I thought I’d just mention this again, as we’ve had increasing interest in our Smiles by Payet Dentistry Dental Discount Plan; as far as I know, it’s the only Dental Discount Plan in Charlotte, NC that’s offered. Patients are finding some real savings with it. We are only offering this for patients with NO Dental Insurance; alternately, if you have an HMO or DMO plan and don’t want to see the dentist your network says you have to see, this option would work for you, too!
While it may not seem like an earth-shattering improvement, today we took a big step in improving our Customer Service today! Today we installed some new software in our office called “Dentforms;” what this software allows us to do, starting NOW, is to become almost a PAPERLESS dental office.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “So what does that mean to me,” right?
Here’s what it means:
- We can keep our fees lower because of cost savings – no more super-expensive laser ink cartridges, no more reams of paper, etc etc etc. While small at first, these will add up!
- We can really speed up the amount of time needed to put all of your information into our main patient software, which means less waiting time!
- You can now complete all the New Patient “Paperwork” ONLINE, BEFORE you ever set foot in our door. Before you could download our forms, complete them, and bring them into our office, but it’s so easy to forget the forms on your desk or counter. No more forgetting! This will include your Medical/Dental History, any Questionnaires (such as our TMJ/Headache Questionnaire), and even information on your dental insurance so that we can verify it all before we even meet. Talk about HUGE time savings, and a real convenience to you!
- We even get to be an evironmentally GREEN dental office by using practically no paper and ink. How many dental offices in Charlotte NC can claim that? 🙂
You can take advantage of this new feature by going to Request an Appointment with Dr. Charles Payet, and clicking on the “New Patient Forms Here” link. We’ll look forward to welcoming you with no clipboard or paperwork in hand, just a friendly smile and Lifetime Dental Care.
While silver/amalgam fillings are not requested very often in our practice, as most prefer to have fillings that blend in with their natural teeth, they are something that we do when situations warrant, as I discussed in an earlier post.
However, when it comes to the general topic of silver fillings, there are a lot of misconceptions, myths, and outright falsehoods out there. There are groups that CLAIM to have proof of a vast conspiracy by dentists to poison our population by using silver fillings (these are probably the same groups who believe that fluoride is a Russion attempt at mind-control of US citizens so they can take us over – hasn’t happened yet, and the conspiracy has been around for decades.); these groups CLAIM to have scientific proof that the mercury in silver fillings is poison that will lead to an absolutely amazing range of diseases, and that the simple removal of those amalgam fillings will almost magically cure those diseases. And it gets even wilder than that, but unless you’re specifically looking for a good laugh at how crazy these conspiracy theories get, I won’t bore you with all of them.
Let me be perfectly clear about my stance on this issue:
To date, there is absolutely NO, repeat NO CREDIBLE EVIDENCE that the small amounts of mercury present in amalgam/silver fillings causes any disease or disorder whatsoever.
I hope that was clear enough. 🙂
If silver fillings were as bad as the conspiracy theorists claim, then pretty much the whole world would be crazy, as amalgam fillings have been placed by the billions over the last 100+ years. My parents, for example, would have been beset by a myriad of illnesses, as both of them had a mouthful of silver fillings for many decades, and only recently have they been replaced as they’ve slowly worn out. Any strange illnesses in either of them? Nope. Nothing changed after they were taken out 1-by-1 either.
As a rather interesting side note: during my dental school years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, I did a 2-month summer exchange at the dental school in Munich, Germany. While there, I was approached by several professors to proof-read some studies that they had translated prior to publishing them in English-language dental journals. Please bear in mind that Germany has pretty much banned amalgam fillings for many years, so it’s not like they are fans of the material. These professors had carried out a study that attempted to find a link between the presence of amalgam filings and a wide range of diseases and disorders; the study had lasted 5-6 years. And what were the results? Simply this:
They were unable to find any positive evidence of a connection between the amalgam fillings and ANY of the list of diseases and disorders that they had listed. Not one.
Kind of interesting coming from professors in a country that has practically banned the material for as long as they have, don’t you think?
This will be the last cosmetic dentistry/Smile Makeover video that I will post for a little while, as I next want to devote some time to showing how destructive “Grinding” of the teeth can be and why it is NOT something that you should take lightly. Bruxism/Parafunction (the general term for both grinding and clenching, which are 2 separate things) can cause major problems for patients, and often in ways not easily visible because it takes time to develop or they’re under the surface. I believe this is an area of dentistry that is often neglected, and it only makes things worse for patients.
With that said, I do hope you enjoy the way we combined different kinds of treatments to achieve a dramatic Smile Makeover for Daniel, as visible in this video.
Don’t forget – if you want to see all of the videos for our practice, check out our YouTube channel: SmilesbyPayet.
Combination Porcelain Veneers and Short-Term Braces
Smiles by Payet Cosmetic Dentistry: Porcelain Veneers
Here’s another video to enjoy of patients for whom we’ve done Porcelain Veneers to achieve some remarkable smile transformations.
Oh, it feels so good to finally be able to announce this, as I’ve been working on it so hard for so many nights after my family has gone to bed, but FINALLY I have begun producing some new Patient Education videos to help explain a number of options that we offer by using pictures of many similar cases.
Over the last 4 years, I have amassed a catalog of about 38,000 digital photographs of the work that we do. You can see my Photography Blog post on the subject of Patient Communication with Digital Photography for more info on how/why we take pictures of our work, but now I’m finally able to turn a lot of those photos into various video formats to highlight problems that many patients have, often without even realizing it, and to let our patients actually see what they can expect once the treatment is completed. It’s really quite exciting! We’re not talking about “stock” photography here, of work that someone else did. EVERY SINGLE ONE of the pictures that you’ll see were taken by Dr. Payet (me), and every completed procedure was performed by Dr. Payet (me) and my Team. (Hope you don’t mind me talking about myself in the 3rd person for a moment there; I was having a Bob Dole flashback after reading some political articles. 🙂
We’ll look forward to showing you these new videos when you come in!
Don’t have any of those videos in Web format quite yet, but keep an eye on our website, Smiles by Payet Dentistry, for them to begin appearing there within the next few weeks. You’ll be able to see and understand so much more easily, I promise!
We’ve actually been a Preferred Provider for Delta Dental Premier for several years now, but we just received confirmation that CIGNA has now processed all the paperwork, and we are officially listed as a Preferred Provider for CIGNA as well. This is great news for the many patients who already receive care with us and who have CIGNA, but for other patients who are seeking a dentist on their list. This will provide some significant savings for anyone whose employer offers them dental insurance through CIGNA.
Of course, I don’t want to miss this opportunity to plug our Smiles by Payet In-House Discount Program, which is a program that we created for our patients with no dental insurance, or who perhaps have dental insurance but it’s a HMO or other plan that won’t allow them to see us, but they value the service and quality we provide and want to keep us as their dentist. Follow the link to our website for more details, or call and talk with Rosie Bonnett, our Front Desk/Patient Care Coordinator, and she can help you get signed up.
As I’ve mentioned, there are 2 basic “philosophies” of dental care, although I didn’t really spell them out. They are (approximately, please understand!):
1) Watch and wait until it it actually hurts or breaks,
2) Diagnose and recommend treatment BEFORE it actually hurts or breaks.
As a general rule, at Smiles by Payet Dentistry, we follow the second philosophy. The key to remember, though, is that it is ALWAYS up to YOU to decide when to actually proceed with treatment. I’ll show you what I see by digital photography and x-rays, give you my recommendations, and then it’s up to you to decide what to do about them. We understand that the treatment has to fit into your life – your budget, your schedule, your priorities. I give you my word — I will NEVER pressure you into doing any treatment. I MAY make some very strong recommendations and urge you to proceed with treatment so that you avoid pain, loss of teeth, or other complication, but it’s still your decision, and we promise to respect that.
One of the tricky parts of dentistry is this: we can’t see through old fillings and crowns and bridges, not even with digital x-rays, digital photography, not even with the Zeiss PICO dental microscope that I use. We can only see things AROUND them. And quite honestly, as much as I believe silver amalgam fillings are a perfectly acceptable treatment, I also believe that they hide a multitude of evils. I already showed you the cracks that are often associated with big, old silver fillings, especially in patients who grind their teeth. What I didn’t show you, though, is how much decay (cavity) can be hidden from us by old silver fillings. They may not hurt, but it is not uncommon for there to be so much decay under them that a root canal becomes necessary when it’s all removed — and often times it can not be seen on x-rays! This makes it frustrating for patients, can’t understand why we recommend replacing a filling with a new filling or a crown.
So along with examples of the beautiful dentistry that we provide, I’ll also regularly show you the problems we often encounter when treating teeth, which should help you, the patient, better understand the WHYs of our recommendations.
A perfect example: This lady had these fillings for many years, probably over 20. The molar had just recently started bothering her a little with sensitivity to cold and sweets, but nothing serious. The main reason she wanted them replaced was for appearance, though — the greyish color really showed through on the front of the teeth. You’ll see that they don’t actually look all that bad to an untrained eye. After seeing thousands and thousands of them, though, I had some idea of what to expect……..but even I didn’t expect the problem to be so extensive.
Oh YUCK! See all that black crud? That’s decay — mushy, soft, and definitely NOT healthy. And this is fairly normal to find under 20+ year old fillings, to tell the truth.
Just some food for thought: maybe your dentist has recommended some treatment, perhaps to replace those silver fillings that have been there for 20-30 years, and maybe they’re not even bothering you, so you think, “Nah, I’ll just wait, doc. Thanks but no thanks right now.” Consider this: another 6 months, and this lady probably would have needed at least 1 root canal, maybe even 2. Not only would that have required more time, possible a lot of discomfort, but probably would have added another $1500-2000 in treatment costs.
Do you really want to wait?
Another exciting technology that we offer is the CEREC CAD/CAM system. Very simply put, with CEREC we are able to design, mill, glaze, custom-stain, and bond an all-ceramic crown or onlay IN JUST ONE VISIT. That’s right – no temporary crown or onlay, no second appointment to get numb, no worries about the temporary falling out. When you come in, you need the crown done, and when you leave — it’s DONE. Finito. Finished. Complete……….you get the idea. 😉
Sylvia’s case this morning, an old silver filling that had cracks in the tooth around it, new decay forming at the edges, and discomfort when biting, meaning the tooth was truly starting to crack and might have broken apart.