Patient Information

First Visit

Your initial appointment will consist of a consultation explaining your diagnosis and treatment options. Occasionally, surgery can be performed the same day as the consultation. However, a complex medical history or treatment plan will require an evaluation and a second appointment to provide treatment on another day.

Please assist us by providing the following information at the time of your consultation:

  • Your surgical referral slip and any x-rays if applicable.
  • A list of medications you are presently taking.
  • If you have medical or dental insurance, bring the necessary completed forms. This will save time and allow us to help you process any claims.

IMPORTANT: All patients under the age of 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the consultation visit.

 

X-RAYS

If your dentist or physician has taken x-rays, you may request that they forward them to our office. If there is not enough time, please pick them up and bring them to our office. If additional films are necessary, they can be taken at our facility.

Scheduling

Our office is open Monday 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM, Tuesday 9:30 AM until 6 PM, Wednesday 8:30 AM until 5 PM, Thursday from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM, and Friday from 8:00 AM until 3:00 PM.

Later or Earlier appointments are available upon request.

We will schedule your appointment as promptly as possible. If you have pain or an emergency situation, every attempt will be made to see you that day. In the event of an emergency, call (304) 298-3501.

We try our best to stay on schedule to minimize your waiting. Due to the fact Dr. Tritapoe provides many types of dental services, various circumstances may lengthen the time allocated for a procedure. Emergency cases can also arise and cause delays. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Please call us at 304-298-3501 with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Financial Policy

Patient Billing

For your convenience we accept Visa and MasterCard. We deliver the finest care at the most reasonable cost to our patients, therefore payment is due at the time service is rendered unless other arrangements have been made in advance. If you have questions regarding your account, please contact us at 304-298-3501. Many times, a simple telephone call will clear any misunderstandings.

Please remember you are fully responsible for all fees charged by this office regardless of your insurance coverage.

We will send you a monthly statement. Most insurance companies will respond within four to six weeks. Please call our office if your statement does not reflect your insurance payment within that time frame. Any remaining balance after your insurance has paid is your responsibility. Your prompt remittance is appreciated. We can make arrangements for a monthly payment plan but this must be done prior to the actual procedure.

Insurance Information

At Dr. Russell Tritapoe, DDS, PLLC we make every effort to provide you with the finest care and the most convenient financial options. To accomplish this we work hand-in-hand with you to maximize your insurance reimbursement for covered procedures. If you have any problems or questions, please ask our staff. They are well informed and up-to-date. They can be reached by phone at  304-298-3501.

Please call if you have any questions or concerns regarding your initial visit.

Please bring your insurance information with you to the consultation so that we can expedite reimbursement.

Cerec


CEREC has changed the way dentist perform restorations. CEREC stands for ‘Ceramic Reconstruction’.  It’s a 3D imaging and camera assisted design center that allows dentists to take digital impressions of patient teeth and use the images to create a virtual restoration.  The images can be sent to a dental laboratory for fabrication or combined with an in-office milling unit for same day restorations. CEREC can be used to produce onlays, inlays, crowns or bridges without taking molded impressions.

 

 

Infection Control

Infection controls and universal precautions protect clients and staff alike. Everyone benefits from rigorous infection control — you, your dentist, and the dental team. The cornerstone in a good and safe dental practice is the element of trust. You should feel free to discuss this topic with Dr. Tritapoe and receive a straightforward answer. Dr. Tritapoe and our entire team follow procedures recommended by several federal agencies: the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). These measures include:

  • Disinfectant hand soap
  • Gloves and face masks
  • Chemical disinfection of countertops and surfaces
  • Sterilization of all equipment before every use
  • Disposable materials

We sterilize all reusable equipment, including dental hand pieces. We use an autoclave, a device that kills bacteria and viruses by steam, heat and pressure. The best defense against disease is information. The more you know, the better equipped you are to make wise decisions about your health care. The more you know about our daily procedures and policies, the more comfortable you will feel.

 

Advanced Technology

Digital Imaging

Dr. Tritapoe chooses carefully which and when radiographs are taken. There are many guidelines that we follow. Radiographs allow us to see everything we cannot see with our own eyes. Radiographs enable us to detect cavities in between your teeth, determine bone level, and analyze the health of your bone. We can also examine the roots and nerves of teeth, diagnose lesions such as cysts or tumors, as well as assess damage when trauma occurs.

Dental radiographs are invaluable aids in diagnosing, treating, and maintaining dental health. Exposure time for dental radiographs is extremely minimal. Dr. Tritapoe utilizes Digital Imaging Technologies within the office. With digital imaging, exposure time is about 50 percent less when compared to traditional radiographs. Digital imaging can also help us retrieve valuable diagnostic information. We may be able to see cavities better.

Digital imaging allows us to store patient images, and enables us to quickly and easily transfer them to specialists or insurance companies.

Digital X-Rays:

Digital X-rays offer more precision since we view the image on a computer monitor, instead of holding up a 35mm film up to the light. Digital X-rays results in 1/6th the radiation exposure to you.

Laser Dentistry

For patients who do not look forward to needles, drilling, or numbness, Laser Dentistry may be the right choice.

Laser dentistry is one of dentistry’s latest advances. The laser delivers energy in the form of light. Depending on the intended result, this energy travels at different wavelengths and is absorbed by a “target.” In dentistry, these targets can be enamel, decay, gum tissue, or whitening enhancers. Each one absorbs a different wavelength of light while reflecting others. Laser dentistry can be used for both tooth and soft tissue related procedures. Oftentimes no local anesthesia is required. Unlike with the dental drill, with laser dentistry there is no heat or vibration, making the procedure quite comfortable for most patients. For soft tissue (surgical) procedures it eliminates the need for suturing and healing is much faster.

Lasers can be used to diagnose cavities. They can find hidden decay in teeth in early stages, and in some cases the decay can be reversed through hygiene and fluoride treatment and may never need filling.
Areas of dental care that benefit from laser technology:

  • Cavity diagnosis and removal
  • Curing, or hardening, bonding materials
  • Whitening teeth
  • Periodontal, or gum related, care
  • Pediatric procedures
  • Apthous Ulcer treatment (canker sore)
  • Frenectomy (tongue-tie release) without anesthesia or sutures
  • Root canals and apicoectomies
  • Crown lengthening, gingivectomy and other gum corrections

Dental lasers have been shown to be safe and effective for treating both children and adults.

Home Care Instructions

After Cosmetic Reconstruction

Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite. When the bite is altered or the position of the teeth is changed it takes several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness as normal. If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call our office at 304-298-3501 so we can schedule an adjustment appointment.

It is normal to experience some hot and cold sensitivity. The teeth require some time to heal after removal of tooth structure and will be sensitive in the interim. Your gums may also be sore for a few days. Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) three times a day will reduce pain and swelling. A mild pain medication (one tablet of Tylenol or Ibuprofen (Motrin) every 3-4 hours) should ease any residual discomfort.

Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. You’ll quickly adapt and be speaking normally. You may notice increased salivation. This is because your brain is responding to the new size and shape of your teeth. This should subside to normal in about a week.

Daily brushing and flossing are a must for your new dental work. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your new teeth, as are regular cleaning appointments.

Any food that can crack, chip or damage a natural tooth can do the same to your new teeth. Avoid hard foods and substances (such as beer nuts, peanut brittle, ice, fingernails, or pencils) and sticky candies. Smoking will stain your new teeth. Minimize or avoid foods that stain such as coffee, red wine, tea and berries.

If you engage in sports let us know so we can make a custom mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, wear the night guard we have provided for you. Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile will take time. If you have any problems or concerns, please let us know. We always welcome your questions.

After Crown and Bridge Appointments

Crowns and bridges usually take two or three appointments to complete. In the first visit, the teeth are prepared and molds of the mouth are taken. Temporary crowns or bridges are placed to protect the teeth while the custom restoration is being made. Since the teeth will be anesthetized, the tongue, lips and roof of the mouth may be numb. Please refrain from eating and drinking hot beverages until the numbness is completely worn off.

Occasionally a temporary crown may come off. Call us at 304-298-3501 if this happens and bring the temporary crown with you so we can re-cement it. It is very important for the temporary to stay in place, as it will prevent other teeth from moving and compromising the fit of your final restoration.

To keep your temporaries in place, avoid eating sticky foods (gum), hard foods, and if possible, chew on the opposite side of your mouth. It is important to brush normally, but floss carefully and don’t pull up on the floss which may dislodge the temporary, but pull the floss out from the side of the temporary crown.

It is normal to experience some temperature and pressure sensitivity after each appointment. The sensitivity should subside a few weeks after the placement of the final restoration. Mild pain medications may also be used as directed by our office.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 304-298-3501.

After Tooth Extraction

After tooth extraction, it’s important for a blood clot to form to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process. That’s why we ask you to bite on a gauze pad for 30-45 minutes after the appointment. If the bleeding or oozing still persists, place another gauze pad and bite firmly for another 30 minutes. You may have to do this several times.

After the blood clot forms, it is important not to disturb or dislodge the clot as it aids healing. Do not rinse vigorously, suck on straws, smoke, drink alcohol or brush teeth next to the extraction site for 72 hours. These activities will dislodge or dissolve the clot and retard the healing process. Limit vigorous exercise for the next 24 hours as this will increase blood pressure and may cause more bleeding from the extraction site.

After the tooth is extracted you may feel some pain and experience some swelling. An ice pack or an unopened bag of frozen peas or corn applied to the area will keep swelling to a minimum. Take pain medications as prescribed. The swelling usually subsides after 48 hours.

Use the pain medication as directed. Call the office at  304-298-3501 if the medication doesn’t seem to be working. If antibiotics are prescribed, continue to take them for the indicated length of time, even if signs and symptoms of infection are gone. Drink lots of fluid and eat nutritious soft food on the day of the extraction. You can eat normally as soon as you are comfortable.

It is important to resume your normal dental routine after 24 hours. This should include brushing and flossing your teeth at least once a day. This will speed healing and help keep your mouth fresh and clean.

After a few days you will feel fine and can resume your normal activities. If you have heavy bleeding, severe pain, continued swelling for 2-3 days, or a reaction to the medication, call our office immediately at 304-298-3501.

After Composite Fillings (White Fillings)

When an anesthetic has been used, your lips and tongue may be numb for several hours after the appointment. Avoid any chewing and hot beverages until the numbness has completely worn off. It is very easy to bite or burn your tongue or lip while you are numb.

It is normal to experience some hot, cold & pressure sensitivity after your appointment. Injection sites may also be sore. Ibuprofen (Motrin), Tylenol or aspirin (one tablet every 3-4 hours as needed for pain) work well to alleviate the tenderness. If pressure sensitivity persists beyond a few days or if the sensitivity to hot or cold increases, contact our office at 304-298-3501.

You may chew with your composite fillings as soon as the anesthetic completely wears off, since they are fully set when you leave the office.

If your bite feels uneven, if you have persistent pain, or if you have any other questions or concerns, please call our office at 304-298-3501.