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Frequently Asked Questions

The doctors and dentists who refer patients to Dr. Evans are dedicated to their patients and have a keen understanding of the relationship between oral and whole body health.  They have high standards and expectations regarding their patients’ well-being.  They encourage their patients to research and educate themselves regarding dental health and understand dental service options. The following is a compilation of frequently asked questions and some typical responses referring physicians want their patients to discover. Patients need to identify a dentist who will welcome these types of questions, understanding that a well-informed patient will be a patient that will follow through and together, achieve more positive results.

The answers to these questions need to be patient specific, thus it is not the intention of this section to provide specific answers rather to promote further research to enable patients to make informed decisions and encourage them to seek answers that are best for them. Dr. Evans believes that informed patients ultimately know their own needs better than anyone else. He listens to them and honors their requests for healthier choices, which may ultimately lead to a happier more productive World where everyone benefits.

May I have a phone interview with you to ask a few questions and may I visit your office?

This response would tell me if the dentist will take the time to listen to me and consider my individual needs and concerns. I would ask about the dentist’s medical/dental history forms to see what types of questions the dentist asks. I want to know if the dentist will listen and respond appropriately to my concerns. An office visit would allow me to see equipment used and experience the environmental aspects regarding safety, cleanliness and orderliness of the office and the staff attention to detail; to see if they are friendly, compassionate and knowledgeable.

Do you request a complete medical and dental history?

A comprehensive Medical and Dental History provides a compassionate dentist with insights to possible concerns and is an essential form of communication and an effective way to “listen” to the patient.

How many patients do you see a day?

This answer would tell me about the dentist's motivation and dedication to individual patients and/or practice productivity goals since many dentists are trained to believe that one of the signs of a successful practice is the number of patients effectively seen in a day. I want to know that the dentist is paying attention to my mouth more than the clock. I would rather wait for the patient scheduled before me, knowing that I will receive the same level of focus and dedication when it is my turn. And the amount of time dedicated to thoroughness, attention to detail and concern for my well-being and time frames.

Is it true that a General Dentist may provide a greater range of services than a specialist? Will I be able to go to one source for all my potential service needs, both now and in the future? What are some other dental services I might consider?

A dedicated and well educated dentist seeks training, continuing education, and expertise in all dental related areas in order to meet the many potential changing dental needs and be experienced with most, if not all, aspects of dentistry. Such services, might include; Sleep Study, Grind Appliances, TMJ, Head/Neck/Facial Pain, Cosmetic Improvements, Preventative Periodontal, and Restoration Services, as well as Oral Surgery.

How much time do you spend with each restoration or any other dental procedure? How many teeth are you able to restore or how much work can be accomplished during my appointment?

This would tell me if the dentist’s focus is on patient care rather than keeping to a tight schedule and how much time is committed to a thorough procedure where all potential decay is removed and new restorations would be on a healthy clean foundation. It would also tell me about how careful and gentle the procedure will be, to protect me and not potentially damage any surrounding tissue and teeth also reducing post procedural bruising, swelling and discomfort. Consideration would be for the amount of time and work that would be best for my health and time constraints

What may I expect during an initial phone interview and an in-person consultation / exam?

During the initial interview, it should be expected that the dentist provide the opportunity and the ability to evaluate specific needs and identify philosophies, belief systems, and service options. The radiographic services should be state-of-the-art and low radiation exposure. The consultation will further provide potential treatment plans, estimated range of costs, and time frames. After clarification and understanding of the information from the interview, exam, and consultation, I will be able to decide on the treatment plan that suits me best.

How important is the patient's Input in a treatment plan?

The dentist that believes in empowering patients with the confidence and comprehends that when people have an active role in their own care, they are more likely to get the results they want. A dental practice that provides compassionate listening and communicates hope through; technical excellence, positive thinking, skill and judgment; demonstrates commitment to excellence and accountability.

Can you establish effective and efficient treatment plans for patients traveling great distances?

A dentist with experience, a well-organized support system and the ability to truly listen to the needs of the patient, is able to coordinate the dental needs of patients traveling from anywhere in World.

Will you provide me with a list of materials so that I may test for compatibility?

This would be vital if I have chemical sensitivities and allergic reactions such as to latex?

What is your position on the mercury issue? What is your knowledge and experience with mercury?

This would tell me if the dentist takes the time to understand and is knowledgeable of integrative patient care recognizing that the teeth are not a separate part of the body. It would also assure me that the dentist has the courage and wisdom to conduct research, develop protocols, treatment plans, procedures; making mutually agreed upon decisions based upon patient care and safety regardless of popular apposing opinions. If a dentist is knowledgeable and understands mercury biochemistry, it is likely they will take the removal process seriously. I would be concerned if I hear, "I don't think the mercury in fillings is a big deal, but I'll take it out if you like”. This is probably a dentist that isn't very concerned about removal protocols and I would seek help elsewhere.

Do you use a rubber dam when removing failing amalgam fillings?

This would also demonstrate commitment to patients as this procedure increases the amount of preparation time and costs for the dentist. The rubber sheet greatly reduces the amount of particulates that might go down the throat and potentially absorbed by mucus membrane.

Is your suction system powerful and efficient?

Utilizing an efficient suction system in the oral cavity with a specialized adaptor or its equivalent is necessary to contain the mercury vapor and amalgam particles.

Do you apply copious amounts of water to the filling upon removal?

Large amounts of water help contain the mercury vapor and fine particulate matter, as well as, cool the filling.

Do you use magnification during procedures and if so, to what level of magnification?

I want to know they can see clearly what may not have been evident on xrays or scans and a 3.5 or greater magnification would be sufficient and increase the ability to see details.

Do you remove the failing metal mercury/amalgam filling in large sections?

By carefully cutting the tooth in sections, using a very thin bur and reducing the amount of drilling, the amount of mercury and fine particulates is minimized. Experienced dentists understand the amount of time and skill required to safely remove a failing metal filling.

Do you utilize alternative air sources and/or equipment to reduce mercury inhalation?

The dentist should employ one or more methods to prevent the patient from inhaling the mercury vapor and fine particulate matter. And additionally provide protection for all staff members by wearing mercury vapor masks.

What type of anesthesia do you use and please explain why you prefer one over another?

This would tell me the dentist’s knowledge of safer drugs that will contribute to my comfort, safety and recovery.

Do your patients have the option of being sedated during dental procedures?

The dentist should evaluate the best options given the needs and potential anxiety of the patient and provide healthy options. Many patients benefit from what is termed conscious sedation which is a very carefully administered and monitored sedation known for minimal side effects and optimal quick alertness after the procedure. Most patients report feeling rested and refreshed, yet the sedation is such that the patient may be responsive to questions or requests. This would be optimal to help patients relax during restorative and/or surgical procedures.

Are you knowledgeable about local anesthetics and their safety?

The dentist of my choice would have thorough knowledge of various local anesthetics and be able to determine what is most compatible for each patient. However, in general, local anesthesia, that is achieved without the use of products containing epinephrine or other additives that act as vasoconstrictors - that diminish blood flow to the area of anesthesia, to prolong its effect, are best for overall healing. A patients comfort and safety are primary and there should be the opportunity to communicate any concerns or discomfort and the dentist, I would select, would be sensitive and aware of any and all signs of concern.

I am not happy with my smile. Do you provide cosmetic dentistry?

A compassionate dentist understand the value and importance of a confident and comfortable smile that include attention to functionality and balance, as well as, appearance. And will make every effort to provide the various services related to orthodontics, implants, veneers and prosthetics such as dentures. Services could include idealizing cosmetic improvements, preventive periodontal and restoration services, or more

Do you recommend or perform Root Canal Therapy?

This answer will tell me the bottom line of the dentist's commitment to whole body health and understanding of the relationship between systemic infections originating from infection in the mouth from a dead tooth which is what happens after root canal therapy--this is a very controversial topic!!! Regardless of the "scientific" rational, it does not make sense to allow dead tissue to remain in the body and not expect some type of infection to spread.

Do you recommend or perform Metal Implants?

This is also a very controversial topic regarding the concerns with any metal in the mouth. Some individuals with robust systems and health do not appear to have any adverse reaction to metal or other toxic substances, yet others can trace a downhill spiral of their health and vitality shortly after metal fillings, metal implants, root canal therapy etc. and many professionals do not see any relationship between oral and whole body health. It would seem to be another common sense answer that suggests if there is a healthier alternative, it is best to choose a healthier preventative approach.

What is your training and knowledge of nutrition and do you understand of the uniqueness of each patient and are you open to working with other practitioners who are able to help me with protocols, procedures and monitoring of progress?

This would tell me of the dentist's knowledge and relationships with other practitioners and of whole body care and his commitment to my recovery if I am struggling with my health and/or my desire to provide the best possible foundation for health in the future.

Do you keep in touch with your patients and follow up on their progress?

This would tell me of the dentist's true interest in me personally and in my long term care and successful results.

Do you recommend that I follow up with a health care practitioner and document my progress and report back to you?

I want a dentist who demonstrates true interest in; clinical research, learning more, a connection with other health care practitioners and in my long term care.