"The American Dental Association says that only about 50 percent of the population goes to the dentist on a regular basis," says Julie Moreau, who is married to the dentist and works in the office. "That's a really low number considering the awareness about health. People don't realize the mouth is a real reflection of overall health. Diabetes, heart disease, respiratory disease, low birth-weight babies have been tied to dental health. If people would go to the dentist on a regular basis, some of these things could be detected early."
Dr. Moreau designed relaxation into both the physical office building and the services offered. The waiting room has plants, a water fountain and serene music piped in. The examination rooms are equipped with aromatherapy burners, satellite music or television screens above the chairs that patients can control. While the dentist or hygienist is working on their teeth, patients are treated to a heated herbal neck pillow and hot paraffin hand dip. There also is a coffee, juice and bottled water bar that serves complimentary beverages and snacks such as fresh baked cookies.
"A lot of people will say it's just like a spa in here," Julie says. "When they leave, they say, 'It's the most relaxing thing I've done for myself in a long time.'" In addition to the complimentary services, patients can schedule massages and reflexologies during their dental treatment.
"We have the warm mitts they put on their hands," Julie says. "We have a chenille blanket we put on them. We make them feel comfortable."
The focus, of course, still is on dentistry, and Dr. Moreau treats patients from childhood through older adulthood in every phase of dentistry, including teeth cleaning, periodontal disease, fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, occlusion problems, dentures, and cosmetic procedures.
Plan for the Future
Learn the basics about estate planning and making a will at a free seminar from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. May 4 at St. Tammany Parish Hospital (1202 S. Tyler St., Conference Room, Covington). The seminar is free and open to the public but reservations are required. Call (985) 898-4174.
The seminar, sponsored by the St. Tammany Hospital Foundation, will address estate planning, Louisiana inheritance laws, community property, the state's forced heirship laws, disability planning, powers of attorney, wills and trusts. It will be conducted by Ronda Gabb, of the Louisiana estate planning and elder law firm of Ronda M. Gabb & Associates, which has offices in Metairie, Mandeville and Slidell.
Patients who suffer from heart and vascular disease, their families and others interested in the subject can attend a public forum from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 28 at the New Orleans Marriott Hotel (555 Canal St., Acadia, Bossonet Ballrooms). The forum is free, but registration is required. Call 842-3724.
The forum is scheduled in conjunction with the Peripheral Angioplasty and All that Jazz medical conference and will feature top world experts attending that meeting. The public forum is sponsored by Interventional Cardiology Research Foundation and Ochsner Heart & Vascular Institute. It will answer questions such as what causes heart and vascular disease and how you can prevent it, how to reduce those risks, symptoms and more.
Listen to the Queen Author and humorist Jill Connor Browne will address a luncheon during a women's health seminar from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 16 at East Jefferson General Hospital (4200 Houma Blvd., Conference Center, Metairie).
The seminar will include panel discussions led by physicians and healthcare experts on subjects including women's heart health, menopause and cosmetic procedures. Brown is the author of a series of books, including The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love, God Save the Sweet Potato Queens, The Sweet Potato Queens' Big-Ass Cookbook (and Financial Planner, and The Sweet Potato Queens' Field Guide to Men: Every Man I Love Is Either Married, Gay or Dead. Tickets are $25. Call 456-5000.
A Better Option
Ochsner Clinic Foundation (1514 Jefferson Hwy., 842-4000 or 842-3000) now offers a new minimally invasive surgical procedure to permanently correct atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart beat that can inhibit the heart's ability to pump blood and increases the risk of stroke.
Using the new "Modified-Maze" technique, surgeons can perform the procedure through a small incision in the ribs and effectively keep the atrial fibrillation from causing blood to pool in the lower part of the heart. The pooling sometimes causes clots, which then travel to the lung or brain and cause strokes. In patients who suffer from more than one type of heart problem, the Modified-Maze technique can be performed during other surgery.
The American Heart Association says Afib is the most common form of irregularity in the normal rhythm of the heartbeat and affects about 2.2 million Americans, making them five times more likely to suffer a stroke.