Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Another Great Trip to the Dentist

Today was my semi-annual trip to the dentist.  I like my dentist and my hygienist very much because they are happy to be members of the Cigartender team.  After the initial obligatory counseling session about the potential increased risk factors posed by cigar smoking and the understandable upsell opportunity for teeth whitening, they have both been committed to their job, which is to provide me with the best care and advice possible for the health of my mouth.

I appreciated the discussion that we had on my first visit when we went over health history and lifestyle.  I stringently adhere to the approach that you never withhold any information from your doctors, which includes your dentist.  They may give you grief, but as long as you pay them promptly for their services they really are focused on helping you make smart decisions pertaining to your health.

While I’m happy to report that I got a clean bill of health and am cavity free, this post is not about my sterling record of brushing my teeth.  This post is about letting all of you know about ViziLite oral cancer screening.  This is as simple as gargling with an oral rinse and then being examined under a little fluorescent light like a glow stick.  It is entirely painless, doesn’t even taste too bad and immensely improves the ability of the hygienist to identify any abnormal cells in your mouth.

Before you get too worked up remember two things: while tobacco use is cited as an increased risk factor, 25% of oral cancer diagnoses are for non-smokers and non-drinkers; oral cancer has some pretty bad statistics against it, but that is hugely due to late or very late stage diagnosis; Iran is trying hard to get nukes.  Ok, that was three things, but my point is lots of things that you do in your daily life besides smoking cigars are actually on the “increased risk factors” list.  So, since you don’t intend to give up coffee or having a glass of wine lets address  the fact that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions probably represent a greater risk to your future health and even if you spend oodles of time staring into the mirror with your mouth wide open just bring in the professionals.

My dentist here in Tampa (if you’re local, send me an email, I’d be happy to refer you) actually reduced what he charges for this examination by 33% because he recognized how valuable this exam is for all of his patients and many who should receive it were opting not to based on cost (of course insurance considers this un-necessary and doesn’t cover the cost).  For the price of half a box of decent cigars you can have peace of mind, or, God forbid, early detection to get timely and effective treatment.

We enjoy our cigars because of what they add to our lives.  Do the right thing for yourself and family and ask the question next time you go in for a cleaning.  See if your dentist offers ViziLite and if they don’t ask them why not?

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