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What We Are Doing to Keep You and Our Team Safe.

We are excited to have the opportunity to welcome you back! Our office has always utilized personal protective equipment (PPE) that has exceeded all the CDC guidelines, however, in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic we have instituted additional guidelines and protocols to ensure your safety.

You will see many changes, as we have new ways of scheduling your appointments and managing your insurance and financial transactions. First, you will be contacted 48-72 hours prior to your appointment via phone, text or email and asked a set of health-related questions. It is required that we complete this questionnaire prior to your appointment. We will have to reschedule your appointment if we are unable to complete this step.

Below is a list of some of the enhanced precautions we have taken to protect you in addition to extensive team training on infection control and patient management procedures.

1.  Personalized arrival procedures to guide you from your car directly to treatment rooms to eliminate contacting surfaces.
2.  Maintain distancing in the reception area for essential caregivers and parents of minors if they cannot wait in a vehicle or outside the clinic.
3.  Removed magazines and items that can harbor or transfer germs of any kind. Hand sanitizers will be positioned throughout the clinic.
4.  Providing more education materials to enhance your awareness of health issues related to this pandemic.
5.  We require a mask to be worn by ALL patients upon entering the office.
6.  Installed sneeze guards or droplet barriers at all reception areas.
7.  Require hand washing and hand sanitizing before all appointments by our team and by our patients.
8.  Introduce an oral pre rinse by all patients to reduce exposure to germs.
9.  Require all team members to undergo periodic testing for COVID-19 and antibodies for the earliest detection of exposure should it exist.
10.  Record temperature of every patient upon entering the office.
11.  Record the temperature and lung efficiency of every team member each day at beginning and end of work period.
12.  Payment arrangements in advance to avoid delay and allow contactless exit from the appointment.
13.  Enhanced operatory disinfection procedures of all surfaces between patients.
14.  Ambient air management with HEPA 13 air filtration continuously in treatment rooms and common areas to remove germs from circulating air.
15.  Enhanced HVAC disinfection with UV light or HEPA Filtration units.
16.  Enhanced operatory disinfection procedures before and after all appointments with mist or fogging devices to access hard to reach places that can be easily missed.
17.  New personal protection equipment like visors, gowns, and masks for our doctors and team to provide barriers against the smallest of germs.
18.  Introduce protocols to reduce or eliminate airborne aerosols during all dental procedures.
19.  Enhanced nightly disinfection procedures of equipment and office fixtures like computers, keyboards, telephones, tablets, chairs, doorknobs, and buttons that may be touched unconsciously.
20.  Disinfection of all outside mail and packages that enter the building.
21.  Longer appointment times for you to prepare and complete all appointment tasks and duties in the safest and most comprehensive manner.
22.  Providing teledentistry services for follow up lab reports or communication that can be done online or through video education.
23.  Provide disease testing recommendations for exposure detection to viruses.

Bruxism & Mouthguards
Mercer Island, WA

Mercer Island dentist holding a mouthguard to treat teeth grinding at Goichi Shiotsu, DDS.Bruxism is a condition in which you grind and clench your teeth. When you grind and clench, this puts excessive pressure on your teeth, your jaws, your facial muscles, and your temporomandibular joints. This pressure can lead to a significant amount of pain, as well as interfere with the normal functions of your mouth. At Goichi Shiotsu, DDS, we can alleviate the issues associated with bruxism with a mouthguard.

Effects of Bruxism

Bruxism can have a serious impact on your teeth and can cause a significant amount of long-term damage. Effects of bruxism on your teeth include
•  Flattening the chewing surfaces.
•  Chips or cracks.
•  Cracked or loose fillings.
•  Gum recession.
•  Tooth loss.

What Causes Bruxism?

There are some different issues that can lead to bruxism. Common causes include
•  Stress. Stress is one of the leading causes of bruxism. It causes your muscles, including your facial muscles to tense, which leads to grinding and clenching.
•  Misaligned teeth. Misaligned teeth can put uneven pressure on your teeth.
•  Caffeine consumption.
•  Tobacco use.
•  Alcohol consumption.
•  Certain types of medications.

The Symptoms of Bruxism

When bruxism first begins, you might never know that you have it. The symptoms begin very mild, almost unnoticeable. Over time, however, they begin to worsen. Symptoms of bruxism include
•  Jaw and temporomandibular joint pain.
•  Tired jaw and facial muscles.
•  Trouble eating or to speak.
•  Pain when moving your mouth.
•  Excessive or uneven wear patterns on your teeth.
•  Gum recession, which can lead to tooth sensitivity.
•  Loosening teeth.

Treating Bruxism with a Mouthguard

A mouthguard is a common treatment for bruxism. It is an intraoral device that is worn over your top teeth, covering the entire arch. The main function of the mouthguard is to absorb the impact of grinding and clenching, keeping the pressure off of your teeth, your jaws, and your temporomandibular joints. As a result, your pain and other symptoms are alleviated. There are a few different types of mouthguards available. These include
•  Stock. A stock mouthguard is one that you can find readily at your local pharmacy. These mouthguards are pre-molded. As a result, they may not fit your mouth properly. While affordable, these mouthguards may not be effective. They may fall out or interfere with breathing.
•  Boil and bite. A boil and bite mouthguard is also readily available at pharmacies. With this type of mouthguard, you drop it in boiling water to soften the material. The material then forms around your teeth as you bite into it.
•  Custom. A custom mouthguard is one that is professionally created based on impressions of your mouth. We can provide this type of mouthguard for you.

Why Get a Custom Mouthguard?

If you are dealing with bruxism, a custom mouthguard will provide you with the best protection. This type of mouthguard is made out of impressions of your mouth, which enables us to create a mouthguard just for you. In addition to fitting perfectly in your mouth, we can take your bite into consideration. We also use the highest quality materials. All of this ensures the optimal protection for your teeth and jaws

If bruxism is affecting your oral health and your quality of life, a mouthguard may be the solution for you. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, contact Goichi Shiotsu, DDS at (206) 232-3600 today.
Goichi Shiotsu, DDS Logo - Mercer Island Dentist
2825 80th Ave SE, Suite 3
Mercer Island, WA 98040
Hours: Tuesday - Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm
(206) 232-3600