Hip Replacement Surgery – Wrong Number?

Many of you have asked me, at one time or other over the last 5 years, why was I limping.  Up until last year I probably responded by saying that I did not realize I was limping.  About a year ago, I finally decided to see the doctor – I knew something was not right.  It was my back.  As the pain in my back increased, the limp became worse so I went to see the back doctor.

After I had the requisite X-rays, the back doctor came in to see me.  He said that my vertebra looked good, the curvature of my spine looked good, and the spacing between my vertebra looked good.  He followed that up with, “And you are going to feel so much better when you get your new hip.”  I waited for the punchline, but it was no joke.

I was really concerned because I had heard of folks being out of commission for 8 to as much as 16 weeks!  As a solo practicing dentist, I knew there was no way I could be out for 2-4 months.  I decided that I would have to wait.  I mean, now that I knew the real problem, I also knew my limitations – no long walks.

I was doing fairly well till Summer.  Even though I knew my limitations, I began to go downhill rapidly; I could barely walk, and I was in constant pain.  My hip continued to get worse as Fall came.  I had to do something.

After talking with a couple of surgeons, and some Googling by my wife and myself, I decided to talk with a surgeon at Emory.  When I called Emory to get the names and phone numbers, I was given 2 or 3 names.  I selected one and dialed.  The office that answered was not the one I had selected, but another – I had misdialed…  It was the office of one of the other Emory Orthopaedic Surgeons, Dr. Thomas Bradbury.

I took my previous X-rays with me, and once Dr. Bradbury looked at them, he asked me, “How in the world did you walk in here today?”  He confirmed that the only treatment for me was a total hip replacement.  Then he told me about the procedure.  He said he performed hip replacement with an anterior approach (from the front) as opposed to the classic posterior approach (from the back).  He said that I would have no limitations or restrictions and I could do whatever I felt like afterwards, and my hip wouldn’t be perfect, but about 95%.  He also said that most patients were back in service much quicker – although I could not pin him down on how long I would be out.

I began to research the Anterior Approach Hip Replacement (animated YouTube video), and I found out some amazing things.  The reason folks do so well is that muscles and ligaments are not cut; they are retracted or pushed out of the way to get to the joint.  The only cuts I have healing are a 4 inch incision on top of my thigh and the joint itself.  Bone has no pain nerves, so I feel nothing there.  In fact, the only pain/soreness I have had is in my muscles where they are getting over being stretched – sort of like major pulled muscles.

Surgery was December 20, and I went home December 21.  When I got home, I walked up the stairs to my lazy-boy in my bedroom, and I set up shop there.  On December 30 I drove down to Newnan and back.  And on Wednesday, January 4th, I was back in the office seeing patients…  We just scheduled 1/2 day for Wednesday and Thursday, but I felt great.  I believe I am good to go for next week.  I’m not ready for a marathon, but I am better each and every day.

When we were leaving the hospital, Emory University Orthopaedic Joint and Spine Hospital, one of the folks helping us told us how lucky we were to have found Dr. Bradbury because he was one of the few, if not the only, surgeon in the entire SOUTHEAST who was performing this new technique.  She went on to tell us how his patients all bounced back quicker than the others.

How lucky we were to have found him…. And all I did was dial the wrong number.

Posted in Anterior Hip Replacement, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Getting Ready for Vacation

The last patient I saw before taking a few days off for the 4th of July was one of my Sleep Apnea patients.  When I first met this patient, she was an extremely tired individual.

During our Sleep Apnea examination, we review sleepiness as well as signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea; she was very sleepy, and had virtually every sign and symptom of Sleep Apnea.

Here are some links for you to evaluate your own quality of sleep:

Do you have a sleep disorder – Do you snore?

What are the side effects of Sleep Apnea?

How does your bed partner rate your sleep quality?

Just how sleepy are you?

How does a dentist use an appliance to treat Sleep Apnea?

We inserted and adjusted this lady’s custom made Sleep Apnea appliance, and saw her for a follow up visit 2 weeks later.

When I walked into the room, she was a different person.  Her eyes were wide open and bright.  Her face looked relaxed.  She had a big smile on her face.  Her granddaughter was visiting her, and she was able to keep up with her, doing all the things the granddaughter wanted to do.  You could hear the excitement in my patient’s voice.

We reviewed her signs and symptoms of Sleep Apnea (as we do on all follow up appointments), and she reported 100% improvement in most all signs and symptoms.  Even the Signs and Symptoms that were still present were improved in ONLY TWO WEEKS!

At the conclusion of our appointment she said, “Dr. Hair, thank you for giving me back my life.”  Wow! Talk about making you feel good about what you do for patients….

As she was leaving, she said she was getting me a really nice Christmas present this year, and she asked if she could give me a hug.  That was one of the best hugs I have ever received; I had tears in my eyes.

What a great way to get ready for a few days off.

Posted in Douglasville Dentist, Sleep Apnea, Snoring | Leave a comment

Sure, I Floss…

Comedians always seem to point out the obvious.  Jeff Foxworthy starts one of his routines with, “Why do dentists make you lie?”  He goes on to say that his dentist always asks him if he is flossing every day; he lies and says, “I sure am.”  Then Foxworthy tells us that the last time his teeth were flossed was when the dentist flossed them at his last visit!

Although most of our patients swear they floss daily, the American Dental Association tells us that more than 90% do not.  With less than 10% compliance, why do we continue to badger our patients about flossing?

We all have bacteria that live in our mouths.  They like to hang out in the crevice between our teeth and gums because they don’t have to work for a living there: we feed them all day long.  The byproducts (or bug poo-poo as I tell the kids) are sticky stuff to hang onto the teeth as well as acids and toxins that cause decay and gum disease.

This sticky film and the bacteria it contains causes gum disease that actually eats away the bone around teeth causing them to become loose and eventually fall out when there is no bone left to support your teeth.  Even scarier is the new research that links gum disease to heart attacks and strokes.

Flossing is the best way to mechanically remove this plaque every day, but what do we recommend for that 90% who will not floss?  At Boulevard Smiles by Dr. Joe Hair, we have developed what we call a Waterpik recipe for those who will not floss.  Flossing is best, but we have seen dramatic results with our patients who will not floss once they begin using our Waterpik Recipe.

If you are interested, give us a call or send us an email, and we will happily share this alternative to not flossing.

If you already have gum disease and are researching treatments, click here to learn about Laser Gum Treatment in our office.

Posted in flossing, Gum (Periodontal) Disease, Gum (Periodontal) Treatment | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Facelift Dentures

Introducing Facelift Dentures

Boulevard Smiles by Dr. Joe Hair is excited to be able to offer this revolutionary service to probably the most under-served segment of our dental population – denture wearers.  It is hard enough to have to wear dentures, but it is even worse when everyone knows you have dentures because you have that “denture look.”

The horseshoe-shaped bones that hold your teeth are there for just one reason: to hold your teeth.  When the teeth are lost, the bone dissolves away.  The upper jawbone dissolves upward and inward resulting in a “sunken-in face” where the nose and chin are too close to one another.

Traditional dentures attempt to add some of the lost support for the face, but the teeth are set over the dissolving ridge resulting many times in the typical “denture look” seen in the Before picture below:

The classic "Denture Look" adds years to your appearance. A Facelift Denture can turn abck the clock and make you look years younger.

BEFORE                                    AFTER

Facelift Dentures (After picture above) are fabricated utilizing Neuromuscular Principles.

The basis of neuromuscular treatment lies in achieving and maintaining optimum muscle relaxation and function.  In dentures, this directly relates to the fit and appearance of dentures.  With stable and relaxed muscles, you automatically get a better fit.  Additionally, stable and relaxed muscles provide a position where the muscles will function best.  This coincides with the same position that provides the greatest facial support.  In other words the dentures that function best also look best. Imagine, a cosmetic procedure, a face lift, without surgery!

Patients have said that Facelift Dentures make them look 20 years younger, but we will let you be the judge.  In the pictures above, does it look like mother / daughter or grandmother / granddaughter?  Neither – it is the same person!  The difference in the 2 pictures is the difference between traditional dentures and Facelift Dentures.  Facelift Dentures have come to Douglasville and West Georgia.

If you or anyone you know needs Facelift Dentures, please call  770-949-1005 for a consultation or click here to request an appointment online.

 

 

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Charlie Sheen – “Duh…, UNEMPLOYED!”

In a couple of previous blogs, I talked about how people (Dr. Oz) should only give advice about subjects they had knowledge.  I hope I am not breaking that rule here.  I am only attempting to give my opinion on recent current events:

In my opinion, Charlie Sheen has moved to the land of Tom-Cruise-Crazy.  I really do not care to see anything with either of them in it any more.

Where else can anyone make $26 million for 13 weeks’  work and DEMAND $39 million? When I say 13 weeks, I am assuming that CBS films 13 episodes at the rate of one episode per week.  Sheen was the highest paid TV actor.  “Duh…, WINNING!”

Suprisingly, CBS did not cave, so Sheen takes to the Internet to rant and rave – apparently, all night.  “Duh…, WHINING!”

Even Saturday Night Live found Sheen to be wonderful fodder for their skits. I’m proud of CBS because, not only did they not cave to Sheen’s ridiculous demands, they actually had the guts, or chutzpah, or whatever to fire him.  “Duh…, UNEMPLOYED!”

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He Did a Great Job.

Patient shares her experience at Boulevard Smiles by Dr. Joe Hair on YouTube.

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Dr. Oz Doesn’t Know X-rays Either

 

Last time Dr. Oz gave dental advice, he recommended that people “safely” whiten their teeth at home using and acid and an abrasive.  I think anyone can see the dangers when Dr. Oz’s technique is explained this way.  Well, he is offering dental advice again: a field in which he has no training.

This time Dr. Oz is sensationalizing fear of radiation by telling folks to avoid dental x-rays because they cause thyroid cancer.  His “research” is an article found on the Internet.  Here is an interesting excerpt:

The researchers studied 313 thyroid cancer patients in Kuwait where dental treatment is free and where the incidence of thyroid cancer is relatively high compared to Britain. They said the results of their study, although the largest case-control study on the subject, should be treated with caution because the data were necessarily based on self-reporting by the participants. Comprehensive historical dental x-ray records were not available from the clinics.

313 patients is an extremely small sample – calling it a study would be generous at best. The “data” was SELF-REPORTED by the patients.  Nothing about this follows the scientific model.  The best part is that they say the cancer is caused by the dental x-rays, yet there ARE NO RECORDS of how many, what kind, or even IF x-rays were taken on which patients.

Another excerpt from this Internet article:

“The public health and clinical implications of these findings are particularly relevant in the light of increases in the incidence of thyroid cancer in many countries over the past 30 years.”

This second excerpt attempts to tie an increase in thyroid cancer to dental x-rays over the past 30 years. The funny thing is that over the past 30 years, x-ray film has increased in speed by 4 times. In other words, a person receives ¼ the radiation for dental FILM x-rays today than 30 years ago.


But wait, it gets better.  The manufacturers tell us that those of us who use Digital X-rays (the radiographs are on our computer screens – no film) are only exposing our patients to 25% of that ¼ of the radiation required in the late 1960’s and ‘70’s.  If dental x-rays were the causative factor in thyroid cancer, there would have been an outbreak in the 1950’s, ‘60’s, and ‘70’s, and the thyroid cancer rate would have plummeted over the last 30 years.

Dental x-rays are necessary in a comprehensive dental exam.  Without x-rays we would fail to diagnose decay, bone loss, impacted teeth, retained root tips, abscesses, cysts, tumors, and cancers.  With x-rays, we can diagnose these conditions much earlier and treat them much more conservatively.  If they aren’t diagnosed, each of these conditions worsen and can be extremely difficult (and expensive) to treat.

We dentists must practice within the “standard of care” which includes x-rays as part of a comprehensive exam.  A dentist who treats patients without a proper exam, which includes x-rays, is practicing below the standard of care and can be guilty of malpractice.

As I have said before, many celebrities have a platform to present their views whether the celebrity has any actual knowledge or training in that area or not.  Once again, Dr. Oz has proven he doesn’t have to have any training, and he doesn’t have to use research-based facts to make wild accusations that have the potential to create panic because he is Oprah-endorsed.

Below is a pie graph of total radiation exposure.  That thin yellow line (it is hard to see) is the total radiation from dental x-rays as compared with environmental, medical, and other sources.


If you prefer numbers to a visual chart, look at the following table.*  The line for dental x-rays is highlighted in green.  When you look at the number for dental, it is 0.008 millisieverts. The figure for “natural background” is 2.4 millisieverts.  From these numbers we can see that you actually get 300 times more radiation from being alive than from dental x-rays.

Your dentist will be happy to discuss the reasons for dental x-rays.  However, if you refuse x-rays, don’t be upset if your dentist refuses to treat you.  Providing dental care without the benefit of x-ray examination can place the dentist in a seriously liable and indefensible position. 

I said once before that Dr. Oz Doesn’t Know Teeth.


Dr. Oz Doesn’t Know X-rays, Either.






*Source: Radiologic and Nuclear Medicine Studies in the United States and Worldwide: Frequency, Radiation Dose, and Comparison with Other Radiation Sources—1950–2007
November 2009 Radiology, 253, 520-531
Posted in dental x-rays (x rays), Douglasville Dentist, radiation | Leave a comment

Dr. Oz Doesn’t Know Teeth

Many television personalities, as well as movie stars give us their opinions as facts.  These opinions range from diets to politics, and, with this recent blog, dentistry.  Just as many of the “stars” don’t know from whence they speak, Dr. Oz Doesn’t Know Teeth! 

 

His recent blog post was Natural Teeth Whitening Solutions.


The one thing Dr. Oz said that where he and I agree is that an apple can act as a natural toothbrush – somewhat.  The apple is an abrasive fruit that can possibly “scrub” the surfaces of the teeth as you eat it; however, don’t throw away your toothbrush and floss…      The balance of his blog is fiction in my professional opinion.

Dr. Oz actually suggested eating raisins as a natural mouthwash that will stimulate saliva production to rinse away plaque.  I’m sorry Dr. Oz, but saliva will never “rinse away plaque.”  When we eat foods with sugar in them, the bacteria in our mouths also eat the sugars.  Some of this sugar is used as energy for the bacteria and some is used to create the “sticky stuff” to adhere to the teeth.  Bacteria + sticky stuff = plaque.  After any meal, the bacteria eat the sugars and produce the acids that attack the teeth.  This attack continues for 20 minutes following each sugar meal.  Raisins are considered to be a “sticky sugar.”  With both the plaque and the raisins sticking to your teeth, the 20 minutes of destructive attack by plaque’s acids could easily last an hour or more!  Dr. Oz, the only way to clean plaque from your teeth is the mechanical removal by brushing and flossing.

Dr. Oz also said that strawberries are a natural bleaching agent.  He suggests that the vitamin C whitens teeth by “clearing away plaque.”  Again, Dr. Oz, the only way to get the plaque off the teeth is the mechanical removal every day by brushing and flossing. 

Taken to the extreme, Dr. Oz’s suggestion of increasing salivary flow to “rinse away” plaque, could very well include a regimen of all kinds of candies to fight plaque.  I mean, candies do increase salivary flow, and Oz said an increased level of saliva “helps to rinse away plaque.”  I think we can all agree that this is wrong.  I can’t think of any benefit that candy (sugar of any kind) will provide anyone’s teeth. 

 

What concerns me the most about this blog is Dr. Oz’s suggestion to use lemon juice and baking soda as a “Teeth Whitening Home Remedy.”  I have had several patients over the years that have caused irreparable damage to their teeth because they like to suck on lemons.  These folks have actually dissolved the enamel off of their teeth!  I just can’t imagine anyone in a position of authority recommending using an acid (lemon juice)and an abrasive (baking soda) on your teeth as being safe.  Dr. Oz’s warning about not leaving the acid on your teeth longer than a minute does not make his technique safe.  What about the person who leaves the mixture of baking soda and lemon juice on his teeth for less than a minute before brushing it off, but does this several times each day?  This person gets the same result as my lemon-sucking patients, but the disastrous results are accelerated by the abrasive baking soda!!


I once knew a fellow who had a PhD.  He always introduced himself as “Dr. So-and-so.”  One day a simple country boy asked him what kind of doctor he was.  The PhD responded that he was a Doctor of Philosophy.  The country boy replied, “Oh, so you’re the kind of doctor that can’t help nobody.” I don’t know what problem the country boy had, but he decided that philosophy couldn’t fix it.

The moral of the story is to make sure the person offering advice is qualified.  Don’t ask me for home remedies for heart surgery; I understand that heart surgery IS Dr. Oz’s specialty.  However, if you would like to know how to safely and effectively Whiten Your Teeth, click here, or ask another dentist.

Dr. Oz is not a dentist, and Dr. Oz Doesn’t Know Teeth.

Posted in Dr. Oz, Dr. Oz Teeth Whitening, Home Tooth Whiteng | 2 Comments

Can’t You Just Straighten My Front Teeth?

Can’t You Just Straighten My Front Teeth?
If I had a dollar for every time I heard that question, I could probably retire.  The good news is that I can now say YES WE CAN with 6 Month Smiles.
Why Does It Take So Long?
Traditional Orthodontics has taken 2, 3, and even 4 years or longer to complete because of all of the corrections required to give that perfect looking bite.  Getting rid of that overbite, moving the roots bodily through the bone, and shifting the midlines of the dental arches are all slow processes that greatly extend the orthodontic treatment time.
6 Month Smiles
6 Month Smiles is a form of Short Term Orthodontics (STO) that addresses my adult patients’ Chief Complaint or primary concerns about the appearance of their teeth.  It is a cosmetic solution that takes 4-9 months, with the average being 6 months.
If You Can Straighten My Teeth in 6 Months, Why Would Anyone Go to the Orthodontist?
Please don’t misunderstand; 6 Month Smiles is not a replacement for traditional orthodontics.  6 Month Smiles cannot do everything that traditional orthodontics can.  Someone said, “Treat children idealistically, and treat adults realistically.”  We all want the best for our children, and we treat them to that end.
However, when adults, who want a straight smile, are told that it will take 2 or 3 years of braces, they are discouraged, and oftentimes decide there is no hope for them to have that straight smile.
6 Month Smiles is for patients who want to have a straight smile, but who have refused traditional orthodontic treatment.
What is the Earliest Age for 6 Month Smiles?
6 Month Smiles has been developed for adults who want a straight smile, but have refused traditional orthodontic treatment.   However, we will consider treating older teenagers when they and their parents understand the limitations of 6 Month Smiles, and they have refused the benefits from traditional orthodontic treatment.  The youngest patient treated with 6 Month Smiles is 15, almost 16 years old.
Adults (15 ½ years and older) will appreciate not only how quickly they will have straight teeth and a more attractive smile, but also that the cost is less than with traditional braces.  Straight teeth make it easier to keep your gums healthy because teeth that are not overlapped, rotated or crowded are easier to clean.
What About Crowns and Veneers (Instant Orthodontics)?
Crowns and veneers have been referred to as “Instant Orthodontics” because even the temporaries we place on the preparation day are straight.  You come in with crooked teeth, and leave with straight temporaries.  Of course, the final restorations are also straight.
If you are thinking about crowns or veneers to “straighten” your teeth, we recommend a 6 Month Smiles consultation so you have the information on all of your options.  Crowns and the type of veneers needed to give the appearance of straight teeth are always more invasive and costly.
In most cases, a straighter smile and whiter teeth can be accomplished with only 6 Month Smiles followed by Deep Bleaching at ¼ or less the cost of veneers on the upper and lower front teeth.
Without any doubt in my mind, this is the most conservative cosmetic combination treatment in dentistry, and it is what I would recommend in almost all cases before I would consider crowns and/or veneers.
IS THIS THE SAME THING AS INVISALIGN?
No, it’s not. In fact, we think 6 Month Smiles is BETTER than Invisalign, and for a few important reasons:
  • It’s FASTER (6 Month Smiles can make corrections in 6 months that aligners can take as much as 18 months to achieve.)
  • It’s LESS EXPENSIVE (at least $1,000 less)
  • It WORKS BETTER (Dr. Hair is in control instead of some lab)
  • Brackets can more easily correct certain conditions.
This is not to say that we don’t offer clear aligners – we do!  Honestly though, once patients learn all the advantages of 6 Month Smiles, they’d rather not do Invisalign.
Before 6 Month Smiles

WOULDN’T YOU LOVE TO SMILE LIKE THIS IN THE AMOUNT OF TIME BETWEEN 2  CHECK-UP VISITS?


After 6 Month Smiles

Posted in cosmetic orthodontics, straight front teeth, straight smile | Leave a comment

Suffocating Silently

I know it sounds morbid, but I can’t think of a worse way to die than not being able to take a breath of air. Normal breathing occurs this way: you inhale deeply, immediately exhale to empty your lungs, and hesitate a while before taking your next breath. We don’t have to think about it; it just happens naturally.
The OSA patient (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) has a major problem during the hesitation between exhaling and inhaling – his airway collapses and occludes or closes off; he cannot take a breath over and over again – all night long. To let you experience what the OSA or Sleep Apneac patient experiences, I need to remind you of an exercise from a previous blog/newsletter. An event must be 10 seconds, and the average event is 20 seconds, so we use 15 seconds in our exercise. Here is the exercise: take a normal breath, exhale completely, and stop. Now hold your “apneac event” (apnea means without breath) for 15 seconds. No matter how hard your body tries to inhale, don’t do it. This is what happens to you or your bed partner when you stop breathing at night.
The “Gold Standard” treatment for OSA is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). The continuous pressure, even when the patient exhales, keeps the airway open or inflated and does not allow it to collapse. A recent article stated that CPAP was the best treatment for the 25% of the OSA patients who actually wore their CPAP every night, all night. But, what about everybody else? What about the OSA patients who begin the night wearing their CPAP, but take it off part way through the night when they can’t stand it any longer? What about the OSA patient who only wears CPAP 2-4 nights per week? What about the OSA patients who have put their CPAP in the back of their closet – never to be worn again?
Around Christmas, 2004, pro-football Hall of Famer, Reggie White did not wear his CPAP one night, and he was dead the next morning. It only took one night of non-compliance.
The goal in Sleep Medicine is to keep the airway open. For CPAP-intolerant patients, an alternative is a MAD (mandibular advancement device). This is a custom made dental appliance that helps to keep the airway open. The MAD is not some “boil and bite” appliance or some “stop snoring” appliance that you can order over the Internet. It is specialized appliance that needs to be fabricated and titrated (adjusted) over several follow-up appointments with a dentist who understands Dental Sleep Medicine. OSA is a serious medical problem.
Remember, if you, your bed partner, or a loved one is CPAP Non-Compliant, it can only take one night, and there is an alternative.
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