Mini dental implants at The DentaLink explained by Dr. Allan Link
What are mini dental implants?
Hello my name is Dr. Allan Link, I am a member and partner of the Dental Link and I am going to talk about mini dental implants today. They are essentially implants that are smaller and less invasive; they can be used in places where larger more invasive implant would need a bone graft or a sinus surgery. That way it makes them less expensive less post-operative pain and much simpler to place and a much shorter procedure.
How reliable are min dental implants?
The Harvard Denta School bulletin or magazine just came out recently this year stating that mini dental implants are an excellent way to replace teeth now in the past they were kind of frowned upon and thought that possibly they were not as good as traditional implants. Consumer report from dentistry is very positive about them, so what does it means to a patient? It means that you come in with a broken tooth I can place a mini dental implant the same day and put a temporary crown on it that day.
What are the benefits of mini dental implants?
The big advantage with mini dental implants is that we can for half, almost half the cost of the other options, which only give you denture teeth and they are screw retained we can give actual crown and bridge – again what does that mean – that means it is a much more beautiful vibrant smile, and they chew much better. The other thing is that we can also make them to snap on, no the patients can’t unsnap them but we can unsnap them, and that makes the cleanings and the hygiene much better. Much better smelling breath, much better repair and a much less costly hygiene visit.
Reducing Fatigue and Finding Efficiency in Your Dentistry
Good afternoon good day everybody, welcome to Dental Voice Season 3 we have a special episode for you today the purpose of dental voice is to give our clinicians and professionals in our industry and opportunity to share their perspectives and their opinions and eve some advice. Today in this special episode we have a doctor who not only has gone through a lot of stuff, but Dr. Andrew Link also approached us over a year ago as to how effective or the impact that Isolite has in his practice so we are going to cover that after we had a chance to get to know dr. Link a bit so hang around and see what goes on there. Good afternoon Dr. Drew how the heck are you? I am doing well Ro and yourself? I am doing well land I appreciate you taking the time especially the end of your day and you are still in the office but looking good (laughs) I don’t know about that but you are welcome! Flattery can get your everywhere! So I would like to jump in and first of all start, if I understand correctly you are part of dental aid in St. Louis Missouri and you recently joined I don’t know what it was 2 3 years ago your dads office if that correct? That is correct it will be 3 years this July. Wow and you forego the rent and instead of going into residency you decide to join directly and start out in your dads practice. Correct – it is going well, it is going really well, my wife is actually a pediatrics resident so we figured one of u should try our hand in the real world so I went straight into working with my dad and it has been great experiment. That is so good, you shared with me that here you are fresh out of UKC and you are ready to go and you said something about getting old or feeling I don’t know what was that all about? At the tender young age of the 20s I have developed a bad back pain which is not a surprise to many of the dentists and the dental team members listening or watching but I never assumed it would happen to me so early on in life, it actually kind of culminated where at one point I could not get out of bed because I had such bad back spasms and that really was an eye opener for me that I needed to take better care of myself and sort of tweak and change the way I work it well the way I do things at work. You know we were always kind of taught about ergonomics and good posture at school but you know we did not really have to take it to heart because apparently fit young strapping future dentist because I will be fine, and then 2 and a half years into practice I am having back pain. Wow when that hit you how did that make you feel? What were you thinking at that point? About your career? I better pick another career! (Laughs) by the way dad – I am going to bag it. Yeah by the way there goes your retirement plan. Oh my goodness so in the experience of going through that – holy cow I am actually feeling compromised what did you do or what are some sort of things that you had to figure out to overcome that and how did you approach it? Well so first and foremost with a lot of physical therapy and really being diligent about taking care of myself properly but I kind of hank the incremental changes were work place related so when I was in dental school I go use to working a certain way. We had form or ore the patient delivery carts when I stared working with my dad we had great equipment but it was just so different from what I had been used to everything is rear delivery so I was twisting a lot more and then you know getting used to having core handed dentistry having a dental assistant which I didn’t have in dental school, and just hand pieces – so many almost everything was different enough all of a sudden it took a toll on my body without me realizing it and I guess it came to a head this past year and I just started scrambling through what changes can I make in the world place so that I am working for the next hopefully couple of decades. You know from just maybe not just politely asking the patient and putting them where I need them for my proper posture to changing hand pieces or practicing with dental assistants, with suction or isolation or with XYZ to where it is incremental things that ended up kind of leading to my back problems, so it was incremental tweaks to ix it so to speak. So it was not perfectly diligent but I had to do my physical therapy and be mindful throughout the day I guess I just was not in the habit of being mindful. How – fast forward a year plus later how do you feel are you enjoying dentistry? Yeah I am enjoying dentistry and I am not purple on the drive home. Well how – (laughs) what brought you from oh my goodness I might have to consider doing something else to I actually like this? (laughs) so I was- ironically a lot of the positive changes happened right at the beginning of Covid – now not a lot of changes happened during Covid but that was the fine line, and I will start and end from there – we had reached out to Zirus maybe Chicago midwinter or maybe Dense miso Rona – yes it was in Vegas Sonora World and I had used Isolite in dental school which was awesome, I was really fortunate to have that because it and the times where I really wish I had an assistant but I didn’t have one just made those procedures possibly and I walked by the booth and I was like hey I loved using this and I was thinking when we were at Sonora World – what are some small teaks that I can make in the work place to be easier for me (laughs) so you aren’t all twisted! Yes credit to my dad he has worked for almost 4 years and has taken great care of himself so he didn’t he didn’t really have the impotence or the desire to necessarily switch things up. This makes senesce if you are a really seasoned and you know I have ben mindful of my role and not just coming in to the practice and saying I want this, this way or I don’t want to be a spoiled kid or anything and I really tried to lead – but follow with an open mind of okay this is why things have worked so well for him over the years so well, and luckily my dad is very open minded and is forever the learner or the student so to speak and he has been willing to listen to me when I had suggestions or wanted to change things and one of those was about the possibility of incorporating Isolite into the practice. For me it was kind of self-serving and you know just so much easier to do dentistry when you have the mouth lid up the suction, you have the paint resting and you have to stop to have them close on the saliva ejector every couple of seconds, and he was willing to try it so we actually kind of struck a chord with Zirus in his study about how the Isolite system impacted our practice and I could not be more grateful and fortunate that I serendipitously walked down that isle at Zorona World because it has made a huge difference from making dentistry less stressful to when I ran over this morning on surgery so then I am half an hour late to my next patient. Sorry dad if you are listening to this! My dental assistant I can tell her hey please go step out and take lunch I have got this I will finish the procedure up by myself and that really adds up because it is a lot nicer for the team where it tied into you know the pandemic was – a lot of times we just did not have any team members with us, it was with my dad’s emergencies and being able to still treat a lot of the emergencies without having an assistant, came in handy like tenfold and to where it is still paying off now and that we don’t necessarily – it frees up personal and that I always nice because I don’t want to be the jerk that makes people work through lunch when they don’t want to work through lunch. so the actual hands on practice of dentistry is a lot less stressful became I don’t know just asking myself is a nice respectable human being and I try and treat my patients the way I would want to be treated, I sincerely do mean that but man it is really annoying when you have to close down 30 times in a procedure around the saliva ejector so. So wait so your dad right up said right out of the gate – yeah let’s do this, for did you have to maybe. So I had to – what really helped prompted that was once we got the notion that we could do the study with Zirus, to measure the effects bascule my dada and I are fairly analytical. He said I am willing to do this but I want to see how beneficial it is, it cannot be just some contraption that you want to do just because you did it in school, so we I guess almost maybe 9 months we recorded all our procedure times, for a period of time without using Isolite before we actually brought the into the practice, and then a period of months thereafter with the slides in both our offices and we recorded all our you know general procedures, fillings crowns, SRP you know some of the other procedures like orthodontics root canals things lie that we were not necessarily tracking but we had a good base line. It was good for me to see as a younger dentist just how long it takes me to do a procedure – which I was very embarrassed to look at initially, but we had that base line as to how long things took and then before incorporating Isolite and then how long things took afterwards. It was really an eye opening experience, as much as it was not fun having an extra thing for our team to do at the end of every procedure I would say it was a great team exercise to say they can we be diligent enough or exercise enough to record procedure times, interview patients as to how the procedure went because sometimes you don’t want to ask them how the procedure went if you don’t hank it went well. But it really gave us kind of a quantitative look at did the Isolite help and thank fully they did and so I kin d of had a told you so moment with my dad so and I apologized for it, knowing the months off the top of my head I can guarantee they could name it if I asked them because I was like yeah this is how long you forced us to keep track of procures. So you think you came to us and you shared the information, so I have a couple of things here and I would like you to speak to them, so this looks, this is a slide that shows all the procedures you did, if you look at it it is interesting to know that this is the breakdown prior to this. Yeah no I am glad Profis are the most done procedures! Well here – look at this I am going to the next slide here and when you do this is interesting, with Isolite and without Isolite, I mean we are looking at a decrease of several minutes more importantly the difference between how long it is taking your dad who has 35 years of experience and you – is it true that with Isolite you are as fast or as efficient as your father is without Isolite? What is that all about? If the data is anything to go off about – I am .5 I guess I am 30 seconds faster on average than my dad when I am using the Isolite when h is without it which I will take I will very much take but then he bowls me out of the lottery once he is using the Isolite. (laughs) well this is interesting this 6 minutes you save on average close to 500 procedures that is equivalent to let’s call it 5 minutes in an 8 hours day – that is 40 minutes of the day which can equal to an increment in a patient per day just 5 per week, 20 per month which can – are you seeing a change in term of the production in your practice? I would say so and maybe I am not always measuring it by extra procedure more so by okay lunches that was not missed by team members. There you go – so that is what you are doing with that extra time? Yeah like my team is getting lunch so they are not mad at me. Look at this, this is interesting crowns represent some of the biggest key procedures in there, again there is some substantial time savings here okay I am blown away here – your father without Isolite vs. with Isolite was almost half as fat – you know what happened there? I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that there is a little recording bias and that I would say we definitely got more consistent with the timer and with the timer once we were a couple of months into the study, so I would like to say with a benefit of the doubt that they were starting the timer too early in the procedure before he was actually in the room but other than that, I would say maybe I was faster than him! Yeah great, to speak more seriously on crowns that is an area where from a clinic standpoint can extra fluid and blood can really be a time killer because you know I like to have a great margin with my crowns and have good fitting crowns with sealed margins, so when you are prepping a tooth there are several philosophies, and sorry if I get way too granular – we can pack it beforehand so that you are not going to nick the gums at al or cause any bleeding or after you have already nicked the gums you can go around stringently and clean things up but anyway the biggest time lost for me and I would hazard a guess that a lot of clinicians have this with crown prep – drying in the fields so that I can make sure the margins is to make sure everything is the way I like it and with the Isolite it is just so breaking easy to spray air and look over at my margins rather than okay – the patient’s lounge is fighting me I just I don’t want to just blast everything my crown prep straight at the paint, I have to have the assistant come in and we have to clean things up to an extent to where then I can pull everything in with the high volume ejector and then check my crown prep it was maybe I am not describing it well, but maybe with the Isolite it is so much easier to dry of the prep while checking my margins and that was the biggest time saver for me – so before I even looked at the survey results I guessed what procedure is pent or did I speed up with the most, and was the so much less stressful and it was crown preps and that is what the data showed too and so I was glad to have been – right on that front because it just felt that way . ok commentary on what the less stress I think you mentioned early on that during the course of the procedure it just gave you the opportunity to systematically do what you needed and not – well yeah when you are not worrying about the little things, and maybe this is just my insecurity as a newer dentist – you are always wondering like am I doing this well enough in the clinical standards that I was trained an you know these thoughts creep into the head because you have so much chatter going on and to bring back the analogy I have the tongue I have the bleeding i have x y z so to just then get that out of the rear view mirror I just focus on the procedure and go yeah this is what I have been practicing on plastic teeth for years it is like cutting out the white noise and realizing yeah I am a good clinician and these procedures are going well so that peace of mind made me feel better abbot my work and kind of gave me the reassurance that I always knew but was not always feeling all the time, this is good dentistry – so and that is how you want to go home and thin you did a good job for your patients. Yeah definitely. You mentioned early on about the Profis – if you look there are 2 charts the amount of time saved on your Profis, and even your SRPS not as may here though but you can see there definitely was – if I remember correctly before your crown that you and, and your dad with the Profis and the SRP procedures this was all of your hygienists as well as more of your team as well as you and your dad – is that correct? Yeah whatever me and my dad was picking up at the time. Yeah and what was the experience with that? Yeah I would say – I would have loved to have had this data in hindsight in 2020 I would have loved to have had or even someone else’s, you know I hope someone else can use this data for their own office to kind of tell their team that hey this is worthwhile to incorporate this because here is the benefit. If we had gotten to see this data before we did the study there would have been no push back at all from the team because it kind of speaks for itself – hey hygiene you know how they always say we are running over we are struggling to get all the records of x y z done during our appointment time? Well if you can use this on average you are saving – our experience is 5minutes and I mean for hygienist that is a lot – you give them an extra 5 minutes they will be happy campers so I really wish we had done alto more SRP in the study because the only reasons there is no more data is became we are human and we were too perfect about entering everything via data entry which I think is a problem for any one doing a study and that is just a procedure where you have gosh continuous suction and elimination that I would just assume SPR would really speed up. Yeah we did – and with regards to the results you know as much overall if you look at the hygiene procedures the amount of time consistently and we are talking close to 500 procedures here was an average of about 6mintues which I am sure there is variance so from your perspective from a productivity if I am looking at it from your practice which eventually it is going to become your practice, what are some of the learning you had out of this and how do you apply it? 9 hope this helps with our productivity gains I mean just I have more time to chat with the paints or (laughs) or you know shot the ball but I would say the biggest efficiencies we gained when hygiene was about using the Isolite they finish up that much more quicker and can spend time on patient education or well patient education whatever form whether it is a health scan or whether I is taking intra oral photos to go over things with the patient – that really is worth its weight in gold beaus there is so much of patient education to go over during a hygiene appointment. On the treatment side I just really keep going back to freeing up clinical bodies. You know that is often times the great limiting step is do not we have the auxiliary team member to do this procedure and with using isolates we don’t need to have that auxiliary person a lot of times and you know it allows more of the same day dentistry which from a patients perspective is great because they already don’t want to come to the dentist you know it is something taken out of their day – now you tell them you benefit from this treatment they are going to want to comeback. So from a benefit for the patient you know that is a huge one, and you know also while speaking for the 2 what is a benefit for a patient – the patients who tolerate the Isolite the majority of them, they consistently say so yeah that is so much easier – so I don’t know it is – I am so glad we were able to do the study because it has just made prating dentistry a lot easier, it has allowed us to do more dentistry and selfishly it has also made posture wise things more comfortable for me – so when you are not worried abbot all the white noise you can say I am slouching over right now sit up straight or focus on your ergonomics I don’t know I have nothing but a great experience with ti and I am glas we are using it. Well first of all I am thrilled that you are noggin dentistry again – happy to see that as a young dentist. I have been burned out for 3 years (laughs) and I very much appreciate e you sharing that information with us the diligence behind it and sharing that study with us, it is absolutely phenomenal and if people had questions to as you or wanted to reach out to you what would be the best way to do that? So the unlucky souls who feel like they want to talk to me more – no I am always happy to reach out to people like networking especially with other dentists. My email is pretty simple – firstname.lastname@example.org also if you want to text or call me – it is 314660 drew – link 739. Oh oky also thank you for watching our guests, if you have any question or would like to get more details on the study on the screen you will see there a dental link the study that they did for us so have at it. If you have questions for Dr. Drew please reach out to him and you can also check out the Dental Link in Missouri and Dr. Drew it has been an apostle pleasure to speak to us, thank you for taking the time out of your day looking forward to seeing you, maybe later – make sure you are not back into the whole ergonomics – you know my neck started hurting when you were talking about it. If I am a hunchback the next time you seem me then obviously this was all a ploy (laughs) but so furthermore thank you so much, thank you those of you who are watching feel free to share, comment if you have any questions and please let us know and reach out to Dr. Andrew Link at the Dental Link than you for your time. It’s been a pleasure and have a wonderful weekend and please say hi to your dada and the rest of the team for me. Thanks Ro you take care. Alright appreciate it – bye!
Dr. Drew Talks about the Practice
I actually and my dad share a pretty – may not say it but we have a healthy case of dental anxiety which is something a lot of patients have. I actually had to have some teeth pulled when I was younger and my dad way the one who did it! And I can pretty confidently say that if I had it done anywhere else I would lave probably lost my mind probably even never got me in the air. Our team does fantastic job of making anyone who steps in the door feel comfortable and confident and okay to get one in the office but 2 in the chair which is big hurdle for a lot of people so I really say the way we elevate peoples anxiety and make them comfortable is why they are here and what sets us apart and going off of that, we provide all aspects of general dentistry in terms of, we want to be at a place where you can bring your family in and we will take care of your 3 years old little daughter or your 94 year old grandfather and they can come in and have all their needs taken care of rather than having to send you to a specialist when we recognize that it is already hard enough to come to the dentists but then it is even harder to hear that you have to go to a specialist because we don’t offer that service that you need so just our scope of dentistry that we provide for patients I think really makes us a convenient and welcoming practice for people that have all sorts of needs, because everyone have all sorts of needs and the change is great.
Dr. Allan on Athletic Mouthguards
A lot of patients don’t realize how important an athletic mouth guard is. 1 – You can look at certain sports and they are rougher in some cases than other cases. Basketball games can be pretty rough in some cases and Wrestling , all kinds of different sports that people don’t necessarily consider needing a mouth guard but should have a mouth guard, and a mouth guard is so important because there are 2 very basic things that it does, it protects the teeth, which for a general dentist it is important but it is important for everybody, but the other thing that people miss is the difference between a store bough mouth guard and one that is fabricated in a dental office, is that it helps to prevent you from damage to the joint which is a terrible surgery – so if I get a blow to my chin and it is bad enough in the right direction, to where it is going to hurt my joint, it can hurt basically the skull brain or it could hurt that joint and joint surgery is like back surgery you are never the same again – it is terrible stuff, it is so missed and it is so important that coaches out there and everyone else it is imprint to have a good mouth guard, a right kind of mouth guard that is correct for that sport.
Dr. Allan on Bruxism and Nightguards
I will get a question a lot of times that I am getting some joint pain, some muscle pain in my face doctor, what do I do about it – grading and clenching can be a function of stress, and it can be a function of sleep apnea – obstructive sleep apnea – so when I am not breathing right at night grinding clenching. When I am under stress I am grinding and clenching, the last thing in the world you want is to have joint surgery and it will lead to joint surgery if you do not pay attention to it and its severity. It will also lead to a lot of dental problems in the teeth. There are 2 basic things out there – one is called an NTI, which is developed by dentists in Canada – they did it, we were on the beta testing for it – it is to help prove that the grinding and clenching and it helps to prevent the headaches that are associated with it, so that is proving that it is FDA approved to help prevent migraines that take away a trigger that leads to a lot of migraine headaches, muscles spasms in the face. The other type of mouth guard is one that you would use specifically for joint problems. To reposition the teeth a bit – and then the other one is a mouth guard for the sleep apnea. Because when I am not breathing and I wake myself up I clench down I am grinding, so that is the type of mouth guard you use for that. When it is like high blood pressure or something in medicine, you have to know what is happening –is it stress related? Is it sleep apnea? Is it a migraine that you have? Any specific mouth guard is fin but those are genuine problems that we can impact somebody a lot than most people realize a general dentist can do.
Dr. Allan on Community Involvement
Our biggest thing is our give back to the smile of veteran. I grew up in a household of a lot of world war 2 veterans, and the impact of the stories that I grew up with I never served and the way that I can at least begin to add to that is we treat our veterans we do that one day a year – we have been doing that or over a decade and we are trying to carry that to a more – even though we do it throughout the year, for people who come who are trying to do that in a more organized way with a local charity who are bringing the patients to us today and every other week.
Dr. Allan on Cosmetic Dentistry
When somebody comes in and they want cosmetic dentistry the biggest question to indo u is just listening to find out what they want because it is – believe me it is in the eye of the bull, you do this for over 30 years and what one person would want is a glamorous smile you know teeth that can shine in the dark, and another person wants something totally differ, so cosmetic starts by listening and then just throwing some things out there – what would you think about this? This result? What would you think about this result and then the technical part? Technical part is easy one you have a person understanding what can be done, and what they want done. Because too many times I will see a person with a what Mike calls a ‘whole smile makeover’ 12 veneers in the front and they are unhappy. And I would say it looks like beautiful dentistry somebody didn’t listen. They see denture even there is cosmetic dentistry there because you are giving the person their entire smile it is entirely underneath your control and they are not happy. It is a good denture, they are not happy because somebody did not listen. So that is where it starts, the technical part is easy. I have taken so much continuing education they don’t teach you that part. That has got ot come from experience because somebody ended up not being happy and you have to make it right – I heard that I just dint listen to that, so that is what cosmetics is – it is learning what the person wants the technical part is easy to do.
Dr. Allan on Crowns and Bridges
When somebody asks me they say oh I need a crown and someone told me I need crown or I need a bridge what is best for that patient? So when we are talking about crown or bridge sometimes we are talking about a smile. We want to give that smile to the appoints that the patients wants for themselves, and I can give that I can give any shape I can give any – I can fill their lips out, I can give them more lips making their smile prettier – for women they want lip fillers. It is not going to last if they don’t have lip support, so the plastic surgeon then makes a ton of money off of a face lift and everything but if you don’t have lip support it doesn’t lat. So crown and bridge can do that – crown and bridge can replace a missing a tooth so that the patient does not have to worry about it so that is something coming un an out, crowns for big fillings help to prevent root canals, they help to prevent teeth form chipping so crowns can replace teeth, a very natural smile. Crowns can protect teeth preventing root canals and further damage crowns can actually change facial profile.
Dr. Allan on Dentures
I grew up with grandparents and I grew up with grandparents in the house so when I became a dentist I ended p doing dentures and a lot of deists, don’t like doing full dentures. It takes a certain amount of patients because dentures are also the person and I can make a denture that if is fully functional but they don’t feel good abbot the way they look because I have complete control unlike any other area of dentistry. I have complete control of their smile, we have a process that we call the Columbia neuter that we do dentures an what makes us different is one we always try the teeth in wax and mouth so they can – we get to check fanatics the way they speak we get to check the way they look. Look is not just the teeth but the way of racial profiling we can change it with wax once it is processed in Acrylic then I have to redo the whole thing. So we always try the teeth in wax we take a functional impression. Most dentists take static impression. One impression and one mound and it is done. We have the completed denture and we put a material in there that acts like a wax so it flows and they either sit or go home for a day or whatever and it molds to where either tongue wants to put the denture, where the cheeks wants to put the edges, where the pressure spot might be – so we prevent pressure sores and then we process it a second time – the other thing is that they come to us with teeth in their mouth, or with an existing denture that they are happy with but say the teeth are worn, but they are happy otherwise we have the greatest system in 20 minutes we can duplicate that with molds the dentures and we are not starting from scratch we are not changing their bite out, which is big because their muscles are used to that. We are not changing necessary the lips or anything. We start with that and they say the just want a little bit more, but if they don’t have anything or the dentist does not duplicate the denture we can go from there what does a little bit more mean? You are shooting in the dark so all those things we develop because I have enjoyed doing dentures, and it is such a benefit to be able to give that because so many people just put up with their denture instead of forgetting that it is part of them.
Dr. Allan on Family Dentistry
When people see the term on the sign family practice family dentistry what does that mean? I think it starts that I came from a loving family – and I hope the family I am raising with the 4 kids is a loving family; you can do family dentistry unless you come from that. I almost became a pedo-dontist because of my love for kids, and family dentistry means that we are for all phases of dentistry. So you bring your family they don’t have to go to that pedo dentist. They don’t have to go to the pedo dentist, they don’t have to go to the orthodontist we are here for your whole family not just to say that there is not a place for specialists because there are certain things that should be done by a specialist, but we can do well over 90 percent of those here. So family dentistry means what is inside the person as well as what we do. So what we do is we treat he whole family – what is inside we come from that, we come from where family means something.
Dr. Allan on General Dentistry
The neatest thing about being a general dentist is that you can do everything there is not like medicine where if I am an intern I can’t go to Cardiology. If I am a dentist I can do what very I like to. If i am dentist and that patient has a tooth ache I don’t have to send them to a root canal specialist it can be done I can get the out of pain. Not just with an emergency procedure but with definite care. General dentistry tome is the best of all worlds because I personally believe you can go crazy going one thing all the time. It is best for the patient became they are not going to multiple offices they are also getting someone who sees the whole picture. If I am only doing one thing, if I am a surgeon and I am only doing the one thing the tendency is to only recommend what I do or something in my field. When you are a general and you go to a general dentist they are recommending what is best for the a patent and they are giving choices because what is best for the patient is what they feel with information is best for themselves. What is best for one person is not necessarily what is best of the other person beset there are so many variables. I don’t really think you get those variables unless you go to a dentist who does a lot of CE who loves what they are doing and can offer lots of choices. Not just a narrow range for choices again that is what they on had 30 something years when we graduated. It is terrible to think that you can go to somebody and it is not necessarily an age thing that would recommend everything that is out there. That makes sense for that patient.
Dr. Allan on Gum Disease
Periodontal disease or gum disease is kind of a silent killer of teeth just like they say high blood pressure is. You don’t necessarily know you have it, the thing about it these days is the key to finding how much it impacts our general health all the way from heart disease to diabetes to now even Alzheimer’s. So it is incredibly implant that the general dentist knows what they are talking about and has different things in their armor that a help. We can now do laser therapy, which mean that it is surgery on the gums, many times without an ethic that does a much better job for the patient, much more comfortable and opens venues not just for arresting the disease but actually curing it. What I mean by that is I had a friend who wen t down to spring field with a really loose tooth. So lose you could push it out. Did the laser therapy on it, he still has it 15 years down the road. Never had to do a root canal on it and the bone grew back we could not grow bone back like this, like with the laser therapy now. Simple things we and place something called a resting which is an antibiotic around the tooth, instead of popping pills it helps take care of the bacteria so that is not seating the patient’s blood stream – not getting the unnecessary medical risks and factors.no anesthetic – boom it lasts for 90 days, they don’t even have to reverb to take a pill so there is a lot of near things between lasers, the Resting – for our nursing home patient, we make tray s that then a care worker can put a peroxide like gel in them or other medicaments put it in the mouth, leave it there for 10 or 15 minutes helps prevent decay and helps the gum disease which in a nursing care facility or even at home – you know from a person who has gum disease this is a pretty easy thing to do, and incredibly beneficial so there are things that keep coming down the pipeline, lasers are at the far front – there is going to be a day within 5 7 years where we take a laser around a tooth that you normally do a deep cleaning, the cloning below the gum line to take the calculus of, you can do that with a laser – it will clean it and rinse it out so again if you are not staying up on that there are so many new fun things that are going to help you clean your teeth, help them do it more comfortably and the alternative of just asking the tooth out won’t have to be an alternative.
Experience the life-changing benefits of dental implants for yourself!
Dental implants are especially important because first I treat a lot of seniors, and you can make as good a denture, the best denture in the world but it is never going to be like having an implant supported denture or getting rid of the denture totally and having what looks li perfectly natural functional teeth. We could have never done that in dentistry before and now we can do it, and you can’t understand unless you have been a dentist as long as I have a known bad regular dentures are. What implants can do for that person, then you bring that to a young patient who just has a tooth knocked out on a little parking lot or wherever they tripped, thy are playing football or whatever they pick a football game, and all of a sudden they are missing a tooth and you don’t want to start down the road on a young adult with other treatments when you can replace that tooth almost as good as what started out, you are not compromising other teeth you are not asking them to do anything special on homecare. They have a functional tooth, and a beautiful looking natural tooth. We could not have done that in dentistry before. The young dentist don’t realize what I realize what an implant does, how much better it is for the patient and the way that they can keep it without any more trouble, it doesn’t decay – we could not do that in the past, so dental implants are something that I have learnt, I went to Sweden right away when I heard about them back in the late 80s and learned it from Brandon mark himself who was one of the only general dentists in St. Louis who could do them, real early on because they did not have a lot of specialists at the time, and because I heard him personally. I have loved him ever since, it is a life changing experience for the patient to do away with something that they are popping out of the mouth and putting in back into a jar or popping out of their mouth when it doesn’t want to pop or they don’t want to pop it out, and they can forget about it, and they can enjoy what they could be doing and smile.
Welcome to the Dental Link
Here at the dental link we want to see anyone and everyone who feels comfortable enough to walk in the door into a dental office. We want to see everyone and meet everyone where they are at, in terms of you know their whole family can come here – we are all about the people. When you come through that door, you will see the same face each time we offer all phases of dentistry so you are no jumping between specialist and the general dentist – we offer a range of services, that you know – can apply to the whole family they are all different stages of life, because as we age our teeth age things change and we want to be a resources that you can come to at all stages of life. I felt comfortable here and I know that I am going to be taken care of, especially my son who goes here as well, and is young only at 5 years old, even he feels comfortable here and is excited to come and see the dentist, I think that speaks a lot to the comfort levels of our family in general and coming back. I have had a lot of dental work done in my life, and to that I have had more than 1 dentist, many dentists too many things! And Dr. Link is first of all one of the nicest people I have ever met me is absolutely wonderful, he comes in the office and all the girls whole staff everyone that is connected to him is just wonderful to be honest. It is never fun coming to the dentist but like for me- when I was getting implants I looked forward to coming to Dr. Link’s office. When i came they treated me like family. The first day was like I have been knowing them for eternity. When I first found them I was petrified of dentists and I was just happening to come across them when I moved into the neighborhood and I walked into the office and they just treated me very nicely, they were very professional land very friendly and I needed to go to a dentist I had not been to one in 6 months, and I was not afraid after my first visit with them, so now I don’t even blink an eye when coming to the dentist so cool okay! And it is just like coming to see you friends they are so nice. Three is no body that I had better to work with on my mouth than Dr. Link he is just – I can never thank him enough for it. If anybody asks me – hey do you know a good dentist? I am like yes I do! We can always try and meet where we are at, and so it is kind of like yoru one stop Dental home we really add value to a person’s life by what we are doing here – what could be more basic than allowing a person to eat with comfort an smile with their confidence.
Dr. Allan on Kids First Dental Visit
I encourage the parents when to always look at the teeth as soon as they come in, because if they see something that they are worried auto – that child is going to have to come in regardless of how he has got, but as far as what is practical somewhere around 1 2 years old is a good idea to start bring that child in to watch mom or dad or brothers and sisters, have like a simple cleaning – watch part of it. Start with coming up with acclimated use to where coming in is not scary so the American dental association always says, right when that tooth comes in, I think it is a process, vs. a boy you better come in right now – so it all depends on what is going on. It depends on what is happening with that child, if it is a child that has downs we are going to want to see that child sooner. If it is a child with special needs then we are going to develop that relationship. It is a bad thing to bring in a child, for the first time when there is a need – it is better that they come in a little bit at a time get acclimated understand, and certainly not hear stories of home (laughs) they are going to worry coming in.
Dr. Allan on Oral Surgery
When a person asks us they call up and say do you do oral surgery, and we say yes – it does not mean we do 100% we probably do 95% oral surgery encompasses, may different things from wisdom teeth to what a lot of people don’t realize, person will come in and they are lounge tied. We have got lasers; I don’t ever want to see that person touched with a scalpel. Oral surgery means having their denture patient that can’t wear that denture, who better to the oral surgery to re-contour things to have that denture finally fit right, make a new one that is just not a repeat of the old one that never worked then the dentist who knows what it is going to take because he makes that denture. To be able to do the oral surgery themselves, so oral surgery encompasses so many different things, but when it is done by the person who does the end result it gets he results for the patients better, beaus they know the nuances fo their denture. They know the nuances of restoring that implant. You can have a useful implant but if it doesn’t lead to a tooth, it is functional and look pretty it is compromised in some way because the placement of that does not work. Who better to do that that the person who is also capable of making it functional and looking good? Because we know what it takes to do that! So oral surgery – 1 have fun doing it, 2 what a benefit for the patient. When you don’t have to go elsewhere, when you can get out of pain right away – when it is being done by somebody who have the end result site and underneath their control.
Dr. Allan on Orthodontics
When people ask them about orthodontics and straightening their teeth – there are 2 big reasons for it! They are both very implant and they are implant to every single person, one is cosmetics and we never discount that because we want people to feel good about their smile. 2 is function and our teeth were designed to function in a certain way, and when they are not aligned for that, things go wrong. I was one of the first classes for Invisalign, the aligners that you can use to straighten teeth without the brackets. Way back when they started letting general doing that. Like it, it has proven ad it works, the other way and this is new for our practice and it is called Fast Braces. Fast Braces I have a little bit more control over they look like traditional braces because they are but with newer technology so they had new bracket designs which allows us to do what is crazy. Some cases even in about 6 months, it works in such a way to where it takes away extraction cases, or not having people in bands and brackets as long as they use to go nowhere near it. They can have clear brackets and now they are even coming up with a new and improved bracket which in some cases, is going to be new and improved for the patient. It is going to make it even faster. They don’t make it faster because they place more pressure. That is the first question I get. They make it fatter because the bracket design is more efficient so when you can offer that to people and Invisalign, if they absolutely don’t want band and brackets you get a slam dunk and who would not want to have from the general dentist who would want to have teeth that function better, that are not breaking, that doesn’t need root canals, and again the last thing you want is joint surgery because of a bad bite or the head aches that go along with that that lead you to joint surgery.
Dr. Allan on Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is one of those new things that people have on their radar or screen right now. And rightfully so sleep apnea can impact your wakefulness during the day so too many care accidents happen became people are drossy. Sleep apnea has you know impact on your general health. It can lead to increase in diabetes, heart disease and strokes and now even Alzheimer’s – they are starting to like that and even gum disease to sleep apnea. It is not good not to breathe. So what is the dental involvement in that? The dental role is because 1 – we are in somebody’s mouth, we see the tonsils, we see the throat more, we see the chipped teeth which are coming from the sleep apnea and we can give the patient an oral appliance if they are more comfortable to wear at night. Too many people are rightfully diagnosed by the medical doctor they are given a CPAP – CPAPs are not nice to have to use, they are the gold standard of care, but if I am not using them because I can wear it because it is not doing me any good, then an oral appliance that is easy to wear will at least do some good, and many times for the mild and moderate cases, it does as much as the gold standard does. It is a no brainer, it is so easy to wear, it is not at all intrusive and not only does it protect my tenth from grinding ad clenching, my teeth don’t move and become crowded as a retainer, it gives me much more restful sleep, and it is not good not to oxygenate or breathe at night, so if you can do something for that – that is a good thing.
Dr. Allan on Teeth Whitening
A lot of people ask about teeth whitening, there are a lot of things availed on the market, that you can get on Amazon and things they work, you just have to be careful about certain things that some of them have – the PH hat is damaging to the tooth structure, so what we can do here is that we have a light, we can hasten the process, we have a system I on like lasers, they tend to dehydrate the tooth more, so they have this chalky almost pale white that then you have to rehydrate and it is not what you thought you had when you were leaving. So nothing takes the place of – we can jump start I here in the office, but nothing takes the place or time in using a tray using gels at home, you can hasten it, you can boost it you can refine it a little bit with our light and our different procedures here in the office, but a tray with a gel is the way to go and the problem with getting that gel on the internet or any other way is that the reason why this is so safe is that it is oxygenated at least and it goes to the tooth and it binds to the things that don’t belong there and those things are what stains the tooth so that gel is released by temperature. You cannot ship anything by FedEx or UPS, and not get a temperature raise. So the product that we use at chair side here is shipped under ice so we know the effort, we know that the gel works, and how it works and that it will work in my office in St. Louise or that office Miami, or a dental office in Toronto the same way because it is shipped that way. Too many people use just over the counter or too may dentists get it shipped to different fashion and you really don’t know what you have.
Dr. Allan on Veneers
When somebody asks about Veneers – one incredible happy that we can do it because when I first graduated you could not do it! The big difference between veneers, crowns and bridges that they are much less invasive, so again we start with what do the sapient want what is most implant about their smile. the second step is that we can now, scan patients instead of impressions, play around with it – scan and then tell the what we can do – so it can be a combination of different procedures, and years are the most conservative that I can change a patient’s smile – give them more lip support I can make them in any shape – any shape that we want and with nothing else, in dentistry can you do it so conservatively. Many many times you will likely prep the teeth with no anesthetic, hardly any prep at all – scan it and what I mean by scan is we are not taking those old school impressions of the mouth but a video picture of someone’s mouth. Scan it, play around the computer make those veneers here ourselves a lot of times, and then if I need to adjust one tooth here and there a little ore then we can numb it out adjust it and then make those last one or 2 here while they wait. Never before, with the Cerec Machine have I ever been able to do it as conservative beware scanning is much more accurate than impressions and I can make them all and still make those teeth that have to have a little bit more touch up work on them, and do it chair side and still have t done when I come back.
Dr. Allan on Why Choose the Dental Link
Here at Dental Link we are all about the people, when you come through that door, you will see the same faces each time, some people have been here for 30 years, you don’t get that in a lot of places, and you don’t get the technology with the caring person behind it. We offer all cases of dentistry so you are not jumping between specialists and the general dentist, and everybody is well trained they care, and they perform their job well.
Dr. Allan Talks about the Practice
The biggest thing about my practice is the people, my team members they care they are very well trained and they execute well, very few dental offices can say that they have team members with them for over 30 years. When you step through that door you know that somebody cares about you, you know that somebody enjoys their work, you can add all the technology in the world, you can add all the procedures in the world, but nothing takes the place of that. When asked about our office philosophy it came about beau I did some mission trips down in El Salvador. Those were really hard on me because I was the only deist there worked in over 100 degrees, pulling teeth all day – and 2/3rd of them were on children and I had to have something to keep me going so I developed some kind of mantra and that was very simple – to do good and to do it well, and to have fun doing it and that actually keep me going and it made me fel good, when I got back and I told the team about my experience they said that sucks, so they are the ones who then put the addition words to it – to do good the way God meant us to, to do work well, the way we were trained to the best of our ability, and to have fun doing it to laugh out loud with our patients while we work and that came about with a lot of trial (laughs) that was tough down in El Salvador, but we try to do it here every morning we start with that and it is written on our wall to remind us!
Dr. Drew on Dental Emergencies
Dental emergencies are a fact of life, we all live crazy busy lives and like anything the unexpected can happen you can be biting down on a T-bone one day which we don’t recommend and you break off a tooth and you need to know how can I get this taken care of because I am in discomfort now. We have a very strong policy that we do our utmost to try and implement every day – that if a patient calls in pain or in discomfort, we will try and see them that day. We are going to try and get you in, find out what the problem is and try to get your to a comfortable stay as best as possible that day – we might not always give you that perfect veneer crown that same day if you are coming in with a tooth ache but we are going to make sure that you are leaving that day with comfort and answers and a next step as to where to go, so that you know the unexpected does not become routine and does not become all-consuming so that you can get back what your day, get back to not thinking about your teeth and not thinking about everything else. That should take priority. We have so many patients that come in excuse they are in pain and discomfort and that leaves them uncomfortable, and then it gets them to the point where now they are confident and relaxed enough to come in and start routinely taking care of their teeth so that you know as great as we are of getting you out of pain and making you comfortable again we can start seeing you on a routine healthy basis, so that we an avid some of the more avoidable emergencies that might happen with our mouth.
Dr. Drew on Fastbraces
Fast braces is a really exciting technology that has really come into full force in the last couple of years, and where the orthodontic team that designed it and not to get too nitty gritty just designed the traditional braces system to where you are moving a root and a tooth together at the same time rather than one at a time and so it is in most cases, cutting things form your treatment time dramatically down so we like to say see what can happen in a 120 days, we have had patients that just had smiles completely revolutionized and just you know in days at that point when you think about it – it is not always the sexiest thing to think about – oh I am in my 40s 50s do I really want braces but the you couple in that – okay well I am wroth an investment in myself do I want the best possible smile? And can I devote you know 120 days a couple of months to doing this and then the question becomes a lot easier and we have plenty of patients that are you know in their 50s that are in braces which you know you would never think and we recognize we don’t want to keep you in brackets any longer than you want to being them and that is why this new technology is so fantastic because we move more quickly and efficiently but also get such a great result and it alo allows us to get the teeth in a healthy state to where they are more easy to be cleaned they are better functional we are not going to wave through our teeth because misaligned teeth are kind of like misaligned tires on your car, if you don’t rotate them or get them aligned you are going to wear them out wrong same with the teeth so we do a lot of fast braces to help with thing like that and then you get the added benefit of a better smile you know brighter smile it is the aesthetic as a bi-product and it sets you up perfectly for any further work you might need for veneers.
Dr. Drew on General and Family Dentistry
General Dentistry and even though the name general is in it, it is so much more than just your check up and cleaning so to speak, you know your tick off the box so it is time to see the dentist and I am just praying the whole time that he or she is in the room, I am praying that he or she says that everything looks good and they will send me on my way. We are really trying to see the whole family from all stages of life, we even see infants for what we call knee lap exams where mom or dad comes in with the care giver and brings you know little Johnny in and we lean him back and check his teeth make sure everything is okay make sure they have not had a bump or fall at home and they have a problem that mom or dad did not realize to you know we are seeing your elderly grandfather and you know taking care of him, when he has had a denture for 20 years and he just absolutely can’t stand it. To me the great thing about the general part of general dentistry is that, we are seeing everyone the entire family from start to finish we are not just seeing you at one flash point in your life, one snap shot so to speak, ad only taking care of one problem, we are here to address you as you age and change, because our mouth and our oral health ages and hangs with us, and we are there along the way to help keep you out of trouble and to make you feel better if you ever do get into trouble.
Dr. Drew on Gum Disease
Gum disease is a really tricky thin when it comes to just being aware of it and how to treat it, go disease is typically not ever going to cause you discomfort which makes it that much more kind of fly under the radar kind of insidious because most of the time you are not aware of it when you come I for either an initial exam or just a routine cleanings, our team and especially our excellent hygienists are always screened for and checks for gum disease we are always looking for and making sure that peoples gums and bones are in the best healthiest state I was liking it to if you are putting down a fence post and you have go cement around your fence post, if you have got bad gum and bone disease you are just wearing away that cement and one day your fence post is going to be so wobbly that it is going to fall out and that inherently is the danger of gum disease is that you risk losing otherwise perfectly good teeth and you risk your smile so that is something we take very seriously and we are always trying to make our patients aware of and try to help them and sometimes it does mean patients are coming in more than every 6 months to stay in the best and healthiest you know state but at the end of the day trying to keep the gums healthy is just as important to make sure that smile is nice and bright, because if you don’t have a good foundation then the smile is built on quick sand.
Dr. Drew on Oral Surgery and Extractions
Oral Surgery you know is not always the first thing we go to when a patient is in discomfort but sometimes just that the fact of life is there are unhealthy teeth that if you want to get comfortable when then best way is to part ways with it, so to speak that even goes from wisdom teeth so in many cases, to save a patients the hassle of having to go to a special oral surgeon or the extra finances, and you know time and effort will help full wisdom teeth for patients, and you know it is definitely an important service we offer for patients, because sometimes a tooth does need to go, in order to get comfortable and healthy again – so my father and I both pride ourselves and our tooth pulling techniques so to speak, while pulling teeth is not the most fun thing for everyone, when circumstances dictate and fact of life says a tooth needs to come out, and we are here to say we are here to make you comfortable and make sure that we are getting that out for you, getting you comfortable again but also in the process doing it in as gently a manner as possible because you could go to 2 people and they can both get the job done but the manner in which they get it done would have some different consequences in terms of your post-operative comfort and how well your remaining bone is taken care of, if someone is ever interested in getting implants done on the road or doing something lie a bridge it is important that we try and in the process of pulling that tooth take care of the bone as best as possible we do our apostle best to make sure that you are comfortable during and you are comfortable after should a tooth ever need to get pulled.
Dr. Drew on Practice Philosophy
Our office philosophy is written on our wall and our reception area is to do good, do it well and have fun doing it. That is something that the team and my father drafted before I came on, and I stand by it a hundred percent, I do have a loose interpretation of how I apply it in my life and that is I always kind of view myself as a patient and to treat others the way I would want to be treated and then I type back to our philosophy in a way- it ties in as you know d good I would want anyone who is treating me to have my best interests in mind and doing good – to do it well, the team my father and I we strive with our utmost to do the best possible dentistry at the top of our clinical skills which is how I would want to be treated if I was a patient and then finally have fun doing it. My dad and I and the whole team I wool say generally are pretty jovial. We have fun doing what we are doing and I know if I am being cared for by someone I want them to be happy and have fun, have fun when they are seeing me – we always joke that you can tell is my dad is in the office because you will hear his laugh and that definitely holds true I don’t aver quite the baritone laugh that he does so it does not pan out I guess to the quite – to the same extent, but do good do well, and have fun doing it – and I think it just generally applies to all aspects live an then I type back to myself and the patient is you know how do I want to be treated and our philosophy fits into that perfectly.
Dr. Drew on Restorative Dentistry
A lot of people come in with missing and damaged teeth and they come in asking the question – you know how can you help me you know how can you help restore my smile to what it was and I am also thinking how can I help you become more healthy here in the process. Dental materials have come a long way in the last couple of decades it used to be the trident through to everyone got silver filings and now with our composite, filings our tooth coloured fillings we are able to you know take out disease take out a cavity and replace it with a natural looking substitute so that in the process our tooth is healthier and it looks you know natural if we have got missing teeth, we can help replace it with something like a partial denture or a complete denture in certain cases, when people come in with absolutely no teeth they are great options for just giving people back the form the function and the beauty of what their smile should be and what they want it to be for what a lot of people face reality of you know maybe I can’t have every single tooth in my mouth, have a veneer and have an implant and the reason our office is so great is that we have so many different services available we can meet people where they are at – we always try and sequence things whether it is to help with time lines wedding coming up or you know to everybody finances are an issue that is just a fact of life, and we like having the versatility and the options while to meet people and treat people who they are so we can give you a partial we can give you your teeth back, often times we can give you a whole arch worth of teeth , and you know if things ever change and if you feel like okay I love what I have but now I want something different, we can also offer that next option, the capabilities we have ish our restorative dentistry in terms of the aesthetics making things look tooth like, making them look real and natural and just the function we can give you back is just remarkable and part of the reason I love this job is that we have so many different ways to help you out.
Dr. Drew on TMJ
TMJ or Temporo mandibular joint disorder is where you have to you know real discomfort or even sometimes not discomfort you notice smoothing is off with your joint when you are eating when you wake up first thing in the morning, and through a couple of different avenues we are able to help patients in a noninvasive manner so we partner with some physical therapists at Washington university school medicine and we will refer patients to them to address some of the overarching postural related issues that might be leading to your jaw being sore when I started the training, with the physical therapy program, I thought why would that have anything to do with my jaw. This is not really making any sense to me and I went through the seminar to talk to the team of physical therapist and you really begin to appreciate so much and just like anything the body is all interrelated so if we can help address some of our daily activities, patients re amazed that it can affect the jaw and it is fantastic option for patients who are non-surgical who are noninvasive. We work on a referral basis with those physical therapists and they do their utmost to see you and give you the tools that you need to improve yourself, so that you don’t have to keep seeing them every couple of months, every few years. You know 2 3 times you are given the skill set to actually help address things in almost like a holistic fashion. In addition to that we also offer oral appliances to help address them for the under arching concerns with the joint, s our special NTI – night appliances help readdress how we are wearing on the joint and try and redistribute pressures that we might be putting on our joint without even realizing it to help take care of that because the TMJ or the jaw is just lie a knee or just like an elbow, it ages as we age and you know at certain times in life if you are not treating it correctly we can help it out s that you are comfortable and confident and not in discomfort and not to the point where you can’t open your mouth as much or you cannot chew, so I think really in combination of our dental appliances, you know the fantastic physical therapists, at Washington Med School were really able to offer more to patients than we were before.
Dr. Drew on What to Expect during an Exam
Really the majority of care a patients receives should be during our cleans and exams. We always hope that we never have to see patients in the treatment chair unless it is something cosmetic and that all comes from really looking after and taking care of patients when they come in for their routine cleanings and dental exams. Those appointments are so important because during that time we are looking for any signs of cavities you know that is what everyone thinks about – but also we are checking it, we are looking at your bite we are making sure that the teeth are wearing in a healthy manner just like if you, you know had to rotate the wheel on your car they will wear unevenly if they are not aligned properly. Same with your teeth so during our exams we are looking at your bite we are looking at the rest of your mouth, we also do oral cancer screenings for patients we are looking at more than just the teeth we are looking at the tongue we are looking at the throat we are looking at the lips, because your entire oral health is what is implant to us, and so it is more than just coming in 2 a year and crossing your fingers behind your back while the hygienist and the dentist is not looking at you, saying please God can they just say everything is perfect and send me on my way because we take very seriously our duty when we are looking and caring for you when you come in those couple of times a year and that is really how we are best able to help keep people comfortable and keep them out of trouble so that is – you never have to worry about your teeth you don’t have that nagging tooth ache in the back of your mind you know you have a healthy smile that is even if it is not a holly wood smile it is something that you are comfortable with and you don’t think about it , because for a lot of people teeth are best when they are – when we don’t notice them. During our exams we are margin sure that we are avoiding any issues that could come up and making sure that we are giving the best possible care.
Dr. Drew on Why You Should Choose the Dental Link
Here at the dental link we want to see anyone and everyone who feel so comfortable enough to walk in through the door to a dental office we don’t care if you are an infant, we don’t care if you are an elderly – we want to see very one and meet everyone where they are at in terms of you know your whole family can come here. We offer to arrange services that you know can apply to the whole family in all different stages of life. Because as we age, teeth age and things change and we want to be a resource that you can come to at all stages in life rather than just I am coming to you to get out of pain but I can’t prove you any other services, because we offer such a wide range of services you never have to feel like you are jumping around. It takes enough time and energy out of the day just to come into the dentist and that says nothing about an anxiety you might have coming in to then hear that I am sorry we have to refer you somewhere else, it is not what I would want if I was a patient and so as a result of that my dad and I strived to our utmost to expand and perfect our clinical skills so that we can offer as much in house for a patient whether it is getting a crown the same day you omen in and you start out the day with it cracked and broken, or you know you just have a tooth ache that has been killing you and you are about to go on vacation and you need something today w can always try and meet you where you are at and so it is kind of like your one stop dental home.
Meet Dr. Allan Link
I genuinely like people and I love working with my hands that I used to do models since I was a kid. I feel that we really add value to a person’s life by what we do here – what would be more basic than allowing a person to eat with comfort and smile with confidence. That is what it is all about and I have friends asking if I want to retire and I ask why? Why would I want to retire when I do what I am doing – probably if you want to punish me and put in to work in a cubicle all day that would be mean? The most rewarding part is being with people, they are – t is incredible to get hat hug at the end of a dental visit, and say that they found a dentist that they could trust and they found a dentist that did not hurt them and be proud of your work too. I genuinely love working with my hands, seeing something that is done well, and patient appreciating it- if you are in St. Louis and you are asking about education you always have to ask about school. I grew up in Normandy and I went to the primary which is a very farm duke school for me because only 29 kids graduated in class. From there I went to Duke university un North Carolina and then I went to Wash U for dental school and became kind of dental junkie on CE. I took si much CE and cosmetic dentistry that they asked me to talk about it at the national convention. I had taken a lot of CE implant dentistry and I had one of the instructors come to our office and we actually treated patents together for a full day. So I am kind of a CE junkie because I like what I am doing, education and CE benefits patients because you stay up on the latest and you can critically judge what is out there trying to be sold to you because not everything is going to be good for the patient as you have to build a knowledge of what is coming out and what you can use so that they can use it to the best of the patient to make it more comfortable to make it more convenient and safer and a better outcome, we can’t do that if you don’t have CE.
Meet Dr. Drew Link
Having a dad as a dentist everyone always assumes that you are going to be a dentist but most normal people don’t grow up thinking I am going to work in someone else’s mouth so I am one of 4 siblings, and I was the only one to go into dentistry and I always had a strong interest in science. Always love taking my science courses, but part of me just absolutely loved working with my hands and kind of like a business or entrepreneur side of things and for me dentistry was the perfect mix of both. I was not one of those things where my father every pressured me because as you rightfully said i have come to realize the best professional in the world If you love it could also be the worst if you don’t it’s just really rearing to be able to – whether it is to improve someone’s confidence get them out of discomfort or pain, you know just make them comfortable often times just to give them someone to listen to in certain cases, all at the same time improving their oral health it is really a rewarding feeling to help someone like that, I am still at the young age where I have been in school longer and have been out of school so it is very much of the forefront of my mind so from St. Louis I went to high school and then from there I did my Bachelors done in a smaller school called Rhodes college in Memphis Tennessee, I then moved to Kansas city where I then went to university of Missouri, Kansas city school of dentistry and that is where I did all my clinical and dental training for 4 years. from there I kin dof had a decision to make as to whether I wanted to pursue a residency after school or go into work, and I viewed coming back to St. Louis and starting work with my dad as the best of both worlds, because through his mentorship and being able to work I have been getting clinical skills that I would not have been getting in a residency while also getting that much needed Didactic and kind of lecturing type of learning on the side. Since I am still in such a school mind set it felt weird for me once I graduated to not be studying or taking seminars or something, so I made a goal to myself that I want to try and get my fellowships at the academy of general dentistry which is a distinction only shared by 6 percent of dentists across the country and requires copious amount of continuous education so I set myself a formal goal of getting it in 3 years. I have already seen it reap the benefits so far the materials we now use, I have graduated and now I am out of school officially but very much does not feel that way. In fact if you ever ran into me a th gym you will see me on my tablet reading articles and taking notes, so if anything I feel like I have been more diligent since graduating. My short time of being out of school I have already seen how it is making big changes and how I implement my dentistry and, my clinical skills.
The Host: Now we are going to talk with a good friend, Dr. Allan Link with the DentaLink at Dentalink.com, and Dr. Link we thank you, Allan, Dr. Link for sponsoring the station and being on the program here it is great to reconnect with you!
Dr. Link: Well thank you very much for inviting me! I appreciate it.
The Host: And you know I was talking with someone the other day Allan, that you know I think it is – we need to have an Angie’s List. We need to have an Angie’s List for conservatives for you know basically folks that are relatively aligned that are not – you know awoke in their politics, and I think that you are unabashed about the fact that you tend to be more conservative and traditional and think a lot of people would like to take their business to, to providers of goods and services that are more that way and so it is good to have you here on the station, I wanted to ask you first of all before we get into some of the ways that you are helping people stay healthy because there is an overall relationship between dental health and overall health, I know that in the obstetric realm for sure, there are other realms but how has Covid impacted your practice and patients accessing services at the DentaLink?
Dr. Link: Oh well the biggest thing just recently was the idea that the Biden Administration dropped the ball on accessing these Covid tests. That was a disaster in December early January where we- where my people could not get testing, so that meant a patient who felt bad canceled that appointment because they did not want to put my team in danger, and a dental office – where we are aerosolizing everything so, what patients don’t realize is that when AIDS was a danger, patients – the danger was to the patients catching it in the dental office. Now with Covid, the danger really is not for the patient catching the Covid in my office, it is for my team catching it because we are the ones breathing in all the aerosolization of everything.
The Host: Mhmm
Dr. Link: So this idea that we didn’t have the Covid tests, we probably lost, at least 5 weeks of hygiene, in the office. Because if a hygienist or their child was sick we were very cautious, we wanted them tested. There was a period where I was paying a special testing center 70 dollars each time for a test. So-
The Host: Holy Cow
Dr. Link: There again all the additional cost and lost revenue impacted us tremendously, and we don’t get paid. It is not like the medical field that, none of our insurance companies allow us to charge a single extra penny for all the PPE – protective equipment that we use
The Host: Mhmm
Dr. Link: And everything else that we use in the office to make people safe.
The Host: Right, wow I didn’t realize that the dental industry was not given that.
Dr. Link: So it is just one very good example, the other example that I think is just terrible is the way that the media and I fault them a 100 percent for this has made people so scared, and irrationally scared. There are, there is a tremendous shortage of hygienists, nationally – but especially in St. Louis. You know we only graduated 14 hygienists this last graduating class. And the one hygiene school went out of business, and so that is at our community college district, which I think a lot of – I think they do a tremendous amount of good for the community, but 14, for 3 million metropolitan area population.
The Host: Oh my goodness, holy cow – that is, yeah so that is a workforce shortage across! All workforce shortage across all of health care including dental. You mentioned I want to circle back to something you said. People, during Covid either self-restricted access to dental care, medical care – all types of you know, self-care, and preventative services such as hygiene the regular cleanings, and we have seen it in the medical side with delayed diagnosis and treatment of cancer, colonoscopy skipped and later staged diagnosis – I have sent it with mammograms that were missed and then we see stage 2 and 3 and 4 breast cancers that maybe should have been stage 1. What are the ramifications of missed, you know preventative services in dental care?
Dr. Link: You know I think that is going to be something I see it – when I see you know this tooth could have been caught and I am taking it out, I see it in just bare things like that but one thing that really insidious is that I tell my patients every day, gum disease can kill more than just a smile – because gum disease can cause oxidative stress.
The Host: Mhmm
Dr. Link: And you know oxidative stress is a causative agent for good grief, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, erectile dysfunction – peripheral artery disease, visual issues, hypertension, and cancer – autoimmune disease and even faster aging. But what you will never see is-
The Host: How about pre-term Labour? I see that all the time!
Dr. Link: Yeah! So you have a diabetic that is controlled, is scared to see their medical doctor, compounding that by not seeing their dentist. Their blood sugar is going crazy. So those are the kind of things that are very insidious, that we are never going to be able to get a handle on how much damage it has done. But if I see it when a patient is in pain and they come in, and this tooth has been hurting them for months – and, you know tons of other things are happening out there, and it is not really, you know dentistry is kind of the forgotten part of medicine, and like I said – Cleveland clinic came out just 2 months ago I think now – I read it where they are saying gum disease is not just linked to all these things I mentioned. It is causative because it is causative oxidative stress.
The Host: Yep, yep, yep, and speaking of Link, we are talking with Dr. Allan Link at the DentaLink.com offices in Ballwin, and where is your other office? Ballwin and St. Louis?
Dr. Link: It is down in Melville right by Melville high school.
The Host: Oh! So Ballwin and Melville! Well you are talking about periodontal disease and I was looking at the website and you have a program called perio protect, tell us about how that works, because that does address gum disease and there is some great before and after pictures, for folks who would like to check into that if they have been told that they have periodontal disease. What is that all about?
Dr. Link: Yeah there are 2 great things that have happened so that instead of doing much more invasive surgery, we can treat the gum disease with lasers, which very often I don’t even need to numb the patient up for it and the other thing is these perio protect trays! What they do is they deliver an oxidative agent under like, almost like a hyperbaric chamber, pressure type thing around the teeth. So it is just a piece of plastic that is molded so accurately because we can scan these things instead of taking impressions of the teeth, so we are not taking an impression and it is all – some of the stuff is even 3D imprinted. So it is so accurate it pushes that liquid up around the teeth and kills the bacteria.
The Host: Wow
Dr. Link: And it is a game-changer! Especially for our patients who are elderly, have arthritis and can't clean their teeth as well, nursing home patients, because there again the dental is somewhat forgotten in the nursing home, and you know they are treating other different things, and they are forgetting about the teeth – so these things can help prevent things from getting worse especially in nursing homes situation.
The Host: Yeah, hey another thing I wanted to ask you about – there seems to be an uptick in oral cancers, HPV-related disease – are you seeing more of that in your practice?
Dr. Link: Yeah and it is right there, again what I am reading is that it is one of the few cancers especially in that like 16 to 30 age group whose morbidity is going up and that is because 1 –it is very hard to diagnose, so in our practice, we have things that are special infrared lights that they call a Bell scope to help diagnose this and then they have like a brush biopsy that we do like the next phase if that shows something. There is no question, and it is the more sexual freedom that these kids are having.
The Host: Yeah, yeah right.
Dr. Link: It is impacting and it is tragic when you see something that is suspicious and you send it and then the medical doctor oral surgeon confirms it with a tissue biopsy.
The Host: And if it is caught early in a pre-cancerous stage or an early stage, obviously it is not disfiguring, but if those cancers get out of hand I mean it results in neck dissections and all kinds of disfiguring problems and I know that is part of a good thorough dental exam and so I know both you and Dr. Andrew well, Drew Link is there to take care of all those dental needs and of course, you do the cosmetic stuff too to make people look pretty with their white, their pearly whites when they have a nice pretty smile! Hey tell me something, Dr. Allan Link, could all of us have the fox celebrity teeth if we wanted to? I mean everyone on fox seems to have these beautiful white teeth it is almost like you have to put the sunglasses on, how do they get that way? You can’t tell me that they are all-natural that way?
Dr. Link: No, no veneers are just easy things to like fix like a fingernail in the shape of a tooth. It can be glued onto the teeth but these whitening systems have gotten so much more user-friendly, you know I mean whitening strips, we have something that is better because it molds to the teeth easier, but you know between take home and laser whitening, it is just amazing I am glad you mentioned Drew because that is really why – Covid had a silver lining. The silver lining was that I took a bunch more CE during it, and just became so fired up about my perfection, and then to have my son join is just – you won’t see me retiring any time soon, but one of the things that I learned that was amazing was you talk about giving a pearly smile, these mini dental implants, an implant, a dental implant mimics the root and then I restore over it and that gives the crowns – but minis – there I need less invasive so I need a lot less bone, they are much shorter healing time and they are about half the cost, so I can give those smiles to even people who aren’t even near anywhere the fox bright you know.
The Host: (Laughs)
Dr. Link: (Laughs) and you see all the advertising where they have the teeth in a day and I won’t give names
The Host: Yes!
Dr. Link: You are still chewing on – what people don’t realize is that with those you are still chewing on plastic denture teeth, so you are paying a lot of money and you are chewing on plastic denture teeth, now granted they are screwed down on top of the implants, but with the minis, I can do the same thing – less invasive, shorter healing time and I can do it in almost half the cost and I can do it-
The Host: Ok
Dr. Link: On crown and bridge teeth that function so much better, and they are so much stronger than the traditional teeth in the day so you get these things and you get all fired up and I get to be my age now, and when I go to my medical doctor they are all retiring but what scared me was they wanted to retire 15 years ago, and I see that in my own profession and I get a little bit – apprehensive about going to somebody who does not have the same passion as when they started! So I am just –
The Host: And you clearly do and I know that from our long relationship and really appreciate all that you are doing for healthy smiles, healthy bodies, less inflammation for everyone that wants to really improve their health and dental health and it is just so important, it is not just about the looks but it is about really I think the quality and the quantity of life as well with healthy mouth all around. So folks who want to check into the practice is the DentaLink at the dentalink.com and of course, you have a Twitter handle as well right – talk about being with the program, the DentaLink - @thedentalink you can stay in touch with Dr. Allan Link. Allan great to reconnect with you, thanks for being with us, and thanks for supporting the station and we appreciate it, and have a fabulous weekend!
Dr. Link: Thank you and God bless you, sir!