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.

Will Your Future Dentist be a Robot?

With driverless cars, advanced robotics and machine learning all dramatically improving very quickly, it’s easy to worry that we’re about to enter an age where the ordinary human will be out of work. There have been a lot of things published lately, as well as in the past, about artificial intelligence. This is not a new topic but more and more it’s moving quickly to the forefront. Our image is a list of 23 things artificially intelligent computers can do better/faster/cheaper than you can!

Smile Sarasota has always been on the leading edge of technology with things like digital X-rays, intraoral cameras and the CEREC CAD/CAM crowns. However, we believe that there are some things that need the warmth of us humans!

A 2013 study by the Economist Intelligence Unit showed that technology was giving humans the time to focus on more productive tasks, rather than replacing them. Regardless of how much automation our business has, our patients are still going to be people, which means we need that human touch to interact with them. Technology can’t pick up on all of the subtleties of human emotion in the same way, which means they’re not ideal for dealing with real people. They can’t replicate creativity; recombining higher-level abstractions and imagining futures based on very little information or example. They can’t have a hunch, like even scientists do.

In other words, they lack the general underpinning of “common sense” which we have. Robots can’t innovate or think up new ideas. They can’t think out of the box, never mind engage in such human professional skills such as negotiating a sale, building professional relationships, and so on.

Even more fundamentally, behind every technology – no matter how sophisticated and advanced – sits a human to either manage it directly or offer support in the event that it fails or otherwise goes wrong. Especially the understanding and judgment – let alone the empathy – required to successfully deliver services such as dental and medical care; or that lead us to enjoy and value interacting with each other rather than with machines. There are elements of dental care that computers just aren’t capable of handling: chair-side manner, making tough decisions from incomplete patient data, dealing with human psychology, and so forth.

Technology will be integral in changing how care is provided. Healthcare workers such as our fantastic Smile Sarasota team, will remain integral to healthcare because the entire care system is dependent on their knowledge, experience, and intuition. So the next time you visit our office, we know you will appreciate our technology, but even more so, the warm hugs we give you!

Sources and Credits: Seth Godin, Leadspace.com, 247wallst.com, theurbantechnologist.com, makeuseof.com

White or Silver?

One controversy in dentistry over the last decade deals with the choice of using an amalgam (silver) or a white filling for cavities. Over the past few years, the popularity of white filling materials have increased tremendously. The white filling material is tooth colored so it blends in with your tooth and it can also be used for cosmetic improvements (Usually called cosmetic bonding) of the smile by changing the color of the teeth or reshaping disfigured teeth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes.

The dental amalgam (‘silver’) filling material has been used for 150 years and has a good track record. But there has been a controversy dealing with the safety of the filling material. Dental amalgam is a mixture of mercury, silver, tin and copper. Mercury, which makes up about 50 percent of the compound, is used to bind the metals together and to provide a strong, hard, durable filling. While extremely toxic, when the mercury is combined with other materials in dental amalgam, its chemical nature changes so it can’t be released into your mouth in significant amounts. While the FDA maintains that amalgam fillings are within current safety limits, there is still a major controversy about the safety of the toxic metals used to make up the amalgam.  A few years ago, the FDA upgraded them from low risk to a moderate risk treatment due to published research on the health effects of mercury in our fillings. At Smile Sarasota, we take a conservative approach to amalgam removal. If the mercury-silver amalgam filling is decayed or compromised, we will replace it with a composite resin filling. We have not used amalgam at Smile Sarasota for many years. We dispose of the removed amalgam filling in our amalgam separator to prevent the mercury from entering Sarasota’s sewage and water-supply.

Composite resin fillings are the most popular type of filling used in a modern dental practice. They are tooth-colored fillings that replicate the natural appearance of healthy enamel, making them a more life-like cavity treatment. They form a chemical bond with the tooth for a more reliable fit. They don’t have the same risks as mercury-silver amalgam fillings and are more attractive than metal fillings. Because composite resin fillings are so versatile, we recommend them for most types of cavities.

What are the advantages of composites? Aesthetics is the main advantage, since we can blend shades to create a color nearly identical to that of the actual tooth. Composites bond to the tooth to support the remaining tooth structure, which helps to prevent breakage and insulate the tooth from excessive temperature changes. Composites often allow usto prepare a cavity much smaller than can be achieved with gold, porcelain or silver amalgam fillings. Making a smaller filling is very important to the strength of a tooth and for increasing the amount of time a filling will wear. Composites work very well with laser prepared cavities.  Composite bonding on the front teeth can be made very beautiful and natural looking. Composites can be used to seal a tooth in young people to prevent the most common pit and fissure decay. Composites can many times be repaired instead of having to remove the whole filling if part of it has failed.

What are the disadvantages? Composites are technique sensitive and intolerant of any moisture when being placed. It is sometimes impossible to keep a cavity dry to place a composite. Also, the shade of the composite can change slightly if the patient drinks tea, coffee or other staining foods. Composites tend to wear out sooner than silver fillings in larger cavities, although they hold up as well in small cavities.

How long will a composite last? Studies have shown that composites last 7-10 years, which is comparable to silver fillings except in very large restorations, where silver fillings last longer than composites. We now believe there is no advantage, (and indeed there is a distinct disadvantage), in using dental silver amalgam for reasons of durability.

Why has Smile Sarasota elected not to use dental amalgam? Smile Sarasota has considered all information very carefully and we have concluded that with the advances of composite restoration and now the addition of CEREC in office porcelain restorations that there is no need for us to use dental amalgams in our dental practice.  If you have any questions about the best procedures for you, call us today to set up a consultation and Dr. Still will be happy to answer your questions!

Sources and Credits: American Dental Association, Federal Drug Administration, WebMD, Academy of General Dentistry

Same Day Crowns – Magic!

One thing that many people definitely do not have is patience. Whether they are sitting in traffic or awaiting test results, many people find happiness in instant gratification. When it comes to their smiles, people are no different, wanting results as soon as possible. From teeth whitening to correcting a misalignment, many people opt for the easiest, quickest way to see results. When it comes to crowns, you may think that you have to wait in order to have a custom-made crown delivered, but thankfully, Dr. Adam Still is able to give you a beautiful crown in a single appointment thanks to CEREC ‘Same-Day’ Crowns.

The first thing we do in order to get you ready for your crown is to prepare your natural tooth – any old filling material is removed along with decay. After that, a special camera will study and image your prepared tooth and the areas surrounding it, and send the information it has acquired to a computer. When the computer has translated the information it has received, a picture of your new crown is displayed on the computer screen. Our in-office milling machine will then begin to sculpt your crown from a single block of porcelain that matches your natural tooth color, ensuring it blends in seamlessly with the rest of your smile. In fact, you can watch your new crown being made! Dr. Still will place then place it on your prepared tooth and bond it in. At the end of your appointment, you are left with a beautiful, smile!

What is CEREC?

CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CERamic REConstruction. Translated, it means that we can restore damaged teeth in a single appointment using a high-quality bio-compatible ceramic material that matches the natural color of your other teeth.

A tooth-colored restoration means no more silver fillings discoloring smiles. The filling is natural-looking, compatible with tissue in the mouth, anti-abrasive and plaque-resistant. The CEREC process eliminates you having to come back for the second visit because the CEREC equipment resides in Smile Sarasota’s office. Given this new process, here are some advantages of this CEREC crown technology for patients over traditional dentistry:

  • The patient only needs one visit instead of two or more
  • The computer-aided design ensures an exact fit eliminating biting problems and return visits
  • The patient does not have the bother of a temporary crown
  • The CEREC dental crowns are made out of ceramic, use no metal and are aesthetically pleasing

If you are ready to make an appointment Dr. Still for a CEREC crown, contact our Smile Sarasota office today! We are happy to take care of whatever general, cosmetic, and restorative dental need you may have. We are proud to serve patients in the downtown Sarasota, Longboat Key, and St. Armand’s communities.

Take a look at this video showing Dr. Still doing the procedure on one of Smile Sarasota’s patients:

Why We Embrace Dental Technology

We recently asked our Technology Coordinator to research Virtual Reality Headsets for use by our patients in the treatment rooms. We are always looking for the ‘latest and greatest’ to better serve our patients. As far back as 2004, The Journal of the American Dental Association published a study about the integration of technology in the dental practice. The author discovered that integration of technology was “crucial to the efficient and effective functioning of the dental office.” Smile Sarasota has embraced technology from the very beginning and we continue to stay on the leading edge.

Why is this important to our patients? There are three major reasons we use technology in our practice:

  • Dental Technology increases efficiency. How? By consolidating communication and information into a well-integrated platform. First and foremost, Dr. Still is there to provide quality dental care to his patients. When you can find ways to boost your efficiency without compromising the quality of your work, it’s good for all involved. There are many ways that technology helps a dental practice improve efficiency and productivity. Our practice management software allows everyone on our dental team to communicate effortlessly, with notes and images included with the patient files. Digital radiography and imaging allows for instantaneous sharing of information, either with the team or to referring specialists. Our CEREC Same-Day Crown CAD/CAM allows the creation of dental restorations in the office the same day, not requiring a second appointment for the patient. All of this communication and sharing of information boosts productivity in the office, and reduces chair time for the patients.
  • Dental Technology improves the patient experience and impression of the office. The same things technology does to improve the efficiency and productivity are also improvements for the patient experience. When patients have less time in the dental chair, have fewer appointments, you have elevated the patient experience. In addition, with the large, flat panel displays in each of our treatment rooms, and the ability to examine images together and helps educate and help our patients understand why we are recommending the necessary treatment.
  • Technology also improves the patient experience through the patient’s perception of the office. All of us love our technology. Smartphones, apps, tablets, and ‘the cloud’ have infiltrated even the most mundane parts of our lives. When patients go to the dentist, they like to see that technology is everywhere there as well. It shows our patients the that our practice has invested in providing them state-of-the-art care. And hopefully, our patients then share their experience on one of the many social apps that lives on the smartphone they have with them all the time.

The array of digital equipment available to dentists has increased significantly. Such advancements in dental technology enable patients to receive modern solutions to traditional dental problems. Among the digital technologies we use at Smile Sarasota are digital radiography, intraoral cameras and CEREC CAD/CAM same-day crowns, discussed above.

Digital radiographs capture dental images through a sensor that processes the image onto a computer screen. Digital X-rays provide greater comfort than traditional X-rays and reduce radiation exposure. Additionally, digital radiographs allow dentists to magnify images for greater diagnostic accuracy, ensuring more timely and appropriate treatments.

Intra-oral cameras can produce accurate images of your teeth and the supporting structures as you see Dr. Still doing in the photo. This allows you, Dr. Still and our hygienists to see tooth defects. It also allows you to better understand the need for the recommended treatment. Intra-oral cameras also help you to learn more about dental hygiene practices, including where to focus on brushing your teeth.

The technology of the Internet has also made a huge difference in communication with our patients. We send appointment reminders via email and text messages as well as that friendly phone call if you wish. Additionally, communication programs make it easy for us to securely share information about a patient’s case with their  our specialists, as well as with our seasonal residents who have a dentist up north.

So you can rest assured that Smile Sarasota will stay on the leading edge. As for those Virtual Reality headsets, we will have them someday when they are a bit more streamlined!

Why We Take Dental X-rays

A couple of years ago, we published a Blog about the benefits of digital X-ray vs. ‘the old fashioned way’ of taking X-rays.  In this Blog, we will discuss more about WHY we take X-rays.

Dental X-rays (radiographs) are images of your teeth that Dr. Still takes to evaluate your oral health. These X-rays are used with low levels of radiation to capture images of the interior of your teeth and gums. This can help him identify problems, like cavities, tooth decay, infections, abscesses, periodontal disease (bone loss) and impacted teeth. Dental X-rays may seem complex, but they’re actually very common tools that are just as important as your teeth cleanings.

Dental X-rays are typically performed yearly, or more often if Dr. Still is tracking the progress of a dental problem or treatment. If you’re a new patient to Smile Sarasota, we take a full series (18 digital images) so Dr. Still can get a clear picture of your dental health. This is especially important if you don’t have any X-rays from your previous dentist – if you do, we are glad to request and use them if they are of good quality and within the past two years. Typically, we take a full series every three years, and four checkup ‘bitewings’ once per year.

Patients will sometime say “I don’t need X-rays – nothing is bothering me”. Early tooth decay and periodontal disease do not tend to show many physical signs. Sometimes the tooth looks healthy, but we will be able to see from an x-ray whether you have any decay under the enamel or under a crown or old filling, any possible infections in the root, or any bone loss around the tooth. X-rays can also help our dental team to see in between your teeth or under the edge of your fillings. Finding and treating dental problems at an early stage can help ward off painful conditions and save both time and money.

All health care providers are sensitive to patients’ concerns about radiation. By using state-of-the-art digital radiography technology and staying knowledgeable about recent advances, your dentist knows which techniques, procedures and x-ray films can minimize your exposure to radiation. The amount of radiation received from a dental x-ray is extremely small. We get more radiation from natural sources, including minerals in the soil, and from our general environment. With modern techniques and equipment, risks are kept as small as possible. Smile Sarasota has been using digital radiography for more than ten years.

Dental x-rays are an extremely valuable part of dental treatment and without them, Dr. Still would not be able to properly diagnose or treat dental disease. If you have any questions about dental X-rays, feel free to call us and anyone on our staff can assist!

 

Sources and Credits: ADA.org, Dentalhealth.org, webMD

Part 1: What are all those numbers my Hygienist calls out?

Periodontal Charting Software

Part 1: What are all those numbers my Hygienist calls out?

During your dental cleaning (prophylaxis) appointment, you will hear your hygienist calling out a series of 6 numbers per tooth. These measurements are usually done yearly. What she is doing is measuring, in millimeters (mm), the depth of the cuff of gum tissue around each tooth. This depth is the difference in height between the level of your gumline and the point at which the gum actually attaches to your tooth. 2-3 mm is considered healthy and anything over 5 mm usually indicates that the bone that supports your tooth has begun to be destroyed by disease. Here is a little more detail on what measuring the “pockets” mean:

  • 0 to 3 mm without bleeding: Congratulations! No issues!
  • 1 to 3 mm with bleeding: This is mild gingivitis which is the mildest form of gum disease. Usually a good prophylaxis with therapeutic scaling coupled with effective oral home-care is all that is recommended.
  • 4 to 5 mm without bleeding: The periodontal disease process is being maintained. Four visits per year with effective home-care is the recommended treatment.
  • 4 to 5 mm with bleeding:Early to moderate gum disease (Periodontitis) which may require periodontal therapy over several visits as well as effective home care and four visits per year.
  • 6mm and above: Advanced periodontal disease which means aggressive treatment to save your teeth. Periodontal Therapy appointments over several visits is the recommended treatment. Additionally, referral to a periodontist and surgery is almost always required to repair the damage done.Periodontal disease is not curable, therefore maintenance visits are recommended every 3 months thereafter, alternating with the Periodontist.

As noted, the presence of bleeding or pus when your periodontal numbers are being charted is a strong indicator of disease. Healthy gums do not bleed! The presence of gum disease leads to tooth loss and a greatly diminished quality of life. Gum disease is also implicated in serious health issues such as heart disease and strokes, diabetes, and respiratory problems. So, don’t put off you dental prophylaxis and checkups!  The earlier these problems are detected, the easier and more predictable the treatment is.

We will discuss the second set of numbers, which reflect gum recession, in an upcoming blog.

The Real Tech Decade

Smile Sarasota is a very high-tech dental practice and most of us think all this stuff was just recently developed. Not true. We just wanted to share this because it’s so interesting to read about incredible advances that were made decades ago. We would not be where we are were it not for the brilliant minds who came before us.

Article by By Vaclav Smil
Photos, Clockwise from Top Left: United States Patent and Trademark Office; Chicago Architectural Photographing Company/Wikipedia; LennyWikidata/Wikipedia; Wikipedia; Project Gutenberg/Wikipedia; Infographic: Erik Vrielink 

The Miraculous 1880’s! The real tech decade happened rather earlier! 

According to the worshipers of the e-world, the late 20th century brought us an unprecedented number of profound inventions. But that is a categorical misunderstanding, as most recent advances have been variations on the microprocessor theme and on the parsing of the electromagnetic spectrum. Perhaps the most inventive time was the 1880s. Have any two sets of primary inventions and epochal discoveries shaped the modern world more than electricity and internal combustion engines? Electricity alone, without microchips, is enough to make a sophisticated and affluent world (we had one in the 1960s). Yet a microchip-governed e-world is utterly dependent on an electricity supply whose fundamental design remains beholden to thermal- and hydro-powered-generation systems, both reaching the commercial market in 1882, which still provide more than 80 percent of the world’s electricity. And we aspire to make it available at least 99.9999 percent of the time, so that it can serve as the cornerstone of everything electronic.

And we think we’re so smart!

Do you use an ultrasonic toothbrush?

Do you use an ultrasonic toothbrush? If not, what are you waiting for? If you’ve been on fence about switching to an electric/ultrasonic toothbrush we’re here to help. Let’s to review the top benefits of using an ultrasonic  toothbrush:

  • An ultrasonic toothbrush keeps your teeth, gums, and tongue cleaner and healthier: An electric toothbrush’s rotating head features bristles which can reach further thanks to the combination of motion and equal pressure from the brush itself.
  • An ultrasonic  toothbrush makes for longer, more thorough teeth brushing: Most ultrasonic toothbrushes are set for equal time for each quadrant which ensures a better, longer brushing and a great, clean feeling.
  • An ultrasonic  toothbrush does the work for you: Although we mean well our manual brushing can often be too hard for our gums and our own good. An ultrasonic toothbrush not only times your brush but takes the guesswork out of teeth brushing too.
  • An ultrasonic toothbrush is a great way to fight gingivitis and gum disease: Electric toothbrush can find those hard to reach places that you miss with a manual toothbrush.
  • Using an ultrasonic  toothbrush can help you get rid of bad breath: An electric toothbrush and regular flossing can work together to get rid of bad breath by finding and eliminating the food between your teeth.

Where can you buy an ultrasonic  toothbrush? Most any pharmacy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Target, Amazon, etc. Here at Smile Sarasota, we recommend Philips Sonicare ultrasonic  toothbrushes but there are other choices that are great as well.

Worth a Thousand Words

There is a lot of information needed for Dr. Still to perform a proper diagnosis. Depending on the reason for your visit to our office, we might make use of one of our favorite diagnostic tools: a digital intra-oral camera. Between a visual exam, x-rays, and sometimes study models for more involved cases, we use the intra-oral camera to diagnose many oral conditions. This technology allows us to see your mouth magnified 50 times, so anything wrong with your teeth or your mouth will be obvious,and can be viewed on a large, flat panel monitor. Simply put, the intra-oral camera allows us to see what an x-ray might not reflect such as micro cracks so small, even magnifying glasses could miss.

Whether it is swollen gums, a crown off, or a lost filling, we now can record all these photos as part of our assessment in just a few clicks and show in more detail the exact condition of your mouth. The intra-oral camera is an incredible tool which allows the doctor and the patient to visualize the condition hiding behind the dental terms. After all a picture is worth a thousand words!

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)

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!

Smile for the Digital X-Ray Sensor!

Dental X-rays are an important part of your regular dental visits. Yes, we know this may be a boring topic. Dental X-rays are necessary to help diagnose problems not visible to the naked eye. At Smile Sarasota, we use  digital a X-ray system and have for many years. What are the benefits for you? There are many benefits to using digital radiography over traditional film X-rays:

  • Shorter Dental Appointments
    Digital radiography can also shorten your dental appointment! With traditional dental X-rays, you’ll have to wait while your dentist develops the film. With digital radiography, the sensor develops the picture almost instantly and projects it onto a computer screen right before your eyes.
  • Higher Quality Images
    The standard size of traditional X-rays can make viewing difficult, but digital radiography has done away with the “one size fits all” mentality. Once on the screen, digital X-rays can be enlarged or magnified for a better visual of the tooth’s structure. Brightness, contrast and color can also be adjusted, allowing us to see small cavities easier. If you need a hard copy of your X-ray, digital images can also be printed out.
  • Transferring Dental Records
    Digital images can be encrypted and e-mailed to a dental specialist for immediate review. Digital X-rays are taking away the expense and time needed to copy files and mail them to another dentist, making it easier to transfer dental records or get a second opinion. As more offices are turning to electronic patient charts, computers may eliminate the need to mail dental records altogether.
  • Environmentally Friendly
    Digital dental X-rays are better for the environment! With digital radiography, no chemicals are used to develop film. There’s also no wasted space of a darkroom and no need to store film, which can pile up in a dentist’s files.
  • The Complete Picture
    X-rays can be very difficult to the untrained eye to read, but with the newest technology available, we can now “super-size” the images so that they are much easier to see. We have invested with the best digital x-ray imaging company in the world.
  • Less Radiation
    The equipment used in digital radiography exposes dental patients to much less radiation. In fact, digital X-rays use up to 90 percent less radiation than film X-rays. While conventional dental X-rays are relatively safe, digital radiography is an excellent option for those who take X-rays on a regular basis or for those who are concerned about radiation.
  • Are dental x-rays safe?
    Dental x-ray examinations require very low levels of radiation exposure, which makes the risk of potentially harmful effects extremely small. Digital x-rays are also safer because the exposure is much lower (almost half) than film based x-rays. The digital sensors are so sensitive they require less radiation to generate an image. We cannot tell you how often we are asked about the radiation exposure when dental x-rays are taken, so we did a little research into exactly how much radiation our bodies are exposed to. The whole-body radiation exposure associated with four bitewing ‘checkup’ X-rays is equivalent to a seven-hour flight. These estimates are based on traditional film-based x-rays; many digital x-ray systems may require even less radiation.

So…SMILE for the digital X-ray sensor!

Always Learning New Stuff

I am very fortunate to work in a Sarasota, Florida dental office that provides the staff with on-going education in all aspects of dentistry. I am the digital technology coordinator for our office and I recently returned from a fantastic, two day hands-on workshop for continuing education on the software used at our Smile Sarasota office. Why is this important?

We use the latest in digital technology hardware and a state-of-the-art program that not only manages appointments and accounting – it also contains your entire chart, meaning when we look at the monitor, we see all of your X-rays, all the restorations on each tooth, what restorations are needed and other oral conditions. Because the software is so all-encompassing, we are always striving to keep abreast of enhancements in order to serve you better. Dr. Still and all of our staff are constantly updating their knowledge in this ever-changing environment. There are always new products hitting the market, new equipment, new techniques, etc. and we will always make sure our patients have the ‘latest and greatest’ experience!

 

 

By Liz Beahm, Technology Coordinator
Smile Sarasota