Dear Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

  • Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
    • We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
    • You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
    • Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
  • We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at (509) 485-8620 or visit our website at www.drweigand.com

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,
Richard D. Weigand, DDS

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A woman pointing at her teeth

Gum disease: Spokane, WA dentist urges you to recognize the signs of this serious condition

Almost 65 million members of the adult population have some form of ​gum disease, and many of them may not even know. This is overwhelmingly concerning because diagnosis and treatment of gum disease as early as possible are critical to saving your smile and preserving your health. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss when left untreated. However, when caught in its earliest stages, referred to as gingivitis, the ​effects are reversible​. Dr. Richard Weigand in ​Spokane, WAencourages everyone to be aware of gingivitis symptoms.

Gum disease symptoms

Periodontal disease is triggered by overpopulation of certain strains of oral bacteria. These pathogens create a sticky biofilm of plaque that protects them from saliva and traps food debris. As they feast on

sugar and starch, they produce acidic excretions that cause gum problems. If the biofilm is not removed with frequent brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar at the gumline, causing further irritation.

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums
  • Halitosis (persistent bad breath)
  • Odd taste in the mouth
  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Receding gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Pus around teeth

Without treatment, gums loosen, forming periodontal pockets. Bacteria in pockets move deeper into oral structures, attacking ligaments and bone. Teeth get loose and fall out or require extraction. Meanwhile, bacteria infiltrate the body through diseased gum tissue.

Why Spokane, WA patients should take gum disease seriously

As gum disease progresses into its more advanced stages, called periodontitis and advanced periodontitis, non-reversible damage takes place. These effects may include the loss of teeth and dangerous systemic illnesses that scientists believe may stem from bacteria entering the blood stream.

Gum disease is linked to:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Pre-term labor
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Kidney disease
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Osteoporosis
  • Dementia

Dr. Richard D. Weigand is a Fellow of the World Clinical Laser Institute (WCLI) and has advanced laser training at the Biolase headquarters. He is dedicated to helping his patients recognize gum disease as early as possible and providing ​contemporary treatment that gets it under control​ so that oral health can be maintained.

Call (509) 485-8620 to become a new patient at Richard D Weigand DDS in ​Spokane, WA. We provide excellent oral hygiene and guidance on at-home care that helps you avoid ​gum disease or manage an existing condition effectively.

 

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