Sunday, November 07, 2010
The Dexterous Dentist
There are many professions where a person’s physical abilities play a large role. Strength and endurance for example, are job requirements for most athletes, and dexterous hands are viable assets for musicians, sculptors and dentists.
“I’ve always loved working with my hands,” says Abbeville dentist, Jerry Baudin. “It’s very important to have control in this profession. Part of the application for dental school is a physical test that assesses the dexterity of hands.”
Baudin pursued dentistry not only because he enjoyed working with his hands, but also because he had an interest in the medical field. His father, Gerald Baudin, also played an influential role.
“Since my dad is a dentist, I had the opportunity to see what the profession involved,” says Baudin. “Getting to work with my dad now is very special. He’s taught me a lot of things that come with experience.”
Jerry Baudin received a bachelors of Science from University of Louisiana, and completed four years at the LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans. He has been practicing general dentistry for six years, and his services include cleanings, teeth whitening, extractions, fillings, root canals, crowns, dentures and bridges.
“It means a lot to me if I can help someone reduce their pain and restore their ability to eat,” says Baudin. “The best part of being a dentist is working with people and helping them improve their quality of life.”
Baudin recommends brushing your teeth in the morning and evening. He also suggests flossing once a day and using mouthwash twice. He says that sipping on a sugary drink like a soda or juice for an extended period of time is very damaging is to the teeth.
“The bacteria in the mouth consumes the sugar and excretes it as an acid which can cause cavities in the teeth,” says Baudin. “Parents should avoid putting a baby with any teeth to bed with juice or milk because they both have sugar and can cause cavities.”
According to Baudin, poor dental hygiene can cause pain, gum disease, tooth loss, and inflammation in the mouth that can have a negative effect on diabetes and heart disease. He suggests using soft or extra soft toothbrushes because harder bristles can cause gum recession, remove tooth structure and notch the tooth along the gum line.
“Everyone should visit a dentist every six months to a year for a cleaning and check up,” says Baudin. “A lot of problems in the mouth can be found and fixed within a six month time period. Any longer, can be more difficult.”
I recently visited Baudin at his Abbeville office to find out more about the profession of dentistry. He introduced me to the different members of his team, whose roles range from office assistant/ receptionist to dental assistant to dental hygienist.
“I couldn’t run this business without our associates,” says Baudin. “They contribute to the success of this practice.”
Jyi Abshire, an expanded duty dental assistant, usually assists Baudin with the patients. But on the day of my visit, she played the patient and I took over her role. I got to put a small round mirror in her mouth and get a closer look at her teeth and gum line. The best part of that was that I got to sit on a really cool round stool with wheels on the bottom.
I learned a tremendous amount about the dental profession during my interview at Gerald A. Baudin II DDS. I am especially grateful for the reminder about the importance of good dental hygiene, and am thankful to all of them for staying after work to meet with me.
When I was taking the picture of Baudin and his associates, my hands kept shaking, causing the images on my camera to blur. I knew I could never be a dentist without a good lawyer. But fortunately my ten fingers are perfect for typing, which gave me the opportunity to write the story about a professional dental staff and a dexterous dentist.