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advice from local businesses

Addressing dental anxiety Are you one of the coutry’s 145 million dental phobics? If so fear of the dentist keeps you away. Per– haps you think there is something wrong with you ... You worry about being criticized and are embarassed ... Yet, you would like to feel and look good. Does this describe you? If so, its time to learn about Dr. Greg Phillips and Conscious Sedation Dentistry. This wonderfully relaxing and totally comfortable experience leaves patients with little or no memory of the visit. Perhaps there is no other healthcare profession like dentistry that has the unfortunate (and false) reputation of wanting to cause pain rather than prevent it. For all the good that dentists do to improve our well being, there is about 50 percent of the population at large that does not see the dentist at all largely due to fear issues. Perhaps it has something to do with not liking sharp metal objects put into your mouth or a distaste for fluoride, no matter how strongly the hygienist insists it is ìcherry flavoredî. But whatever the reason, there are many people (young an old), who have dental anxiety. For your teethís sake, there are ways to combat dental anxiety, a condition sure to cause cavities. If positive reinforcement, learning to control fear and other behavior management techniques donít do the trick, dental sedation could ease

your mind and allow you to get your teeth cleaned. Sedation is accomplished through placing a small crushed pill under your tongue and then allowing you to become fully sedated. You are then covered with a blanket and many times you have dark glasses placed over your eyes so you can easily drift off. The whole experience is peaceful and you wake with no memory of what has been done. Choose safe oral seda-

tion and accomplish all your dental care in as little as one or two relaxing appointments. There’s no discomfor, no groggy feeling and little or no memory of the treatment. Even if it has been 5, 10, or 20 years since your last dental exam, call 225869-4422 today and schedule an appointment. One Pill Cons– cious Sedation Dent– istry” is safe and comfortable. You’ll wake up refreshed with a beautiful smile. Don’t wait. Call today.

advice from local businesses

When to use an urgent care center Urgent care centers have been popping up recently all over, but when should someone choose to go to one of these centers instead of a more traditional medical facility? Urgent care centers, such as Riverside Urgent Care in LaPlace, are for the treatment for minor illnesses and injuries. Instead of trying to squeeze in an appointment with their primary care physician or pediatrician or having a lengthy wait in the emergency room, patie– nts are now able to see a physician according to their schedule. For decades the healthcare model was based on patients relying on their primary care physician, or in some cases the emergency room, for their illnesses and injuries, but urgent care centers across the country are offering additional options. Most people can rem– ember at least one time when they desperately needed to see their primary care physician but could not get an appointment the same day or even the same week. Many adults are able to bear the initial brunt of an illness, but that is not always the case for children. Riv– erside Urgent Care, which recently opened its first urgent care center on Louisiana High– way 51, can help alleviate such situations. “We recognize that children do not have the same medical needs as adults,” said Dr. Chris Swearingen, owner and

primary physician of Riverside Urgent Care. “Often times when children get sick or injured, their doctor’s office has closed for the day, and the injury or illness may not warrant a trip to the emergency room, so Riverside Urgent Care is a great resource for parents in this community. You never know when your child may have an urgent illness that needs to be treated right away.” According to Swear– ingen, there are two primary reasons why urgent care centers have become so popular

and why they continue to grow — cost savings and convenience. “We live in a convenience oriented world today” said Swear– ingen. “Whether it’s re– tail, banking or healthcare services, families today want convenience.” Most medical professionals would also agree that urgent care centers started growing over the last decade because of skyrocketing healthcare costs and increased frustration when fighting for better Medicare reimbursement. By 2007, the Urgent Care Associ– ation of America said there were about 8,100 urgent care centers in the United States. That number has increased around 7 percent, reac– hing about 8,700 centers today. Limited access to primary care physicians and cases sent to the emergency room unnecessarily support the existence and continued growth of these centers. The need for urgent care was highlighted in a RAND Corporation study released in the journal Health Affairs, stating that about 17 percent of all visits to hospital emergency departments across the United States could be treated at retail medical clinics or urgent care centers, potentially saving $4.4 billion annually in health care costs. Nationally, many hospitals and physician groups are guarded in their comments about urgent care centers and walk-in clinics altho– ugh they do see urgent care centers filling a

Tom Hartley is the NREMT-P at Riverside Urgent Care, located on Highway 51.

much needed void. Whether or not patients decide to utilize urgent care centers is at their discretion, but it shows the growing importance for consumers to not only have a choice where they go for their healthcare needs but also when they access care. Urg– ent care centers have become a key component of the healthcare model while facilitating the most efficient and effective method of treatment.

“Often times when children get sick or injured, their doctor’s office has closed for the day, and the injury or illness may not warrant a trip to the emergency room, so Riverside Urgent Care is a great resource for parents in this community.”

DR. CHRIS SWEARINGEN Riverside Urgent Care Owner and Primary Physician

advice from local businesses

Tips on keeping your A/C running longer If you are like everybody else in the world, you will want your air conditioner to last as long as possible. These units can be very expensive to rep– lace, so proper air conditioner maintenance is a must. By caring for your unit properly, you will be able to keep it for as long as possible. This will surely save you a couple thousands of dollars throughout the course of your life. While trying to keep your air conditioner in tip top condition, there are a couple of tips that you will want to follow. They are: • Make sure that you check all of the hoses for leaks at least twice a year. The best times to do this is before you turn your unit on for the summer, and just before you are ready to turn it off for the winter. This will allow you to find any problems before they get out of hand and make the necessary repairs. • If you have central air conditioning, it is important to keep the outside compressor as clean as possible. Of course it is going to get dirty because of natural occurrences, but by spraying it off with a

hose every so often, you will be able to keep it looking new for longer. • In addition to the maintenance you do yourself, you should also have the ductwork cleaned by a professional every couple of years. This maintenance may not seem like a big deal, but it can extend the life of your air conditioner. Also, it will get any dust or allerges out of the ductwork. • During the winter months, make sure you keep the compressor covered. By doing this you will protect it from cold weather as well as harsh conditions such as snow and sleet. When you are buying your air conditioner, ask the installation company if they also have a cover that you can buy. If they do, you should purchase one on the spot. This way you will always have a cover that fits your unit without hassle. Air conditioner maintenance is very important if you want your unit to last a long time. Taking a few easy steps a couple of times a year can save you money in the long run as well as help you keep your cool!

advice from local businesses

Family medicine cabinet safety When it comes to the health of their children and even parents, many moms feel it's their responsibility to be as educated as possible about health and medicine. With the many different medicines out there, it is hard to keep track of who in the family is taking what and the dangers of drug reactions, interactions and side effects. In fact, the incidence of serious drug reactions is increasing, ac– cording to a recent ana– lysis of adverse drug events reported to the Food and Drug Admini– stration. Now there is a free online tool to help the "family health officer" stay informed about the family's medicines: MedNotes (www.Drugs. com/mednotes). Med Notes is an award-winning, easy-to-use, personalized medication management program that can be used to track the whole family's medications. Deve– loped by, the most comprehensive online medicine information website, Med– Notes will help mothers and caretakers stay informed about their family's prescription and over the counter drugs, safety news and possible allergic, food and drug interactions. "Moms are gatekeepers of their families’ health, from their children to their elderly parents, so it's critical for them to stay infor– med about their families' medications. But the reality is it's hard to keep up with new drug safety information coming out nearly every day," according to Alison Rhodes, "The Safety Mom," and nationally-recognized expert in child safety. "MedNotes gives mothers the important medication use and safety information they want – and peace of mind when it comes to monitoring and managing their family's medication needs." Some tips from MedNotes: • Add your medications to instantly asse– mble relevant medical information in a simple, easy to read personalized format. • Gain immediate access to in-depth consumer information, dr– ug comparisons, historical news, FDA alerts, drug interactions, plus food, allergy and medical condition interactions. • Choose to be notified when new FDA alerts

are issued and when any new drugs become available for any of your existing medical conditions. • Print health and medication records, in– cluding physician and emergency contacts, allergies and medical conditions. • Use MedNotes to manage medications profiles for yourself and your family. MedNotes gives mothers the chance to create profiles for different family members, enter the names of all medications being taken and register to receive – all in one easy-toaccess place – drug safety or interaction alerts, new drug and specific condition news that is released by the FDA or drug makers. Moms can also print portable personal health and medication histories, in– cluding physician and emergency contact in– formation. Feedback from early users recognizes Med– Notes as a valuable aid to their everyday health management, and in some cases as a potentially life-saving information source. One consumer shared his printed MedNotes medication profile with paramedics in the am– bulance and credits MedNotes with saving critical time and, potentially, his life, on the way to the hospital.

“Moms are gatekeepers of their families’ health, from their children to their elderly parents, so it’s critical for them to stay informed about their families’ medications But the reality is it’s hard to keep up with new drug safety information coming out nearly every day.”

ALLISON RHODES Nationaly-Recognized Child Safety Expert

We want to lower your bill, too. At Entergy, we’re working to keep fuel costs low – and keep your bill down. Efficiency saves energy and money for everyone. We also help to eliminate seasonal spikes in your bill with level billing. Sure, I work for Entergy. But I’m a customer just like you. Find energy-saving tips to lower your Sherry Duplessis, Specialty Clerk

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