What To Look For In A Dentist
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In this episode Dr. Marvin shares his thoughts on Dentistry and what you personally should look for when choosing yours. So with that, lets get going on this week’s episode of Let’s Talk Dentistry!
— Transcript of Today’s Show —
Good morning, this is Dr. Marvin; you’re listening to Let’s Talk Dentistry. Thank you for joining us for another great episode. For the next half hour we’re going to talk about dentistry and natural dentistry. I am a licensed dentist here in California, and great things happen at our office. We are one of the few true holistic dentists that deal with overall health. If you have any chronic health issues or if you have issues at all or if you haven’t been to the dentist, I encourage you to come visit us here in San Diego where people come from all over the world to come visit us. We have something unique and very special at our office, and we encourage and invite you to come visit us. We have a website, it’s called trynaturaldentistry.com. You can also find us on our facebook page. We also have youtube videos. We have everything so that you can find out more about us before coming in, because we want you to feel comfortable not only with us but also with what we do.
I want to thank those people who stopped by our booth last week. Last weekend we were at two fairs. We were at Encinitas Street Fair in Encinitas and also at the Earth fair in Balboa Park on Sunday. A lot of people showed up and said hello. They had a lot of comments. I want to thank all of those people for coming out. A lot of great questions. Some people were very surprised that I was younger than what they imagined. I’ve had this show for quite a while. I guess that they imagined that because I sound like I have a lot of experience (and I do have a lot of experience) that I would be older than I look. Actually I am a lot younger than people think, but don’t hold that against me. I do know a lot about this dentistry, and if you listen to my show plenty of times, you’ll understand that the dentistry makes sense.
I had a lot of questions about dental implants. People came by, showed me their missing teeth, thank you for that. People have good questions. A lot of parents came by with their kids. One of the questions that they asked is what are our views on fluoride. I told them our views and they were very happy to hear that, because they’ve been researching online. I love to hear that. I love people that are taking the initiative to find out more information and start questioning their doctors and questioning everything that they’ve learned, because their health is so important to them.
I even had a young man, he’s actually a young dental student that questioned the fluoride issue. We had a long debate at our booth, and he was talking about all this stuff. He was telling me to study more about it, and actually I’ve studied plenty about it. We learned of this in dental school (one side of the coin), but I also learned a lot about the other side of the coin. I made a decision a few years ago that fluoride is not something that I want to put into my own mouth. Why would I want to put it in my patients’ mouths? So we had a long discussion about that. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to change his views, because he was pretty much set. I just think that with more knowledge and more reading, hopefully he’ll come to the conclusion that fluoride, though it may be good for your teeth, is not good for your health.
One of the key points that I was getting across is that there are some people that will believe everything that they’re told. If they are told that fluoride is good for their teeth, they’re going to go ahead and use fluoride. There are other people out there that are questioning what they’re told. If they’re really concerned about their health and they want to minimize or prevent health issues in the future, they’re going to try to minimize the amount of toxins in their whole life. You’re not going to stand outside a nuclear power plant; you’re not going to stand right behind the exhaust of a car; you’re not going to expose your self to all these chemicals just like you won’t expose yourself to all the toxins that are in foods. If you find out a certain food is bad for you such as saccharin, Sweet ‘n Low, any MSG, processed food, food coloring, anything that could possibly be bad for you. If you recognize and acknowledge it, you obviously won’t put it inside your body. There are certain people out there that are like that, and those are the type of people that I want to come to my office.
I was explaining to this young man that there are people out there that don’t want to put fluoride into their body, because fluoride is a drug. A lot of people don’t want to put drugs in their body; they want to try a more natural approach. So why are we forcing it on people? That’s basically what I was getting at with this young man. That there are certain people that want a different approach. They want a more natural approach, and those are the people that we’re going after. At our office we’re a very unique office. Most dentists are not like our office. Most dentists are status quo and mainstream; we look at it from the holistic or natural approach, and we really thing we have something good. There are very, very, very few dentists that believe in this.
There was even a woman that came to us who didn’t understand what we meant by root canal removal. What we’re talking about is the root canal issue. We’re really against root canals because while it may save teeth, it’s not good for your health. She didn’t understand that, because she really believed that root canal therapy was the best thing since sliced bread. That’s definitely something that we don’t agree with. She probably doesn’t want to come to our office. She’s not going to be able to convince me that root canals are good. It’s just something that I made a stand that I’m not going to support root canal therapy, because I don’t think, and I’ve seen with my own eyes that it’s not good for our health. It leaves infections, and I’m not going to do that.
Just to let you know, those are just two of the people that stopped by, but there were many other people that were stopping by who were smiling and realizing that there is another option in dentistry, and that they’re starting to catch on that dentistry is not what it seems. It’s not what it’s cracked up to be. They start questioning. Instead of avoiding the dentist, they’re actually going to search for more biological, more natural dentists. That’s what we’re here for. Thanks again for everyone coming out.
You’re listening to Let’s Talk Dentistry. I am Dr. Marvin; every week we talk about dentistry and a whole lot more. We talk about what’s good for your health. We like to spread the word. More and more people are listening to this show and telling others about it. They’ll either tune in in the morning or they’ll tune in in their car. We just want to make sure that we spread out the information. This is free information. I pay to have this show so that I can spread the word about, because I obviously can’t help everybody out there. Hopefully the word will get out there, people will understand what we do and how we do it, and hopefully they’ll make a wise decision about their health.
OK, let’s talk about today’s topic. I was just thinking about what I should be talking about today. I know that there are a lot of listeners all over this world that listen to this on KPRZ.com or they listen to our podcast on our website. They want to find a dentist like us that is in their area. Unfortunately, not every dentist has the same background and training. Since this training is very unique and you can’t just go to one school, pay for the course, take it and open up a holistic practice and have the same type of techniques and views. It’s uncommon, so I don’t really have a recommendation for people. Like I said, there aren’t many dentists that do this. You either come and try to make arrangements. If dentistry and your health is important, then you come to see us even if you have to get out of your busy schedule and you have to travel. I’m going to tell you it’s definitely important.
For those that still can’t do that, there are a few things that I want you to look for in a dentist. A lot of people just don’t know what type of questions to ask when they go to the dentist or what to look for, so today I’m going to devote the topic to what to look for in a dentist.
The first thing I want to talk about is the organization in the office. You’ve been into other people’s houses. I’m going to tell you that for me, I like people that are clean and organized. I feel like if their house is in order, clean and organized, I want my dentist to be detailed, clean and organized. Obviously I want them to be using instruments. I want them to be very detailed in their sterilization technique. The instruments need to be clean. I wouldn’t want the germs to stay on the instruments and then be passed on from patient to patient; that’s unhealthy. I wouldn’t want that as a patient. It’s quite simple. You don’t want things lying around. You want things to be in proper order, and you don’t want any clutter. It’s as simple as that. Some people can really pick up on that. I pick up on that a lot. I think that says a lot about a practice, so we try to focus on that in our office. We want to make sure that the office is environmentally friendly. When you go to the restroom, is the restroom clean? Is it well lit? Do they have any awkward smells in the office, any strong cleaning solutions that could be harmful to you? Those are the smells that you have in the office. So you have the look and you have the smell. Do they have cobwebs places? Is the floor clean? Is the area spotless? You also want to see if they’re using steam sterilization. There are many way’s to sterilize instruments, but water and steam is a very economically and environmentally friendly way to do it. When you go into an office and you start smelling some chemicals, they may be using what’s called a chemical sterilizer where they use chemicals to sterilize instruments. That’s not as environmentally friendly, because they have to expose or dispose of those chemicals.
Be very careful, some dentists don’t care about the environment. A lot of people don’t care about the environment. We want to minimize our exposure to chemicals. We want to protect ourselves and our environment. That’s one of the reasons why we dispose of mercury fillings that we take out of people properly. A lot of dentists just throw it down into the water, and it goes into our system, it goes into our oceans, gets into the fish, then we eat the fish, so we’re just getting it back. Environment is very important. Make sure that the office that you go in to is organized and clean. If it’s not organized and clean, then just walk out. It’s not worth it to pay all that money and then get sick, because they’re using bad instruments or they’re just not organized.
Even the staff. You might want to look at the staff. Are they organized? Are they doing their work? Are they running around with their heads cut off? I’ve been into offices and I’ve owned an office before where we were all running around being busy, but not being very productive. The staff should be a part of the whole system. When a staff is organized, usually the business is organized. When a business is organized, usually everyone is happier. They know what they’re doing, and even the patients are happier. You definitely want to go to an office where people are happier.
The next thing I want you to look for at the dentist is the amount of time that they spend with you. If I were a patient, I would like the dentist to look at me face to face. I would want the dentist to ask me questions, because I have questions. I want to do as much or more talking than the actual dentist. When we interview our patients, we want our patients to talk. I want them to talk about their health, I want to talk about what’s going on in their lives, I want to know about any good or bad experiences, I want to know about their previous dentistry. What are they looking for? It takes time. This is the reason why we set out a lot of time during our exams to talk. I say this all the time: We treat patients, we don’t treat teeth and gums. Unfortunately because that’s our scope and our area of expertise, we want to dive right into your teeth and gums. Most dentists when they meet you the first thing they want to do is sit you back. They want you to open your mouth. They want to evaluate and just dig in. They want to look at your gums and teeth to figure out what’s wrong, so they can make a proposal or a treatment plan in order to fix those problems. That’s the first thing that they do. For me that’s not holistic dentistry. If you ask the right questions or if the dentist asks the right questions and you give the right answers, you’re really customizing and fine tuning the right treatment. Again, we’re treating people, not just patients.
Another thing with time is, do you see a lot of patients in their waiting room? Is it awkward to have one dentist seeing three or four patients at the same time? True, they may have a hygienist that’s cleaning teeth, but during that cleaning the dentists have to go in and do an exam. A lot of times dentists have multiple operatories where they have a patient in every operatory. What they’re doing is jumping from chair to chair trying to make it seem like they’re giving their attention to all the patients, but at the same time they’re jumping around. I don’t like that, because dentists will start numbing someone and say, “I’ll be right back.” The patient thinks that they’re going to be back in about two minutes, but in reality they’re not coming back for ten or fifteen minutes because they’re doing a filling in the neighboring operatory. This is what happens. You don’t get the attention that you deserve and have rightfully paid for. If your dentist is trying to move from chair to chair, that’s not an office that I would want to be in, because you’re not getting the attention. If a dentist is going from chair to chair, they may not be spending enough time with the actual, technical dentistry. I truly believe that if a dentist works too fast, something’s got to slip. It could be the technique or the quality of care.
I understand that dentists have to do this in order to make ends meet. They have bills to pay, they have production and revenue goals, and in order to stay in business they have to see a lot of patients, because they’ve been contracted by the insurance company to take a certain amount for a filling. Let me give you an example. If a tooth extraction is $150, they have to do more dentistry than the next person who’s doing an extraction for $300. They have to cut their time and effort somewhere, so they cut their time with people. I don’t like that. One thing I want you to look for in a dentist is, does the dentist spend a lot of time with you? If a dentist spends a lot of time with you, that’s great, but that dentist might not be in practice very long. They’re not going to make enough money if they are spending a lot of time and not making a lot of money because of the insurance company. Look at it from both ways. I want you to look at it from the patient’s point of view and also from the dentist’s point of view.
The next thing I want you to look for in a dentist is equipment. Does the equipment look new? Does it look outdated? Look at their lights, their furnishings, their carpet, their chair, their ceiling panels, the corners of the room, do they use newer x-ray equipment? Digital x-rays have been around for 13 or 14 years. Digital x-rays require less radiation. With the older x-rays, you’re exposed to more radiation. Are they using the newest, latest and greatest equipment? In our office we use a low radiation, 3D x-ray. We believe that 3D x-rays are the future. They’re great, because we get to look at the bone and infections that other dentists aren’t looking at. We think it’s standard of care, but it’s also low radiation. It’s great technology, and unfortunately other dentists haven’t invested in it, because it’s an investment for them and they don’t see the value.
In our office we focus on minimizing the amount for mercury that’s in our air and what we breathe. When patients come in they can feel confident that they’re not breathing mercury in the air. We have mercury ionizers and mercury vacuums. We protect the surfaces in our office, ourselves, and our patients from mercury. This requires additional equipment, and unfortunately it costs money to purchase this equipment, but this is in an effort to be the safest office and the cleanest office available. It’s very important to look at their equipment and the supplies that they use and see if they’re up to date.
Finally, what I want you to look for in a dental office is I want you to ask questions. This is a very important one. The reason is that when you ask some certain questions, I want you to evaluate and see how they react. Let me give you an example. If you were to say to your dentist that you don’t want to use fluoride or ask what their view is on fluoride. Then they look at you and they have a good answer for fluoride. Let’s say they say, “Oh, it’s good for your teeth. It strengthens your teeth and prevents cavities.” Then you tell them that you’re going to pass; you’re not going to do fluoride treatments for you or your children. You don’t want them to put fluoride into the environment or use it in any products. See what they say. See how they react. Do they roll their eyes? Do they step back, look at you weird and say, “Oh, you’re one of those?” That’s not a very open minded dentist. Dentists should respect other patients’ views. If they don’t look at you in they eye and they don’t give you a good answer or they try to force a view down your throat or tell you that you’re wrong or shouldn’t listen to that or go on the internet and read that stuff, or that it’s all quackery and hogwash, then it’s probably not someone that you want to be with. They’re not open minded. If you are open minded with these things, then you should really leave and find a different dentist.
One other thing I want to mention is that if they recommend something and jump to treatment– they diagnose, let’s say a filling and they jump to treatment. They say, “OK, here is what your options are: you can do a filling, you can do a crown, blah, blah, blah.” Ask them what the cause of that diagnosis is. That’s very important. If they can’t come up with a good cause, or they are fumbling with their answer for that good cause, then that’s probably someone you don’t want to go to. They’re focusing on the treatment, because they make money from the treatment. They don’t make money from explaining why you have that problem. If you have a cavity, I will start talking about the cause of the cavity. Is it the acidity? Is it your diet? Is it the arrangement of your teeth? We’ll talk about that, and that requires a lot of time. We talk about that up front, we do that during the exam. That’s why our exams can run anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes. We need to address the cause. At our office, one of my pet peeves is when other dentists recommend unnecessary treatment. That’s probably one of the biggest complaints that I have from patients.
“A dentist recommended something and I did it, and I don’t feel it was necessary.” That’s the difference between our office and other offices. I want you to think about this.
The bottom line is that all dentists are different; they’re not the same. They have different training. They have different points of view. They have different belief systems. You can hear me talking every week about how I myself am very open minded, a very real, common sense dentist. I like to figure out the cause of problems. I’m not going to put bad products inside your mouth. I’m going to use the latest equipment, and I think it’s going to help me with diagnosis and with treatment planning. I like to conserve dentistry, and I like to talk about the real health issues. I have gone to many doctors to learn and educate myself on what the best toothbrush, toothpaste, medication, surgery, diagnostic tools, and treatment. I’m constantly changing to figure out what is best for me and my patients. That’s important.
Some dentists get burned out because they’re doing the same thing over and over. Everyone is one size fits all. They see a cavity, they do a filling. They see a crown that’s broken, they’re going to recommend they re-do it. The reason I know this is that I used to be like this. I have a lot of classmates and I know a lot of dentists that do this. They’re not very passionate about it. They’re successful financially, but they’re not very passionate about it.
I’m passionate about doing the right dentistry. If you want to come see us, if you agree with what I’ve been telling you this whole show, then you should be coming to see us. I’m going to tell you that you won’t regret it. Actually I back it up. Here’s my guarantee: I guarantee that if you do an exam and x-ray with us, it will be the best exam and x-ray you’ve ever had, the best explanation, and you’ll leave happy or your money back. That’s what we do.
Today’s special is for three callers only. If you schedule an exam, I will give you free x-rays. The x-rays are $199, and I’ll also clean your teeth for free. That’s a $100 value. This is an incredible value for the first three callers that call right now. The telephone number you want to call is 760-536-1199. Call that number right now and leave your name and number. We’ll have someone call you back on Monday or Tuesday, so that we can get you started back on your health. I’m Dr. Marvin. Thank you for joining me today. I’ll talk to you next time, same time, same place. I’m out.