Thu05052016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Updated 11:28 a.m.:

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill R...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Treating the gateway of the body: Relocated periodontist sets up shop in Los Altos

Photo Rie Nakanishi/Special To The Town Crier

Dr. Mark Beckstead operates on a patient with recessive gums. Beckstead talks with the consciously sedated patient occasionally during surgery to confirm that the patient is comfortable.

Any new business in Los Altos means additional services for local residents. Mark Beckstead, D.D.S., the owner and principal manager of Mid-Peninsula Periodontics, a business relocated to downtown Los Altos, offers innovation in periodontal treatment.

Beckstead, a Los Altos resident, practiced periodontics in Palo Alto from 1991 until he moved his business to Los Altos approximately a year ago.

Working closely with dentists in the community who refer patients to his office, he provides services intended to make patients' periodontal experiences as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

"I think it's a great time to be a patient in a periodontal office because there've been a lot of advances that made treatment easy for patients," Beckstead said.

But what exactly is a periodontist and what does a periodontist do?

"We treat everything around the teeth," he said. "Whereas general dentists handle all the general need of patients, we've focused our attention on the supporting structure around the teeth."

One of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, periodontics treats gum diseases, and gum recession and fits dental implants.

For a long time, treating periodontal disease with conventional methods equaled pain. Pain was no myth in periodontal practices – it was fact. But with technological advances in recent years, periodontal procedures now involve less cutting, peeling and stitching of the gums.

Finally, intense pain is becoming a myth in such practices, Beckstead said.

For example, in treating gum recession, today Beckstead often uses allograft tissue from a tissue bank instead of employing an earlier method, which required obtaining the graft tissue from a patient's own mouth.

Recent research supports the use of laser therapy in the treatment of gum diseases.

"This is a real benefit for patients who are nervous about conventional gum surgery – either they heard bad things about it or they are afraid to have gum surgery done," he said. "The (laser) treatment itself is less invasive, easier to recover from and there's little discomfort with it."

To make patients' experiences even more comfortable and less painful, Beckstead offers intravenous sedation in his practice – the process of releasing medication directly into a patient's vein to make him or her consciously sleep during the surgery.

"Our emphasis is trying to make each patient's experience here as positive as possible," Beckstead said. "We help people feel relaxed by giving them all the information they need to make decisions about their health."

Many patients who are sedated don't remember anything about the procedure, he added. If a patient doesn't want to be sedated, Beckstead will provide other choices appropriate for the treatment.

Recent scientific studies confirm an association, or perio-systemic link, between gum and systemic diseases, according to Beckstead.

For instance, diabetics who do not balance their blood sugars carefully tend to have gum disease, and reciprocally, patients who have gum disease may also have poorly controlled blood-glucose levels. Links between gum disease and coronary artery disease have also been found. Mothers of preterm or low-birth-weight babies tend to have periodontal diseases, too.

Pain or fear might not be an adequate reason to reject or neglect the treatment of periodontal disease anymore. Taking care of the gums and practicing good oral health can save the teeth.

"This is a great time for patients who have been reluctant to see a periodontist and go through treatment," Beckstead said. "Technology is giving us (more choices) to make going to treatment easy. It's a great time for perio."

Mid-Peninsula Periodontics is located at 20 First St., Suite 200.

For more information, call 941-7300 or visit www.periodocs.com.

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