Tips On Overcoming Your Fear Of General Dentistry

There are a large number of people who are afraid of dentists and general dentistry practices. Many of these people have gone to a family dentistry clinic in the past where they felt some pain, and this has scarred them. Unfortunately there are dentist in family dentistry practices that are not good with children, these dental workers wind up making people afraid to see dentist in the future.

Some people have never been actually injured by a dental procedure, but are still terrified of the thought of going to see a dentist. When people are afraid of the dentist they postpone their dental visits and this causes them to suffer increased amounts of tooth pain, and damage. If you fear visits to the dentist then there are some things that you can do to help overcome these fears.

• Make an appointment with a family dentistry office for a simple meet and greet. Go into the office and get familiar with the staff, the way they do things, the layout of the clinic, and you will be more comfortable when you need to make an appointment to have dental work done
• Explain to the dentist about your fears and they will give you something to calm your nerves before a procedure
• See the dentist more often. When you only see the dentist because you are in pain then you associate pain with dental procedures. If you make appointments and see the dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups then you will be less afraid because you will know that the dentist chair does not always signify pain
• Take someone with you when you go to the dentist so that you feel secure. Take a family member, or friend that makes you feel safe so you will not feel like you are alone at the office. Tell the receptionist that you want your friend or family member to go back with you when the dentist is ready to see you.
• Have the dentist allow you to touch the instruments they will be using. If you can touch the drill, then you will feel it and will have less fear of it
• Wear earphones and listen to music while the dentist works on your mouth. Tell the dentist that you will be doing this so they can get your attention if they need to ask you a question, but listening to music you like can relax you and help reduce the amount of fear you are in

General dentistry deals with tooth extractions, cleanings, fillings, cavities, and many other dental procedures. This is the most frequently visited type of dental clinic, and more people going into one of these clinics are afraid in comparison to people going to see a cosmetic dentist, or an orthodontist.

Part of conquering fear is accepting that you are afraid, and confronting that fear. You have to take a deep breath and tell yourself that you will not allow the fear of the dentist to run your life and ruin your dental health.

Cosmetic Dentistry Vs Family Practice

There are DDSs who perform general family oral health care and those that focus on cosmetic dentistry. While both practitioners are doctors of dentistry, their concentrations and services are a bit different. Both have earned the initials of DDS behind their names because of years of education. A typical dentist completes four years of undergraduate university work before even applying to dental college. Being admitted into dental schools is very competitive indeed. These colleges are sometimes even harder to get into then medical school because the clinical portion of the training must be done on the premises. An MD who completes medical training does his or her internship hours in a hospital setting not connected with the doctor training site. It’s pricier to educate a dentist than a doctor in this way.

Want to know the difference between these two practices? Here are some things to think about:

— General DDS: A family dentist will take care of all members of a family’s teeth. Typical services include:

o Preventative maintenance: Regular cleaning by the oral hygienist will keep the enamel and gums healthy. Screenings for disease and oral cancer will be done at each visit. X-rays and examinations will be performed to make sure no trouble is brewing.

o Cavities filled: When decay has caused a cavity to form in a tooth, this practitioner will fill it to keep decay from spreading.

o Root canals and extractions: This practitioner will also diagnose problems and treat them.

— Cosmetic dentist: This practitioner will focus on the appearance of the teeth. A beautiful smile takes its owner far in the world. Typical treatments may include:

o Whitening and brightening: Yellowed, stained and discolored enamel does not create a pretty picture. Yellowing occurs due to cigarette smoking, coffee, tea drinking or aging. Bleaching treatments via strips, gels or liquids can return the brightness.

o Porcelain veneers: Porcelain is a very hard product that holds up well under harsh circumstances. Tile and bathroom fixtures made from porcelain last forever. The dental veneers made from this product can cover unsightly flaws in a person’s tooth enamel and make them look great.

o Straightening: Orthodontists are the typical docs to straighten crooked teeth and many cosmetic dentistry practices have an orthodontist on staff to do just that. Straightening methods may include traditional metal braces or newer models that are invisible, removable or brightly colored to make a fashion statement. Orthodontia is now started in children as young as age 7.

o Caps: Natural looking caps put on teeth can make them look white, bright and as if the person was born with a gorgeous and flawless smile.

General docs have a wide range of knowledge upon graduation from dental college. Cosmetic dentists must train further in order to become experts in their focus. It’s very important for individuals to take good care of their teeth so that they’ll last a lifetime. Without proper care, smiles can become unsightly and teeth can fall out. The entire family can benefit from regular care and maintenance as well as some enhancement from cosmetic dentistry specialists.

Functions and Role of a General Dentist

If possible a person will visit their general dentist a number of times throughout their life. In the best case scenario this will be for yearly checkups and cleanings. However, unforeseen circumstance may arise allocating the need for an unplanned visit to the dentist. A general dentist is prepared to handle most all cases involving their patients’ oral care, that is for hygiene, restoration methods, preventative measures, and even some surgical procedures such as extraction and root canals. Anything outside their expertise will be referred to a specialist in that area. But again, general dentistry covers quite a bit of ground.

It could be considered one of those jack-of-all trades, leading its students to be prepared for whatever may come their way. In fact, with each passing year new innovations are discovered and applied to this field of study and practice, meaning the life of a general dentist is one of constant study, growth, and adaptability.

To qualify as a licensed practitioner in the dentistry field requires at least 8 years of schooling and a lifetime of seminars regarding new and improved ways of doing things. A student interested in making dentistry their career of choice, will need four years of undergraduate study, resulting in a bachelor’s degree as well as four more years of graduate study at an accredited school of dentistry.

This will result in a master or doctorate in the medical science of dentistry. A general dentist who wishes to offer more specific methods with their basic ones, such as sedation, oral surgery or implants, will be required to take extra schooling for those qualifications. However, the more school you take for this degree the more well-rounded a practice you will be able to offer your patients. In this case, being a lifetime student will be a good thing.

Some personal characteristics a student should exhibit as a professional in this field are as follows. They should be detail oriented-oral care is a detail oriented job. They should be nurturing and able to talk to a variety of people comfortably. Whether you are dealing in pediatric dentistry, family dentistry, or geriatric dentistry you need to be able to make your patient feel at ease in that chair. Nobody likes going to the dentist. It can be a nerve wracking and scary experience even if you are not five years old, especially if you are there because of a problem such as infection or pain.

Having a dentist who will take this into consideration and speak to you in a nurturing compassionate manner is enough to calm down the most nervous person, at least a little. Having a condescending and impatient attitude as a dentist will not work best for your clientele. It will leave them feeling wary of visiting your office all together even if only for a routine cleaning.

Think long and hard before deciding to become a general dentist. It is a fast growing field and the world today does need dentists. However it is also a time consuming job choice even before you actually start the hands on part of your practice. It is not for everyone, but don’t let that discourage you if you are actively interested in it.

Having a Family Dentist

Recent studies have suggested that almost 46% of all Americans don’t have access to a family dentist to whom they can go every time. The most common way to find a family dentist is through referrals. People generally ask friends or family for a dentist whom they go to and whether he does a good job. The next step is to go to the dentist and inquire whether he is accepting new patients. This method is usually safe for finding a good dentist because friends and family will obviously suggest someone who takes his job seriously. But simply having a referral is not enough. One should meet the dentist in person and find out whether he/she would be comfortable with them. The rates and the schedule of the dentist should also be worked out. There’s no point booking an appointment with the dentist many months in advance for a regulatory simple check-up.

It is important for a dentist to be abreast with the developments in treatment. Before going to the dentist it’s a good idea to check for new methods of treatment on the Internet. Quizzing the dentist gently about these methods is a sure indication as to how competent he is. If he passes the test, it becomes easier to know that your family is in good hands. It is also important to know whether he will traumatize your children when they get their check up done. So it’s better to go for a minor check up yourself before the family starts doing the rounds. The check up would be over and done with and also you would get and idea of his behavioral capacities. A good dentist means the entire package should be good. The support staff should be friendly, the waiting room nice and the chairs in the operating room comfortable to get an overall good feeling. All these factors are important for an ideal dental experience.

Family dentistry is often used interchangeably with the term general dentistry. Though both are connected with general oral hygiene and maintenance, there is a subtle difference between the two. Unlike some dentists who restrict their expertise to treating only a select age-group of patients, family dentists treat patients from children to seniors. The basic work of a family dentist is to ensure minimum plaque build-up, healthy gums and teeth, hygiene being maintained at a high level. The ADA recommends a minimum of two check-ups in a calendar year to prevent tooth decay. Generally family dentists are looked upon as preventative avenues because they try and avoid the onset of serious diseases by routine check-ups. Getting teeth checked would lead to minimum plaque formation, absence of tooth decay and in case of any disease, treatment at the earliest to ensure healthy teeth. Also detection of a cavity in the initial stages can be tended to easily. Getting the cavity filled by a simple procedure would be less cumbersome then having other restorative procedures like root canal, crown done.

To become a family dentist, a person must pass the dental admission test after under graduation. He must attend a 3-5 year dental school program after that to attain a general dentistry education. Finally the candidates must clear the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) to become licensed dentists. The course is very tough and demanding. After passing this test, the dentist is awarded the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery. They are two different degrees awarded for pretty many similar studies. Immediately after graduation, most of the dentists get into practice to become a general or family dentist. But a small percentage of them opt for higher studies. They complete their post graduation to become speciality dentists. There are nine fields of specialized dentistry that have been recognized by the ADA. They are: –

1. Dental Public Health

2. Endodontics

3. Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology

4. Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology

5. Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

6. Orthodontics

7. Pedodontics (Paediatric Dentistry)

8. Periodontics

9. Prosthodontics

There are some family dentists who perform cosmetic dentistry as well and preferred to be known as family and cosmetic dentist. They generally have more training than family dentist.

Becoming a cosmetic dentist along with a family dentist requires some extra training. Cosmetic dentistry basically involves improving the appearance of a person’s teeth, mouth or smile. It also restores the confidence of a person. . Cosmetic dentistry helps a person primarily in two ways- smile makeovers and full mouth reconstruction. Dental veneers, dental implants and teeth whitening are a few methods of giving that extra attractiveness to the smile. Bad condition of teeth, tooth decay, or other tooth diseases is reasons why people sometimes don’t smile openly. Cosmetic dentistry is dedicated to improving their oral appearances in such a way that the confidence soars. A full mouth reconstruction involves a total makeover for the mouth. Severe wear of the teeth, extensive discoloration and diseased gums are attended to by this procedure. Often a number of dentists work on their specific areas of expertise in full mouth reconstruction.

The various dentistry procedures are:-

Dental fillings- as earlier accentuated this method can be accommodated in cosmetic dentistry also. Nowadays porcelain or composite resin type materials are used to give that perfect tooth-color experience.

Bonding- it’s a procedure to repair a chipped or broken tooth and give it a wholesome look. A dental repair material that has the look of enamel is added to the tooth’s surface where it is then sculpted into shape, contoured and polished, thus rendering the cavity or the broken tooth invisible.

Teeth whitening- this is the most commonly used and recommended cosmetic dental procedure. Teeth get stained easily due to a number of factors like smoking, drinking and bad oral hygiene. Bleaching the teeth helps them regain their whiteness thus making them attractive.Dental veneers- it’s a process to attach small plastic or porcelain chips to teeth so that they improve a worn out or severe discoloration appearance. They are also used in those cases where there are gaps in between teeth and also unsuccessful teeth whitening trials.Dental implants- dental implants often help the face to look better and younger as they replace missing teeth. They are in fact artificial replacements to fill up empty spaces where the teeth are lost.

Cosmetic dentistry helps a lot of people to look better and get a better smile. This often enhances their confidence in front of other people.

Getting cosmetic dentistry done by an expert is very important as he can help your face look wonderful. On deciding to have it done, one should take recommendations from friends who have already got it done. Checking out someone before committing is always a good idea. Their participation in organizations like the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry would give you a good idea whether they are to be relied on. Also check out their experience in the field because accreditation to the organization requires a lot of hard work and adherence to ethical work standards. Examining photos of patients before and after the dental work done, checking whether the photos shown are of the patients treated by the doctor are some guidelines to follow. The dental lab technician who the doctor has allowed to help him should also be checked. The type of instruments used, the sanitation standards followed and also the dexterity with which the surgery’s to be done should be inquired about. Ask about how long will the results last and the proper methods of care to be taken, at home and also while traveling. Though emergencies are unlikely, find out what are the back-up facilities of the hospital and also what the financing options for the treatment are. It is also important to find out the manner and behaviour of the support staff. The dental procedures generally take quite a bit of time so it is necessary to have a good rapport with them.

After the surgery is done, the patient needs to keep in handy some numbers that might help in emergency problems. Dental emergencies can occur if something done in the cosmetic procedure goes horribly wrong or even side-effects may occur. The problem with dental emergencies is that they tend to occur during odd hours. How many times have you experienced tooth pain or any other dental related problems in the dead of the night? It’s usually very difficult to get hold of an emergency dentist at this point.

So be ready to practice your limited expertise to stem the flow of pain. The following points would come in handy. In case a tooth is knocked out it shouldn’t be dealt with roughly and taken care of. If the tooth hasn’t come out fully then it should be held gently in its socket until a dentist is available. If the tongue is bitten and the bleeding doesn’t stop then pressure should be applied to the affected area with a clean wet cloth. In case of a bleeding lip, cold compresses should be pressed down on it. This helps in lessening the flow or stopping it altogether because ice numbs the blood vessels.

Some items that can be generally kept at home for dental emergencies or even took on trips, picnics, etc are soft dental wax, anti-fluoride mouthwash, dental floss, over the counter pain-reliever, clove oil, some temporary filling material like Tempanol or Cavit, cotton swabs, disposable tooth brush and tooth paste, small tweezers, water, and rubber gloves.

Before trying out any of these temporary medications it is very important to find out the exact location which is hurting. Any mistake in recognizing could lead to further repercussions. Find out which part of the tooth or gum is hurting. The tooth is composed of a hard enamel outer layer while the inner portion is soft and fleshy. When this fleshy part is exposed then it usually hurts a lot. However the pain need not be only this, it can also result from a cavity or a canker sore. Now select the most appropriate medication for a temporary relief till the dentist is available.

How To Find An Expert In Family Dentistry

Taking your child to the dentist can be a traumatic experience for both of you, as children may be scared and confused by what is going on, and you may feel unhappy about your child being so upset. However, it is very important that you take your child to the dentist regularly, so that they can maintain a great level of oral health. In order to make the trip more bearable for the both of you, it is important that you find a child-friendly dentist. General dentistry has a lot to offer to families, and finding a good family dentist can help to instill great oral hygiene practices in them, which will help them to maintain great teeth for the rest of their lives. Here are some of the things that you should consider when you are investigating family dentistry and finding your family a general dentist:

Bedside Manner
A good family dentist should have a great bedside manner, which will allow your kids to feel more comfortable. They will be able to explain what they are doing and why, without using long or technical words which might confuse or scare your child. They will also be patient with your child, and able to understand their anxieties and fears. Many dentists who are trained in family dentistry will have had extra training detailing how to make young children feel as comfortable as possible about their visit to the dentist.

It is possible for pediatric dentists to complete extra residency training which sets them up to work with babies, children and teenagers. As children’s mouths are still growing, pediatric dentistry is slightly different to the dental care which is provided to adults. A dentist who is trained to work with children will have a better understanding of the most common dental problems which are caused by such things as thumb sucking, pacifier use and teeth grinding.

Fun Environment
Many surgeries which specialize in general dentistry will have a special waiting area which is designed to cater for young children. This area should be bright and colorful, and contain books, games and toys for them to play with whilst they wait. Having an enjoyable waiting area can help to make the experience of visiting the dentist much less daunting for your child, because they will be able to feel more comfortable whilst they are waiting.

Free Consultations or Pre-visits
Some family dentists offer free consultation or pre-visit sessions for children, where they are able to show children around their surgery and gently explain the importance of dental work to the child. This session should not be about scaring your child into compliance, so your dentist should not spend the session showing them pictures of unhealthy teeth.

A good family dentist will have leaflets about the most common procedures which children undergo, which are designed especially for children to read or look at. These leaflets should be bright, colorful and very easy for children to understand. Providing information especially for your children can help them to feel more confident.