Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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