4 Ways Your Dentist Can Help You with Dental Anxiety

Even though being afraid of the dentist is often assumed to be an issue only for children, adults can have anxiety about dental treatments just the same. Roughly 75 percent of all adults have some level of anxiety or fear about seeing the dentist, and some situations can be severe. If you have problems with dental anxiety, your dentist may be able to help you. Here’s a look at how a good dentist will help you when you suffer from dental anxiety.

1. Provide Understanding

Part of the fear of dental treatment comes from a lack of understanding of what is taking place. After all, you are not necessarily watching the dentist work; you are only on the receiving end and guessing what is causing various sensations. If you better understand what will take place once you are in the treatment chair, you may feel a bit less apprehensive about the whole situation.

2. Offer Medications to Calm You

In the most severe cases, no amount of explanation can help curb an anxiety attack when you sit down for treatment. If you suffer from the most severe phobia of dental treatments, are prone to panic attacks, or feel completely terrified, the dentist may be able to help you relax by offering medications to calm you down before treatment.

3. Be Mindful of Your Anxiety During Procedures

If the dentist knows you have issues with dental anxiety, they will be more cautious when performing treatments. For example, they will talk to you throughout each step, check in to make sure you are OK, and give you a moment to relax when you are feeling overwhelmed.

4. Help You Effectively Deal with Pain

One of the biggest fears for most people who suffer from dental treatment anxiety is the pain that may be felt during treatment. Therefore, if you know your pain will be effectively managed or counteracted during treatment, it can help put your mind at ease. The dentist can help make sure this happens by using anesthetics and taking time to make sure you are feeling no sensation before treatment starts.

Reach Out to Your Dentist in Bellbrook, OH

The anxiety induced by dental treatment is very real, and it prevents many people from getting the care they need for their smiles. Don’t let your anxiety of the dentist hurt the health of your smile. Reach out to us at Bellbrook Family Dentistry in Bellbrook so we can help you out.

A Look at the 5 Facets of General Dentistry

The general dentist is your go-to for a healthy smile. However, most patients are unaware of exactly what all general dentistry encompasses. Here are a few things that tend to be offered by a practice for general dentistry.

1. Cleaning and Hygiene

It is best to have your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist at least once a year, but most dentists recommend cleaning every six months. Cleaning is an important part of general dentistry because it gets to all those stains and bits of hardened tartar that can be impossible to remove with regular brushing and flossing.

2. General Dental Repairs

General dental repairs can include things like tending to cavities, chipped or broken teeth, or other dental injuries or performing a root canal to save an ailing tooth. Teeth are strong, but they can also be damaged during facial trauma. General dentistry services always offer various repairs for the many situations humans can run into with their teeth.

3. Exams and Testing

Dental exams are more than just a dentist looking in your mouth. A thorough exam can include x-rays of the teeth and bones that support the teeth, gumline examinations for deterioration of the gums or problems under the gums, and visual assessments for signs of oral cancer, infection, and other problems. Testing in general dentistry may involve performing tests on soft tissues in the mouth for cancer cells or saliva for acidity levels. Exams and testing are critical in preventative dentistry as they can protect your oral health for the long term.

4. Extractions

Extractions involve removing a permanent tooth that is beyond repair. While having a tooth extracted is usually not ideal, it is something that must happen if a tooth is severely decayed or otherwise damaged.

5. General Cosmetic Dentistry

While cosmetic dentistry involves a broad array of smile restoration options, the general cosmetic dentistry offered by a general dentist is a bit more conservative. Some things that may be offered include:

  • Dental bonding procedures
  • Teeth whitening
  • Single-tooth implants
  • Crowns and bridges

Keep Your Oral Health in Check with the Help of a Bellbrook Dentist 

Your oral health is just as important to your overall health as anything else. If it has been a while since you have had a dental checkup, reach out to us at Bellbrook Family Dentistry in Bellbrook, OH to schedule an appointment.

How Do You Know If Your Child Needs Braces?

About four million children in the U.S. wear braces, and the likelihood of children needing braces as their permanent teeth grow is relatively high. However, not all kids will have to have braces even though many parents assume their child will need them. Here is a look at a few general signs your child may eventually need braces.

Your child was a thumbsucker or used a pacifier for several years.

Thumbsucking and pacifiers are natural comforts for babies, but if your child uses these comfort measures beyond the age when their baby teeth have grown in, there can be a higher likelihood that they will eventually need braces. The continued pressure against the teeth can cause them to grow in at an outward slant.

Your child lost their baby teeth later in life than most children.

Children who lose their baby teeth a little later than most ca be more likely to need braces as well. The baby teeth can alter the growth path of the permanent tooth if it stays in place too long. Most children will start losing their baby teeth around the age of six years old. While the exact timing can vary depending on the child’s physiological development, prolonged tooth loss can cause future issues.

Your child’s teeth do not “meet” when they close their mouth.

If your child already has all of their permanent teeth in place, take a look at how their bite aligns when they close their mouth. If there is a slight under or overbite, the child may not necessarily have to get braces. However, if the difference in bite is pretty drastic, your child may need braces to correct the issue.

Your child has unevenly spaced teeth with gaps between or crowding.

One of the more obvious and definitive signs a child needs braces is if there are spaces and gaps between teeth or issues with crowding. Gaps can develop due to irregularities in the growth paths of permanent teeth. Crowding may occur due to genetics or due to slow or delayed loss of baby teeth.

Talk to a BellBrook Dentist About Braces 

Learning that your child needs braces can be a little intimidating, but the process is so routine and so carefully honed that most children do just fine with the process. If you believe your child needs braces, reach out to us at Bellbrook Family Dental to schedule an appointment.

Is a Dental Implant the Same as a Crown?

As dental technology has evolved, one of the most significant advancements has been the use of dental implants.  However, since many people are familiar with the terms crowns and caps, they often wonder if a crown and dental implant are one and the same.  If you also have been wondering about this, here are some key facts and differences of which you should be aware.

What is a Crown?

A traditional dental crown, for years commonly referred to as a cap, essentially fits over a portion of a tooth that is no longer healthy due to decay or disease.  However, since the tooth’s root structure is still in place, the crown is supported by this and thus can be placed directly on the tooth once a dentist shapes the remaining tooth structure and fabricates a new crown.

What is a Dental Implant?

When referring to a dental implant, there are in fact many similarities between it and a traditional crown.  While the ultimate goal of both is to improve a person’s smile and ability to chew without pain, there is one key difference that separates dental implants from crowns.  When a dental implant is used, this means the natural tooth is already missing or needs to be removed due to disease or decay.  Thus, if the natural tooth is not there, neither is the root structure that is used for traditional crowns.  Therefore, the implant itself becomes the support system for the new tooth, taking the place of a natural tooth’s root.

How are Crowns and Dental Implants Held in Place?

When a traditional crown is used on a tooth, permanent cement is used to bond it into place on the natural tooth.  As for dental implants, they are usually retained by small screws inserted into a patient’s gums.  Though this may sound very invasive, the procedure is actually quite easy to perform and most patients experience little overall discomfort.

If you have been suffering from teeth that are decaying or have other issues, consider the possibility of crowns or dental implants.  To find out which one may be right for you, schedule a consultation soon with your dentist to discuss both options and learn how you can become pain-free and have a great smile.

 

Brief History of Dental Implants

If you think dental implants have only been around for a decade or two, you may be surprised to learn they got their start thousands of years ago.  In fact, as far back as 2000 B.C., carved bamboo pegs were used in ancient China to replace missing teeth.  Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then.  However, the journey has been filled with plenty of variety.

Gems, Seashells, and More

Believe it or not, it was not uncommon in ancient civilizations and even well into the 18th-century for dentists to use almost anything they could to replace a missing tooth.  For those folks who were wealthy, rare gems such as jades were sometimes used to replace a lost tooth. For other individuals, it was common to find their mouths filled with small seashells, rocks, or even the teeth of other people or an animal.  But as you would suspect, all of these methods were prone to infection and discomfort, leading dentists to look for more suitable methods.

Thank the Rabbit

As for how dentists finally got on the right track with dental implants, you can thank a rabbit for helping to show them the way.   In 1952, the femur bone of a rabbit was fused together with a titanium rod, and the process worked so well that the orthopedic surgeon who performed the surgery thought the same method could be applied to dental implants.  Thus, in 1965, the first human volunteer received a titanium dental implant, and the rest is history.

A Quicker Pace

Once the rabbit helped everyone see how well titanium would work with dental implants, researchers hit the fast-forward button and have been going full-speed ahead ever since.  Since titanium took care of the past problems where a person’s body would reject the dental implant, screws can now easily be secured to a person’s jaw and eventually fuse with the jawbone, allowing a crown to be inserted over the screw.

Thanks to digital technology, 3-D printers, and ever-increasing scientific knowledge, today’s dental implants have a success rate of over 97 percent.  Since you now know you won’t have bamboo, seashells, or other strange things in your mouth, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss how you may benefit from dental implants.

 

Am I Too Old For Braces?

Ideally, the human teeth line up like the piano keys. However, many people have to contend with crowded smiles, poorly-aligned bites, and crooked teeth. These dental problems result in more than cosmetic concerns. For example, crowded or overlapping teeth will make it hard for you to clean, making you prone to tooth decay and gum disease. If the teeth do no come together properly after closing the jaws, you may experience problems when chewing and swallowing. Poor alignment can also make it difficult for you to pronounce some sounds and put excessive stress on chewing muscles, leading to facial pain.

It’s Never too Late for Braces

Although the best time for making changes in the positioning of the teeth is during childhood, many adults are seeking orthodontic treatment and getting excellent results. Nowadays, a significant percentage of people going for the procedure are over 18 years old. The process may take longer for older people than for a child. Traditionally, braces were popular among middle and high school students. Many adults are now wearing braces as the oral devices can be Invisalign or other low-profile options that are unnoticeable. Why do older people need braces?

Studies have shown that a significant percentage of adults who buy braces had them when they were younger. Also, millions of people around the world are receiving a form of orthodontic treatment at any given time, including various types of braces. Why do many people get the devices again? Some of the possible reasons are failure to wear retainers or stopping wearing them at some point.

How Do Braces Work?

The science of orthodontics involves putting pressure on the teeth to change their position. Experts attach the devices to the teeth gently, pushing them in the desired alignment.

Do Teeth Shift in Adults?

Yes. Several factors can cause this problem. First, the lower jaw width tends to shrink as you get older. This leads to more crowding of the lower front teeth over time. This dental issues could also cause teeth to grind as you chew. The process causes tooth wear in the long run and damage to oral tissues. As a result, you will have shorter teeth and eventually, facial changes.

There’s no reason to think you can’t correct badly aligned teeth as an adult. Contact your dentist today to discuss your adult braces options.