Lawrence Dental

Bucket List

Health Aug 19, 2014 Comments Off

Life is full of many experiences and every person is different on the number of experiences that we want to pull off that shelf and experience for yourself. The world we live in is full of an infinite number of wonderful events and unfortunately an equal number of life-threatening, mind numbing and soul searchingly bad events. We all get a little or a lot of both. Fill up your bucket, and make a list.

Getting a bucket of ice cold water dumped on my head was not even close to the top of my bucket list though I have to admit that it is an experience that I would not give back either. This week I accepted the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from Starr/s husband, Matt, after he had drenched Starr with a surprise attack with a barrel filled with ice. Yes, Matt is still alive and he passed it on to me. The good thing about the even is that it is to be completed within 24 hours and then pass it on to someone else. This is good timing because there isn’t a lot of time to stew and fret over the necessary task. Now I will say that I could avoid the dumping entirely by giving to the ALS society, but wanting to experience life to the fullest, I did both which is what most people are doing. But then comes the life experience that I hope that I never experience and I certainly hope that you or anyone else never undergoes, and that is to have ALS. I have known personally three people that have been diagnosed with ALS, but have heard of numerous people that have succumbed to the disease and to know the road that you have to travel has no possible escape. Yet the people that I have known with the disease have taken on their fate with great dignity and resolve.

Tome Watson and George Brett have led the way in fundraising for ALS in this area but nothing has raised the awareness nationally like dumping ice cold water on your head. I hope that the money raised can help to at least start finding a cure or even a delay to the end results. That’s the one we would all like to put on our bucket list.

Donations are easily made by going to

Delicious Recipes for Summer

Health Jul 02, 2014 Comments Off

I’ve recently come across two delicious recipes that are perfect for Summer. One is a slow cooker recipe for chicken phillies and the other is a raspberry black bean dip.  Enjoy!   :)

Slow Cooker Chicken Phillies


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 3 boneless,skinless chicken breasts, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Dale’s Steak Seasoning (found at HyVee)
  • sliced Mozzarella cheese
  • hoagie rolls


  1. Spray a 3 – 4 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray and turn to LOW heat.
  2. Add butter, onions and green peppers.
  3. Toss chicken with steak seasoning, salt and pepper, then add to slow cooker. (I marinated the chicken in the sauce, salt, and pepper overnight)
  4. Cover and cook for 5 hours.
  5. Serve on hoagies with a slice of cheese melted on top.



Raspberry Chipotle Black Bean Dip



  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, loosely rinsed and drained
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin_
  • 1/2 red or white onion, diced (~2/3 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 2.5 ounce jar (5 Tbsp) raspberry chipotle sauce (Bronco Bob’s - found at World Market)
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded jack cheese
  • Cilantro for topping and chips or crackers for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the beans along with a healthy pinch each salt, pepper, and 1 tsp cumin. Once warmed through, taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
  3. Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet (or oven-safe skillet) over medium heat. Add onions and a healthy pinch of salt and stir. Cook until soft and fragrant stirring frequently – about 5 minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Then add to a mixing bowl with the cream cheese and stir.
  5. Removed from the stove top, add the cream cheese-onion mixture back to the cast iron skillet. Place it in the center and make a well (or just spread it in an even layer on the bottom for more even distribution).
  6. Add the black beans on top around the outside of the cream cheese, and pour the raspberry chipotle sauce in the center.
  7. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top (optional but recommended) and bake for 12-15 minutes or until warmed through and bubbly and the cheese is melted.
  8. Remove from oven and top with a bit of additional cheese and fresh cilantro (optional). Serve immediately.
  9. You can either swirl everything around first to combine flavors, or let people scoop into it with chips and get a little bite of each ingredient. Leftovers will keep covered in the fridge for several days. Just reheat in the microwave or the oven.

For step by step pictures of both recipes, click on the links below.

A Tribute to Family Caregivers

Health Jun 27, 2014 Comments Off

You may have read the following news clip or perhaps you saw a related television interview– Barbara Smith, known as B. Smith — who is called “the black Martha Stewart” — recently shared with CBS News that she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Smith, 64, began her career as a model and was one of the first African Americans to grace the cover of Mademoiselle. In 1986, she opened her first restaurant in New York City, and two more followed. She went on to become a pioneer in the lifestyle area, an expert in food and home entertaining.

Around four years ago, Smith noticed that she was repeating herself and forgetting things. She shared her symptoms with her doctor before she told her husband and business partner of 22 years, Dan Gasby, CBS reports.

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, Parkinson’s and strokes do not discriminate when finding victims. And it can hit close to home at any time–my 88-year old uncle was caring for his wife of over 60 years who has cancer when he suffered a stroke last week.

The common thread with these situations and yours is that family members are impacted by diseases that result in cognitive decline. In the United States alone, some 15 million family members are involved in caring for 5 million loved ones with Alzheimer’s. It is said that one in three persons knows someone who has Alzheimer’s disease.

Certainly, B. Smith’s husband Dan Gasby can marshal an army of paid caregivers to assist him as his wife’s disease progresses, but down in Green Valley, Arizona it is my cousins who bear the load of caring for my aunt and uncle, as he moves from the hospital into rehab and hopefully back home. But having vast resources to draw on won’t minimize the impact on Mr. Gasby. Like every other family member affected by a loved one’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia, his suffering is emotional as he watches his otherwise healthy wife lose her memory at a very young age.

On June 24, the anniversary of opening our care home in Baldwin City, I celebrated the residents our home has served these past 3 years, but what is foremost in my mind today is paying tribute to the family caregivers who never stop thinking about their loved ones’ plight. After adjusting to a loved one being placed in a care home, the respite the home’s employees provide may help to dull the family’s pain, but the family members never relinquish their roles as chief caregivers. Because let’s be real, no one can love a family member like his or her relatives can.

So today, let’s keep all the family caregivers we know in our thoughts and prayers, remembering them always as they suffer what we call “the long goodbye.”

Scott Schultz, President, ComfortCare Homes Baldwin

We try to keep it light at our office!

Health Jun 24, 2014 Comments Off


Crowns or Fillings- Which is a Better Choice?

Health Jun 17, 2014 Comments Off

Crowns and fillings are both effective treatments used to save teeth that have suffered decay. The better choice of the two will really depend on the severity of the decay within the tooth.

Of course, a dental exam is necessary to determine which treatment will be best, but here are a few factors our dentists consider.

When are Fillings Used?
If a tooth has only minor decay, a filling is usually the best choice. A filling becomes necessary when a cavity develops; the decayed tooth matter must be removed in order to restore the health of the tooth. In addition, a tooth that has suffered significant wear may benefit from a filling.

Getting a filling is typically a simple procedure. The decayed tooth matter is removed and then a material – usually silver amalgam, ceramic, porcelain, or tooth-colored composite – is used to fill in the spaces. For many patients with cavities, fillings will be the proper treatment.

When are Crowns Used?
Crowns are used to provide strength and stability to a weakened tooth. A tooth that has become vulnerable due to decay may not be able to support a filling, in which case it can be covered with a crown.

If a decayed tooth has cracked or broken, the dentist will likely recommend a crown to avoid extracting the tooth and instead preserve as much tooth structure as possible.

In addition, a crown is usually placed after a root canal to ensure the tooth has the strength to stand up to chewing.

To place a crown on a decayed tooth, one of our dentists will usually utilize filling material to create a larger and more ideal surface for the crown. Then, the crown is cemented to the tooth.

In short, the right treatment will depend heavily on the patient’s individual case. Patients who are experiencing cavity-like symptoms should call our dentists as soon as possible for best results.

Four easy ways to grow herbs from a sunny windowsill that can be used for minor illness

Health Jun 11, 2014 Comments Off

Savor the aroma as you steep your healing teas.

The herbs are Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Sage and Thyme.

Use 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herb (use one or try a combination) to 1 cup boiled water.  Cover and steep 5 to 10 minutes before sipping.  Drink a cup 2 or 3 times a day as needed.

Lemon Balm: Anxiety, mild insomnia, and tension headaches.

Peppermint: Nausea, flatulence, indigestion, and tension headaches.

Sage: Hot flashes, night sweats, fever, and sore throat (use as a gargle).

Thyme:  Cough, congestion, and bronchitis.

5 Things Your Hygienist Wish You Knew

Health May 28, 2014 Comments Off
  1. Being late to your appointment throws off our entire schedule and leaves us less time to give you the quality of care you deserve. Keeping a dental office running efficiently while giving patients the care they deserve requires effort from all involved. We do our part to be ready for you when your appointment is scheduled, so please do your part to arrive on time and together we can keep things running smoothly for everybody!
  2. X-rays are necessary for quality care. It’s how dentists detect cavities, monitor bone level and gum health, determine the condition of your fillings, crowns, bridges, and root canals, and develop a baseline to monitor any changes in your oral health. While it can be scary to have X-rays around your head, there is surprisingly little radiation emitted compared to many normal activities like flying in plane, cooking using natural gas, living in a brick house, and even eating a banana!
  3. We know when you don’t floss regularly. If you are honest with us, we can help you find a way to clean in between your teeth that works for you and ensure you are doing it correctly and effectively. Brushing alone only cleans about 60% of your tooth’s surface, what about the other 40%? This leads to infection of your gums, and the first sign of infection is bleeding. So as soon as we start probing beneath your gums and you start to bleed heavily, we know that you haven’t been flossing every day for the past 6 months. Simply put, those who are correctly flossing daily don’t tend to bleed or have much tenderness during their appointments. If you washed your hands and they started bleeding and hurt, you would be concerned, right? Same logic should apply to your mouth, maybe even more so.
  4. We do need to know your medical history. A surprising number of patients get annoyed when asked about their medical history. They don’t understand why hygienists need to know what medications they are taking or if they just had a knee replacement, since we are there to “just clean teeth.” Here’s how it works: your mouth is connected to your entire body and anything that happens in your mouth can have a great impact on the rest of your body. In turn, medications can have side effects for your mouth. So asking about your medical history isn’t because we are curious about all your medical quirks. It is simply for your own health and safety.
  5. Proper home care is absolutely necessary not just for your oral health, but for your overall health as well. Yes, it is important to come in regularly for cleanings, but there is only so much we can do in the hour or two we are with you every year. Ultimately, your health is your responsibility. Brushing with a soft toothbrush for two minutes, twice a day, and flossing once per day is really all it takes to have a healthy mouth for most patients. Now of course you don’t have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep! As an added bonus, your dental visits will be much more comfortable when you have proper home care.
*Source-  Blog by Kara Vavrosky RDH 

The Dreaded Hygiene Sick Day…

Health May 20, 2014 Comments Off

Hygienists would like to think we were created with super human strength! Occasionally we are reminded differently. I have worked days with Ibuprofen, decongestants, cough suppressants and antibiotics on board to avoid the inconvenience of rescheduling patients. Some days this is still not enough, and taking time off to recover and get healthy is necessary. I am fortunate to work with Doctors and staff that are caring, understanding,  and supportive of our health and well being. Our office has an excellent and efficient staff that works promptly to reschedule patients. We greatly appreciate the understanding of our patients as well! Please know that we do our best to not have to reschedule appointments. When we do it is our goal to get you in as soon as possible! Have a safe and healthy spring and summer!!

My best,
Erin Gonzales RDH

Advances in Dentistry: Guided Implant Surgery

Health May 13, 2014 Comments Off

Dentistry continues to advance with more new and exciting techniques that make people’s lives better. One of the best new advances is guided implant surgery which allows an implant to be very precisely placed.

Implants have gone through numerous changes through the years including their overall design as well as the surface characteristics of the titanium which constitutes the implant. Through all of the changes the implants have gone from somewhat experimental to very predictable. They are now a common treatment in dentistry for replacing lost teeth. However not everyone that needed or desired an implant was able to have the treatment performed due to anatomical limitations such as lack of bone width and/or height, potential nerve interference, sinus intrusion, etc. Now we have the ability with our cone beam CT (CBCT) to view a 3D scan of these structures completely before doing any surgery. Along with this we can virtually (or digitally) place the appropriate implant in this computerized scan to know exactly where we would like the implant to be placed. All of this information is assimilated and sent to Germany where a surgical guide is fabricated. This guide is used at the time of the implant placement. to exactly place the implant where it is designed on the computerized CBCT scan. This preparation helps make the implant placement go faster at the time of surgery and to make the actual location of the implant very predictable. Because of all this planning, we are able to place implants in locations where previously the risk was too great. The number of people that may now have tooth replacement with implants has increased dramatically.

Warrior Dash 2014

Health May 06, 2014 Comments Off

Bucket lists… We all have them. Some of us focus on accomplishing the dreams or goals we have for ourselves, on our “list” more than others. The whole “bucket list” idea has always seemed to be full of dreams that seem just out of reach.

At a recent conference I attended in Phoenix, I leaned of an idea called a “Vision Board”. This is where, each year you make a visible chart of things you would like to accomplish during the that year, whether it is related to business or pleasure. Any and all dreams/goals go on the list. This list is places in a strategic place in your home where it can be viewed on a daily basis. Once accomplished, you get to put a big red X on the said task and move on the the next one!

While a bit reluctant, I made a list on the flight back to Kansas. On the list were a wide variety of things, from how to make my small business grow, to physical and nutritional fitness, home remodeling and, my #1 goal, a swimming pool!!

On Saturday, April 26, I got X off my first item on my board!!!! Whoo hoo!! I, along with my husband, several friends and family members, completed the Warrior Dash. What once seemed like a daunting task ahead was soon a wonderful memory that sparked interest in doing as many local obstacle runs as I could fit into my schedule! Cannot wait to run in the Cross Country Chaos on June 14!

In conclusion, a bucket list is a great idea filled with dreams beyond my wildest imagination. However, the Vision Board is just that, but with attainable goals that come with an expiration date of 365 days. The clock is ticking, start living!!