Contributed by Willa Clark, Times Republican News Editor
Corydon, March 19, 2013: (Contributed by Willa Clark, Times Republican News Editor) Whether the visit is a routine dental check-up, adjusting loose dentures or pulling a tooth, patients will find more than a new look at Prairie Trails Dental Clinic.
Recent remodeling work, coupled with all-new equipment, has made the clinic more efficient, more comfortable and more up-to-date for patients and for the staff.
Dr. John Scieszinski says Prairie Trails is now a 21st century clinic. The waiting room, which also serves Wayne County Public Health offices, remains the same, but the moment one steps into the dental hallway, differences can be noted. The four exam rooms now each have two entrances, allowing more efficient movement for the staff and patients who tend to feel claustrophobic or “cooped up” lose those feelings with the open floor plan.
New, more comfortable chairs for patients, crisp new cabinetry, new dental equipment, “It’s all new, from the floor to the ceiling,” Scieszinski says. Part of the renovation plan was to make the clinic handicap accessible everywhere. Previously, some doorways were too narrow and the restroom was so small it was difficult or impossible to turn a wheelchair. Now, patients who use a wheelchair or walker have comfortable access to all areas.
The renovation was more than just a matter of paint and carpet and changing a few doorways. A circular stairway to the basement was removed from the sterilization room. That room’s north wall was moved a few feet south to enlarge the restroom.
In spite of all the work going on in the building, dental appointments continued as usual. Scieszinski praises the work of Brad Willey, director of plant operations at Wayne County Hospital, and the plant operations staff, Aaron Brown, Dale Clark, Aaron Hoelting and Don Skinner, not only for their skillful work, but for making it possible to continue serving patients with the construction area sealed off.
Coming to Prairie Trails Dental Clinic in the next few weeks will be digital x-rays and electronic medical records. X-rays will be taken as usual, but will be processed digitally. Patients will be able to view their own x-ray results on large monitors and information can be sent electronically if needed. Although new to Prairie Trails, the technology is not new to Scieszinski. His work at University of Iowa College of Dentistry, where he continues to teach one day a week, has kept him on the cutting edge of dental technology.
The University of Iowa affiliation has also brought Prairie Trails into a research program on high blood pressure in Iowa’s rural areas. Blood pressure is checked at each dental visit, and the data, with no names connected, is sent to the university, where the study is being conducted. Scieszinski stresses no personal data is sent, just whether a person is male or female and the blood pressure numbers. The blood pressure checks can be a service to the patient who may be unaware of dangerously high blood pressure, and is then referred to their medical doctor. The blood pressure check also gives Scieszinski warning if a patient’s numbers are too high that day for dental work.
One item that has stayed the same as before, although it now occupies a different spot, is a hand-crafted pottery bowl that caught the eye of a certain reporter during appointments. The bowl is just one of several original pieces of art which brighten the clinic and are owned by Scieszinski.
An open house will be planned for a date later in the spring, for the public to see the changes, but anyone who calls and makes a dental appointment will have opportunity to see the new look earlier. To schedule an appointment call the Prairie Trails Family Dental Clinic at 641-872-2514.