Our dental office is safe to come to the dental practice, our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our regular habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same is our commitment to your safety.
Please know that our office is following all recommended guidance from public health authorities, including best practices for hygiene, infection control, and dental professional team health. We feel confident in our ability to continue seeing patients and providing dental care according to the tradition of quality care that you have come to expect and deserve.
Is it safe to come to the dental practice?
Our dental office is and has always followed the protocols put in place by the CDC, OSHA, and the American Dental Association. The office is always clean and regularly sterilized (it is a dental office, after all!). Instruments are always changed and sterilized after every patients, and dental chairs and clinical surfaces are sanitized after each patient.
In light of current events, we are taking extra precautions. We now sterilize all surfaces several times a day, our clinical staff wear extra protective gear (double masks, gowns, hair nets, and shoe covers) that are changed after each patient. You will also see our administrative team in masks, gloves, and gowns. Our staff is screened daily and their temperature is taken twice a day. We have also installed plastic guards at the reception area. Your safety is our top priority and something we take extremely seriously. Here are some of the things we have implemented to ensure your safety:
- Appointments are spaced out to minimize the amount of people in the office.
- Chaperones are not allowed to accompany you unless required or necessary.
- We ask that you wear a mask and sanitize your hands upon entry into the office (both are provided to you).
- We ask you to stay in your car until we are ready to take you into the chair.
- We offer paperless forms and payment options that can be processed from your cellphone (no printer or scanner is needed).
So as you can see, our office is very clean and safer than many grocery stores, streets, and even some homes! It is super safe to come visit us!
What is a root canal (RCT)?
Every tooth has a root, every root has a canal (or two or three or even four) where nerves live. Simply put, a root canal is a procedure when a doctor removes the nerve from the root of a tooth. Hence the name of the procedure – “Root Canal” This occurs when the nerve “dies” or “gets sick” due to bacterial (biological) or physical damage to the tooth. The doctor then has to clean the tooth from the inside to remove any infection. The tooth will be hollow, but a unique dental material will be placed inside the tooth to seal it and prevent any further damage. Root canals can be done in one or several appointments.
Sometimes a doctor will prescribe antibiotics to kill infection before a root canal procedure. Very often, a doctor will recommend that after a root canal the tooth be covered by a crown to prolong the life of the remaining structure. Overall, teeth with root canals have long life expectancies, sometimes just as long as teeth without it. Just make sure to follow your doctors’ recommendations.
Does a tooth with RTC need a crown?
A tooth that has recently been root canaled will need to have a cover. Root canals weaken the teeth. Without proper protection (physical cover), the structure of the tooth becomes vulnerable and prone to breaks. Placing a crown protects the tooth from any further damage and provides extra strength and support. Especially if root canal was recently done on one of the teeth you use to chew the food.
Why do some patients need quarterly dental cleanings, but others need cleanings every six months?
The rule of thumb, patients without medical and dental issues that attend dental exams regularly need to have their teeth cleaned twice a year. Remember that even a simple dental cleaning is performed by licensed dental hygienist – a very knowledgeable dental professional – who is trained to monitor your overall dental health.
Patients who predisposed or have systemic diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or family history or patients with periodontal disease require more frequent visits. We recommend that cleaning be done as least every three months. This way dental hygienist, who performs the cleaning, will monitor patients’ oral health and will attend to any change in oral health. This gives a doctor an opportunity to timely address any issues without any delays.
Are X-rays necessary?
Dental examinations often include X-rays. These radiographs are necessary to detect a dental problem (a problem with teeth, gums, bone and other structures) before visible symptoms occur. They help a dentist to spot a problem in the area that cannot be visibly inspected. As we all know, many dental problems become symptomatic only when we feel the pain. In order to avoid this, regular examinations with necessary Xrays are recommended. These XRays deliver a relatively low dose of radiation and at the same time give a doctor an ability to “see” and diagnose the problem before it starts hurting.
Every two to three years we recommend that you obtain a full set of Xrays to insure proper care for your teeth.