Our practice is unique because our mission is different. Our stated mission is to help you keep your teeth for a longer lifetime. That requires we provide you with an excellent examination, provide quality comprehensive care, and provide the best preventive and continuing care available. Our patients benefit from the quality, long-term dental health care they receive. We hope that you agree and will join our family of patients.
We Begin by Safeguarding Your Health
Two common concerns patients have are about infection control and radiation exposure from dental X-rays, so let’s discuss both of these.
We value the trust you show in our office. We want to reassure you we comply with the guidelines for sterilization and patient protection from the American Dental Association. I wanted to share with you some of what we do to protect you. Our philosophy has always been and will always be “to treat our patients as if they were our own family members.” Here are some things that our dental office does to protect you:
- Our philosophy is: If it can’t be heat sterilized, use disposable. The best method of sterilization is autoclaving. The process utilizes steam pressure to kill bacteria and viruses. If an item cannot withstand the extreme heat and pressure of an autoclave, we attempt to use disposable items. Those few items that are not disposable and cannot be autoclaved are covered with a disposable barrier and wiped clean with a surface disinfectant after use.
- For sterilization to be effective, instruments must be clean. All used instruments are first washed and sanitized in our Hydrim instrument washer system. After a 26 minute wash cycle, the instruments are clean, dry, and sanitized. They are now ready for the autoclave.
- Our dental handpieces are cleaned, flushed, and lubricated in our automated handpiece maintenance system. Once the cycle is complete, the handpieces are ready to be sterilized.
- We verify sterilization of each and every tray with a sterilization integrator. Every tray and pack contains an integrator that verifies sterilization prior to patient use. We also complete weekly spore testing utilizing a third party testing lab. Each week, we submit a test to a monitoring service to verify the effectiveness of our autoclave.
- Dental unit waterlines can be a source of infection. Each of our dental units is equipped with a closed water bottle system. These systems allow us to treat and flush the units to prevent build-up of potentially dangerous biofilms. Our dental unit waterlines are protected with Dentapure filters and Bio-bottles.
- Our treatment rooms are sanitized after each patient. Before you enter our examination and hygiene rooms, all surfaces, including the dental chair, dental light, drawer handles, X-rays sensors and unit, computer and mouse, and countertops, have been cleaned and decontaminated and fresh disposable barriers placed.
- All of our dental team members involved in contact with patients always wash their hands before and after each and every patient, and use only fresh gloves.
- In order to reduce post-operative discomfort and reduce the spread of colds and viruses, we request each patient complete a 30-second mouth rinse prior to treatment. The rinse significantly reduces the bacteria and viruses found in the office air and on exposed surfaces.
- In order to reduce your exposure to bacteria and viruses, we have installed HEPA air cleaners in each treatment room. It has been shown that use of these air cleaners significantly reduces the chance of infections.
Safety of Dental X-Rays
In order to provide the highest level of safety for our patients, we follow the ALARA principle. ALARA is an acronym for As Low As Reasonably Achievable. An essential part of dental care, radiographs provide necessary diagnostic and treatment information unavailable by any other method.
We utilize the most current methods to reduce radiation exposure:
- We utilize digital imaging to help reduce radiation
- We have invested in high quality equipment, which allows us to customize the type of image we need, thus allowing for lower dose imaging when possible
- We utilize protective aprons
- We only obtain radiographs when necessary
Radiation is a natural phenomenon. We get it from food, air, cosmic radiation from space, and from the ground (typically from radon gas that seeps from the earth). The EPA estimates that a person living in the United States receives about 3,000 microsieverts of radiation each year from these background sources. So how do dental X-rays compare?
|Single digital radiograph||5*|
|Four bitewing X-rays||20|
|Digital Full Mouth Radiographs||90|
|**ConeBeam CT (small view)||12-20|
|**ConeBeam CT (maximum view)||10-38|
|CT of the Chest||7000|
*Unit is Microsieverts
**Low dose vs high resolution imaging
Excellence in dentistry begins with a careful diagnosis and treatment plan designed to move us toward the goals we will establish together. We will do a complete exam of the teeth, gums, bite, jaw joints, and soft tissues. When needed, and with your permission, we will utilize all appropriate X-rays. At times, we will use intraoral photographs and study models of your teeth and jaw to identify areas of concern. We believe that this detailed exam is the cornerstone of quality dentistry. To be able to serve you better, we are constantly upgrading our skills and technology. An enhanced oral cancer screening exam using the VELscope and DIAGNOdent laser cavity exam are two examples of the enhanced services we offer.
Our practice focuses on prevention and health as opposed to just emergency and repair care. The supporting gum tissue and bone are just as vital as the teeth themselves. The best way to protect and maintain the crucial supporting structures is to have regular hygiene appointments and excellent daily home care. We will design an ongoing program of care with you, so you may continue in excellent oral health.
Because of his extensive continuing education, Dr. Markiewicz is frequently able to provide all the services needed to restore your mouth to an optimum condition. In some instances, your needs could be better met in the hands of a specialist. If so, be assured that Dr. Markiewicz and the specialist will work together closely in the diagnosis and treatment planning of your care.
Patients suffer many dental problems because of inadequately planned treatment. Restorative dentistry is the branch of dentistry that takes into consideration your needs, wants and values. It designs the one, best treatment plan that will fulfill your needs and goals.
One of the most fascinating emerging areas of dentistry is cosmetic dentistry. New, innovative procedures are available today that were unheard of five to ten years ago. New materials and techniques enable us to literally transform smiles and to enhance self-esteem and self-image.
Dental implants allow us to solidly and permanently replace missing teeth in patients who previously had to settle for a looser fitting, removable type of tooth replacement like dentures. We work closely with a specialist who places the implants. Dr. Markiewicz then completes your treatment with the appropriate restorative dentistry.
We recognize that emergencies do occur. Our office phone number is answered 24 hours a day by a team member or our voicemail system informing you of how to reach Dr. Markiewicz. If Dr. Markiewicz is unavailable, you will be given instruction on how to reach the dentist covering emergencies for Dr. Markiewicz. We provide special priority status for you or any family member who has been seen during the previous year in our practice.
Our team members are well trained and dedicated to make a difference for each and every person we are privileged to serve. No question is too small or insignificant for us to answer. Please give us feedback as your opinions and ideas are very important to us.