes on to recommend replacing the toothbrush every 3 to 4 months.  Using a soft toothbrush is advisable.  Things like floss, mouthrinse, interdental cleaners and tongue scrapers help to reduce plaque and control malodor.  The teeth and oral cavity should be checked by your dentist at least twice yearly. People with periodontal disease or those who are prone to cavities, should see their dental hygienist three to four times a year.

An individualized home care regimen should be developed by the oral hygienist and patient.  A dental cleaning should include oral hygiene instruction to ensure that the patient is using the correct technique.  Routine dental checkups help the patient determine that their home care regimen is sufficient to maintain their dental health.

Please feel free to call us at 215-646-6334 or contact us via the web, if you are due for oral hygiene or have a question.

 

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More tips for brushing and flossing

 

Tags: oral hygiene, periodontal disease, toothbrushes, Dental Hygienist, teeth

The Heart of Pi Dental Center: Our Team

Posted by Chris Raines on Sep 3, 2015 10:58:00 AM

The Pi Dental Center Team with Dr. Glenn WolfingerThe dedicated team at Pi Dental Center is all about helping people. Prosthodontists and staff aim to provide the ultimate in dental care using revolutionary dental technology in a serene setting.  Our committed team helps patients achieve both attractive healthy smiles and enhanced lives.

The Pi Dental Center web site has always had a page listing each of our doctors. It now includes a clinical and administrative staff bio page with descriptions of each team member’s position, responsibilities and the reason why each one chose to join this cutting-edge dental implant center. In addition to the advanced training and capability evident in all the bios, the enjoyment we attain from helping patients is quite apparent.  Mary Ellen, Director of Finance and Operations, states that she is, “Amazed at the transformation that occurs in not only a patient’s appearance, but personality and life, when a smile is restored and healthy!”  Dr. Zhang’s motto is, “If a patient is happy, we are all happy.”  Amy feels rewarded when patients’ lives are changed by their new beautiful smiles. Pat says that the, “Patients become part of our extended family and she enjoys seeing them thrive.”  Connie relishes working in an environment where the patient always comes first.

Skilled dental specialists, clinical and administrative staff deliver a high level of professionalism and comprehensive care ensuring an outstanding patient experience from the first telephone call and office visit to the delivery of the final prosthesis. 

Our patient relations representatives welcome and reassure every patient as they explain dental treatment options and thoroughly answer questions.  Clinical staff assist the doctors and ensure maximum patient comfort as they alleviate anxiety while helping patients achieve their ultimate dental goals.

What does the number 435 represent? That's the combined total of years of service of the entire Pi team, proof of our high level of commitment. The staff at Pi Dental Center are so dedicated that they have a total of 435 years. 

Visit our Pi Dental Center web site to read more about the competent team of doctors and staff.

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Tags: Pi Dental Center, Dental Hygienist, board certified prosthodontist, quality of care

Hello Dolly Coming Soon to Pi Dental Center

Posted by Pi Dental Center on Mar 18, 2013 12:14:00 PM

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Dolly Kituskie, Dental Hygienist

It’s music to Pi ears!

After many months of searching for the perfect hygienist to fill the retired shoes of our beloved Joann Coughlan, we proudly announce that we have invited Dolly Kituskie, RDH to join the Pi team. 

Dolly comes to us with strong clinical experience, but more importantly she radiates the Pi spirit. Full of professional passion, patient compassion, and the desire to advance the best that dentistry has to offer, we feel honored to have another extraordinary dental hygienist as part of the Pi team.

We invite our patients to schedule their next appointment with our own “Dolly” and to anticipate a memorable dental hygiene visit.

If you haven’t sparkled up your smile in some time, Come back to Pi this Spring, Say hello to Dolly, And enjoy a happy, healthy smile experience.

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Tags: Pi Dental Center, Dental Hygienist