Happy New Year – A Greeting from Our CEO

Happy New Year – A Greeting from Our CEO

As 2020 comes to an end and we open the doors to 2021, it is always useful to complete the past and look to the future with Optimism. Simon Sinek defines Optimism as “accepting the truth of reality and looking forward to a brighter future”

2020 was a challenging year for so many of us, but it was also a year of opportunity and redefining what is most important to us. Getting through this year would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the amazing people on our TEAM and that endless amount of TEAMWORK that was put in. Who was on your team?  

To me the biggest challenge we were faced with this year was the unknown. So how did we get through not knowing what was coming?

……By having RESPECTFUL conversations and disagreements to make sure that we listened to all sides and make the best decision for everyone that was involved. 

So how did we make it through 2020 ,in my mind, stronger than we entered it?  ……By creating EXCEPTIONAL relationships, service, and thinking of others first. Dentistry was thought of as one of the most dangerous professions as we began to open up, yet our team was beside us the entire way (and now we know we are well protected with everything that we have been doing for years). 

In order to be successful in our professional and personal lives, we need to CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE at everything we do. We are human and we will make mistakes along the way, but our intentions are very important.  

For me personally, 2020 was both amazing and challenging. Financially and physically I was out of my routine. As gyms closed I took a break from taking care of myself the way I normally would and it has proved to be harder than I thought to get back into it. On the flip side, we welcomed our newest addition to the family, and had more family time together than usual.  

So 2021, here we come! Let’s make sure to thank everyone that has helped us through these challenging times. Make sure to take time for yourself and Recharge (by building resilience), create Energy (by eating well and moving) and Connect with others (pick up the phone / Zoom – not texting). 

All the best for 2021 – may it be our best yet!  🙂

Healthy back to school snacks for kids

Healthy back to school snacks for kids

After a looooong layoff, many kids are heading back to school! Obviously there are a lot of new back-to-school considerations that we’ve never seen before, but don’t forget to keep those Iron Man and Captain Marvel lunchboxes filled with foods that are healthy for your kids’ bodies and teeth! Most kids aren’t going to want to brush (or floss!) at school after lunch, so you really don’t want to have too much bacteria and cavity-causing food having hours to do damage before they come home.
 

 

Healthy back to school snacks for kids
 

Green Light snacks to go with your lunch! (Enjoy these daily)

  • fresh fruit & vegetables
  • popcorn
  • sugar free gum
  • pickles, olives, salsa & dips
  • whole wheat bagels
  • cheese or butter/margarine
  • lots of water!

 

Yellow Light Snacks! (Try to eat these sparingly)

  • fruit beverages & juice boxes
  • canned fruit in syrups
  • processed dried fruits
  • fruit gummies & fruit roll ups
  • granola & cereal bars
  • white bread, white bagels & buns
  • chips & cheesies
  • yogurt drinks

 

Red Light Snacks! (Try to avoid if you can!)

  • jell-o, marshmallows & regular gum
  • candy, chocolate, cakes & cookies
  • slurpees, slushies & pop
  • sports & energy drinks
  • popsicles & freezies

 

For other great lunch suggestions check out these links:

https://www.foodnetwork.ca/back-to-school/photos/easy-school-lunches-to-pack-for-kids/#!Ham-Apple-and-Cheese-Quesadilla

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/photos/kid-approved-lunches

https://www.thekitchn.com/thinking-outside-the-lunch-box-10-sandwich-free-kids-lunch-ideas-222906

Your next routine dental checkup

Your next routine dental checkup

Are you unsure of what to expect during your regular dental exam? Are you wondering how often you need a dental checkup? What’s the difference between hygiene appointments and an oral exam? What is my dentist looking for? Here are the answers you want to know about an appointment with your dentist!

How often should I see the dentist

Your recommended dental visits’ frequency will depend on a host of factors, including age, pregnancy, medical health/susceptibility and your own smile goals. 

If you need restorative dentistry or orthodontic treatment, have periodontal disease, are pregnant, or have worsening health conditions, you may need to see your dentist more often. 

Additionally, if you have a lot of tartar buildup, you might need to see your hygienist more frequently; for many patients, 2-4 visits per year are recommended.

Dental History

At each appointment, your dentist will make sure they are up to date with your current health condition. 

Make sure to let your dentist know about any changes in your medical history, including pregnancy, new medications or new or worsening conditions. These can all impact your oral health.

Don’t forget to ask your dentist questions! This time is about you, so make sure you ask your dentist about any oral health concerns, sleep concerns and cosmetic preferences. 

 

Dental Exam

A dental exam includes much more than just a look at your teeth!

A physical exam of your neck and jaw will be done to check for abnormalities and symptoms related to oral cancer, TMD (temporal mandibular joint disorders) or a host of other conditions that affect oral health. 

Your dentists will palpate your neck and jaw muscles and bones to check for lumps, clicks and tenderness. 

As well, your dentist will perform an oral cancer screening inside your mouth. 

Finally, your dentist will look at your pearly whites, but have you ever been curious about what they are looking for? 

Your dentist will check for wear patterns on your teeth. Wear patterns in teeth can indicate clenching or grinding and glean some information about your diet’s acidity. 

The dentist will also look at the health of your gums and check for recession. 

Armed with all this information, then your dentist will determine what x-ray photographs they need. 

 

Dental X-rays

Dental X-rays, or digital radiographs, are essential for your dentist to see minor dental issues, like tooth decay, before they become painful dental infections. 

Many dental issues don’t appear to the naked eye until they have already become detrimental to the tooth structure. 

While your dentist is examining your mouth, they will ask the assistant to take the x-rays they need. 

The common X-rays your dentist will ask for are:

  • Bitewing – a bitewing x-ray, honest in its namesake, will have you bite down on a piece of plastic. The assistant will take a side profile of your molars and premolars from the chewing surface to the root. These images will help the dentists see the bone level between your teeth to assess periodontal disease and check for cavities between the teeth. 
  • Periapical – this type of x-ray takes a closer look at one or two teeth to examine the bone and surrounding tissues. The dentist can also use these x-rays to look for cysts, bone tumours, and abscesses.
  • Panoramic – this 2 or 3-dimensional photo will let your dentist see your entire head and neck from any angle. These photos help the dentist look for signs of cancer, check for sinus issues, examine bite and jaw joint health and many other things!

You and your dentist will review your X-rays together. Your dentist will show you what they see, discuss your options and determine a treatment plan that works for you. 

Our goal is that patients leave with a better understanding of their oral health. 

 

Dental Cleaning

Besides yourself, your dental hygienist is probably the most influential person in your dental health routine. 

While you eat, sleep and drink, the harmful and bad-breath causing bacteria in your mouth are continually reproducing, forming plaque (called biofilm).

After 12 hours or so, you may notice a plaque buildup on your teeth’s surface, creating a sticky, rough texture. 

If left too long, the calcium in your saliva combines with the plaque solidifying it into tartar. 

That is where your hygienist steps in. The removal of dental plaque and calculus buildup is called scaling.  

Your dental hygienist will finish your dental exam by measuring your periodontal pockets. 

Your periodontal pocket is the space created by gum tissue coming unattached from the tooth. 

Healthy gums have unattached gum tissue, but they are shallow enough that yearly hygiene visits, twice a day brushing and flossing once a day can prevent the subgingival buildup of bacteria. 

If the patient neglects oral hygiene, bacteria will collect in this unattached gum tissue, causing inflammation and deepening the pockets.

This inflammation is called Gingivitis and is a mild form of periodontal disease. 

The symptoms can include redness, gum bleeding, pain, gum recession, bone loss and, eventually, tooth loss. 

The Canadian Dental Association has found that 11% of the population suffers from severe periodontal (gum) disease making it the 6th most prevalent disease in the world. 

The good news is that periodontal disease is usually preventable with proper oral habits. 

After your dental hygiene visit, your hygienist will schedule you back for regular visits to ensure that you are getting the optimal care and maintain the health of your gums and mouth. The frequency is customized based on the overall condition of your gums, bone levels, previous history of gum disease and your medical health. If you present with any of the above, we may need to see you more than every six months.  Patients who have bone loss, bleeding gums and or recession generally have to come every 3-4 months in order to decrease the bacterial load and stay one step ahead of the bacteria and prevent more damage. Together, you and your dental hygienist work to fight gum disease.  

 

Dental Checkup Cost

The Dental Administrator is a crucial part of your dental team. 

They are specially trained to navigate insurance policies, understand dental fees and schedule the treatment plan you and your dentist decided on. 

Long ago, the cost of a dental checkup was confusing, different at each dentist and all-around frustrating for dentists and patients alike.

In 2017, The Alberta Dental Association and College saw the need and came out with their first fee guide since 1997!

This guide sets reasonable pricing for most dental procedures, and lets dentists have the option to follow it.

Since its release, our clinic and many dentists across Alberta have adopted the fee guide.

To learn more about the cost of a dental checkup, check out the 2020 Dental Fee Guide.

Podcast: Root Canal

Podcast: Root Canal

Is a root canal really as painful as you think? What happens during a root canal? Learn the answers to all these and more! Join Dr. Linda Geng and Dr. Jan Jaffer as they ease your concerns about the most feared dental procedure! 

Dr. Linda Geng graduated from the University of Toronto Dental School in 2009, and has been a partner with TREC Dental at The Wildwood Dental Clinic in Calgary, Alberta for 9 years. Dr. Geng regularly volunteers her time and clinic with The Alex and CUPS Dental to provide free dental work for Calgarians in need, and supports many other initiatives both in her Wildwood Clinic community as well as throughout Calgary.

Host Dr. Jan Jaffer graduated from dental school in his early 20’s, and quickly became instrumental in growing his father’s single dental clinic into the TREC Dental Partnership, operating 14 dental clinics and a digital dental laboratory in the Calgary area. Dr. Jaffer is actively involved in many causes including the World Partnership Walk, for which he is the Calgary chair.

Podcast: Clear Aligners

Podcast: Clear Aligners

Join Dr. Jan Jaffer & Dr. Jodi Gergely as they discuss their professional and personal experience with clear aligners. Many advances have been made in orthodontic treatment that has allowed even tricky cases to be treated with clear aligner therapy. So if you want to learn more about what clear aligners can do for your dental health and self-esteem, tune in!

Dr. Gergely graduated from the University of Saskatchewan School of Dentistry in 2003 and has been a partner with TREC Dental at the Royal Oak Dental clinic in Calgary, Alberta since 2004. At her practice, she pursues her passion for helping adults with TMJ treatments and jaw development in kids.

Host Dr. Jan Jaffer graduated from dental school in his early 20’s. His vision and drive led him to grow his father’s single dental clinic into the TREC Dental Partnership, operating 14 dental clinics and a digital dental laboratory in the Calgary area.

Both Dr. Jaffer and Dr. Gergely have a passion for charity work. Dr. Jaffer spearheaded a partnership with CUPS Calgary to provide dentistry for Calgary’s neediest citizens. He regularly volunteers overseas with both Kindness in Action and Dentistry For All as well as acting as Chair of the World Partnership Walk in Calgary.

In addition to volunteering at CUPS TREC Dental, Dr. Gergely sponsors a dental clinic in Honduras. As well, she is on the Board of Directors for IREAD helping to build schools in Pakistan and Uganda.

Are You Safe at the Dental Clinic During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Are You Safe at the Dental Clinic During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Long before COVID-19 protocols, medical and dental professionals had worked diligently on the control and prevention of infectious diseases. 

For Calgary dental clinics, The Alberta Dental Association & College sets strict infection prevention guidelines.

Before Alberta dental offices could even consider opening back up, the ADA&C created specific COVID-19 regulations for control and prevention as well as staff preparedness.

These include stringent hand washing, pre-screening patient protocols, clinic layout preparations, personal protective equipment and even rules about receiving deliveries! 

Prevention

During a pandemic, we can never completely eliminate the possibility of transmission. 

But here at TREC Dental and all our clinic locations, we are following or exceeding all expert recommendations for infection prevention.

The World Health Organization stated the virus commonly spreads person to person through droplets from the nose or mouth of an infected person.

These droplets can land on and contaminate surfaces in the dental room. 

After a patient leaves the dental appointment, the dental assistant will wipe down all surfaces with a disinfectant and clean the room thoroughly before the next patient arrives. 

What about aerosol transmission?

WHO has stated more research is needed to determine the role of aerosols in the transmission of the novel coronavirus. 

What we do know is that outbreaks have happened in close settings with poor ventilation.

We also know that dental hygiene or other restorative dental procedures can create aerosols. 

So before your dental appointment, you will be screened for COVID-19.

We also ask patients to wear a mask once inside the clinic – we will give you one if you do not have access to your own mask, but supplies are limited so we ask you to make an effort to supply your own!

To further minimize the number of patients in our clinic at one time, we only have limited dental chairs open, and we stagger appointment times. 

If you are a high-risk patient in need of dental care, consider an appointment at the beginning or end of the day to further reduce your exposure. 

Aerosols During Procedures

During routine dentistry, including cavity fillings or a hygiene appointment, the high powered tools we use can create and distribute aerosols in the room. 

To reduce the creation of aerosols, our dentists and hygienists use high powered suction, which has been shown to capture almost all aerosols produced. 

Additionally, when it comes to aerosols, the highest risk of infection is to the practitioner, not to the patient! 

So, to ensure the safety and health of our staff, we might look a little different at your next appointment! 

To reduce the risk of infection to ourselves, we will be donning PPE, including masks, disposable or washable gowns, face shields, caps and of course, gloves!

In addition to PPE, all staff entering the clinic receive a COVID-19 screening each day. 

A Dental Scaler’s Journey 

All of our tools, if not disposable, are put through a multi-step cleaning process.

During an appointment, a tool is wiped between each use to remove fluids or visible debris.

After its work is done in your mouth, a dental tool makes a trip to the sterilization room. 

Soiled tools are put in an ultrasonic cleaner with a disinfectant for decontamination. 

This cleaner uses ultrasonic vibrations to shake loose any remaining particles  combined with a detergent to sanitize.

After their hot bath, tools will move to the autoclave.

The dental autoclave uses high heat to eliminate any traces of infectious material.

The autoclave reaches temperatures above 130 C!

How do I know if the dental office near me is safe?

Check your dentist’s website to learn more about all precautions they are taking to prevent the spread.