Dr. Nick’s definition of comfort in the dental practice: a lack of fear, pain, and/or anxiety, often accompanied by the patient possessing a sense of control and empowerment.
Over the years, Dr. Nick has found that a combination of the following does just that for his dental patients:
- Communication: Dr. Nick has been referred to by many his patients as “the House of Dentistry”! Why? Because he knows what he’s doing and explains everything as he accomplishes it for the patient. After all, knowledge is power! Knowledge provides a sense of relief for the defenseless dental patient in the dental chair, and without trust, there is fear. Dr. Nick routinely shows the patient virtual modeling, intraoral pictures, and even videos of what he plans on doing for the patient, should they have an interest. Most often they do have an interest, and this honest and complete dissemination of knowledge empowers them, thereby allowing them to eliminate their anxiety and fear.
- Informed Consent: we always explain what needs to happen, why, how long it will take, and (most importantly) what will go right!
- Right hand rule: anytime a patient feels any discomfort whatsoever, the right hand rule always applies. The patient is simply asked to raise his/her right hand, and Dr. Nick ceases whatever he’s doing, pronto!
- Nitrous/laughing gas: it’s always available for anyone who wants it. Nicest part, the patient breathes it off within minutes of leaving the dental chair, so that they can safely drive themselves back to work or home, without any residual effects.
- Isolite dry field technology: A soft, comfortable plastic block that is attached to a gentle vacuum which illuminates and evacuates the oral cavity with light and suction, respectively. This technology eliminates any fear of cheek or tongue slipping into the operating field as the dental work occurs, and even helps to remove any fluid and debris that might be created during the procedure.
- Air abrasion technology: Kinetic rather than mechanical energy; a sandblaster of sorts, on teeth. No whiny noise because there’s no drill; it’s simply tiny aluminum oxide particles under pressure removing small cavities from teeth. This technology is typically not felt at all, and local anesthetic is usually not needed. So, no shot, no numbness! Air abrasion is indicated for smaller virgin cavity situations, and it’s amazing stuff!
- Electric handpieces: quieter than the normal hi-speed air driven drill (handpiece) that dentists usually use. It also has more torque, meaning that it can do it’s job faster too!
- Local anesthesia: Dr. Nick’s secrets to comfortable local anesthesia: Secret #1: topical gels are rarely used properly in a dental practice. The area where the anesthetic infection will occur needs to be wiped completely dry and then the gel needs to actually sit there on the dry tissue for a good minute or more to be effective. Dr. Nick always does this… Secret #2: Part of the reason the “shot” stings at the dentist is due to the pH (acidity) of the local anesthetic drug. Typically dentists use anesthetics that contain epinephrine. The epi is present to constrict the blood vessels (which always travel with nerves, and we’re targeting nerves with the injection to stop the feeling of course) around where the anesthetic is injected, making it harder for the bloodstream to whisk away the anesthetic, so it will last longer. Problem is, the epi makes the pH even more acidic/drops the pH even further! Well, this low, acidic pH STINGS! There exists pH neutral local anesthetics that are much closer to body pH, so there’s less chance of a sting. These anesthetics are expensive, but Dr. Nick always uses them to help ensure patient comfort. Secret #3: there exists a computerized gadget known as “the Wand” that actually senses how much pressure the operator can comfortably use during the injection so that secret #4 is not violated. Secret #4: injecting slowly is critical. Pushing too quickly when the dentist is in a hurry actually tears the tissue a bit, and this trauma can hurt! Dr. Nick always takes his time with this critical step. A combination of the above four “secrets” are why Dr. Nick’s patients always brag how they’re simply not afraid of getting numb anymore!
- Anti-anxiety meds as needed such as Xanax or valium: if it’s safe for the adult patient, we are happy to call it in for them before the appointment.
- No temporaries for porcelain restorations: Almost all dentists take molds, place temporaries, and send off to a dental laboratory for porcelain restorations such as crowns. Dr. Nick rarely places temporaries or takes molds. This is huge, because more control is afforded with the digital imaging modalities at our disposal. More control means more predictable dental treatment outcomes. With our CEREC® CAD/CAM technology, the permanent porcelain crown, inlay, onlay or veneer is completed in our office, the same visit, while the patient is numb (for the first and last time for the given procedure). No return visits, no uncomfortable temporary, no bad tastes, no additional injections, no bite feeling off. Dr. Nick has been using the CEREC technology for over a decade and has created over 7,000 same day restorations with this amazing technology!
Dr. Nick Yiannios
- Fellow & Accredited Member, The Academy of CAD/CAM Dentistry
- Member, International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
- Member, International Association of Mercury Free Dentists
- Accreditation Candidate, the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
- 1993 Graduate The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School
Dr. Nick’s primary goal: to become the least intimidating, most informative, most trusted, and best dentist in NWA, and beyond-PERIOD!