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Associates in Periodontics

Survey Says...

December 14th, 2016

You’ve all probably received the survey I send out every 6 months. Your responses allow me to learn what we’re doing right and where you think we could improve. I read them every weekend, because my hope is for you to leave every appointment thinking, “that was enjoyable and worthwhile.” A surprising thought to have leaving a periodontist’s office, I know, but it’s our goal. I recently compiled data from the last 5 months to see how well we’re achieving that goal. Based on 1,025 surveys:

  • 100% would refer their friends or family to AIP
  • 100% rated their visit as very good or excellent
  • 100% rated the office cleanliness as very good or excellent
  • 99% of new patients felt they had a good understanding of their dental situation after their first visit
  • 98% have a high or very high level of trust in the doctors
  • 92% were seated right on time or within 5-10 minutes of their scheduled appointment

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First off, I’m thrilled to see that we’re getting “straight A’s” in your book (we’ve been listening over the past 31 years, and we’ve learned a thing or two from you)! We’d be so appreciative if you would take the time to share your experiences with the community by reviewing us on Yelp and Google.

Second, while these numbers make me proud, we’re always striving to do better. The goal, of course, is 100% across the board. Please don’t ever hesitate to ask me, Dr. Levi, or any of the staff a question. Think of it like what they used to say in school: there are no bad questions! If you want us to explain something again or in a different way, we will be more than happy to do so. Got ideas on how we can improve? Send them my way at BrianShumanDMD@gmail.com or let me know at your next appointment!

-Brian

Holiday Sonicare Sale & Donation to The Vermont Foodbank

November 29th, 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Okay, maybe it's a little early, but our family traditions really start with apple picking and pumpkin carving in October and they don't let up until the New Year! In AIP tradition, I’m excited to let you know that we’re kicking off our annual Sonicare EasyClean electric toothbrush sale. I have them on special for just $57.94 (plux tax). This brush can be found at Amazon for $84 and Walmart for $79.95. In addition, for each Sonicare sold, I will personally donate $5 to the Vermont Foodbank.

It’s a great deal, a great gift for the holidays, a great way to maintain your oral health in the coming year, and a great way to give back to our wonderful Vermont community.

Speak to Kim or Jackie at the front desk to pick one up, or email me at BrianShumanDMD@gmail.com to reserve one. The offer is good through January 1st, 2017 or until I run out of brushes. Rain checks will be available.

Spread the word, tell your friends, and let’s beat last year's $1100 donation to the Vermont Foodbank. May the floss be with you through the New Year!

Reflecting on This Year's Special Olympics

July 26th, 2016

As you can likely tell from the new technologies always popping up in the office, the conferences I’m attending, and the publications I’m reading, I’m always striving to ensure that the care you receive when you come into AIP is better every time. I try to bring that same approach to the Healthy Athletes Program each year at the Vermont Special Olympics. As soon as the event comes to a close, I start contemplating how we can make it even more useful for the athletes next time around.

For example, in years past we performed oral hygiene techniques on puppets for the athletes, but Dr. Levi’s words popped into my head, "That that’s like trying to teach you how to play the piano by watching me do it, but never asking you come over to the bench and try it yourself." For one, you’re going to get tired of me playing Chopsticks and Heart & Soul pretty quickly, and further, it’s going to be a real challenge for you to do it well on your own at home without the tactical experience of hitting the keys yourself. For that reason, we implemented hands-on, one-on-one brushing and flossing trainings with volunteer professional hygienists and dental assistants. We observed as the athletes demonstrated their ability to brush and clean between their teeth, then we offered tips, tricks, and techniques for each athlete to try out. I look forward to seeing all the athletes again next summer and checking in on how the trainings impact their oral health this year.

I was thrilled to host the largest number of volunteers to date: 12 dental students from Tufts, 2 from the University of Buffalo, 10 dental assisting students from Essex TECH, 6 dental hygiene students from VTC, 10 volunteer dentists, 5 dental hygienists, and 15 additional volunteers. I'm extremely grateful to everyone for dedicating their time and talents. With their help, we were able to screen a record 157 athletes.

The Special Olympics is an event I look forward to every summer. And it's one that I not only get to share with my seasoned colleagues, dental students up-and-coming in the field, and the wonderful athletes themselves, but also with my daughters. Before Alexx left Vermont to do that “growing up” thing (what’s up with that?), she would join me every year. She said: “I have vivid memories of immediately forgetting how warm it was under the tent the moment the athletes started streaming in and the day flying by. I could always count on a fun exchange, a rush from being around people who’ve just achieved something big, and an immense sense of gratitude at the end of the day." Now, it’s an event I get to share with my 15 year old Meika, who shared, “It’s a fun thing to experience because helping out makes you feel good. Everyone is so nice and respectful and it’s always nice to make someone smile. I really look forward to it every year!"

Images by Diane Dumas.

Give Him Some "Elbow" Room: Dr. Levi's Recovery

March 14th, 2016

As you may already know, Dr. Levi broke his elbow (see cool x-ray below) in late 2015. I’m thrilled to announce that his recovery is going well and he will be back in the office soon.

elbow.jpg

Currently, he is in Europe lecturing, touring, and learning Spanish as a second language. He will resume his normal schedule of working most Fridays starting in May. Be sure to say “bienvenido de vuelta” (welcome home) next time you see him!

Safety First

March 3rd, 2016

Years ago, as I watched the fire engulf my building, I remember finding comfort in knowing I had done the “right” thing by backing up all of my data to tape. Bummer--turned out my tape drive was no longer manufactured. No problem! I was diligent and as a secondary precaution had backed up everything to the Cloud. But my Cloud backup would take 5 days to get back to me. Too long. Finally, I tracked down my discontinued tape drive on EBAY and overnight had all my data fully restored. Never again. That night, I vowed to be up and running within one hour should another disaster strike.

I was reminded of all this after watching a segment on Good Morning America about the latest threat, Ransomware. In the spirit of transparency, and because I never want you to worry about a thing when it comes to AIP, I’d like to let you know how serious I am about protecting your personal information.

After the fire, I invested in DDS Rescue (the “high-tech spare tire for my server”), a state of the art backup system that encrypts and stores our server information  on both coasts. It also allows me access to all of my programs and files remotely, and within 10 minutes of any emergency. I have run simulations. It works.

We also use SendInc Encryption, a program that secures messages containing personal medical information by ensuring that data remains encrypted from the time it leaves AIP’s computer through the time you or your dentist receives it. You already knew we utilize cutting-edge technology in the office, but our advanced practices also extend beyond our walls to ensure that your information is safe all the way from our inbox to yours. If you haven’t already, you may receive email from us and note the SendInc logo. It will require a one time name and password registration to open.

In other words, your information is 100% safe and 100% backed up 100% of the time, giving us all peace-of-mind.

Ask AIP: Incorporating Interdental Brushing Into Your Routine

September 25th, 2015

Last month, I extolled the benefits of interdental brushing. Since then, I've heard back from a number of you who've tried out this flossing alternative, both with rave reviews and with questions. For that reason, this edition of Ask AIP answers the most common question I've been receiving: How can I successfully incorporate interdental brushing into my routine? I know starting something new can be a challenge, and as always, I'm here to help.

The trick is to turn interdental brushing into a habit, much like brushing your teeth already is. I'm willing to bet you don't even think about brushing at this point; you sub-consciously allot the necessary time each morning and evening (that's right, I said morning and evening). So if you're struggling to integrate interdental brushing into your routine, here's some advice:

Use brushing your teeth as a cue! Say to yourself: "I will pick up my spiral brush before picking up my toothbrush every night.” One patient even hung a post-it note on the mirror as a reminder (thanks for the great suggestion, MW!). Integrating the behavior into your existing routine will positively affect the likelihood of it becoming habitual.

You can even start slowly by only using the interdental brush on the weekends and then start adding weekdays one by one. Keep this up and soon enough you'll have a new, healthy habit that we'll be sure to notice next time you come in for a visit.

We want to know how it’s going! Share your experience and thoughts in the comment section below and bring us any questions at your next appointment.

Brian

What Could Be More Effective Than Flossing? We’ll Tell You!

August 25th, 2015

In the American Academy of Periodontology's recent national survey, more than a third of Americans admitted they would rather sit in traffic or even clean a toilet before committing to flossing daily. In an ideal world, toilets would clean themselves, sitting bumper to bumper at the dreaded 5-Corners in Essex would be a thing of the past, and we could all maintain good oral hygiene without having to use floss.

While the first two are likely to remain pipe dreams for the foreseeable future, the 2014 XI European Workshop on Periodontology recently came to a surprising consensus on flossing that will change the way you clean between your teeth forever.

Leading researchers reviewed the literature and found that flossing is not the most effective prevention method when it comes to fighting periodontal diseases. In fact, the experts determined that there’s a new Periodontal Disease Prevention Sheriff in town: the interdental brush (also known as the proxy, spiral, or interproximal brush)!

Evidence shows that by using the correctly sized interdental brush, you’ll see greater plaque reduction and improved disease prevention than by using floss alone. As if that’s not motivation enough for you, interdental brushes are easier to use than their somewhat unwieldy counterpart! Coming in many shapes and sizes, this prevention method lets you say “so long!” to floss for any site that can fit an interdental brush instead.

Many of you have already integrated this highly effective tool into your oral health routines, and we here at AIP have already seen the stellar results. For those of you who haven’t given the interdental brush a try yet, be sure to ask me, the staff, Dr. Levi, or Dr. Gruwell about the benefits at your next appointment!

Brian

Ask AIP: A Chat with Dr. Gruwell

June 19th, 2015

We get it: sometimes, over the course of a procedure, you might not get the chance to ask all the questions you'd like to. While you may leave feeling confident about the answers you got about your periodontal concerns, you might still be wondering what Dr. Shuman's favorite color is! For that reason, we're excited to announce a new blog series called "Ask AIP." During the course of this series, we'll give you a topic on Facebook (in this case, the topic was our newest doctor, Scott Gruwell) and you can send us anything from minor musing to profound quandary related to the theme. We'll pick the most popular questions, and get you your answers in the next blog!

In this installment, we get to know Dr. Scott Gruwell a little bit better.

Tell us a little about your family and hobbies.

My family is the highlight of my life. My wife and I have been married for almost 19 years and our three kids (17, 14, 10) certainly keep us busy and out of trouble. My daughter is a competitive swimmer and high school championship water polo player. My boys love football, basketball, and soccer. We love a great board game and are really looking forward to trying out some of the great winter sporting activities that Vermont has to offer! Additionally, we love exploring new areas, taking road-trips together, and almost any outdoor activities. One of my life goals was to visit all 50 states and I recently checked my final box... Indiana!

You majored in humanities and minored in zoology at Brigham Young University. What made you decide to go into the field of dentistry and then specialize in periodontics?

In college, I loved art and ornithology, but switched majors several times, having no idea what I wanted to pursue professionally. My dad is an E.R. physician, so I decided to go to medical school.  After many long conversations with my dad, he talked me out of medicine and suggested I explore dentistry – a chance to combine both art and science into one job. In fact, I was part of a group of four guys all preparing for medical school. After really researching the careers, three of us decided to switch to dentistry.

As far as the specialty of periodontics is concerned, I can honestly say that perio was the only specialty I decidedly ruled OUT before dental school. During my undergraduate studies, I completed a progressive 3-semester pre-dental learning track. I thoroughly researched all aspects of dentistry and observed in the offices of many general dentists and specialists. Periodontics was just not for me.  Fast forward 4 years in dental school and I loved it. To me, it represented the specialty that focused largely on the biology of dentistry while combining aesthetics with oral & systemic health and medicine on an extremely detailed platform. I love details!

You said one of the highlights of your Air Force career was leading a 9-person team into the Amazon jungle to provide humanitarian service. Could you share details about this adventure?

My adventure to Suriname was a once in a lifetime experience. I was the only staff dentist leading a dental resident, 3 dental assistants, and 4 pre-dental students into the Amazon jungle as part of a larger Air Force medical team. We saw patients in 3 different mobile dental clinics we set up in the local elementary schools at Brokopondo, Klaaskreek, and Brownsweg.  Our entire mission consisted of about 14 days in country, but due to the logistics of setting up, tearing down, and traveling between sites, we were only able to see patients for about 8.5 days.

During that time period, the resident and I completed over 700 extractions and 1600 dental procedures, taking only a single 10 minute break for lunch each day. During the day, we had toucans and sloths in the trees above us, patients who showed up with pet monkeys and parrots, and even a poison-dart frog hop across the waiting room one morning. The evenings were spent on the banks of the Suriname river watching the piranha attack our leftovers we tossed in the river.

Looking back, it was definitely a difficult experience to articulate. To say it was humbling is an understatement… literally hundreds of people in line when you arrive in the morning, passing armed guards in the hallways, using a translator for every interaction, and knowing that no matter how much work you accomplish, it will simply not be enough. All-in-all, the people were exceptionally kind and thankful. It was an honor and privilege to serve this population, many of whom had never had the opportunity to see a dentist in their lifetime. I can't wait until I have the chance to participate in another humanitarian mission trip.

Thanks to Dr. Gruwell for sharing, and we look forward to answering more of your questions in the next installment of Ask AIP!

What's Happening at 247 Pearl Street?

May 14th, 2015

My oldest graduated from Smith College, my youngest became an award winning gymnast, the Red Sox won the world series, AIP moved to a new space, Dr. Scott Gruwell joined the practice; these are just a handful of significant events that have happened since the night of the fire in 2011. You see, time is a funny thing. Despite the distance we’ve all gained thanks to the ever-dependable changing of the seasons, the night we lost 247 Pearl Street manages to remain as present in my mind as the coming of spring. Coming over the crest of that hill that I’d driven down almost every day for 27 years to see a once so familiar site aglow with red & blue lights, camera flashes, and of course, roaring flames, is an image that, it seems, will never begin to fade.

PEARL STREET APARTMENTS

As many of you know, I designed our current location not only to be comfortable, modern, and on the forefront of technology, but also to be completely removable in anticipation of returning to 247 Pearl. However, I have listened to your kind comments about the new office (the ease of access and parking, the bright and airy windowed rooms, my father’s paintings, etc.) and I have decided to make 1775 Williston Road the permanent home for Associates in Periodontics.

You may have noticed that construction has begun at 247 Pearl Street. The location that so many of us once called our second home will now be home to Burlington residents. A lovely building with 29 apartments (something the city needs, wants, and has had zoned for the site for years) will soon stand where our beloved building once did. The project is “locally sourced,” if you will, designed by Smith & Buckley (Hotel Vermont, Courtyard by Marriott, Dealer.com) and supervised by Redstone Corp.

AIP is proud to call 1775 Williston home today, and though it is bittersweet to bid farewell to our time at 247 Pearl, seeing new life rise from the ashes is nothing short of soothing. As always, we thank you in your support over the course of the past few years. With this announcement, we look towards our future, brightened not by flames, but instead by your shining smiles!

Brian

What Patients are Saying About AIP

March 26th, 2015

If you've ever taken a minute to read our vision statement, you might know: your smiles and your words of kindness are our greatest rewards.

When long-time patient ES sent a surprise fruit basket, I didn't think I could be any more grateful (I'm a huge fruit fan!). After a letter expressing my thanks, however, this sweet surprise was followed by one of the most rewarding notes the practice has ever received. I was ecstatic that ES granted permission to share it with all of you.

"I really wanted to say thank you for the great care that you and your staff provide. There is, of course, first and foremost, professional knowledge and expertise. But beyond that, at your office, there is an element of caring for helping people feel comfortable during procedures that aren't known for comfort. :-) You know (I hope) that I have appreciated, since our first meeting, the way that you practice and care for patients. I also want to send a shout-out to Kim, who does such a nice job of taking care of us, whether on the phone when we're scheduling (or concerned about a dental problem), or greeting us when we come in.

I experience your practice as the best of both worlds: the most modern equipment and care combined with the "old-fashioned" practice of having a community of patients who you remember are people. I'm not sure I'm articulating this well, but thank you."

ES -- you articulated it beautifully. Thank you for your kind words that remind us why we do what we do!

Brian

Welcome Dr. Scott Gruwell!

February 16th, 2015

We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Scott F. Gruwell, D.D.S., M.S. to Associates in Periodontics. As he joins us from Texas, we are extending a particularly warm welcome -- we’ll do all we can do help him adjust to our occasionally arctic climate!

He brings with him so much more than just his excitement to join us up North. His impressive history began at Brigham Young University, where he graduated summa cum laude. He went on to receive his dental degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School. There, he not only graduated magna cum laude, but earned both the Award for Excellence in Clinical Dentistry and the Award for Uncommon Dedication to the Field. After receiving his master’s degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and his Certificate of Training in Periodontics from the Wilford Hall Medical Center, he earned the prestigious title of Diplomate to the American Board of Periodontology. In layman’s terms: the Board recognized him as a periodontist who has made significant achievements beyond the mandatory educational requirements of the specialization.

His journey didn’t lead him to Vermont just yet. Dr. Gruwell served as an Active Duty member of the US Air Force for 10 years, during which time he lead a 9-person dental team into the Amazon jungle to provide humanitarian services to the people of Suriname, and was the only dental officer in the Air Force to be selected for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel an entire year early.

Nope, not just yet! He taught at his alma mater and served as both the Director of Clinical Periodontics and Postgraduate Periodontal Education for the Texas Air Force Postgraduate Dental School.

During all this time, he has been honored with numerous awards and commendations, including the the Hoyt S. Vandenberg Award for Academic Excellence, the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and the Dental Educator of the Year award for the entire Air Force Medical Service, to name only a few. Learn more here.

Now, the next exciting chapter beings as he joins Associates in Periodontics. He, his wife, and three children (who he boasts are “much better looking than he is”) are excited to be living in Vermont and grateful to have relocated here on a permanent basis. As avid lovers of the outdoors, they are all excited to explore all the state has to offer.

You can visit him at both our South Burlington and Barre offices starting March 24th.

Welcome Scott, Tara, Riley, Spencer, and Eddie!

Brian

Happy New Year & Vermont Foodbank Donation

January 1st, 2015

Thank you for making our Sonicare sale better than we ever could've expected.

It not only warms my heart to know that so many of you will be starting 2015 with great oral health, but also that together, we've made an impressive contribution to the Vermont Foodbank!

The gift came at a great time -- the Foodbank was working non-stop to hit their yearly fundraising goal before the year's end.  I'm so glad we could help them and, in turn, our neighbors in the final moments of 2014.

And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for!  Can I get a drumroll, please?  Or perhaps a countdown? 5…4…3…2…1…

We sold 80 Sonicare toothbrushes (wow!!). The Foodbank has confirmed that our gift helped to provide 1,200 meals to our neighbors in need.

Many of you wanted to participate, but were unable to visit the office in the time allotted. But good news -- I am contacting Sonicare and I plan to continue the sale throughout the next quarter (January - March). The same terms apply: $60.75 (plus tax) for the toothbrush and my personal donation of $5 to the Vermont Foodbank for every sale. The goal this time around is 1,500 meals!

If your appointment is not within the next three months and you want to reserve a Sonicare, simply contact me at keepyourteeth@hotmail.com.  I will have Kim reserve one for you to pick up at your next appointment!

Here's to a happy & healthy 2015. Can't wait to see you in the new year!

Brian

Want to Give Back Even More this Holiday Season? You can with our Holiday Sonicare Sale!

December 10th, 2014

It’s that time of year again! Snow on the ground, Christmas trees in the living room, menorahs on the dining room table, Sonicare EasyClean electric toothbrushes on sale at Associates in Periodontics… wait, what? I’m excited to add to the list of holiday traditions by announcing our annual Sonicare sale! We have them for $60.75 (plux tax), which is about $30 off of retail price at Best Buy, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and other major retailers.

Sonicare uses unrivaled Sonic technology to keep your teeth and gums healthy. It makes 31,000 brush strokes per minute, compared with a manual toothbrush, which moves at around 300 brush strokes per minute. That means two minutes spent brushing with a Sonicare is equivalent to about a month spent using a manual toothbrush. It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out your time! Studies have even shown that Sonicare removes significantly more plaque than a manual brush, and that using a Sonicare can improve gum health in as short as two weeks.

If you’re not convinced: this is the toothbrush I use and I recommend – it’s straightforward and gets the job done right.

Not only is it a great deal, a great gift for the holidays, and a great way to maintain your oral health in the coming year, but it is also a great way to give back to our community. For each Sonicare sold, I will personally donate $5 to the Vermont Foodbank. I can’t wait to let you all know what the contribution ends up being.

Stop by the front desk at your next appointment to pick one up, or just swing by either of our offices (1775 Willston Road, South Burlington or 248 South Main Street, Barre) to take advantage of the offer. You can also email me at keepyourteeth@hotmail.com to reserve one (or two!) if you can’t make it in right away.

The offer is good through January 1st, 2015. Spread the word, tell your friends, and let’s make our donation an impressive one!

May the floss be with you this holiday season!

Brian

Should You be Worried About Microbeads in your Toothpaste?

November 15th, 2014

Remember a few years ago when plastic beads became all the rage in personal care? Suddenly they were everywhere: your face wash, your body scrub, and your toothpaste (yes, that’s where I come in). Though we haven’t completely bucked the trend, people have started worrying that maybe, just possibly, having a plastic that isn’t biodegradable in your toothpaste isn’t such a good idea, including patients!

When Jane emailed me asking, “Should I throw away my Crest Pro-Health toothpaste? If so, what toothpaste do you recommend?” I thought she might not be the only one out there wondering. Let’s explore this.

Let’s start with the plastic: polyethylene. It’s really an anomaly – simultaneously the most common plastic in the world, and the most contested. Containers, bottles, and grocery bags – all of these are made out of the same stuff as those little blue pebbles in your toothpaste. We’re up in arms about landfills overflowing with polyethylene bottles, and are absolutely adamant about bringing reusable bags to the grocery store; so yes, maybe we should be making a fuss about this plastic that lives forever when it comes to our toothpaste.

The fact that we are constantly finding these little blue plastic beads stuck in our patients’ gum lines, paired with the fact that these little blue plastic beads don’t break down, isn’t a great combination when we’re considering your oral health. Just like anything else that gets stuck in your gums, the beads become a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to all kinds of reasons you might come to me in pain: gingivitis, infection, or even severe periodontal disease. While I love seeing you, I don’t want to see you go through that.

Crest has claimed that the beads are there for decorative purposes only. They serve literally no purpose besides looking pretty, and putting your oral health at risk. Luckily, Crest plans to phase the beads out of their toothpastes by 2016. Until then, I urge you to toss your toothpaste if it contains polyethylene beads, and make the switch.

Not sure if your toothpaste is putting you at risk? Check out this website for a list of toothpastes we know contain polyethylene, and also for a great article on the subject.

Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Brian

Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2014

Happy Halloween from AIP!

I’ll never forget the year that my daughter Alexx  told me she no longer wanted me dressing up as a dalmation for Halloween, but rather that it was about time that I start dressing as Darth Vader.  An avid Star Wars fan who always let his daughters decide his Halloween costume, I was ecstatic!

This year, with one daughter off in Boston, and one at the age where bringing her dad trick-or-treating simply is embarrassing and isn’t going to happen, I’ll be happily handing out candy with my lovely wife.

Now, as your periodontist, it would be downright irresponsible of me to leave out the importance of brushing and flossing during this time of year.  Chewy treats and hard candy can be particularly damaging, as they stick to your teeth longer, and are more difficult for your teeth to break down.  If you’re concerned about the health of  your children’s (or your own!) teeth this Halloween, but laying off the candy isn’t in the cards (my favorite is Three Musketeers and caramels), just be sure to brush really well after finishing the sweet treats. Check out www.trickytreats.org to see what Delta Dental has to say about keeping your kids’ teeth safe from cavities during this sugar-heavy time of year.

Whether you’re looking goofy, looking like a “force” to be reckoned with, or handing out candy this year, I hope this Halloween results in lasting memories.

May the floss be with you.

Brian

Dr. Shuman Receives Distinguished Service Award

September 26th, 2014

Harkening back to his days as an athlete, Dr. Shuman took to the stage with a group of cheering fans (his staff, family, friends, and colleagues) to accept the most prestigious award granted by the Vermont State Dental Society: the Distinguished Service Award.  The award was “in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the field of dentistry.  His volunteer positions on the Vermont State Dental Society Continuing Education Committee and the Annual Meeting Committee, as well as his co-chiefing of the Special Olympics Special Smiles program exemplify his exemplary commitment to the dental profession and oral health of Vermonters.”

Dr. Shuman was grateful and humble in a characteristically humorous acceptance speech.  Though his attempt to downplay the achievement was valiant, Vaughn Collins (Executive Director of the Vermont State Dental Society) took to the mic as Dr. Shuman tried to leave the stage, "I just want to say, he’s unbelievable.  I mean, he’s a committee of one for the [Continuing Education] Committee and he’s been on the Annual Meeting Committee forever.  He just does a tremendous amount of work for us, and we couldn’t do what we do without him.”

"You never expect anything like this," Dr. Shuman said in a quiet moment after the ceremony, "you do these things simply to do them, because it's what you believe is right.  You never expect to be honored."  Clearly still reveling in the surprise of being rewarded for how he has chosen to live his life, Dr. Shuman seemed (perhaps for the first time) speechless.

Congratulations, Dr. Shuman!

- The AIP Team

Dr. Shuman Helps Special Olympics Dental Screenings Reach New Heights

June 23rd, 2014

"This was one of our most successful years ever," says Dr. Brian Shuman, Co-Chair of the Vermont Special Smiles dental program. We were able to screen 190 athletes. The volunteers included, 8 students from the Essex Tech dental assisting program, 8 students from the VTC's Dental Hygiene Program, all three dental Residents from Fletcher Allen plus eighteen 3rd and 4th year students from Tufts University School of Dentistry and local VSDS dentists. The dental hygienists and assistants taught personalized oral hygiene instruction to the athletes, while the dentists supervised the dental students.

As a testimony to the popularity of this project, the leader of the dental students advised us that she had to turn away 25 other students who also wanted to come help with the event. "Participating in this Vermont event is our most sought after volunteer opportunity at Tufts. Everyone is so nice and make us feel so comfortable here. We feel like we are truly making a difference."

The event exposed 18 potential Vermont dentists to our area many of who are now considering applying for the Dental Residency program at Fletcher Allen.

Dr. Shuman believes that "The Special Olympics and Vermont dentistry has morphed into something way beyond our expectations but consistent with our vision for the program. It provides a wonderful service for the athletes and for the students.This will surely bring back many of the students to Vermont for the Residency program and perhaps get them to consider settling and practicing in Vermont."

Periodontal disease; I have what?!

June 9th, 2014

All of us at  Associates in Periodontics understand the diagnosis of periodontal disease can be scary and confusing.  But the good news in most cases is that it is treatable and manageable with a little work from you and a little help from us.

Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the gum tissue, bone, and supporting structures for the teeth. In the past it was known as pyorrhea. Diagnosis is commonly made through a combination of dental X-rays, periodontal readings (called probing depths), and visual clinical findings.

The mouth is a gateway to the rest of the body and can provide clues to your overall health. In fact, the first signs of some chronic diseases appear in the oral cavity; they can be a hint for the dentist to refer the patient to a medical doctor for a thorough exam.

If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to premature tooth loss, sensitivity, and chronic or acute mouth pain. If you have diabetes, you are more prone to periodontal disease and can experience greater difficulty controlling your blood glucose levels. The body ends up spending so much energy fighting the infection in the mouth that it cannot achieve balance elsewhere. Studies have shown that once periodontal disease is treated, the glucose levels become more responsive to control.

Standard treatments basically involve cleaning out the infection and allowing your body to heal. There are many tools and techniques to clean out the infection including scaling and root planning, laser therapy, antibiotic therapy and surgery

We always give you an accurate diagnosis and a range of treatment options. Periodontal disease is “silent,” which means you will not always experience pain as a signal of infection. When caught early and subjected to proper oral hygiene care on a daily basis, treatments are generally very successful.

Brian

Brian Shuman DMD

Can your practice data survive a disaster? Are you sure?

May 19th, 2014

By Brian Shuman, DMD

On the night of September 5, 2011, I watched my historic Vermont dental office building burn to the ground. A fire that started in the ceiling fan of the basement bathroom spread throughout the building, and seven hours later my office was gone. Although this loss was devastating, I comforted myself with the knowledge that my backup system would ensure I did not lose my practice data. But by the time I was able to reopen a new office four and a half months later, this assumption had been severely tested.

Plan A: The Tape

My backup system had consisted of a tape backup and a redundant daily backup on the cloud; however, the tape drive that could have read the data was destroyed in the fire. We soon found the drive was no longer in production.

Plan B: The Cloud

Once I realized this, I shifted to my plan B and attempted to recover my data from the cloud backup. Because of the quantity of the data, it could not be downloaded. We were informed that we would have to wait for CDs to be burned and shipped. When they finally arrived, we discovered our cloud program only backed up the data itself -- not the dental software or the imaging and accounting programs that could actually process the data. Of course, the original software discs had been lost in the fire. In the end, this fact was moot anyway because, after more delays and expense, we discovered that the cloud data was corrupt.

Our eventual salvation came via eBay, where I located a used tape drive that could restore all of our backed up data, as well as the programs to run it. Getting to this point had taken almost two weeks after the fire.

Discovering a Better Solution

This painful experience forced me to take a much more careful look at my backup system -- something I thought I had well covered before the fire. I eventually discovered a backup system specifically designed for dental practices that included an onsite failover server, cloud backup, and 24-hour system monitoring. This system, DDS Rescue (now available from Patterson Dental), duplicates programs and data and stores them in multiple encrypted facilities. This allows users to gain access via the web in minutes. With this system, every backup is verified so there are no worries about the kind of data corruption I experienced with my previous cloud backup.

After this experience, I am now certain that there are many other dentists who are in the same position I was in -- believing their data is backed up, while in reality they are only one disaster away from finding out their system has holes in it. I urge dentists to ensure their data is truly protected with an offsite backup that includes the practice's software programs, along with the monitoring and support so that all goes according to plan. I also strongly recommend a backup system that is specifically designed for dental practices.

Most dentists are simply not IT experts. I am comfortable admitting that I was certain we were backed up correctly. When the first backup system failed, I was shocked. But the feeling of security I have now with DDS Rescue is something that I wish all other dentists could have. And, they can, because data security is available that is affordable, airtight, and custom-built for dentists. We just have to take advantage of it.

Brian Shuman, DMD, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1982 and from the University of Pennsylvania School of Periodontology in 1985. After graduation, Dr. Shuman went into private practice in Vermont. Dr. Shuman can be reached at BShuman13@aol.com.

See Dr. Shuman's article featured in Dental Economics.

Patient Review: Five Stars For AIP

November 6th, 2013

I have been having my periodontal treatment done at the Associates in Periodontics for many years.

There is a quality of care and caring at the Associates in Periodontics. This is due to the guidance of the office by Dr. Brian Shuman. He… provide(s) the backbone for the quality of therapy and warm and caring personalities. All of the hygiene staff are excellent in the techniques, thorough in reviewing my home-care plaque-removing techniques and complete and gentle when they clean my teeth. I owe the expertise of this office to helping me retain my teeth and helping to maintain good health!

AIP Staff Spotlight: Helen

June 28th, 2013

This month's staff spotlight shines on Helen.

Helen has been a dental hygienist at Associates in Periodontist since 1984. She enjoys teaching patients how to properly take care of their mouths and maintain a healthy body. She describes her colleagues as fun, loving, dedicated people who truly care about their patients and each other. She notes, "My co-workers are true professionals."

When Helen's not at work, she keeps busy as the Treasurer for the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation. They raise money to help military members and their families. She's also the co-chairperson for the silent auction for the Travis Roy Foundation Wiffle-Ball Tournament, which raises money for individuals with spinal cord injuries., During the fall months, Helen and her husband remain busy maintaining their own apple orchard, Chapin Apple Orchard, in Essex, Vermont.

Patient Review for Associates in Periodontics

June 13th, 2013

Wondering why patients choose Associates in Periodontics? Take a look at this latest review:

Having the need for periodontal work, I asked my dentist to whom he would go. His recommendation was Associates in Periodontics. Although 1 3/4 hours away, I was welcomed as if family, treated with respect, and I experienced skillful and outstanding care. The entire staff is professional, caring and genuinely happy! I cannot recommend Dr. Shuman and staff highly enough!"

- Kathleen L., March 15, 2013

Article: The Tooth Fairy Loosened Her Purse Strings in 2012

May 10th, 2013

Our friends at Northeast Delta Dental recently shared this post The Tooth Fairy Loosened Her Purse Strings in 2012 and we wanted to share it with you!

How much are kids getting for lost baby teeth these days? The average gift from the Tooth Fairy was $2.42 last year, up 32 cents from $2.10 in 2011, according to Delta Dental's The Original Tooth Fairy Poll®.1 The most common amount left under the pillow was $1 (51 percent).

According to the poll, the Tooth Fairy was even more generous with kids who lost their first tooth, leaving more money for the first tooth in 46 percent of homes. On average, the amount given for the first tooth was $3.49.

“Leaving gifts from the Tooth Fairy is a great way to help make losing teeth less scary and enjoyable for kids,” said Bill Hupp, Delta Dental Plans Association's smiling spokesperson. “Delta Dental encourages parents to use the Tooth Fairy as an opportunity to talk about good oral health even before a child loses the first tooth. Caring for baby teeth is important, as they help children chew and speak properly and hold space for permanent teeth.”

In 2012, the Tooth Fairy visited nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth. Delta Dental suggests the following ways parents can use conversations about the Tooth Fairy as teachable moments:

  • Introduce the Tooth Fairy early on. Kids will start losing baby teeth around age six. Before this age, parents can teach kids about the Tooth Fairy and let them know that good oral health habits and healthy teeth make her happy. Use this as an opportunity to brush up on a child's everyday dental routine. Kids not wanting to brush and floss? Remind them the Tooth Fairy is more generous for healthy baby teeth, not teeth with cavities. This will help get kids excited about taking care of their teeth.
  • Leave a note reinforcing good habits. A personalized note from the Tooth Fairy could be nearly as exciting for kids as the gift itself. Parents should include tips for important oral health habits that the Tooth Fairy wants kids to practice, such as brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist twice a year. And, of course, parents should give the Tooth Fairy a special name. After all, Flossie or Twinkle is a bit more exciting than just Tooth Fairy!
  • Give oral health gifts. Although the Tooth Fairy left cash for kids in 98 percent of homes she visited, two percent of children received toys, candy, gum, or other gifts. Consider forgoing cash and providing oral health gifts instead, like a new toothbrush or fun-flavored toothpaste. For readers, there are numerous children's books about Tooth Fairy adventures in bookstores or online. The days of jamming a tiny tooth underneath a huge pillow and making the Tooth Fairy blindly grope around under a heavy sleeping head are gone. Special pillows with tiny, tooth-sized pockets attached are now available online, with themes ranging from princesses to ninjas. Some of the pillows can even be customized with your little gap–toothed child's name. Or if a parent (the Tooth Fairy) is feeling generous, kids could receive both cash and a new toothbrush.

“It's hard for young kids to fully comprehend the importance of oral health, but tapping into a child's imagination can make taking care of teeth more exciting,” Hupp said.

For more information, visit www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com. To get a sense of the taste and style choices of the Tooth Fairy and for some fun ideas, parents can follow her on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/origtoothfairy.

How To Prevent Bad Breath

April 26th, 2013

Bad breath, also called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits. You may not even be aware of your own bad breath, so if you’re concerned you may be suffering from it, talk to an oral health specialist such as a dentist or your doctor at Associates in Periodontics.

There are many reasons for bad breath:

  • · What you eat can also affect the way your breath smells. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, can have a very strong and lasting odor.
  • · If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath, not to mention tooth decay and gingivitis.
  • · Bad breath can be caused by dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when the flow of saliva decreases. Saliva is necessary to cleanse the mouth and remove particles that may cause odor.
  • · Tobacco products cause bad breath. If you use tobacco, ask us for tips on kicking the habit.
  • · Bad breath may be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis, postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disturbance, liver or kidney ailment. If this is the case, you may be referred to your family doctor or a specialist to determine the cause.

The good news is there are many ways to help eliminate bad breath from your life. Maintaining good oral health is essential to reducing bad breath, so schedule regular dental visits for a professional cleaning and checkup. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque, and don’t forget to brush your tongue, too!

Staff Spotlight: Kathy

March 15th, 2013

This month's staff spotlight shines on Kathy (aka "KK").

Kathy has been with Associates in Periodontics for 3 1/2 years. She started as a dental hygienist and soon became a surgical assistant to Dr. Kolesar. For four years Kathy volunteered as a Tooth-Tutor dental hygienist for the State of Vermont. She also participated in the Penguin Plunge for Special Olympics and Relay for Life. For many years she's been involved with the community theatre and still deciding if she's a budding Ethel Merman or Lucille Ball.

Kathy enjoys working at Associates in Periodontics because her colleagues and patients remind her of a close-knit family. "From the first footstep inside our door, to the last wave good-bye, our patients are made to feel like family. Smiles are freely exchanged and hugs tend to flow. We chat about their health, their families, and their lives. We are passionate in all that we do and that makes all the difference."

What's on your mind?

February 22nd, 2013


By now, you’re probably familiar with our blog-writing process: Each week, we write about important oral health topics and your well-being, including the treatments we proudly offer.

This week, though, we thought we’d step back and ask you, our amazing patients: what’s on your mind? What would you like to know more about? What would you like us to focus on our blog? Perhaps there’s something you’ve wanted to ask us for a while now? Here’s your chance! Let us know by posting here or on our Facebook page! Give us your best shot, and we’ll try to answer any question you may have!

February Marks National Dental Health Month!

February 8th, 2013

Did you know February is National Dental Health Month? It’s a great time of the year to renew those resolutions about continuing to practice great dental hygiene. Today, we thought we would discuss the importance of preventative oral care. While most folks are familiar with traditional healthy-conscious practices such as eating well and exercising regularly, lesser-known are the benefits that great oral hygiene provides to your cardiovascular health.

Here are a few tips to help you continue taking care of those pearly whites and in the process, your heart.

*Brush and floss every day to remove the plaque that can lead to cavities. Flossing daily removes food debris that your toothbrush simply cannot reach.

*Replace your toothbrush on a regular basis. You should replace your toothbrush every three to four months or after a cold to prevent re-infection. Please remember to use a soft toothbrush so that you don’t wear off the enamel of your teeth.

*Visit your dentist regularly. The American Dental Association recommends you visit us every six months (or as recommended) for regular checkups and cleanings. Fluoride treatments twice a year will help prevent tooth decay.

If you have questions about your treatment or need to schedule your next appointment please contact us or find us on Facebook!

Latest Patient Reviews for Associates in Periodontics

January 11th, 2013

5 stars, “I would recommend”

When I was reffered to the office down in burlington by my doctor back in massachusetts I really did not know what to expect and if peole were going to be friendly. But when I mad my appointment over the phone and got there it was very cozy, easy to find and everyone was so friendly. The service was right on time, which I enjoyed very much! I'm really grateful to find a place where the service is great and the people are friendly as well. I would recommend it.

5 stars, “Thank You”

Dr. Kolesar and his associates have shown the most professionalism I have ever encountered at a dentist. What could have been a stressful experience has been turned into a positive experience. Thank you.
“Superior Care”

5 stars

Over the last decade I have found the care at Associates in Periodontics to be vastly superior to my previous experience with another Periodontist. Not only has my health benefited, but I feel very lucky to be the recipient of such warm, friendly and competent care. It's always good to see the cheerful Dr. Shuman. I trust his advice. Kim and Jackie offer outstanding service and Cyndy as a hygienist goes above and beyond in offering me care and I am most appreciative. Valerie H.

Happy New Year!

December 27th, 2012

The year is almost over, and as we reflect on the year that was, we’d like to ask all our patients: what was memorable about 2012 for you, and what are you looking forward to in 2013? Do you have a New Year’s resolution, or any exciting plans for the coming year?

Have a safe and happy New Year from our family to yours!

Don't throw those insurance benefits away!

November 30th, 2012

We would like to give those patients with flex spend, health savings, or insurance benefits a friendly end of the year reminder that it’s about that time to schedule your last dental visit of 2012 so you can optimize your benefits!

Now is the time to reserve you appointment with us. Space is limited and we get VERY busy around the holidays, so don’t wait to give us a call! Happy holidays!

CDC: Half of American Adults Have Periodontal Disease

October 5th, 2012

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show high prevalence of periodontal disease in the U.S. population; American Academy of Periodontology encourages yearly comprehensive periodontal evaluations to assess for disease.

CHICAGO—September 4, 2012—One out of every two American adults aged 30 and over has periodontal disease, according to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A study titled Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010 estimates that 47.2 percent, or 64.7 million American adults, have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. In adults 65 and older, prevalence rates increase to 70.1 percent. This study is published in the Journal of Dental Research, the official publication of the International and American Associations for Dental Research.

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and bone supporting the teeth, according to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP). If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. Research has also shown that periodontal disease is associated with other chronic inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The AAP has worked closely with CDC since 2003 on periodontal disease surveillance.

The findings are based on data collected as part of CDC’s 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The 2009-2010 NHANES included for the first time a full-mouth periodontal examination to assess for mild, moderate, or severe periodontitis, making it the most comprehensive survey of periodontal health ever conducted in the U.S. Researchers measured periodontitis because it is the most destructive form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis, the earliest stage of periodontal disease, was not assessed.

Previous NHANES relied on partial mouth periodontal examinations and may have missed disease in teeth that were not examined. Since periodontal disease is not evenly distributed in the mouth, estimates based on partial mouth examinations may have underestimated actual prevalence rates in the U.S. population by as much as 50 percent.

“This is the most accurate picture of periodontal disease in the U.S. adult population we have ever had,” said Pamela McClain, DDS, President of the American Academy of Periodontology and a practicing periodontist in Aurora, Colorado. “For the first time, we now have a precise measure of the prevalence of periodontal disease, and can better understand the true severity and extent of periodontal disease in our country. The AAP values its collaboration with CDC to better understand the burden of periodontal disease in Americans.”

The findings also indicate disparities among certain segments of the U.S. population. Periodontal disease is higher in men than women (56.4 percent vs. 38.4 percent) and is highest in Mexican-Americans (66.7 percent) compared to other races. Other segments with high prevalence rates include current smokers (64.2 percent); those living below the federal poverty level (65.4 percent); and those with less than a high school education (66.9 percent).

According to Paul Eke, MPH, PhD, lead author and CDC epidemiologist, the findings may drive public health policy. “We have demonstrated a high burden of periodontal disease in the adult U.S. population, especially among adults 65 and older. Periodontal disease is associated with age, and as Americans live longer and retain more of their natural teeth, periodontal disease may take on more prominence in the oral health of the U.S adult population. Maintaining good periodontal health is important to the overall health and well-being of our aging population. Our findings support a need for public health programs to improve the oral health of adults.”

Co-author Robert Genco, DDS, PhD, Distinguished Professor at The State University of New York at Buffalo and Past President of the American Association for Dental Research (AADR) and the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), believes these findings elevate periodontal disease as a public health concern. “We now know that periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent non-communicable chronic diseases in our population, similar to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”

Dr. McClain noted that these findings support the need for comprehensive periodontal evaluations annually. “To really know if you have periodontal disease, a dental professional must examine each tooth above and below the gum line. A visual examination alone, even by the most qualified dentist, is not enough. These findings suggest that many more people have periodontal disease than previously thought, so it is more important than ever to receive a comprehensive periodontal evaluation from your dental professional every year.”

Surveillance of periodontal disease in U.S. adults will continue through the 2014 NHANES to include more racial and ethnic segments of the population. Both CDC and AAP support additional efforts to continue to understand periodontal disease prevalence trends. This data will guide public health policy decisions including appropriate prevention and treatment recommendations.

To assess your risk for periodontal disease and learn more, visit perio.org.

Dr. Paul Levi receives the 9th Annual Yankee Dental Congress Clinician’s Award!

August 11th, 2011

Dr. Paul Levi has recently been awarded the 9th Annual Yankee Dental Congress Clinician’s Award. This award recognizes him as a New England Dentist who has been supportive of the Yankee Dental Congress both as a clinician and as a volunteer. With this honor, there will be a donation made on Dr. Levi’s behalf to the dental school of his choice. He will be formally recognized at this year’s Presidential Awards Ceremony & Reception, which will be held in January.

Associates in Periodontics is thrilled for Dr. Levi to have received this very special recognition from the Yankee Dental Congress. He has dedicated his life to helping others. Please join us in congratulating him on this very well deserved recognition.

Thank you

-The team at Associates in Periodontics

An interesting study about smoking and your overall health

August 5th, 2011


Everybody knows that smoking causes lung cancer, but did you also know that smokers and tobacco users are susceptible to a variety of other health problems at a faster rate than non-smokers?

It’s true! According to a recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine, women who smoke 15 or more cigarettes a day are 10 times as likely as nonsmokers to develop peripheral artery disease (PAD), which narrows and blocks your leg arteries. This disease is caused by the buildup of plaque, and results in serious cramping and fatigue in the hips. PAD is also associated with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Women in this study were all U. S. women health professionals, all whom were 45 years old and older. The study monitored 39,825 women for an average of 12.7 years.

At Associates in Periodontics, we strongly recommend that patients not use tobacco products. Please let Dr. Shuman, Dr. Levi, Dr. Kolesar and Dr. Halliday know if you need support to quit smoking. We can help by recommending different options to help you quit, and above all we will support you throughout the quitting process. We are dedicated to helping you protect your oral health – and quitting smoking is significant step in the right direction.

Coffee and diabetes, is there a connection?

July 27th, 2011

At Associates in Periodontics, we know most folks enjoy a hot-brewed coffee in the morning, sometimes even followed by a latte in the afternoon. According to a recent study in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation, this might even be a good habit!

Whether you drink one cup o'joe or seven or more cups of coffee each week, the study showed that drinking coffee reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The study examined coffee consumption and diabetes risk in 2,332 Taiwanese men and women age 40 and older. Drinking seven or more cups of coffee a week reduced the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 63%, while those that drank just one cup o'joe cut diabetes risk by 33%.

Study results showed that there was a decrease in glucose levels as coffee consumption increased. Researchers speculate that the magnesium in coffee may affect diabetes risk, since it is known to improve glycemic control and insulin resistance. Coffee may also have contributed to weight loss.

Caveat: Coffee consumption and Type 2 diabetes were self-reported, so misclassification is possible.

Drs. Shuman, Kolesar and Halliday create many smiles at the Special Olympics!

July 14th, 2011

At Associates in Periodontics, we enjoy not only providing our patients with exceptional periodontal care, but also giving back to the Burrlington and Barre communities whenever possible. Our team recently volunteered at the Special Olympics, providing free dental checkups and oral hygiene instructions at the Special Smiles tent. Dental hygienists used stuffed animals to demonstrate the best strategies for brushing and flossing, and all athletes were provided with an electric tooth brush and floss after their appointment. Dr. Shuman, Dr. Kolesar and Dr. Halliday all participated in the event, along with Nancy, Heather and Helen from our team. There were many smiles at the Special Smiles tentour team had a great time participating in the event!

For more information about the Special Smiles tent, be sure to check out the Burlington Free Press article. Or, you can always ask our team any questions on our Facebook page.

Tell Associates in Periodontics what's on your mind!

July 8th, 2011

Week after week, Dr. Shuman, Dr. Levi, Dr. Halliday and Dr. Kolesar blog about important topics pertinent to periodontal treatment and your well-being, including dental implants and sleep apnea oral appliances. Today, we thought we’d step back and ask you, our loyal patients and readers: what’s on your mind? What would you like to know about the field of Periodontics? What would you like us to focus on our blog in the coming months? Let us know by posting here or on our Facebook fan page!

So… take it away and we’ll try to answer any questions you may have!

Associates in Periodontics Asks: What are your Independence Day plans?

July 1st, 2011

This coming Monday, July 4th, is Independence Day and the United States of America will be turning 235 years old! It’s a day to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence and also a time for every American to pay homage to our soldiers, past and present, who have placed themselves in harm’s way so that we may continue to enjoy our freedom.

Our team at Associates in Periodontics will be celebrating this Monday and we would like to know, what are your plans for the 4th of July? Will you be out in the sun? Have you stocked up on fireworks? Are you going to grill up your favorite summer foods? Are you staying in town or heading somewhere else? If you have a 4th of July tradition, we would love to hear about it.

Whatever you plan to do, Associates in Periodontics hopes you have a fun and safe holiday! Feel free to upload your 4th of July photos to our Facebook page and let us know how your Independence Day turned out this year.

Smile Wide- June is National Smile Month!

June 23rd, 2011

According to the American Dental Association, a person’s smile outranked eyes, hair and body as the most important physical feature, which is why it’s important for our team at Associates in Periodontics to support National Smile Month this June.

Here are a few simple steps you can take to improve your oral health so that you may celebrate National Smile Month for many, many years to come:

  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, for two minutes each time. If you have trouble keeping to the two minute rule, consider an electric toothbrush with a built-in timer. These can help ensure you’re getting in adequate brushing each day.

  • Floss every day to clean between your teeth. Flossing 3-to-5 minutes each day is recommended, but even 60 seconds of flossing has a great benefit over not flossing at all.

  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods and drinks as much as possible. It’s okay to have a bit of a sweet tooth every once in awhile, but make sure to brush after consuming these types of foods to prevent tooth decay.

  • Visit our office regularly (usually every six months apart).

If you have questions about any of these tips, we encourage you to give us a call.

Flossing with Associates in Periodontics

June 3rd, 2011


We hope you are not a part of the 51 percent of Americans who don’t floss every day. And we definitely hope you're not part of the 10 percent who never floss at all. Our doctors and staff staff at Associates in Periodontics will always tell you that proper flossing is just as important for your dental health as brushing regularly. Flossing, you see, cleans food and plaque that builds up between teeth and below the gumline, key areas that brushing simply cannot reach.

Flossing 3-to-5 minutes each day is recommended, but even 60 seconds of flossing has a great benefit over not flossing at all. Also, make sure to always brush your teeth after you floss, and to rinse with water or mouthwash. When you begin flossing you may experience gum pain or bleeding, but with daily flossing and brushing this should stop within a week or so.

Lastly, has it been at least six months since your last checkup? If the answer is yes, we encourage you to schedule an appointment!

Patient Testimonials

April 29th, 2011

Associates in Periodontics, serving Burlington, Barre and surrounding areas, has been receiving some great patient reviews lately! Check out what our current patients are saying about our team!

Simply the BEST
This is a wonderful group of people who treat you with respect and humor. Talented, caring and on top of their field.

I can attest to the quality of care at Associates in Periodontics: We are indeed fortunate to have this resource available in our community.
Molly R

For the first time in my life, I meet with a dentist who understood my dental problems and sought solutions with me. It is the best !!!!
Lois

These reviews were submitted from an online survey, and republished without being altered in any way onto this blog.

Happy Earth Day!

April 22nd, 2011


Whether lending your helping hand to plant trees or grasses or getting out volunteering in various projects in the the Burlington and Barre areas, today is our opportunity to get involved in making our year-round impact in the community. We want to know: Did you make a difference today? Tell us, what Earth Day-related activities did you accomplish? How long have you participated in helping our community and planet?

At Associates in Periodontics, we support Earth Day, which marks its 41th anniversary today and is designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for our environment and ecosystem. If you’d like to join the millions of people around the world who are making small but important changes to help sustain our ecosystem, try these helpful environmental tips, courtesy of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Enjoy!

Your Next Dental Checkup Could Help Detect Heart Issues Early

April 12th, 2011

Don't put off your next visit any longer! As we've touched on in the past, heart disease has been increasingly linked to oral health issues such as periodontal disease. Since most patients are not regularly visiting a heart specialist, their regular visits to our office can help detect early warning signs of heart issues or disease. If you're new to the topic, we invite you to examine a recent article that discusses the link between oral health and heart health, as well as the latest findings that suggest the value of dental checkups for early detection. Check it out, and be sure to let us know your thoughts!

Additionally, if its been more than 6 months since your last visit, give us a call!

April is National Library Month

April 5th, 2011

We at Associates in Periodontics believe that reading is important for children and adults alike. Reading enhances learning and empowers education. Reading for pleasure develops imagination and creativity in everyone.

As part of our commitment to green sustainability, and in recognition of National Library Month, this April, we invite you to participate in our Take a Book, Bring a Book program. Stop by our "lending library" in the back cabinet at our office, and feel free to take a book home with you. Then on your next appointment, return the book or better yet, bring along another book to recycle to someone else!

We appreciate your participation in this program, and look forward to seeing you on your next appointment!

How important is your smile? From Associates in Periodontics

April 1st, 2011


The Associates in Periodontics team provides the Barre and Burlington, VT communities with leading periodontal treatmen;we know having a beautiful, healthy smile is important to you. It’s important to us, too.

And speaking of smiling, in a new poll conducted by Glamour Magazine, people were asked, “If you had to pick between having perfect teeth, eyesight or hair, which would you choose?

Well, 44 percent of folks out there are choosing teeth! In addition, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, or AACD, conducted a study and found that 99.7 percent of those polled believed a smile is an important social asset. Respondents said straightness, whiteness, cleanliness, as well as the sincerity and sparkle of a person’s smile were all important factors not only socially, but career-wise as well.

Take the next step toward restoring and improving your smile; please contact our office and schedule a consultation.

The Associates in Periodontics Difference, a Patient Testimonial

March 25th, 2011

It was indeed my pleasure to complete the online survey and prepare a review. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to communicate how I feel about your practice. Its quite exceptional to find a "vision" that embraces what really means the most to a patient in these days of "rapid business". More importantly the words are not simply "display material." They are practiced on a consistent basis and you are alert to developing new and improved initiatives. Having provided services since college, nothing means more to me than "passionately committed" to those you serve. That's what makes the real difference and it shows itself in so many ways when I visit your offices.

I wish you and your colleagues much success in future years.
Be well and keep warm!

My very best,

Len

This review was submitted from an online survey, and republished without being altered in any way onto this blog.

Patient Testimonials

March 11th, 2011

Associates in Periodontics, serving Burlington, Barre and surrounding areas, has been receiving some great patient reviews lately! Check out what our current patients are saying about our team!

Recommended without reservation
Need a periodontist? Don't hesitate to call and make an appointment to see Dr. Schumann. You will receive down-to-earth advice in a positive and straight-forward manner. You'll leave knowing what you need to have done and why. It's a great place to do business and come out smiling!
By Lynn C., Jan 10, 2011

Exceptional Experience
I cannot say enough about the treatment and care that I received from Dr. Shuman and the staff at Associates in Periodontics. I had the utmost confidence in Dr. Shuman's ability to get me the desired result, and he did. Every appointment was handled so thoroughly and professionally, that it gave me the impression that I was the only patient in the practice. Dr. Shuman's personal follow up and caring attitude made me feel special. As a nice bonus, my proceedure was virtually pain free. I would highly recommend Associates in Periodontics and Dr. Brian Shuman for a great outcome and a very positive periodontic experience.
By Gary P., Jan 10, 2011

Subscribe By Email

February 25th, 2011

Here at Associates in Periodontics, we are committed to the very best in periodontal care for our patients, serving the Barre and Burlington, VT communities. Now with our social networks, it is easier than every to stay connected and informed with our doctors and team.

As you know, we've been using this blog and our Facebook page to provide helpful information and news, and now you can subscribe to our updates by email. To use this new feature, enter your email address on the left, or click here to subscribe to our blog feed. You will have new updates delivered to you automatically. How convenient!

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

February 10th, 2011

With February being National Children's Dental Health Month, our team at Associates in Periodontics thought we'd share a few good oral hygiene tips with our patients, courtesy of the American Dental Association, or ADA.

• Teeth brushing techniques: It takes only two minutes to properly brush, using short, gentle strokes and devoting extra attention to the gumline, areas around fillings and hard-to-reach areas such as the back teeth.

• Flossing: hold the floss snugly between thumbs and index finger and place between each of the teeth, making sure to go beneath the gumline and curving the floss around the base of each tooth.

• Snack wisely: choose healthy snacks such as vegetables, fruits and cheese and avoid sticky, chewy candies that can stick to the teeth. If you eat these snacks, make sure to brush after doing so.

• Carbonated or sugary drinks: these beverages create acids that can damage the teeth when mixed with saliva, so they should be avoided altogether. When drinking one of these beverages, avoid sipping on it throughout the day. Rather, have a drink and then brush your teeth.

• Regular dental visits: You should plan for checkups and cleanings every 6 months.

National Children's Dental Health Month, now in its 61st year, aims to increase awareness about the importance of kids' oral health. If you have any questions about keeping your mouth healthy, or about your treatment with Associates in Periodontics, please feel free to give us a call!

February is American Heart Month

February 4th, 2011


Did you know February is American Heart Month? It’s a great time to take notice of the health of your heart. Cardiovascular disease remains American's number one killer, according to the American Heart Association. Studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and heart disease, underscoring the importance of good oral health care.

Visiting our office on a regular basis can help prevent gum disease or at least catch it in its early stages. In observance of Heart Month, it’s also important to know your numbers: blood pressure (less than 120/80), cholesterol (less than 200) and BMI (less than 25). If you have any questions about heart health, or about your treatment, please give us a call today.

" Top Notch Periodontal Care"- Patient Reviews of Associates in Periodontics

January 20th, 2011

Associates in Periodontics, serving Burlington, Barre, VT and surrounding areas, has been receiving some great patient reviews lately! Check out what our current patients are saying about our doctors and team!

Dr. Shuman is a skilled, compassionate periodontist. He explains your condition, options for treatment and performs the prescribed procedure in a very calming manner. I have complete confidence in Dr. Shuman.
~ By Heather H., Jan 16, 2011

I actually look forward to each visit.Everyone is courteous and extremely professional. I learn something new to improve my daily care procedures with each visit. I enjoy my conversations, everyone is a joy to see again. I love the offices,a lovely renovated home with private rooms for dental care. I am a lucky guy to have all this for such an important part of my health.I can only ask that this will continue in perpetuity.
By Leonard V., Jan 16, 2011

A professional staff dedicated to the gum health of its patients. The staff encourages patients to tend to their daily care of their gum health. Each and every staff member makes a personal effort to meet every challenge that gum health presents and makes helpful suggestions to achieve this end. I highly recommend Associates in Periodontics to anyone seeking help with their gum health. They are up front regarding fee insurance schedules and offer to indemnify any error that might occur.
By Charles M., Jan 15, 2011

Dirty Money

January 14th, 2011


We all know that because currency trades hands so many times, it is a prime carrier of germs. However, did you realize just how filthy the average dollar bill can be? Check out some amazing facts about your money in the infographic above!

Gum Disease Found to be Underestimated in the U.S.

January 14th, 2011

According to a 2010 study by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the prevalence of periodontal disease in the United States may have been underestimated by as much as 50 percent! This means that more Americans may have periodontal disease than previously thought, and therefore may be more susceptible to other chronic inflammatory diseases such as CVD, diabetes, and respiratory diseases. Visit this article to learn more, and please call us to learn how you can protect against periodontal disease!

Associates in Periodontics of Burlington & Barre, VT

An Interesting Article to Start Your Year Off

January 7th, 2011

Happy New Year everyone! We wanted to share with you a fascinating article we came across recently, which discusses a recent breakthrough by scientists, who discovered a way of partially reversing age-related degeneration in mice. You can check out the article on the Harvard Science website.

This Year, Make a New Year’s Resolution to Smile About!

December 29th, 2010

Let’s face it- when was the last time you managed to keep a New Year’s resolution? We at Associates in Periodontocs believe the key to sticking to a goal is picking one that is both reasonable and attainable. If you haven’t yet picked a New Year’s resolution, consider setting one that will improve your oral health!

For example, resolve to brush twice and floss once a day. Good oral hygiene only takes a few minutes a day, and can make a big difference in your oral health and overall health too! For more oral health-themed resolutions for you and your family, check out this article.

We would love to see what you come up with, share with us by commenting on this post or on our Facebook page. Whatever your New Year’s Resolution, we wish you the very best for 2011!

-Happy New Year, from your friends at Associates in Periodontics

What is your New Year’s Resolution?

December 22nd, 2010


The 2010 holiday season is upon us, and our team at Associates in Periodontics would like to wish all our patients and their families the merriest of holidays and best wishes for the New Year.

We thought we’d ask: what was memorable about 2010 for you, and what are you looking forward to in 2011? Do you have a new year's resolution, or any exciting plans for the coming year?

Have a safe and happy New Year, from all of us at Associates in Periodontics!

Write a Review of Associates in Periodontics!

December 17th, 2010

Has your experience at our office been GREAT?

Would you like to let others know?

Write a review on Google– it’s easy to do! Click the “Write a Review” button above to head to our Google Places page.

Do you already have a Google account? Great! Just click write a review to leave your message.

Don’t have an account? Sign up for one–it’s easy and takes only a minute or two!
Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience! We really appreciate it!

Cold and Flu Season is Here - Replace Your Toothbrush!

December 10th, 2010


Fall is upon us, and with it comes the dreaded cold and flu season. After recovering from your cold, our doctors and team will tell you one of the most important steps you can take to avoid becoming reinfected is replacing your toothbrush!

Germs are known to linger on the bristles, and you risk prolonging your sickness by continuing to use the same toothbrush. Be smart - keep a spare, just in case! To protect your toothbrush from bacteria all year long, consider the following tips:

• Wash your hands before and after brushing
• Allow the brush to air dry after each use, harmful bacteria dies after being exposed to oxygen
• Store the toothbrush in an upright position to allow water to drain and dry faster
• Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Worn bristles are less effective in properly cleaning your teeth, and can actually be damaging to teeth if used too long!

We hope these tips help! Feel free to call us at Associates in Periodontics if you have any questions or ask us on Facebook.

Another Reason to Stay in Shape - Healthy Teeth and Gums

December 3rd, 2010

As you know, there are many reasons to maintain a healthy smile by proper oral care and regular visits to our office, but a new study suggests that weight control and physical fitness can both have positive effects on oral health as well! Since heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers are more likely in overweight individuals, and since Periodontal disease has been linked to these health concerns, staying in shape is more important than ever before!

You can learn more about your risk for periodontal disease by visiting us, or check out the online resources of perio.org.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 22nd, 2010


Our doctors and team would like to wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy a day filled of friends, family, and great thanksgiving food! What are you most thankful for this year? Leave us a comment, or if you have any stories or pictures to share with us, we encourage you to share them on our Facebook page!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Staying connected with Associates in Periodontics

November 17th, 2010

At Associates in Periodontics, we embrace technology, whether it’s through the innovative treatments we offer, our high-tech web site or our Facebook fan page. As you can probably tell, we love connecting with our patients online, whether it’s by sharing news on our blog or communicating ideas on our fan page. For social media to work, we understand that conversation is vital, and that’s why we invite you to join in and tell us what’s on your mind. Although social networks are hugely popular these days, we know they’re unpredictable and ever-changing.

While we take a little time to research how to best use social media, we thought we’d ask you, our loyal patients: How would you like us to use our social networks? What would you like us to share on our blog? Please post your thoughts or give us a call!

Access your account—any day, any time

November 10th, 2010

Access to your account, 24/7. Sounds simple and convenient, doesn’t it?

Patients at our office enjoy access to their account 24 hours a day, seven days a week—all through our website. You can look up your appointments and all of your account details at your convenience, all from the comfort of your own home! You can even receive appointment reminders through email or text messages!

You, too, may sign up for this convenient service on our website by clicking on the "Patient Login" button on our homepage. Please give us a call if you have any questions about getting started!

At Associates in Periodontics, what puts you at ease?

November 4th, 2010

Our doctors and team understand not everyone may be thrilled to come in for an appointment. But we strive to bring you the best and most comforting experience at each visit. We’d like to know: What is it about Associates in Periodontics that makes you comfortable or puts you at ease? Is it something about our pleasant office environment? Our friendly staff or doctors?

Let us know by posting here or by giving us a call!

Halloween and Cavity Prevention

October 28th, 2010

For moms and dads worried about kids going overboard on candies, sugar and other sweets, Halloween is a dreaded annual event.

All those sweet, sour and sticky candies may taste great, but these treats are known to damage teeth! Did you know sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them? This can cause tooth decay and cavities! Sour and fruity candy, such as Starburst and Skittles, are the worst for your child’s teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which can ruin enamel.

So what's a parent to do?

This Halloween season, try to limit the amount of these candies that your child eats, and when your child does eat them, either have him rinse his mouth with water afterward or have him drink some milk or eat a piece of cheese.

Hope this helps!

All of us at Associates in Periodontics wish you and your family a happy, safe Halloween!

Gum disease found to be significant public health concern

October 20th, 2010


We've posted about the important role gum health plays to oral health and overall bodily health, but a recent article from the American Academy of Periodontology finds gum disease to now be a significant public health concern. Check out the article below, and leave a comment here on what you think. Hope you find this article helpful!

CHICAGO, IL / NEW YORK, NY, USA: The prevalence of periodontal disease in the United States may be significantly higher than originally estimated. Research published in the Journal of Dental Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) suggests that the prevalence of periodontal disease may have been underestimated by as much as 50 per cent.
The implication is that more American adults may suffer from moderate to severe gum disease than previously thought.

In a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) pilot study, funded by the CDC’s Division of Oral Health, a full-mouth, comprehensive periodontal examination was conducted on over 450 adults over the age of 35.

Periodontal disease was classified according to definitions determined by the CDC in collaboration with the AAP. The prevalence rates were then compared against the results of previous NHANES studies, which used a partial-mouth periodontal examination.

Historically, NHANES has served as the main source for determining prevalence of periodontal disease in U.S. adults. The pilot study finds that the original partial-mouth study methodology may have underestimated true disease prevalence by up to 50 per cent.

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the gum tissue and other structures supporting the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss, and may also interfere with other systems of the body. Several research studies have associated gum disease with other chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and rheumatoid arthritis.

“This study shows that periodontal disease is a bigger problem than we all thought. It is a call to action for anyone who cares about his or her oral health,” said Samuel Low, DDS, MS, associate dean and professor of periodontology at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, and president of the American Academy of Periodontology.

“Given what we know about the relationship between gum disease and other diseases, taking care of your oral health isn’t just about a pretty smile. It has bigger implications for overall health, and is therefore a more significant public health problem,” Dr Low said.

Dr Low explained that the increased prevalence of periodontal disease makes it essential to maintain healthy teeth and gums.

“Not only should you take good care of your periodontal health with daily tooth brushing and flossing, you should expect to get a comprehensive periodontal evaluation every year,” he advised.

A dental professional, such as a periodontist, a specialist in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gum disease, will conduct the comprehensive exam to assess your periodontal disease status.

According to Paul Eke, MPH, PhD, epidemiologist at the CDC and lead author of the study, the findings have significant public health implications.

“The study suggests we have likely underestimated the prevalence of periodontal disease in the adult U.S. population,” Dr Eke said. “We are currently utilizing a full-mouth periodontal examination in the 2009/10 NHANES to better understand the full extent and characteristics of periodontal disease in our adult population.”

“Research suggests a connection between periodontal health and systemic health,” Dr Eke added. “In light of these findings, understanding the relationships between periodontal disease and other systemic diseases in the adult U.S population is more crucial than ever.”

(Edited by Fred Michmershuizen, DTA)

Celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month

October 13th, 2010

Would you believe it's already October? For our staff, October means one thing: National Dental Hygiene Month. This month, we join the American Dental Hygienists' Association in spreading the word that good dental habits are easy to develop and even easier to maintain.

Here are a few tips to help you build good oral hygiene habits this month:

* Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two to three minutes. Make sure to get the outer and inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of each tooth.

* Floss once a day to remove plaque from between teeth. Help children learn healthy flossing habits so when they're capable, they know how to do it properly.

* Visit us on a regular basis. Children should start seeing a dentist within six months of getting their first tooth.

* Ask us what toothpaste family members should use. Remember that not all toothpaste is appropriate for all ages.

* Eat a healthy diet, rich in fruit and veggies. Avoid sugary foods and eat a high fiber diet of fruits and veggies such as apples and carrots to help prevent tooth decay.

Your teeth are an important part of your body, and keeping them clean helps keep your mouth and your body healthy. By taking care of your teeth, eating a balanced diet, and visiting our convenient offices on a regular basis, you can have healthy teeth and an attractive smile throughout your entire life.

We encourage you to check out the ADHA's National Dental Hygiene Month website for tips on keeping your mouth clean and healthy. Lastly, has it been six months since your last visit to Associates in Periodontics? If the answer is yes, we encourage you to give us a call to set up an appointment.

Sleep apnea: Risks and treatment options in Burlington and Barre, VT

October 8th, 2010

Sleep disorders are fairly common, with around 50 to 70 million Americans being affected by some type chronic sleep disorder, and some of these progressing to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which can cause loss of sleep among many other health problems. What ages get sleep apnea? Those under age four (large tonsils) and those between the ages of 55 to 59. Snoring is one of the most easily identified symptoms, and as it worsens it can lead to full airway blockage while you sleep, which can severely disrupt your sleep patterns.

Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical problem that if left untreated can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart failure and stroke. It can also take a toll on your overall energy level, as sleep apnea causes an ongoing state of fatigue.

There are several different approaches to sleep apnea treatment, including:

• Surgery to the jaws or airway tissue to open the airway. This is typically only used in the most severe cases.
• Continuous airway pressure therapy which involves a mask and machine (CPAP machine) to keep your throat muscles and tissue open while sleeping
• Oral appliance therapy, a less intrusive method involving a customized oral device that positions your jaw in a favorable position to keep your airway open while you sleep.

If you suspect that you may suffer from a sleep disorder or sleep apnea, give us a call and we can refer you to a sleep apnea specialist. Depending on your situation, treatment may involve an oral device that we can custom-create for you.

Smile, and you might just live longer!

September 30th, 2010

Folks with big smiles may actually live than those who don’t, according to a March 2010 study at Michigan’s Wayne State University. We have known for quite some time that positive emotion has been linked to both physical and mental health, but researchers at the university did something quite interesting: they looked at photos of 230 ball-players who began their careers in baseball prior to 1950 and studied their smile intensity (ranging from big smile, no smile or partial smile). The players' smile ratings were compared with data from deaths that occurred from 2006 through 2009. The researchers then took into account other factors that impact life longevity, including body mass index, career length and even college attendance.

The results? Researchers found that players who weren't smiling in the photos lived to be an average age of 72.9 years. Players with partial smiles lived to be 75. Those with big smiles, however, lived on average to be 79.9 years old.

The take-away from the new study? Smile now, smile often and you might just live longer! Have you been perfecting your smile by visiting us? If not, give us a call!

Staying connected with Associates in Periodontics

September 23rd, 2010

At Associates in Periodontics, we embrace technology, whether it’s through the innovative treatments we offer, our high-tech web site or our Facebook fan page. As you can probably tell, we love connecting with our patients online, whether it’s by sharing news on our blog or communicating ideas on our fan page. For social media to work, we understand that conversation is vital, and that’s why we invite you to join in and tell us what’s on your mind. Although social networks are hugely popular these days, we know they’re unpredictable and ever-changing.

While our doctors and staff take a little time to research how to best use social media, we thought we’d ask you, our loyal patients: How would you like us to use our social networks? What would you like us to share on our blog? Please post your thoughts or give us a call!

Which toothbrush should my child use?

September 17th, 2010

We will tell you that brushing your teeth is one of the easiest methods of cavity prevention. But which type of toothbrush should your child use? When choosing a toothbrush, look for round-ended (polished) bristles that clean while being gentle on the gums. Choose one that is specifically designed for children's smaller mouths and hands. Also, look for large handles that can help children control the toothbrush. Lastly, throw out a toothbrush after three months or sooner if the bristles are fraying. Frayed bristles can harm your gums, and are not as effective in cleaning teeth.

As far as which toothpaste is best? It doesn't matter as long as it has fluoride in it. However, for small children who tend to swallow toothpaste, do not use fluoridated toothpaste. Make sure to touch each tooth and every side of that tooth. Also, you do need to gently brush on your gums.

To learn more about choosing the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your child, we encourage you to read this helpful article from Parenthood.com. Or, you may give us a call and we'll try to answer any question you may have about keeping your child's mouth as healthy as possible!

More Studies Connect Oral Diseases to other Systemic Disease

September 10th, 2010

As research continues to explore the relationship of oral disease to other systemic diseases, it is becoming clearer that oral health can help contribute in the prevention of various medical ailments, or reduce their severity.

The culprit it appears is chronic inflammation which can be caused by chronic periodontal disease or other chronic dental infections. Although some of the damage seen is localized to the periodontium by bacterial invasion, most of the other damage is seen by cytokines, a product of chronic inflammation, which can help cause destruction in distant places, contributing to type 2 diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and premature births.

Recent studies show that 1/3 of people with Diabetes Mellitus have severe periodontal disease, and that by treating their periodontal disease their serum glucose levels were reduced by 50mg/dL.

One researcher found that if oral bacteria breach the placenta, the baby's risk of being prematurely born rises to 2.8 times that of a baby with no exposure.
Research at the University of Buffalo showed a link between periodontal disease and osteoporosis, especially in women over 70. In the NHANES study which included 10,000 Americans, between 18-74 , people with periodontal disease were much more likely to be diagnosed with heart disease.

Given the increased presence of periodontal disease in the medicaid population, the lack of adequate dental care will help contribute to their developing these various chronic diseases, and raise the costs of healthcare to treat these diseases.

Questions about oral health and periodontal disease? Give us a call or visit the Associates in Periodontics website!

September is National Gum Care Month

September 1st, 2010

Gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease, can be difficult to recognize. Many people do not recognize the warning signs- bleeding and swollen gums, as a precursor to gum disease. This month a national campaign is underway to raise awareness about gum health and periodontal disease, and at Associates in Periodontics in Burlington & Barre, VT, we wanted to do our part to help spread the word!

Early recognition and action are the most important steps to health gums, and ultimately a health body too! Studies are published every year linking oral health, including the gums, to the health of other areas of the body, such the heart. One of the most important steps to improving the care of your gums is recognizing the warning signs for gum disease. These can include:

• Gums that appear red or swollen
• Gums that feel tender
• Gums that bleed easily (during brushing or flossing)
• Gums that recede or pull away from the teeth
• Persistent halitosis, or bad breath
• Loose teeth
• Any change in the way teeth come together in the biting position

If you notice any of these signs, schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible. We can take proactive steps to prevent gingivitis and gum disease, while showing you how to improve gum care in your daily oral hygiene habits.

Gum Disease Can Sneak Up On You

August 27th, 2010

It’s easy to tell when you have a cavity; but unfortunately, gum disease can exist in your mouth without you even knowing. In fact, you can have the beginning stages of gum disease without noticing any pain or discomfort. Since gum disease can be undetectable, it’s important to watch for warning signs in order to prevent the disease from worsening!

Signs to watch for:
• Gums that appear red or swollen
• Gums that feel tender
• Gums that bleed easily (during brushing or flossing)
• Gums that recede or pull away from the teeth
• Persistent halitosis, or bad breath
• Loose teeth
• Any change in the way teeth come together in the biting position

If you or someone in your family is showing these signs, schedule an appointment right away by calling Associates in Periodontics, serving Burlington and Barre, VT. We can diagnose the problem and begin treatment to save your teeth and give you back a healthy mouth!

Foods for Healthy Gums, Healthy Hearts

August 20th, 2010

Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is far more common than you may think in Americans. Every year, new studies begin to link the effect gum disease can have on the heart, and we at Associates in Periodontics have been helping spread the word! One of the simplest steps to achieving healthier gums can be your diet. We recently found a great article outlining several options for healthier gums. Included among the suggestions were:

-Raisins
-Green Tea
-Whole Grains

In addition to these foods being gums-friendly, they are healthy foods in general, and a great option to begin integrating into your diet. Hope these tips help!

I Had No Idea Periodontal Disease Is Linked to…

August 13th, 2010

You may have seen stories in the news about the connection between periodontal disease and heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. However, those aren't the only health conditions that are related to periodontal disease. Research has shown that having periodontal disease can put you at risk for a few surprising conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, and even kidney disease.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Over 1.3 million Americans suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a chronic, inflammatory disease of the joints that can lead to long-term joint damage. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology uncovered yet another potential side effect of RA; researchers discovered that patients with RA are eight times more likely to have periodontal disease than those without RA. However, the research indicates that poor oral hygiene alone did not account for the connection between RA and gum disease, which means that other factors play a role as well. Both RA and gum disease are systemic inflammatory disorders which may explain the connection between the two.

Cancers
Men are especially at risk for developing certain cancers if they have periodontal disease. Research published in The Lancet Oncology found that men with a history of gum disease are 14 percent more likely to develop cancer than men with healthy gums. In fact, researchers discovered that men with periodontal disease are 49 percent more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer, and 30 percent more likely to develop blood cancers.

Kidney Disease
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology suggests that toothless adults may be more likely to have chronic kidney disease than adults with all of their teeth. Untreated periodontal disease can lead to bone loss around teeth, which can then cause teeth to loosen and fall out. Periodontal disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adults. In the study, the lack of teeth was found to be significantly associated with chronic kidney disease. The two diseases may be connected by chronic inflammation, as both are considered inflammatory conditions.

Protect Yourself
To help protect yourself from these health conditions, including periodontal disease, make sure to brush your teeth twice each day, floss at least once each day, and see a dental professional for cleanings twice each year. If periodontal disease develops, a consultation with a dentist or periodontist may lead to effective treatment. The key to a healthy body may start with a healthy mouth!

Are you at risk for periodontal disease?
Your risk for periodontal disease may increase depending on Your age,Gender, Bleeding gums, Tobacco use, or family history of gum disease.

To find out if you may be at risk, take the American Academy of Periodontology’s risk assessment. The assessment will let you know if you are at low, moderate, or high risk for periodontal disease. We would be happy to discuss your results with you.

Associates in Periodontics supporting the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation

August 4th, 2010


We are pleased to be involved with the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation through one of our employees, whose husband is a F-16 pilot and was commander of the Green Mountain Boys for 3 years. She is on the board of this foundation, which works to deliver care packages to deployed members of the Vermont Army & Air National Guard serving around the world.

Dr. Shuman, as continuing education chair with the Vermont State Dental Society, has helped lead the campaign to support this project. He has urged other state dentists to support this cause through donation of dental items (toothbrushes, floss, etc). If you would like to help contribute to this program, please visit the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation web site, or join their Facebook community!

Welcome to our blog!

July 30th, 2010


Welcome to the official Associates in Periodontics blog! We've recently installed new ways to stay connected to our patients, including our Facebook page, YouTube channel and our very own blog, which we’ll be updating weekly! Visit us by clicking on any of the social network icons located on the left side of our page.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

-Drs. Levi, Shuman, Halliday, Kolesar and team

Meet Our Doctors

July 20th, 2010

Dr. Paul Levi received his DMD from the Tufts School of Dental Medicine in 1966. He received his Specialty training in Periodontics from Tufts in 1971. After graduating, he opened his private practice limited to periodontics — Associates in Periodontics.

For the past six years he has been on the Board of the American Academy of Periodontology Foundation, and presently is the president of the Foundation. In addition he is a board examiner for the American Board of Periodontology. He presently teaches two to three days a week at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and lectures at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He practices periodontics in Burlington, Vermont two days a week.

Dr. Brian Shuman graduated in 1978 from Haverford College where he was a biology major, participated in varsity soccer, baseball and tennis and was awarded the College Varsity Cup as a senior. He was also a member of the 1978 U.S Maccabiah Olympic Soccer team.

He graduated the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in 1982 and completed his periodontal training at The University of Pennsylvania School of Periodontology in 1985, where he was class president. He joined Paul Levi, Jr., DMD in 1985.

Dr. Shuman teaches at the Dental Residency Program, Hygiene School and Dental Assisting program. He also serves as Vice President of the Vermont Periodontal Society, Chairman of The Vermont State Dental Society Board of Continuing Education, Chairman of the Vermont Tech School of Dental Hygiene Advisory Board and Chairman of The Northeast Delta Dental Corporate Governance Committee

Upon graduation from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 2002, Dr. Holly Halliday practiced general dentistry in Michigan and Ontario for two years. In 2007, she graduated as chief resident from the University of Detroit Mercy Periodontics Program and was published in the journal General Dentistry the same year. Dr. Halliday is a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology.

Dr. Matthew Kolesar graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine and from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine’s School of Periodontology. Dr. Kolesar, a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, most recently practiced in Washington, D.C. He is a contributing author to the Illustrated Handbook of Clinical Dentistry, was a clinical instructor of head and neck anatomy at Harvard Medical School, and has been published in the Journal of Oral Maxillofacial Implants.

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