Tips for Fighting Dental Fears

February 7th, 2016

If you experience fear about going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Studies show that about 50% of adults experience some level of fear about dental visits, with 5% of those suffering from severe anxiety. However, patient’s wishes for a nice smile and good oral health allow them to overcome their fears and visit their dentist in spite of their qualms.

These are some techniques that many patients use that enable them to get through their dental appointments successfully:

  • Using internal resources – telling yourself you can do it even though you are nervous
  • Prayer – relying on a higher power to help you through the treatment
  • Self distraction – singing to yourself or playing mental games to keep your mind off of what’s happening
  • Distancing – convincing yourself that any pain feels like something else, such as numbness
  • Optimism – focusing on what’s ahead after your appointment is over

In fact, optimism seems to be one of the biggest keys to overcoming your dental fears. Patients who use this method have been shown to visit the dentist more regularly than other patients who suffer from anxiety about dental treatment. Studies also reveal that humor is another important part of dealing with dental visits. Humor can break down psychological barriers, and allow the patient to feel more comfortable in their interactions with the dentist and staff. An atmosphere of humor tends to reduce stress and increase a sense of well-being and satisfaction in a potentially nervous situation.

However, if none of these techniques work for you, sedation dentistry is a option to consider.

Whatever methods you implement to help you through your dental visit, the most important thing is sticking with it and returning again for your next visit. Your dental health is dependant upon regular dentist’s care.

 

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Ways to Replace Missing Teeth

January 28th, 2016

Losing teeth as a result of injury has happened to millions of people. Missing teeth lower the quality of life as it makes eating and speaking difficult. Not only that, it makes you self-conscious. Dentists can offer several methods that can restore your mouth’s function and give you back great smiles.

Dental implants
Implants are the newest technology in tooth replacement. Dental implants provide a natural and comfortable option for restoring both function and appearance. A titanium artificial tooth root is surgically inserted into your jaw. A metal post goes into your bone under you gums, and then a replacement tooth (also called a crown) is attached to the post. After that, the treatment is considered as complete. Implants are the preferred choice for most people as they don’t affect neighboring teeth, and are completely secure. However, for the implants to be done successful, the patient must have a minimum height and width of jawbone to support it. Besides that, the gums must be healthy and well.

Bridges
This type of prosthesis bridges the gap between missing teeth and your surrounding teeth. They are another excellent option for tooth replacement. Fixed bridges are bonded onto the neighboring teeth and serve as a good long term solution. Removable bridges can be taken out for cleaning for better hygiene. Bridges can be made from materials such as alloys, porcelain and gold. They restore back the function of eating, smiling and speech.

Dentures
When many or all teeth are gone, the best tooth replacement choice for that situation would be dentures. This is due to dentures being inexpensive and offer flexibility in modifying the prosthesis. Complete dentures are indicated when you have no natural teeth left. They cover your upper and lower gums. Overdentures are used if you have some teeth left to provide support. Dentures are sometimes difficult at first while you get used to how they feel and how they affect your speaking and eating. As it requires time to get used to wearing them, so don’t get frustrated if it is uncomfortable in the beginning.

 

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Steps to Dental Implants

January 21st, 2016

The method of teeth replacement has been revolutionized by dental implants. Implants are great as they offer a secure, permanent, and natural looking way to restore your smile. Here are some common inquiries patients ask regarding dental implants.

Are implants a suitable option for me?
To achieve the optimal result, patients must meet certain health criteria. Adequate bone density is crucial because the implants need to fuse together with the jaw bone. The bone must have sufficient density for proper attachment, which is a term known as osseointegration. Also needed is good general oral health as problems such as dental decay, or gum disease may increase bacteria levels in the mouth. Patients ought to be in good physical health so that healing can take place.

What should I prepare for treatment?
Some procedures might be necessary before implant surgery. For example, a bone graft might be performed to enhance bone thickness in the jaw bone area. Periodontal treatment may be recommended for the gums to heal before surgery. The dentist might also recommend extraction if there are teeth are infected or damaged.

How is the procedure conducted?
Implant surgery is performed using anesthesia or dental sedation so that no pain is felt during the procedure. Firstly, a small incision is made in the gums, the titanium implant will be placed in the jaw, and then the gums will be stitched up. It may take single or several visits depending on the technique used.

Anything to be expected during recovery?
The healing phase is vital for the success dental implants. It is aided by proper care as directed by the physician. Adequate rest, and consuming approved foods and drinks helps speed the recovery. It usually takes several months for the site to heal fully and the implant to integrate with the bone. When the healing is complete, a crown will be placed on top, and the restoration is considered complete.

 

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Cosmetic Treatments that Straighten Teeth

January 14th, 2016

A cosmetic dentist will offer a couple of methods to improve your smile and overall facial appearance. You may choose to seek cosmetic dental treatment for the oral problems that bothers you. The common complaint patients have is misaligned or crooked teeth. Cosmetic dentists can help in these ways:

Traditional braces
Metal braces are the old-fashioned type of orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth. They are bonded onto your teeth and contain brackets and wires that are adjusted throughout the duration of treatment. Treatment can take anywhere from under a year up to several years depending on the case severity. The braces will then be removed once teeth have shifted into their desired position.

Contouring
Another alternative is tooth contouring, which can make teeth straighter. This can be done by just by altering their shape. Chips can be removed, and teeth that are too long can be shortened. Though contouring isn’t always a teeth straightening solution, sometimes it is exactly what is needed to change a smile in order to make it more pleasant.

Aligning trays
Another type of orthodontic treatment involves the use of transparent plastic aligning trays. They are pleasing to the eye as they are nearly invisible. Also, they can be removed at any time for eating and cleaning of the device. This type of treatment can usually be completed within a year.

Veneers
Cosmetic dentists may provide the solution for crooked teeth by applying dental veneers. These thin porcelain shells are bonded directly onto the front of your teeth to mask problems such as fractures, crookedness, gaps, and discoloration. Veneers are a long term and is widely used today.

Oral surgery
Considered as the last resort, surgery may be required to realign jaws or alter the dentition. As this is an invasive method, much consideration has to be given before proceeding. At times, surgery is the first step in straightening teeth, and then braces is needed afterwards to complete the course of treatment to achieve desired results.

 

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Cosmetic Dentistry Has Come a Long Way

January 7th, 2016

The advancements of modern technology have enabled cosmetic dentistry to offer a wide variety of ways to repair teeth and enhance smiles. A certified cosmetic dentist can explain to you the latest procedures and assist you in deciding which ones are helpful to you. Here are a few procedures:

Bonding
Cosmetic dentistry has benefited much from new materials, such that of composite resin and high-density porcelain. These prostheses look, feel, and work like your natural teeth. They hold securely to your existing teeth, and help preserve more of your natural teeth. Bonding is one procedure that utilizes these state-of-the-art materials. When you have a fractured tooth, bonding can be used to restore it. The materials can be matched exactly to your remaining teeth, so it’s hard to tell that a procedure was ever done. The aesthetic quality of bonding is great.

Fillings
This procedure also utilities composite resin and porcelain. The restorations are performed with these durable and reliable materials. The result is comfortable and the attractive restoration that protect your teeth is able to restore your natural tooth. The fillings look and feel natural and can endure significant biting force.

Implants
A procedure familiar to cosmetic dentists is the dental implants. Implants provide a secure and permanent replacement for missing teeth. Titanium rods are firstly inserted directly into your jaw bone, and then a crown is placed above it to complete the restoration. This is one of the modern ways to restore your smile, providing very natural and great results when the treatment is completed.

Braces
The specialty of orthodontics has been around for quite some time, giving people a straight smile and correcting jaw alignment issues. The newest option is clear aligners, usually known as invisible braces, is a breakthrough. These devices are able to straighten your teeth without using metal wires and brackets that traditional braces have. Instead, by using a series of clear trays worn over your teeth. They can be removed for eating and brushing and do not require any diet restrictions. Cosmetic dentists use clear braces for patients with mild crowding or minor spacing problems. They may not be ideal for severe crowding or complicated bite issues.

 

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Dispelling Denture Myths

December 28th, 2015

When considering dentures to replace your missing teeth, you may be deterred by the wide array of myths that exist. The fact is, with proper fit, maintenance and dental care, dentures can help you achieve your best health and appearance. Some of the common myths regarding wearing dentures include:

“Dentures look fake and everyone will know I’m wearing them!” Poor fit, stains or an unpleasant odor from improperly maintained dentures are the main cause of this myth. Regular dental examinations followed by vigilant home care are essential steps to assuring a more natural appearance to your dentures.

“Denture wearers aren’t able to eat normally or speak properly.” Wearing dentures has very little effect on your speech or the types of food you can eat. Again, these problems are created most often from a poor fit, which can be addressed and corrected by your dentist.

“I will have to use messy adhesives in order to wear dentures all day.” Dentures are made to fit precisely and should not require an adhesive to ensure comfort. If your dentures are requiring constant use of an adhesive to stay in place, you should see your dentist immediately.

“I’ll suffer without teeth for days if I have to bring my denture in for fitting or repair.” Advances in modern dentistry allow your dentist to reline or repair your dentures quickly. Often, the correction can be made right in the office on the same day in as little as one hour.

To dispel any of other myths you may have heard and find out more about how dentures can help to improve both your oral health and appearance, schedule a consultation with your dentist.

Dental Care and Chemotherapy

December 21st, 2015

Cancer patients usually have so many doctor appointments, medications, and concerns that the last thing on your mind is your teeth. However, your oral health should not be forgotten during treatment such as chemotherapy. Researchers have learned that good dental hygiene for cancer patients can mean a quicker recovery, and that neglecting oral care can jeopardize your overall health. Oncologists may instruct patients not to visit the dentist while undergoing cancer treatment, but there are still steps you can take to maintain your oral health in the meantime.

What can chemotherapy do to my teeth?
Chemotherapy releases toxic chemicals into your body to kill cancerous cells. It is hard on your body, taking a toll on other cells like bone marrow and hair follicles. Chemotherapy also weakens the immune system and can lead to excessive bleeding. Preventative actions are important during treatment so you can protect your body from further illness.

Is a healthy mouth more important for chemotherapy patients?
Chemotherapy makes your body more vulnerable to infection and more fragile in general. It weakens your bones, including your jaw structure and support for your teeth. When your teeth are weak, there is more of a threat of decay. That provides a breeding ground for bacteria in your mouth, potentially leading to infection. If your body is weak and your immune system is hindered, infection can spread quickly and impact your entire health.

What can I do?
Proper brushing and flossing is the basis of good dental hygiene, allowing you to remove plaque. Dentists recommend brushing regularly with a soft-bristle toothbrush and may suggest specialized toothpaste for those undergoing cancer treatment. It may also help to use an alcohol-free antibacterial mouth rinse to kill bacteria in your mouth and wash away food particles. Cancer patients should not use products that dry out your mouth, because saliva is important to help clean inside your mouth so that bacteria can’t grow as easily.

 

 

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Beating Bad Breath

December 14th, 2015

If you’re always covering your mouth and have a stash of breath mints in your pocket, you may be a victim of halitosis. Stinky breath is a universal problem that strikes many people, and in most cases is a result of poor dental hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, food particles may get stuck in your mouth and will begin to decay and produce bad odors.

What causes bad breath?

Certain foods and drinks are linked to halitosis, such as garlic, onions, cheese, soda, and orange juice. Also, bad breath can be caused by health conditions such as dry mouth, chronic diseases, and respiratory conditions. Tobacco use is another common cause of smelly breath.

How can I fight bad breath?

  • Avoid foods and drinks that are known to cause bad breath.
  • Brush your teeth for at least two minutes after every meal, and floss your teeth daily.
  • Brush your tongue to get rid of dead cells, especially the back of your tongue where bacteria often collects.
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain a moist and clean mouth. Don’t substitute other beverages, especially caffeinated ones, because water is really the best for treating and preventing halitosis.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruit each day, and eat less meat.
  • Visit your dentist for checkups at least twice a year for a thorough exam and cleaning.
  • Clean dental appliances daily, including dentures, bridges, and removable braces.
  • Chew sugarless gum or suck hard candy to stimulate saliva, which can help wash away bacteria and food particles.

What if my breath still stinks?

If you still feel you have bad breath after following these tips, see your dentist to find out what may be causing your halitosis. There may be a buildup of plaque that the dentist can remove, or perhaps you have gum disease that requires treatment. If your dentist can’t uncover the cause of your halitosis, you might need to visit your primary care doctor to see if there’s another physical reason for your bad breath.

 

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The Lost Art of Flossing

December 7th, 2015

Flossing should be an important part of your dental routine. If it isn’t, you’re endangering your mouth and increasing your risks of plaque buildup and cavities. The goal of flossing is to remove plaque from between your teeth, in places where your toothbrush can’t reach. It also helps prevent gum disease. You should floss your teeth at least once daily, no excuses!

How should I floss?

It doesn’t matter if you begin on your top or bottom teeth, or in the front or back of your mouth. Just be sure to floss all your teeth on every side. Here are a few simple steps:

  • Wind about 18 inches of floss around each of your middle fingers. Pinch the floss between your thumbs and index fingers, allowing a 1-2 inch length in between. Use your thumbs to guide the floss between your teeth.
  • Keep the floss taut between your fingers, and gently move up and down in a sawing motion. Don’t snap the floss because that can damage your gums. Contour the floss around the sides of each tooth.
  • Slide the floss up and down next to your tooth surfaces and under your gum line. Floss the sides of every tooth, even if there isn’t a tooth next to each one. As you move to new teeth, unwind the floss and rewind it to access a clean section of floss each time.

Should I get a certain kind of floss?

Many types of floss are available from your dentist or drugstore. Some are waxed, flavored, or contain fluoride. Choose one that meets your needs and that you’ll be most likely to use.

Does it matter when I floss?

Try to floss before every tooth brushing, but always floss in the evening before your last brushing of the day. After flossing, brush your teeth and rinse with water.

What if I’m having trouble?

If you have difficulty using dental floss, try one of the many flossing aides available. Tools like disposable dental flossers or interdental cleaners can make flossing easier.

 

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Common Dental Problems and Solutions

November 28th, 2015

Modern dentistry offers remedies for just about every oral health problem you might experience. Let’s talk about some of the most common problems and ways to improve the beauty and health of your smile.

Stained teeth
Stubborn stains from colored drinks and tobacco are hard to remove with brushing, so teeth whitening is a popular solution. It’s available in at-home kits or professionally in dental offices.

Chipped or gapped teeth
Minor cosmetic issues may be treated with dental bonding, which can hide imperfections quickly and painlessly.

Tooth decay
A dentist will remove decay and usually fill the cavity with a composite resin filling. Dental inlays or onlays are sometimes needed to reinforce the tooth.

Cracked or broken teeth
For a severely damaged tooth, a crown may be necessary to provide stability and save the tooth.

Missing teeth
Dental implants and bridges are solutions to missing teeth, and can save your mouth’s function and appearance.

Crooked teeth or misaligned bite
Cosmetic dentistry can repair minor issues, but significant problems may warrant orthodontic treatment. Invisalign® clear braces provide a modern alternative to traditional braces.

Bleeding gums
Swollen, bleeding gums are often the initial signs of gum disease. Treatment ranges from deep cleaning to surgery, depending on how advanced the disease is.

Jaw Pain
The joint where your jawbone and skull meet is called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Stress or misalignment can cause pain, and dentists provide treatment like appliances, orthodontics, or relaxation techniques.

Unattractive smile
If you’re unhappy with your smile, porcelain veneers may be placed over your teeth to mask many problems. Severe dental problems can call for full mouth reconstruction, which provides a complete overhaul of your smile and transforms it completely.

 

 

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I wanted to thank you and your entire staff for my recent dental experience at your Patterson office. Everyone exceeded my expectations in making my dental visits comfortable, from scheduling to the finish of my procedure. I truly felt everyone cared about me as an individual and took special steps to

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