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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.

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.

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

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!

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!

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!

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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