By LESLIE COLLINS
September 4, 2013
Two weeks ago, Dr. Ed Kendrick celebrated his 38th year of serving patients in Historic Northeast, but he won’t be satisfied until he makes it to the big 5-0. That’s when the Missouri Dental Board hands out the coveted 50-year plaque, which Kendrick plans to hang on his wall.
Inside his office at 4605 Independence Ave., photographs of vibrant flowers and butterflies line the waiting room walls, all of which he photographed himself. His other hobby is politics.
“Basically, I’m itching to talk politics,” he said, adding a plug for his website, www.rediscover911.com.
As for dentistry, Kendrick followed in his father’s footsteps and said his father also catered to the Northeast, operating a dental practice on the second floor of Pierce’s Drug Store at Monroe and Independence Avenue.
One of the aspects of dentistry Kendrick has become more interested in is the potential of probiotics.
“The degree of pathology seems to be related to the bacteria, so I focused on both antibiotics and probiotics as a means of addressing people’s diseases of the mouth,” he said.
After every dental cleaning, patients now receive a dose of probiotics, which provide healthy bacteria for the mouth. Probiotics provide three forms of healthy bacteria – one to inhibit the formation of sticky plaque and two to fight against the germs that cause gum disease.
“Slowly through the periods of checkups, I hope to see less tarter, less plaque, less gingivitis, less bleeding gums and less decay,” he said of using probiotics. “Bacteria are along for the ride in our life and we may as well have friendly ones inside and out.”
September will mark Kendrick’s last month of chairing the Missouri Diabetes Council and Kendrick said he’s found satisfaction in raising awareness of the correlation between dental health and diabetes.
“Infection anywhere in the body worsens diabetes control and similarly, poor diabetes management makes the mouth much more susceptible to infection,” he said.
Now, there are published protocols for doctors in Missouri that outline the importance of an oral exam in the context of diabetes care.
“That didn’t exist before I was on the council,” Kendrick said.
Kendrick also strives to educate his patients about oral care and caters his discussion to each patient’s individual needs and issues. However, he said, oral health education should really begin in grade school, which is lacking.
“I don’t see it happening as much as it should or could be,” he said of educating grade schoolers about oral health. “Behind closed lips, it’s often forgotten. If it’s not hurting, it’s not on our minds. Unfortunately, waiting until things hurt, the conditions are often more advanced than they need to be. Preventative checkups are like oil changes on a car. If you never do them, they’re going to have a major repair problem.”
One of the joys of working in Northeast, he said, is meeting a variety of people from diverse backgrounds and sampling cuisine from around the world.
“I’m especially blessed with the multicultural aspects of the Northeast area,” he said. “Learning how other people live and love and express their joy is part of the experience.
“We provide needed services and many patients express their appreciation in a way that makes the job an effort of joy.”
He also likes the immediate gratification of solving someone’s oral health issue.
“Other people don’t have that possibility of seeing the end product so quickly,” he said.
Looking back on his career, Kendrick said, “Here I am 38 years; many of my friends are retired. I don’t see a reason to quit. With the grace of God, I’ll still have eyes, hands and mind for another 12 (years) or more.”
•If used daily, probiotics can help support healthier teeth and gums, freshen breath and whiten teeth
•For more on probiotics care, visit www.evoraprobitoics.com or call 1-800-983-6908 ext. 251
•When prompted, enter Dr. Kendrick’s unique office code: 100257