Reasons You’ve Avoided the Dentist

  1. Pain – No question about it, pain is a very real reason some people avoid the dentist! However, at Smile Sarasota, we have two of the best hygienists around! Both are described as very gentle comfortable and not to mention fun! People at our office who have had major treatment have said they didn’t even know Dr. Still gave them an injection!
  2. Long Wait – Let’s face it, no one likes to be kept waiting. Our office consistently runs on time.
  3. Staff – Are you tired of going to the dentist and getting a different dentist or hygienist EVERY time you go? Not as Smile Sarasota. You will get Dr. Still every time. Do you prefer to see Ann? Or Claire? We can arrange that. You are free to choose your hygienist. And you will see the same one every time.
  4. Insurance – Have you ever been told a dental office takes your insurance only to find out in the end they don’t? Though we are a fee for service office, we will do a complimentary benefits check for you prior to you even coming in. No surprises here! We will submit your claim to your insurance company and do all of the follow-up work to endure you receive your reimbursement as soon as possible. You do not have to do ANY of the legwork!
  5. Money – No we are not the cheapest dentist in town. We are not the cheapest dentist in town because we do not perform cheap dentistry. Dr. Still believes prevention is the key! Don’t wait until something hurts to come in. At that point, treatment options become more involved and costly.

If you have reasons for avoiding the dentist, we understand! Don’t avoid us! Call Smile Sarasota now for a consultation with Dr. Still and he will ease your mind.

 

 

What Kind of Dental Patient are You?

Every day Smile Sarasota hears stories from friends and patients about the different economic dilemmas people are faced with. Dentistry is not immune to them and all too often gets neglected or just placed a little further down on people’s priority lists. We thought it would be helpful to clarify for patients (new and established) that we realize personal circumstances dictate what our patients HAVE to do and not necessarily what they WANT to do when it comes to their dental needs.

Smile Sarasota wants you to have the best dentistry available in as caring a way as possible. We realize that not everyone thinks the same way about the need for dental care. There are those people in crisis or with an emergency problem such as a broken tooth, pain, swelling, or bleeding, who need our immediate help, are at this level. We see emergencies immediately, whenever possible.

Then there are those who choose a level of care only when something breaks or becomes uncomfortable. Generally people at this level expect a limited type of examination, focusing on obvious problems. They usually want to correct immediate problems with as little effort as possible. While Dr. Still will always recommend the best overall treatment for you, he understands that sometimes patients can only focus on one thing at a time.

Some patients want a thorough examination and take an active part in the treatment and prevention of present and future disease problems. However, they usually choose repair solutions that are short range in nature.

Most of our patients choose to have a thorough examination. However, they decide on a plan to formulate a long-term treatment plan for health and repair. These patients are very concerned about treating the causes of dental disease, not simply the effects. These patients want all dental treatment provided to be completed in the most long lasting fashion as possible. They visit us for teeth cleanings and exams at least three times per year and are quick to accept what is recommended to keep them healthy.

Then there are the ‘look your best patients’. People in this category are long-term with regard to dental health but also want to look their best at all times. They know that their smile is the first thing others notice about them and want to put their best foot forward. Smile Sarasota provides full mouth reconstruction and cosmetic dentistry of all types.

We hope these levels of care make sense to you. It is not uncommon for people to begin at one level and progress to another over time, through patient education and as finances permit, and realize that they want healthy teeth and gums for life. We offer CareCredit to assist with financing as well as discounts for paying by check or cash.

We are here to help you discover and decide at what level you are most comfortable. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and provide you with the best dentistry in Sarasota that is appropriate for you! Call today and set up a consultation with Dr. Still!

Why Patient Feedback is Important

Smile Sarasota and Dr. Adam Still are so grateful for all the great reviews our patients post on Google and other sites. It means a lot to us to hear that you are happy with the care Dr. Still and and our great staff provide and we do our “Happy Dance” each time we receive a stellar review. 

Smile Sarasota received an online review a while back that was less than stellar and we thought, ‘Oh no! Someone was disappointed’! So why are we pointing out a negative review? Are we crazy?  No business likes to hear that they did not meet someone’s expectations, and we actually looked at this as a learning situation. It stimulated us to take a closer look and review the way we do things. We appreciate that this patient was honest about their perceptions and we pledge to continue to improve our communication skills so that there will not be any misunderstandings in the future.

Additionally, we feel that it’s important to respond to negative online reviews, which we did. Making a thoughtful response to online reviews shows we acknowledge patient concerns and are proactive in improving their experience at our practice, or in some cases, wishing them well and letting them know we are happy they found another practice that was a good fit for them.

We have also found that dental patients sometimes use poor reviews as a means of retribution because they didn’t feel heard or they had unfulfilled expectations. We want you to know that we are always open to hearing your concerns, are ready to address issues as soon as they occur, and that we are receptive of suggestions and criticism. Ultimately, we can’t prevent someone from saying negative things. Some people are just never going to be happy no matter what the circumstance. It is our hope that if you have a concern, you will give us the chance to discuss it personally with you before you write a negative review. We coach our team to always make patient satisfaction the top priority and consequently, we have a practice full of happy patients! And by-the-way, we have over 50 reviews and all but a couple are 5 stars!! Happy Dance!

Please take the time to read some of our reviews here and post one of your own to let everyone know how much you love Smile Sarasota!

Read Our Google Reviews

Read our FaceBook Reviews

New Year…New You

During the month of January, there is a huge emphasis on looking our best and getting fit for our overall health.  Most of us make resolutions to work out regularly, eat healthier diets and are determined to find a more robust anti-aging regime.  Along with a nutritious diet and exercise program, dental care is very often overlooked as a valuable aspect of keeping us healthy and confident.

Of course, dental hygiene and keeping regular oral checkups up to date are critical for dental health, but what about the way your teeth look?  Are they crooked, have they shifted since you had your braces years ago?  Do you have discolored teeth or spaces?  Perhaps you’re tired of seeing other beautiful smiles and wishing you had such healthy looking, attractive teeth too. If your smile needs a lift, you may be surprised at just how easy it is to shape up your mouth and change you’re the way you feel and are perceived by others.

So, why does it matter what your teeth look like? In psychology, there have been numerous studies on the social and psychological effects of the way we look and feel about our appearance.  Having stained, chipped, crooked, or missing teeth can cause forms of social withdrawal, depression, and anxiety. Many people are unaware of the fact that having an attractive smile increases confidence levels and can be an instant mood lifter, which is essential to our emotional health.  With this newfound self-assuredness, your confidence is perceived by others as a strength and can consequently provide better opportunities throughout the years to come.

There Are Numerous Options to Fit Your Needs:

  • Bonding– A composite resin material that matches your teeth can be applied to the tooth’s surface, and in some cases, it can even fill in interproximal spaces between the teeth, which will close gaps and make the teeth appear more symmetrical.
  • Veneers-Stronger and longer lasting than bonding, veneers are a thin porcelain material that is permanently cemented to the tooth’s surface.  It’s stronger than enamel and helps to make teeth look proportioned, fills in spaces, restores chips or cracks by covering the entire tooth structure on the facial surface.  Veneers wrap around the biting surface leaving the majority of the back of the teeth natural.  Many celebrities have veneers.
  • Crowns- A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is decayed, damaged or cracked. Aesthetic crowns are made of a variety of the highest quality porcelain for the most natural appearance.  The process takes about two weeks, and you will have a high-quality temporary crown until your permanent crown is attached.  At Smile Sarasota, we also use CEREC.  Your crown is milled from a block of porcelain in the office.  The crowns are durable, impervious to stain, plaque resistant, quick, easy, and absolutely gorgeous.  With CEREC, you will receive your crown the same day.  There is no waiting on a lab or the need for a temporary crown.
  • Tooth Whitening- At Smile Sarasota, they offer two options for whitening; the first is an in-office procedure utilizing a LED light for quick, remarkable and safe whitening. Your teeth will be significantly lighter, but not “fake” white, as teeth will only lighten to a natural tooth color.  Although the results are long lasting, you will be given a touch-up kit to take home with you. Typically individuals will see a brighter smile for 6 to 18 months, depending on your diet and dental hygiene.  The second whitening option is to have trays made that fit your teeth precisely and an at-home whitening gel will be used as directed by Dr. Still.

Cosmetic dentistry is an excellent way to boost your confidence and make you feel like you’ve had a little lift to your appearance.  Whiter, straighter teeth are perceived as healthy; knowing that you take pride in your appearance will have a positive impact on you, and those around you. 

Smile Sarasota provides the highest-quality services for restoring mouths that have been damaged by dental disease, injury and common problems that require cosmetic dentistry. Their primary goal for patients is to achieve and maintain optimum oral health through advances in techniques, technologies, and by keeping their scheduled dental exams.

To find out more about CEREC or other ground-breaking dental methods, please call (941) 957-3311.

Elvis is in the House…The Sarasota Opera House that is!

Smile Sarasota is very proud to be a supporter and patron of The Sarasota Opera and those who live or visit Sarasota, Florida are so fortunate to live in a town where art, music and theater thrive. What’s better than lounging on the number one beach all day and then enjoying a great production at the Sarasota Opera!

Those of you who grew up on Sarasota or have lived here a long time might be familiar with the history of the Sarasota Opera building. The building that is now the Sarasota Opera House was first the Edwards Theatre, built in 1926 by A.B. Edwards, Sarasota’s first mayor. “It was more than just a movie theatre, it was for vaudeville, live entertainment played here, there were some retail establishments downstairs, some apartments upstairs and some offices upstairs,” says Sarasota County historian Jeff Lahurd.

The Florida Theatre bought it in 1936. “When they were renovating this place, Jane Mansfield signed her name with 42, 26, 36 next to it.” The Academy Award winning film The Greatest Show on Earth, filmed in Sarasota, had its Florida premier there in 1952. Did you know that Elvis Presley played there in 1956?  The evening show was a dollar for adults, 50 cents for kids.

After almost five decades, the Florida Theater closed its doors in 1973. In 1979, the Sarasota Opera Association bought the building and spent $7 million restoring it. Then in 2008, a $20 million renovation turned it into a world class facility. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, it is gorgeous and one of the most popular venues in Sarasota. Sarasota Opera’s mission includes the mandate “to entertain, enrich, and educate our communities, as well as patrons from across the state and around the world.”

Through a multitude of education and outreach programs, The Sarasota Opera provides opportunities for all members of our community to share their passion for opera. If you have never been, please check it out…you will love it!

http://www.sarasotaopera.org/index.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/sarasotaopera/

Downtown Sarasota’s “Newest Oldest” Neighborhood

Gillespie Park in Sarasota, Florida is an up-and-coming place! A recent Smile Sarasota Blog focused on The Rosemary District and the old Ringling Shopping Center in downtown Sarasota, but we would be remiss if we didn’t discuss Gillespie Park!

Gillespie Park has become one of Sarasota’s great places to live for young professionals and retirees and empty-nesters. With its great neighborhood feel, large trees, charming architecture and downtown location convenient to all the of Sarasota’s amenities, Gillespie Park’s popularity is exploding. Nestled between Fruitville Road, 10th Street, U.S. 301 and Orange Avenue, the subdivision consists of old bungalows, cottages and Spanish-style townhouses, many of them dating to the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. A good number have been refurbished and renovated, or are in the process. With its lush vegetation and stately pines and oak trees providing a shady canopy, Gillespie Park has a distinctly Old Florida feeling.

So here’s a bit of history! Gillespie Park honors John Hamilton Gillespie, first mayor of Sarasota. This land was part of the town’s experimental farm and when that failed due to poor soil, Gillespie laid out a golf course in 1886. After the turn of the century, the subdivision was platted for residential use. The real estate boom of the 1920s brought a wave of new inhabitants, and the neighborhood was named after Gillespie, who had arrived in town as one of the Scottish immigrants, built a hotel on Main Street and served as the city’s first mayor.

A focal point of the Gillespie Park neighborhood is the historic park named after Gillespie. The city created the park on 10 acres of undeveloped land purchased for that purpose in 1924. Gillespie Park was developed with special emphasis on recreation for children and, in 1926, won an award in the National Playground Beautification Contest. An oasis of trees and green open space, Gillespie Park now provides tennis courts, picnic pavilion, playground recreational facilities, and features a lovely meandering pond.

Smile Sarasota is right around the corner, serving the dental needs of Downtown Sarasota, The Rosemary District AND Gillespie Park. So if you are new to Sarasota need a great dentist in Sarasota convenient to the downtown area, we are here for you!

Sources and Credits: SRQecoseeker.com, Activerain.com, Sarasota Herald Tribune, Sarasotagov.com

Walking the Tightrope of Patient Communication

Communication plays a vital role in breaking down barriers between the patient and dental health professional, and in strengthening the treatment alliance. At your first visit, the Comprehensive Exam, Dr. Still take the first steps in understanding your responses and reactions to your dental health and to gain as much information as possible about you. By doing this, he reduces barriers and in this way, strengthens the treatment alliance which better enables you to accept and comply with the preventive dental health care advice and restorative treatment plans being offered and provided by Smile Sarasota and our experienced staff.

If we are to provide good health care and promote self-reliance in our patients, we must know our patients. We do this by considering important episodes in our patients’ lives, by knowing problems or difficulties our patients encounter and by recognizing their apprehensiveness about dental treatment.

We must be proficient in our communication skills.We encourage our patients to ventilate their feelings, thoughts, worries and fears in relation to treatment and its outcome, as well as ensuring that our patients fully understand what is being said.

Dr. Still must walk the tightrope between being objective on the one hand, and empathetic on the other hand, with regard to our patients’ needs. The ability to achieve a balance between objectivity and empathy is the essence of effective communication. Communication is a two-way process and we encourage you to ask questions and to make every effort to communicate with Dr. Still and his staff. We will always give you plenty of time to ask questions about his recommendations and we will always give you a written treatment plan that outlines everything discussed. Let’s walk the tightrope together and communicate about your needs so you can have healthy teeth and gums for life!

Sources and Credits: Social Science and Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Psychology and Health

Hurry Up and Wait? Not at Smile Sarasota!

Everyone wants to be seen on time; it is simply human nature to not want to be kept waiting.  At Smile Sarasota it is always our goal to be prompt so that any waiting is minimized. Sometimes, however, our best intentions don’t go as planned  It is not unusual to have multiple patients call every day with severe toothaches, broken teeth, or swollen tissue, as well as assorted other dental problems. But even so, we rarely keep you waiting here at Smile Sarasota. We strive to adhere as much as possible being a “Wait-Free Practice”.

Waiting too long in is often perceived as a violation of our right to manage and control our time. We live in one of the most individualistic cultures in the world, which means we want what we want — and we want it now. And it is getting much worse as our expectations of immediate gratification are growing. The fact is, people hate waiting. Whether at the post office or in a dentist’s office, the longer the wait, the lower the chance that a customer—or in this case, our patient—will leave satisfied.

Every one of us feels a high level of anxiety when we are made to wait.  In grocery stores, we jockey back and forth to the line we think is moving the fastest and easily get frustrated when we choose the “slow” line.  When driving, we will swerve across multiple lanes of traffic to avoid a line at a toll booth or to position ourselves in the lane that we think will get us to our destination the fastest.  Even in elevators, we hate waiting so much that we push the “door close” button so often that those buttons typically have a different shine than all other buttons on the elevator panel because of the disparate use of that one button. Smile Sarasota understands.

We value you and we respect your time. The single most stressful event we encounter daily is keeping a patient waiting.  Smile Sarasota really strives to keep waiting to a minimum, so if you have been kept waiting more than ten minutes in the past, please accept our sincerest apologies.  It will always be our goal to treat all of our patients as we would want to be treated.

The Bridge to Smile Sarasota

As you all know, part of Smile Sarasota’s logo is an awesome photo we commissioned of the John Ringling Causeway. For those of you who may not know the history of this beautiful bridge, we thought it might be interesting! After all, it’s the gateway to downtown Sarasota from Bird Key, St. Armand’s Circle and Longboat Key, and we proudly serve all those area, providing high quality dentistry in a relaxed, caring atmosphere. So rather than discussing dental bridges, we will learn about the Ringling Bridges – and yes, there have been more than one!

There have been three Ringling Causeway bridges. The John Ringling Causeway Bridge was opened for the first time in 1925 by John Ringling himself. The purpose was to get buyers from the mainland to the barrier islands, especially Bird Key, to buy land he had for sale. The John Ringling Causeway Bridge has been a unique part of Sarasota’s history for more than 80 years. Construction on the first Ringling Causeway began in 1925. Ringling opened this first new bridge by driving his famous green Rolls-Royce over the Ringling Causeway on January 1, 1926.

By 1950, it was becoming clear that the original Causeway was not up to the task of handling the increasing traffic. Bird Key was booming along with the rest of the nation, and thousands of ex-GI’s who had trained in southwest Florida moved there after attending college on the GI Bill. In early 1951, the State Road Board decided that a new bridge was needed to replace the original Ringling Causeway. The first bridge was torn down. It had cost $1,000,000. The new Ringling Causeway, a draw-bridge, opened in 1959 at a cost of $20,000,000.

Bird Key and the other barrier islands became hugely-popular boating communities in the last half of the 20th century and by the year 2000, the Ringling drawbridge was opening as many as 18 times a day. Traffic was snarling, and the situation grew increasingly aggravating and even dangerous. A plan was developed for a high-span, segmented, precast concrete Ringling Causeway. Work on the third John Ringling Causeway in 2001 and completed the work in 2003. The $68,000,000 bridge is a visually stunning masterpiece of architectural design and is now known around the world as a symbol of the greater Sarasota area.

If you are looking for a great dentist in Downtown Sarasota, Florida and the surrounding areas of Longboat Key, Siesta Key and The Rosemary District, give Smile Sarasota a call at 941-957-3311.

Sharing Our Snowbirds

It’s that time of the year to say ‘WELCOME BACK’! Like many dental offices in Sarasota, Florida, Smile Sarasota sees our share of “Seasonals” or “Snowbirds” – patients who come down from up north to spend the winter here in Sarasota. They’re usually with us from November until May. Many of them have been patients of ours for many years and they are used to our office ‘sharing’ them with their northern dentist. This is obviously the best scenario – it means they continue regular, good care year-round between the two practices.

But often we get a call from a new Seasonal patient with emergency dental problems and they have not established with a dental office in Sarasota. Of course we immediately see them and treat their emergency, but more importantly, Dr. Still recommends that they establish here with our office by having a Comprehensive Exam so that their care is continuous throughout the year. Surprisingly, many are hesitant to do so because they fear they will ‘upset’ their northern dentist! We want you to know that the opposite is true. They are not ‘breaking up’ with their northern dentist – they need to know that their care is shared by the two offices so they can remain healthy throughout the year. Most dentists highly recommend to their older patients that they have cleanings and checkup at least 3 times per year and most should be seen four times per year. As we age, old fillings break, dry mouth is common and the rate of decay increases when root surfaces are exposed and crowns grow old and leak. Most of our Snowbirds see us twice in the winter season and their northern dentist twice to keep on top of these issues so that emergencies don’t occur.

It’s amazing how a person’s dental health can change so drastically in the six months they are away. Invariably, when we see a patient who’s just returned to Florida, they will sometimes say that they are doing “just fine.” But on further questioning, it may be a different story. Their ‘northern dentist’ had diagnosed them with a serious problem weeks ago, but they’d told him that nothing was going to keep them from getting back to Florida for the winter. We don’t blame them…who doesn’t want to be in a warm paradise when it’s freezing up north! But when they have a toothache or a broken tooth, paradise changes.

Obviously, these emergency surprises wreak havoc with patients’ lives. As the baby boomer generation ages, and as more seniors choose a seasonal lifestyle, Smile Sarasota ensures these patients’ continuity of care – whether they are seen in the north during the summer months or in the south during the winter. We always correspond with northern dentists about our mutual patients – we routinely share X-rays, chart notes and reports. When someone leaves our practice to head back north, we remind them that we will be glad to give them any information needed to continue their care.  If the person would rather not hand carry this summary, we can securely e-mail encrypted information it to their dentist up north.

It’s a wonderful group of individuals who live the seasonal life. Many remain young at heart and continue to have an adventurous spirit, sometimes despite multiple dental problems. It’s important that the dentists who care for them get to know each other. That’s the best way to enhance the care of our mutual patients. So if you need a great dentist in Sarasota while you are here for the winter…or just visiting for a few weeks, Smile Sarasota e will take good care of you and be happy to share you!

Dr. Adam Still is More than a Dentist!

Dr. Adam Still Isn’t Just a Dentist – He Stands Out in the Crowd!

Have you ever thought about the qualities you like about your dentist? We don’t mean qualifications such as fabricating beautiful crowns, bridges and dentures. There are many dentists who are great at that part or they would not be in business. We mean all the other qualities that make him a leader. Here are just a few qualities that clearly show that Dr. Adam Still is a leader:

  • Leaders have a Clear Vision – As said by Jonathan Swift, vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. When Dr. Still does an exam, it’s part of a plan for your future dental health. So, if you can see what you will accomplish in the years to come, you are truly a leader with a clear vision.
  • Leaders are Good Listeners – This a such an important quality for everyone, but especially a dentist or physician. Dr. Still takes the time to listen to your concerns and will always answer your questions in detail. A leader is someone who seeks advice from others too. Dr. Still is constantly in touch will all of the specialists we work with, as well as continuous courses to stay up-to-date with the latest in the dental industry.
  • Leaders Believe in Sharing Knowledge – A leader would always want people around him to grow as well. Leaders strongly believe in sharing their knowledge. Dr. Still takes a lot of time explaining his recommendations, using enlarged digital images and making sure our patients understand what is needed to have healthy teeth and gums for life
  • Leaders are Proficient at Time Management – Time management is a skill which not everyone possesses. However, leaders know how to utilize their time optimally. Patients of Smile Sarasota will tell you that our practice almost never runs behind schedule, and if we do, it’s usually due to a serious dental emergency that takes longer than expected. Dr. Still respects your time and unless there is a serious emergency, we will be on time for your visits with our office.
  • Leaders Respect Others and Possess Great People Skills – A leader will never boast of his skills in front of others. He treats everyone equally and give due respect to others. Leaders are also known to have great people skills, and Dr. Still is certainly fantastic at that! You will hear much levity and laughter coming out of his treatment room. And the staff at Smile Sarasota will attest that everyone is treated equally and with respect.

If you are looking for a great dental office in downtown Sarasota and the surrounding communities of Siesta Key, Longboat Key and The Rosemary District, come in and see why we are so highly recommended!

Credit: Smilepls.com 

Love Your Teeth

Do you love your teeth? We mean, really love them. As in appreciate all that they do for you. As in being grateful that you have them, no matter how much trouble they may be giving you at the moment.

People who are most happy with their smiles have healthy, straight teeth that sparkle when they laugh. If nature didn’t bless you with attractive teeth, you are not alone. Most perfect smiles you come across were not always that way. They are the result of cosmetic dentistry performed by an experienced dentist.

Dr. Adam Still at Smile Sarasota provides the state-of-the-art procedures that deliver dazzling, flawless teeth for our cosmetic dentistry patients. We treat patients of all ages. You are never too young or too old to improve your smile; but it will definitely make you feel younger!

Do you love your teeth? If not, we urge you to take a few moments every now and then to really think about how great teeth are so that you’ll be sure to show them some real love by taking care of them in the way they deserve.

Read below why we love teeth (and you should, too):

  • A beautiful smile sends a message to the people who see it. It says you care about your appearance enough to take care of yourself. It doesn’t signal that you’re vain and obsessed with your looks. Instead, knowing that you take good care of your teeth allows you to beam a big smile when you meet friends and acquaintances. People are drawn to those with self-confidence. If your teeth are in poor condition you may not smile as much as you’d like, possibly keeping potential new friends at bay.
  • Your teeth can be an indication of your overall health. Unhealthy teeth and gums (which present themselves if you don’t practice proper oral hygiene) can lead to a whole host of bad health issues, including heart disease.
  • Your teeth and gums – so long as they’re healthy — allow you to eat just about any food you want, any time you want. Ask anyone who has lost one or more teeth, or who has major gum issues, and he or she will tell you that that ability to eat anything at any time is nothing to take for granted.
  • Unhealthy teeth and gums also mean you could suffer from painful swollen gums, mouth lesions/ulcers or dry mouth.
  • Loving your teeth means you visit your dentist at least two times a year for a professional cleaning and checkup. Oral cancer is a nasty disease and your dentist can discover the beginning stages of this disease during one of those visits, helping you get the treatment you need as soon as possible.

We urge you to show some appreciation and love to your teeth by taking care of them properly. It doesn’t take much effort or time (certainly not nearly the constant effort your teeth exert for you as they let eat and smile a beautiful smile). All you need to do is brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss at least once a day, visit Smile Sarasota at least three times a year, watch your sweets intake, and never smoke (or quit).

That’s pretty much all you need to do to show your teeth some love and reap the benefits of doing so.

You’ve Got a Friend

Most of here at Smile Sarasota have pets and those for who don’t, it’s only temporary until a new ‘furbaby’ is part of the family. We are starting a little contest today – we are posting photos of our staff’s furbabies on FaceBook and asking our social media friends to guess who belongs to whom! We do love our pets! In a Harris poll, 90 percent of pet owners think of their dogs and cats as members of the family. We enjoy their company and we do everything we can to ensure their happiness and well-being.

So why do we love them so much? Wouldn’t anyone want a partner who worshiped them, always welcomed them home enthusiastically, ate gratefully at every meal, was content with cheap outings and presents and gave lifelong loyalty? They have no ulterior motives. They’re all heart and gut. They do what they feel, and they can tell if you’re sad. When they love you, it’s clear. If they aren’t that into you, it’s also clear. There are no guessing games with animals, no human-scale subtleties, nuances or shades of grey. Sure, there can be some mixed signals when you first meet them — when they’re not sure about you, when you’re first starting to build a bond. But once they’ve learned to trust you, they tend to become wholeheartedly obsessed with you — and they have zero interest in “playing it cool,” feigning indifference, or not calling you back. Another thought: If an alien saw a human walking his dog in the park, and observed the human “clearing up” after the dog, who do you think the alien would assume was in charge? Maybe pets keep humans!

All animals are special and they teach us about caring and love. And whether your pet is a dog, a cat, a parrot or a turtle, when you look into their eyes you know you’ve got a friend!

Times Gone By

As most of you know, many of the staff at Smile Sarasota has lived in Sarasota for many years, and our dental office has been at its downtown Sarasota location at Ringling Boulevard for almost 25 years. This area has seen many changes over the decades. For a very long time, we used to shop at the Publix and eat lunch at the restaurants across the street at the Ringling Shopping Center. For now, at least we can still park under a tree and ‘brown bag it’ in the parking lot. It’s a little sad for those of us who remember the good ‘ol days.

In 1955, the excitement around town was the opening of Sarasota’s first shopping center on Ringling Boulevard.  The Ringling Shopping Center with Publix Supermarket as its anchor, opened for business on what had been a golf driving range. The first stores in the center were Beauteria Beauty Shop, Belk-Lindsey, Coach Butterfield Toys, Center Shoe Repair, Jimmy Crews Barber Shop, Crowders Bros. Hardware, Darby Cleaners, Diana Shops, Grants Sweet Shop, the S&H Stamp Reception Center, Touchton Rexall Drug Store and F.W. Woolworth.

By the end of the 1950’s, Sarasota shoppers had two major shopping centers to take their business to. The second shopping center, South Gate, opened in 1957, commerce shifted away from downtown and the once lively downtown area went into a downward spiral.  Except for some cosmetic upgrades and changes in the stores though, the Ringling Shopping Center remained as is had always been until 2010. Publix moved to it’s Tamiami Trail location in the former Sarasota Herald Tribune Building and tentative plans were made to open a neighborhood Walmart at the old Ringling Shopping Center location. Those plans were rejected in 2013 and our little shopping center is now mostly vacant. But the good news is that the Sarasota Downtown has revived into a very vibrant destination to live, work and play. As for the Ringling Shopping Center, we still enjoy our bag lunches and our happy memories of times gone by. Maybe someday that little former gem of a shopping center will be revived. In the meantime, Smile Sarasota is going strong serving downtown Sarasota and will celebrate 25 years this year.

 

Credits: Jeff LaHurd, Sarasota Patch, The Observer

Location, Location, Location

Being one of the few high quality restorative and cosmetic dental offices located in downtown Sarasota, we are very excited to hear all the news blurbs about the makeover of the up-and-coming Rosemary District. The unique Rosemary District, once known as Overtown, was part of the original plat of the Town of Sarasota in 1885.  If you’re somewhat old-fashioned and maybe a bit romantic, you’re likely to fall in love with the Rosemary District in downtown Sarasota.

The Rosemary District holds deep roots in Sarasota. In fact, the area’s historical significance dates back the area’s founding in the 19th Century. The Rosemary District thrived throughout Sarasota’s earliest years, but as shopping malls and new housing developments tore people away from downtown in the 1970’s and 80’s, the District suffered along with other downtown communities.

In 1995, residents and local businesses formed a group to raise funds for restoring and modernizing the Rosemary District. As you walk the streets of this charming neighborhood, you can’t help but feel the cultural journey the area is taking. With its dynamic architecture, mom and pop shops, cafes, boutiques, art studios and galleries, the Rosemary District is not just seen as a center for urban development but also one of the roots of the cultural heart of Sarasota.

Today the Rosemary District is a diverse and thriving community, the setting for a variety of locally-owned small businesses – cafés, boutiques, galleries, and art studios – as well as attractive residential properties ranging from charming bungalows to spacious high-rise condos. For much of its history, Rosemary has been a working-class neighborhood. By the 1980’s, many of its buildings were vacant and its businesses dead. Yet downtown Sarasota’s redevelopment has spun into Rosemary. Central Avenue is now flush with boutiques, salons, art studios, cafes and professional offices. Smile Sarasota is all about “supporting local” and there are so many wonderful businesses all around us. The Rosemary District is filled with places to go and things to do.

And right around the corner is your friendly downtown Sarasota dental office…Smile Sarasota! We have always been on the leading edge of dentistry in Sarasota and we remain poised to serve you and to enjoy the wonderful future that downtown Sarasota is embracing.

Smile Sarasota Reaches Higher

From time to time we ask our patients to review our practice or fill out a survey about their experience in our office. Most surveys have check boxes and most businesses are happy when the customer checks the ‘Satisfied’ checkbox. At Smile Sarasota, we believe in reaching higher and making you feel not only satisfied – we want to exceed your expectations and make you feel special.

It’s sad to say but most people actually come into a dental office expecting the doctor to be running late in getting to them. They expect problems with their bill. They expect difficulty in getting appointments convenient to their schedule or a host of expectations. Smile Sarasota goes to great lengths to assure that these things don’t happen in our office.

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos described exceptional customer service this way: “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.”  “WOW” customer service is about exceeding patient expectations, going the extra mile, and doing all the little things that add up to an overwhelming positive experience.

It’s not just about teeth. Dentistry is a relationship business. Demonstrating a strong commitment to customer service, education and home care, results in patient appreciation of the interest the dental team has in their well-being rather than simply treating problems. When patients recognize that Smile Sarasota is not only focused on prevention and at-home oral health care, but on you as a person, they will more likely partner with our practice for a lifetime of excellent oral health care. We want to give you WOW service!

So if you feel we have reached higher and have exceeded your expectations, please refer your friends to us! And it would mean so much to us if you posted a Review on Google or FaceBook, or even just a quick email and let us know that we ‘WOW’D’ you!

Post a Google Review

Like us / Review us on Facebook

Email Smile Sarasota

 

Why Does My New Patient Exam with Dr. Still Take So Long?

If you are new to our practice, you may be curious about what is involved with a New Patient Comprehensive Exam. This one hour exam is only done the very first time we see you as a patient in our practice. Thereafter, Dr. Still will do a shorter concise periodic exam at least two times per year following your teeth cleanings with our hygienists. The Comprehensive Exam must be done prior to your FIRST teeth cleaning and for more on that topic, read our previous Blog, I Only Want to Have My Teeth Cleaned!

The first thing we do at this visit is to take a full series of digital X-rays – this is done by one of our dental assistants and will allow Dr. Still to see between all of your teeth as well as the structures below the gum to screen for bone loss, infections, fractured roots and other issues not visible by the naked eye.

 

The Comprehensive Exam involves the following:

  • Extensive medical and dental history
  • Review of medications you may be taking
  • Blood pressure readings
  • Oral cancer screening of the mouth and neck
  • Periodontal exam and probing depths around all teeth to evaluate the health of the gums
  • Occlusal screening to determine bad bite, tooth wear, chewing problems, pain in joints and jaw areas, mouth opening abilities and checking for temporomandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
  • Checking for decay, tooth by tooth which is recorded in a detailed digital tooth chart, recording conditions of the teeth and mouth, existing work done on the teeth, decay, leakage, treatment needing to be done; positions of teeth and impactions.
  • If any dental issues are discovered, Dr. Still will give you a detailed, written treatment plan outlining his recommendations.

If you wish to schedule a cleaning the same day as your initial exam, this can be done. Our initial examination combined with a cleaning takes about 2 ½ hours due to its comprehensive nature and the fact that our philosophy is to get to know you so we can determine the type of dental treatment that is perfect for you.

To schedule and appointment or more information about your initial visit at Smile Sarasota, go to our New Patient Page.

We Appreciate You!

At Smile Sarasota, the reason we continuously put effort into our work and strive to provide the best service is because of YOU. Our patients are the reason that we get up every morning and the reason that we are always smiling. It’s hard not to love your job when you have patients as amazing as ours. We want you to know how much we appreciate you, so here are a few of the reasons why we think you’re the best!

You are always there to make us laugh!
Through all of the daily struggles, our patients are always there with a smile on their face. Somehow, in the midst of everything, you are able to not only provide happiness for yourself, but even our staff and we thank you for that.

We have built a relationship on trust.

Our patients have decided to place their trust in Dr. Still and the staff at Smile Sarasota and we do not take that lightly. We aim to provide you with dental care and results that ensure you that you are in the right hands. We can’t thank you enough for trusting us to take care of your dental needs.

You remain loyal to us.

From Dr. Still and our staff to you, you have remained loyal and come back several times a year for your checkups and it is wonderful to have patients that remain loyal…and with time, turn into friends!

You spread the word about Smile Sarasota!

Our patients are not afraid to share information and have continuously spread the word about our office. We have been able to grow and meet new patients with your help. Thank you to all of our Smile Sarasota patients! We are so happy to have the opportunity to serve you.

We Care

“Patients don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

This is a saying that has been credited to many people and the saying appears to have started in the medical profession, emphasizing that caring for patients is just as important to them as a professional’s book knowledge. Yes, Dr. Still is a fantastic dentist and uses all the latest and greatest techniques; Yes, our office is state-of-the-art and totally digital; Yes, our staff members have been a part of Smile Sarasota for many years, some of them 15 years or more; Yes, our office is very pretty…all of this is well and good, but if we don’t care about YOU as a person and not just a patient, what good is all of that?

We pride ourselves in patient-centered care, offering personal and focused attention. Patients want to know you understand the situation and the problem they are experiencing. We feel that practicing dentistry is a matter of the heart as much as the hands and head. As a team, we are especially interested in making you feel right at home. We always put your needs first and want to make sure our patients know how much we care.

One of the worst things in the world is when a patient feels invisible, unimportant, unacknowledged, marginalized, or minimized in any way. We understand that patients may appreciate what we do, but they will never fully realize all that we do for them while they’re in our care. But they will long remember whether or not they felt cared for. We care.

Making a Difference by Supporting our Community

Studies have repeatedly shown that doing good deeds for others is good for the soul. In fact, everyone can benefit from doing something to improve another person’s way of life. Donating to worthy causes can benefit the givers as much as the receivers! Smile Sarasota does this in two ways – we support a number of local charities, and we award monthly gift certificates to small, local businesses.

Our Charities:

  • Humane Society of Sarasota County
  • Vintage Paws
  • Southeastern Guide Dogs
  • Senior Friendship Center
  • Save our Seabirds
  • Day of Hope (Free dental exams for under-privileged children)
  • Project Christmas Smile (Free dental treatment for needy adults and children)

We have found that the greatest benefit of our business supporting the local charities is the feeling we get from giving back to others. You have the power as a community to make a difference. We’re nothing without our community, therefore, we believe that it is extremely important for us to do everything we can to support those in need, both human and four-legged fur babies!

Our Support of Local, Small Businesses

  • Café in the Park
  • Social Eatery
  • Uniquity Jewelry

Smile Sarasota believes that the local businesses where we live, work and play, should be supported. At this time, our patients can enter into a monthly drawing in our office and win a $50 Gift Certificate to our ‘Local Business of the Month’. Local businesses give a community its flavor, and are so very worthy and appreciative of our support.

The best part about the supporting local businesses and charities – it feels good! We should all leave this world a better place.

The Artists Behind Your Dental Crown

After obtaining your dream smile at Smile Sarasota, much of the credit can easily be given—and rightfully so—to Dr. Still, who prepares your tooth and then places your crown. What most people may not realize is that behind the scenes is an equally talented artisan who created your crown. Good dental porcelain in the hands of a skilled dental laboratory technician can make for spectacular tooth imitations by mimicking tooth enamel perfectly. This is one of the reasons why long-lasting, great looking crowns and veneers are worth every penny. They require the expertise of a team to produce your desired results.

Dental laboratory technology is the art, science and technology of designing and manufacturing for replacements of natural teeth. Our dental laboratory technician communicates and collaborates with Dr. Still to plan, design and fabricate dental prostheses for individual patients. Another important aspect of great labs and technicians is the fact that they use only the best materials – if you see ads for offices who tout cheap crowns and bridges, count on the fact that the materials used are inferior and will not last. Dr. Still works exclusively with only two local laboratories and he has been with them for many years. These are not big, commercial labs, which means he works one-on-one with the same technician to achieve the very best results, both functionally and aesthetically, using superior materials.

A dental lab technician’s work is both a science and an art. Since each dental patient’s needs are different, the duties of a dental laboratory technician are comprehensive and varied. They work directly with Dr. Still by following detailed written instructions and using impressions (molds) of the patient’s teeth or oral soft tissues to create your crown. Did you know that it can take up to eight hours total to make one crown?!

As the “artist” who must design and fabricate many different dental appliances, our dental laboratory technician serves a unique role on our professional dental team. The technician works with wax and a variety of metals, creating complex structures that duplicate tooth form and color using acrylic resins and porcelain.By fabricating aesthetic dental prostheses that work well and by improving the patient’s smile, our dental laboratory technician influences not only patient’s physical and dental health but also improves his or her confidence and self-esteem.

In researching information for this blog, we came across a bit of a different twist on dental lab technicians. Gary Archer is famous for creating teeth to make our favorite Hollywood stars look…well…ugly in most cases! Think Austin PowersInterview With a Vampire

Check out this interview with Gary:

An Interview With Dental Lab Technician Gary Archer 

http://www.deardoctor.com/articles/creating-teeth-for-hollywood-movies/

Happy Thanksgiving from Smile Sarasota!

This coming week, just about everyone in the United States will celebrate the best holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. At its best, this is a holiday about gratitude, about family and about possibility. It brings people together to not only celebrate the end of the harvest, but to look one in another in the eye and share something magical.

In a digital age, one where humanity has been corrupted by commerce at every turn, there are very few Thanksgiving piñatas stuffed with coins, no huge market in Thanksgiving wrapping paper, no rush to the stores. We mostly save that for the next day, when the retail-industrial establishment kicks into high gear. After all the travel and the cooking and the hassle, for a few minutes, perhaps we can all breathe the same air and think hard about what we’re thankful for. Wherever you are, celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday. Or any day. Not the Thanksgiving of a bountiful Massachusetts harvest before the long winter, the holiday of pilgrims and pie. Let’s imagine something else…A modern Thanksgiving would celebrate two things:

  • The people in our lives who give us the support and love we need to make a difference, and…
  • The opportunity to build something bigger than ourselves, something worth contributing to. The ability to make connections, to lend a hand, to invent and create.

From Smile Sarasota, Dr. Adam and Jaime Still and our staff…we are thankful for you, our patients and friends. Thank you for everything you do, and for the difference you make to your family and the people who care about you.

On Time!

It’s Important to be On Time!

This is a common problem for any service that deals with the public, but it is very pertinent to dentists. At Smile Sarasota, if a patient is 5 or 10 minutes late, we can usually still see them, but when patients show up 20 minutes or more late for their appointments, we are either forced to reschedule them or risk running behind for our next patient, which is not fair to that patient who IS on time. Additionally, dental procedures cannot be ‘rushed’, nor would you want us to!

On the other hand, we try very hard not to make YOU wait, but at times, we do have emergencies which can put us behind schedule. We always try to let you know if we are  running behind schedule and will give you the option of rescheduling if you are unable wait. If YOU are that emergency in the chair, we know you appreciate the fact that we worked you in and sometimes these emergencies can be time-consuming.

At the end of the day, we appreciate our patients and we are flattered that they chose our dental practice for their dental needs.  When all is said and done, we are in a “people pleasing business”. We really want to leave a “good taste in their mouths” and try to keep our patients happy!

Finding the Right Dentist in Sarasota

Considering that you and your dentist will be partners in your dental healthcare for the long haul, choosing the right dentist is an important decision for you and your family. How do you go about finding the right dentist?

The American Dental Association (ADA) offers these suggestions:

  • Ask family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers for their recommendations.
  • Ask your family doctor or local pharmacist.
  • Do a Google Search by ZIP code to fine a conveniently located office and be sure to look at the reviews. Ours are 5 Star.
  • Does the office have a dynamic, current website? Can you access it on your mobile phone or tablet? Go the websites of several offices to get a feel for the doctor, staff and type of office.
  • If they have a FaceBook page, check it out too. Smile Sarasota has a fantastic, fun FaceBook page.

While this is good, practical advice, when putting it into the context of our daily lives and overall healthcare plan, what other things should we really consider when choosing a dentist?

  • A big consideration may be whether or not the practice offers patient financing options such as Credit Care. Smile Sarasota does. As many practices require payment upfront, having a means to pay for the service insures you get the treatment you need. You cannot count on dental insurance to offer much assistance, nor should you let dental insurance dictate the care you need.
  • Are they members of professional associations such as the American Dental Association or the Florida Dental Association? Members of the ADA voluntarily agree to abide by the ADA Code. Dr. Still is a member of these organizations.
  • Is the practice up-to-date with technology? Smile Sarasota it totally digital and has been on the leading edge for many years.
  • Does the office adhere to stringent privacy practices? Smile Sarasota absolutely does.
  • Where is the office located? We are conveniently located in downtown Sarasota and easily accessible from St. Armand’s Circle and Longboat Key.
  • Are they convenient to your schedule?  Consider if it would be more convenient to have the office located near your work or home.  A big part of maintaining healthy teeth and gums is simply being able to make it to your regular appointments.  If it would be easiest for you to pop over to your dentist during your lunch hour a location near your work may make sense.
  • Does the practice offer new patient specials or do anything to show appreciation for current patients? Smile Sarasota is now offering a $100 discount on your first cleaning!
  • What happens in the case of an emergency? Dr. Still is available on weekends and evenings to all patients of record who are having a painful dental emergency.
  • Are treatment plans discussed up front and cost estimates given? Smile Sarasota always gives you a detailed, written estimate.

Take a look around the office.

  • Is it comfortable, neat and orderly? Smile Sarasota did an extensive remodel in 2015 and you will find our atmosphere bright and happy. We offer aromatherapy hot towels, gourmet coffee, tea and other hot drinks and your choice of music in the treatment rooms.
  • Does the dentist and staff wearing gloves and protective gear during patient treatment? We absolutely do.
  • Is the staff friendly and welcoming? The staff at Smile Sarasota has been with the practice for many, many years and our patients comment that we are like family!

While choosing a new dentist is an important decision, it doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Hopefully some of these tips will be helpful to you in your search. And of course, if you are looking for a new dentist, we invite you to call Smile Sarasota at 941-957-3311 to set up an appointment to see the facility and meet Dr. Still and our staff.

What’s the Deal with Privacy (HIPAA) Forms?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is the law enacted to protect your privacy, allow access to your dental records and designate who can speak on your behalf and to whom we may speak to regarding your dental care. This law was written for the consumer, not the provider.

Every time you see a new dentist or doctor or go to the hospital, you are given a form to sign stating you understand the office or institution adheres to HIPAA guidelines, along with a form allowing communication with other dental or medical professionals in regard to your health.

A very important aspect of the HIPAA law is the right for you to designate who can speak for you.  In order for anyone to speak on your behalf, a form must be filled out.  This includes if you have someone helping with your insurance issues or bills.  You have the right to designate as many people as you like and at Smile Sarasota we have a special place on our form for this designation. As funny as it may seem, we are not allowed to speak to your spouse or children about your dental treatment unless you designate them on this form.

Another important aspect of HIPAA is your right to have a copy of your dental or medical records. You cannot be denied a copy.  You can request all the records or only certain parts.  You can also designate what part of records can be sent to other medical professionals or institutions.  Since records in our office are completely digital, for your protection and privacy we use an encryption program when we are asked to send attachments which contain any private information.

Many institutions and providers might make you think the law was designed for their needs.  This is not the case.  It was enacted to protect  you, the consumer.  Maintaining patient confidentiality is a priority for us, and our office is strictly HIPAA Compliant. If you have questions about HIPAA, contact our privacy officer, Jaime Still.

Click below to learn more about The HIPAA Privacy Law:

Learn more about patient privacy

 

Dentistry is Not a Commodity!

We are seeing an unfortunate trend in today’s dentistry.  We are a consumer driven society conditioned to “shop around” for the best deal.

When we want a new pair of shoes or a new TV, we tend to shop around for the best price on these items.  Why?  Because regardless of where we end up buying these items, they are, in the end, the same product.  The same is NOT true with dentistry. Unfortunately insurance companies have perpetuated this mindset.  They have conditioned their member to believe they have to “choose someone off the list” as if the consumer should really not have any say in the matter of where THEY feel the most comfortable.  We have many patients who have left their previous practice because of rude staff, insufficient explanation of why treatment is needed, “selling” the patient products and services they don’t need or want and basically being treated like cattle on a processing line.

Our patients have chosen us and placed trust in us as they know that health care is NOT a commodity.   Most of us would agree we would NEVER shop around for a cardiologist so why do we look for the $39.99 special in dentistry?  Depending on which dental office you go to, there are different levels of service provided, different skill sets of the dentist, different levels of care provided, different labs used, different technology and materials, varying time spent with each patient and a different overall patient experience.  Dentistry is both an art and a science combined with skill and judgement that only comes with specialized training.

At Smile Sarasota our patients tell us we’re like an extension of their own family.  Our staff is friendly, professional, prompt, courteous, and truly cares about YOUR needs.  Dr. Still is a perfectionist and is meticulous with his work.  He is caring and genuine and believes that building a lifelong relationships with someone you trust should be at the center of the patient experience.

The Truth About Second Opinions

sarasota dentist second opinionShould You Get a Second Opinion?

Getting a second opinion about a serious dental problem can be one of the most important decisions a person can make. In most cases, when a patient wants a second opinion, they have doubts about how best to treat their dental condition. In some situations, it is the dentist who requests a second opinion from a dental specialist in order to obtain additional information about a dental problem. Second opinions are important because they may confirm, refute or clarify the situation.

There are some instances when second opinions are not helpful. It is when the second opinion becomes a fourth, fifth, sixth opinion, or more. These are the patients that keep hearing the same thing from each dentist, but hope to hear something different. If they do finally hear what they want to hear from the seventh dentist, it may not be in their best interest. Patients should also understand that one does not have to consult another dentist just to have a cavity fixed.

So when should you get a second opinion? Choosing to have another dentist take a look to verify a certain diagnosis should only be done when major procedures are required. There are other scenarios which will reasonably warrant getting a second opinion. Being unsure with the necessity of the treatment as well as its cost is another ground for asking another professional. Always go with your instinct…If you think you should get a second opinion you probably should. If your dentist has recommended work that you are unsure of, getting a second opinion will educate you as well as help to assure, you are making the right choice when it comes to something as important as your health. The most valuable thing to remember is that you should always feel comfortable with your care, and treatment plan. A fresh outlook on your situation can only benefit you.

The differences in dentists can be attributed to their education, postgraduate work, diagnostic equipment and experiences, so seeking a second opinion can help a patient feel more confident they’re getting the treatment that’s best for them. “Dentistry is both an art and a science,” says Dr. Leslie Seldin, consumer advisor and spokesman for the American Dental Association.  “There are many acceptable ways to approach the same problem. There’s no book that says, ‘This is the way things should be done’”

Dr. Still will always recommend the ideal treatment for your particular situation and he will give you a detailed, written treatment plan. He is always happy to discuss any alternative treatments and to answer any questions you may have about his recommendations. So don’t hesitate to ask – his main concern is that you have a healthy mouth and a great smile!

New Patients and Dental Emergencies

Our office welcomes new and existing patients with dental emergencies. Please contact Smile Sarasota at 941-957-3311 to arrange an appointment with Dr. Still. Listed below are some common problems and initial recommendations. Always seek professional help and call Dr. Still for definitive diagnosis and treatment.

Abscess or Swelling:
• Potentially serious infection associated with the tooth and gums
• Usually requires antibiotics therapy
• Rinse mouth with a mild saltwater solution (1/2 tsp of table salt in 8 oz. of water) several times a day
• Contact our office as soon as possible
• Seek immediate medical attention if the swelling becomes life threatening
Bleeding After An Extraction
• Apply direct pressure and bite on a water moistened gauze sponge for 30 minutes
• If bleeding persists gently rinse the mouth with ice cold water and reapply packing and bite on gauze.
• Another option is to bite on a wet tea bag for 30 minutes
• If bleeding persists, call Smile Sarasota or the oral surgery office that did the extraction
Broken Tooth or Chipped Tooth:
• Rinse mouth with warm water
• Save any pieces
• Apply cold compresses if any swelling and to relieve pain
• If the area is very sensitive, you can use a cotton swab to apply clove oil (available from a local drug store or supermarket)
• Contact our office
Cracked Tooth:
• Symptoms include pain on chewing, pain with cold air, or pain for no reason at all
• Commonly occurring dental problem
• Teeth crack when subjected to the stress of chewing hard foods, ice, or hard objects. Usually associated with large silver or white fillings
• Avoid using the offended tooth
• The majority of cracked teeth (9 out of 10) can be treated by placement of a crown (cap). Complex cracks may involve the need for a root canal or extraction
• Contact our office for evaluation
Jaw Possibly Broken
• Go to the hospital immediately
• Apply cold compresses to the affected area
Knocked Out Tooth
• Save the tooth and rinse off gently if dirty. Do not scrub.
• If possible place back in the mouth and into the socket. Hold in place.
• If not, place the tooth in milk
• Get to the dentist as soon as possible
Lost Filling
• If no pain or discomfort, call for an appointment
• If needed, rinse the affected area and place a temporary patch filling to the area (Dentemp or similar from area pharmacies)
• If nothing else is available, sugarless gum can be placed in the cavity
Lost Crown, Lost Cap or Temporary Crown
• Make an appointment and bring in the crown
• In the meantime, attempt to seat the crown over the tooth using over-the-counter dental cement (Dentemp), toothpaste, or even a thin coat of Vaseline or denture adhesive.
• Do not use super glue
• If unable to do so and the tooth remains sensitive then place a little clove oil (local drug stores or supermarket) with a cotton swab to the site
Objects Caught Between Teeth
• Try to remove with dental floss or an interdental cleaner
• Avoid cutting the gums
• If you cannot remove the object contact our office
Soft Tissue Injury
• Injuries to the lip, cheek, and tongue can occur
• Clean the area gently with a cloth and peroxide
• Apply direct pressure to the area
• Apply cold compresses to reduce swelling
• If the bleeding does not stop or the wound is deep seek immediate medical attention
Toothache
• Call our office to make an appointment
• Rinse mouth with warm water
• Use dental floss or interdental cleaner to remove any debris
• Never place aspirin or any other pain killer directly on the site
• Take an over-the-counter analgesic (Ibuprofen or Tylenol)
• Placing an ice pack over the affected area can help
• If you have lost a filling or crown, dip a cotton swab in clove oil (available in pharmacies and supermarkets) and place it on the affected part of the tooth. Topical anesthetics such as Anbesol can also be used, especially for gum pain.

We are here for all your dental emergencies and Smile Sarasota welcomes all new patients!

Can You Save a Life?

What the heck are we doing to each other??!! Pictured is Bill Sullivan of the American Heart Association, with Dr. Still, Liz and Lori,  brushing up on the life saving skills of CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), use of an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and the Heimlich Maneuver, now called the Abdominal Thrust, which could save someone from choking.

The ability to perform CPR and to know how to use an automatic external defibrillator can make a lifesaving difference when someone suffers a cardiac or breathing emergency.

If every American takes a class and gets their CPR certification, then thousands of deaths could be prevented each year. Do not hesitate to learn the skills that you can use to save a life. Would you rather stand by and watch the individual die or be able to save him/her from certain death? Our entire staff is certified.

The Spit Bowl

Depending upon your age, you may remember sitting in the dental chair and to your left was a bowl that was used to spit in. (The correct name for this bowl is a cuspidor.) Ever wonder why most dental offices no longer use them? It’s pretty simple if you think about it…first, the running water. It ran and ran and ran all day long. While you may think this washed out bacteria and other gook, think again, and that thought may make you say ICK, hence the second reason dental offices no longer use the spit bowl. Ick.

At Smile Sarasota, it goes unsaid that we practice the latest sterilization techniques. But also, we are very conscious of not wasting resources and not polluting the environment. All our paper records are now digital and we no longer use paper charts. We confirm appointments electronically to help eliminate mailing postcard reminders and appointment cards.

We have been using digital X-rays for many years and this eliminated all the developing chemicals. We have not used amalgam (which contains mercury) for many, many years. We are switching to LED lights to save energy. And…we DO NOT use the spit bowl – this can save up to 500 gallons per day, per treatment room! Our office is committed to continuing our efforts to make a difference to our environment.

“We never know the worth of water until the well is dry”. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

Well-Being and Dental Health

Sarasota, Florida is a great place to be and tops the list of U.S. major cities with the highest well-being. And…U.S. cities with highest well-being have good dental health! Another big difference: the state of their teeth. It turned out residents of the not-so-content cities were much less likely to have visited a dentist in the last 12 months.

Dan Witters, research director for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. “Good oral health makes a difference in well-being and that’s not something people would normally think about,” Witters said. “People in high well-being cities take good care of their teeth.”

Call Smile Sarasota, meet Dr. Adam Still and have healthy teeth and gums for life!

Read the article here:

Sarasota tops list of major U.S. cities with highest well-being – TODAY.com.

 

 

 

Change is Difficult

YAY!! Our office is officially CHARTLESS! Thanks to Dentrix, our world-class dental charting and administrative software, Dexis, our digital X-ray system and to the hard work of our front desk staff over the past 5 years, all of our patient records are now digital. Several thousand paper charts have been scanned and are stored and backed up on encrypted servers.

This is a big change for any office…we had to leave behind many procedures we have been used to for decades and suffice it to say, it has been difficult…but worth it! We found that change is good is for our practice. We cannot expect to thrive in today’s competitive market unless we stay current with modern trends. In this way, we must not only accept change, we must embrace it. Change should be seen as an opportunity to grow the practice and keep us up-to-date in the field of dentistry. We are constantly seeking to learn more about the technology that is available to us, and we use this information to make informed decisions regarding the need for that technology in our office. The thought of change is scary, but not changing is even scarier. We have not let the fear of change keep us from growing.

Additionally, a powerful motivator to go paperless has grown out of concern for the environment. Consider a few of the environmental impacts of using paper in our business:

  • The U.S. pulp and paper industry is the second largest consumer of energy.
  • 56,000 gallons of oil are used for every 10 million pages.
  • More than 400 million ink and 100 million toner cartridges end up in landfills each year.

(Data Sources: www.epa.gov, Dentrix Magazine, Lisa Marie Spradley, FAADOM)

Adam N. Still, D.M.D., P.L – What do all those ‘letters’ after his name mean?

dmd and ddsLots of people have asked us why some dentists have a “DDS”, after their name and some may be listed as “DMD”. Dr. Still is a DMD. The DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery) and DMD (Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry or Doctor of Dental Medicine) are the same degrees. Dentists who have a DMD or DDS have the same education. It’s up to the universities to determine what degree is awarded. Both degrees use the same curriculum requirements set by the American Dental Association.

Did you know that the level of education and clinical training required to earn a dental degree is on par with those of medical schools? Generally, three or more years of undergraduate education (Dr. Still graduated from the University of Washington) plus four years of dental school is required to graduate and become a general dentist. (Dr. Still graduated from Boston University Dental School). Upon completion of their training, dentists must pass both a rigorous national written exam and a state or regional clinical licensing exam in order to practice. In order to keep their licenses, they must meet continuing education requirements for the remainder of their careers so that they may stay up to date on the latest scientific and clinical developments.

And what about that ‘P.L.’?  P.L. is short  for a Professional Limited Liability Company, also known as PLLC, or P.L.L.C.  A professional limited liability company is a business entity designed for licensed professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, dentists, architects, engineers, accountants, and chiropractors. It is simply a form of incorporation.

Dentists Wear Many Hats

We all know that a dentist must first and foremost, be a doctor of medical dentistry, combined with artistic and engineering abilities…but who knew Dr. Still can also juggle! He was called upon to demonstrate his amazing skills at Circus Sarasota recently. Great job, Doc!

See more photos of Dr. Still’s performance on our FaceBook page: https://www.facebook.com/SmileSarasota?ref=hl

Learn more about Circus Sarasota here: https://www.facebook.com/circussarasota

We Combine the Passion of Yesterday with the Technology of Today

So what does compassion mean when choosing a dental office? Compassion requires the ability to identify with a patient’s overall well-being. Relieving pain and suffering is a common attribute of dental practice. Acts of kindness and a sympathetic ear for the patient are all qualities of a caring, compassionate dentist.  We feel that the most important person should be you, the patient. We put you and your comfort at the top of our priority list. Dr. Still sees only one patient at a time, so you will never feel like a number at the bottom of a chart. At Smile Sarasota, compassion is part of the services offered…we care about you, your needs, and you can feel it from the moment of your first contact with our office.

So what does technology have to do with compassion? In the ‘Old Days’ of dentistry (about 15 years ago!) most dental offices were not digital. X-rays were taken and developed using the ‘wet’ method and diagnosing from them was not nearly as accurate as the images we are able to view in today’s modern office. We can enlarge and zoom in and see details like never before and share these views with the patient on large, overhead monitors so you, the patient, have a clear understanding of the treatment Dr. Still may recommend. We can find out more about your mouth and teeth now than ever before, usually without you feeling a thing.  Smile Sarasota is also pleased to offer another advanced dental technology to our patients: CEREC® is a revolutionary technology that eliminates the need of temporary crowns and multiple visits. At your next appointment, ask the Dr. Still if this technology is right for you! Through the use of this new technology, we can save more of the healthy tooth structure while creating beautiful, tooth-colored porcelain restorations that are durable and metal free.

Dr. Still’s motto is to always “do the right thing” for our patients. Most successful dentists and practices outline and follow a comprehensive, health-centered, ideal treatment approach for patient care. Patients will be able to make educated, well-informed decisions about their care. Dentistry is a wonderful profession that has the ability to vastly improve the quality of life, health, well-being, and self-esteem for our patients.

At Smile Sarasota, we make the care of our patients our first concern, and no, this is not always in case in some dental offices whose bottom line tends to be the first concern. Here’s a secret. Where you find great service, you’re likely to find superior quality. They go hand in hand. It’s all about dedication to excellence, and that dedication extends to all aspects. Go to a modern, high tech dentist like ours and find out for yourself what it’s like. You will be pleasantly surprised!

We see a lot of patients every day, and let’s face it, most of them do not really run to a dentist’s office as if they were going for a massage, or have their hair styled. After getting to know us here at Smile Sarasota, our patients leave, hugging us and looking forward to seeing us again. For those who have had extensive work, some actually say that they are going to miss seeing us once their treatment is over. Yes, you’ve read it right! And it is the most rewarding part of our job: putting smiles back on our patients’ faces. We can honestly say that beside the excellent dentistry we provide, hearing these beautiful kind words from our patients is one of our favorite parts of the treatment. We believe we have this effect on patients thanks to the great deal of compassion that comes with our treatments. Dr. Still and his dedicated staff bring the expertise to provide you with a refined, tech-savvy and compassionate experience.

Technology Has Changed Our Lives

If you are a patient at Smile Sarasota, you already know that our office is very high-tech and has been for many years. We have the latest and greatest digital X-ray system as well as having a completely chartless office – all patient records are encrypted and computerized. We just celebrated scanning the final paper chart last week! YAY!

It really amazing how quickly technology has changed our lives. Consider that back in the 1960’s, most of the first electronic desktop calculators cost over $1,000 compared to about $5 at the corner drugstore. In fact, back then, a new calculator could cost more than a new car! “What do you think honey, a new car or a new calculator?” Today this seems truly absurd. And perhaps not so many years ago some of you remember sitting with your mother helping her balance her checkbook by hand.  You entered all the checks and subtracted to get the balance. Then you quickly did it by hand but then grabbed a calculator to check your math. Your mother probably approached it from the opposite end. She used a calculator but then did it again by hand because she did not trust the calculator. It’s interesting that:

  • Your parents’ generation used technology but did not really trust it.
  • Our generation trusts technology more than we do error prone humans.
  • Our children’s generation says, “What’s a checkbook?”

Now, in our office, we can say “What’s a paper chart”?! And yes, you CAN trust the technology at Smile Sarasota!

Sarasota – The Crown Jewel of the Florida West Coast

We think Sarasota is the Crown Jewel of the West Coast of Florida and Smile Sarasota is so proud to be the best dental office in Sarasota, serving the needs of Siesta Key, St. Armand’s and Longboat Key as well.

Just think…Sarasota has:

  • Great Weather
  • Year Round Sunshine
  • Top rated Schools
  • Great Hospitals
  • Culture
  • Opera
  • Ballet
  • Shows
  • Beaches, Beaches, Beaches
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Outside Activities
  • Waterfront Homes
  • Golf Course Homes
  • Family Neighborhoods
  • Downtown Living
  • Dr. Adam Still – the Best Dentist!

Not to mention the BEST beach designation, Sarasota, Florida has been recently chosen as the “The #1 Best City for Retirement”.  Citing cultural activities, the number of health care facilities, and a strong and growing economy Sarasota was chosen the best city for retirees.

Some vital stats: 

  • Population: 52,501 (City) / 379,448 (All of Sarasota County)
  • Average high in January: 72 degrees Fahrenheit

Focus on our Team-Part 3

Hygienists Claire & Ann

FOCUS ON OUR  SMILE SARASOTA TEAM – PART 3

In the dental office, the dentist and the dental hygienist work together to meet the oral health needs of our patients. Dental hygienists are licensed by the Department of Health / Florida Board of Dentistry and are required to complete Continuing Education courses on a regular basis.  One of the most enjoyable aspects of their job is working with people. Their personal fulfillment comes from providing a valuable health care service while establishing trusting relationships with our patients. As a result of their education and clinical training in a highly skilled discipline, they are respected as valued members of our team. Both Claire and Ann love dental hygiene and making a difference in patients’ oral health for overall health. They love the relationships they have established with our patients They are dedicated to helping patients maintain good oral health and preventing dental disease. The primary functions are:

  • remove calculus and plaque (hard and soft deposits) above and below the gum line
  • Periodontal Therapy (deep scaling)
  • Assess and chart the teeth and oral structures
  • Taking dental radiographs
  • provide oral hygiene instructions
  • provide dietary analysis and counseling services
  • apply cavity-prevention agents, such as fluoride and sealants

By providing essential preventive dental care, our hygienists make it possible for our doctors to focus on other complex and specialized dental procedures.  Dental hygienists play a vital collaborative and auxiliary role in dentistry to ensure the highest and most comprehensive and efficient level of oral health care for all  of our patients.

Here are short bios on both of our wonderful hygienists:

Claire has over 20 years of dental experience and has been with our office since 1998. She started her career as a receptionist for a periodontist, and also worked as an office manager for both endodontic and general practices. After time away to raise their three sons, she went to dental hygiene school and graduated in 1997. Claire’s hobbies are fishing with her husband and working out.

Ann relocated from Queens, New York in 1998 after receiving her Master’s degree in Health Education from NYU. She has been in dentistry for over 35 years, four as a Certified Dental Assistant and then as a Registered Dental Hygienist. When she first arrived in Florida in 1998, she was the Program Director for the Dental Assisting Program at Charlotte County Vo-Tech Center. In 2000, Ann returned to clinical dental hygiene, practicing in cosmetic dental offices in Sarasota. Ann’s hobbies are cooking and marathon running.

Focus on our Team-Part 2

Lori, Wendy & Liz

PART 2 of FOCUS ON THE TEAM, highlighting Smile Sarasota front office staff.

The dental office visit starts at the front door when our team greets you, and it is our job to make that start is a positive one and a pleasurable experience. Our dental front office is most often the first impression of your dental practice.  It is their job to make sure our patients’ scheduling and financial needs as well as the needs of Dr. Still and our back office staff are taken care of. This creates a pleasant environment that invites our patients to keep coming back for their future dental care. If you take the time observe the three ladies at our front desk, this is probably what you will see: answering phones, making appointments, posting insurance payments, greeting patients, scanning charts, filing insurance claims, checking insurance benefits, checking out patients, recording probing depths for both of our hygienists, vacuuming the lobby, cleaning the bathroom, fixing computers, shredding unneeded documents, running reports, calling past due patients for re-care and delayed treatment, holding a patients’ baby while they were getting their x-rays, and…they are all SMILING! They help make your visit to Smile Sarasota a pleasurable experience and they always aim to exceed your expectations. Here is some background on the three wonderful ladies who are part of the glue that holds our office together:

Lori (Patient Coordinator) is originally from Goshen, Indiana and has been in dentistry for over 30 years, having been both a chairside assistant and front desk receptionist. She also has specialty experience in children’s dentistry. Lori has been with our office for more than 10 years. She is married and has one son and one granddaughter. She enjoys shopping, outdoor activities and is a live music enthusiast.

Wendy (Patient Coordinator & Dental Assistant) graduated from Weymouth North High School and continued her education at Aquinas Junior College, where she earned her Associate in Science Degree in Business. She also attended Northeastern University in cooperation with Tufts University School of Dentistry. She moved to Florida in 1989 and earned her Dental Auxiliary Expanded Duties at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She has worked in the field for over 20 years. Wendy is happily married and has two children. She enjoys gardening, travelling and country music.

Liz (Technology Coordinator) is a 4th generation Sarasotan and attended Palm Beach State College, where she graduated with an Associate in Science degree in Dental Hygiene. She worked as a dental hygienist and office manager in Sarasota for 24 years before becoming a computer consultant/trainer and web designer. Liz also spent several years selling, installing and training for a national dental software company. She coordinates our office technology and does our social media marketing to keep us on the leading-edge. Liz is married and enjoys the beach, reading, gardening, her YorkiePoo and music of all kinds.

Focus on our Team-Part 1

FOCUS ON THE DENTAL TEAM – THE GLUE THAT HOLDS OUR OFFICE TOGETHER!

At Smile Sarasota, for our team to be successful, each member must function with a level of interdependence and share in accountability, and demonstrate a devotion to success. To ensure the team functions synergistically with a strong sense of mutual commitment, each team member must possess a full set of complementary skills.

We will be posting information from time to time so you can get to know OUR team, starting with our Dental Assistants:

In today’s modern dental practices, dental assistants are doing more than just comforting patients, suctioning mouths, and setting-up/tearing down treatment areas. Dental assistants with advanced training are now charged with performing many of the complex tasks that could otherwise prevent our doctors from seeing other patients. For oral health care of the 21st century, not just any dental assistant will do! Dentists like Dr. Still are demanding the skills of highly specialized assistants and prefer to employ team members who come to the practice with formal training and all required state credentials. There is no doubt that in the 21st century, dentistry remains a team-based profession. Quality oral health care continues to require the services of many highly skilled and knowledgeable individuals, because a lone practitioner cannot single-handedly be everything to everyone.

Our Dental Assistants are an integral part of the dental team, sharing in the responsibility for the delivery of quality oral health-care to all. We thought you may be interested in the three wonderful dental assistants at Smile Sarasota, so here is a little background bio on each of them:

Sandra was born in Bogotá, Columbia, where she trained as a licensed DDS. She is passionate about dentistry and has been working in the field for over 30 years. Sandra particularly enjoys the innovations and new technology that provides a real challenge for dentists. “The future of dentistry is unlimited and I take pride in staying current with the technology in order to provide the best services for our patients.” Sandra is happily married and has two children and two step-children and one grandchild.

Wendy graduated from Weymouth North High School and continued her education at Aquinas Junior College, where she earned her Associate in Science Degree in Business. She also attended Northeastern University in cooperation with Tufts University School of Dentistry. She moved to Florida in 1989 and earned her Dental Auxiliary Expanded Duties at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She has worked in the field for over 20 years. Wendy is happily married and has two children. She enjoys gardening, travelling and country music.