Re-opening of Family Cosmetic and Family Dentistry

Greetings to all of our patients!  

I want to take this time to reach out to you all and reconnect so as to let you all know what we've been up to during the Novel Corona Virus Pandemic.  I want to state that our #1 priority is, and has always been the health & safety of our patients, and, of course, to provide to you the highest quality dental care we can!  

We anticipate reopening in the not too distant future for all aspects of routine and maintenance dental care.  In the mean time, we remain available for emergent treatment if needed.

I am sure most of you have questions and concerns regarding the safety of dentistry during this time, so we'd like to share the measures and actions we are taking to ensure your safety here at our office.

First of all, the culture here will be a little bit different in the “post novel corona virus world”.  At least until researchers come up with therapies and /or a vaccine!  We will be implementing some new systems in our practice to mitigate the risk of disease transmission here.  

What to expect when you come to the office?  Prior to your appointment, when Diana calls you to confirm your appointment date and time, she will ask a few quick questions regarding your medical status, and any symptoms suggestive of an illness...We ask that if you are ill with a fever, coughing, etc. to please reschedule for when you are well.  

When you come to the office, we ask that you wait in your car in the parking lot.  Diana will be calling you at your appointment time to let you know that your dental operatory is ready for you.  Susie, Chelsea or I will meet you outside to take a quick, touch-less temperature scan of the forehead, and then escort you directly to your treatment room.  

We will be spacing out our patient appointments so that there is only one patient on the dentistry side with Susie and I, and only one patient in the hygiene side with Chelsea.  For the most part, no one is allowed to wait in the lobby until further notice...We will of course, accommodate people escorting children or elderly patients.

All surfaces will be disinfected with Hospital Grade Disinfectants (as we've always done in the past) between patients.  All door knobs, light switches, etc. will be disinfected every 30 minutes throughout the day!  This will mitigate the risk of any infectious disease transmission via surfaces.

Ever since the HIV epidemic in the 1980's, dentistry as an industry has employed “Universal Precautions” (masks, gloves, “single use” disposable equipment, etc.) to mitigate disease transmission.  

The most concerning of transmission routes for infection, including novel corona virus, is via “'aerosols”.  Dentists and hygienists  have used “High Volume Evacuation” (HVE) routinely for decades to capture aerosols generated by dental hand pieces (drill) and ultra-sonic scaling devices.  HVE reduces aerosols by 90% !  

We will continue to use HVE for all procedures that generate aerosols.  In addition to HVE, we've invested in Medical Grade H-13 HEPA aerosol scavengers in our operatories (basically a very powerful vacuum) with a snorkel hose that we can position adjacent to the treatment field to scavenge any aerosol the HVE misses.

We have also invested in nine medical grade H-13 HEPA air filtration units placed throughout the office which will completely clean/turn over the air every 10 minutes, or six times per hour.

Another investment made was having medical grade UVC (Ultra-Violet C) units installed in our Central  Air Conditioning/Heating units that kill Bacteria and Virus as the air passes through. 

Finally, we will fog the office with Hypochlorous Acid, a human safe, yet powerful disinfectant at the end of each day.

We want you all to know that we are taking all possible precautions and measures to ensure your safety, and the safety of our team here!

To further streamline your experience at the office, we will be scheduling return visits for you in the operatory, at the end of your appointment.  We will make available electronic payment options in order to minimize visiting the front desk.

We miss you all and look forward to resuming operations to provide your dental care needs in a safe and caring manner.  

Warm regards,

Dr. Paulerio and Team

TMJ Disorders

In the simplest terms, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders affect the proper, comfortable functioning of the jaw joints.

TMJ disorders trigger painful symptoms. Left untreated, they can cause long-lasting damage such as cracked teeth.

What are some signs I have it?

TMJ Disorders Cause Grinding, Jaw Stiffness, and Other Symptoms

Clenching & Grinding

Teeth grinding and clenching of the jaw are hallmark symptoms of TMJ disorders. These symptoms often worsen during stressful periods and occur mostly during sleep.

Jaw Stiffness

Patients may have trouble opening their mouths. They may experience limited movement or a locking sensation when partly opening their jaws.

Facial Pain & Headaches

TMJ disorders can cause symptoms ranging from tenderness in the jaw and chin to pain in the neck and shoulders. Patients often experience headaches as well.

Clicking Sounds

Healthy jaw joints make sound from time to time, but TMJ disorders can cause an increase in the frequency or volume of pops and clicks. A grinding feeling often accompanies these noises.

Where exactly are the TMJs located? And what causes dysfunction?

Finger pointing to TMJ on model of skull

Stress, Misalignment, and Other Factors That Can Trigger a TMJ Disorder

Although stress might not cause a TMJ disorder on its own, it certainly exacerbates symptoms.

Dental Misalignment

When the upper and lower jaws do not meet properly, it can place a huge amount of stress on the TMJs.

Injury or Arthritis

A jaw injury can substantially affect TMJ function. Arthritis can also contribute to a TMJ disorder.

Are TMJ disorders very common?

So How Can I Prevent Symptoms from Worsening?

Stress Management

TMJ disorders tend to flare up during times of stress, so many patients find relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga to be beneficial. 

Don’t Chew Gum

Chewing gum activates the muscles that become inflamed by TMJ disorders, spurring the cycle of clenching and grinding. Consider sticking to softer foods as well. 

Proper Posture & Stretching

Take care to massage and carefully stretch the muscles around the jaws. Remember that poor posture, tight shoulders, and a stiff neck can also contribute to the condition.

How is a TMJ disorder diagnosed?

Your Doctor Will Perform an Exam & Take Your Medical History

Diagnosing TMJ disorders can often be done simply by discussing your symptoms. Your doctor will also examine your teeth and jaw, checking for signs of grinding and tender areas.

In some cases, further testing, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, will be conducted to check for damage to the soft cartilage that cushions the TMJs. 

Can the problem be fixed?

Modern TMJ Disorder Treatments Are Even More Effective

Oral Appliances

Also known as occlusal splints, dental splints, or bite guards, oral appliances are worn during sleep. These customized devices improve alignment and prevent teeth from grinding.

Orthodontics & Restorative Dentistry

Substantial misalignment may require braces, Invisalign®, or another type of orthodontic correction. Restoring worn teeth with dental crowns and replacing missing teeth can also help.

Injections & Other Medications

Some patients respond positively to BOTOX® therapy or steroid injections. Muscle relaxers, benzodiazapines, and other depressants might also be recommended.

Surgical Correction

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can remove damaged tissue within the jaw joint. In the most severe cases, total joint replacement might be needed.

I’m worried I’ll never get better...

A Medical Professional Can Provide Relief

TMJ disorders can be incredibly frustrating, but they are treatable. Many cases will not resolve without professional intervention. Speak with your doctor today about the best way to stop your symptoms for good.

Point Loma Family Dentistry team

Point Loma Family Dentistry

Dr. Louis E. Paulerio is a top-rated dentist who is committed to providing the latest dental treatments in a caring, warm setting. He is a member of several prestigious dental organizations, including: 

  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • International Dental Implant Association

He also uses CEREC technology to create beautiful, long-lasting dental restorations in just one appointment. Ready to schedule a consultation at our Point Loma office? Request your appointment online or call us at (619) 223-3811.

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