23318 Olivewood Plaza Drive Suite A & B
Moreno Valley, CA 92553
Cecchini, Silvia D.D.S.
2850 Telegraph Ave # 110
Berkeley, CA, 94705-1159
Harlan, Alan D.D.S.
7614 N Fresno St # 101
Fresno, CA, 93720-7406
Marweg, William J D.D.S.
1816 W Kettleman Ln # C
Lodi, CA, 95242-4292
Newport Endodontic Group
1441 Avocado Ave Ste 401
Newport Beach, CA, 92660-7705
We'd like to offer one comforting and wonderful fact about today's dentistry: it's much less stressful than it used to be.
Technology, new procedures, and some very sophisticated approaches to dental anesthesia have all contributed to comfortable dentistry, from cleaning to cavity preparations to root canals.
But what if you didn't grow up with modern dentistry, and remember it differently?
If you have had difficult dental experiences, you may be among the 150 million Americans who white-knuckle their way through treatment, or avoid the dentist altogether. The fact is, about 80% of the fearful can overcome dental phobia, with a little help from conscious sedation.
Many dentists understand dental fear and where it comes from. And many are becoming trained in forming good working relationships with fearful patients. Your dentist should encourage you to voice your anxiety and discuss your problems with him or her, before he or she touches a tooth in your mouth.
They should listen to your needs, and agree on small things that help you maintain a sense of control - a hand signal works with some patients. But talking about fear with your dentist - being assertive and letting him or her know what bothers you - is the first step.
If you're moderately anxious, the dental team can provide distracting diversions to put those concerns to rest. If you're extremely anxious, they can virtually put anxiety to rest via oral sedation. This approach involves taking a mild sedative before you arrive for your appointment. You remain awake, but extremely relaxed - so relaxed that many patients have all their needed dental work completed in a single office visit. If dental anxiety has kept you from making an appointment you know is needed - a sedation dentist can help!
What did your parents tell you about going to the dentist? Did they talk about how your dentists could help you take care of your teeth, gums and even your smile? Instead, they probably emphasized the negative: "It won't hurt much," or "Your toothache will be gone."
For most of us, the stories we heard about visiting dentists described how the person in the white jacket helped relieve tooth pain. We didn't hear about the dentists creating opportunities for good dental health and an attractive bright smile.
Comparing the dentistry your parents knew with the new dentistry that has emerged over the past ten to fifteen years is like comparing the computers of the 1950's with today's powerful desktop machines. The differences are vast. Yet, as dental care consumers, most of us have not updated our old stories. You haven't added new chapters about the great possibilities for dental care and dental well-being that the new dentistry offers.
You can experience these new possibilities for oral and dental health by creating partnerships with your dentists and their dental teams. You can take advantage of innovations and advances in:
Today's dental care teams have the knowledge, skills and information to help create a positive dental health future. A partnership is based on communication and mutual responsibility, and you can actively foster that first communication.
You can begin to partner with your dentists and their dental care teams by:
Your parents didn't have the choices or the opportunities that you have today for optimal dental health. The new dentistry can create more than a warm bright smile; it can improve your overall health.
The future of your dental health is in your hands just as the future of your bodily health is. Taking steps to increase your knowledge about the new dentistry will provide great benefits for you today and tomorrow.
By Brian DesRoches, PhD