Congratulations to Mary vanHarn

Posted in Uncategorized   Written by Mark Freeman, DDS On March 28th, 2013
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Congratulations to one of our lab techs, Mary vanHarn.  Many of you may remember Mary.  For some time, she worked up at our front desk in the afternoon while she was attempting to get her lab off the ground.  Now her Dental Lab, James River Crown & Bridge has hit the big time.  In the March 2013 issue of Richmond Magazine, Mary’s lab was written up for not only making beautiful teeth, but for the artful Dental Tattoos she has been painting within the porcelain glaze.  Years ago, Mary started doing these little designs for some of our office staff including flowers, hearts, and lady bugs.  Dr. Freeman’s Mother even requested a cute little flower on her molar crown so she could have the proud distinction of having gotten a tattoo (although not the conventional type).  Pick up Richmond Magazine and check out Mary’s work on page 79.  Chances are, if you crown was done by our office in the last 10 years, Mary might have been your porcelain artist.

From Richmond Magazine:

For dental ceramist Mary vanHarn, your teeth are tiny blank canvasses waiting for her artistic touch.  “I’ve helped a lot of people improve their smiles,” she says of the custom paintings she applies to crowns and bridges for $15 to $30.  The owner of James River Crown and Bridge uses a colored glaze to paint butterflies, footballs, flowers and more on the dental work that she makes in her Henrico dental laboratory.

 

Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

Goochland Man Working to Achieve More Independence

Posted in Patient Stories   Written by Mark Freeman, DDS On March 4th, 2013
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Harry East wants to be able to get around better.  So he can find a job.  East, 36 a double amputee who only has the use of his left arm (he’s naturally right-handed), is still dealing with the aftermath of a nightmarish sequence of events that began almost 10 years ago, when what began as a flu-like series of symptoms landed him in the hospital fighting for his life against MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus).  A stroke and a case of endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart) added insult to injury for the young man, who was on intensive care and spent two months in MCV.

But he left the hospital determined to rehabilitate himself.  He spent seven weeks in 2012 at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center in Fishersville and now volunteers at the Goochland Administration Building every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, where he mans the information desk at the building entrance from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  “I direct traffic,” said East, who goes by his initials H.F., helping visitors find the right office when they come in.  He also uses his computer skills to assist several departments with spreadsheets and other tasks.

Enrolled at J. Sargeant Reynolds in architectural and industrial design, East is looking for paying work, he said.  “Right nos I’m almost kind of bored,” he said during and interview last week at the administration building.  But he feels okay and has adapted to his disabilities.  “I can do pretty much anything with my left hand,” he said.  And that’s why he hopes to be able to take a special driving course through Brant’s Driving School, the organization that brought a special Honda van to Woodrow Wilson last March.  East said he drove it for two hours.

Having such a van to use and knowing how to drive it would make all the difference in his job search, he said.  but money is an obstacle.  The driving course would cost about $8,000 and the special van, equipped with a joy stick and other devices so he could drive it, could run to more than $100,000.  “We’re trying to see if DRS (the Department of Rehabilitative Services) will pay for the driving school,” said East but says the going has been slow working with the agency.

Occasionally he gets “down in the dumps,” he says when he thinks his goal of being able to travel on his own may not happen.  But meanwhile the Sisters of Ruth women’s group at Forest Grove Christian Church, where East and his family are members, have raised about $9,000.  They’ve got a long way to go but are planning fund raising activities in the near future to help East achieve his goal of independence.  for more information, contact Sisters of Ruth treasurer Bernice Perkins at 804-556-3207 or write her at 4062 Broad Street Road, Gum Spring, VA 23065.

 

Originally Printed in the Goochland Gazette on February 7, 2013.

 

 

Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

 

Prevent Decay With Dental Sealants

Posted in Uncategorized   Written by Mark Freeman, DDS On March 1st, 2013
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In addition to good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, there are other ways to prevent tooth decay.  Dental sealants can help protect your children’s teeth by sealing them off from decay causing bacteria.  Made of a liquid plastic, dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth to protect tooth enamel from decay causing bacteria and acids.  These sealants fit perfectly into the depressions and grooves (pits and fissures) of teeth, protecting them from 80% of all tooth decay.

While brushing and flossing help to remove food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of teeth, toothbrush bristles often cannot reach into teeth’s depressions and grooves.  However, sealants can protect these areas and prevent food and bacteria from building up.  The risk of decay decreases significantly after sealant are applied, and as long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay.  Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last 2 to 7 years before a reapplication is needed.  During your child’s regular dental visits, Dr. Freeman or Dr. Scott will check the condition of sealants and reapply them when necessary.

Decay can begin early in life, so children should receive sealants on permanent molars as soon as they erupt, which is around age 6 for the first molars and age 12 for second molars.  Sealants can protect adult teeth too!  Ask Dr. Freeman and Dr. Scott whether sealants would be beneficial for you teeth.  Dental Insurance usually will pay for sealants on children and teenager’s permanent molars.  If sealant is suggested for other teeth, our front desk can tell you whether or not the cost will be covered, but in most cases, the out of pocket cost of a sealant is less expensive than the co-payment incurred when having a cavity repaired.  Be sure to check with your Dental Insurance Company about your spicific plan, as coverage may vary.

Who Makes You Smile?

Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates

3290 Church Road

Henrico, VA    23233

804.270.3080

 

Great Job Nick Ford !

Posted in Patient Stories   Written by Mark Freeman, DDS On January 23rd, 2013
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Congratulations to Nicholas Ford, a wonderful young man from Atlee High School in Hanover County.  Nick recently completed his Orthodontic case at the offices of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates.  He recently had his braces removed just in time for the Holiday Season.  Nick’s case was a little different than a lot of orthodontic cases.  Nick came to us with spacing between his adult teeth:  however, his bite was very tight, and his anterior teeth were touching tip-to-tip.  The goal was to close his spaces while keeping his anterior teeth in a Class I position.

For this, we needed to begin Nick’s case on the lower arch.  It was necessary to start closing the space on the lower arch first with elastics and to keep this phase of treatment twelve weeks ahead of the upper arch.  By doing this, we would make sure that the lower arch would always be within the upper arch: and therefore, maintain the correct bite.

Nick was a great patient!   He always had the best oral hygiene and during his entire treatment he never lost a bracket or bent a wire.  He was very proud to be part of what was going on, and his cooperation helped us complete his case in 1 year and 2 months.  Nick also had no cavities when we removed his brackets!    Nick is now in his retainer system, wearing the retainers full time for the next 6 months.  Spacing cases have a tendancy to re-open if not retained properly, and Nick understands that it is up to him to wear his retainers everyday.

Great job Nick!  Everyone here at the offices of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates always enjoyed your monthly visits, and we will miss seeing your smile so often.  Keep brushing and keep up with your retainers!

 

 
Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

 

Where Did Polly Go?

Posted in Fun at the Office, Uncategorized   Written by Mark Freeman, DDS On December 19th, 2012
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Next time you visit the offices of Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates, you may notice that something is missing.  “Polly“, the blue and yellow parrot that hung in the corner of our operatories for the last 12 years, has flown the coop.  Polly has been a long loved addition to our office and has been in many rooms over the years.  Recently, it has been in the corner of Room 2 — watching over Dr. Scott and Tori.

Polly belonged to my Grandma, Mary Freeman, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It hung over her kitchen sink ever since I can remember, and in the early days, the parrot had a red feather in its beak.   As the story goes, my Grandpa George sent the bird to her from the Pacific when he was in the Navy.  I understand this was a very popular souvenir to send back to your loved ones.  Grandpa George was a real sailor, with a tatoo of a hula girl and everything.  Grandma kept Polly in her kitchen until she passed in the year 2000.

After loosing Grandma, my family and I headed up to Pennsylvania for the funeral.  My Uncle, who was in charge of her estate, asked if there was anything I wanted from Grandma’s house.  My wife Christie and I thought about it, and told him that it may have seemed silly but the only thing I wished for was “Polly” the parrot out of the kitchen.  My daughter Olivia, who was 12 years old at the time, came up with the idea to hang the parrot in our bird room at our office.  She said it would be like Grandma was looking down on me working all the time.  After the funeral, Polly came to Virginia and has been here ever since.

Earlier this year, I attended a Continuing Education Course in California.  While out there, I was able to meet up with my youngest cousin, George Flynn.  He has lived and worked in the Hollywood area for 10 years now, and I had not seen him since Grandma’s Funeral.  It was great catching up with him.  While we were reminising, George asked me if I still had the parrot.  I told him I did.  Then he told me that he too had asked our Uncle for “Polly”.  I had never known this.

This Christmas, my family and I took Polly down from her perch and mailed her out to sunny California.  She is now enjoying the warm weather and looking down over my Cousin George.  We will miss Polly in our office, but I have had her for 12 years, and I thought it was only right to let her go to a new home.  Take care of her George, and I’ll see both of you next time I’m out that way.

 

Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

Your Baby’s Oral Health

Posted in Dental News   Written by Mark Freeman, DDS On November 14th, 2012
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It is never too early to start taking care of your child’s teeth.  In fact, proper oral care should start well before your baby’s first tooth erupts by cleaning  your baby’s gums.  Twice a day, gently wipe your baby’s gums with a wet, clean terry cloth.  By wiping your child’s gums, you will create a clean oral atmosphere and help to get your child adjust to someone looking in their mouth.   When can you expect to see that first tooth?  The average age is 6 months, but some infants do not get their first tooth until they are 14 or 15 months old.  Do not panic if your child is a late bloomer.  On rare occasions, infants may be born with an erupting tooth.

Try  to say “no” to bottles in bed.  Never put your baby to sleep with a bottle or sippy cup filled with milk, formula or fruit juice.  If a baby goes to sleep sucking on these drinks, the fluid will coat and sit on the teeth the entire sleeping period.  The sugar in these beverages will promote cavities in your baby’s teeth just like they do in adult teeth.  Extreme cases have been termed “baby bottle tooth decay.”   Instead, let your child finish his or her bottle before bedtime.  If you must give your baby a bottle when going to sleep, fill the bottle with water instead.

Be sure your baby drinks fluoridated water.  By the time your baby is 6 months old, he or she will require some ingestible  fluoride for healthy teeth.  Ingestible fluoride goes into the developing baby and adult teeth to create a stronger, tighter bond between the enamel tubules.  Most babies can get all of the fluoride they need from the water they drink.  Keep in mind that bottled water usually does not have any fluoride, and well water may not contain enough of the element.  In these cases, fluoride drops may be required.  If you have questions about fluoride, talk to your pediatrician or dentist about your child’s needs.

Brush your child’s newly erupted teeth.  Once the first teeth come in, you can clean them using a soft, flexible child’s toothbrush and water.  Continue to clean your baby’s entire mouth, not just the teeth.  Gently brush his or her first teeth with a very small  amount of fluoridated toothpaste.  Just swipe the tip of the brush with paste so the child does not swallow too much of the foam.   Switch to a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste once your child is age 2-3 and can spit the paste out better.

Take your child to the Dentist.  Pediodontist are dentist who specialize in children with unusual or major dental issues.  In most cases, your family Dentist should be able to take care of your child’s oral needs.   Your dentist will examine your child’s mouth and advise you on any concerns you have, such as thumb sucking.  If you are having trouble brushing your child’s teeth, your dentist can show you a few methods to ensure you are doing a thorough job.  Regular exams starting at age 3 – 4 are essential to your child’s oral health so be sure to keep regular appointments with your family dentist.

 

Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

 

And The Emmy Goes To . . .

Posted in Patient Stories   Written by Mark Freeman, DDS On October 31st, 2012
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Congratulations to a great patient of ours, Geoff Weidele.  Mr. Weidele recently won an Emmy from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Mr. Weidele is part of Henrico County’s HCTV-17 where he produced and directed the 29 minute feature called “Airwaves of Yesteryear:  Early Television in Central Virginia”.  His Emmy was in the category of Arts & Entertainment Program or Special.

The winners were announced at The 54th Emmy Awards held in Washington D.C.   This was the fourth Emmy won by Henrico County’s Public Relations & Media Services, and the first Emmy for Mr. Weidele.  His program was competing against other nationally recognized features from Maryland and the D.C. area.  Mr. Weidele recently told our Hygienist Melanie and Dr. Freeman about the evening.  “Even as I was sitting there, and they were calling out the names . . . I never expected to win.”

Mr. Weidele graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Communications.  He has worked for over 25 years in television production and joined the Henrico County TV team in 2005.  Before this, he was a producer for Henrico School’s channel 99.  He has worked in local television and video production around the Metro Richmond area and Northern Virginia for some time now, and has won several national awards for other productions.  He really enjoys working in the television / video field.  Everyone here at Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates is very proud to have such a talented man as a patient.  Way to go Geoff!

His program is available online at http://www.co.henrico.va.us/pr/channel-17/online-programs.html

 

Way To Go . . . Madalyn Saunders !

Posted in Patient Stories   Written by Mark Freeman, DDS On October 11th, 2012
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Congratulations to one of the nicest young ladies you will ever meet, Miss Madalyn Saunders.  Madalyn recently completed her orthodontic treatment at our office in August, 2012 — just in time to have her braces off for the start of the school season.  Madalyn has been a patient at our office since she was a very young girl, and at her Mothers’ request, we began her orthodontic treatment in June of 2011.  Due to Madalyn’s hard work and cooperation we were able to finish her case in 1 year and 2 months!

Madalyn’s success hinged on her and her family aiding us all the way through to the last day of her case.  We often tell our orthodontic patients that treatment is like a Triangle — it takes three sides to get great results.  First, our office has the knowledge and talent to complete the work needed to be done.  Second, the parents are responsible for the finances and, more importantly, getting the patient to their appointments.  Last, but not least, the young patient is responsible for their oral hygiene and watching what they eat so as not to break off any brackets.  In this case, everyone did their part, resulting in a beautiful, wide smile.  Madalyn had a great support team of family and close friends who helped to get her to appointments, and she was very diligent on wearing her appliances and keeping her teeth clean.  Through the entire treatment, Madalyn did not break off a single bracket!

Madalyn’s case started with moderate crowding complicated by a deep bite.  In order to align her teeth in a nicer arch form, 5-6 mm of space was needed in the upper and lower arch.  In Madalyn’s case, her arches were wide enough in the posterior but narrow in the front, so an appliance known as a Fan Appliance was used to widen the anterior portion of the arch.  This is what gave her the wide, movie star smile in the end.  While we were expanding her arches, micro brackets and bio-efficient wire were used to rotate the teeth into the proper positions on the new arch form.

A deep bite is when the upper front teeth covers more that 10% of the lower front teeth when the patient is biting down.  In some cases, patients have 100% coverage and cannot see the lower teeth at all.  As one gets older, this can cause excessive wear on the lower anterior teeth and the lingual (backs) of the upper front teeth.  As adults, patients with deep bites tend to need large restorations on the lower front teeth  like crowns and root canals.  At the start of Madalyn’s case, she had 80% coverage.  A small acrylic block called a Rick-A-Nator was placed behind her upper front teeth to open her bite to the proper height.  Over the course of treatment, the patient’s molars and premolars reach out for contact and erupt into a higher position creating a new posterior bite.  Once the natural dentition is holding the bite in a more proper position, the acrylic appliance is removed.

In the end, Madalyn’s case was a great success.  Her parents and I were very happy with the results, but I think Madalyn was the most excited.  Madalyn understands that she needs to wear her purple retainers every day for the next 6 months to keep her teeth in position.  We will miss seeing this wonderful young lady every 6 weeks for her ortho appointments, but will look forward to her regular cleanings to catch up on what people think about her beautiful smile.

 

Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico, VA  23233
804-270-3080

Everyone Needs Their Spit !

Posted in Medical Info   Written by Mark Freeman, DDS On October 10th, 2012
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Your saliva is one of the most important fluids in your body.  You many not know this, but people who suffer from Xerostomia (dry mouth) understand its importance.  Dry mouth is when the saliva glands reduce or stop in the production of spit.  This can occur for several reasons but the most common reason a person experiences dry mouth is due to a side-effect of medications they are taking.  Xerostomia can also occur as one gets older and is more prevalent in elderly patients.  Without a good saliva flow, these patients suffer from burning tongue, higher decay rates, and the aggravation of their lips and cheeks keep sticking to their teeth!  Your saliva protects you from a variety of issue such as these because it acts as a natural lubricant.

Saliva also protects the teeth by helping keep your decay rate low.   Through an antimicrobial functions, spit mechanically clears bacteria from the mouth.  This is why 4 out of 5 dentist recommend sugar free gum to their patients after meals.  By chewing sugar free gum, you help to remove small food particles from the surface of the tooth and stimulate high salivary flow to wash away excessive bacterial growth.

Saliva is the primary defense system against the bacteria and acids associated with dental caries.  Saliva provides the balance between demineralization and remineralization of the enamel surface. Your saliva is a “base” on the pH scale.  When bacteria sits on the enamel and absorbs simple sugars, it creates an acidic atmosphere which causes tooth decay.  Saliva helps to buffer these acids, reducing the pH levels in the mouth and thus reducing decay.   The most important functions of saliva are flushing and neutralizing.  The higher the salivary flow rate, the better the bacterial and acid clearance from the mouth.  Conversely, those with reduced saliva often have a high cavity rate.  This is especially true among the elderly with Xerostomia.  Hormones, changes in the body and general health also influence the production of saliva.

In summary, saliva helps us by:

  • Maintaining the pH level in the mouth as base
  • Keeping an active flow rate to wash the mouth.
  • Creates a layer on the tooth which interferes with the adherence of bacteria.
  • Lubricates Teeth and inter-oral tissue
  • Betters digestion

 

Who Makes You Smile?
Dr. Mark Freeman & Associates
3290 Church Road
Henrico,  VA   23233
804.270.3080

 

 

How Are You Sleeping?

Posted in Medical Info   Written by Mark Freeman, DDS On October 4th, 2012
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How are you sleeping at Night?  Do you wake up drained as if you have had no rest at all?  Do others complain about your snoring or “snorting” for air during the night?  If so, you may be one of the many people who suffer from Sleep Apnea.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a periodic disruption in breathing while asleep.  This disruption is breathing is due to the relaxation of musculature in the neck and throat region which collapses, cutting off the airway.  This disruption in breathing causes oxygen shortages to all parts of the body.  The cumulative lack of adequate oxygen as we get older causes blood vessels to narrow.  Eventually, the narrowing blood vessels in the brain can obstruct blood flow resulting in a Stroke.

A National Institute of Health study in April of 2010 concluded that Sleep Apnea increases the risk of stroke in middle-aged and older men and women.   The study showed no gender preference, but it found that the increased risk of stroke in men appears starts with mild sleep apnea and rises significantly with severity of the disease.  Notable in this report was that the increased risk was independent of other stroke risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, race, smoking, and Type II diabetes.   Most recent research also links Sleep Apnea to silent or mini-strokes in which there is death of some brain tissue without apparent symptoms.  Even those men and women with very mild sleep apnea were linked to having silent stokes.  The National Stroke Association reports that nearly two of every three stroke survivors have some type of sleep-disordered breathing, particularly Sleep Apnea.  Sleep Apnea is a growing epidemic in our country and it is public awareness that is our greatest defense.

While all of the research supports the debilitating nature of sleep apnea on brain health, the key point is the pressing need for qualified medical professionals to increase their efforts in screening and referring individuals to sleep labs for testing.  It is estimated that only 10% of individuals with Obstructive Sleep Apnea have actually been diagnosed, and only one of every four of those are being successfully treated.  Sleep professionals must collaborate and be certain that diagnosed individuals know their treatment options and follow through with the option that they can adhere to in order to manage their disease.  Current treatment options are CPAP (air pressure face mask while sleeping), oral sleep appliances worn over the teeth that reposition the jaw, or airway surgeries.  All of these treatment options are to enable adequate nighttime breathing.

At our office, both Dr. Freeman and Dr. Scott can treat patients for snoring and/or sleep apnea.  Dr. Freeman, himself, suffers from Sleep Apnea and uses a CPAP mask at home and an oral appliance when traveling.   After discussing the problem with the the patient and collecting any data available from a sleep study, we can go over the different appliances possible for helping the patient’s condition.  After deciding on the proper appliance, impressions are taken and sent to a special lab to fabricate the Sleep Apnea device.    It is important to remember that a CPAP mask and/or an intra-oral appliance does not cure sleep apnea.  It simply helps to modify the patient’s breathing during the night to lessen the negative effects Obstructive Sleep Apnea has on the body.  By using either air pressure with a CPAP or repositioning the jaw musculature with an oral appliance, air flows more freely to the lungs allowing a steady flow of oxygen to the vital organs of the body helping to lessen the event of a stroke in our patients.

For more information on Sleep Apnea and Snoring appliances see the occlusal guard section of our web page    https://www.olddominionfamilydental.com/occlusalguards.php   

 

 



 

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