Giving Back Feels So Good!

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I never considered myself a “charitable” person.  I wasn’t highly involved in volunteer activities, whether it be for my children’s school, sports, or church.  I often felt guilty seeing the other parents and people so much more involved and giving of their time.  I justified my actions and told myself… “that’s just not me”.

Fast forward to 2014, I am currently serving on the board of the San Diego Dental Health Foundation for the next 3 years.   I am one of the founders of “Dentistry for Humanity”, a newly formed organization that is committed to inspiring SD CEREC dentists to utilize our technology to improve access to dental care to those in need within our community through service and contribution.  I have been behind the scenes bringing this project to life for the last 9 months and the end result will be the opportunity serve the dental needs of our local Veterans who are in dire need of the dentistry that will allow them to integrate back into society.

So, what happened to me?  The one who felt guilty not signing up for the volunteer activities for school and church is now taking on “giving back” in a whole new way!!  Rather than going into a long detailed description, I am going to summarize what I believe has caused my “philanthropic” transformation.

  • Maturity… age, years on the planet.  Turning 50 later this year really has made me reflect on what is important.  After the awesome marriage, wonderful career and raising two wonderful young men… “What can I give?”  and “How can I serve?”, have become so much more relevant.
  • Personal growth and development – Landmark Education and Deepak Chopra… the perfect combination of spiritual and personal transformation through self awareness and meditation.  Way too much to describe in a few sentences, but trust me when I say my life has never been more joyful and peaceful.
  • Sharing my vision – Amazing things start to happen when you share your vision with the world. Doors open up that you wouldn’t have been able to orchestrate on your own.  Inspiration comes and the project takes on a life of it’s own.  It’s truly miraculous.
  • Blind Faith – In taking on these projects, I have learned to have an intention for what I want to create, however, I am unattached to the outcome.  This approach allows me to let go of control and allow things to unfold naturally.
  • A commitment to have FUN in the process – FUN in the form of laughter, light heartedness and joy are requirements of this transformation. Although I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone and will continue to do so…. I am committed to having FUN no matter what.

What I have learned is that giving back is a mindset.  It isn’t so much what you do, what matters is that you are doing things for others and looking to contribute in a way that works for you.  The real truth is that giving back feels so good!!  The rewards are beyond what material possessions and money can give.  It is a heartfelt satisfaction, quiet and purposeful that makes me feel like I matter in this world and I alone can make a difference.

What can you give of yourself to this world?  Don’t underestimate yourself!

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Dr. Leslie Strommer

http://www.newimagedentalcare.com

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New Year’s Inspiration!

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Every new year brings what feels like a fresh start, an opportunity, a chance to do that “thing” that we have been thinking about for quite some time.  As my 17 year old son says to me, “You do you”  and “I’m gonna do me”.  My interpretation is that we should focus on what works for us and not be concerned with what everyone else is doing.  I like how that sounds and feels.

I love the quote  “A year from now I will wish I had started today.”  It reminds me that there is no other time like the present and there won’t be a better time than now.

Things I want to start now:

  • Seeing the launch of the philanthropic/charitable organization that I created the possibility for in 2013 – Dentistry for Humanity.
  • Following through with the training and implementing the use of Botox in my dental practice. (Migraines, TMJ, Facial pain)
  • Yoga/pilates/stretching  – good things for soon to be 50 year old body.

What things do you want to start now?

If any of those “things” revolve around your dental health, like getting your teeth straightened, whitened, or finally getting that missing tooth replaced, or getting those old silver fillings out… we are here to help.

Year after year we help our patients achieve dental health, create new smiles, restore old ones and give back the ability to chew food with confidence!!

Let us know if we can help you in 2014!!

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Leslie Strommer, DDS

info@newimagedentalcare.com

619-280-9100

Don’t be a hater!! Find out how to make your dental visits more tolerable.

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I am still surprised to see statistics that indicate that 40% of the population does NOT visit the dental office and out of those people, 15% is due to dental phobia, fear and anxiety.  As a dentist, we have all heard .…”I hate going to the dentist… no offense”, and my response is ….”none taken and thanks for sharing.”

I understand that the “fear” stigma surrounding dentistry has been around for some time and it is consistent with the way dentists have been portrayed on the big screen. (Marathon Man, Little Shop of Horrors and The Dentist to name a few).  I find myself wondering… what is it going to take to shift the perception of dentistry as a whole?  Will we ever be embraced as a group of healthcare professionals who are committed to total health and wellness for our patients??  Only time will tell.

My solution to this question will be handled one patient at a time.    Over the last 22 years, we have helped hundreds of patients who truly appreciate and are grateful for what we do and continue to come back for more!  Amazing!  Our office has successfully transformed former “haters” into “willing participants” who are committed to their oral health.

If you are part of the 40% non-dental users and want to come over to the other side….here are some suggestions for making your dental visit tolerable and possibly even pleasant!  (Let’s not get crazy)

  1. When you call to schedule your appointment, let us know about you!  Make sure to let us know your primary concern and what is important to you when visiting our office.
  2. Let us know if you have dental anxiety or phobia.  We will plan to meet you first and take it slow if necessary.
  3. Remember that you control what you do or don’t do at our office.  We are here to educate and offer solutions.
  4. Keep in mind, our primary purpose is to help our patients achieve healthy mouths!!  We stand for oral health and only recommend what is necessary to get you there.
  5. We offer sedation dentistry for our patients who want to relax through their dental treatment appointments.  It is as simple as taking a pill.

A healthy mouth has numerous benefits… the ability to eat without discomfort, fresh smelling breath, lower risk for heart disease, infection and inflammation in your body, smiling with confidence… and the list goes on.

Don’t be a hater… join the other 60% of the population who find us tolerable and give us the opportunity to give you a healthy mouth!

Leslie Strommer,DDS

New Image Dental

http://www.newimagedentalcare.com

The Affordable Care Act Has NO Teeth!!

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Obamacare and the ACA has no requirements when it comes to adult dental care. There are some provisions for children’s dental services as an essential health benefit, but dental coverage for adults has been ignored.  The American Dental Association president has stated, “We’re concerned about it because the law does not draw attention to the fact that oral health is very critically involved in overall health.”  Reports have shown that emergency room visits for dental emergencies have almost doubled from 2000 to 2010.

It appears that people are not getting dental care early enough to prevent  life threatening emergencies.

The good news is that if you currently have dental benefits from your employer, the policy will unlikely change.  However, many corporations will modify their medical benefits to be in compliance with the new laws.

We consider our patients with dental insurance coverage VERY fortunate!!  Dental insurance is designed to help cover dental costs and acts like a dental discount plan in many cases.   Medical insurance and dental insurance are very different and we make sure to do our part in educating about their insurance coverage.   Health Savings and Medical Savings Accounts (HSA’s and MSA’s) have become frequently used to pay for dental services with pre-tax dollars.

We hear quite often …. “I haven’t been to the dentist in a while because I don’t have dental insurance”.

Our response …. “Why not?”

Of course the answer usually involves a financial concern and we totally understand that a “dental budget” is not something many people put on the family spreadsheet.

At New Image Dental, we believe that dentistry changes lives and we get to see and experience that everyday in our practice!  We believe that investing in dentistry and your oral health is one of the best investments you could make!!   This is why our practice exists and what we stand for when it comes to our patient care.

To help our patients with dental care costs, we offer a great alternative to traditional insurance with our premier dental membership plan.

Benefits include:

Free simple teeth cleanings (up to two per year)
Free complete annual dental exam (up to two per year)
Free x-rays for complete annual exam(s) – includes 3D Scan
Free teeth whitening
A 15% savings on all dental procedures
A 15% savings on all implant services
A 10% savings on all orthodontic services
The cost is $329  a year which amounts to $27 a month. (That is about the same as a 2x/week Starbucks  habit! )

The moral of our story is early dental care is the easiest, least expensive, cheapest, simplest way to go.

We remind our patients to only take care of the teeth that they WANT to keep!!

Cheers to your dental health!!

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Dr. Leslie Strommer

drleslie@newimagedentalcare.com

New Image Dental   619-280-9100

Your smile is your BEST accessory… you wear it EVERYDAY!!

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As healthcare providers… our training and focus is on how to keep our teeth and gums healthy!!  We are trained to remove decay, restore worn and broken teeth, clean those gums and help our patients keep their teeth for a lifetime.  We understand this because chewing is very important and most of us enjoy using our teeth everyday to eat!!

So now let’s talk about the health of our SMILE.  How do you know if you have a healthy smile??

  • Do you smile daily without concern?
  • Do  you love seeing it in the mirror?
  • Do you you share it generously with the world?

A smile is a gift that we can give to others that doesn’t cost a thing.  We all know a person who can light up a room with their smile.

Regardless if your teeth are straight, crooked, white or yellow… it really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you are confident enough to wear your smile with reckless abandon?

Over the last 22 years of practicing dentistry, I hear many stories of my patients who struggle with feeling self-conscious about their teeth and don’t like to smile.  I have a lot of compassion for this dis-ease of an unhealthy smile.

The good news is there are many ways that a patient can get the smile they have wanted.  For some patients, simple whitening, minor reshaping and bonding or repositioning can do the trick.  For others who are interested in making a bigger impact, major tooth movement, veneers and porcelain crowns may be the way to go.  I find that the simplest, most conservative treatment is the best bet for most people and my patients are amazed at how a few simple changes can make all the difference.

I tell my patients… if you love your smile then there is nothing for us to do!

If on the other hand… you wanted to improve what you were born with, ask us how we can help!!

Be generous today and give your smile away!!!

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Dr. Leslie Strommer

www. newimagedentalcare.com

619-280-9100

Let’s talk straight about straight teeth … and it’s not just about looking pretty…

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The question is… why should you care if you don’t have straight teeth?

You may be one of the many who were not blessed with well aligned teeth, along with 70-80% of the population.  Or, maybe you had braces when you were younger and now think… “I should have worn that retainer”, because things don’t look like they did when you got them off.

We see “malocclusion” or improper alignment of dental arches, everyday in our office and I want you to know it is your choice whether or not to treat it.  At New Image Dental, we have many patients who choose orthodontics  to properly align their teeth because they want to keep their teeth healthy for a lifetime.

What I am going to share with you is why properly aligned straight teeth have many benefits above and beyond looking fabulous for those photo shoots and “selfies”.

  • Straight teeth are much easier to clean, maintain and keep healthy. This means, lower risk for tooth decay and food traps.  Also, with less tartar and stain, they will likely stay whiter!  Flossing is so much easier!
  • Properly aligned teeth function better, which means you can properly chew your food which aides in digestion.  Maybe not a problem now when you are young… but don’t forget these are the same teeth we will have in our 80’s and 90’s!!  Proper digestion is key to our health when we are in our senior years.
  • Well aligned teeth will lower our risk for bite problems associated with TMJ symptoms like headaches, tired jaws, uncomfortable bite.  We have had success in minimizing chronic headaches related to bad bites.
  • Minimizes tooth chipping and wear.  Have you noticed your lower teeth chipping on the edges?  This could be due to your bite!  Don’t let this go on for long… a bad bite can destroy teeth at an accelerated rate.
  • Tooth crowding typically gets worse with time…  notice that older people often have crooked lower anterior teeth?  This is because as the teeth wear down, the bite changes which causes  issues that cause the teeth to shift and crowd.

So…when you are considering orthodontics,  feel confident that you are putting your teeth in the best position possible to be healthy for a lifetime! And don’t forget that the side benefit of straight teeth is usually a gorgeous smile!!

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http://www.newimagedentalcare.com

619-280-9100

Should I trust my dentist?

So here is a topic that I know is a concern around dentistry and it can get in the way of people going forward with recommended dental care…. a lack of trust.
How do you know if you can trust your dentist?  So often in meeting new patients, there are many stories of people questioning previous care, how it was done and whether or not is was necessary.  I ask myself, how is it that this perception is so pervasive?
 First, let’s talk straight about a few things…
  • Dentistry is a service business.
  • We perform dental services for a profit.
  • Our goal is to be profitable AND serve our patients dental needs at the same time.
Now if I sound like I am defending our profession…. maybe so.  I believe that dentists  often get a bad rap and are accused of recommending unnecessary treatment.  The REAL deal is that  there is a lack of trust between the dentist and the patient before the treatment began.   When a patient trusts their dentists’ recommendations,  they are empowered to make  educated decisions before proceeding with treatment.  When a patient has been educated about what to expect with their dental care, things usually go very smoothly.
So. the question remains…what makes you trust someone?
From personal experience,  it is a feeling, a knowing in the pit of my stomach that tells me something is right for me.
If  you aren’t as in touch with your inner knowing… ask yourself these questions…
  • How does the dentist and the team/staff interact with you?
  • Do they spend sufficient time with you to get to know you and find out why you are there?
  • Do they take photos of your teeth and educate you about the condition of your mouth?
  • Do they make sure you understand the condition before they offer a solution?
  • Is there testimony from other people who are satisfied with their care?
  • How does the office make you feel?  Comfortable? Safe? Secure?
I love this definition of TRUST” in the dictionary – “One in which confidence is placed”.
Have confidence in the ONE  that you choose to care for your teeth… just know that when we have our patients’ trust, we feel valued.

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