Lakefront Family Dentistry is pleased to announce the creation of a new position—New Patient Specialist. Erin—a Registered Dental Hygienist and manager of the Lakefront’s hygiene department—will fill the new position.
Benefits of the New Patient Specialist
Although most dental practices do not have a team member dedicated to new patients, Dr. Hauser felt that having a New Patient Specialist would allow for a more thorough initial exam and better patient experience. Usually, new patients have a brief exam with the doctor once x-rays have been taken and then a treatment plan is created.
Now, the New Patient Specialist Erin, will meet with all new patients during their initial visit. After providing an office tour, Erin will help patients with paperwork and discuss the patient’s oral health concerns, how they want to improve their smile, and other pertinent information. Erin will then take any needed radiographs and complete a full periodontal evaluation. Erin will share this information with Dr. Hauser and together they will create a thorough treatment plan that addresses everything the patient wants and needs to achieve their oral health.
Erin has been involved in dentistry since 1994 when she became a Registered Dental Assistant at Loma Linda University. After working alongside the examiners for the Dental Board of California, she realized she wanted to continue her education. Erin went on to earn a B.S. in Dental Hygiene from Loma Linda School of Dentistry in 2000 and joined Dr. Hauser’s team in 2001.
With two young sons, Erin stays busy. One of her passion projects is the development of a dental health program for children. Each February, she travels to elementary schools to educate children about oral health, including the importance of brushing and flossing.
Importance of Regular Teeth Cleanings
The importance of good oral health cannot be overstated. Recent research by the American Heart Association (AHA) links oral health and heart disease. In the study, almost 100,000 people were studied during a 7-year period. Half of the participants never received a professional cleaning, while the other group had their teeth professionally cleaned at least once.
The study concluded that there was 24% less risk of heart disease among those who had their teeth professionally cleaned. The same group also had a greater chance of avoiding a future heart attack. Although the exact link is still unknown, scientists postulate that bacteria overgrowth in the mouth can seep through gums and into the bloodstream. Once in the blood, the bacteria form a hard plaque that can block blood vessels—potentially leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Periodontal Disease Warning Signs
Regular visits to the dentist can also reduce the occurrence of periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). Periodontal disease occurs in 64.7 million adults older than 30. When people skip regular teeth cleanings, bacteria in the mouth turns into plaque on tooth enamel. Over time, the plaque hardens and turns into tartar, which cannot be removed by brushing and flossing.
Dental hygienists can remove the tartar and plaque before problems become serious. Left untreated, people can develop gingivitis (a mild form of periodontal disease). Over time, gingivitis can become more serious—potentially resulting in tooth extractions and deterioration of the mouth cavity.
Common warning signs of periodontal disease include:
- Swollen and red gums
- Pain while chewing
- Persistent bad breath
- Bleeding after brushing or flossing
- Sores or bumps in the mouth.
Gum Disease Treatment Options
Luckily, gum disease can be treated—although the treatment will depend on the severity of the disease. Lakefront Family Dentistry can treat gingivitis (a milder form of gum disease) using a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. More severe cases will require treatment by a gum disease surgeon.
Before the scaling and root planing procedure, a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. A dental hygienist then removes plaque and tartar build-up from tooth enamel and below the surface. Teeth roots are also smoothed to help expose and remove infectious bacteria. Once a healthy mouth cavity is restored, patients should have their teeth cleaned twice a year.
With a dedicated New Patient Specialist evaluating each patient’s restorative and periodontal needs, Lakefront Family Dentistry will be able to provide new patients with the very best experience possible. This is yet another way that Lakefront Family Dentistry differentiates itself from the competition.
Lakefront Family Dentistry is available to address all your dental needs and concerns with the latest technology, a host of options for patients with anxiety about visiting the dentist, and a state-of-the-art office. Give us a call at (951) 244-9495 and schedule an appointment or make an appointment online with us today.