- from Jody Z. (Business Team)
After reading Dr. Eichmeyer's blog, I realized that after 18 years of working with him, he really is retiring. I just want to say "thank you" to him for an amazing ride. I am sure the next 18 years will be just as wonderful, and with the dental field always changing, and with our new doctors we will continue to offer top-notch dentistry. It is a very exciting time, and our whole team is ready to continue on with what Dr. Eichmeyer started back in 1975.
- from Jody Z. (Business Team)
We at Commerce Drive Dental are often asked why dental offices don't accept new Medical Assistance (MA) patients any more. The answer is simple: Minnesota reimbursement rates for MA programs are 50th - dead last - in the entire country for pediatric patients and 4th from last for adult patients (read this 3/6/15 article from the Mankato Free Press for more info). Payments are based on 1989 fees and were actually cut by the legislature in 2010. At that time it resulted in 24% of the dental offices in the state dropping the program entirely, leaving the burden on the rest. Reimbursements aren't even close to covering dental offices expenses; in fact, they only cover about half of the overhead costs to treat the average MA patient. It is one thing to ask dental offices to treat MA patients at no charge, but to lose money doing it is just not good business sense. Commerce Drive Dental has been accepting new MA patients up until recently, unlike most offices in southern Minnesota. We will continue to treat our existing patients the same as any other insured or private pay patient.
To help out the access problem even more, Commerce Drive Dental has participated in many of the free dental clinics in our area to help the uninsured, including the Minnesota Dental Association's Mission of Mercy events in 2012, 2013, and 2014; Give Kids A Smile; and Donated Dental Services.
There is hope on the horizon now for positive change, as there is the possibility of new legislation to bring reimbursement rates back to the middle of the pack nationally. This would definitely help provide access to care for many in need. If you are in favor of this, please contact your representative and show your support of this legislation.
- from Dr. Clause
The blog today will be about how to know when you are ready to retire. I have been a dentist for almost 40 years. During this time I have seen many changes in dentistry, nothing more dramatic than the common use of the computer and digital world we now find ourselves living in. Even though these advancements have significantly improved dentistry, the most important aspect of dentistry is the interpersonal relationships formed with your patients over time. This is what I am going to miss when I retire this June. I have had the most wonderful patients anyone could ever imagine. Talk about being blessed, I certainly have been. So why retire now? There comes a time when you simply know the time is right. If you listen closely to your body, you get the message that you are not as young or as energetic as you once were.
Then comes the question, who is going to care for these fantastic patients I have treated over the years? The good news is that Commerce Drive Dental has this covered. First of all, Tim Jernberg, DMD joined our group almost two years ago and has been doing very well. He is a joy to be around, has excellent clinical skills, and will certainly take good care of everyone he treats. The newest dentist to join our group will be Garrett Clause who will be graduating from dental school this May. Garrett is the son of my partner, David Clause, and I have known him since he was born. Garrett is simply an exceptional young man and you could not ask for a better person. Garrett has worked in our office doing sterilization and our staff really got along very well with him. He has always received top scores in school and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Garrett will be a fantastic dentist.
So I do feel that everything has lined up perfectly for me to retire, but that does not mean that I won't miss everyone. Commerce Drive Dental would like to invite everyone on Thursday, June 4 from 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM to an open house at the dental clinic to welcome the new dentists and say goodbye to the old guy. Thanks for everything.
- from Dr. Eichmeyer
Patients often ask me "what foods CAN I eat?" While most foods are just fine in moderation, both sugar content AND acidity contribute to tooth decay. The following chart shows the ACIDITY of common foods in the American diet.
- from Dr. Kuryla
We have GREAT PATIENTS at Commerce Drive Dental. If anyone has family or friends in need of dental care, have them give us a call at 507-345-7786. We are accepting new patients!
- from Kate B. (Business Team)
The Diagnodent is a device that is sometimes used in our office to detect decay. The device emits a harmless laser beam down into the tooth. If there is decay present, a higher number will register than on a tooth without decay. It can detect a very small cavity that may not otherwise have been detected until it got much larger. The Diagnodent helps to keep treatment much more conservative by finding decay before it gets bigger.
- from Stacy B. (Dental Assistant)
On Saturday, February 7, our dental office had the pleasure of taking part in the volunteer program "Give Kids A Smile." I have to say that it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in awhile. We had 3 dentists, 5 hygienists, 4 assistants and 2 front desk people volunteer. All of us working together were able to see 42 kids. For all of the kids, we completed exams, X-rays, cleanings and fluoride treatments as needed. Some of the kids also had sealants, fillings and extractions done. The kids were an absolute joy to work with and seemed very appreciative. It was so fun for us to help a person who had never been to the dentist before and was a little apprehensive, to feel at home and actually have a good time. One 12 year old boy that I worked with had last been to the dentist when he was 5 years old. I asked him at the end of the appointment how his dental appointment went for him, and he told me with a big smile on his face "It was really fun." Then he told me "thank you" and patted me on the back and told me that he hoped I would have a great weekend! That was just one of the experiences from that day that did make my weekend great!
- from Susan B. (Dental Hygienist)
This year's "Give Kids a Smile" was a great success! The program was initially launched in 2003 to provide dental care to underserved children. Nationally, it was estimated that over 320,000 kids received care this year from almost 8,000 dentists as well as a large number of hygienists, assistants, and other staff. In Minnesota alone, it is estimated that over 5,000 children received care, many of whom may have had his/her first experience with a dentist.
I'm often asked when a child should first see a dentist. The ADA has recommended that a child be seen within the first 6 months of the child getting his/her first baby tooth and no later than the first birthday. We commonly see children at one year of age and it's a great way to get these little ones accustomed to the dental office.
At Commerce Drive Dental, Dr. Clause, Dr. Kuryla, our staff, and I were able to participate and provide care that included dental cleanings, exams, dental education, fillings, sealants, and tooth removal. It was a very rewarding experience and great to see all the young, smiling faces!
Thank you to everyone that volunteered!
- from Dr. Jernberg
Give Kids a Smile is an annual event where dental professionals provide free dental work to children in need. Give Kids a Smile is February 6 & 7 in Minnesota. Commerce Drive Dental staff are volunteering their time on Saturday, February 7 from 8:00 - 12:00. We are providing exams, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealants if needed to children ages 2-17. Please call our office at 345-7786 to schedule an appointment. To find out more information about Give Kids a Smile in your area, go to mndental.org.
- from Kim B. (Dental Hygienist)
Good news for our patients that have to remember to take pre-medication before their dental appointments: based on clinical research, the ADA Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry recommends that patients with prosthetic joint implants DO NOT have to take prophylactic antibiotics before dental procedures. The recommendation states that there is no evidence that dental procedures cause joint implant infections, and more importantly, the benefits of taking antibiotics before dental procedures do not outweigh the risks (such as anaphylaxis, antibiotic resistance and opportunistic infections).
JADA, The Journal of the American Dental Association, January 2015
- from Pam B. (Dental Hygienist)
Commerce Drive Dental team members all contribute to this blog, including our dentists, assistants, hygienists, and front desk personnel.