Premier Dental - January 2020




Using Lessons Painting Every Day at Premier Dental PICTURE PERFECT

Some students were given a musical instrument to master, but I was given a paintbrush. Growing up, I dabbled in painting, often using oils and acrylics. Several professors even asked me to major in art throughout college, but my sights were set on a different career. Regardless of where my career took me, I have continued to enjoy painting. Traditionally, I’ve painted landscapes and portraits. I believe art is challenging and powerful. Everything, from simple landscapes to intense political pieces, has the capability to evoke unique emotions out of each person who sees it. Some art asks you to sit back and enjoy its scene, while other pieces invite the viewer to thoughtfully engage with it. The commonality in all art pieces is the composition and how artists play with color, light, and darkness. I used to challenge myself to recreate a work that someone else had done, giving the piece my personal touch. As you do this, you begin to master the varieties and complexities of colors. Every day, I get to do something similar for patients in my chair. Often people are surprised by how similar dentistry is to art because most of the work we do seems surgical or technical. Yet, like paintings, each person and their teeth are unique. Teeth vary in shape, length, opaqueness, and translucency. They come in subtle shades of white, yellow, gray and even blue. Some teeth have a dull sheen; others shine like a diamond. Masculine teeth are boxier, while feminine teeth are curvier. When I restore teeth, I need to make sure that the color and shape of the teeth matches what already exists. Sometimes closing in spaces requires imagining tooth structure that doesn’t exist and how the new addition will change how the face looks. With full-mouth restorations, I’m often enhancing the patient’s existing smiles to create whiter, shapelier, and more aligned smiles.

All of these modifications change how a patient looks, and therefore, I have to make sure any changes I make suit the patient’s face and matches existing teeth. And finally, teeth still have to function, so while I can change a shape, I have to ensure it doesn’t interfere with a patient’s ability to chew or talk. (Of course, this is more like the work sculptors do!) Just like in my career, I’ve worked hard to practice painting and continue with the hobby I’ve loved since I was a young student. But as my own life got busier, I’ve had less time to actually pursue this hobby. This has not prevented me from appreciating the works of others. One of my favorite artists is Johannes Vermeer, whose work I had a chance to see this last summer in the Netherlands. I especially like his “Girl with a Pearl Earring,”“The Milkmaid,” and “Woman with a Water Jug.” I find his art has a deceptive simplicity. He often uses light, lines, and angles to create pieces that are just stunning. When I look at these paintings, I am drawn to the beauty of the subject and composition and admire the paintings’ peacefulness. I also love Impressionist artists like Claude Monet, whose works include “Water Lilies,”“Gardens at Giverny,” and “Haystacks,” and Auguste Renoir, famous for his paintings “Luncheon of the Boating Party,”“Two Sisters”, and “Dance in the City.”Their compositions are very different from Vermeer’s, often bursting with color and activity. Vincent Van Gogh is in a category all his own. His full color, movement, and powerful brush strokes make him one of the most experimental artists of all time. In the modern era, I like artists Pablo Picasso, Salvatore Dali, and Georgia O’Keefe. Of course, I could be content observing and working on many kinds of paintings. It’s a timeless art form, and I’m grateful to get to work with it in some capacity every day — even if I never did become a professional artist. —Hema Gopal, DMD


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Tips for National Clean Up Your Computer Month

Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order.

Imagine you’re navigating a vast airport on a busy Saturday, shouldering your way through crowds and struggling to hear the PA system over the clatter of 1,000 wheeled suitcases. Suddenly, you see a pig wearing a hot pink sweater waddling toward you on a leash. Do you stop in your tracks? Does your stress level drop? Do you laugh out loud when you see its pink nail polish? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then you can sympathize with the passengers, pilots, flight attendants, and staff at the San Francisco International Airport. They get to enjoy visits from Lilou, the world’s first airport therapy pig, on a regular basis! As part of the Wag Brigade, the airport’s cadre of (mostly canine) therapy animals, Lilou wanders the airport with her humans, bringing joy, peace, and calm to everyone she meets. Lilou may be the only pig of her kind, but airport therapy animals have been a growing trend for the last few years. According to NPR, as of 2017, more than 30 airports across the U.S. employed therapy dogs, and these days, estimates land closer to 60. The San Jose and Denver airports have therapy cats, and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport even offers passengers the chance to play with miniature horses before boarding their flights. Therapy dogs started appearing in U.S. airports after the 9/11 terror attacks, which changed American attitudes about flying. They did so well at helping passengers calm down that airports began implementing permanent programs. Some have pets on hand 24/7 to assist passengers, while others host animal visits every few weeks or months. These days, regular travelers have fallen hard for their local therapy animals, many of whom even have their own Instagram accounts and hashtags. So, the next time you’re traveling, keep an eye out for a friendly pup, cat, pig, or horse to pet. A bit of love from an animal just might improve your trip! MEET THE WORLD’S FIRST AIRPORT THERAPY PIG How Lilou and Animals Like Her Calm Stressed-Out Travelers


Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean them better. If you use water or liquid cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer.


Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of time. Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for Word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need.


Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard drive. The extra space can help with storing important

files without having to worry about how much room is left.


Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any

programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled. Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to

forget just how much goes in there.

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ESCAPE TO A WINTER WONDERLAND Chill Out in These Frosty Destinations

Snow is magical and gorgeous — unless you have to commute in it. If you want to enjoy all the wonder that winter has to offer without the hassle, why not turn it into a vacation? Here are a few breathtaking, snow-covered destinations that any winter lover can enjoy.

in their own right, especially for the rustic cuisine you’ll find there. Don’t expect pasta though. This region is a melting pot of flavors from Austria, northern Italy, and the local Ladin people. Ricotta and sauerkraut pancakes, anyone?


Above the city of Gyeongju, this ancient Buddhist temple has stood on the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain since the eighth century. Bulguksa, or “Temple of the Buddha Land,” is South Korea’s No. 1 UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it a popular attraction for domestic and international tourism. The crowds and school tours die down during the winter, however, which also happens to be when Bulguksa is at its most pristine. The iced-over lotus ponds and snow-dusted pagodas add to the sense of tranquility this site naturally exudes. If you want the feel of a ski trip to the Alps without the packed slopes and ritzy resorts, the Dolomites are just for you. Located in northeastern Italy, this stunning mountain range is home to some of the best skiing in Europe, as well as many historical sites. The secluded villages that dot the mountain valleys are an attraction TAKE A BREAK THE DOLOMITES, SOUTH TYROL, ITALY


This is the one entry on this list that is best enjoyed during the

summer months, which is December– February in the Southern Hemisphere, because that’s when the freezing temperatures of the southernmost continent are at their most hospitable. The Antarctic has

become an increasingly popular tourist destination, with cruises taking adventure seekers through the vast, untouched beauty of this far-flung destination. Some tourists even enjoy kayaking or cross-country skiing through this icy paradise.


Inspired by Epicurious


1 smoked ham hock

1 cup dried black-eyed peas

1 medium onion, diced

5–6 cups water

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 dried hot pepper, optional (arbol and Calabrian are great options)



Wash and sort peas.

2. In a saucepan, cover peas with water, discarding any that float. 3. Add pepper, ham hock, and onion. Gently boil and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peas are just tender, about 90 minutes. At this point, you should have about 2 cups of liquid remaining. 4. Add rice, cover, drop heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, undisturbed. 5. Remove from heat and let steam for an additional 10 minutes, still covered. 6. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and serve.

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The Similarities Between Painting Portraits and Fixing Smiles Meet the World’s First Airport Therapy Pig Enter 2020 With an Organized Computer



Real Winter Wonderlands Hoppin’ John Tips to Establish a Family Media Use Plan


SCREEN-TIME STRATEGIES How to Set a Family Media Use Plan


With 24/7 media exposure from TVs, computers, and

smartphones, it feels like life is dominated by screens. Consider implementing a media use plan for your family so they don’t miss out on the real world.

Don’t shy away from warning your kids about what exists in the digital world. Explain to them that certain content isn’t age-appropriate, and teach them what movie and TV ratings mean. Remind them to be careful about what they put on the internet because anything they upload never really goes away. Teach them to be smart with their decisions. Connect with them on social media if it helps you keep an eye on things.



Limiting the time your children spend staring at a screen is good for their health. Try to keep screen time usage to under two hours per day. Implement a rule for no screens at mealtimes, and keep all screens out of bedrooms at night. Keep track of the devices by having a communal charging dock in a shared area where you can make

Take an active role in what your children watch by co-viewing programs with them. You’ll have a better sense of what they’re seeing and can point them toward the programming that’s right for them. Look for educational media choices that teach good values. There are a lot of great educational opportunities on the internet, but there’s also a lot of room for negative exposure. If this is a concern, keep the family computer in a public part of your home so you can see what they’re accessing online. It’s important to educate your children about proper media health, but it’s even more important to encourage your kids to be healthy in other ways. Beyond the tips mentioned above, encourage them to play outdoors and even have them read physical books so they can participate more actively in the real world.

sure everything is plugged in for the night.

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