We are now open!

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!  

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.  

We ask that you please call when you arrive to the office. Diana, Chelsea or Susie will meet you at your car to take a quick, touch-less temperature scan of the forehead, also you will have a small device clipped to your finger called an oximeter. This gadget shines light through your fingertip or earlobe. It works out how much oxygen is in your blood. We will 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.

Warm regards,

Dr. Paulerio and Team

Wisdom Teeth: Frequently Asked Questions

wisdom tooth faq
We are here to help you feel informed and comfortable about undergoing wisdom tooth extraction.

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the final teeth to erupt in the back of the mouth. They typically appear between the ages of 17 and 21. If wisdom teeth come in correctly, they can help with functions like chewing. However, more often than not, wisdom teeth are misaligned or impacted. In many cases, there is simply not enough space for wisdom teeth to erupt in the jaw. To prevent damage to adjacent teeth, many doctors recommend removing wisdom teeth before they become a problem. Read through these wisdom tooth FAQs to find out whether you should consider extraction.

Do my wisdom teeth need to be removed?

To prevent damage to adjacent teeth, many doctors recommend removing wisdom teeth before they become a problem.

Wisdom teeth do not always need to be removed. In some patients, they fully erupt and become a healthy, functioning part of the smile. In others, wisdom teeth are partially or fully impacted. To be classified as impacted, a tooth must be trapped within soft or hard tissue. Impacted teeth can cause a number of short- and long-term issues. When a tooth is partially impacted, bacteria can accumulate and cause infection. Impacted wisdom teeth may also damage nearby teeth. If your doctors determines that your wisdom teeth are problematic or may become so in the future, you may be a candidate for extraction.

Should I see a specialist for wisdom tooth extraction?

General dentists can sometimes perform simple wisdom tooth extractions. However, patients with impacted teeth may need to visit an oral surgeon. A specialist is fully equipped to perform complex surgery with minimal risks. Specialists are also more likely to offer more forms of sedation. The most common and reliable options are nitrous oxide, oral sedation, or intravenous (IV) medication.

When should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

In most cases, younger patients are able to tolerate surgery better and heal faster. By removing wisdom teeth early on, you can prevent potential complications in the future. It is also easier to remove teeth before the roots have fully developed, as it decreases the likelihood of nerve damage. 

How are wisdom teeth removed?

The treatment process will depend on whether the tooth is impacted or not. To remove an impacted tooth, an oral surgeon must create an incision in the gums to access the jaw. Soft or hard tissue above the tooth will be removed, and the tooth will be carefully lifted from its socket. In some cases, the tooth may be removed in sections to avoid impacting the surrounding area. The incision is then closed with sutures.

A simple tooth removal does not involve incisions. Your dentist can gently rock the tooth back and forth until it becomes loose enough to remove entirely. 

How long will it take to recover?

Recovery from wisdom tooth extraction usually takes about seven to 10 days. The length of recovery often depends on the complexity of your procedure, as well as the number of wisdom teeth removed. Most surgeons prefer to extract all wisdom teeth in one visit, though sometimes, removal is performed in phases.

What can I expect during recovery?

It is common to experience swelling, soreness, bruising, and bleeding after surgery. You may also find it difficult to open and close your mouth. Your doctor will usually prescribe pain medication to take for the first few days, and you may also be asked to take an antibiotic to prevent infection. You can take anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling, and apply ice to the face for 20-minute increments. For the first 24 to 48 hours, you should avoid using a straw or blowing your nose, as this can dislodge the blood clot.

What is dry socket?

After wisdom tooth extraction, a blood clot will form at the site of surgery. This clot serves to protect the surgical site while it heals. If the blood clot becomes dislodged, the underlying bone and nerve are exposed. This is known as a dry socket. A dry socket will appear white instead of red, and it is often extremely painful. You should contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing symptoms.

Will I have nerve damage after wisdom tooth extraction?

Although nerve damage is rare after wisdom tooth extraction, it is a possible complication of surgery. The likelihood of nerve damage increases with age, which is why many doctors recommend undergoing treatment early on. If you experience any numbness in the area surrounding the surgical site, you should report it to your surgeon or dentist. 

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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