HIPAA laws

2 Sep

You may notice some changes and new forms to fill out next time you are in . We have been busy updating our HIPAA manual. This are the protocols we follow here in our office to protect your private information from theft/ violation of confidentiality .Know that unfortunately many offices do not take all the steps necessary to protect your information that is stored in computers and paper charts.
Although not exciting conversation, know like everything we do here, we go to great lengths to do it correctly.

Office Sterilization

7 May

In this day of easily transmittable diseases please make sue that your dental office is doing everything right. Take a look around and if the waiting room is dirty do you really think the operatorys are being properly wiped down to prevent the transmission of TB or MERA ?

This is a MAJOR part of why you choose a dentist,not just because he or she is nice and the office is friendly.We are talking about the health and well being of you and your family !

Your Oral Cancer Screening

12 Nov

Dentistry today.. Oral Cancer screening. Once in awhile I am told that a patient will go up to the front desk after a cleaning appointment and comment on a rather nominal fee for their examination part of the appointment. “The doctor barely looked in my mouth”
Please understand that the examination fee is not only for my exam but for that of one of our VERY capable and professional dental hygienists.About two years ago I turned over the multiple point oral cancer screening exam to them.Thousands of patients in the state of California will die this year of oral cancer many of whom were in a dental office at least once.
When  a good dental hygienist is doing your cleaning she will check all your teeth and tissue . They cannot diagnose but they can make the doctor aware of what they feel might be an issue.Then the doctor can confirm their findings .
If your dental office is not giving you a GOOD oral cancer screening then we are here for you and your friends.

Pre Medication Joint Replacement

22 Oct

If you have a Joint replacement such as a hip or knee and you are confused as to the need for antibiotics before your dental appointment , you have every right to be. The bottom line is however, yes , yes and yes …  forever ..(for now)..

Let  me try to explain a little more about this issue.Approximately 7 years ago the American Medical Association, American Dental Association and the American Orthopedic Association all met and finally came to an agreement that there was no scientific basis for requiring that patients  with joint replacements needed to take antibiotics before dental procedures. The Orthopedic Association had years ago  decided that this was necessary to prevent bacteria from your mouth getting into the blood steam and causing their prosthetic devices to become infected and fail.There  was no real scientific findings to justify the this conclusion but it sounded good to the Orthopedists to explain as to ,why they were ,on occasion, failing.

The outcome of that meeting was a revision to the old recommended guidelines. A compromise was reached that patients need only pre-medicate  for two years  after the placement of their replacement joint then no more pre-medication !

Everything went along just fine until about two years ago the Orthopedic Association unilaterally decided to go against the panel decision and return to their old guidelines.Once again ,the science does not support their beliefs but Dentistry is kind of caught in a no win situation.If a dentist advises not to pre-medicate and goes against the current guidelines if a patient’s prosthetic replacement fails, for WHATEVER reason after the dental procedure, guess who will be blamed ? Yes the dental office!

 I wrote this blog in response to a patient’s excellent question today.” If I have to take antibiotics to protect my new hip from being damaged when I have my teeth cleaned how do I not damage it every day when I floss my teeth?”I asked her if she had asked her orthopedist that question he said yes she had and he mumbled something about Dentistry “sweeping that one under the rug”!! Are you kidding me?Of course common sense and science says that if oral bacteria were truly a cause and effect that all prosthetic patients who flossed would cause rejection of the joint! As Abbott said to Costello”Who’s on first?”

  Just medicate and no one gets sued.(This is sarcasm !)


 Dr Gary



Our Lab californiasmile.us

18 Sep


I /we are only as talented as those we chose to create your smile.Take the time to review the work of Sam Lee/owner of New Wave Dental Studio. I have been privileged to work with Sam and his lab for over 10 years now. The work that he provides me to place in my patient’s mouths to enhance their smiles is absolutely world class. It is our choice to pay top dollar to provide the best that dentistry has to offer to our patients.

Make sure that your dentist is doing the same! Unfortunately all too often I see average to just plain poor dental work. It is ok as a patient to question the quality of what you are receiving  to be placed in your mouth for years to come.

We are always accepting new patients and glad to provide you and your family with this quality of care.

Dr. Latham

Kids Lunches

19 Aug

It’s back to school time!! I may be preaching to the choir if you are savvy enough to read a blog but some of these tips are good reminders. As a parent I know its tough to follow everything our kids eat when we are not around. Their diets, like many things , are about educating them for healthy choices when we are not watching. Its best to pack their lunch with them the night before so you can discuss what is going in them together.

Peanut butter is a good source of protein but typical brands can be loaded with sugar. Look towards organic that is straight nut butter. Fresh fruit is obviously  great where dried fruits can have a high concentrate of sugars and that sticks to the teeth. If you feel the need to put candy in hard candy is the worst!! It is a long exposure time to sugar where chocolate disappears much more quickly without a long linger of exposure of sugar in the saliva.

 Also get them used to WATER !!  Juices , lots of sugar!! Soda obviously the worst!!  Even sugar free is bad, the carbonation is very tough on the enamel.Eating healthy for the teeth usually means you are eating healthy for the body . Your kids will win all the way around. It’s up to us as the adults to stand firm and help our children  to good health.


                          Dr  Latham






Implant a Great Choice !

18 Jul

Implant a Great Choice !

This is replacing a failed root canal



Implants can be Amazing !

18 Jul

Implants can be Amazing !

This is a HAPPY young lady

Bridges vs Implants/ No Contest!!

6 Jun

I saw a patient the other day for a second opinion on whether or not he should have a lower  molar extracted. We had an x-ray  that the other dentist had taken but even without that it was clear that the tooth was so badly decayed under an old crown we could not save it.

I asked him if the other dentist had explained the implant process or shown him models and case examples.He looked confused and said no,the dentist had just told him to get the tooth out and come back to do a bridge. I Doing this bridge (cap-false tooth-cap) to replace this lost molar meant cutting down a perfectly good tooth in front of the space and taking off a perfectly good crown in back of the space . The cost ?,about $3,500 vs an implant at about $4,000.Why would the dentist not advise the patient to get a consult for an implant ?Well both answers that come to mind bother me greatly.(back to ethics again). Either the dentist is ignorant about implants (not an excuse because in today’s world an implant IS the preferred treatment ) or more bothersome, the dentist makes much more money doing the bridge and there is no waiting time vs waiting months for an implant to heal and be ready.

Friends relatives need a second opinion ? New dentist ? We would be happy to see them and as you know treat them ethically and honestly.


Ethics in Dentistry

4 Jun

I do not mean to keep going back to this theme but the

entire concept of what appears to be a growing lack of

ethics in a profession I love is very bothersome to me.

I worked on a patient for three hours yesterday trying

to fix some TERRIBLE work by another dentist. Five years ago her front teeth were almost perfect. Now she has lost two teeth that are now implants. The other four are crowns with a questionable prognosis.

PLEASE have your friends and family thoroughly check out their dentist. Any doubts I am always available for a second opinion or email me.

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