New Location in Spring for Algoma Office

AlgomaDBD_LakeStOur Algoma office will be moving this Spring to 1421 Lake Street, formerly Kenny Chiropractic Health Center.  Currently the building is being renovated by Advanced Home Builders and other local contractors to fit our needs.

The new location will give us increased space to operate more efficiently.  We are increasing our parking area, adding space to allow us to utilize two full-time doctors, updating all of our equipment to include: nitrous oxide in every room, modern delivery systems in our operatories, addition of a surgical suite, and expansion and modernization of our sterilization area.

We are anticipating being in the new location the end of April, beginning of May.  If you will be seeing us around this time, please call our office at (920) 487-2733 prior to your appointment to confirm our location. We hope to make this move as seamless as possible and we appreciate and thank you in advance for your  understanding during this transition.


What’s Up with All that Poking at My Gums during Cleaning?

Have you ever wondered why our hygienists poke at your gums during your cleaning? What they are doing is checking the depth of gum tissue pockets that surround your tooth. It’s a proactive way to identify your risk for gum disease, and when done regularly, can help catch it early. Dental probing is a pretty interesting exercise in dentistry.  It can save you from surgery and extractions, and here’s why.Dental probe

Dental Probing Catches Problems Early

One reason to visit the dentist regularly is to identify problems in your mouth that you are completely oblivious to. Subtle changes in the health of our gum tissue can be missed by the naked eye, and some people – even those who visit a dentist regularly – can be prone to an excess buildup of plaque and tartar that can result in gingivitis and periodontal disease. Thankfully, our dental team can catch these changes early through the use of X-rays and the practice of dental probing.

The reason for probing is straightforward. As periodontal disease progresses, the visible markers of the disease (plaque and tartar) migrate down along the side of the tooth into the natural “pocket” between the ridge of the gumline. This inflames the gum tissue and widens this naturally slim gap between the tooth and gum. As this gap becomes wider, even more bacteria are allowed access to the sensitive tissue fibers along the root’s outer surface, causing more damage. This process may result in bone loss, and eventually the need to extract teeth. This is why probing is so important.

How Does Dental Probing Work?

“Probing” is quite simple and is accomplished by using a dental “probe” to measure the depth of a tooth’s pocket. The probe acts like a ruler, and has markings along its side measured out in millimeters. To measure the depth of your tooth’s pocket, our hygienist gently places the probe into this pocket and makes note of the depth. Six measurements are taken per tooth, three along the outside, and three along the inside of each tooth. A depth of three millimeters or under without any bleeding is generally accepted as healthy. Above that number, your dentist may suggest more thorough cleanings, including scaling and root planing, or something even more comprehensive if the number is above a five.

Smile Gallery

So, as you can see, maintaining pocket health is critical, and proper brushing and flossing can help clear away plaque and prevent the tartar buildup that expands a pocket. Regular visits to our office plays a critical role in ensuring you’re staying ahead of gum disease – particularly if you have been identified as having periodontitis and recommended for more frequent, thorough cleanings. With a good routine and frequent visits to the dentist the only numbers you’ll be hearing moving forward should be 1, 2 and 3! Keep up the good work.

*Article provided by Revenue Well.


The Link Between Dental and Heart Health

How does the health of your mouth affect the health of the rest of your body? Studies show a possible link between chronic inflammation in your mouth and heart disease, heart attack, and other diseases like stroke, diabetes, and cancer.  Inflammation occurs whenever gum disease is present and studies show that up to 75% of adults are affected. There are   usually no symptoms, which is why so many people do not know that inflammation is silently damaging their health.

The mouth is home to millions of bacteria trying to invade the gum tissues all the time. When these bugs manage to penetrate the gum tissue, the immune system goes on the attack and this is when inflammation occurs. If the problems aren’t corrected, the immune system can never shut off. This creates a condition where low grade, chronic inflammation is always present, which is believed to cause damage throughout the body, and increases the risk for disease.

To be healthy you must minimize inflammation and here is how to do that:

– Remove the bugs. Minimizing the number of bacteria in your mouth through proper oral hygiene procedures is critical.

– Don’t feed the bugs. The more bad stuff you eat (sugar, soda, candy, junk food, etc), the more the bacteria multiply.

– Eliminate the places where the bugs can hide. Defective fillings or crowns, decay, or cracks in the teeth provide hiding places where the bad bugs live undisturbed and there is nothing you can do to get them out. This is how a damaged tooth left untreated could be damaging your heart.

– Have gum disease treated aggressively to remove bacteria and tartar from under the gums and eliminate gum pockets.

– Live a healthy lifestyle. Poor nutrition, stress, lack of sleep, alcohol, smoking, and chewing tobacco can weaken your gum tissues and your immune system, making it easier for the bad bugs to invade.

We here at Dentistry by Design understand that gum disease and inflammation are serious health risks, and we stand committed not just to your dental heath, but to your overall health as well.


Article by Dr. Michael Pierquet
(Dentist at Dentistry by Design Sister Bay)

What to Know When Comparing Dental Implant Treatment Plans

If you are looking into getting dental implants, whether it’s to stabilize a denture or replace a missing tooth, here is what you should know when comparing treatment plans from different practices. First, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. One practice may advertise only the cost of the implant, while the next advertises start to finish care. To help you better understand what you are comparing, we have a few questions that you should always ask:

  • Are you recommending mini or standard dental implants?
  • Does the quote only cover the placement of the implant in my jaw bone?
  • Does the quote cover start to finish service, which includes the abutment and crown placement?
  • Does the price include any additional procedures needed like bone grafting (placing bone), tooth extraction, x-ray or CT scan?
  • What type of additional training do you have in dental implant placement?

tooth-implant-graphicThese are a few of the factors that impact the overall cost of a dental implant. Other important factors to consider are previous patient testimonials, overall confidence with dentist, staff and facility, and also does the practice offer full service care in-house.

The graphic below illustrates the national average costs for dental implants. To inquire about dental implant prices at Dentistry by Design, you can set up a free consultation or second opinion with one of our dental implant team members at a location that is convenient for you.



Providing Dental Care in Honduras

Dr. Paul Feit’s Mission Trip to Honduras!

I have heard many wonderful things about Ahuas, Honduras from my friend Rick Nelson, who has spent a great deal of time there over the years. Up until now we have only been able to help the people of Ahuas through donations from Dentistry by Design.  Thanks to the great team of dentists at DBD I was able remove myself from the schedule for a week and go see for myself the place and people that have profoundly impacted Rick’s life.
hospital_hondurasMy journey was eye-opening to say the least.  I traveled with Sturgeon Bay’s Amie Glasheen (pictured on left), who is a fourth year dental student at Marquette.  She was my assistant and also helped treat patients in the dental clinic in Ahuas.  Third year Marquette dental student Mariella Kruthoff (pictured on right) was also part of our team.  Mariella interpreted for us as well as provided care to some of the patients. We were met by Rick who got us to the village safely and provided us with room and board during our stay.

plane_hondurasThere are only two ways into Ahuas, by dugout canoe or airplane.  Here we are unloading our gear from the twin turbine that we just landed in on a semi-gravel strip in Bruce, Honduras. This is the terminal, puddles and all.  We transferred our four hundred pounds of gear and four passengers into a Cessna 206 and somehow managed to get off the ground in route to Ahuas.  As a fellow Cessna pilot, you can imagine my surprise when I realized my seat was not attached to the airplane.  I had a hard time deciding if I was better off with the seat belt on or off.

Arriving safely in Ahuas, we began our mission work. The dental room was powered by a combination of solar power and generator.  The equipment is old and very used, but worked as we needed it to.  My operator stool had been duct taped and only had 4 out of five wheels. Although new equipment would be ideal, shipping it to the clinic often costs many times more than the price of the equipment, which is an expense they cannot afford.

Amie, Mariella and I treated over 100 patients in 4.5 days.  We filled dozens of teeth and extracted over 170 teeth.  The residents of Ahuas have previously only had access to a dentist one week a year.  For the last twelve years a couple from Ohio has graciously gone down to Ahuas one week a year to provide dental care.  We were the first team to go there to focus on Oral Surgery.  You can imagine there was no shortage of work for us.

The heat was so extreme in Ahuas that by 10 a.m., which is when this picture was taken, I had already sweat through my scrub top.  I carried a towel to dry my hands enough so I could put my gloves on for procedures.  The woman pictured here walked an hour each way, for three days straight, until we were able to get her to the front of the line.  She had three infected teeth and had been in pain for months. We were able to get her out of pain and treat her to the best of our ability.

students_toothbrushesWe also visited the Christian School in Ahuas which had about 50 students.  We gave them a toothbrush, paste, fluoride treatment and an exam as well as notebooks, colored pencils, stickers, scissors and a soccer ball.  Here they are getting a lesson from Amie and Mariella on the proper way to brush their teeth.

I am still sitting back mentally digesting this trip.  I can’t believe what we saw there.  What a different world.  In America, we are more fortunate than we even know.  We should all pause and give thanks for our many blessings!