February 19th 2007
Lourdes, and Good Luck in Your New
Our Front Desk Receptionist, Lourdes,
has taken a position in a dental office "10 minutes from
her home and 5 minutes from her daughters day care
center." When telling me about taking a new position at a
dental office in New Jersey, she added that:
"Unfortunately, my daughter has grown up fast (she's 3
years old) and needs her mommy more." As some of you know,
Lourdes lives in New Jersey and it has been increasingly
difficult for her to commute in with the long delays at
the George Washington Bridge. (Hence the tie-in to
President's Day, coincidentally.)
She will continue to staff the front desk on Saturday's (when
traffic is less), but will not be in during the week. We wish
her Good Health and Success in Her New Job.
We have hired a new person at the front desk. Her name is Dina,
and we hope to provide the highest level of service possible,
as the training period progresses. Please be understanding with
Dina as she learns all of the things needs for the tremendous
task she has undertaken.
You may not have thought about it, but the Dental Receptionist
has to be "all things to all people." She has to answer the
phones, book and confirm appointments, enter and update patient
info into the computer, enter services and deal with all
aspects of insurance claims. She has to be diplomatic and
calming to anxious patients, call the dental labs and vendors
to coordinate the flow of services and products, handle
billing, mailing, schedules of staff as well as patients. It's
a tough job and we think we have chosen well after weeks of
Dina has worked for several years in the dental field and has
experience as both a receptionist and dental assistant. She has
been in the office for several hours last week and starts full
time tommorrow, President's Day, She learns very quickly and
hopefully, should get up to speed on all of the aspects of the
receptionist position in a short period of time.
On President's Day, Think of George Washington and His Rotted
In an editorial about dentists fighting to retain the right to
use conscious sedation with drugs such as valium and Nitrous
In 1754, George Washington lost his first permanent tooth. He
was 22 years old. By the time Washington was inaugurated as our
nation’s first president in 1789, he took office with a sole
Washington hated dentists. He went through nine different
practitioners, each of whom yanked teeth from his mouth.
Crossing the Delaware , by comparison to tolerating oral pain,
was a luxury cruise for our first Commander in
In a diary entry dated January 18, 1790, the President noted:
“Still indisposed with an aching tooth and swelled and inflamed
Oral pain would haunt Washington all his adult life and impact
his Presidential productivity. Even after Washington had lost
all of his teeth, he was vexed by the pain caused by
ill-fitting dentures, which in his case were made of hippo
In an effort to protect his cheeks from irritation, Washington
stuffed cotton in his mouth, thus giving him the ‘puffy’ visage
we all know so well.
Dentistry has come a long way since the time of George
Washington. Or has it?
Many millions of Americans still avoid the dentist out of fear
and anticipated discomfort. These individuals all suffer
unnecessary pain and most of them do lose at least some of
their teeth or wait until they have no choice but to have their
teeth yanked by obliging oral surgeons.
Had Washington lived in our generation, he no doubt could have
saved his teeth – painlessly and without anxiety.
There are many stories surrounding George Washington and not
all of them are true. Sometimes our heroes in history become
larger than life and the stories about them become exaggerated.
These stories are called legends. One of the legends of George
Washington says that our first President wore wooden teeth.
Like most legends, this story is not true.
You can see a set of 5 portraits of George Washington and how
his face changed over the years due to his loss of teeth
and read about his dental problems at the Dental Museum at the
University of Maryland website
"George Washington had many illnesses during his life. He had
smallpox, malaria and the flu among other things. Back in the
1700's, there were no antibiotics such as we have today.
Treatments for illnesses in those days included blood-letting
and remedies such as mercurous chloride, which is known to
destroy the teeth.
Washington lost his first tooth when he was 22 years old.
Despite the fact that he used tooth powder daily, over the next
35 years he would lose the rest of his teeth. Toothaches were a
common problem for Washington," <read more at
Other links about George's Teeth and dentures
links to an interview on NPR (national public radio) entilted
"George Washington's Teeth" by Scott Simon, on whose show he
interviewed Jeffrey Schwartz, a forensic anthropologist from
the University of Pittsburgh, [who]is trying to recreate what
George Washington may have looked like when he was in his early
20s, using the dentures he wore later in life. Schwartz says
most representations of Washington are not accurate, especially
the one on the dollar bill.
For as list of books, check out Amazon's search page on the
George Washington's teeth
If you have a young child and want a children's booth on the
subject, you can check it out at the library or order
GEORGE WASHINGTON'S TEETH
by Deborah Chandra
(Illustrator) from Amazon.com
George Washington was the one
Who led our country through war,
But through it all, his teeth and gums
Were exceedingly sore.
His teeth fell out, or they were pulled?
One by painful one.
Could he become our President?
Or should he even run?
In this new book, you'll come to see
The courage that he had
o lead through wars and toothaches
Without looking terribly sad.