March Van Dyk Castro Office Update

It’s your favorite dentist again!

Welcome to a new year and hopefully a positive one for us all. It seems that the recession is loosening its grip on our area and more of our patients and family members are again finding good employment. We are also finding patients returning to regularly scheduled cleanings and exams so that we can catch problems before they become significant and expensive.

This newsletter, I’d like to give everyone some answers to common questions and highlight some new information. For instance:

  • Federal employees now have an opportunity to receive dental coverage. This is the first time that I remember mailmen, post office employees, Social Security workers, and other employees of the federal government being able to sign up with Delta Dental.
  • Dr. Castro, our very popular associate dentist, is signed up as a PPO dentist with Delta so that any patients who are covered by Delta’s PPO can receive quality treatment from him at a discounted rate.  
  • Dr. Castro is also getting married this August and recently bought a house in Pinole. He is establishing roots in the area and in the practice and is happy to work as much as possible. If you know of any federal employees who might now be more interested in receiving excellent dental care, this is a great opportunity to refer them in to see us. Plus anyone else that you know. Thanks.
  • We are on the verge of becoming a “Green Certified” office. We’ve switched to recyclables wherever possible, improved our lighting to save energy, and are recycling everything including silver and mercury from old amalgam fillings.  
  • By the way, if you have old amalgam fillings, the worst thing you can do is have them replaced unless they are failing or unsightly. The mercury is very stable in the fillings when bound to silver but becomes more of a problem when ground into dust. If fillings are to be removed, always insist on a rubber dam over your mouth to collect the grindings rather than swallowing them. Having said that, it is not a source of worry contrary to some Internet threats.  In fact:
  • Dentists are a continuing long term study on the effects of amalgam: they have it in their own mouths, they work with it every day; for much of the career of senior dentists, they handled it with bare hands, turned it into powder without masks, and were exposed to it in the environment. And yet, they have less of the many diseases and effects purported to come from amalgam in patients. You are safe, don’t worry. There are enough other real threats out there to be concerned about.  By the way there was a very succinct article in the December issue of the Berkeley Wellness Letter by their Chair of the Editorial Board, John Swartzberg, MD, noting that there are numerous studies that refute any Internet claims of harm from dental amalgam, including those from Dr. Oz!

Until next time,

Dr. William van Dyk 




Notes from the Team

Dr. Castro, our favorite associate dentist, is enjoying his new house and all the chores he has to do now.

Marlene, whose smiling face greets every one of you, was raised right in San Pablo. We often marvel at the many positive changes that have happened in this community over our time here. She’s a golf nut and can often be found on one of the local courses after work or on the weekends.

Ayako, who has been with us for 17 years, also has an alternate career in delivering acupressure. She serves clients with various ailments with the ancient treatment modality. It also comes in handy in dental hygiene. Discuss it with her if you are  interested in learning more.

Wendy, our long time employee who went from a high school helper to an assistant to Marlene to an AA from Contra Costa College and a two year certificate as a hygienist all while working part-time, is now the mother of a baby girl, Isabella, and won’t return until May after some serious time bonding with this new and first addition.    

Gina, our newest hygienist, is a local girl, grew up in El Sobrante and Pinole and went to local schools. She’s engaged to a wonderful young man that we’ve known well as a patient since he was a tyke! She didn’t meet him here. She’s immediately become an intricate part of our team of excellent staff members and is committed to making our  patients her number one priority.

Luz, our number one assistant of 16 years, also grew up in San Pablo. We really hire locally whenever possible. She spends all spare time keeping her husband, Steve, and her 14-year old, Adrian, and 10-year old, Cristian, in line and busy with baseball. She’s wonderful at making patients feel welcome and relaxed.

Lily, our other number one assistant of 9 years, grew up in Richmond. She recently went with her family for a two week vacation to Mexico, her first real vacation in 10 years. She’s expanded her knowledge of the office to the point where she can assist me or Dr. Castro, organize the back office and ordering, and substitute for Marlene at the front desk when she is out. And always with a smile!

Did You Know?

You’ll keep your teeth your whole life if you floss everyday using the Five-Times Rule. Ask us how!