Wednesday, December 18, 2013


For those of our patients who are still considering the various Covered California healthcare plans, the deadline is December 23rd to get healthcare coverage starting January 1, 2014.  We know that this has been a confusing process for many of our patients' families, but hope that we can clarify a few things that will make your decision a little easier - at least when it comes to dental coverage.

-    The State of California only mandates that Pediatric Dental Care be OFFERED as coverage.  It does not mandate that each health care plan have the coverage as a part of the bundle, or package.

-    The bundled healthcare plans that do include pediatric dental coverage may not include a PPO dental plan (a plan that enables you to choose your own dentist), but rather an HMO plan (you will have to go to a dentist in their network). We do not accept HMO plans here at One Parker.

-    Supplemental Pediatric Dental Plans are available for purchase through Covered California but beware - they can be expensive and not worth the investment.  Monthly premiums can run as high as $47 per month per person with most plans just covering a percentage of preventative care and have maximums of $1,000 or $1,500.  If your child generally has cavity-free check-ups, and is not in orthodontia in the near future, your monthly premiums could cost more than two annual visits.  Read the individual plan descriptions carefully.

-    Our office is a Delta Dental Premier provider and we also participate with Anthem Blue Cross PPO dental plans - we are considered in-network with these plans.  With all other PPO carriers we are considered out of network - you can still choose us as your dentist, but you will reimbursed directly from your insurance company. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Mouthguards - Protecting Your Child During High Impact Sports

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), approximately 30 million children in the US participate in some sort of organized sports program, which is very good news for the youth of our country.  However, as pediatric dentists, we see the only downside to having our young patients out there playing team sports – the dental trauma from sporting accidents. The AAPD reports that about 32% of serious dental trauma occurs during sporting activities, with baseball and basketball leading the pack as having the highest rates of sports-related dental injuries.  Mandating and updating gear such as helmets and facemasks in sports like lacrosse and football have greatly reduced the number of dental trauma injuries to our children, but we lag behind greatly in the areas of protecting kids in other sports that do not mandate protective facial gear.

As parents and professionals, what do we do?  The consequences of orofacial trauma can often go on for months or years, in terms of pain, expense, loss of time at school (and parents’ work) and can psychologically affect children and teenagers who may have to cope with broken or lost teeth.   There are some recommendations we can make to our patients which will hopefully lower the risk of a serious injury to your child’s mouth and teeth – but they do involve wearing a protective mouthguard consistently.

There are three types of mouthguards available:

-     -      “Stock” mouthguards can be purchased over-the-counter at any sporting goods store.  They are designed for use without any modification and must be held in place by clenching the teeth together.  Positives: They are a good option for those patients whose mouths are rapidly changing because of orthodontic brackets and appliances. Negatives: These mouthguards can be cumbersome and can interfere with breathing or speaking. They may also provide less protection than custom mouthguards, as their retention can be poor.

-       -    Mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” mouthguards are adapted to the mouth by immersing the appliance into hot water and then applying biting pressure to the mouthguard for fit.  Positives: These mouthguards are most commonly used by athletes because they are more comfortable than the “stock” mouthguards, can be purchased at most sporting good stores, and can be fitted in the convenience of your own home. Negatives:  They can vary greatly in size, protection, retention, comfort and cost.

-        -   Custom-fabricated mouthguards are the most highly recommended type of mouthguards – these are produced from a dental model of the patient’s mouth and delivered with the supervision of a dentist. Positives: Superior because they are designed for maximum protection, cushioning and retention by ensuring all the teeth are covered, as it is fabricated with a highly detailed dental impression.  Negatives: In children and teenagers, their mouths change so rapidly that often a custom-fabricated mouthguard may not last more than one sports season (3-6 months), and it can also be the most expensive option. This process involves 2 appointments – the 1st is to take a dental impression and the 2nd appointment is to deliver the final mouthguard. When a custom mouthguard is not available or feasable, the Academy for Sports Dentistry (ASD) prefers the mouth-formed or “boil-and-bite” mouthguard.

It’s always best to talk to your dentist during your child’s exam as to the best course of action to take when protecting them from high-impact sports. We have trained our children to make the automatic move to click their seat belt when they get into the car, or put on a bike helmet, so it is time to take the first step in training them to become adults who consider a mouthguard a crucial part of their sporting equipment.  Together we can all do our best to make sure the beautiful smiles we work so hard to keep are there for their lifetime!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention

When looking at some of the health issues that face our children today in the United States, what seem the most pressing?  Obesity definitely tops most lists for both children and adults.  However, right up at the top along side of obesity is tooth decay.  Poor diet choices, sweet drinks, over-consumption of bottled (non-fluoridated) water, and a lack of affordable dental care for millions of children in this country has contributed to what has now reached a crisis point.

Pediatricians recommend (as do Pediatric Dentists) a visit to the dentist around the first birthday - when those first baby teeth start to peek through the gums.  Early education for parents on caring for these teeth has proven to be the most beneficial and effective form of prevention of tooth decay.  Some of the bacteria that can cause cavities is actually "contagious".  Many well-meaning parents share utensils and toothbrushes with their young children, with the mindset that the germs will help boost their baby's immune system.  In reality, they are actually contributing to the greater potential of their child developing cavities in the near future.  Visiting the dentist early will also educate the family on many other factors such as weaning off the bottle or breast, teething, habits and other dental health issues faced in the early years.

Diet plays such a crucial role in dental health. On our recent dental mission to Peronia, Guatemala, we saw firsthand how much damage sodas and sugar can do to children's teeth.  In areas of Guatemala like Peronia, where there is no central water system, water is trucked in and put in large containers for purchase. Shockingly, this water is more expensive than soda, and consequently the children there consume more soda than water.  We saw severe decay in the teeth of children who only had their teeth a couple of years - some children could have had all of their teeth removed with the amount of decay they had.  Of course a lack of preventative measures like brushing and flossing (some had never had a toothbrush) contributed to the decay, but the acid and sugar from the soda was part of the perfect recipe for the demise of their teeth.

Don't panic if you have a two year old and have yet to see a dentist, but your child's dental health is a crucial part of the overall big picture of their well being.  It is always good to establish yourself with a dentist you trust early in your child's life for their regular checkups and cleanings - as well as any emergencies that may arise - just as you do a pediatrician.  Together, you can make decisions about his or her diet and care that will benefit them for a lifetime.

Monday, June 3, 2013

One Parker Team Goes to Guatemala

This July some of the team members from One Parker are volunteering their time to help children in need in Guatamala. The non-profit organization Open Wide Foundation ( operates a fully-equipped dental clinic in the refugee city of Peronia to serve this impoverished community. We expect that Dr. James, Jessica, Lidia, Carla & her daughter Sydney will be seeing hundreds (if not more!) children over the course of a week. How can you help? Glad you asked! We are gratefully accepting donations to help facilitate this important mission. Please call our office at 668-3500 if you would like to pitch in.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Welcome to the One Parker Dentistry Blog!  We hope you will follow and check with us frequently for updates and stories of activities in the office.