2975 Westchester Avenue, Suite G02, Purchase, NY 10577
Give Yourself Permission to Decompress A CURE FOR STRESS A pril is National Stress Awareness Month. Though if I were to take a guess, I would say stress is something I’m sure most people don’t need to be made aware of. A survey “
FOR STRESS AWARENESS
from the American Psychological Association found 75 percent of Americans report being stressed in the month prior to the survey.
MONTH, I WANT TO SPREAD THE
Stress is very common in our profession. Patients are extremely nervous to see and be treated by an Oral Surgeon. It’s not always easy to alleviate people’s fears, but we try our hardest to put them at ease, helping patients to feel comfortable and trust us. In addition to handling patient stress, there’s also the stress and pressure of performing surgery. In some ways, a little bit of stress is healthy. Stress can be a motivating factor that drives us to work faster or harder. Stress is also part of your fight-or-flight response and can help you get out of a bad situation. However, stress becomes a problem if it starts to negatively impact you physically or emotionally. Debilitating stress is bad for your health, weakening your immune system and leading to fatigue, depression, high blood pressure, and even heart disease. This level of stress isn’t new. Every generation has had its fair share of reasons to be tense. But I think the stress we feel today is more amplified because we’re all expected to live such fast- paced lives without much down time. We’re always accessible by our smartphones, and if we don’t answer a call or text promptly, the person at the other end may worry that something is wrong or get upset. Even when our phone isn’t constantly beeping with alerts and notifications, that computer in our pocket is a constant source of information. It is so easy to get swept up in things that happen anywhere in the world, good or bad. Occurrences we would have never heard about or have no power to change become another source of stress because we’re expected to stay up to date on all the “breaking news.” By now, most people know the toll stress takes on our mental and physical well-being. For Stress Awareness Month, I want to spread the message that it’s okay to de-stress. We don’t have to live up
MESSAGE THAT IT’S OKAY TO DE-STRESS.
to the world’s expectations of us every second of every day. We’re allowed to take time to de-stress and decompress.
When I’m feeling extra stressed out, I make a point to exercise a little more that day. Physical activity helps boost the brain’s production of endorphins, lowering some of the symptoms of stress. Taking a vacation periodically also helps keep the daily stressors from becoming overwhelming. But I think the best way I deal with stress is by focusing on my family. When I get to hang out with my family, they have my entire attention. When I’m not on call, I don’t let myself be tied down to my phone. Instead, I enjoy the moments I have with my family and remember what’s really important. Patient care as a whole isn’t going to get less stressful anytime soon. If you’re the sort who feels tension all the time, I recommend looking at your daily routine. Try to strike a balance between work and fun. As someone who runs two offices, I know the value of hard work. But what’s the point of working hard if we never get to enjoy the fruits of our labor?
It’s not always easy to achieve this balance, but I’ll let you know when I get there myself.
–Dr. Harrison Linsky
Westchester Office • 914-251-0313
TheWorld’s First Dental Hygienist
Where Did It All Begin?
While many dental offices are named after the dentist, most will tell you that their hygienists are an essential part of their practice. In fact, patients often build the best relationships with their hygienists due to the frequency of their cleanings. Despite the significant role they play in modern practices, a lot of people might be surprised to learn that, compared to the overall origin of dentistry, the induction of hygienists into the industry is relatively recent.
act as an apprentice so she could scale and polish his patients’ teeth. Interestingly, Fones openly despised the title “dental nurse,” so he dubbed Newman the world’s first “dental hygienist.” By 1910, the Ohio College of Dental Surgery began offering a course for dental hygienists. Unfortunately, many of the
students, all of whomwere finally licensed and allowed to practice.
Fast-forward a century, and today’s hygienists can offer patients more treatment than the first “dental nurses” probably ever thought possible. They carry out their own minor procedures, including polishing and stain and tartar removal, and they can also conduct inspections to update the dentist of any upcoming issues. Many of them can also carry out the preliminary work for fitting braces or take molds of teeth before reconstructive surgery is performed. All in all, both dentists and patients are fortunate that dental hygienists have taken such huge strides in their field over the last 100 years. Next time you see your hygienist, be sure to give them a big thanks for all they do!
existing dentists in the state strongly opposed the formal training school, so even though they had completed their coursework, hygienists struggled to find clinics where they could practice. While the school did eventually close a couple years later, Fones continued training on his own. In the end, he trained 97 dental hygiene
“Dental nurses,” as they were known at the time, began to provide prophylaxis treatment as a means to prevent disease in the late 1880s. Then, in 1906, an Ohio dentist named Alfred C. Fones trained his assistant, Irene Newman, to
Do You Need a New Chew Stick?
The Long History of the Toothbrush
A s long as human beings have been eating food, we’ve been getting things stuck in our teeth. Centuries before floss and electric toothbrushes, people were finding creative solutions to clean their teeth. The most notable teeth-cleaning method arose in 3500 B.C. when the Babylonians began using “chew sticks.” Archaeologists have found evidence that these rudimentary toothbrushes — made of various roots and twigs — were used throughout the ancient world, from Egypt to the Roman Empire. Like most useful things, the toothbrush was invented in China. In 1498, the Hongzhi Emperor of China patented what we would recognize today as a toothbrush. Stiff bristles were taken from the neck of a mountain hog and inserted into holes drilled into a handle made of bone or bamboo. Though the hog-hair toothbrush
would be imported from China to Europe, it never caught on with Europeans, who preferred cleaning their teeth with a rag dipped in salt or charcoal. In 1770, an English entrepreneur named William Addis was thrown in jail for starting a riot. While incarcerated, Addis, who was suffering from some pretty bad halitosis, noticed how effective the bristles of a broom were at cleaning the floor. Inspired, Addis drilled holes in a small bone left over from one of his meals and tied bristles through the holes. Like the Chinese discovered 270 years before, the invention worked like a charm. When Addis was released from prison, he started a company to manufacture his toothbrushes. This was around the time people began eating more refined sugar, and dental decay was becoming a huge problem. Demand for his toothbrush increased,
and Addis made a fortune. Despite its long history in China, Addis is often credited with inventing the modern toothbrush. Bristles and animal bone remained a popular resource for making toothbrushes for over 150 years, but they ran the risk of growing dangerous bacteria. The invention of synthetic materials, like nylon, was a game-changer. In 1938, the Dupont de Nemours company introduced the first toothbrush with nylon bristles, Doctor West’s Miracle Toothbrush. Barely 20 years later, that Miracle Toothbrush looked like an ancient chew stick when the first electric toothbrush hit the market in 1960. Today, toothbrushes are an indisputable necessity for personal hygiene, and there are countless options to choose from.
The Dangers of Not Having Enough Time
Stress is notoriously common in the oral health field. Dentistry in particular is noted as being one of the most stressful careers among medical professionals. The negative effects of stress on a person’s health is well-documented, including poor mental health and a potentially shortened life span. Recently, research published in the Journal of Dentistry looked at how stress, specifically time-pressure stressors, affect dentists’ diagnostic performance. Researchers examined 40 dentists who were randomized and asked to provide a report on two sets of radiographs — six bitewings in each set. The participants were put under two conditions on a crossover basis: time pressure versus no time pressure. After each experiment, participants rated their stress using a 100-millimeter visual analogue scale (VAS). Unsurprisingly, the VAS scores for stress were much higher in the time-pressure condition than the no-time-pressure condition (mean: 55.78 versus 10.73, p<0.0001). As expected, time pressure acted as a source of stress. Researchers noted that the participants’ diagnostic performance was affected by this stress. When under time pressure, the dentists’ sensitivitywas significantly lower (median: 0.50 versus 0.80, p<0.0001). In order to calculate sensitivity and specificity, the participant’s diagnostic reports were compared to the radiographic report of an experienced consultant.
The researchers concluded, “Time pressure negatively impacts one aspect of dentists’ diagnostic performance, namely sensitivity (increased diagnostic errors and omissions of pathology), which can potentially affect patient safety and the quality of care delivered.” Another study, published in the South African Dental Journal in 2015, also looked at stress in the dental environment, placing a specific emphasis on how to manage stress. In this study, researched noted that running behind schedule and heavy workloads were key stressors in dentistry. They found that the most effective preventative measures for minimizing this stress is to “work sensible hours and make time each day for a leisurely break.” They also advised dentists to “take time offwhenever the pressures of practice start to build.” It can be difficult to justify stepping back from your work, especiallywhen you are running a business on top of providing medical care to your patients. However, diagnostic errors can put patient safety at risk. So, it is apparent dentists, orthodontists, and all physicians in the medical field must be aware of their own time-pressure stressors and address them appropriately — for their own health and the health of their patients.
Have a Laugh
Roasted Radishes With Radish Greens
Radishes start showing up in droves during the spring and summer months, but all too often we only eat the bulbs raw on salads and discard the greens. This recipes bucks both of those trends, with the radishes being roasted alongside their green tops.
1. Heat oven to 500 F. While heating, trim radishes and wash greens. Pat both dry using a paper towel. 2. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat oil over high heat until shimmering. Season radishes with salt and pepper, add to skillet, and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer entire skillet to oven rack and roast for 15 minutes. 3. Once removed from oven, return skillet to stove. Over medium heat, stir in butter and add greens. Cook until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. 4. Finish with lemon juice and additional salt if desired. Serve immediately.
• • • • •
3 bunches radishes with greens attached
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Westchester Office • 914-251-0313
2975 Westchester Avenue Suite G02 Purchase, NY 10577
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INSIDE This Issue
Why so Stressed?
Who Was the World’s First Dental Hygienist?
Who Invented the First Toothbrush?
Roasted Radishes With Radish Greens Are Overworked Physicians a Danger to Patients?
3 Travel Myths Debunked
Traveling has many social and educational benefits, but some people have hesitations that prevent them from jetting off on new adventures. Below are three debunked travel myths to give you some ease as you plan your summer vacation! Myth: Vacations are expensive. Fact: You can travel anywhere on a budget. Tracking flights to score the best deal, setting spending limits, and packing meals are a few ways to save money. Hostels and Airbnbs are great alternatives to spendy hotel stays. Additionally, you don’t have to cross the country to have a great trip. Every state has museums, unique roadside attractions, historical sites, and a booming nightlife. When you know your price limits and what you want to do, traveling can be a fun and inexpensive venture. Myth: Traveling is dangerous. Fact: If you’re smart about what you do and where you go, traveling can be safe. Go with your gut and only stay somewhere that is approved by travel guides. Visit places you feel comfortable in, and do your research by reading travel blogs, websites, and books to find places that have been vetted by others. Traveling in groups can also be a great way to lower your risk of danger. As long as you plan ahead, you will have a safe trip.
Myth: Jet lag is caused by a lack of sleep. Fact: While jet lag can make you sleepy, it’s actually caused by a disruption in your circadian rhythm. Our bodies are cyclical, and the circadian rhythm is set by both a natural need for your body to reset and outside forces, such as your job, time zone, and diet. Travel can disrupt this rhythm and routine, which leaves you lethargic during and after your vacation. Sticking to water before and during your flights and staying physically active during and after traveling are great ways to fight jet lag and get back into your normal rhythm. Don’t let these travel myths keep you from seeing the world. Set a budget, go with your gut, and prepare for a shifting rhythm to make your next adventure the best one yet.
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