Our Blog

July 16th, 2019

The Birth of Modern Healthcare
A Historical Look at the Interdisciplinary Approach to Patient Treatment

Always in search of an educational adventure, Anna and Dr. Razdolsky took a recent trip and toured Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota. They were fascinated as they discovered and learned the history of Dr. William Worrall Mayo and his sons, William and Charles. Similar in many ways to Dr. Razdolsky’s own philosophy of a wholistic approach to patient treatment, the Mayo family founded the St. Mary’s Hospital with sisters of the Franciscan Church, circa 1889. The plan? The sisters would build the hospital, if the Mayo brothers would staff it. The result, the Mayos helped shape modern medicine by establishing an institution where collaborative teams of specialists and professional colleagues worked together to place the needs of the patient first. Their mission, like Dr. Razdolsky’s, “To inspire hope, and contribute to health and well-being by providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research.”

Impressive! With 60 locations and more than 1,000 health care providers and 56,000 employees, the now Mayo Clinic Health System is a finely-tuned network of professionals who work together with the sole endeavor to put the patient’s health first. Through research studies and collaborative programs, the Mayo Clinic is forging new and innovative paths to medical treatment, finding cures and caring for patients. What makes this even more interesting is that the Mayo network allows them to pull in the right specialist at the right time to help with diagnosis and proper treatment.

“I have been using this collaborative approach to orthodontic treatment for years,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Through my network of highly-qualified professional peers, researchers, educators and device manufacturers, we have treated thousands of challenging cases that many thought were untreatable. It is surprising to me that it has taken this long for a vision like the Mayo brothers to become more mainstream in clinical application.”

You may have read in previous Bracket Chatters how Dr. Razdolsky has been organizing and presenting his annual orthodontic update and seminar for more than nine years. This continuing education program has afforded attendees the opportunity to learn about the multi-disciplinary approach to treat complex oral cases that on the surface may simply appear to be crooked teeth. While these issues may present themselves as simple, a deeper look by a specialist team can often discover a root problem which if left untreated will develop into much larger and more troublesome issues for the patient over time.

“I am very fortunate to have been able to work with some of the finest doctors to help treat patients with obstructive sleep apnea, temporomandibular joint disorder and more,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “These issues which are already bad on their own, can worsen into chronic pain, eating disorders, breathing problems, circulatory concerns and even heart problems.”

Indeed, it would seem the big driving factor in the integrated approach to dental health is the greater understanding of its impact on overall systemic health.

“For years, people, patients and even some doctors simply did not make the connection,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “With large research facilities and universities helping to define the correlation by studying the effects of genetics, environment, chemistry, food intake, and even bacteria on one’s health, science is pinpointing personalized medicine. This treatment of one issue as a form of preventive care for issues yet to come is fascinating.”

This evolution in care is increasingly evident as Mayo is now setting its sights to interdisciplinary dental service specialties, including dental sleep medicine, maxillofacial prosthetics, oncology, pain/TMD, dentofacial orthopedics, orthodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics. Similar to the Mayo brothers wholistic approach to medicine, this interdisciplinary methodology could mean even greater advancements in research and study with the backing and support of Mayo.

“It’s interesting to learn that this highly-respected medical institution is migrating into the dental field,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “While it is exciting to be on the precipice of greater understanding, it is something which I have been looking to for years. I am hopeful that this will continue to further unite our medical community and create greater opportunity for advancement in treatment for all of us.”

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WOO HOO - It’s National Ice Cream Month!

Warmer weather is here and so is July! Or as we like to call it here at Forever Smiles – National Ice Cream Month. And we’re celebrating with you!

Patients who get braces or expanders during July are in for an extra special treat. We’re giving them Dipping Dots! We understand new braces and appliances can cause discomfort, but we’ve found ice cream is a deliciously-great way to ward off pain.

Keep in mind… while it is normal for braces to cause some minor tooth sensitivity, they should not result in extreme or ongoing discomfort. If your teeth continue to feel particularly sensitive while wearing braces over time, it is more likely to be caused by over brushing, abrasive toothpaste, teeth whitening products, acidic foods, or even grinding of teeth. Let your Forever Smiles family know how you’re doing. We’re here to help!

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Continued Education for a Lifetime of Forever Smiles

June 3rd, 2019

Dr. Razdolsky’s 2019 Annual Orthodontic Update and Seminar held on May 8 at Maggiano’s Little Italy was another huge success! With a packed house of dental professionals in attendance, Dr. Razdolsky and colleagues presented an outstanding program and learning opportunity which afforded area specialists and hygienists the chance to earn continuing education credits in their field.

Making another return visit to the program were this years’ featured speakers noted area Prosthodontist, Dr. Sergio Rubinstein and Oral Surgeon, Dr. Peter Chemello. An excellent panel, these two amazing speakers helped attendees to learn the proper diagnosis and treatment for difficult cases and the more recent surgical techniques for treating sleep apnea. And of course, Dr. Razdolsky enlighted attendees with the most recent update in proper diagnosis and treatment for specific and unique Orthodontics cases which greatly impact the lives of children.

“I feel strongly about sharing the most current research and findings in orthodontics because it helps dentists and hygienists understand the importance for early treatment,” Dr. Razdolsky said. “While often orthodontic developments are published in journals, general dentists and hygienists may not see the latest research and advancements. This seminar puts that information center stage so we can better help patients for a lifetime of healthy Forever Smiles.”

The Travelling Orthodontist - 100 Years of History & Smiles

May 21st, 2019

Recently Dr. Razdolsky and Anna took an incredible and educational trip to Tokyo, Japan. The height of blooming season for Japan’s national flower, there are more than 200 varieties of cherry blossom which both Anna and Dr. Razdolsky took in along with all the local flavors, culture and heritage.

As a world leader in chemistry, robotics, sushi and skyscraper technology among other things, the Japanese have also been long celebrated as cherry blossom aficionados. As early as the eighth century, the Japanese people have cultivated and admired the delicate pink cherry blossoms known as sakura while indulging in picnics and poetry sessions beneath the blooms.

While the Razdolsky’s took in the history and beauty of Tokyo with its incredible mountain scenery and delicious cuisine with authentic sushi offered everywhere you turn, they also strived to discover more about the city’s ties to their own personal history. You see, one of their own orthodontic adhesive manufacturers has its origins in Tokyo. In fact, this is where three young Japanese chemists laid the foundation in 1921 for what is one of the world’s largest and most successful suppliers of dental products today, GC Corporation.

GC develops high-quality, products, such as the adhesives Dr. Razdolsky uses to chemically bond the brackets to your teeth in orthodontics. The reason this particular company is so important to Forever Smiles, and you, is that the product affords easy cleanup after bracket removal. This means little to no staining and a lot less scraping is required once you have your braces removed! The secret is in the addition of a continuous fluoride release which protects enamel with gel conditioners. This prevents demineralization or build-up of white-spot formations that damage enamel like other bonding agents. It’s important to note however, that if a patient’s hygiene is not up to par the decalcifications are still possible even with this cement.

“It is exciting to know the products we have been using for years are developed from such extensive research and over so long a time,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This manufacturer has been producing products like this one for almost 100 years!”

That’s right, GC is steeped in research and tradition, and has been setting benchmarks in dentistry by focusing not only on developing quality products and the latest scientific knowledge but also in respecting and honoring their humble beginnings.

As a dental product manufacturer of global standing, GC constantly seeks to produce original products that are not only patient friendly, but environmentally friendly as well. Their story began in the heart of a little neighborhood of central Japan, where now stands the GC Prostho Museum Research Centre. Initially the home to their first factory and research facility, GC converted the building to a museum which showcases the history of dentistry and reimagined the architecture as inspired by cidori, an old Japanese toy made of wooden sticks.

More than six thousand pieces of cypress wood make up the elegant three-dimensional lattice work which is both beautiful and functional. At nine meters high, the lumber is sculpted into shape without requiring the use of bolts, glue or nails for the joints. Hence the building, which emphasizes a handmade, local approach, looks like thousands of small cidori toys connected in a giant grid.

“It is almost like looking at the intricate design of orthodontics in its functionality and scientific engineering,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Seeing how it works from the inside and shapes the outside, as well as balances the light and airiness reminds me of how a patient’s smile is often transformed from the inside out.”

It’s a Leaf Expansion Revolution!

April 17th, 2019

Last month we shared with you the necessity for some patients to receive treatment with palatal expansion for proper spatial development of the palate and in some instances to allow for successful orthodontic treatment. The importance of expansion to correct for maxillary constriction or crossbite is not only important to allow ample spacing for incoming teeth, studies find that this constriction can also be a factor in airway restriction in children resulting in decreased nasal airways and impaired respiratory function.

Further studies show that treatment of palatal developmental problems become more complex with age. Therefore, younger patients are more responsive to early orthodontic intervention with expansion as less pressure is required to achieve the desired result. However, in the past, orthodontic treatment with a palatal expander relied heavily upon the patient and at a great cost.

A Rapid Palatal Expander (RPE) is a device bonded into place using the patient’s teeth as anchors. It can markedly increase the width of the upper jaw allowing upper and lower teeth to fit together. For some patients, this additional room may prevent the need for extraction as more space is created for the permanent teeth to come in. The device is connected by a screw in the middle which joins the two sides. Over time, and at doctor prescribed intervals, the patient or their parent uses a “key” to turn the screw - expanding the palate and therefore creating the necessary space for proper dentition. As the jaw expands, new bone fills in between the two halves of the palate in a process called distraction osteogenesis.

Following the prescribed treatment is critical to success with palatal expansion,” said Dr. Yan Razdolsky of Forever Smiles. “The learning curve is often too great, and the burden placed upon the patient and parent is often too much.”

RPE treatment often requires several appointments and expansion can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Treatment includes impressions, followed by the seating of the appliance and follow up visits for progress checks. Compound that schedule with extra visits due to the inability of patients or parents to perform proper home treatment… then patients can expect more visits. Indeed, that can be a challenge to treatment!

However, Dr. Razdolsky has discovered a great treatment alternative for Forever Smiles patients in the self-activating, leaf-spring expander.

“Once in a while, an invention appears which fundamentally changes the whole game. Leaf is a game changer,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “Once we started using it, we quickly realized the benefit both to treatment and the patients.”

The Leaf Self Expander is a product of Leone Orthodontics of Florence, Italy, a company with which Dr. Razdolsky has held a close professional relationship with the head engineer Gabrielle Scommegna since the late ’90s. The design of the Leaf Self Expander is similar to that of a conventional rapid palatal expander, but instead of a midline jackscrew it uses double nickel titanium leaf-shaped springs (see Fig. 1). When placed, the springs are compressed with an applied force so that as the spring recovers or returns to its original curve-like shape during deactivation which results in a strategically calibrated expansion of the upper arch (see Fig. 2-5). What’s better is that according to the manufacturer, the Leaf Self Expander requires no effort on behalf of the patient and perhaps only minor clinical observation throughout treatment to confirm results are on track!

Pre-loaded to the patient’s unique needs each spring’s super-elastic and flexible properties release predetermined, controlled, and continuous forces throughout treatment as they decompress. Therefore, expansion therapy with this self-activated device relies solely on a pre-defined course of treatment.

“We see a number of patients every day. With the Leaf Expander we can cut down on unnecessary appointments and save our patients extra trips and aggravation,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “This also results in improved clinical efficiency. With the Leaf Expander, we only have to see a patient every 6-8 weeks. It just makes the whole experience so much better.”

“We like to think our patients love us, but maybe now they can love us even more,” he added. “Fewer appointments and less time in the chair is a win, win for everyone.”

“Plus, parents do not have to activate the RPE expander on a daily basis and no further action on part of the patient or the doctor is necessary once the appliance is activated,” said Dr. Razdolsky. “That is revolutionary.”

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