Friday, November 8, 2013

Poker & Dentistry

Sitting in the Dentist Chair...
by George "The Engineer" Epstein

I was at my dentist's office for extensive dental work. I was sitting in the dentist chair while Dr. Goldy (an excellent dentist, I should add) had his hand in my mouth operating a drill. I felt the need to communicate with him. But, that was barely possible with the drill grinding away while my mouth was immobilized. I made strange guttural sounds, only he could interpret. (That must take lots of dental training and experience.) Then, sitting in that chair, a thought came to mind: "This remind me of using tells at the poker table." So, I decided to share this with you. Thanks to Dr. Goldy and his dentist chair for this column...

As most of you know, a "tell" at the poker table is anything you might do that gives your opponent information about your hand - a body movement ("body language"), a facial expression, eye movement, words you might say, even the tone of your voice. FYI, here's a preview of a section of my new poker-book-in-preparation, The Art of Bluffing (due to be published early 2014).

Tells When Bluffing

When you suspect an opponent is bluffing, it pays to look for tells. It can be very rewarding when your small pair takes the pot away from the brazen bluffer. Here are typical tells to look for if you suspect your opponent is trying to bluff you out of the pot. Give serious thought to calling his bet when you spot any of these tells:
  • Covering his mouth with his hand;
  • Leaning back in his chair,
  • Touching, stroking or rubbing his neck;
  • An apparent departure in his normal behavior, such as speaking more or less often;
  • "Freezing" in his seat, becoming relatively immobile;
  • Taking a deep breath and holding it;
  • Taking a big swallow (gulp!);
  • Licking his lips.

If you look hard enough, you may spot some of these. But must deliberately look for them. It's not likely to happen by accident. Study your opponent carefully.

Of course, the complementary also applies: If you are the one who is doing the bluffing, be sure you steer clear of these tells. (Don't give an opponent an excuse for calling you while you are trying to bluff him out. )

Tells Before the Flop

Note: There are books by experts like Mike Caro and Joe Navarro that provide profound information about many poker tells.

In my opinion, among the most valuable are tells before the flop. I teach my Claude Pepper Seniors Poker Group to focus on the opponents seated to their left as they first peek at their holecards. (Look at your own holecards a bit later.) Those are the players who will be betting after you; so the information can be extremely valuable in helping you decide whether to call, fold or raise. For example, a tight player to your left peeks at his holecards as the dealer delivers you that he has a very strong starting hand! Next, you examine your own holecards. You have 9-8 offsuit, a marginal drawing hand that you might have otherwise played had you not seen his tell. So, you fold and save yourself a bunch of chips!

I am sure you can identify still other tells...

Thanks to Dr. Goldy

Perhaps this column has served to help you to be more aware of tells, to try harder to observe-and interpret-them. If so, you can thank my dentist, Dr. Goldy. My guess is that he is much too busy to join us in a game of poker - even with his expertise in interpreting my tells while seated in his dentist chair...

Creating Confident Smiles
416 N. Bedford drive, suite 409
Beverly Hills, CA  90210

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Healthy Framework For A Beautiful Smile Making Smart Choices in Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry 

A beautiful smile is an essential part of looking good these days. Wanting to look your best is one thing, but feeling secure in the knowledge that you have a perfectly healthy mouth as well is even more important. Beyond improving your appearance, cosmetic dentistry has the unique advantage of being able to improve your overall health.

Dental Health 

According to the Surgeon General, our dental health contributes to serious health problems including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and low birth weight in babies. Many people have historical dental work that is compromising their oral health. Others have worn their teeth to the point that their bite is causing symptom of "TMJ," such as headaches, muscle pain, and even dizziness.

Top cosmetic dentists address these problems first. Before you add porcelain crowns or veneers, a full evaluation of your oral health must be done. If the cosmetic dentist does not do a full examination and evaluation of your dental health before you start to talk about the cosmetic work, get out of there fast! Without this step, you could find yourself with serious health problems down the line. Not to mention an investment in a smile with little to support it over time.

Cosmetic dentistry should never be about an aesthetic "quick fix." It's about being the best you can be and when you leave old health issues unhandled and simply cover them up with porcelain veneers or other cosmetic dentistry methods, you’re headed for trouble.

What are the oral health issues that have to be taken into account and handled before starting cosmetic dentistry?

To Be Filled in With Dr. Goldy:
Healthy gums
Decayed teeth
Missing teeth
Old dental work/ Destructive broken down filling
Impression taken, if needed
Photographs taken for imaging

Evaluation and Diagnosis

A complete evaluation and diagnosis should be done and a full treatment plan devised that addresses both your oral health and aesthetic concerns.

Cosmetic and restorative dentistry has to be done in phases:

If you are young and healthy with no decay, and you have been taking good care of your teeth with regular cleanings, you can probably go straight to cosmetic dentistry.

The more extensive your dental history, and the more time has elapsed since you last saw a dentist, the more likely it is that you will need to address basic health issues first.

If you have started thinking about having cosmetic dentistry done, you're already on the path of wanting to look your best. Don't sell yourself short. Make this a choice to take the very best possible care of your physical appearance and your long term health. Find a cosmetic dentist in your area who will do all the work necessary to create a healthy framework for your beautiful smile. 

Creating Confident Smiles
416 N. Bedford drive, suite 409
Beverly Hills, CA  90210