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To my patients: 10/1999

To my patients,

It seems every time I get a chance to write I have to deal with an issue in the media about the safety of going to your dentist. I’ve got lots more I’d like to share with you but let’s take that first.

The latest scare sensationalism to receive national attention, with more promised, involves the potential contamination of dental unit water lines. Although it is questionable whether this contamination is a threat to individuals with normal immune systems, nevertheless the basic facts are correct and should be dealt with.

I learned about the biofilm in dental unit water lines in my role as a consultant to dental unit manufacturers, before it showed up in the professional or public literature. For the past year I’ve been involved with developing various means to deal with the contamination, all of which have been put into use in our office. You may have noticed the two water bottles hanging on each of our units. These contain an isolated water supply and an antibacterial rinse. Each day the water lines are flushed first with the antibacterial and then dried with the nitrogen we use to power our office. Weekly the lines are flushed with an even stronger sterilizing solution. Since nothing can live in this environment it very effectively removes the biofilm and contamination. Other devices which I am testing in also show up in our office and I will be happy to point them out if you are interested.

Just as in the previous TV scare on dental handpieces we have dealt with the problem long before it became news. This is simply another facet of living up to our ideal of applying technology to create better dentistry for our patients. For those of you who have not been in recently some of the new technologies we’ve added are micro-abrasive dentistry which uses sand and air instead of a drill, a laser for use in conservative periodontal treatment, and digital “film-less” x-rays which uses 90% less radiation. We’ve even got messages-on-hold that explain the technologies when you call, and copies of the ABC-TV show on our office are still available for you in the reception room. Reprints of the new article I wrote for a dental journal on micro-abrasive dentistry and a new “standard of care” (written in plain english) are also available on request.

We’re also moving forward in the plan to make appointments more easily available for you and the friends and relatives you are kind enough to refer….they’re greatly appreciated. This year we added another treatment room and Lynn Hill has added additional days which increased our available hygiene time by 50%. Maria Di Miceli has joined our assisting staff to help make our office more efficient, and I have extended my office hours.

For a number of months I have been going through an exhaustive search to find the right dentist to associate with our practice. When we find someone that we are sure incorporates our ideals, and which whom our patients will be happy, it will provide additional appointment choices and flexibility for you, especially in the hard to get evening and Saturday schedules.

I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this letter and, more importantly, for your continued confidence and support.


Dr. Kenneth S. Magid