Most of us don’t like to go to the dentist. However, studies show that one’s oral health can have a big impact on one’s overall physical health. So that trip to the dentist may be more important than most of us realize.
Shannon Thorsteinson DMD and owner of Wellspring Dental understands the connection between the two and wants to make a difference in the lives of her patients. And with the state-of-the-art technology available today, Shannon and her staff are doing just that!
“We’re all trying to be healthy, but the mouth tends to be something we may not focus on,” Shannon says. “If a new patient comes in, we’re going to do all the normal things you think of, like taking x-rays and checking the gums. We’re also going to check for cavities. But we take it to another level. We’re going to take a sample of your saliva and look at it under a microscope.”
Just by looking at a patient’s saliva, they can identify bacteria present in the mouth. And while all bacteria aren’t bad, Shannon explains there are five bacteria implicated in illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and even pregnancy complications and fertility. “My hope is that we can positively impact the lives of our patients. I don’t want inflammation or any infection in the mouth to be a reason a patient has one of those problems because they’re all preventable,” she says.
Wellspring Dental welcomes infants, children, and adults, and promotes early intervention and preventive care focusing on airway health, cosmetic dentistry, and general dentistry. “I like to emphasize that we’re regular dentists who go the extra mile,” she says.
Another way they go the extra mile is patient comfort. Shannon realizes it’s often hard for some people to take that first step and make an appointment, so she says she likes to start with a conversation. “I always ask patients about their history and background because I want to know if there’s been anything in the past to be aware of. Then we cater the experience to that patient in particular,” she says, adding that her goal is to build trust with patients over time. Shannon explains that through informed consent and talking about options to ensure the patient has full autonomy over treatment empowers the patient to make the right choices for them.
Technology also helps. “That’s our goal by investing in technology,” Shannon says. “We want to make it more comfortable for patients.” And thanks to technology, Wellspring offers a number of same day services, so patients won’t have to deal with things like temporary crowns and multiple visits. Technology, like 3D printing, allows for better fitting materials and lasting quality work, so patients have good experiences with predictable outcomes.
And they focus on biocompatibility as well. “Dental work in general is permanently implanted in the body and so we want to be mindful of the materials we use.” Shannon says, and by offering these services and seeing the impact, it's very fulfilling and meaningful work.
Visit wellspringdentalatl.com for more information.
“We want to make it more comfortable for patients.” Shannon Thorsteinson DMD