Infection controls and universal precautions protect patients and staff alike. Everyone benefits from rigorous infection control — you, your dentist, and the dental team. The cornerstone in a good and safe dental practice is the element of trust. You should feel free to discuss this topic with Dr. Laura Funke or Dr. Sami Martini and receive a straightforward answer. Our entire office follows procedures recommended by several federal agencies: the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These measures include:
- Disinfectant hand soap
- Gloves and face masks
- Chemical disinfection of countertops and surfaces
- Sterilization of all equipment before every use
- Disposable materials
We sterilize all reusable equipment, including dental hand pieces. We use an autoclave, a device that kills bacteria and viruses by steam, heat and pressure. The best defense against disease is information. The more you know, the better equipped you are to make wise decisions about your health care. The more you know about our daily procedures and policies, the more comfortable you will feel.
Digital Imaging and X-Rays:
Dr. Laura Funke or Dr. Sami Martini choose carefully which and when radiographs are taken, based on recommended guidelines. Radiographs are extremely important because they allow us to see everything we cannot see with our own eyes. Radiographs enable us to detect cavities in between your teeth, determine bone level, detect oral cancer and analyze the health of your bone. We can also examine the roots and nerves of teeth, diagnose lesions such as cysts or tumors, as well as assess damage when trauma occurs. Dental radiographs are invaluable aids in diagnosing, treating, and maintaining dental health. Exposure time for dental radiographs is extremely minimal, about 1/6th the radiation exposure as traditional x-rays. Drs. Laura Funke or Dr. Sami Martini utilize Digital Imaging Technologies within the office. With digital imaging, exposure time is about 50 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs. Digital imaging can also help us retrieve valuable diagnostic information. We may be able to see cavities better. Digital imaging allows us to store patient images, and enables us to quickly and easily transfer them to specialists or insurance companies.
Many patients, especially younger patients, are very familiar with the latest technology and enjoy our high- tech practice. Computers and TV screens are their primary method of information processing. Dr. Laura Funke or Dr. Sami Martini utilize intraoral camera technology that helps enhance your understanding of your diagnosis. An intraoral camera is a very small camera – in some cases, just a few millimeters long. An intraoral camera allows our practice to view clear, precise images of your mouth, teeth and gums, in order for us to accurately make a diagnosis. With clear, defined, enlarged images, you see details that may be missed by standard mirror examinations. This can mean faster diagnosis with less chair-time for you. Most importantly, Intraoral cameras enable our practice to show YOU what YOUR teeth look like!
Home Care Instructions
After Cosmetic Reconstruction
Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite. When the bite is altered, it can take several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness as normal. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call our office at 414-269-3332 so we can schedule an adjustment appointment. It is normal to experience some hot and cold sensitivity. The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure and will be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication (Tylenol or Ibuprofen taken as indicated on the bottle) should ease any residual discomfort. Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. You will quickly adapt and be speaking normally soon. You may notice increased salivation. This is because your brain is responding to the new size and shape of your teeth. This should subside to normal in about a week. Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new dental work. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth, as are regular cleaning appointments. Any food that can crack, chip or damage a natural tooth can do the same to your new teeth. Avoid hard foods and substances (such as beer nuts, peanut brittle, ice, fingernails, or pencils and sticky candies). Smoking will stain your new teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that cause stains, such as coffee, red wine, tea and berries. If you engage in sports let us know so we can make a custom mouth guard to protect your new teeth. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the night guard we have provided for you. Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile will take time. If you have any problems or concerns, please let us know. We always welcome your questions.
After Crown and Bridge Appointments
Crowns and bridges usually take two appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and molds of the mouth are taken. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. Because the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips and roof of the mouth may be numb. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness is completely gone. Occasionally, a temporary crown may come off. Call us at 414-269-3332 if this happens and bring the temporary crown with you – if possible – so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the temporary to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving, which will compromise the fit of your final restoration. To keep your temporaries in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum), hard foods, and, if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully by pulling the floss out through the side of the temporary crown as to not dislodge the temporary crown. It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed by our office. If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 414-269-3332.
After Tooth Extraction
After a tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. We ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes after the appointment to help the clot form. If the bleeding or oozing persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times. After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site. After the tooth is extracted, you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours. Call the office at 414-269-3332 if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable. It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours of the extraction. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. Doing so will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean. After a few days you will begin to feel the pain/swelling subsiding, and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at 414-269-3332.
After Composite Fillings (White Fillings)
When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while you are numb. It is normal to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or aspirin (one tablet every 3-4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. If pressure or sensitivity persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office at 414-269-3332. You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, because the fillings are cured before you leave the office. If your bite feels uneven, you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 414-269-3332.