THE STEW Magazine
June 2016 | PAGE 33

Your Smile and Your Relationships

The rapidly changing technology of Dentistry DMD, MAGD, DICOI, DABOI

If you are driving your car on the road where you might be going 100 km per hour, the country around you is zooming by. Yet, the other traffic on that same road that are also going 100km per hour are standing still relative to you. If you are standing still, the world around will continue turning. The only thing that will not change is that this will never change… Dentistry is going through a complete makeover as we speak. As people are living longer, they need and also even demand teeth that are functional, good looking and comfort-able. About a generation and a half ago it was quite common to expect to have no more natural teeth when approaching middle age. In our cur-rent times we will see a significant percentage of people in very advanced age groups who still have a respectable level of dental health. And any of these will have advanced dental procedures done to improve their quality of life as part of their overall philosophies. The reasons people of all ages try to avoid going to the dentist are usually related to fear and financial concerns.

changing dental technology

Over the years Dentistry has developed a lot of strategies that make it possible to get better results within a shorter time frame, to increase levels of comfort during and after treatment, and to significantly reduce complications of dental treatment. Dentistry has fully entered the digital age where we can now better diagnose the disease at an earlier stage and offer conservative, and well-timed solutions. The usage of CT-scanners has become commonplace and allows us to do thorough analyses with no distortion. We now have the capability to take a video of someone’s teeth and turn this into a 3D model. These files can be emailed to a production facility where artificial teeth can be made using milling machines and 3D printing technologies. These milling machines are actually like robots, improving the accuracy of dental restorations to a level that almost surpasses the ability of the human eye to see. We use this same technology to fabricate surgical guides when placing dental implants. It used to take more than an hour or more of trial and error when placing an implant with only mixed results. Now we can be finished.

Dentistry has fully entered the digital age where we can now better diagnose the disease at an earlier stage and offer conservative, and well-timed solutions. The usage of CT-scanners has become common place and allows us to do thorough analyses with no distortion. We now have the capability to take a video of someone’s teeth and turn this into a 3D model… within 15 minutes while enjoying amazing levels of accuracy and safety that were unheard of not that long ago. With the planning of orthodontics, it is no different. In more and more situations the need for traditional metal brackets and wires is replaced by clear plastic retainers that will move teeth in small steps. There is 3D animation available that will visualize the direction the teeth are going to move to so surprises are kept to a minimum. You might say “well that sounds great, but I am still scared!” If you ask your dentist a lot of questions, and if you are well informed why your teeth are in the shape they’re in, and if you understand the pros and cons of the available options, usually the fear will be more manageable. What we fear most in our lives is the unknown. That holds true for everything in life and Dentistry is no exception.

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Covid-19 (Corona) Virus



Our team at Williams Lake Smiles is excited to have the opportunity to welcome you back soon! Dr. Wassenaar, Dr. Dahia and the whole Williams Lake Smiles team appreciate your continued support and understanding as we continue to move through this difficult time

We are gradually reopening in the safest way to ensure that we take all precautions to keep both our patients and our staff healthy.

At this time, we are focusing on addressing emergency needs for our patients. Full dental services, including hygiene care, will be introduced gradually with priority booking to the patients that were delayed treatment during our time of closure. We will be contacting our patients to reschedule these procedures in the coming weeks.

Our office has always utilized personal protective equipment (PPE) that has exceeded all the recommended guidelines. We consciously designed our office with well-spaced, separate treatment rooms that allow minimization of aerosol transfer throughout the office. We have also added a brand new HEPA air management system to allow continuous air filtration in all treatment rooms and common areas to remove germs from circulating air. This puts us in a good position moving forward. However, in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have instituted additional guidelines and protocols to ensure your safety and that of our team.

Upon returning to Williams Lake Smiles you will notice our new enhanced precautions:

-When you are scheduling an appointment, our staff will ask you a set of health-related questions.

-You will be contacted 48-72 hours prior to your appointment via email and asked a set of pre-appointment instructions and health-related questions. It is required that you complete this questionnaire prior to your appointment. We will have to reschedule your appointment if we are unable to complete this step. Please also give our administrative staff all the necessary personal contact information to expedite our communications with you and your family.

-We have implemented new protocol for scheduling your appointments and managing your insurance and financial transactions virtually to allow for a contactless exit from your appointment.

-There will be new arrival procedures to guide you from your car directly to treatment rooms to eliminate contacting surfaces and other patients.

-You will be asked the above screening questions again on your arrival to your appointment.

-Your temperature will be taken on arrival. Again, we will have to reschedule your appointment if your temperature is elevated.

-You will be asked to put on the provided shoe covers and disinfect your hands upon arrival.

-All non-essential companions will be asked to remain outside of the clinic during the appointment. This includes friends, spouses, drivers, parents, and other children.

-We will maintain social distancing in the reception area for essential caregivers and parents of minors if they absolutely cannot wait in a vehicle or outside the clinic.

-We have removed magazines and other items that can harbor or transfer germs of any kind

-Glass barriers have been added in our reception area

-We have enhanced clinic disinfection procedures before and after all appointments.

-You will see new personal protection equipment like visors, gowns, and different masks for our doctors and team to provide barriers against the smallest of germs.

-We have protocols to reduce or eliminate airborne aerosols during all dental procedures.

-We have enhanced continuous disinfection procedures of equipment and office fixtures like computers, keyboards, telephones, tablets, chairs, doorknobs, and buttons that may be touched unconsciously.

-We will be disinfecting all outside mail and packages that enter the building.

-We will have longer appointment times for you to prepare and complete all appointment tasks and duties in the safest and most comprehensive manner.

-Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean fewer options will be available for scheduling your appointment.

We ask that, as we have so many patients to see, you treat your reserved dental appointment with the highest level of respect. Answer the screening questions honestly. Please arrive on time for your appointment. We may not be able to see you if you are late. If you miss your appointment it may be quite some time before we can get you back in.

We are committed to maintaining our high standard of dental health and safety under these new circumstances and appreciate your confidence in us.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

We are all excited to get back to work. Thank you for being our patients. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbours, and friends.


Dr. Rudy Wassenaar

Dr. Sophia Dahia

And the entire Williams Lake Smiles Team

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