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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.

Signs of TMJ Disorders and When to See a Dentist
Mercer Island, WA

Woman with jaw pain in need of TMJ disorder appointment with Dr. Shiotsu in Mercer IslandProper oral health is not just about maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. While your teeth and gums play a major role, your jaw is just as important. Unfortunately, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which controls the movement of your jaw, is complex and fragile. If you experience problems with your TMJ, we here at Goichi Shiotsu, DDS recommend scheduling an appointment as soon as possible. We offer several treatments designed to correct the signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders, also known as TMD.

What Is the TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge that allows you to move your jaw forward, backward, and side-to-side. This complex joint consists of muscles, ligaments, bones, cartilage, and discs on each side of the jaw. The bones within the joint are covered with cartilage and separated by a shock-absorbing disk.

Problems with the TMJ can prevent you from properly using your jaw. If you suffer from TMD, you may have issues chewing, speaking, yawning, and even smiling. We recommend seeking medical treatment if you experience any of the major symptoms associated with TMJ disorders.

Causes and Symptoms of TMJ Disorders

The exact cause of your TMD will be hard to pinpoint, even with the latest techniques and technology. This is because TMD shares many symptoms with other disorders, like bruxism (teeth grinding). However, most TMJ symptoms are related to disk erosion, disk misalignments, cartilage damaged by arthritis, and facial trauma.

The symptoms of TMJ are much easier to recognize. Some of these symptoms include:
•  Pain or tenderness in one or both sides of your face
•  Pain or tenderness in the jaw muscles
•  Pain when opening and closing the jaw
•  Immobility of the jaw (lockjaw)
•  General pain in the face
•  Problems chewing, speaking, or yawning
•  Clicking or grating noises when using the jaw

Pain is usually the biggest indicator that something is wrong with your TMJ. Your pain may be the result of several factors like arthritis, injury, and genetics. While many of the symptoms can be managed with self-care, it is important to consult with a dentist first.

Diagnosis and Treatment of TMJ Disorders

During your initial consultation, Dr. Shiotsu will discuss your symptoms and perform a comprehensive exam. Your exam is typically broken up into physical visual components that may include digital x-rays and CBCT scans. These diagnostic tools provide us with an in-depth overview of the bones, muscles, and disks within your TMJ.
Treatments for TMD are as varied as its symptoms. In some cases, your symptoms may disappear with no treatment at all. Persistent symptoms usually require professional intervention.

One of our most common treatments involves a custom-made mouth guard, especially if you clench your jaw at night. During sleep, your mouth guard will keep the jaw in a more relaxed position. Your guard will also protect your teeth from the harmful effects of bruxism.

For severe TMD, we may recommend certain medications like pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxants. It’s important to note that the use of medications is usually a temporary measure. We may also recommend habit counseling and physical therapy as more permanent solutions.

Schedule Your Consultation Now!

Waiting to see a dentist may result in worse symptoms and greater complications. Call (206) 232-3600 to schedule your consultation now!
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