More Smiles Dental Spa Dentistry Blog | James A. Moreau, Jr., D.D.S.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricane Tracking - Gustav - Best Website

For anyone who's interested in serious tracking, I recommend Go down the left menu bar to "Lab - Hurricane Tracking." You should find all the info you'd ever want about the planet's weather patterns, etc. Jim says it looks like a video game because there's so much action going on, colors, animation, etc. But it is the most useful site I've found for quickly assessing the storms, movements, projected paths, water temperatures, probabilities for tropical storm force winds, etc.

posted by MoreSmiles at 8:01 AM 0 comments

Tryin' to Reason With Hurricane Season

Unlike Jimmy Buffet's 1972 song, "Tryin' to Reason With Hurricane Season," I must confess...I did NOT need the rest.

But here I am anyway with an unscheduled vacation hundreds of miles away from home. I tried to ignore Gustav until it moved well into the Gulf of Mexico. But, alas, the world around me was activating hurricane evac plans before it even moved across Jamaica. At the office, team members were busy on the phone discussing with family members which way they'd go, who'd go, and where to start getting reservations. Coffee pot banter was how many rooms were available at the Hampton Inn in Tuscaloosa at 6 p.m. vs. how many fewer were available several hours later.

We quickly updated the contacts list so we'd all be able to touch base in the coming days regardless of where we all ended up, remembering that for days after Katrina the only way to contact each other was via text message since the cell phones weren't working. And contrary to what I heard a phone company spokesman say on TV 2 days ago, they did NOT help this particular customer out with the texting charges incurred as a result. Katrina was my introduction to text messaging; I quickly became proficient. However, we had a teenager who was lightyears ahead of us on that, and with friends spread across the U.S. for a month after the storm, the texts were her only connection to sanity. But I digress.

When I left the office Thursday afternoon I told everyone I'd see them Tuesday and have a nice holiday weekend. But as soon as I got in my car and hit the service road, you could almost feel electricity in the air as panic was beginning to set in within the community. People were darting around in traffic, on their cell phones, lining up at banks and gas stations. It was getting harder and harder to ignore. And by Friday night it became increasingly apparent that an evacuation was in our best interest. Something about the word "contraflow" does that to me.

Once you flip the switch and go into evac mode, it's an almost immediate detachment from reality. We tend to slip into a surreal dimension just a layer removed from "normal."

One thing we learned from Katrina is to clean out the refrigerator and freezer before we leave. So that was one of the first things we started doing...simple enough, fairly non-committal because after all if Gustav fizzles out (as we can always hope), well the fridge needed to be cleaned out anyway. Before Katrina, I stupidly went to the grocery store the night before and stocked up on expensive meats to put in the freezer. See...another lesson learned. What was I thinking?!

We put the kids on notice that they needed to prepare a suitcase, backpack and carry-on bag and stage it in the dining room for loading on Saturday morning. Still I refused to begin my own packing, choosing rather to toggle between Fox News, CNN, 2 local news channels which were preparing to phase to round-the-clock coverage, and The Weather Channel.

Saturday morning we faced the inevitable and drove long-faced to the Public Works Barn to pick up sandbags for the back doors at the office which do tend to leak water in heavy rains. Then we drove to the marina to drive our boat out to the launch and pulled it out of the water. Then the only thing left to do was load a suitcase, pack up as much of my "valuables" as I could (you know, my Donald Pliner stash :-) and then make one last trip by the office to secure the computer server and a couple of workstations.

Now, bear in mind that very little of this would have actually occurred prior to Katrina. We all learned some lessons from that experience. Even still, I went off without the dogs' vaccinnation records; so even if I wanted to board them somewhere, that may not be an option. Good thing my parents and their cat, Millie, are such good sports about four-legged house guests!

So here we are in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, trying to determine our next move. Jim just logged on to a St. Tammany Parish website and is updating me on the mandatory evacuations. The page features a cheerful looking portrait of our parish president. "Why is HE smiling?" Jim just grumbled. Looks like our schools have just decided to stay closed through Wednesday. I've checked in with most of our team members who are now tucked away in Nashville, Ville Platte, Lake Charles and then on from there, and some still on the road through Meridian,MS, (in traffic for 7 hours for what should have been an easy 3-hour trip).

posted by MoreSmiles at 7:29 AM 0 comments

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Where Did August Go?

What an incredible month it's been! From the IACA conference in Orlando (International Association of Comprehensive Aesthetics) to LVI (Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies) to several trips to Alabama to visit family and deliver our daughter to her chosen institute of higher learning, we have created a whirlwind at the back door of our home. The poor dogs never know when we're coming or going; they just know to get upset when they see the suitcases coming out. I'm sure they were delighted to find that at least some familiar family members stayed behind at each trip.

At each level we've achieved in the evolution of our dental practice, I sit back and take it all in and wonder, "How can it get any better than this?" But it's never long before we discover something new or better that we can do for our patients. Such is the case as I reflect on all the energy generated over the last month during these travels.

There's another whirlwind going on in my mind as I sift and sort information that you will experience in the way of increased efficiency and service in our office. We'll be implementing technology and tightening up the ship to make sure that we're spending the most energy helping patients who need, want and appreciate what we can do for them.

At a point in one's dental career where many doctors have long glazed over at the thought of plugging silver putty into holes in people's teeth, I am so grateful that we continue to be energized by the possibilities of what is available in modern dentistry for us to share with our patients. Love and gratitude to patients who desire the best dentistry has to offer! Love and gratitude to a husband who is never content with status quo.

posted by MoreSmiles at 3:25 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Pure Power Mouthguard for Improved Athletic and Sports Performance Being Introduced to New Orleans Area

From the science of Neuromuscular Dentistry emerges an engineered mouthguard that can help improve physical performance for the recreational golfer, the high school athlete and the professional alike.

The Pure Power Edge mouthguard was invented by an NM dentist, like Dr. Moreau, who discovered that a NM orthotic used in the treatment of TMJ disorders, headaches and muscle tension can be carried a step further to increase strength, endurance and balance. We had been watching the development of this technology and heard about the impact that it was having for sports enthusiasts and athletes through some of our colleagues' offices across the country. After meeting with the inventor, Dr. Anil Makkar, last week at the IACA meeting in Orlando, we've decided that it's time to bring the Pure Power Mouthguard to the New Orleans area.

Professional athletes such as Manny Ramirez have used the Pure Power Edge and attest to the measurable improvement in performance that they attribute to locking their teeth into a neuromuscularly correct bite and opening their airways.

Unlike store-bought mouthguards that are typically fitted by boiling and melting the plastic to help mold it to the teeth, the Pure Power Edge is a laboratory-fabricated device that is custom fitted to each individual's bite. The "correct" bite for each person is scientifically ascertained by TENSing and then scanning to determine the precise location in which jaw and facial muscles are most comfortable and relaxed.

When the jaw and teeth are locked into this optimum position, the body is free to pull maximum energy from its core and direct it towards focused movement. The result is more strength, better focus, more energy, better balance.

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posted by MoreSmiles at 9:11 PM 0 comments

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Enthusiasm, Energy and Passion

It's hard to imagine too many other professional organizations or associations where participants are literally moved to tears by their leaders at a national conference. I just can't picture a bunch of insurance execs standing around wiping their eyes over revolutionary developments in premium collections or exclusions. No offense intended guys...maybe you all are just more macho than a bunch of sappy dentists.

For the group that we met with this week, the International Association of Comprehensive Aesthetics, this is exactly what happened. Dr. Bill Dickerson, the founder of the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, has very literally helped start a revolution in some of the very basic ways that dentists can help their patients, not only through aesthetics, but also through neuromuscular dentistry. He has taken a lot of heat along the way from within organized dentistry. Many reasonable dentists who have listened to Bill have come to understand the rationale of NM dentistry and have studied it at LVI (between 7,000-8,000 dentists). Others who have based their careers on a different approach to occlusion in dentistry hold strong to their beliefs and have closed their minds to the idea of doing the right thing to help patients. But perhaps the greater majority of dentists in the U.S. are completely oblivious and stiflingly complacent with their status quo dentistry. (see learning rules below).

So at the ripe age of 55, our mentor and a true hero of dentistry, Bill Dickerson has decided to retire from public speaking outside of LVI. His address to IACA on Saturday morning was his last. For four hours he infused the room of a couple thousand doctors, their families (including young children) and team members with his particular brand of inspiration and energy. It was an amazing experience...most of all because without his leadership, many of those dentists would have long ago lost their enthusiasm for dentistry. Wonder how many of them would have completely burned out and just quietly moved on to some other career?

He helped develop and bring together the concepts and science of neuromuscular dentistry. He paved the way for what many of us believe is the future of dentistry, and in so doing gave us a better way to help people and a better way to do dentistry. Most of us would not practice dentistry the way we do had it not been for his courageous leadership, and the combined talent, intellect and curiosity of his extraordinary team of scientists, instructors, researchers, and practitioners such as Drs. Norm Thomas, Clayton Chan, Michael Miyasaki, Bernie Jankelsen. And on a personal basis, I can attest to the character of a man who, with Dr. Edmund Suh, spearheaded an incredible effort by LVI doctors to offer assistance and support to those of us who experienced any level of displacement after Hurricane Katrina. Love and gratitude...forever.

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posted by MoreSmiles at 8:05 PM 0 comments

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Where in the world--clue 2

Ok, I see that the first photo is a bit vague, so here's another clue:

posted by MoreSmiles at 4:08 PM 0 comments

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