Socioeconomic Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

It seems like every model in the modern age has pearlescent white teeth; the glowing smile that can be seen for miles. Some might argue that modern image editing has become too advanced, and some might argue that there is an unnecessary amount of vanity in cosmetic perfection. Despite the critics, there is an insurmountable amount of truth in human nature, and people do gravitate toward naturally attractive qualities like straight, white teeth.

It’s almost a given that every person wishes that they had beautiful, straight teeth genetically. The truth is that the greater majority of people are not born with a perfect set of teeth. Studies say that anywhere between 25% and 50% of the population gets or needs braces at some point. Fortunately, there are easier ways to change the appearance of your teeth that aren’t so costly or invasive.

The teeth whitening treatments offered by modern cosmetic dentists are astounding. Most yellow, orange or brown teeth stained by things such as coffee, tea, smoking or age can be greatly lightened with a simple bleaching procedure. Most procedures can whiten the teeth from five to seven shades, but sometimes up to twelve shades! These drastic improvements can have long-lasting effects on not on your smile, but your self-esteem.

The benefits offered by cosmetic dentistry don’t end there. Studies show that more confident people generally earn more over a lifetime. A bright, confident smile can exude a sense of self-pride and could help make that first impression on the job interview or with the new client. This improved sense of self is not solely mental, but also physical. First impressions are an integral part of life and business and a gleaming smile can help to ensure that the proper impression was made. Who knew your dentist could provide this?

A dentist is much more than just a secondary form of healthcare. Not only can the effects of teeth whitening and cosmetic dentistry have an impact on your personal life and career, but seeing a dentist can prevent just as many problems as seeing a doctor for a checkup! Regular cleanings keep your teeth and gums healthy and can prevent serious and costly health problems in future.

Remember, when picking a dentist, choose carefully! Find a well reviewed dentist with plenty of experience that you feel comfortable with. An excellent dentist provides an invaluable source of comfort, confidence and great health!

Fear of Dentistry

How many people can say that their occupation requires them to have an intimate understanding of fear and anxiety? As a dentist with many years of experience, understanding fear is fundamental to my job. The most common sentiment among my patients is that they like me, but hate the dentistry. “No offense!” is a phrase I hear all too often, and truthfully, I don’t blame them. There are many reasons why people are afraid of coming to the dentist and most are legitimate. So why are so many people afraid of the dentist? You might be thinking to yourself that the answer is simple. Generally, and quite obviously, the fear stems from the possibility of dental pain.

However, if we dig deeper, we realize that the reasons for patient fear and/or anxiety are varied. The most common reason for fear is the result of a patient’s recollection of a traumatic experience when the dentist caused him pain or embarrassed him by making light of his fears. Strong, negative memories of the incident can recur whenever the patient needs to see the dentist. On the other hand, a large number of people are afraid of the dentist or certain procedures, but have never personally had a bad experience at the dentist’s office. These are the patients who have heard that dentistry is painful and learned to be fearful. The source of their information is usually friends, family or the popular media. A perfect example of learned fear is the child who is visiting the dentist for the first time. I sometimes hear fearful patients in the waiting room creating a negative impression for their children. The child does not know what to expect from that first visit, but when a parent says, “tell the dentist if he is hurting you,” the child is now expecting pain. In addition to the fear transferred from friends and family, dentistry has taken a beating in the popular media. Can you remember a television show or movie where a dentist is portrayed in a positive light? The likely answer is a resounding “No!” There is even a horror film called The Dentist.

The three most common fears associated with dentistry are:

– The potential for pain during dental treatment – will it hurt?

– Fear of the condition of their mouth – just how bad is it?

– Loss of control during dental treatment – will he stop if it hurts?

Dental treatment always has the potential to produce discomfort as there is no such thing as 100% pain-free dentistry. Trust me, I find absolutely no pleasure in bringing pain to anyone. On the contrary, I truly believe that in addition to good technique and a gentle touch, helping a patient to achieve full anesthesia is a requirement of the job. What I or any other dentist can do to make it a pleasant experience is make sure that the patient is profoundly numb and to be aware of his needs as he is being worked on. When my patient tells me, “that wasn’t bad at all,” I take it as a glowing compliment. Many of my new patients are scared to learn about their oral condition. While it is normal to fear for the worst, it is important for the patients to realize that if there are pre-existing conditions, they will only get worse with time. Tooth decay does not improve on its own. To alleviate the stress, I tell my patients that no matter how bad the results, I will advise and help. Regardless of the outcome, with knowledge and support, we will find solutions that meet their needs and expectations. The last reason for fear is a lack of control.

When meeting a new dentist, you do not know how good he is technically and you are trusting him to take care of you. That is putting a lot faith in someone you just met. You are effectively giving a stranger access and control over a private part of your body. A person in that situation does not know what to expect and the unknown is scary. Upon meeting a new patient, I usually ask him if he has any special concerns, educate him on the procedure I will be performing, and assure him that if he feels even the slightest hint of discomfort, to please let me know. Should he experience any discomfort, I will stop immediately and inquire about what exactly he is feeling. I try to return some of the control back to the patient.

As you can see, there is an overarching theme – the fear of the unknown. Those who are most afraid of the dentist have allowed their imaginations to run wild because they do not know what to expect. When I meet a patient for the first time, I usually perform a new patient interview which serves two purposes:

(1) to get to know the patient and to gauge his expectations; and
(2) for the patient to get to know me and to have any questions answered.

Communication between the dentist and the patient is of utmost importance. I have found that 99% of the time, knowledge resolves their fears. My role as a dentist is to understand a patient’s expectations, improve his dental health, and then to educate him on how to avoid dental problems in the future. I do not expect my patients to ever enjoy dentistry, but as long I can help them understand their needs and make it a relatively pleasant experience, I’ll take that as a successful outcome.

What’s the Difference Between Family Dentistry and Pediatric Dentistry?

While some dentists restrict their practice to a particular age group, those with a family dentistry practice do not. Instead, they work with all ages to assist in the general maintenance of healthy gums, teeth, and overall oral hygiene. If you have a small child, however, you may be wondering if a general or pediatric dentist is best.

Family Dentistry

Many consider family dentistry the first line of defense against dental abnormalities. These practices serve as the starting point for checkups every six months, providing deep cleanings to eliminate buildup. In addition to visually inspecting your mouth, the doctor may also take X-rays to determine if there are cavities or other problems.

A person in this field must first earn an undergraduate degree, usually in an area of science, although this is not required, and pass the Dental Admission Test. After this, the student endures an additional three to five years of study at dental school. Prior to graduation, all students must pass the National Board Dental Examinations in order to obtain a license. Students graduate with a Doctor of Dental Surgery or Doctor of Dental Medicine.

General dentists can see children of all ages and even see adults. This is great for households that want to keep all their children going to the same person as they grow. It makes it easy for you as parents to also make time to see the doctor to care for your oral health.

Children do have special needs as they mature. Doctors trained in family dentistry know and understand these needs. They can treat loose teeth and cavities just as well as pediatric specialists. Additionally, they are able to prevent many dental problems with fluoride.

These doctors do not attach or manipulate braces. However, they can diagnose when your child needs braces and set you up with an appointment with an orthodontist.

Pediatric Dentist

If your child has special needs, your dental office may refer you to a pediatric dentist. These doctors have had additional post-graduate training.

If your child is very small or has a hard time at the doctor, then your dentist may suggest pediatric dentistry.

As with a general dentist, this professional cannot attach or maintain braces. They can help with other preventative measure and refer you to an orthodontist if necessary.

Family dentistry is a great place to start if you want one doctor to see all your children regardless of age. They can help your child maintain healthy teeth and gums and get them on the road to great oral hygiene.

Steps to Getting Over Your Fear of General Dentistry

Dentophobia is the scientific word for the fear of dentistry and dental care. This phobia is very real and can prevent a person from receiving routine maintenance or having cavities or other tooth or gum problems addressed. Instead of allowing anxiety to build, there are a few things one can do to overcome this harmful emotion.

Obtain Knowledge

Often the fear of the unknown is crippling. Taking the time to talk with a doctor about general dentistry may be all it takes to have the courage to set up an appointment. Make sure to prepare as many questions as you can for the doctor so you have a specific picture of what will occur from the moment of arrival to walking out the door when it’s all over. Some topics to discuss include cleaning procedures, the removal of plaque build-up on teeth, and the process of sealing molars.

Make Use of Modern Medicine

When it comes to general dentistry, there are a few modern medicines one can take advantage of to help calm nerves. A family physician can prescribe an anti-anxiety medication to take before an appointment, or one can opt for nitrous oxide, a gas that has a calming effect, during any procedure. There’s also local anesthesia for surgical procedures, such as removing wisdom teeth.

Listen to Music

Music is known for its power to invoke emotion. Choose softer sounds, such as classical music, and talk with the doctor about wearing a set of headphones while he or she performs the exam. Simply create a playlist of songs that bring about a sense of relaxation, and then plug in the headphones when the doctor is ready to begin.

Plan a Reward

Take the focus off of the general dentistry and put it on a reward instead. Purchase a tasty pint of ice cream or another favorite snack, and a good book ahead of time. Only indulge in these treats once the appointment is over.

Don’t Go It Alone

There is a sense of comfort in bringing a family member or friend along to a teeth cleaning or thorough examination. Set up an appointment with the dentist on a date when someone else is also available to go, and ask the person to be a source of encouragement.

Seek Professional Help

Depending on the degree of a person’s fear, it may be best to contact a professional psychologist. This professional can dig deeper and find out what caused the anxiety, and then develop a plan to overcome it. He or she may offer help in the way of breathing techniques and at-home exercises that produce a sense of tranquility.

The more people face their fear of general dentistry, the less sensitive to it they will become. The above-mentioned steps are a great way to begin the journey to a healthier mind and mouth.

Choosing A Good Family Dentist – Emergency Dentist

Family dentistry, like general dentistry, provides services related to the general maintenance of oral hygiene and tooth health. The terms family dentistry and general dentistry are often used interchangeably, though there is a slight difference between the two.

When it comes to family dentistry it is very normal for people to confuse it with General dentistry because those terms are used interchangeably however there are some differences between the two. Family dentists and general dentist differ in the age range of their patients, let’s take a look at the differences:

Pedodontists normally restrict their treatment to only children while on the other hand family dentists are able to take care of a wide variety of patients in different age groups, they are also able to take care of dental emergencies which need to be treated as soon as possible, general dentist are able to do the same thing but they prefer to work within a certain age group.

Family dentists are also in charge of removing plaque or tartar from building up around a patient’s teeth, this treatment improves the health of the teeth and prevents them from decaying and being damage by cavities and other diseases. Removing plaque is also important in order to keep our gums in good shape at this substance can also grow between our teeth and close to their crown.

The family dentists can provide a wide range of services from preventive care all the way to the emergency treatments, they are also considered the first level of defense against any dental problem which is why this field is considered to be a preventive one, if the patient is in need of further or more specialized treatment they are also able to revert them to the right professional.

According to several dental associations all around the globe it is highly recommended that in order to keep good oral health a patient must visit a family or general dentist at least twice a year, they are able to provide fluoride treatments which help improve the teeth condition and prevents them from decaying. Families who have very young children who will need tooth removal assistance are definitely able to benefit from the expert care of this professionals.