Elkins Dental December 2017

The Origin of


Santa Claus wasn’t always a husky, omniscient gift-giver who circumnavigates the world once a year, propelled by flying caribou and backed by an army of friendly elves. Though the historical St. Nicholas had many of the same generous tendencies as our contemporary “King in the North,” he lacked a high-tech sleigh that could exceed the speed of light. To be exact, St. Nicholas was a renowned Bishop of Myra — an old Roman town near modern-day Demre, Turkey — way back around A.D. 300. Even before he became the bishop, St. Nicholas was known for his generosity. The most famous tale of his charity involved a poor man who could not afford a proper dowry to marry off his three daughters. In those days, this generally meant the daughters would remain unmarried, making it likely that they’d fall into prostitution. Wanting to help, but also wanting to spare the family embarrassment, St. Nicholas traveled to the house at night and threw three purses packed with gold coins through the window. After his death, St. Nicholas became a beloved patron saint, but during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, the respect that many Catholic saints received diminished, and his popularity dwindled across Europe.

One area where he remained popular was the Netherlands. There, he lived on as “Sinterklaas,” a mythical figure who went house to house on the eve of St. Nicholas’s nameday, December 5, leaving treats

and gifts for children. Sinterklaas traditionally wore red bishop’s clothes and employed elves, and he traveled with horses that could walk across rooftops.

When the Dutch emigrated in droves to America during the 17th and 18th centuries, they brought this kindly icon to the new colonies. Over time, notably through Clement Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” and a famous 1930s depiction by Coca-Cola ad illustrator Haddon Sundblom, Santa evolved into the figure we see today.

A Word From

Kalie and Caryn

More Comfort With Kovanaze

fast numbing of the teeth with very few side effects. And all without needles! We’ve been using Kovanaze for months now, and we love the results. Instead of injecting a local anesthetic, we can simply give you a quick and pain-free spray that will have the same numbing effect, often fewer side effects. We’ve found that many patients don’t get the numbing of the lips and gums that are so common with other local anesthetics, which is great. We have so many good things to say about Kovanaze. It’s really a revolution. The industry standard has been injected anesthetic for over a century, but now we’re looking at a brand-new way to take care of our patients with less discomfort than ever before. If you’ve been avoiding a dental procedure to the top front teeth because you don’t like getting injections or you don’t like the way anesthetic makes your mouth and tongue feel, please get in touch with us. Kovanaze might be a good alternative, pain- and needle-free. –Kalie and Caryn

Like many dental practices, we use local anesthetic quite frequently. It’s a tool that lessens patient discomfort and allows us to perform important procedures that otherwise would be painful. Typically, we inject this anesthetic into the area we want to numb, which is not a problem for many patients. For some, however, the use of needles is almost as distressing as the procedure itself, and we’d like to prevent that anxiety whenever possible. Enter Kovanaze, a nasal numbing spray approved by the FDA for dentistry. Originally developed and used by ear and nose doctors with great success, Kovanaze is a needle-free alternative to numbing the upper front teeth. Before its approval for use in the dental field, the inventors of Kovanaze did extensive testing and ensured it was both safe and effective for dental use. What they found was remarkable —

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