My Approach to Dental Care

Occasionally my extended family or a patient who is moving will ask me for a recommendation for a dentist in a different city or state. It’s very hard to determine who is a good dentist without knowing them personally or at least having seen their work. I thought that in this post, I would direct it to other dentists who might be looking at my site to determine if this is a good place for their friends or family to go to. Here are things I think are important for dental care.

Overarching Ideas:

My goal is to treat people the way I would want to be treated. I do believe in God and I believe that I am ultimately responsible to Him for the way that I treat people. “Do unto others as you would have them do to you” is something I think about often. I suppose that’s pretty basic. I remember early on in this practice talking with an older friend who had run different businesses. He was talking about business models, but then he thought about my business and said, “I guess for your business a good model would be to just be kind to people.” I always thought that was good advice and have tried to keep that idea central when developing office procedures and policies.

Patient comfort is very important at our office. Certainly it should not supersede quality care, but I do think it should be part of quality care. Some things we have/use for comfort include atraumatic injection techniques, sun glasses, bite blocks, Isovac (for sealants instead of rubber dam), mounted videos (distraction for kids), and neck pillows (often for elderly patients).

Good communication is also very important to us. We try to take our time when talking with patients, both to listen to them and to explain their options to them.

Armamenterium:

Here’s what I’m currently using for various procedures:

Rubber dam for ops whenever possible!

Composites: Filtek Supreme, Z250, Clearfil Majesty Flowable, Kerr Revolution 2 flowable (opaque). Total Etch with Optibond FL adhesive system. Use a Microetcher II when indicated. Often use Vitrebond Plus for a dentin liner.
For polishing/shaping I often use 3M Sof-lex XT discs, Sof-lex strips, #12 Bard Parker, Shofu brownie points, and Komet 2-step composite polishers.

Pulp capping: Vitrebond Plus for indirect pulp caps. Angelus MTA for direct pulp caps (this is a rare procedure for me as it probably is for most dentists).

RMGI: Fuji II LC (mostly for class V restorations if isolation is difficult or if there is a high caries rate).

Amalgam: Valiant PhD with a Microprime G liner.

Burs: Komet — I do 99% of my prepping with diamonds (to try to minimize microfractures).

Sealants: Currently using total etch technique with Ultraseal. Transitioning currently to Optibond adhesive with Kerr Revolution 2 flowable composite (total etch).

Endo: WaveOne Gold files, WaveOne Gold master cones with Endosequence bioceramic sealer.

Impressions: Clinicians Choice X-treme triple trays (aluminum frames without memory) for single crowns. Full arch impressions for bridges and implants. Aquasil PVS products.

Crown types:
For posterior crowns, I usually recommend monolithic zirconia or full gold. If it is an esthetic area, e.g., upper premolars, I will consider including a buccal porcelain window with a zirconia crown or using super-translucent zirconia.
For anterior crowns: If possible, I will use a bonded 3/4 crown made of monolithic lithium disilicate (e.max) and preserve the cingulum for strength. If a full crown is needed, then usually my preference is PFZ. PFM and e.max are other types I recommend depending on the situation.

Implant crowns: I try to use screw-retained whenever possible. For anterior crowns, I usually use an angled-screw restoration. I use “screwmentation” for the delivery method most often. Artisan is the lab I use the most.

For veneers: Monolithic lithium disilicate.

Radiographs: Digital pano and intraoral films.

Waterline disinfection: Dentapure Cartridges