Blog - Elizabeth Russ Family Dental

By Joyce McFarland RDH
June 07, 2013
Category: General Dentistry

Today, Dr. Russ and I saw something very impressive in a 26 year old patient.  We saw several mostly intact dental sealants.  “Wow” we said, “these sealants are probably 20 years old and these teeth are still decay free and healthy.  This patient had protection on her teeth that prevented bacteria from contacting her enamel and starting a cavity.

We know that children aren’t always the greatest brushers and flossers, so we can give them an edge against getting cavities by applying dental sealants to their permanent molars. A dental sealant is a clear or opaque plastic coating that we apply in the Dental Hygiene chair to the chewing surface of molars. These surfaces generally have deep depressions and grooves that can accumulate food and bacteria.  A toothbrush bristle cannot reach into these very deep grooves.  After cleaning the tooth very well and preparing it for the dental sealant, the material is floated over the top of the tooth and set with a light to become a solid smooth surface.  The process is easy and painless and the benefit can last many years. 

Dental sealants are checked at each recare appointment and reapplied if needed.  Along with a healthy diet, brushing, flossing and fluoride, sealants can help keep kids cavity free for a lifetime. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Joyce McFarland RDH


So as I was walking into my gym like I usually do several evenings a week, I was shocked by how many people that were there. Tons of people running, walking, using the stairmaster, cycling, bench pressing-where did all these people come from?? And then it hit me; “ah, January-new year resolution time”. These people that normally haven’t been working out are here trying to change their old ways and become healthier. They are trying to do something to improve their well being and their lives. But it got me thinking: what could our patients new years resolutions be to improve their oral health? How about flossing-you know the bacteria between your teeth isn’t going to get up and leave and brushing isn’t going to cut it. Yeah, yeah, I know flossing isn’t glamorous or exciting but it does improve your health-just google “periodontitis” and you will see all the serious physical issues associated with poor oral health. Ok, another one-what about brushing your teeth before bed? Did you know that brushing your teeth before bed is the MOST important time to brush. The reason is that your salivary glands which produce saliva full of calcium ions, phosphate ions, and other great mineral salts that help inactivate or slow cavities, decreases at night. This means that all the BBQ, pizza, salad dressing, or dessert that you ate hours ago is still on your teeth and will remain there all night with less saliva protecting them-a great environment for cavities to run rampant! Last dental resolution-going to the dentist twice a year to get your bi-annual cleanings and check up. Dr. Cohen was right in his last blog-dentistry can be expensive if you wait. It is so much cheaper and less time consuming to get work done when the cavity is small then later down the road, come in 2 years later for a cleaning and an exam to find out that you need a root canal and a crown.  Talk about a huge price increase! And it could have all been prevented by just seeing one of our amazing hygienists for a cleaning every 6 months.
Well, whatever your New Year’s resolution was, I hope you can follow through and improve your health and life. We at Elizabeth Russ Family Dental wish all our patients a wonderful, happy and healthy 2013!

Dr. Russ


In a tough economy, we want to find ways to help our patients keep the cost of their treatment as low as possible.  In the 30+ years I have treated patients, I have never experienced such a difficult time as we are experiencing now.  I suggest the following: 
First, keep up with regular hygiene appointments.  
For insurance patients, you may not have any out of pocket expense for your cleaning, exam and x-rays.  More importantly, you will have the benefit of knowing if there is work to do and getting it done sooner rather than later.  Waiting to complete treatment is always more expensive.  Over time, decay can weaken a tooth, requiring a crown, or root canal instead of the filling that was originally planned. Plus, fee increases, although small, will add to the expense when treatment is put off. 
Second, work with our front desk to maximize your insurance.  
Also, we have applications for basic dental insurance plans for those who cannot get coverage through work. 
Third, we offer plans that allow patients to spread out payments over a period of time. 
Care Credit and other programs like it will pay us for your treatment and you have up to 6 months to repay them while we pay the interest.
Paul D. Cohen DMD


We live in a digital age. From smartphones to laptops, everything is moving towards smarter, faster, smaller, better software and electronics. So why shouldn’t the dental field change as well? We’re not cavemen-we change with the times. At Elizabeth Russ Family Dental, we have updated our outdated systems with the most important diagnostic service-digital x-rays.  These aren’t your mom and pop’s old Kodak films with an automatic processor developed with liquid chemicals like developer and fixer. These x-rays are revolutionary in the dental field. Not only are they taken instantly without having to wait 5-7 minutes like the old films just to see that you missed the tooth that you wanted to x-ray, but digital x-rays are much more safer and healthier for the patient. Digital x-rays cut down on the amount of radiation exposure, which can be close to 75%! That’s huge! And it means that 4 digital x-rays equal about the same amount of total radiation of 1 old, standard type film. I don’t know about you, but this makes me feel a lot better. Not only are my patients less exposed to unnecessary radiation, but me and my staff are safer from the decrease in daily scatter radiation. A win-win for everyone. Another nice feature is that they instantly appear digitally on the computer, which gives us better control to make a more accurate diagnosis.  From increasing their size to increasing/decreasing the contrast, you can do a lot with digital x-rays, which was not possible with the old standard.  X-rays are great diagnostic tools, but now with the advancement of the digital age, we have taken things to a whole new level.  We can make our patients safer and have better diagnosis of cavities and infections in a matter of seconds while showing the patient and educating them. I hope you will be impressed with our new software system and know that we are doing everything possible to make dentistry and all its tools safer and better for our patients. 

Elizabeth Russ, DMD


Hi, everybody. This is officially Elizabeth Russ Family Dental’s first blog!  Exciting. I want to first start out by thanking all of you for visiting us on the web, and this blog.  I also want to say a very special thank you to all the patients and families that I have had the pleasure to meet and treat since January of this year. I am truly thankful for all of your support and well wishes.

By starting this blog, my hope is that it will create a forum  for all of my patients and the community with up-to-date information and opinions about all things dental.  I would also like to share things that we as dentists see day in and day out.  Let me tell you; it’s a lot. This is the perfect place to inform all of you on those dental product ‘gimmicks’ we see and just shake our heads. There are no sponsors here. No slick ad sales. Here you will just find facts, educated opinions, and personal tips to help you pick and choose the right products.  I want to help you make informed decisions about your dental needs, and dental care. My goal for this blog is to create all of that right here, and most importantly, answer as many of your questions as I can.

Along the way, Dr. Paul D. Cohen will be joining in on the discussions. Dr. Cohen has been practicing dentistry in Needham, MA for over 30 years, and let me tell you that this man has got some great dental wisdom to bestow upon us.  He is a great clinician, and a wonderful teacher to his students. We are lucky to have him with us.

Let’s make this happen together! I hope you will take the time and subscribe to this blog, and continue to read posts in the future. I would love nothing more than for you to feel like you have gained some valuable knowledge to help you make a good decision about your dental health.

Elizabeth Russ, D.M.D.

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