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Meet Joyce, Our Dental Receptionist

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We are continuing our series of staff feature blogs with our next staff member, Joyce! Joyce has been working in the dental industry for 40 years. The majority of her career has been spent working here at ThirtyTwo Dental, initially as a dental assistant for 20 years before transitioning into a dental receptionist.

Growing up in Smoky Lake, Joyce developed a love for animals and the outdoors. She also has four nephews that she loves dearly. Joyce has done 10 volunteer trips through Kindness in Action during her career and has thoroughly enjoyed each experience. She loves being able to give back and volunteer her time with the less fortunate. Joyce has even said those were some of the best travelling experiences she’s ever had! Each time was quite humbling and reinforced her pride as a Canadian.

We asked Joyce 10 “Get to Know You” questions and here’s what she had to say:

1. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Vacuuming.

2. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Play the piano.

3. If you were reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?

A cat because they love to sleep in warm places!

4. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

Hiking Machu Picchu was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done because it was so physically demanding – there was endless stone stairs! I had altitude sickness but I insisted on pushing through because otherwise the whole team would have had to go back down to the base to take me back.

5. What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

Clothes.

6. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?

40 – because that was my favorite year. I had the most fun that year. Also, Bill and Judy were kind enough to plan a surprise party for me with all of my friends and family – it was very special to me.

7. Where was your favorite vacation?

Turkey! I visited over Christmas and at one point we visited an ancient amphitheater where we sang “Holy Night”. The acoustics in the theatre made it an overall incredible experience. I also made some great friends with the people I travelled with and we had amazing food during the trip. It was also very eye-opening for me – it gave me a new perspective because I learned so much about history and Islam.

8. What was the last time you had an amazing meal?

Corso 32 in November for a birthday. The pasta dishes were so different!

9. What was your favorite toy/game as a child?

Snakes and Ladders because I could always beat my brother and sister!

10. What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Read books.

Feature Blog: Dental Receptionist Pam

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To help you get to know a little bit more about the staff here at ThirtyTwo Dental, we’ll be doing a series of blog posts featuring each of our staff members. First up is one of our friendly dental receptionists, Pam. She is one of the first people you encounter at ThirtyTwo Dental, whether over the phone or in person. She’s always smiling and available to help you book appointments or figure out your dental plan coverage.

Pam has 30+ years working as a dental receptionist. She moved from Edson to Edmonton four years ago, which is when she started working at ThirtyTwo Dental. She has two adult sons and here’s a fun fact: she’s Dr. B’s husband’s aunt! We asked Pam 10 ‘get to know you’ questions, and here’s what she shared:

1. What is your favourite outdoor activity?

Walking and hiking.

2. What is your favourite month of the year?

September, because it’s still summer but you can also enjoy what fall has to offer!

3. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?

See The Rolling Stones in concert.

4. What was the last movie, TV show, or book that made you cry?

The TV show This Is Us.

5. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?

Take my family on a holiday!

6. What do you miss most about being a kid?

Having no inhibitions.

7. When you have 30 minutes of free time, how do you pass the time?

Get outdoors!

8. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?

My sister Debbie, who passed away when I was very young. I would love to have known her better and remember more about her.

9. What is something you learned last week?

That I still have a lot to learn.

10. What is one of your favourite quotes?

‘When you know better, you do better.’

– Maya Angelou

Water Fluoridation: Is It Really Beneficial?

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There has been a long-standing debate in North America as to whether adding fluoride into community water sources is really beneficial to our dental health.

Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens tooth enamel, particularly in primary (baby) teeth. In 2011, Calgary decided to remove fluoride from their drinking sources. Edmonton, on the other hand, has been fluoridating our water since 1967. Three years after the City of Calgary decided to discontinue fluoridation, University of Calgary researchers decided to look into the potential impact of de-fluoridation on young children. In conjunction with Alberta Health Services, the researchers collected data from 5000 Grade 2 students in randomly selected schools in Edmonton and Calgary. They compared their data to surveillance data that was collected in 2004/2005 (when Calgary still fluoridated its water). The results were astonishing – there was an increase in tooth decay in young children since the fluoride was discontinued in 2011. A child has 20 primary teeth, each with 4-5 tooth surfaces. The researchers found an average of 3.8 tooth surfaces with decay in Calgary versus an average of 2.1 tooth surfaces with decay in Edmonton. These results show that fluoridation is effective in preventing tooth decay.

Tooth decay is the most common form of infectious disease in children. Moreover, dental treatment is the leading cause of day surgery in young children in Canada. Prevention is the best way to avoid developing decay in primary teeth, and prevent unnecessary dental treatment in children. As this study shows, water fluoridation has a positive impact on improving the dental health of children.

The Facts Behind Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ)

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I grew up with a mother who was a dental hygienist. That meant regular brushing and flossing, braces, retainers, and creamsicle flavoured fluoride of course. Those are the memories of my childhood. Lucky me, right? At least I can proudly say that I still have no cavities or fillings. Thanks, mom.

When I became an acupuncturist, it seemed as if the universe had taken me full circle when I started working with patients who suffer from oral health issues such as TMJ.

So what is TMJ exactly? Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as TMJ, refers to pain and dysfunction of both the muscles that control jaw movement and the temporomandibular joint.

The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge connecting the jawbone to the temporal bones of the skull, which are located in front of each ear. This allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side.

TMJ disorder can cause pain, restricted movement, and noises from the temporomandibular joint during jaw movement. Although this does not fall under a life threatening condition, TMJ can be extremely uncomfortable and negatively affect a person’s quality of life.

TMJ can be caused by a number of factors including muscle tension, injury, arthritis, and even anatomical issues. A combination of these problems is often the case. Clenching the jaw and grinding teeth are also factors, often caused by emotional tension.

Fortunately, acupuncture can be an effective treatment in relieving pain, inflammation, tension, and other symptoms commonly associated with this condition.

So how does it work? Acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points on the body, which help to trigger a release of the affected muscle fibers. This comforts the muscles around the jaw, assists the neck and shoulders in relaxing, and encourages free range of movement without pain. Additional points are also selected to address other patient concerns, which may even be contributing to or a result of TMJ. Examples include stress and tension, headaches, poor quality of sleep, etc.

Traditional Chinese medicine focuses on finding out the root of the problem. Why is this problem happening? What caused it? What makes it worse? What symptoms developed first? Why is the body not correcting this problem on its own? These are all questions that a practitioner will address when assessing a TMJ patient. If we can treat the root of the problem, we can eliminate the symptoms and ensure that they don’t return. Treatments will be aimed at opening and relaxing the jaw, allowing the muscles and joint to move freely, while also increasing circulation, reducing stress, and boosting the immune system.

The number of treatments needed for full relief of TMJ symptoms will vary from patient to patient. Acute pain may be eliminated within a few treatments while chronic pain may require treatments over several weeks.

Tamara Gervais is a Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner and works out of Oliver Chiropractic Wellness Clinic in Edmonton, Alberta. Tamara was also a member of the Pediatric Integrative Medicine Trial with the University of Alberta, studying the effects of natural medicine on children at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. Tamara’s experience has taught her about the synergistic link between traditional and conventional medical therapies.

Contact our office in downtown Edmonton if you have any questions or want to learn more about Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction.

4 Tips To Beat “Is It Spring Yet?” Blues

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Dental health is something we at ThirtyTwo Dental promote on a daily basis. But, we get so focused on teeth and gums that sometimes we forget to step back and look at the big picture. As health professionals, I feel it’s crucial that we also communicate and promote the importance of overall health, not just dental health. This week’s blog, written by Anna Morris, a trainer at Body By Bennett, shifts our focus from teeth to overall health and wellness.

The temperature is still cold, and there is snow on the ground that just won’t melt. It’s easy to see how winter blues can set in, especially when you’re ready for spring already! If you are feeling a little cooped up or run down, here are four simple ideas to add to your daily routine that can help to quickly turn things around and improve your mood.

1. Drink More Water.
As the most abundant compound on earth and within the body, water is the median in which all other nutrients reside. Water is the most important macronutrient for sustaining life. We are made up of at least 60% water, and it’s integral for proper circulation, healing, digestion, absorption, and elimination. Drinking adequate water is important for healthy weight maintenance, athletic performance, and youthful looking skin and hair. Recommendations for water consumption depend on your size, activity level, and the environmental temperature, but between 1.5-2L/day is what an average adult should strive for. Try to space your water consumption throughout the day, beginning the day with 1-2 cups upon waking up. Drinking a large amount of water with your meal isn’t ideal because it can dilute digestive enzymes and slow digestion, so it is preferable to drink one hour before and after a meal. The first change I make to most clients’ diets is to add more water daily. If you have access to clean drinking water, consider yourself lucky and drink up!

2. Start Resistance Training.
I cannot emphasize enough how life-changing this can be to people. There are so many benefits to resistance training, the most obvious of which are increased strength and functionality, improved posture, and better bone density (which is associated with decreased osteoporosis and fractures due to falls). Holding more lean tissue on your body also means a healthier body composition (more muscle, less fat) and faster basal metabolic rate (the ability to burn more calories at rest). I have also observed in my clients (and myself) a huge boost in confidence and independence. Regularly moving your body and breaking a sweat is also a great way to relieve stress.

3. Eat Your Vegetables.
I know it’s a struggle to eat nutritious foods. There are SO MANY different types of diets out there and a lot of conflicting information to sift through. One thing that pretty much all dieticians and nutritionists agree on is the importance of vegetables in a healthy diet. Vegetables are primarily made of carbohydrates, contain small amounts of protein and fat, and are packed with vitamins. They are a great source of fibre, which contributes to regularity and may protect against gastrointestinal disease and colon cancer. The way you prepare your veggies will affect the vitamin content. In order to get the most out of your veggies, eat them raw or lightly steamed. Since most vitamins are water-soluble, boiling veggies will result in a loss of vitamins into the water. Frozen veggies can also retain more vitamins than canned vegetables. A great way to get the best quality and variety of vegetables is to eat seasonable vegetables that are fresh and locally grown throughout the year.

4. Keep a gratitude journal.
Start taking stock of what you are grateful for in your life. Take 5 minutes of your day or week to list things /people you are thankful to have in your life. I know it sounds cheesy, but even listing 1-2 things about your day that “didn’t suck” can go a long towards improving a bad mood.

For more information on personal or group training, go to www.b3trainers.com or contact Anna directly for specific health/fitness questions at anna.morris@b3trainers.com.

How To Rock Your Resolutions:  Seven Secrets to Success

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At ThirtyTwo Dental we not only care about the oral health of our patients, we care about their overall health. This month we have feature blogger Anna Morris chatting about how to set fitness goals after this year’s holiday cheer.

Anna Morris holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and has 10 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. Anna is a Pre and Post Natal Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist (in training), and an Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA) bikini competitor. Anna is also a personal trainer and group instructor at Body By Bennett in Edmonton, AB.


Today I want to talk about something scarier than a root canal – New Year’s resolutions!  If you are like the majority of the population, you probably have a healthy dread of this term. We all tend to overindulge during the holidays, so when January rolls around we abruptly awaken from our wine and gravy-induced coma with a pesky, nagging feeling.

So now it’s time for a total health overhaul, but where should we start?

Well, what if I told you that New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be overwhelming? After working with hundreds of clients to achieve their health and fitness goals, I’ve come up with some tried-and-true tips for goal setting success. Today, I am sharing them with you:

 

1.    Ditch The Guilt

First and foremost, don’t start towards your positive goal from a negative place. It’s counterproductive to waste time on destructive self-talk. Instead, begin by asking yourself why you are feeling guilty:

Did you eat too much over the holidays? Okay.

Haven’t seen the inside of a gym since high school? Fine.

Ten pounds heavier than you want to be? No worries.

It doesn’t matter where you are starting from, it only matters that you are starting. There are many people that never even get that far, so be proud! If you can accept and appreciate where you are now, you can enjoy the rest of your journey towards where you’d like to be.

 

2.    Never Mind The Naysayers

Be prepared for people who question your decision to change.  This might be your partner, close friends, or even your family.  Often, people don’t understand this change, which may leave them feeling jealous or left out. Begin by trying to explain why this journey is important to you and how much you’d love their support. Always remember that your health is yours alone and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Just keep doing your thing. And hey, eventually these people will probably be congratulating you.

 

3.    Make It Realistically Challenging

Your chance of success is much greater if you set smaller, more achievable short-term goals. After you reach the more immediate objectives, work your way up to a long-term one. For instance, if you have a 20-pound weight loss target, don’t expect to achieve that in two weeks. You can, however, set a healthy weight loss goal of one to two pounds per week (until you reach 20 pounds!). The great part about gradual progression is that it is not only easier on your body and mind, but it is more likely to leave you with lasting results.

 

4.    Shout It From The Rooftops

Want to ensure better success? Communicate to yourself and others about what you plan to do. For accountability, write your goals down. For even more, tell someone. Better yet, tell everyone! This is exciting, so get excited!

 

5.    Scary Is Good

Let’s face it, making a lifestyle change can be terrifying. But anything worthwhile is scary, right? Graduating from school. Embarking on a new career. Getting married. Moving to a new city. Becoming a parent.

So when you’re scared, ask yourself, what is the worst-case scenario if a) you fail to meet your goal or b) you succeed? It might surprise you that many of us are just as scared of success as we are of failure. And ironically, sometimes understanding our fears a little better can help to ease them. Take some time to address these head on, then pull-up your socks, get brave, and get to work.

 

6.    Failure Is Not An Option. It’s A Necessity.

Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re working towards a big goal, you will fail along the way. This is a normal part of the process. Don’t freak out. Make failure part of your plan for success, and that way it cannot stop you.

For instance, if you are following a healthy meal plan, try including preemptive cheats. These are pre-planned “not-so-healthy” meals or snacks that you have already scheduled, planned, and accounted for. This way you can enjoy them and continue on your path without getting derailed.

 

7.    Ask For Help

You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Sometimes you need help, even if it’s just a ride to the gym, daycare for your kid, recipe ideas, or a workout buddy. Don’t assume that no one wants to help you – ask them! You’ll be surprised how generous people can be if you simply allow it.

Reaching your goals is not rocket science, and it’s not magic. The secret to success is consistent hard work over time, a bit of good planning and bravery, and a little help from your friends.

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2016!

Anna Morris

Why I’m A Smile Enthusiast

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I’ve always been a big fan of smiles. Every day I help make smiles healthier, straighter, and whiter, but one of my most favourite things about smiles is happiness that makes them exist in the first place.

Something that patients may not know about me is that I served on the Edmonton Ronald McDonald House Board and was President from 2002-2004. The Ronald McDonald House helps sick children and their families by providing affordable housing that helps to reduce the stress of what they are going through. The mentorship that these families then provide to each other in a comfortable, warm, and caring atmosphere helps them all relax together and enjoy quality time with their sick kids. I witnessed smiles during my time here that were truly incredible, and helping families find happiness during the most difficult time of their lives is something I never want to stop doing.

There are many things that I’ve learned throughout the years that have taught me what true success looks like. When I look back on my life and who I have grown to become, I see service and contribution as two of my most important teachers.

To elaborate, I’d like to share a story from my experience on the board:

The Edmonton Ronald McDonald House needed to expand. As President, I was given a budget to negotiate the purchase of a residence next door. I met the owner and invited him for a visit. At the end of the tour, I told him that we needed to expand. Rather than asking how much he wanted, however, I asked whether he would consider donating the residence… and the answer was YES!

This generosity is a catalyst that inspires everyone to do more. Volunteering is an experience that money can’t buy, and this spirit is so important at all levels of a community.

On Sunday, the ThirtyTwo Dental team will be visiting the Edmonton Ronald McDonald House to prepare a meal for the families staying there and hopefully spread some smiles along the way. This organization will always have a special place in my heart, and I am looking forward to sharing just how special it is with the rest of the team.

For more information or to get involved too, visit rmhcna.org/get-involved.

– Dr. Bill Sharun

How Dental Implants Work

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One of the worst things I have to tell a patient is, “we’re going to have to pull that tooth”. It’s heartbreaking to have to tell someone that they’re going to lose a tooth, no matter what the reason is. And, it can be very traumatizing for the patient. I’m happy, however, to say that with the advancements of dental implants, losing a tooth is not what it once was.

First, let me give a brief explanation of how dental implants work. A dental implant, for lack of a better image, looks like a screw. It is inserted into the area of bone where the root of the tooth used to be. That bone heals and integrates itself around the implant, making it very stable. Once everything is fully integrated, that implant is ready to be crowned. An impression is taken, and a custom crown is made to fit over that implant. If planned and executed properly, the results of an implant can very closely mimic the form and function of a natural tooth. (Here is a little video to further illustrate the process:

I know that this might sound like a scary procedure for some, but let me assure you that I’ve never heard a patient describe it as being a painful experience. In fact, most patients are amazed at how simple the procedure is. Financially they are an investment, but dental implants have an extremely high success rate (>90%). As long as they are taken care of properly, it is unlikely to have problems down the road. Speaking of which, taking care of an implant is basically the same as taking care of your teeth. All they require is regular brushing and flossing, and scaling from your dental hygienist.

Also, what people may not know is that you can do more than just replace a single tooth with an implant. You can replace long spans of missing teeth with implant-supported bridges. You can even use implants to anchor and support dentures! This means no more loose dentures that fall out when you talk or sneeze and no more annoying denture adhesives. Dental implants have been a complete game changer in how dentistry is done nowadays.

So while saying goodbye to a tooth is never an easy thing, hopefully patients can take comfort in knowing that there is a fantastic alternative out there to give them back their smiles. Give us a call at 780-428-2331 or book an appointment online now to discuss your dental implant needs.

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky

New and Improved Website

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To stay current and to make things easier for our patients, we have made some changes to our website! If you’ve visited our website before, the first thing you’ll notice is that the overall look has changed. Visually, the layout is very simple and clean, making it easier to navigate and read. Previously, you may have had issues viewing our page from your mobile devices. Now, we have a sleek new responsive website that will be easy to view on any of your devices, including your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Yay!

We’ve also made some changes to our online booking. To better serve you, we now ask you for your preferred time for appointment, what the nature of your appointment is (check-up, cleaning, filling, etc.), and the best time to reach you. This way, we can better find times in our schedule that work for you. You can still call us to book an appointment if you’d prefer, and we strongly encourage calling if it’s an emergency, as in that case we’ll try to see you ASAP.

As before, on our website you’ll find our comprehensive list of services we provide with explanations for each. There’s our bio page where you can “meet” and learn about each member of the ThirtyTwo team. You’ll also find our community involvement page, which touches on Homeless Connect and the KIA trips our team has taken part in, and our Q&A page. You can see pictures of our office and even take a virtual tour. And you can, of course, find all of our contact information there as well.

Not only can you access our blog from the website, but there are also links to our Facebook and Google pages, where you can follow us, read, or even write your own reviews (hint hint, wink wink).

Happy surfing!

Dr. Jaimee Buchkowsky