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   Simon W Rosenberg, DMD

Prosthodontics and Cosmetic Dentistry
The Center for High Tech Dentistry
"Improving Smiles One Patient at a Time
Using High Tech with a Gentle Touch

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February 19th 2007 Newsletter

President's Day Edition 2007

Thank You, Lourdes, and Good Luck in Your New Job

LourdesOur 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 searching.

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.

George Washington's Teeth

On President's Day, Think of George Washington and His Rotted Teeth

In an editorial about dentists fighting to retain the right to use conscious sedation with drugs such as valium and Nitrous Oxide inhalation DEAN ROTBART writes:

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 intact tooth.

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 Chief.

In a diary entry dated January 18, 1790, the President noted: “Still indisposed with an aching tooth and swelled and inflamed gum.”

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 ivory.

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 at http://www.dentalmuseum.org/gw/03gallry.htm 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 http://www.dentalmuseum.org/gw/01teeth.htm >

Other links about George's Teeth and dentures include:

http://www.si.umich.edu/spies/stories-networks-4.html About a letter to Dr Baker that fell into the hands of a spy in 1781

http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/g01.htm About all of his medical problems, including his teeth.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4470861 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 subject, 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 (Author), Madeleine Comora (Author), Brock Cole (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.

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