Who Cares if I'm a Doctor?

Every issue of Retirement Millionaire Daily, I sign off as "Dr. David Eifrig."

If you aren't a longtime subscriber to my paid newsletters, you might not know what kind of doctor I am. But does it matter?

But when you're trying to get the best possible care of your health you need to make sure you're going to the correct medical care provider. Today, I'll explain why you should care and how to know who to go to.

I'll also share an e-mail from a dentist giving us more information on the effects of dentistry on
TMJ headaches.

How much importance do you place on the title "Doctor"? Share your thoughts with us at
[email protected].

Q: It's obvious you haven't practiced "real eye care" in quite some time. Either that or you still subscribe to the "good old boy" network that has been perpetuating lies to the American public for decades regarding health care provision. Fortunately, many of your currently practicing colleagues appreciate and have respect for other non-M.D. health care providers...

Each profession has strengths and weaknesses. You should stick to investments and I will seek my health care opinions from those more expert than you in that area. Keep up the "other" good work and spare me the old school M.D. drivel. – C.M.

A: C.M., an optometrist – or OD – took issue with our advice on macular degeneration.

In that essay, we recommended checkups with ophthalmologists, which are eye doctors who went through medical school. That means four years of medical school, one year in internship, and three years in a hospital-based residency. They have "MD" after their names. Doctors of osteopathy may also be ophthalmologists, so you can also go to someone with "DO" after their name.

On the other hand, an OD is an optometrist. These folks go to a four-year program in optometry school. They are not able to perform surgery and may not be able to treat some eye diseases. In fact, licensing laws differ from state to state, so an OD in Maine may not be able to treat something that an OD in Maryland can.

The website All About Vision has put together an excellent guide outlining the differences.
Read it right here.

Regardless of which type of eye care provider you choose, make sure you do your homework. Ask up front what diseases they can diagnose and which they can treat. If you're concerned about age-related macular degeneration ("AMD"), make sure to go to someone who can treat you. Check out references from other patients. Ask for the doctor's stats too – including how many procedures they've performed and their rate of success. If they don't have that data, find another doc immediately.

[optin_form id="286"]

Q: Having practiced dentistry for 40 years, I very much appreciated your article on headaches. A significant percentage of my practice and continuing education was devoted to helping patients who suffered from headaches. A few things to consider about a dentist's approach to headaches are as follows:

1. The term "TMJ" has been replaced by TMD, short for temporomandibular disturbance. This can include multiple etiologies including arthroses, anterior displaced disc(s), occlusal problems where bringing the teeth into maximum contact or intercuspation forces one or both condyles out of the most centered and superior position of the fossa(e), and of course fractures (frequently referred to as Saturday Night Palsy).

2. A large percentage of patients with tension headaches clench and grind their teeth resulting in spasm of one or both masseter, temporalis or lateral pterygoid muscles. When the occlusion is not in harmony with the temporomandibular joints, massage may bring short term relief but these patients will continue to clench and grind resulting in repeated muscle spasm.

3. There are numerous types of plastic night guards and TMD appliances that are made. Only a dentist who is both highly trained and very conscientious can be relied upon to select, fabricate and refine an effective TMD appliance. Over the years I saw innumerable night guards that varied from excellent to useless and to downright harmful. And even appliances that are originally very well made will wear and need periodic adjustment if a patient grinds their opposing teeth against it. Although there are more, two centres that provide outstanding Occlusion and TMD continuing education programs are the L.D. Pankey Institute and The Dawson Academy. Both are located in Florida.

Hope this is useful information. – J.M.

A: Thanks for sharing this information with us.

If you suspect you have TMJ (or TMD), talk to your dentist about what possible causes. My research assistant, Amanda, received a TMJ diagnosis a few years ago from her dentist. He recommended some stress-busting exercises to deal with the root of her problem. Once her stress was under control, she stopped clenching her jaw at night and avoided the expensive night guard for the time being.

Having a good dentist who will listen to you and try and help you find the best treatment is invaluable, so we appreciate the information, J.M. This is why our greatest research resource is our readers!

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