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Your Dental Office News, May 28, 2022: Memorial Day, Digital Scanning, Gift Oral Health, Dental Anxiety, Gnocchi!

The bees are buzzing and the weather finally got warm enough for us to plant our gardens just in time for Mother’s Day… and now temperatures have hit the nineties! This month we recognize the sacrifice our military members are willing to make for our freedom and thank them for their service. We also want to acknowledge national mental health awareness month by talking about dental anxiety and how we can help. Practicing self care should include regular visits to your dentist to make sure your teeth, mouth, and whole body are healthy. 

We have some exciting announcements regarding our Dental Health Club and new technology and treatments that we’re bringing to our practice. Read on to learn more!

In This Issue:

  • Thank You For Your Service
  • Give the Gift of a Healthy Mouth
  • Dental Health Club – Our In-House Discount Program
  • Dental Anxiety
  • Digital Health Scans and Invisalign Available Soon!
  • Honoring Our Team Members
  • Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits
  • Recipe of the Month (from Lindsey, Dental Hygienist): Lemon Pesto Burrata and Brown Butter Gnocchi
  • Please Leave us a Review!

Thank You For Your Service

We are excited to celebrate the official start of summer this weekend, but more importantly we remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. 

This Memorial Day, as you enjoy a much-needed long weekend, join us in giving thanks to all the men and women in the armed forces who courageously gave their lives in service to our country.

Give the Gift of a Healthy Mouth

We’re grateful to you for trusting us to take care of your oral and overall health. If you ever wished you could recommend us to a family member, friend or neighbor who doesn’t have dental insurance, we’d like to give you a bit of encouragement.

Because dental care can be expensive, a few years ago we created our in-house Dental Health Club (DHC), which offers significant savings for treatment in our office. The DHC was so well received that a couple of years ago we expanded it to include a Periodontal Plan, in addition to the Adult and Children’s Plans we offer.

Details about our Dental Health Club plans will follow in the article below.  As a thank you for helping to spread the word about our Dental Health Club, for every new patient you refer, who signs up for one of our in-house plans, we will credit $35 to your account. We will also credit them $25 toward the DHC rate for their first year. 

The determination of which Plan an adult should sign up for is based on scheduling a New Patient appointment with us, where our doctors will conduct a thorough evaluation. The cost of the cleaning that follows that evaluation is covered by the “2 preventive cleanings and periodontal disease evaluation” included in the adult plans. Please note that we’re currently scheduling appointments into the end of August. So, please encourage those you refer to us to make an appointment soon, and to mention this promotion and your name when they make their appointment.

Promotion ends October 1, 2022. New Patient appointments and subsequent membership in the DHC must be paid in full by October 1, 2022 to qualify.

Dental Health Club: Our In-House Discount Program

Our Dental Health Club plans were designed to replace the need for dental insurance, for those who don’t have access to it, or who want to come to our office out-of-network. Our plans are also cheaper than self-purchased traditional insurance plans and are effective immediately. While enrolled in the Dental Health Club, patients will receive the treatment and care that they deserve and need to maintain their oral health. We have discount plans designed for adults, children, and even perio patients, so there’s no reason to avoid necessary dental care. 

Our Plans

Adult -$399 Flat Annual Fee 

For patients who are 13 years old and up, and with healthy gums as determined by their dentist. With this plan, patients will save more than $200 off our regular fees just in preventive services! Plus, with the 15% discount on all other services, you will be saving hundreds of dollars off restorative, cosmetic and other major treatments.

Benefits:

  • 2 Preventive cleanings and periodontal disease evaluation
  • 2 Dental exams by our Doctor, including oral cancer screening
  • Fluoride treatments as needed
  • All preventive routine x-rays
  • 15% Courtesy discount on ALL additional dental treatment performed in our office.

Child – $299 Flat Annual Fee

For patients who are 12 years old and younger. With this plan, patients will save more than $200 off our regular fees just in preventative services!

Benefits:

  • 2 Preventive cleanings and periodontal disease evaluation
  • 2 Dental exams by our Doctor, including oral cancer screening
  • Fluoride treatments as needed
  • All preventive routine x-rays
  • 15% Courtesy discount on ALL additional dental treatment performed in our office.

Perio – $729 Flat Annual Fee

For patients who have been diagnosed with periodontal disease and have completed quadrant scaling (“deep cleaning”). Up to four periodontal cleanings per year are covered. With this plan, patients will save more than $500 off our regular fees just toward periodontal cleanings! With the 15% discount on all other services, you could be saving hundreds of dollars off restorative and other treatment as well.

Benefits:

  • 4 Periodontal maintenance cleanings
  • 4 Dental exams by our Doctor, including oral cancer screening
  • Fluoride treatments as needed
  • All preventive routine x-rays
  • 15% Courtesy discount on ALL additional dental treatment performed in our office.

How it Works

  • Your membership will expire 12 months after joining, on the last day of that month.
  • Our Dental Health Club is NOT a dental insurance plan, it is a discount savings plan that can only be used in our practice.
  • Membership is non-transferable.
  • Membership benefits can NOT be combined with ANY insurance plans including: Medical, Workers’ Compensation, Accidental Injury, etc.
  • Payment for any New Patient Specials may be put towards your membership plan
  • Child membership is determined by the age of the patient on the date of enrollment.
  • Patient/Family account balances must have a zero balance before enrollment.
  • In order to receive the 15% discount payment is due in full at time of service.

Disclosures

  • 15% discount IS applicable to bleach trays, nightguards and athletic guards. However, the discount is NOT valid when purchasing any retail product sold in the office: oral health care products, whitening, etc.
  • 15% discount IS applicable if you need diagnostic x-rays beyond routine preventive
  • 15% discount IS applicable to scaling and root planing procedures required prior to maintenance benefits included in the Perio membership
  • If Care Credit is used you’ll enjoy a 10% discount due to fees charged to our practice.
  • Our plan can NOT be used for referrals or specialists outside our practice.
  • Anesthesia, specialist fees, hospital, surgicenter, nursing home or private residence travel fees will NOT be discounted.
  • Hospital and surgicenter facility fees and anesthesia fees will NOT be discounted.
  • 15% discount NOT valid for additional PPE charges.
  • A fee may incur for each broken appointment without a 24 hour advance notice.

For more information, take a look at our website or give us a call. We’ll be happy to discuss how our Dental Health Club can help you achieve a healthy smile and receive the treatment you need to maintain your general health.

Dental Anxiety

(Excerpted from: WebMD https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/easing-dental-fear-adults and complemented by our own content.)

If you fear going to the dentist, you are not alone. Between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. 

Dental phobia is a more serious condition than anxiety. It leaves people panic-stricken and terrified. People with dental phobia have an awareness that the fear is totally irrational, but are unable to do much about it. They will do everything possible to avoid going to the dentist. People with dental phobia usually go to the dentist only when forced to do so by extreme pain. 

Other signs of dental phobia include:

  • Trouble sleeping the night before the dental visit
  • Feelings of nervousness that escalate while in the dental office waiting room
  • Crying or feeling physically ill at the very thought of visiting the dentist
  • Intense uneasiness at the thought of, or actually when, objects are placed in your mouth during the dental treatment or suddenly feeling like it is difficult to breathe
  • Fear of needles, or fear that the anesthetics applied by the dentist won’t eliminate pain
  • Embarrassment about the appearance of your teeth or possible mouth odors
  • Fear of being humiliated by the hygienist or dentist for not brushing or flossing.

The key to coping with dental anxiety is to discuss your fears with your dentist or hygienist. Actually, let our front desk coordinator know when you make your appointment!  Once we know what your fears are, we will be better able to work with you to determine the best ways to make you less anxious and more comfortable. We may even offer you pills or liquid sedatives to take ahead of your visit to make you more relaxed upon arrival. 

(Note: we will NEVER embarrass you for not brushing or flossing, or make you feel bad because of how your mouth looks.)

If lack of control is one of your main stressors, actively participating in a discussion with your dentist about your treatment can ease your tension. Ask your dentist to explain what’s happening at every stage of the procedure. This way you can mentally prepare for what’s to come. Another helpful strategy is to establish a signal — such as raising your arm or hand — when you want the dentist to immediately stop. Use this signal whenever you are uncomfortable, need to rinse your mouth, or simply need to catch your breath. 

There are several ways we can help distract you and make you more comfortable in the treatment room: bring headphones to listen to music or ask the clinician to play your favorite station on the computer; watch a cable TV show you enjoy; ask for a pillow and blanket; ask for sunglasses to lessen the bright light. 

For those who are anxious we offer oral conscious sedation (not to be confused with IV/intravenous sedation) in our office. This includes oral sedatives taken before an appointment as well as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) during a procedure. If you take oral sedatives before an appointment, make sure to ask a designated driver to drive you to our office and to bring you back.

Our practice has, for many decades, catered to patients with dental anxiety or phobia, even in hospital operating rooms. Dr. Levy has trained thousands of dentists and clinicians about how to make all their patients feel comfortable and safe in the dental chair.

If your dentist doesn’t take your fear seriously, come to us. In our practice, we certainly will!

Digital Health Scans and Invisalign Available Soon!

Our assistant Emily practicing scanning on our hygienist Wendy

We recently purchased two  iTero Element 5D Plus scanners and we’re totally wowed by what they can do!

These digital scanners can provide, in only a few minutes, an accurate digital impression of your mouth – occlusal wear (wear on your teeth from clenching and grinding), teeth movement, teeth alignment, gum recession, and even dental caries (cavities). They do not emit radiation and the scanning is fast and painless.

Digital scans will allow us to better diagnose what is going on in your mouth, by comparing a baseline scan with a more recent one. They will also provide images of decayed, abscessed or fractured teeth, so that you can see what’s going on, and better understand proposed treatment options.

We are currently learning to use this new digital imaging technology, and soon you’ll be offered a complimentary digital health scan. The iTero isn’t only a diagnostic tool: it also replaces the need for the messy impression trays we use to fabricate appliances, implant crowns, crowns and bridges, and nightguards.

Finally, we’ll soon be able to offer Invisalign in-house to our adult patients! Invisalign is a brand of custom clear aligners that straighten your teeth and align your bite without the need for conventional orthodontic treatment. The clear aligners are worn 22 hours each day, and typically offer a less painful experience than traditional braces. Invisalign treatment is also fast, with most treatments completed in under 12 months.

We’ll keep you posted!

Honoring Our Team Members

To learn more about our team members, visit Our Team page on our website.

MVP – Brandon

Every month we recognize a team member who has gone above and beyond for our patients or other team members. 

In April, we recognized Brandon for always stepping up to lend a helping hand whenever needed, especially with our special needs patients on Tuesday mornings. He was a superhero who sprung to action when a patient had a minor accident last month. Brandon is one of our full-time hygienists and also our Hygiene team lead, who is incredibly thorough in creating an individualized home care plan for his patients. He also has a quick sense of humor that can sometimes surprise you and make you laugh out loud. Thank you Brandon for being a valued member of our team!

Service Recognition: Debra, Kailea, Chelsea, and Samantha

We are proud of our outstanding team of professionals, many of whom have been with Dr. Harvey Levy & Associates for many years. In April, we celebrated Debra and Kailea, who joined our practice in 2021 as part-time hygienists; Chelsea, who has been a front desk coordinator for 4 years; and Samantha, who started in our office 13 years ago as a dental assistant extern and who is now our assistant practice manager! We are grateful to their continued dedication to our patients and to our practice! 

Free At-Home COVID-19 Test Kits

We still have a small supply of COVID-19 at-home test kits that will expire at the beginning of June 2022. We are offering these kits to our patients free of charge. Please contact our Front Desk Staff if you are interested in picking one up.

 Recipe of the Month

Lemon Pesto Burrata and Brown Butter

Quick-cooking gnocchi with burrata and sautéed asparagus…every bite is layered with delicious spring flavors! 

Notes

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 6 
Calories: 417kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 pound fresh potato gnocchi
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 8 ounces burrata cheese, at room temperature
  • fresh parmesan, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon butter, 1 clove garlic, lemon zest, and chili flakes. Cook until the butter browns, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the skillet.
  2. To the same skillet, add the gnocchi and 5 tablespoons butter. Allow the gnocchi to get crispy, about 4-5 minutes, then toss with the butter and add the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes, then stir in the pesto and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Break the burrata into serving bowls. Add the asparagus, then spoon over the gnocchi. Top with parmesan and extra pesto.
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