April is National Oral Health Month. In order to encourage good oral health, the Herald will be profiling dental clinics for April’s Business Features. This week we take a look at Stoyoma Dental.

Stoyoma Dental has been in operation in Merritt for nearly eight years, first opening on May 1, 2013. The clinic was originally located in a storefront on Voght St. but three years ago moved into a more updated location at 2088 Quilchena Ave.

“Our staff consists of one dentist, Dr. Karthik Lakshminarayanan, two full time hygienists, three certified dental assistants, one chairside assistant who is taking her certification through distance education at Vancouver Community College, two receptionists and an office manager,” said Tricia Alexandruk, office manager. 

Stoyoma prides itself on being at the forefront of the latest in technology, as well as striving to be environmentally-friendly. By reducing their paper and plastic waste, the office is able to streamline their operations without negatively impacting patient care. 

“We are a paperless office, and we have a digital x-ray system,” said Alexandruk.

A digital x-ray produces an estimated 80% less radiation than a traditional x-ray, and also eliminates the need for film. This is a more eco-friendly method that also makes practical sense. Physical storage space is not necessary, and there is no degredation of the images over time.  

“We also have a machine that scans to take impressions of your teeth, for nightguards etc,” continues Alexandruk.

“No more having to use trays and waiting for it to set up in your mouth. This is a sleek new state of the art system.”

With the COVID-19 pandemic, Stoyoma ramped up their already stringent cleaning policies and came up with a new way to keep their staff and patients safe.

“We have recently installed an air sanitization system,” said Alexandruk. 

“This system is similar to what they use in hospitals. The air is cleaned through a Hepa and UV filtration system.”

UV light can be used for air purification, as it eliminates airborne pathogens such as bacteria, mold and viruses. HEPA, which stands for ‘High Efficiency Particulate Air’ is a type of filtration system that is effective at capturing nearly every size of particle of allergens, pollen, bacteria and viruses. 

These systems help to create an additional barrier which can reduce the transmission of COVID-19, a virus which can be spread via microscopic droplets of saliva or blood.

Stoyoma Dental, which takes its name from a local mountain, the highest peak in the northern Cascades, offers a wide range of dental services for patients in need of oral health care.

“Our team of professionals is always ready and willing to help with all your dental needs,” said Alexandruk.

“Our office motto is ‘your smile is our reward’. We offer all basic services from cleanings to fillings, root canals, extractions and for major services we do crowns and bridges.”

Regular visits to your dentist are a key part of maintaining your oral health, which in turn helps to keep your physical health in tip top condition. Stoyoma Dental serves all residents of the Nicola Valley, and happily accepts new patients, whether they require regular care or an emergency service. 

“Oral health affects your overall health,” explained Alexandruk. 

“The mouth is an entrance to the body, how you look after it affects parts of, or conditions of, the body that you may not realize. For example, periodontal disease, which is gum disease, and diabetes are like a balancing scale. If one condition is flared up it can affect the other. Periodontal disease can also affect the heart creating unnecessary strain.”

Stoyoma offers advice to help keep your teeth and mouth healthy, which is important all year long, not just during National Oral Health Month.

“Things people can do to keep their mouths healthy are to brush their teeth two times a day, floss daily, and choose a variety of healthy foods,” said Alexandruk.

“Limit your sugar and sticky snacks like candy, fruit leather, chips, cookies, and finally, visit your dental office for a checkup at least once a year.”