Through the Eyes of a Dentist’s Daughter

As a dentist’s daughter, I frequently receive questions from my peers about what it means to have good oral health. I used to wonder why people believed that I would know the secrets to good maintaining healthy teeth — I’m not a dentist after all. As an elementary school student, I was the go-to dental knowledge bank. In middle and high school, the questions continued. Today, as a college student pursuing a career in dental hygiene, the questions have gotten even more abundant.

The funniest part of all of this is that, more often than not, I know the answer to people’s questions, and I love answering them!

So how do I know the answers? Often, it is because they are parts of my lifestyle; parts that began the day I was born to a dentist. While I know that sugar is not great for your teeth, eating candy is not the end-all-be-all determinant of how healthy your teeth will be. I know that flossing is one of the most important personal hygiene things you can do, despite how underestimated it may be. And trust me, I know not to bite on a lemon or open a plastic container with my teeth.

 I was never directly given a list of what to do and what not to do, but I grew up with a knowledge-bank was built by tidbits of conversations and interactions with my dad.

 I do not have the answer as to why everyone has the same set of unanswered questions about dental health, but I think that if people made maintaining good oral health a part of their lifestyle, the answers may seem more simple. Maintaining good oral health can be made into a routine that is easy to maintain. Once this routine becomes second nature, people can and will prevent so many oral health problems.

 If we create a routine, we really won’t have to sacrifice anything. We can still eat that once-in-a-while piece of candy, as long as we brush and floss every night. We can recognize that if our gums are bleeding, our bodies are telling us that we need to care for them better through flossing. And we should be aware that dentists, dental hygienists, and students love when people care enough to ask us questions.  www.joethedentist.com 

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25 Years, Then and Now

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June 26th, 1990. That is the day that I hung my “shingle” in La Jolla and I saw my first patient. At the time, it was just myself and one incredible assistant helping me. The practice grew quickly and my little 800 square foot practice quickly doubled in size. That charming old building, which was home to a handful of long-time medical professionals, is now long gone, making room for newer condos.
Relocation to our current space proved to be a great move, enabling us to propel our small practice to a much more modern and efficient office.
Dentistry has changed tremendously over the years as well. It was not long after opening our doors that we stopped offering silver mercury fillings as on option. There was too much controversy over the potential toxicity for ourselves and our patients. White fillings were, and still are, performing beautifully. The techniques for esthetic veneers, bonding, and bleaching were evolving rapidly and we were able to provide spectacular smile makeovers for many patients. Cosmetic dentistry changed both the expectations of our patients as well as everyone in the dental profession. Cosmetic dentists realized that all restorations from the simplest to the most sophisticated needed to be not only detailed in their accuracy and reliable, but also completely natural looking.
As dental implant designs improved, I saw the opportunity to be able to provide patients with solutions to the very challenging problem of replacing missing teeth with something strong, reliable and natural looking without the unnecessary preparation of other teeth. Bridges, both fixed and removable, were unattractive, not reliable enough, and were damaging to nearby teeth in the mouth. I am convinced that implant dentistry has been the most important advancement in the field of dentistry since the introduction of local anesthetics.
Over the years we have also seen many changes that improved the experience and safety for our patients. Digital x-rays replaced film based imaging. They are extremely detailed and provide instant results with a small fraction of the radiation. 3D imaging has enabled us to understand anatomy and pathology to a much greater level, creating better diagnosis and safer implant planning. Invisalign has helped countless adults straighten their teeth without embarrassing metal hardware. Lasers have been a great adjunct in managing gum tissue health. Simple sedation solutions have made helping many people with complex needs or anxieties much more comfortable. The list goes on and on.
After 25 years, I can truly say that dentistry continues to get more and more interesting. Now, along with my partner, Dr. Olson, we are planning another expansion of our office, in an effort to reach more people, offer more services and provide an even better experience. The future is as exciting as ever. I am extraordinarily grateful to La Jolla, our wonderful team, and all of our patients for their years of support and friendship.

Dr. Joseph D’Angelo and Dr. Ashley Olson,

La Jolla Dentistry

www.joethedentist.com

1111 Torrey Pines Rd.  La Jolla, CA  92037

(858) 459-6224