2012 Newsletter

What’s New in Our Office??
We Love It When You Laugh!
Oh Baby!
What Causes Tooth Sensitivity?
What is Fluoride?
From My Heart to Yours
Staff Personals
Our Patient’s Stories
We Practice Preventive Dentistry


By Dr. Presley-Nelson
We are releasing a new website along with this newsletter! Be sure to check us out at www.healthytoothteam.com. There, you’ll be able to read the complete articles featured in this newsletter as well as many other articles written by Dr. Presley-Nelson, Dr. Fung, and Kathleen. There are links on the website to many of our new social network pages that we will be updating, such as Twitter and Facebook. We also have a new blog that Dr. Presley-Nelson will be posting with new information, updates of what’s happening at our office and with our staff. Eventually, watch for our future videos on YouTube and Vimeo to go viral!
We have also purchased Eaglesoft from Patterson Dental for our new operating system. So exciting new changes are coming to our office! Watch this unfold over the year, as we become able to offer you emailed appointment confirmations, a view inside your mouth with intra-oral cameras on chairside computers, quicker insurance information, and more. Come in and enjoy watching this upgrade in progress!

Refer your friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances. We love new patients!


By Dr. Presley-Nelson
The other day, when I was finishing a procedure on a patient and she took her headphones off and went on about how she had enjoyed the visit because the comedian she listened to had relaxed her and intrigued her sense of humor. I then mentioned that the visit had been easy for me too, as her cheek and tongue had relaxed and fallen still, and with the distraction of the entertainment, her saliva had dried up and had quit trying to flood me and “digest” me. We both laughed and enjoyed a few minutes of visiting about the power of the mind and how it helped the dental process to be mentally distracted. She confessed that her gag reflex had been forgotten, her fears and anxieties quelled. She shared that her breathing had been easy and regular, and she had been worried about being able to breathe with all the water and things in her mouth, yet there had been no problem.
She thanked me for talking her out of using her Ipod because something totally different, and surprising is needed during a dental appointment, not music or the regular stuff she is used to listening to. I thanked HER for giving up the Ipod because I don’t get the same effect with it and I can’t lift the headphones to talk to the patient if they are the type imbedded deep in the ears.
I was unaware that the next patient had been seated and could overhear me when I mentioned that I had to really fight with, and struggle with some folks to get them to listen to something besides the drill, and how if they would just heed my pleading, that it would help me SO MUCH in doing the procedure. I went on to say that my field of vision was improved when someone listened to humor or stories, because the tilt of the head became better for me, and the moving about, out of the range of my light quit happening, as the patient became more still and easy to position. I reiterated that the saliva dried up with distraction. Then I mentioned again that music didn’t work well, but with humor, the endorphins begin to be released, aiding anesthesia, therefore, making the patient more comfortable. Lastly, I told about how happy it made the whole office to hear a patient laugh OUT LOUD while we worked on them, and that the whole tone of the office became upbeat with the sound, and how the sound of a patient chuckling during drilling reduced my stress as an operator, enabling me to work better and longer. I mentioned that we are trained to work on squirmy children, so a good hearty laugh was no problem in our accuracy, but rather an all around aid. And that one of our daily goals was to get patients laughing out loud during procedures.
About that time the patient who was waiting in the other operatory piped up and yelled, “OK, OK, I hear you. I always resist listening to a comedian but I KNOW YOU ARE TRYING TO CONVINCE ME!! I SUCCUMB!”
I was surprised to hear that a patient was listening next door, but we all had a good laugh about his shouting-out. We picked a comedian from our large collection for him, and he and I had a great dental appointment together…as he listened to some good distracting humor.

Ancient Toothpick!

The Miswak is a tooth cleaning twig made from the Salvadora Persica Tree and it has a long, multi-cultural history. The Miswak predates the inception of Islam, but is predominant in Muslim inhabited areas. The stick’s use has spread from the Middle East to South and Southeast Asia, where it is known as Kayu Sugi (Malay for ‘chewing stick’). Studies have shown that if used properly it rivals the toothbrush in efficacy. The World Health Organization recommends its use. Soaking it in rose water helps soften the ends into a tiny brush. It is purported to have disinfectant qualities similar to some agents used in western mouthwash.


By Dr. Fung
Remember that baby teeth are just as important as permanent, or adult, teeth. Yes, they will eventually fall out and be replaced, but on a prescribed schedule; a permanent tooth doesn’t come in simply because a baby tooth is gone. If a baby tooth is lost early, there will be a space until the permanent tooth is developed enough to erupt.
In the meantime, baby teeth allow a child to eat, talk, and smile with confidence. They are also “training teeth” that let the child learn how to keep his or her mouth clean and healthy. Once a child has teeth, they should be brushed by a parent, and once the teeth touch, they should be flossed.
For those parents who have little ones who are resistant, it is tough to hear them cry, and it can be almost impossible to do a thorough job, but stick with it. Consistency is the key. If kids know the routine, they will eventually understand how important it is and start cooperating. How long it will take for cooperation to start will depend on the child. As you struggle and wonder when it will get better, remember that part of the goal is to teach good habits, and it’s always easier to deal with a resistant younger child than a resistant older child.
Some suggestions that might help:
– Don’t wait until right before bed when your child might be at his or her most tired and cranky. As long as the mouth is clean at bedtime, the brushing can be done at any time between the last feed and sleep.
– Try to incorporate brushing into something fun – do it in between books at storytime or do it during a quick break during playtime.
– Get help. Sometimes with a very resistant child, toothbrushing can be a two-person job.
– Break the task into smaller pieces. Especially with uncooperative kids, the last teeth brushed are usually not brushed well. Brush one section (upper/lower or right/left or even divide the mouth into fourths if needed), do something fun, and then finish with the final section(s). Usually that makes the job less daunting for the parent, and the child doesn’t have a chance to get as upset.
– Give the child some control. Try “take-turns”…first the parent with a dry brush, then the child with a favorite paste they picked at the store. It’s ok for the child to brush, as long as an adult actually gets the plaque off. Some kids are more cooperative just holding their own toothbrush while their teeth are being brushed.
– Make it fun – take breaks to laugh and tickle and talk. As long as the job is done, the funnest way is the best way!
Read more about baby teeth in my previous article in the 2011 Newsletter, which is found on our website, www.healthytoothteam.com.


By Dr. Presley-Nelson
Sensitivity to cold air or liquid is USUALLY caused by an exposed root surface at the gumline, mostly on the outside, or cheek side of the tooth. When the gumline recedes, even a tiny bit, the root becomes exposed and it is NOT covered by protective enamel. Therefore the nerves of the tooth are more accessible. So with a drink of cold water, a shot of pain occurs, causing the avoidance of cold liquids, or the re-routing of them to the other side. Applications of fluorides, remineralizing pastes, or special resins applied in the dental office, are the best ways to combat this “naked root pain”. Other ways include chemical applications through the use of toothpastes like Sensodyne.
Other types of sensitivity such as pain upon biting, might be caused by a crack in the tooth, or filling, an abscess, or a “high” filling or crown. Read more about “Cracked Tooth Syndrome” or “What Is An Abscess” on our website or ask for a handout.
Pulpitis, or inflammation of the dental pulp (nerve tissue and blood supply) can also cause sensitivity. Pulpitis is caused by “insults” to the pulp such as decay and the dental work done to repair the decay. Read more about “Pulpitis” here or ask for a handout.

The ONLY automatic toothbrush we approve is the ROTODENT! It has the right size, shape, and type of bristle and motion! Available in dental offices only with a demonstration in proper, safe usage.

Check Out Our Blogspot!


Out Away-At-College Patients Make Time for Teeth!

We enjoy, encourage, and appreciate all you college students who squeeze in a checkup and cleaning while you are home on your summer, spring or winter breaks! We love to hear your stories and “catch up.” Call ahead and reserve your spot. This year we enjoyed:

Andrew Kolchak – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Natalie Kolchak – Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Khalid Helmy – UC Santa Cruz
Nicolai Ahrens – Humboldt State
Robert Fredenburg – Humboldt State
James Presley-Nelson – UC Berkeley
Gary C. Presley-Nelson – UOP Stockton
Mari Novak – UC Santa Cruz
Sergio Robleto – Concordia University, Irvine
Rachel Cohen – University of Wisconsin

And more! Let us know who we missed!

Meter Maid Mania

Those “Parking Police” are on high alert and the tickets are expensive! Please park on side streets when possible and allow time for the walk! We will try to feed your meters when necessary, but we can’t insure that you won’t get a ticket! We cannot be responsible for ticket costs. We’ll do our best to hear your timer, and run out there, but if you can, please use 28th or 27th Avenues.
Thank you so much! The Dental Management


By Dr. Wendy Fung
Fluoride, a naturally occurring compound, reverses early decay, by making teeth more resistant to the bacterial acid that causes cavities. Fluoride can be obtained topically or systemically, both having many benefits. Fluoridation of community water, and professional application of fluoride are discussed in the full article that can be read under “Patient Education” on our new website www.healthytoothteam.com. Check it out and learn more about this important topic!


This empty nest that I have now gives me time to turn to my profession, and learn and grow within it again with a new enthusiasm. Attending classes, and reading my journals is a renewed delight for me. But one of the most rewarding aspects of this stage in my life, is learning new technology for reaching my patients from the young people around me. What really is a website for? And how can building a new one serve my patients? If I Twitter and Facebook will my patients be led to helpful information? If I post on my blog about new developments in dentistry will my beloved dental family be aided in some way? If YouTube has videos of us showing parents how to gain cooperation in brushing from their children… will anyone watch and get tips? All of my professional efforts are targeted towards helping my patients achieve and maintain good oral health. All these new electronic media channels that I am working on are done in the hopes of reaching and nurturing patients. I thank God every day that I have such a great staff to help me grow with and learn about electronic media. Without them, reaching and helping all of you would be left to yesterday’s modalities. I’m so grateful to all of you beloved patients, for reading this, and then reading and participating in what is new from my office… www.healthytoothteam.com, and for perusing the social media buttons attending the renewed website. Thank you for the privilege of your attention. Anything I can do for you and with you is an honor.

Dr. Presley-Nelson

The “Comes From Afar Box”

Often, when people move away, they still remain as patients in our practice and travel one or more times a year to receive their care from us. We so appreciate their efforts and their loyalty that we want to thank them here.

Darwin Albers from Paradise, CA
Daniel Briggs from Clear Lake
Bill Bender from Hayward
Carole and Gerald Leikam from north of Marin
Diane Mibach from Antartica
Elisabeth O’Connell from London
The Cohen family from Sunnyvale
Lou Zumpano from South San Jose
Mary Johns, Allie Yu, & Jenna Johns-Yu from Piedmont
Mary Switzer and Bill Haardt from Mill Valley
Melanie Walas from Livermore
Paul Chamberlain from South Peninsula
Nancy McGarry from Fairfax, CA
Roya and Jared Platsis from Petaluma, CA
Claire Manhart from Grass Valley
Peter and Faaoso Vrana & family from Pittsburg, CA
Rex Golding from South Peninsula
Rob Waring from Palo Alto
Steve and Jo Moorhouse from North of Marin
Tanya Kauffman from Alameda
Nancy Husari from Alameda


The Infamous Joke Box

Big thanks to all the jokers! You all really brighten up our professional lives! We can’t thank you enough!!

A little old lady monopolizing all the men in the dental waiting room, sees a new dental patient come in. She sashays up him and says, “You look like my third husband!” He then asks, “How many husbands have you had?” She replies with a broad smile, “TWO!!”
Congratulations Ruth for your Printable Dental Classic. You’ve always made up laugh at every visit!

FIRST RUNNER UP IS… AL SAVERY: Patients that take a sedative so they can sleep in the dental chair are experiencing TRANSCEN-DENTAL MEDICATION.
HONORABLE MENTION goes to Gerald Leikam for two men on a golf course discussing their health (counting like a horse by stamping the foot was involved).
HONORABLE MENTION also goes to Barney Crotty, who came racing in just before the deadline with a hilarious joke that he acted out for the staff.
HONORABLE MENTION again… to Rob Waring for a delightful story involving dental floss, para-gliding, and hang-gliding.

THANK YOU to Steve Reidbord for his control freak knock-knock joke.
THANK YOU to Barry Hanson for “Tiger Woods, can I go out to the playground now, teacher?” and “Come eat my grass!”

Bob Schiff is a new addition to our list of jokers. Thanks for your funny story!
Walt Meservey, they’re getting dicey again!
Michael Novak, you know how to get me with the politics!
Bianca Hirsch… Tasty treats and friendly funnies.
Ben Neihaus, you keep us in stitches (no pun intended).

We always enjoy our regular jokers: Harold, Danny, and Anne Yanow, Steve Deutsch, Marilyn Brown, Steven Cornell, Mary Gutekanst, the Rucks, Ski Tostanoski, the Moorhouses, Jimmy Johnston, Michael Crotty, Richard Jann, Fr. O’Rourke, Laura Mezirka, Kathy Trapani, Linda Shively, and Todi Boudicca.


Dr. Presley-Nelson and husband Gary are on their second year of empty nest, with both boys in college, but fortunately close enough to come home every few weekends. James is a sophomore at Berkeley, interested in business and economics and playing in the UC Berkeley orchestra. Gary Clarke is a senior at University of the Pacific in Stockton, and graduating soon with a bachelor’s degree in Business, with an Econ/Pre-Law minor. He also plays with his university orchestra and the parents really enjoy attending all the fine concerts both sons perform in. Last summer James worked for the mayoral campaign of Tony Hall, and ended up on huge billboards around town. Gary Clarke interned again for the FDIC, and is applying for further work there upon graduation. Both sons are a joy to their parents and a good time is had by all 4, when the family is together. Husband Gary is still with Hewlett-Packard and is committed to his extended career. This year the family spent vacation time in Solvang, California and enjoyed wine tasting and touring in the Central California area. While driving they enjoyed the book-on-tape memoir, LIFE, about the beginnings of the legendary band The Rolling Stones, by Keith Richards.

2011 was filled with so many great moments as Dr. Wendy Fung watched her daughters, Nora and Vivian, transform before her eyes. Nora started preschool, which was bittersweet. Dr. Fung is so happy to see Nora mature into a lovely little girl but a little sad to know that she is no longer a baby. Nora made sure to let mom know that on her first day of school as she ran off to make friends without once looking back! Vivian turned one and now climbs and tumbles and explores with no fear, with her fun, mischievous sense of humor. Husband, Steve, has been working hard, as always. As the new year starts, Dr. Fung would like to share the two lessons learned: you’re never too busy to stop and savor a moment with loved ones, and the best sound in the world is the sound of your children laughing together!

Kathleen O’Connor Hanley has been working at the practice for a quarter of a century this year! She and her husband Patrick are now busy with two teenagers at home. Ryan (16) is a junior at Riordan High School and Emily (14) is a freshman at Terra Nova High School in Pacifica. Both of the kids enjoy marching band, Ryan on the drums and Emily on trumpet. The highlight for the family this year was accompanying the Riordan band to Washington D.C. to march in the Fourth of July Parade. It was quite an experience to watch the fireworks go off with the Washington monument as the background. Kathleen is so thankful for the dental patient friendships she has developed over the years. She says it’s hard to believe she is taking care of the children of patients that were children themselves when she started back in 1986.

Office Manager, Chisako Tanaka, keeps our appointment book, our accounts and our insurance issues in good order. She would like to thank Cipriano for stepping in to help keep our office running well administratively and wish him luck in his applications to dental school. Chisako is our “voice” and our heart in dealing with all our lovely patients, and we are blessed to have her.

Daniel Gee, our Head Chairside Assistant has his bachelor’s degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology and is in charge of our sterilization program. He oversees our young staff, does inventory control, and maintenance, and is a vital part of daily patient care, working long hours at chairside. He takes classes in, and understands the parts and mechanics of our Implant System and keeps that stocked and organized. He is great with computers and helping us implement our new software. He also has been beautifying the office by repainting for the New Year. A man of many talents. Outside of the dental office, he practices and teaches martial arts, even getting film stars ready for the moves they need in their next films. He just tested for his second degree Blackbelt and was promoted in January. Also in his free time he takes long rides on his motorcycle with his buddies.

Our college interns keep our late shift young and perking. Usually pre-dental majors, they each may work only a few hours a week to allow our head dental assistant, Dan, to leave in mid afternoon to teach martial arts. The college students are bright, easy to train, entertaining, and a delightful addition to our office. Their “Staff Personals” are as follows:

Cipriano Gudoy came to work with us about 5 years ago when he was a Pre-Dental Student at San Francisco State University and now has his bachelor’s degree in Biology with a concentration in Physiology. He just took his admissions test for applications to dental school and in the meantime is working in our office on the late shift at chairside a day or 2 a week and does computer data entry for Chisako as well. He holds his X-ray License with the State of California. He currently is helping implement our new website, our yearly newsletter, and our new dental software. Chisako is teaching him the insurance aspect of our dental business. So talented in many ways, he is very valuable in our practice. We kind of hope he doesn’t go to dental school soon. In his spare time he enjoys the hobby of photography.

Deanna Aguallo is finishing up her last semester at San Francisco State University for her degree in Biology with a concentration in Physiology. She will be applying to dental hygiene school at the end of next fall. She’s been helping us for about three years now. She holds her X-ray License with the State of California and is very valuable in covering a late afternoon shift or 2 each week. She’s technically very proficient in assisting many procedures and in sterilization and organization. She keeps us laughing with a great sense of humor and helps Doc with her MacBook Pro sometimes. Out of the office, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family. When she isn’t studying or working she loves to go to the Warriors’ basketball games.

Annie Ma is majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology at San Francisco State University, and is a Pre-Dental Student. She came onboard over this past year and has learned so much so quickly that we feel very blessed to have her help. She’s covering one evening shift, and is also helping import data into the new software. She’s particularly great with sterilization and infection control procedures, and is always ready with a great smile. In her spare time, she enjoys jigsaw puzzles and trying out new recipes.

Patients Tie the Knot (and not just with floss)…

In 2011, two wonderful patients, Martha Paduch and Mike Muschell, tied the knot on April 8. July brought Scott Erwert and Anna Hibble into holy matrimony on the 27th. August was a happy time for our family of patients, and that month wedding bells rang for patient Greg Nalbandian and his new bride, Kaman Sit. Our patient, Kirsten Hawkins, married Justin Surber also in August. And dear patient since childhood, Andrew Potselueff, wed lovely patient, Liza Leontiev on August 7th 2011. In the fall, Eva Mac and Branner Solano had a lovely wedding ceremony at Ocean Beach! Congratulations to all the happy newlyweds!!
Babies Born to Our Patient Families in This Last Year Include…
A beautiful baby girl, Isabella, born last fall to happy parents Joanna (Crotty) and Laxman Dharmani.


What a joy all our patients are to us! This year’s “patient story” belongs to two of our beloved families, The Vrana’s and the Longacres. Now how could a dental office story be about two different families that did not know each other? That is the very very interesting part!
Lets start with the Vrana story. We have enjoyed the Vranas as patients for nearly 25 years, as they came to us referred by Stephanie Moore. Gene would always work his dental appointments in around his job as a librarian, while his wife Sally, a psychiatrist, squeezed in her cleanings within her busy career. We watched their son Leo, and daughter Reva grow up through the years of baby teeth and braces. I especially remember an early morning call when Leo had been injured in a bicycle accident on his way to high school. I sent my own children to walk to school by themselves, and raced to my office to re-implant Leo’s loosened permanent teeth, and held them in place for an hour or two with my fingers until staff came in to get me the supplies I needed. With about a one-hour window for tooth re-implantation to “take”, I barely made it! Dad Gene tried to assist. Happily, the treatment worked and Leo is a grown man today with all his teeth in place.

Now the Longacres…what a lovely family. They have been in our practice for many years and came to us by the recommendation of Gerry Pelle-Day. We have such fond memories of high school teacher David running in for his appointments, right off the tennis courts, and his wife, Katherine, who was a teacher at Lakeshore School nearby, waiting until summers to get her dental work done.

Well, one day, Gene Vrana came in for his dental appointment all happy, saying that his daughter had met a wonderful young man and they were going to get married. About a week later Katherine Longacre came in and said that her son Greg had fallen for a lovely gal and was going to tie the knot.

Well, it took some time before we at the dental office realized that two of our patient families (who did not before this know each other) were about to be joined. On a hunch, Kathleen asked one of the Vranas if Reva’s young man named “Greg” could possibly be Greg Longacre. Voila! The 2 families did not know they shared the same dentist.

Now we have the Longacres, the Vrana’s AND the Vrana-Longacres with their two adorable little children, Sebastian and Valen coming and going in the dental office and blessing our professional lives with friendship and laughter. We like to imagine, in all the years and years gone by, members of the 2 families sitting in the reception area at the same time, not knowing they would someday be joined! It is a great pleasure to have a neighborhood, family practice in which we can enjoy the marvels of a community of wonderful patients like these.

Have a patient story you’d like to share and be featured in next year’s newsletter? Contact us through any of our social networks and/or tell us your story at your next visit!

New articles that we couldn’t fit in this issue:
Do You Clench or Grind?
What is an Abscess?

Click under “Patient Education” to view these and many other informative articles!

Chisako’s Corner

Do you have dental insurance? Please remember you, your employer and the insurance company agreed on your insurance coverage. You picked/agreed to your plan and have been paying premiums for what you agreed would be covered. Your booklet describes what is and isn’t covered and how often, and under what circumstances re-imbursement will occur. We are not in any way connected to your plan. We are happy to send claims to your insurance and to help you as best we can. However, ultimately, your dental insurance contract is yours. Please help us help you with your insurance.


By Kathleen O’Connor Hanley R.D.H.

As you know, we work hard to educate our patients on how to take care of their teeth and keep them healthy for life. That education always begins with what we call our “plaque control” class. This is the class we give every patient at their first cleaning appointment. At this appointment, we explain what plaque is, what it does and instruct patients on how to get plaque free every 24 hours. This is the most important service that we provide for our patients. So many people brush and floss but aren’t really sure why. They often think that brushing and flossing is important for food removal but the true goal is to disorganize colonies of bacteria that produce acid (for more detailed info see Newsletter 2009 “Getting Plaque Free” on our website www.healthytoothteam.com).

We still really like the Rotadent automatic toothbrush as a tool to help get plaque free. There are many power brushes on the market but the small head size, soft bristles and pointed brush design make this our favorite. If I haven’t shown it to you already, ask me at your next cleaning.

Fluoride is another important part of our preventive plan. Fluoride can benefit teeth two ways. One way is ingesting fluoride; this is really only beneficial when the permanent teeth are forming. Once the teeth are formed, only topical fluoride is really beneficial. Topical application of fluoride on clean teeth can actually change the chemical make up of enamel and help make teeth more resistant to decay. It can also help with sensitivity due to recession, erosion or abfraction. We recommend our patients rinse with a prescription strength fluoride rinse when they have their teeth cleaned because it is absorbed best by clean teeth. We often recommend ACT home fluoride rinse for home use or a prescription strength gel for those with high caries rate, sensitivity and/or recession. When used properly, it is an extremely effective part of dental disease prevention but it is not without its controversies, which you can read more about in another article I wrote (2009 Newsletter, “Fluoride Supplements” posted on our website).

Proper diet choices play a big part in dental health as well. We educate our patients to know that disrupting colonies of plaque is the most important thing but avoiding excessive sugar and dietary acid exposure is important as well. A more in depth discussion of dietary issues can be found in “Juice Beware” in the 2008 Newsletter, on our website www.healthytoothteam.com.

Once we have achieved tooth and gum health with our patients, maintenance becomes the emphasis. Each patient is assessed and a maintenance schedule is suggested based on individual results. Some patients are prescribed the standard 6 month schedule, but we have many patients that come every 2, 3, or 4 months due to their dental condition. Keeping your appointments at the recommended intervals is a vital part of the preventive plan.

Please refer your friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances. We love expanding our family of patients! Grab some of our business cards on your next visit!

Want to receive next year’s newsletter in an email? Message us your email address on our office Facebook page or tell us on your next visit!

Office Information
Beverly Presley-Nelson D.D.S.
1749 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA 94116
Contact Information
Office (415) 753-0790 Fax (415) 682-9158