Michael A Petrillo DMD PC - January/February 2020

feb 2020

The Undisputed Tooth

610-868-7601 | www.drpetrillo.com

Dentistry Is Constantly Advancing

For the Benefit of Our Patients

2019 has come to an end, which means all of us are moving into a new year and a new decade. Since many people are pursuing their New Year’s resolutions, maybe this year you will be going to the gym, planning a vacation or new investment strategy, starting a new diet or eating plan, or just actually wearing and using that Fitbit sitting in your drawer. Whatever you may be doing to improve your overall health, here is encouragement to keep your dental “needs and wants” in mind. The best investments you can make in dentistry are preventive decisions. Some patients may not feel the pain “yet” when we see a cavity, and some perhaps don’t realize that by the time it hurts, it’s probably going to cost more to fix. What starts on the treatment plan as a $100-plus procedure can easily save you thousands by fixing things when we first notice it. Not only are you saving

money by getting dentistry work done in the early stages of problems, but you are also preventing all the inconvenience and pain of a tooth “blowing up” down the road. Whether you have some treatment needs or just want some changes to your smile, it’s important to remember to practice self-care through dentistry. While we are reflecting back, it’s worth noting that dentistry has taken some interesting turns over the years. Maybe you remember those half-hour checkup visits from the past? The hygienist’s role back then was mainly to clean your teeth, and dentists were merely doing cavity checks. Today, Sharon and Leah can barely get everything done in their one-hour appointment with you, which now includes measuring gum pockets and bone height, as well as performing oral cancer screenings with our light detection devices.

As medicine and dentistry integrate more closely, we are now communicating with your physicians as issues come up, including blood pressure, a lump or lesion noticed while doing an oral cancer exam, a scalloped tongue, abnormal tongue size, a crowded airway, and/or snoring problems. Clearly, dental checkups are not just about your teeth anymore because your oral health adirectly correlates to the health of your entire body. During the dental part of our regular exams, the dentist looks more closely at your bite. Years ago, only orthodontists were looking and treating misaligned teeth. We now know so much more about preserving your natural teeth. Positioning teeth and treating airway issues are all major components of our exams. Two years ago, we invested in a 3D scanner to help you visualize what we can see and what all these issues mean to you. If you have not had a scan done yet, please ask Sharon and Leah. It is done for you at no charge. We are excited to have this amazing technology for you.

Sleep Trivia By LV Sleep Solutions, Medical Division

Are you sleeping with half a brain?

I learned this while listening to a podcast by Matthew Walker, who authored the book “Why We Sleep,” and this piece of trivia was news to me. With all the traveling I used to do to develop our training and skills, this information explains more to me than just the jet lag I used to get. Apparently, when you are in a different and/or strange environment, half of your brain will not sleep deeply. Deep sleep restores all your body systems and is necessary for optimal health, but your brain won’t get to that deep sleep because a threat detection mechanism in our brain is activated. While animals, including dolphins and other sea mammals that can actually sleep with half a brain, handle this more efficiently, humans simply can’t. Half of our brain does go into a deep sleep, but the other half stays wide awake. That is why, even if you get 7–8 hours of sleep in that hotel room or at Aunt Martha’s house while visiting, you won’t feel refreshed when you wake up. It is not just the quantity of your sleep, it is the quality too!

Dr. Mike Petrillo




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