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brian shuman

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

6 Healthy Habits For Living Longer

June 16th, 2011

We at Associates in Periodontics are committed to helping our patients look and feel great. We've discussed the connection between oral health and heart health, but even between your visits, there are many ways you can start building healthy habits and living longer! A recent article from askmen.com highlights 6 easy habits to get started with. One of them is a habit that we preach to our patients every day!

  1. Exercise- some studies suggest that daily exercise can add as much as three years to your life
  2. Eat a Healthy Breakfast- while eating healthy in general is always a great rule to live by, a balanced breakfast is an important part of feeling and being healthier.
  3. Get Enough Sleep- While there is still some debate over how much sleep we really need, sleeping less than seven hours a night can lead to major health issues.
  4. Brush and Floss Daily- A tip we tell our patients every day, your oral health is truly a critical part of your overall health too!
  5. Stay Social- A healthy social life spent with friends is another important factor to a healthy lifestyle that many people overlook.
  6. Drink Enough Water- While the jury is still out on the "eight glasses a day" rule, the message is still a good one.

Hope these tips help!

"How can it possibly get any better!"

June 13th, 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!

I love having a chance to exult in the wonderful care I receive from you and your first-class staff.
Valerie H

The most professional, courteous, responsive, and friendly group of practioners I have had the opportunity to visit. I actually enjoy my visits - even the periodontal surgeries
Renee R.

This practice has stayed on the cutting edge and provides genuine quality and personal care.
Mary P

"How can it possibly get any better!" Just a quote from my heart This entire staff is outstanding
Joanne

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

"I travel over sixty miles each way for the exceptional service!"

June 6th, 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!

Having been in the dental profession for 20+ years, I have never been able to get any other office to meet my high expectations and level of service.
~Victoria J

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.
~Len V

Relax and Trust ! And you can laugh, too !
~Phyllis D

Associates in Periodontics is awesome! What a kind, caring, topnotch practice. I wish every dental experience could be this great!
~Sarah

I travel over sixty miles each way for the Exceptional service
~Dolores M

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

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!

"The people at Associates in Periodontics are just plain great!"

May 24th, 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!

The people at Associates in Periodontics are just plain great.
~Richard M

Top flight dental office, there is no more competent dental office in Vermont than Associates in Periodontics.
~David G

I am so glad my dentist referred me to Associates in Periodontics for the work I needed done.
~Rita

Every appointment was handled so thoroughly and professionally, that it gave me the impression that I was the only patient in the practice.
~Gary P

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

Associates in Periodontics, helping you feel comfortable and at ease

May 20th, 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!

My first ever oral surgery, two gum grafts - a procedure friends assured me was barbaric, painful and traumatic. To my surprise, it was none of these under the skilled care of Dr. Shuman and his incredible staff
Nancy R

A bonus, they all are Red Sox fans as I could not have a Yankees fan work on my teeth and gums.
Joe

Great to know that there are dedicated and skilled medical professionals out there in the world who really do care about their patients
Judy Ann P

The entire staff has a way of making you feel comfortable and at ease. I have the utmost trust and respect for the team from the doctors to the desk folks
Polly T

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

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.

More Patient Reviews

March 17th, 2011

Top flight dental office
There is no more competent dental office in Vermont than Associates in Periodontics. I have been to enough dental offices over the years for various procedures to recognize excellence in dentistry. I have been a patient for 35 years and have found that both the doctors and the hygienists to be excellent and truly interested in giving you the best outcome while educating you as to what needs to be done to maintain good dental health.
By David G., Jan 14, 2011

They always willing to spend the needed time ...
I am so glad my dentist referred me to Associates in Periodontics for the work I needed done. The staff and doctors are always willing to answer my questions, explain procedures and choices in detail, and are very understanding. I feel lucky to be able to count on these highly professional individuals to guide me along through the process of caring for my teeth and gums.
By Rita P., Jan 9, 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!

A Few Patient Testimonials for the Associates in Periodontics Team

February 18th, 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!


Great practice Wonderful people
If you are like me, you don't like to have your mouth worked on. But if you have to have your mouth worked on, these are the go to people. I attribute the fact that I still have my teeth to their great care.
By Anonymous, Dec 19, 2010

very pleased
I am a very nervous dental patient and have been a patient with Dr. Shuman and staff for many years. They have always been patient, professional and I have continuing good health with my teeth. I am rarely kept waiting even a few minutes for my appointments, which is appreciated, since I travel quite a distance.
By Marlene, Dec 19, 2010

Better then hoped for!!
Sixteen years ago I was not far way from loosing not one or two of my teeth but all of my teeth to advanced gum disease. Then I was referred to Dr. Shuman and all that began to change. The treatment I received was first class and now sixteen years later I'm happy to say that my teeth are healthy and it looks like they may last for a very long time to come. May thanks to Dr. Shuman and the entire staff, your hard work has made it possible for me to have healthy teeth and gums!! Warren Palmer
By Warren P., Dec 19, 2010

Great Service
The entire staff was friendly, professional and caring. I would recommend them to everyone in need of treatment.
By Anonymous, Dec 18, 2010

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