There are three disease processes that are treated in dentistry:
1) decay (cavities) – a bacterial infection of the hard tooth structure. This is the major cause of tooth loss in children and the major cause of root canal infections in adults.
2) periodontal (gum) disease – a bacterial infection of the soft tissues surrounding the tooth and the supporting bone (the tooth socket). This is the major cause of bad breath, bleeding gums and tooth loss in adults.
3) traumatic occlusion (a bad bite) – a human bite exerts 200 pounds per square inch of pressure. A tooth that is not properly positioned within the dental arch absorbs more of that biting pressure than it should. This can greatly accelerate the rate of progression of periodontal disease.
Proper diagnosis is the only way to identify these disease processes early and treat them preventively . The diagnostic skills of a dentist are very important to your short and long term health and appearance; unfortunately these skills vary greatly. In our office you will always be examined when you come in for a cleaning. We take the time to be thorough and have the ability to see problems early. Your concerns about sensitivity, pain, bleeding gums, bad breath, or your appearance are helpful to us.
It is critical that patients understand, however, that the absence of pain does not indicate the absence of disease .
The condition and appearance of your teeth subconsciously control your smile. Everyone coming to our office is an individual with a specific set of dental, emotional, intellectual and financial needs. The LifeSmile Program is our way of specifically catering to your individual needs.
We get to know our patient’s specific needs and can recommend an appropriate level of care. Communication is very important to us and we take the time to listen. Our staff is highly educated and knowledgeable about dentistry. We will respond to your telephone questions quickly. If you need to come in to talk, or review work we’ve already done for you, there is no charge. Our office is open every weekday evening. We are even available for special (non-emergency) appointments 24 hours/7days a week; these appointments must be made in advance and special fees apply.
There are many aspects of quality dentistry about which patients typically know virtually nothing. Our highly skilled dental interns are able to streamline procedures and add to patient comfort. Diagnosis, technical skills, quality materials and attention to individual patient needs are another part of what we offer. For example:
1) If dental work is not performed carefully it is possible to leave decay (a cavity) behind under a brand new filling or cap; this can cause the new filling or cap to continue to decay from within.
2) Excessive heat, pressure or drilling on a tooth when trying to work too quickly might create a root canal problem where it might otherwise have been avoided.
3) Undiagnosed and/or untreated gum disease can lead to premature tooth loss.
Poor quality dental work usually has to be redone in time. Sometimes the damage is irreversible and teeth cannot be saved.
We know the value of quality and can stand behind our work. This practice has been built upon the desire to build long term relationships with our patients, their friends and family.
We respect your time and make a sincere effort to minimize your office waiting time. If we are getting behind in our schedule we will try to contact you to tell you to come a little later. Conversely, we ask that you give us more than 24 hours notice if you must cancel your appointment; and when you do come, please be on time so that you won’t make us late for our next patient. Patients who consistently are late or don’t show up are not scheduled.
Distraction psychology is used to a great extent in our office through a combination of interpersonal skills, music and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). Our dentistry is gentle for good reason. The oral cavity is one of the most sensitive areas of the human body as measured by the number of sensory nerves per square millimeter. We appreciate your apprehension. Patients who are particularly nervous may be prescribed Valium before their first few visits to get them over their initial apprehension. We also offer I.V. Conscious Sedation for nervous and/or especially sensitive patients; these appointments must be made in advance and special fees apply.
Sterilization is state of the art in this office. Everything is sterilized, including our drills, before each patient. Significant time and expense is necessary to properly sterilize and plastic drape a treatment room. In a June 1993 study, Clinical Research Associates found that only 18% of American dentists sterilized their drills before each patient. The reason most dentists avoid drills and/or other sterilization procedures is cost; we think the increased cost associated with proper sterilization is necessary. Sterilization is not something a patient can see so if you’re curious, ask us to show you around. Fox evening news featured our office as an example of what patients should look for in a sterile dental office!
To see Photographs of General Dentistry click on “Dental Photos” at the top of this page and then scroll down the left margin and click on any topic of interest.