Winter Storm Closing for Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

In anticipation of the forthcoming storm, the office will be closed all day and night Tuesday, January 27, 2015.  if you are one of our patients, hopefully you have been contacted via our Solution Reach service and notified. We will let you know the status of Wednesday’s schedule on  by Tuesday both on the blog and by Solution Reach. If the storm dumps the amount of snow as predicted, the office  will most likely remain closed on Wednesday.

Ebola Update

Ebola is a potentially deadly viral disease which is not treatable by medications.  Estimates range from 50-90% mortality rate.  Infection is believed to be possible through direct contact, and is currently not considered an airborne disease. A person is considered infectious and should be quarantined when a fever is above 101.5 F, assuming that person’s fever is related to travel to, or contact with, any of the hotspots or persons who have been to or come from the hotspots in Africa.  

It is believed if a person has not exhibited any signs or symptoms after 21 days, there is no risk.

Given the nature of some of the cases around the globe, clearly not all the information is consistent.  More alarming are the cases of Ebola infection in which people who are unknowingly infected may have had multiple contacts with persons who may also become infected.  This seems to be the case of the emergency room doctor in Spain, who just quarantined himself. How many patients did he contact before this self imposed quarantine. In theory, if he was afebrile it should not be a concern. However, if any one of these people become infectious, the virus spread will literally “go viral.” 

We are screening all patients for fever using a non-contact infrared thermometer  in the interest of protecting all our patients. Even though the likelihood of contagion is very small at present, we want to be very proactive in what could prove to be a serious problem.  We request any patient who has  a non-allergic cough or fever to please reschedule their appointment.  For now, everyone should observe simple precautions: wash hands thoroughly after contact with strangers or foreign objects.  Avoid high risk persons, e.g. people who have just come back from one of the African hotspots (after 21 days such persons are thought to be noninfected).  But, if you have reason to suspect you have been infected, seek immediate Hospital care!

Dr. Schonberg honored as new Essex County Dental Society President

Award_RCS_NJDA_edited-1On Monday night, Dr. Schonberg was one of several people honored by the New Jersey Dental Association. Installed as the new president of the Essex County, he was presented with a plaque by the current NJDA president, Dr. Byron Roshong. Also present was Dr. Greg LaMorte, President-elect of the NJDA and the Executive Director, Art Meisel, Esq.

Dr. Schonberg Selected as Top Dentist

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The May 2014 edition of the Millburn-Short Hills magazine featured Top Dentists, and Dr. Schonberg was honored to be included as one of the Top Dentists in the General Practice category. Selections were made by asking area dentists to nominate colleagues they would choose in seeking dental care. This was further refined by the Super Dentists research team, which further evaluated peer recognition, professional achievement and disciplinary history.Millburn ShortHills019RCS

Mercury Free

Back in 1992 I attended a lecture which convinced me to stop using amalgams, the mercury-silver fillings that look black in people’s mouths.  Besides the obvious concern of mercury toxicity to both patients and myself, was the fact amalgams weaken the tooth and set it up for fracture.  Tooth colored bondings, on the other hand, help hold the tooth together, and have the obvious esthetic advantage.  While the American Dental Association maintains dental amalgams are safe, several European countries have outlawed them.  It should be stressed however, there is no proof that having the amalgams removed will improve any ailments.  While it is true mercury is toxic, there are no conclusive studies that link the mercury in dental amalgams to any specific diseases.  That being said, we still chose to stop placing the silver-mercury fillings and offer the better alternatives instead. Our patients are happier, and so are we!

Snow Day!

Due to the snow, the office will be closed Thursday, February 13th.  We plan to resume office hours on Friday at 9:00 am, unless this #@T^!!! snow is still falling! Poor Cupid is underdressed for the monumental task tomorrow.  We wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Welcome Our New Additions

We hope you will welcome the newest member of our team, Anna Bombita, an experienced dental hygienist.  Anna has a wonderful outgoing personality, and delivers a high level of care to her patients.  Anna compliments Dan Araujo, our other hygienist who is out on maternity leave, and is about to welcome her own new addition sometime in February.  Dana will remain in the practice, as will Anna.

Going Paperless

We are making the transition to a paperless practice!  With our new dental software, all our records will be digital.  As part of the process, we will have greater ability to access your records comprehensively, and communicate with other specialists or insurance companies electronically.  We already process all insurance claims electronically, but now have greater ability to track claims and verify benefits.  The transition has not been without its difficulties.  Because our previous dental software used a PICK operating system and proprietary software, we could not convert our data and have had to enter it all manually. That takes time!  Our new Windows based software is fully integrated and we are thrilled to use it.  So next time you are in the office, you will see it in action.

Antibiotics Warning

A recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, as reported in the General Dentistry (Vol.61, #2, p8) indicated there was a small potential increase in the risk of cardiovascular abnormalities resulting in death from certain antibiotics.. These antibiotics are know to cause an increase in the QT interval of the heartbeat; this can cause cardiac problems and even death. Of concern are ERYTHROMYCIN, CLARITHROMYCIN, AZITHROMYCIN and LEVOFLOXACIN. The study reported 29 deaths in a 14 year period involving million of prescriptions.  The risk of using these antibiotics, therefore, is extremely low.  It is unknown at present whether the vasoconstictor in dental anesthetics has an adverse  effect in such  patients with prolonged QT intervals, so caution is advised.