To your overall health
More research surfaces daily about the connections between oral and overall health. The health of the teeth and gums is inextricably intertwined with cognitive, respiratory, and cardiac health. For example, changing the way you position you teeth or jaw while you sleep can improve your quality of sleep, improve or eliminate sleep apnea, and reduce TMD-related migraines (commonly known as “TMJ”), earaches, and neck and shoulder pain. Research has indicated that up to 40% of people with high blood pressure have some sort of sleep apnea, and that improving that sleep apnea can in return, lower blood pressure. Gum disease has even been linked to problems with pregnancy, such as premature delivery and low birth weight.
Some patients have indicated that they have concerns about radiation exposure from X-rays. Most people do not know that throughout the day, we are all exposed to radiation from common sources, such as the sun, soil, and even the foods we eat. We use digital radiography for our diagnostic X-rays, because they require 75-90-percent less radiation exposure than traditional X-rays. With our system, an entire series of oral X-rays doesn’t exceed the exposure that a person would normally encounter in a day. We take every precaution to ensure your safety. We also use special aprons to protect your body from the minimal amount of radiation required for capturing X-rays.
To the environment
Integrating advanced technology and procedures, our team of professionals works diligently to offer dental care that positively influences the whole body while being considerate of the environment.
Part of our effort to be environmentally friendly includes eliminating our medical waste. Rather than shipping boxes of medical waste to be processed, we treat it in-office, eliminating the need for transport, storage of harmful waste and potential spill. When our Waste Disposal Machine is done treating our waste, it is compacted, sterile, and totally harmless.
We use digital radiography instead of traditional film based x-rays. This exposes our patients to 75-90% less radiation than traditional X-rays. Also, traditional x-ray film is packaged with lead, a heavy metal that must be disposed of carefully, but with our digital radiography we use a completely safe digital sensor. In addition, our digital radiography requires no chemical processing, which is more efficient for your time and also better for the environment since it does not require chemical processing and disposal.
Our office has converted to digital dental records instead of using traditional paper charts. This reduces the amount of paper our office uses and disposes of, and it allows for faster transmission of data between health care providers.
Our office also uses digital impressions whenever possible, eliminating the use of the materials going into the impression that will eventually be discarded, and also eliminating the shipping of those materials to a laboratory. The majority of our laboratory work is done on site, being delivered to our patients the same day or next day. If needed to be sent to an outside laboratory, digital impressions can be received in seconds, decreasing the amount of wait time significantly.
Another example of our environmental consideration includes the materials that we use. We do not use amalgam (silver) fillings, which contain mercury, a heavy metal that in some forms is hazardous to humans and the environment. The World Health Organization, the leading organization for worldwide health concerns has recommended that dentistry move away from dental amalgam due to environmental and health concerns. While historically, amalgam has been commonly used in dentistry, and it has been shown to last a long time in the mouth if cared for properly, there are now much better restorative materials available that are strong, have the same color as natural, healthy tooth, and are safe for humans and the environment.
To the community
Michigan City Dental, P.C. has been a steadfast part of the Michigan City community since 1952. We are very proud of our community and the wonderful people that help make it our home. We consider it to be very important to support them and the organizations that help it grow and develop, as well as to support the people in the community who may not otherwise have access to dental care.
We have been committed members of the Michigan City Chamber of Commerce since 1952. Dr. Faye Stokes is also on it’s Board of Directors and we are members of its young professionals Lakefront Career Network. We also are members of the Chicago Dental Society, the Indiana Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the Northwest Indiana Dental Society and the LaPorte County Dental Society, which is a wonderful group of local practitioners who have monthly meetings and continuing education. Finally, we are members of the Michigan City Rotary Club, helping run community programs and raising money for scholarships and improving children’s education.
We were proud to announce that Dr. Thomas Stokes was presented with the 2014 Donated Dental Service Outstanding Service Award for Indiana. Donated Dental provides free dental care for people who cannot afford care and are disabled, elderly or have a serious illness. Dr. Stokes has been participating in the program since 1989 and was one of three dentists or practices to receive an award for the year. He was the only general practitioner among the winners.
Both Dr. Faye Stokes and Dr. Shane Harmon were recipients of several awards and scholarships throughout their education. Dr. Harmon was a recipient of Wabash College’s prestigious Montgomery County Commissioner’s Scholarship. Dr. Faye Stokes was a Delta Dental Scholar, along with being a Cox Scholar and a recipient of many other academic awards.
Michigan City Dental is also proud to participate in the Operation Stand Down program for military Veterans. We have provided over $23,000 of free dental services in a single year to military veterans in the program, and we still have more giving back to do for those who have given so much for us!
We consider community education to be very important, and dental education must start young to have a healthy mouth! A supportive family and dental environment is key, but so is knowing the basics of how to take care of your teeth! To ensure that dental education reaches all our kids, we have traveled to kindergartens all over Michigan City during National Dental Health Month and teach the children how to keep their smiles healthy, which includes brushing a flossing lessons and supplying them with toothbrushes, toothpaste and activities for home.
We love our careers and our dental family and it must show! We were invited to participate in the AK Smith Center’s Nontraditional Employment for Women seminar and also the Krueger Lighthouse Program’s spotlight on our profession. We welcome any questions from students who want to know more about our field!