PETOSKEY -- Petoskey's Dentistry by the Bay practice recently announced additions to its equipment and staff.
One addition is a new Promax panoramic X-ray machine. This means no more hard "bitewing" film holders in patients' mouth to possibly gag on, and 75 percent less radiation than when using older dental X-ray equipment.
"We love it because the machine provides us with so much more information about patients' conditions," said Dr. Johnna Driscoll, a dentist at Dentistry by the Bay.
The new, extraoral X-ray approach lets dentists view more of the bitewing feature then they do with just regular intraoral bitewings because they actually see part of the jaw and the full structure of the teeth.
Dentistry by the Bay formerly was known as Martinson & Driscoll. Dr. Julie Martinson retired in late 2012 after 21 years with the practice, and Driscoll renamed the operation at 2064 M-119. A new, bright blue sign along M-119 marks the location.
For those who may be anxious when going to the dentist, Dentistry by the Bay has a relaxation room to use before or after appointments. A high-end massage chair is now available in this room, along with a noise machine and paraffin hand wax station.
With an increase in its patient load, Dentistry by the Bay also has added a second dentist -- Driscoll's husband, Dr. Mark Mercer, who has been in practice in St. Ignace. He currently works one day per week at Dentistry by the Bay.
Elaine Boyer, a dental assistant at the practice with 25 years of experience, recently received her Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) designation and plans to become Registered Dental Assistant (RDA). Kacey Howard, another of the practice's dental assistants, already has obtained these designations.
"This is such a great help to me as they are now qualified to meet more of the patients' needs," said Driscoll. "I encourage all of my employees to take more education because it helps them to be better at what they do and take on more responsibility."
Dentistry by the Bay can be reached by phone at (231) 347-7471, and has a website at nmdentists.com.