July van Dyk Castro Office Update


Summer is Here!

    Part of our job here at the office is to come up with new and better ways to help our patients almost enjoy a visit to the dentist.  To do that we often ask for your assistance.  If you see something that we could improve, don’t think that it bugs us to hear from you.  We are often looking at the case from the exact opposite view from you all.  Summer is a good time to make some positive changes so help us help you have a better experience at the dentist.  
    Meanwhile you are going to see some interesting, temporary changes at the office.  Two of our three hygienists are having babies in July and September.  We are asking some of our former and related hygienists to fill in while these new moms get to know their new offspring.  As they return you might see a temporary nursery set up in the office.  We are excited for both of them as we were for Lily and Luz as they were building their families a few years ago.  Since we are always in search of new patients, we appreciate our employees bringing some into the world.  
    Speaking of that, don’t ever think that we are too busy to see your family and friends and co-workers.  Our continual goal is to provide dentistry that is long-lasting, which means that many of you are on maintenance and mainly seeing the hygienist regularly.  To keep your dentists busy you need to supply them with new patients who appreciate quality care and a kind environment.  Thanks to all of you who have made an effort to keep us busy.  Please keep it up!  

Dr. van Dyk & Dr. Castro

What's New with the Team

Dr. van Dyk: In keeping with my  usual pattern of vacation, my wife and I walked across Japan from Kyoto to Tokyo, 126 miles in 10 days, along the Nakasendo Trail that the Shoguns took to visit the Emperor.  Mountain passes, little villages, and soaking tubs plus delicious unusual foods made for the trip of a life time!  Now I’m back to continue dental care for all of our wonderful patients.
Dr. Castro: This month of July, I will start my term as President of the Rotary Club of San Pablo. It's a big job trying to lead a group of people who are passionate about serving the community, but I'm glad I'll have the support of my club members, wife, Dr. van Dyk, and our whole staff! 
Ayako: I'm getting ready for my trip to New York City. I've been there before, but if you have any recommendations for great restaurants, let me know!
Gina: Taylor and I are busy getting the house ready for our baby, Paige, who's due in July! We all just can't wait to meet her.
Lily: My family and I are planning a big trip to Universal Studios. I can't wait to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 
Luz: My husband and I are looking forward to a week in Kauai to celebrate my 17th wedding anniversary. We’re bringing the boys. We’re even looking at renewing our vows!
Marlene: My friends and I are planning a trip to Los Angeles to celebrate my birthday. We're going to go salsa dancing!
Starr: My son, Michael, just got his first job ever. He is working at Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, in the food court. Look for him! He's the one with the orange cast on his left hand.
Wendy: Our baby is due in August and we can't wait to have even more Giants fans in the house! We haven't decided on a name yet.

Wendy & Gina at our office Baby Shower

Delta Dental Check Issue

    A few of you received checks from Delta Dental of California recently.  Ordinarily the checks for the insurance reimbursement for your dental treatment come to us, and you are responsible for the co-payment.  As we transitioned the change in ownership, Delta in its wisdom decided to rule that there was no owner of the practice and sent reimbursements directly to patients.  It wasn’t a problem in most cases because patients sent the check on to us.  In a few instances that didn’t happen, and the patients all of a sudden received a bill for all of their care.  It caused a few difficult conversations, but we think it’s pretty much settled now and we are back on track.
    It’s very important to us that we work well with Delta since its the biggest insurer in the state. It also is a good partner when it's working well since both our office and the patient get a clear picture of the charges and reimbursement levels.  Many insurance companies have their own fee schedules that make it difficult to predict what they will cover and what portion of the care they will reimburse.  Often we just have to bill the insurance to find out the final numbers and then give the patient an exact figure.  It’s not a good way to handle finances and we appreciate your understanding.  
    By the way, for those of you without dental insurance we are especially grateful for your appreciation of the value of the care you receive.  We know that every dollar is important these days and want you to feel that the money you spend to improve and/or maintain you dental health is money well spent.  If you ever have any questions or concerns about your care or the cost of your care, we’d love to hear from you.  
    Finally, we are often asked whether you should look for personal dental insurance if you lose the coverage from your job.  Our usual answer is no.  With the restrictive maximum on policy payouts per year (most often $1000-$1500 per year) and the deductibles and co-payments (20-50%), the monthly premium ends up being more than the benefit.  It takes discipline, but for most of us, unless an employer is paying the dental insurance premium, it’s better to just put the premium amount in a separate account for dentistry and use that for care.   

Dr. van Dyk eating squid in Japan

Top 10 Myths about Cavities

1. Sugar is the only thing that causes cavities.
While sugar does cause cavities, it’s the bacteria in the mouth that truly initiates tooth decay. Any consumed carbohydrate can create bacteria – be it sugar, bread, fruits or vegetables.

2. Kids get more cavities than adults.
Thanks to fluoridated water, tooth decay in school-aged children has been cut in half. Conversely, cavities in senior citizens have increased due to medications that reduce saliva and dry out the mouth.

3. Aspirin next to a tooth will help a toothache.
Aspirin definitely has to be swallowed to have an analgesic effect. Also, aspirin is acidic and could cause a burning sensation if held on gum tissue, or an abscess if held against the tooth.

4. All fillings will need to be replaced.
Some fillings can last a lifetime. It all depends on oral hygiene and wear and tear.

5. You’ll feel it when a cavity forms.
At the point where you can feel tooth decay, it’s likely grown to be a sizeable issue. Visiting a dentist regularly can detect cavities before they become uncomfortable, and more difficult to treat.

6. Tooth sensitivity means you have a cavity.
Tooth sensitivity could be a general symptom of numerous things. Some people just have hypersensitive teeth.

7. Acidic foods have no effect on tooth decay.
Acidic foods cause erosion of tooth enamel, thus weakening the tooth and making it susceptible to cavities. Lemons, citrus fruits and soft drinks are all common culprits.

8. Chipped teeth don’t contribute to cavities.
Cracks and chips can create hiding places for food and bacteria. It’s always best to get these seemingly superficial imperfections checked by your dentist.

9. Cavities are the only reason for root canals.
While nerve damage inside a tooth can be caused by cavities, other types of trauma can create need for root canal treatment as well.

10. Baby teeth cannot develop cavities.
Baby teeth are susceptible to cavities, and these can cause severe pain and abscesses.

Starr & Dr. Castro at the UPS Wellness Fair on June 25, 2016
If you or a group you are in has an upcoming community event, let us know about it! We love attending and meeting your friends and family.

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