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Businessman Reading DocumentPart of our ongoing series on careers in dentistry.  Charlotte Dentistry® encourages young people to consider the dental profession, and welcomes any questions you may have.

Dentistry, like any business, continually changes.  New techniques and materials become available, and it’s important for a new dentist to stay up to date on these.  This builds your credibility—and it also puts you in a position to take advantage of new ideas faster than established practices which may have invested heavily in old techniques and are more reluctant to change.

All professions require continuing education, and that should be part of helping keep your practice fresh.  But that’s just meeting the requirements of the law.  To really make sure your practice stays on the leading edge, you typically need to do more.

So it’s good to set aside some time periodically to look at new ideas.  Don’t limit these to dental procedures.  Also look to see if there are better ways to run your business, communicate with your customers, and develop and manage your staff.

In many cases, you may find that a combination of ideas relating to different areas of your practice are what really helps you build your business.

Questions?  Use the “Ask the Expert” feature of our website.

Part of our ongoing series on careers in dentistry.  Charlotte Dentistry® encourages young people to consider the dental profession, and welcomes any questions you may have.

Many dental students, as they start looking at their careers and how they want to develop them, begin weighing whether or not it would be better to have a general dentistry practice or to concentrate on a specialty.Dentist

There are advantages to each.

The demand for general dentistry continues to grow, and many new dentists will find that they can be successful in general dentistry from the moment they leave school.  Developing a practice in general dentistry is aided by the fact that virtually everyone needs general dental care, and even in cities with established dentists, there are locations where a new dentist can do well.  General dentistry requires less training than a specialty, and graduates can get through school faster and begin earning to pay off school loans more quickly.

Specialties, however, are more lucrative in the long run.  Currently, the American Dental Association recognizes nine specialty areas of practice:   Dental Public Health, Endodontics, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Pediatric Dentistry, Peridontics, Prosthodontics, and Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

There is more training involved with specialties, both in dental school and in keeping abreast of new procedures and technologies after graduation, but specialists typically have patient loads that compensation for the extra investment.  Many of their patients are referred by general dentistry practices.

Many practices may ultimately combine both, as Charlotte Dentistry® does with general dentistry, where our general practice dentists have successfully completed extensive specialized training in Orthodontics, Prosthodontics and Endodontics.  This has allowed us to continue building our practice, and given us opportunities to better serve patients who need specialized care at one familiar location.

To learn more, use the “Ask the Expert” feature of our website.  We’re glad to answer questions from people interested in dentistry as a career.

Tooth whitening techniques have given millions of people bright, gleaming, “movie star” smiles. Smiling Woman

But are these teeth really healthy?

If you’re just making sure your teeth are white, but aren’t doing other things for good dental hygiene like regular professional cleanings and checkups, you could be asking for trouble.

Whitening systems may keep your teeth sparkling, but they may also be masking plaque and tartar buildup, which can cause gum inflammation and lead to both tooth and gum problems.

Many people think that since their smile is still bright, they can postpone a dental visit for a cleaning until their teeth start to dim.  But teeth still should be professionally cleaned (preferably every six months) not just to help keep them bright, but to remove deposits that cause problems.

So if you’re proud of your smile, but haven’t been for a checkup in a while, it’s a good thing to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Because you want to keep your smile not just white, but also healthy.

To learn more about how to make your smile as bright and healthy as possible, visit our website, and use the “Ask the Expert” feature to get your questions answered.

As a part of our ongoing process, Charlotte Dentistry® continues to look for ways to make our business greener and more sustainable. We look for ways to better care for our world, we’re not just caring for our patients’ teeth – we’re caring and preparing for the generations to come.Go Green

In looking for ways to better care for our patients’ and our staff, we find new “greener” technology to help us along the way.

Here’s an example:  We put procedures in place to protect our patients from germs and bacteria by using steam heat to clean dental instruments.  This process has been around for years but businesses were not readily using the process due to the expense.  We purchased a huge autoclave to ensure that instruments were thoroughly clean for the next patient.

The instruments for most prevalent dental procedures are placed in individual cassettes and cleaned in the giant autoclave. The cassettes also contain gauze and other materials that might be needed for the procedure so everything is sterilized together.  Each cassette is wrapped in paper and sterilized for the next use. The steam cleaning is much more economical and efficient for cleaning the instruments as well as much better for the environment. This process also does not expose our staff or patients’ to harmful chemicals.

When your dental hygienist or dental assistant provides the wrapped cassette of instruments for your next dental procedure, you can be assured that it has been prepared especially for you!

Charlotte Dentistry is always looking for ways to make our business, greener, more sustainable and more efficient for our patients’ and our staff.  We invite you to follow our “green” journey in the next few blogs.  If you have questions or suggestions, visit us at “Ask the Expert”.

Part of our ongoing series on careers in dentistry.  Charlotte Dentistry® encourages young people to consider the dental profession, and welcomes any questions you may have.Doctor talking with patient

Starting a dental practice is an exciting—and scary—time, as we remember when Charlotte Dentistry was founded some 35 years ago.  Building a practice takes an investment in time, in people, in business resources, and, especially today, in technology.

People are the first key to success.  For a new dentist to be successful, he or she first must find skilled, professional people who also build the practice by providing the proper support, patient relations, and effective office skills.  Many talented dentists fail in their own practices simply because they don’t have the support they need for the business side of the operations.  Charlotte Dentistry has been blessed with dedicated professionals on the business side of our practice (many of whom have been with us for many years).  They make it possible for our dental professionals to concentrate on giving patients the best possible care.

Investing back into the practice is the next key to success.  It’s tempting for a young dentist, who may be just getting married, starting a family, and establishing a home to take home many of the profits from the business.  But the dental professionals who succeed are the ones who put money back into their businesses to make sure they have the right equipment and people to keep the practice moving forward.  It’s an ongoing process:  Charlotte Dentistry continues to invest back into the practice, because we know our business is continually changing, and we have to keep up.

And a third—and perhaps most important—key is investing back into the patients’ and community you serve.  A new dental practice can advertise and promote (and it must), but it must also build trust with patients and people who may someday become patients.  Word of mouth for a good dental reputation is the best advertising your practice can “buy”.

You do that one person at a time. So build trusting relationships with everyone you come in contact with and your practice will grow quickly!

That’s why we still make sure we take time to answer every question that a patient may ask.  That’s why we sponsor community events, and why our staff participate in scores of different community organizations.  The people we serve have been very good to us.  We feel a responsibility to give back.  And by giving back, we make our practice that much stronger.

To any new dentist out there who’s just starting out:  We wish you the best of luck.  It’s a great way to make a living and a great way to help a lot of people.

Questions? Or just need a sounding board, contact us at “Ask The Expert”.

Invisalign Elite TOP 1%Taquana “Tabby” Sears: My Invisalign® Ride: And The Ride Goes On. . .

Taquana “Tabby” Sears, a Charlotte Dentistry® patient, has agreed to share her Invisalign experience with us on a regular basis. For the last several months, she’s given us reports on how she’s doing with Invisalign® invisible braces, including ups and downs. Below is her latest blog entry.

At last weeks visit, I picked up trays 7-9. HOPEFULLY these are the last trays to complete my Invisalign journey. The one stubborn tooth has finally begun to move and make some real progress! I can definitely see the positioning of this tooth improving.

This has been an incredible ride. People who don’t know I have been wearing Invisalign still can’t tell. I constantly get compliments on my smile!
People always ask, “Who IS your dentist?” I proudly say with my new smile beaming – “Dr. Armstrong at Charlotte Dentistry is MY dentist and I love what he and Invisalign have accomplished with my smile!”

Since I’m an adult working in the Charlotte corporate scene, I know Invisalign was definitely the right choice for me as opposed to non-removable braces. I can conduct meetings without my braces being a distraction. Also, Invisalign doesn’t cut or scrap lips, gum and inside of your cheeks as wire braces tend to do.
This entire journey has been with almost NO discomfort. Yes, in the beginning, there were times when I experienced a good amount of tightness. This was typically on the first day I changed out to a new tray. However, the next day, all was fine again. The tightness would decrease and I was totally fine! No complaints from me. I am thoroughly pleased with the results I have today. Looking forward to continuing life with my new beautiful smile!

Thinking about getting Invisalign? Drop me line. I would be glad to answer any questions you may have.
You can also get answers on Invisalign by using the “Ask The Expert” feature on the Charlotte Dentistry website. Click here.

Men's healthWe’ve discussed women’s special dental health requirements, and while men don’t have the same hormone-based issues as women, they do need to know some important things about their dental health.

The first is simple: Most men need to go to their dentists more often.

Men are much more likely to neglect their teeth and gums than women, often avoiding going to the dentist for years, and ONLY going when they have a problem they can’t attempt to solve themselves. On average most men will lost 5.4 teeth by the time they’re 72. If they’re smokers, the average is 12 teeth.

And it’s not just teeth to be concerned about. Inflammation of the gums from tartar and plaque can lead to gingivitis and other periodontal health issues. Even more serious is the evidence that suggests that oral inflammation may even be a contributor to heart disease.

So, if you’re a male and you’re coming to the realization that maybe you should take better care of your teeth, here’s what you should do:

  1. Schedule a checkup, even if you haven’t gone to the dentist in years. Your dentist knows the statistics and probably won’t give you a lecture. He or she will just be glad to see you.
  2. Brush. And floss. Or think about spending a little more time on them.
  3. Don’t wait until that funny feeling in your tooth feels more like a jackhammer that’s on fire. We know you’re tough. We’d just prefer you be tough with teeth.

Call Charlotte Dentistry® today to schedule a checkup, or you can do it online at www.charlottedentistry.com. You can also use the “Ask The Expert” feature on our website to get answers to your questions.

Taquana “Tabby” Sears, a Charlotte Dentistry® patient, has agreed to share her Invisalign® experience with us on a regular basis. For the last several months, she’s given us reports on how she’s doing with Invisalign®, including ups and downs. Below is her latest blog entry.

I hoped on this visit that I would be completely finished with my Invisalign treatment.  But I’m not quite there yet.

I learned that one of my upper teeth—number 11—is being very stubborn. New upper trays are needed to move this tooth into proper alignment. AlignerMy bottom teeth are perfect, so I’m very happy about that.
In the past, to get new trays, the dentist would have to take messy, putty like impressions of my teeth (that sometime make you gag). But time it was different—and really cool!

Charlotte Dentistry has a great new piece of equipment, the iTero Digital Impression machine. It takes 3-D images of my teeth. As the pictures are taken, they appear on a computer screen and even tell the operator if the tooth or area needs to be re-scanned.  It built a 3D model of my teeth right before my eyes!

VERY high-tech.

And the accuracy of the models made from these 3-D images is better than regular impressions. The new trays should arrive in 4 weeks. So the Invisalign ride goes on…..

Dr. Armstrong did some smoothing and shaping of a few teeth and also provided bleaching solution and instructions on how to use it. Now I will have a BRIGHT white, straight smile!

The Charlotte Dentistry team and Dr. Armstrong have made my Invisalign journey a wonderful experience. I’m so pleased with the result so far. I can hardly wait to see the finished product – MY beautiful smile!

I’m always glad to share my experience so if you’re considering orthodontics, drop me a line!

Tabby SearsTaquana “Tabby” Sears, a Charlotte Dentistry® patient, has agreed to share her Invisalign® experience with us on a regular basis. For the last several months, she’s given us reports on how she’s doing with Invisalign®, including ups and downs. Below is her latest blog entry.

I am pleased to say I picked up my last 3 trays during my last dental visit.  So, my 18-month Invisalign® ride is coming into the home stretch. It looks like I have just about 6 weeks left!

This has been an incredible ride! It has been a joy seeing my smile change with each set of trays. I’m so pleased when I look in the mirror at how straight my smile has become.

Through this journey, I’ve learned some valuable things about my teeth and myself.  I’ve learned to be disciplined in my choices.  No matter how much I wanted to remove my trays during the day, remembering they’re not working if they’re not in my mouth, made me more willing to keep them in my mouth as much as possible!  AND the results show that it does work.

I’ve learned to make healthier, smarter choices about the foods I eat.  I hardly ever snack on “junk food” during the day. The sugary beverages are gone. Did you realize that drinking a soft drink was the equivalent of giving your teeth a sugar bath?!? The Invisalign® trays fit snugly so it’s very important to stay away from sugary snacks and drinks. No one wants cavities!

As I move thru these last 3 trays, I feel really good about my smile and what Invisalign® and Charlotte Dentistry® has accomplished for me. Remember, follow the instructions and you can’t go wrong!

Got questions, drop me a line and I’ll respond promptly. Or Ask The Expert HERE

Field Hockey We take it for granted that male athletes should use mouth guards for many sports, but the same is true for female athletics. The growth in sports for girls has been tremendous, and while many programs require mouth protection, some do not. And it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Contact sports such as Basketball, Soccer or Field Hockey certainly dictate the use of mouth guards, but others, such as Volleyball and Softball also have significant risk for mouth injuries. Even Cheerleading, because it has shifted in emphasis toward gymnastics and tumbling, puts athletes into situations where mouth injuries can occur.

Mouth guards help defend against teeth being knocked together, and/or being displaced, moved out of alignment or broken. With a mouth guard, the blow is cushioned and the force is distributed more evenly, so not just one tooth bears the full brunt of the force.

Mouth guards also defend against soft tissue wounds to lips, tongues, and cheeks. They can help protect against jaw fractures or splinters, and may even help defend against concussions.

If you have a daughter involved in athletics (or if you’re a female participating in sports yourself) it’s a good idea to get a good mouth guard. You may never need it. But should you need it even just one time, chances are good it will more than pay for itself by preventing costly damage and pain.

Just click HERE for a great resource for custom athletic mouth guards.

Would you like to know more? Here is what the ADA has to say about Mouth Guards Or you can use our “Ask The Expert” website feature.

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