Durham DDS

Dr. Bill Argersinger Earns “40 Top Dentists Under 40″ Award for 2014

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(August 2014)

Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 5.06.35 PMIncisal Edge is a national magazine that celebrates the life and lifestyle of dental professionals. Annually, the magazine showcases the finest young dentists who exemplify the present and future promise of the dental industry with the award “40 Under 40”. Dr. Bill Argersinger was nominated for this award after a decade as a top sales executive for global technology companies, and then being faced with a choice: move his family to Singapore for his company or try something new. Obviously, he chose the latter and has since developed a thriving practice, selling the value of healthy teeth with more enthusiasm than an abstract tech product! (I think others would agree) Dr. Bill’s philosophy for dentistry is,

“It’s all about education; in the context of helping patients understand cause and effect. Once the patient says ‘ok, I get it,’ you can help them. If they don’t understand the ‘why’, you have a much harder time reaching the point where the patient thinks “can you help me make it better?”

When asked what his favorite aspect of dentistry is, Dr. Bill replied

“That I can talk to 40 patients a day who I likely haven’t seen in six months or more. Getting to know everybody is the best part.”

Over 600 dentists were nominated across the country and Dr. Bill was thrilled and honored to be one of the ones chosen.  All winners were invited to New York City to a fashion photo shoot in the 13th street Repertory Theater of Chelsea.

To view the award in the magazine publication click here.

Rest assured that here at DurhamDDS, Dr. Bill and his staff have your best interest in mind! If you are searching for a dentist in the triangle area give DurhamDDS a call! We offer a generous helping of dental services for patients of all ages. To set up an appointment call our office at 919-286-0779 or visit durhamdds.com for more information.

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Dental X-rays, Radiation, and Silencing the Exposure Scare

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There is a lot of skepticism about radiation exposure when it comes to x-rays. The media has really raised the public’s fear with sensational claims such as “the radiation can cause cell damage that ultimately leads to cancer”. A claim like this would scare anybody and your first reaction would to avoid radiation exposure at all costs, but that is actually difficult to do. We are all exposed to radiation on a daily basis and it is fundamentally a “dose dependent” concern. Meaning that once you surpass a certain intensity of exposure, it becomes potentially harmful. Take a walk through the woods in Chernobyl? Probably not a good idea. Get a digital dental x-ray? This is such a small dose that it’s negligible compared to everyday exposure.

For a moment here I’m going to get a little scientific so bear with me. At the end of this article I will describe how DurhamDDS and Dr. Bill Argersinger use radiographs to your benefit.

X-Ray Science

Cool graphic of how electromagnetic radiation (like visible light and x-rays) travel in waves

Radiation is any form of energy that travels in a wave such as visible light, radio waves, microwaves, and x-rays. The different types of radiation are characterized by frequency and wavelength. Longer wavelengths, such as radio waves, have a low frequency and are considered “low energy”. While the shorter wavelengths create a greater frequency and are usually considered “higher energy” radiation, such as x-rays. The higher energy waves like x-rays are what makes them so useful in medicine and dentistry. While the skin and soft tissues stop visible light, x-rays are able to penetrate through them to show us things we cannot see like broken bones and cavities!

Old School X-Ray Systems

So since radiation is dose-dependent, what is considered a “safe dose level” for dental films? To answer this, it’s important to understand there are different types of dental offices: old school offices and newer offices. X-ray images are like pictures from a camera and old school offices used to develop them in-house at their practice (these practices have a dark room!) These old school film style x-rays took lots more x-ray energy to get a developable image. But those old-school systems are approved for use by licensure groups like the NC Radiation Commission.

New School X-Ray Systems (Digital)

Digital x-rays require significantly LESS radiation energy to capture a useful image. The radiation needed to produce a useful digital image is 80% less than old-school film radiography. To put this whole radiation dose thing into perspective, you need to know that the average accumulated background radiation dose to an individual for one year is measured in millisieverts or mSv. The average person in the United States receives about 6.2 mSv of radiation every day. Dental films like bitewings (BWs) and periapical radiographs (PAs) using digital phosphor plates expose you to about 0.005 mSv per x-ray picture, not so bad, huh? This LINK is from the UK but it shares a clear description of how dental x-rays differ from other doses.

You’ll be surprised where you are exposed to radiation. Did you know that consuming a banana exposes you to about 1% of your daily dose of radiation?!

So how can we control our exposure? (Without having to stop eating bananas) The best way to limit radiation exposure is to not order and expose yourself to radiographs unless there is a reasonable chance that the information obtained from the radiograph will affect treatment outcomes. Today, there is no such thing as “routine dental x-rays every year”.

Your radiograph frequency depends on risk factors.

Sensitivity is a risk factor, pre-existing dental work is a risk factor, dry mouth is a risk factor. How much plaque on your teeth is a risk factor. There is a long list of risk factors. All of which are considered on a PER PATIENT basis. Then a judgment is made by your dentist regarding what films are beneficial to you and how often those films should be updated.

xray2It is okay to have a reasonable amount of skepticism about your radiation exposure, but remember it is a dose-dependent issue. Take appropriate steps to limit your radiation exposure, however if it is recommended by your dentist that an x-ray is necessary, then it is important to have them done! X-rays help the dentist see things that can’t be seen with the naked eye. A tooth may appear normal and it may not even be causing a patient pain, but there could be a whole different situation happening inside the tooth. The earlier cavities are found, the smaller the filling and the stronger the tooth. Sometimes cavities that are found using x-rays are so small they are reversible with very simple treatments like fluoride varnish. However, if something is missed because a patient insists on not needing x-rays, then it can develop into a much more expensive issue. If you still have concerns about your radiation exposure, talk to your dentist so that they can give you some more clarification on their process for choosing radiographs. In our case it’s 100% based on patient risk factors.

Searching for a dentist in the Triangle area that provides fully digital x-ray service? Give DurhamDDS a call! We offer radiographs (new school digital radiographs) for both adults and children. To set up an appointment give our office a call at 919-286-0779 or visit durhamdds.com for more information.

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Cavity Prevention: So Easy a Caveman Could Do It!

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In recent news, a huge haul of bones was unearthed in a cave in South Africa that could be the remnants of an ancient human relative.  They have given the ancient ancestor the name Homo naledi.  Among the bones that were discovered were pieces of ancient skulls and jaws that showed little to no dental decay during a time where there was no toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, or dentists!

skulls

Homo naledi jaw bones show little to no tooth decay. It is estimated that this species lived 2.5 million-2.8 million years ago.

Evidence of our ancestor’s lack of tooth decay has not only been seen in Homo naldei, but also in several of our other ancient human relatives.

Jawbone from Homo floresiensis. Lived 95,000-17,000 years ago. No tooth decay!

Floresiensis

Jawbone from Homo heidelbergensis. Lived 700,000-200,000 years ago. No tooth decay!

heidelbergensis

Jawbone from Homo erectus. Lived 1.89 million-143,000 years ago. Still no tooth decay! (disregard the missing teeth…those fall out as the bone dries out)

Erectus

So how could this be? How could our ancient relatives have better teeth than us when we have all these modern day luxuries?

Two answers:

  • Diet is very different (lots of processed sugars and carbs now)
  • Life span is very different (live longer now)
agriculturaljawbone

The arrows are pointing to obvious tooth decay in this ancient jawbone.  This person most likely lived during the agricultural era when farming was growing in popularity and people were consuming high grain diets.

Hunter-gatherer diets were primarily meat-dominated and free of processed carbs/sugars.  Researchers did a genetic study on ancient dental plaque (that sticky stuff that likes to hang around in your teeth), which revealed that almost no cavity or gum disease-associated bacteria was in the ancient plaque, directly because of the consistency of their diet.  There was a change in dental bacteria composition with the introduction of farming and again several years later during the Industrial Revolution (late 1800s).  A modern diet consisting of refined carbohydrates and sugars has given us mouths full of cavity-causing bacteria! This bacteria feeds on the all the carbs/sugar we consume, so if our intake of these processed foods is reduced than then our risk of developing cavities will reduce, too.

So how can we channel our inner caveman and prevent cavities?

Limit processed foods and sugar intake, take appropriate steps to limit dental bacteria (brushing, flossing, etc.), and take advantage of modern day luxuries and go see your dentist!

Lets prevent cavities together! Call DurhamDDS to set up an appointment at 919-286-0770 or visit us online at durhamdds.com for more information. We look forward to hearing from you! Did you find this article interesting? Help support us by liking us on Facebook or +1 us on Gmail. It is really easy to do, right at the top of the article! Thanks!

 

 

 

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