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Benefits of Chocolate

A new study is adding more research to the recommendation that chocolate may actually reduce cardiac risk. According to the European Heart Journal, in a study of nearly 20,000 people over eight years, the people who ate on average six grams of chocolate per day (this is about equal to a small square of a chocolate bar) decreased their risk of a heart attack or stroke by nearly 40 percent.

Researchers and previous studies suggest that it is the flavonoids found in the dark chocolate that in small amounts may be good for you. Flavonoids are also found in fruits and vegetables, green tea, and red wine. It is suggested that the flavonoids benefit the body by acting as antioxidants and they may also help to relax or dilate certain blood vessels which can help to lower blood pressure.

Dr. McCargar at Scottsdale Dental Arts wants to warn patients about the study “eating large amounts of chocolate can lead to weight gain which is a major risk factor for heart problems, strokes, and diabetes… not to mention cavities.” But, he does recognize the benefit of the study and the findings, “With Easter just around the corner, there will be plenty of chocolate in the house and with this added knowledge perhaps people will choose to eat the dark chocolate which has the most benefit according to this study. I think in moderation and with proper oral hygiene, chocolate can possibly be good for you and your heart.”

Biomarkers for Pancreatic Cancer have been identified in saliva

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According to the March issue of Gastroenterology, researchers have discovered four biomarkers for pancreatic cancer in human saliva. This new development may save the lives of nearly 1 in 72 people in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer is now the fourth-leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

In the study, four biomarkers have been identified: KRAS, MBD3L2, ACRV1, and DPM1. These four biomarkers differentiated pancreatic cancer patients from non-cancer patients with 90 percent sensitivity and 95 percent specificity. The study was conducted in a relatively small population of 30 pancreatic cancer patients, 30 chronic pancreatitis patients and 30 healthy adult controls to compare the data.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the few cancers for which survival has not improved substantially over the past 30 years. Seventy-five percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within the first 12 months of diagnosis. Because of the anatomy of the pancreas, signs and symptoms of the cancer are not noticeable until the cancer has spread to other major organs of the body. Once the cancer is in several organs it is very difficult to treat. The importance of having an early diagnostic test would save over 35,000 of American’s lives every year.

This rapid, chair-side, saliva test may just be performed at an upcoming dental visit. Dr. Jason McCargar, a Scottsdale Family and Cosmetic Dentist, says “There are already several important saliva tests that are available to improve your overall health. This important research will enhance medicine by delivering less invasive, more convenient testing methods for patients, and I would be very interested in offering this service if it meant one person was able to have their pancreatic cancer diagnosed early enough that treatment ended up being successful.”

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A Smile so White Even Your Pearls will be Jealous

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See our lastest featured patient in Scottsdale Health Magazine. Laura, an actual patient of Dr. McCargar’s completed Invisalign last year. This year after her general dentistry appointment and cleaning she asked for a take-home whitening kit, and we whitened her teeth 3 shades! Mention this blog article and receive a free in-office whitening after completing a cleaning, exam, and full series of x-rays.

9751 North 90th Place – Scottsdale, Arizona 85258 – 480/860-8282

Invisalign: The Clear Alternative to Braces

Invisalign is a safe, effective alternative to braces that allows you the same teeth-straightening procedure without any of the hassle and embarrassment of regular wire braces. Align Technology is the manufacturer of Inivsalign and have treated thousands of happy patients since their beginning in 1997. Invisalign not only helps you to achieve the smile that you’ve always dreamed of, but it often is less expensive and less time consuming. Dr. McCargar is a specialist trained in the use of the Invisalign technology. His goal is to make you smile during the alignment or correction process as well as after it is over.

Upon your first visit as a candidate for Invisalign, several pictures of your teeth and mouth will be taken in addition to a mold of your teeth. These are then sent to the Invisalign manufacturer, where they will turn the data into a 3-D computer image. During the second visit, you will see exactly what your teeth look like and you will be able to compare them to what they will look like after Invisalign. This is a huge benefit to be able to view the step-by-step treatment process and see the final product before treatment even begins. The manufacturer will then, complete a series of custom-made alignment trays (the invisible braces) that are made just for you. These will then be changed every two weeks during the course of treatment.

There are a multitude of advantages that Invisalign has over conventional braces. The first advantage is cost. The national average cost of Invisalign is $5,000, and some treatments can cost as little as $3,500 for less severe cases. The second advantage is that the trays can easily be removed for brushing, flossing, and eating, this in turn, helps to maintain proper oral hygiene (something that is very difficult with conventional braces). Next, there are no annoying wires or metals to rub on gums or lips, so Inivisalign is much more comfortable to wear. It also is safer for teens involved in sports because there is no risk of injury to the mouth.

If you or someone you know is not happy with their smile and is interested in a free consultation for Invisalign, please call our office today. We would be happy to schedule an appointment to meet with you to address your needs.

Are You Scared of the Dentist?

If you answered yes, I am scared of the dentist then you are with the majority of Americans. More than half of all people in the U.S. will never see a dentist for regular care, and the reason is they are scared. So, what is it that makes us so scared of the dentist? Is it the sound of the drill? Are we afraid that a cavity might be found? Are we afraid the hygienist will yell if we haven’t been flossing? Have we had a bad experience or heard of someone who has?

The answer to the question is, none of the above. Most people cannot tell you why they are scared of the dentist. The answer is usually, “Well, I just don’t like going.” Basically, we all saw “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Jaws” in the 80’s, and frankly we are just as afraid of sharks as we are of the dentist. You can thank Hollywood for that. We are afraid of something based on a story that we have heard or we have seen, not on actual experience, this is called vicarious learning.

So, just as we eventually gathered accurate information about the ocean to determine that it is safe to go back into the water, we also need to gather accurate information about the dentist. Knowledge is a powerful weapon. First, what degree would you rate your fear? Do you have mild anxiety before or during your appointment? Do you experience a high level of stress and emotional discomfort (manifesting as sweaty palms, nervousness, tears, etc.)? Or do you have a phobia: an intense fear so bad that you use avoidance to solve the problem? Secondly, think back to your personal history with the dentist. Why do you feel this particular level of stress specific to you?

Reasons for fearing the dentist could be fear of potential pain, fear of being scolded or judged about the condition of the mouth, teeth, or gums, or fear of loss of control during the treatment. Learning from why you have the fear can help us at Scottsdale Dental Arts to resolve it. For example, fear of potential pain helps to keep us safe and healthy. We have learned not to touch a hot stove because it will burn and harm us. Instinctively, we all know risky behaviors like jumping off a bridge will cause pain and harm thus, we avoid these behaviors. But, a regular check-up with the dentist may save you from having much more involved treatment down the road. A small filling is easier, quicker, and less painful than a root canal. So, in reality the risky behavior is waiting to see the dentist until you have pain instead of having routine exams.

In evaluation of the truth about pain and dentistry, it is concluded that most procedures are either completely painless or slightly uncomfortable. At Scottsdale Dental Arts, we want you to enjoy your dental experience. We have several benefits to make your experience more comfortable. Dr. McCargar offers sedative treatment options, and wants to work with you in choosing from a wide range of methods and medications that can help to alleviate anxiety, pain, and discomfort. At the dental office in Scottsdale we offer relaxing music, televisions in most rooms, and blankets if you are too cold. These are just some examples of ways that we care about your comfort.