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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Fighting Gum Disease, the Way Only a Dentist Can

Infected gums

Armed with just a toothbrush, floss and an antiseptic mouthwash, you can beat back gum disease and reclaim your mouth from it. But while regular dental hygiene can lessen your need to see a dentist, the best way to fight gum disease is to get the help of a staff of dental professionals. This is especially true if the if your gum disease has progressed beyond the “mild” stage.

Find out why anything other than basic gum disease treatment is best left to a dentist and dental hygienist.

Scaling and Root Planing

Brushing and flossing can keep your teeth relatively free of plaque, a soup of bacteria and food particles that may be colorless or off yellow in appearance. After a while, that plaque will harden on your teeth, and brushing and flossing won’t be enough.

During a standard teeth cleaning, a dental hygienist will scrape the tartar away from the visible surface areas of your teeth. But when the tartar dips below the gum line, scaling and root planing, also called a “deep cleaning,” may be required.

Scaling: The dental hygienist will carefully lift the gums to methodically scrape away tartar from the root of your teeth. Do worry, you’ll be offered a local anesthetic to mute the discomfort.

Planing: With the tartar removed from the roots, the hygienist will then smooth out the surfaces of the roots so that the gums adhere to them evenly and without pockets.

Gingivectomy and Laser Gum Surgery

When the tartar buildup and gum disease become advanced, your gums will begin to recede and develop pockets of space between them and your teeth. These pockets are incubators for bacteria and can accelerate the gum disease.

To stop the spread of gum disease and to encourage the regeneration of healthy gum tissue, your dentist will perform either a traditional or laser gingivectomy.

Traditional gingivectomy: This route entails using metal hand tools to carefully trim away diseased gum tissue.

Laser gum surgery: The laser route makes use of finely tuned laser light to eradicate diseased gum tissue with unrivaled precision.

Take the Next Steps

Click here to schedule a consultation with a dentist in Spokane, WA to learn more about your treatment options for gum disease.

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