8385 N. Cornerstone Drive Hayden, ID  83835
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(208) 772-5141

Why General Dentistry is Good for Your General Health

Talking, eating, and smiling is an important part of everyone’s life. To do these well requires a mouth that is pain-free, odor-free, and pleasant to look at. 

What Does a General Dentist Do?

As a general dentist, my job is to assess your teeth, gums, and smile, to determine your level of confidence in your mouth. Part of this is simply to ask you how you feel and think about your smile. I will also ask you questions concerning your nutrition, your habits (both good and bad), and the attitude toward your mouth which you have acquired over your lifetime. Then utilizing my general dentistry training and experience of 40 years, we decide to do as much or as little as you desire to improve or maintain your smile. As a General Dentist, I am an educator seeking to provide the knowledge my patients will need to achieve the smile that they want. This will mean a good diagnosis of patient concerns. For example, I often see patients that are aging, taking multiple medications, have a sugary diet, are not able to sleep at night, have bad breath, and have generalized tooth sensitivity. For such a patient we would have a good conversation about each of these issues. I would hope to give this patient an understanding of how we can effectively get these issues under control over a reasonable period of time. My job as a General Dentist is not to fix all these issues, but to give the patient tools whereby they can choose positive steps to have a better quality of life.

What Training Does a General Dentist Have?

I have 4 years of Dental School training, which was merely the starting point. Also study clubs with other dentists, learning from their successes and failures. As well, mission trips performing General Dentistry in other cultures where I learned the value of teamwork in helping many people with significant dental health issues. From there, mentorships with experienced dentists, learning about the practical job of fixing teeth but more importantly learning how to communicate and come to a mutual understanding of what the patient wants and what I as a General Dentist can deliver.

How Often Should You Visit Your General Dentist?

  1. People that are confident in their smiles have good maintenance habits of brushing and flossing daily, with good nutrition and no systemic disease should see the General Dentist every 6 months or perhaps for financial reasons yearly.
  2. People with active decay or breakage in their teeth or with active gum disease where they are losing gum tissue and bone tissue may need to see the General Dentist weekly or monthly for continuing treatment to get mouth disease under control.
  3. People who are experiencing new systemic issues: diabetes, dry mouth, mental health issues causing clenching, grinding and breaking teeth, cancer, osteoporosis, eating disorders, pregnancy, sleep apnea, and physical trauma. These people may need to be seen every 3-6 months until their issues are resolved or their mouths become stable.

Covid-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Update

Dear Patients of Cornerstone Dental Center,

In order to better serve the community, to limit your and everyone’s potential exposure and conserve important medical resources during the Covid-19 challenge, we ask the following:

Please do not come into Cornerstone Dental Center if you have a fever (100 F or higher) or recent onset (last 2 weeks) onset of cough.
Please do not bring another person with you to your appointment unless you are a parent or guardian of the patient being seen.

We will need to take your (and your companion’s) temperature and ask a few questions before you come into our facilities.

If you believe you are ill with Covid-19 or influenza please call your primary care doctor’s office or your local urgent care rather than going in.
Testing for Covid-19 is recommended for you if you meet the following conditions:

  1. If you have a fever over 100 F and a cough, and have any chronic health conditions or are over the age of 60,
  2. If you have a fever over 100 F and a cough, and have had contact in the last 14 days with a known Covid-19 patient or recent travel to affected areas

People with mild symptoms and no underlying chronic health issues (chronic lung or kidney disease, diabetes, immune suppression are examples) are advised to STAY HOME until symptoms (cough, fever) have resolved for 72 hours.  But do call your primary care doctor’s office to find out if you need testing.  If you have shortness of breath, you should go to the Emergency Room (but call first, or have someone call for you).

The Panhandle Health District has set up a hotline if you have questions: 1-877-415-5225

Kootenai County is a strong community and we will get through this by working together to limit the spread, and to protect our medically vulnerable friends and neighbors. Thank you for helping us and each other in this challenging time.