• How to overcome dental fear & anxiety

    Dental Fear & Anxiety Unfortunately, there is no getting past proper dental care by a specialist. However, what is not noticed by many is that a great deal of individuals suffer from anxiety and fear when visiting the dentist. What is usually a simple procedure for most people is regarded as a nightmare to others. Luckily, there are strategies that both the patient and the dentist can undertake to create a more relaxing environment to ease the patient’s fear and anxiety.

    Environment

    The environment that one finds themselves in influences feelings and expectations. When walking into a dental office for the first time, assess whether or not you feel comfortable, because if you aren’t comfortable in your environment, there is no chance you will feel comfortable during a dental procedure. Therefore, the first step in reducing your anxiety is to ensure that you like the environment you are in.

    Communicate

    As expected, a dental professional and dental staff has little to no way of knowing what you are thinking and how you are feeling. The solution is to communicate with your dentist and staff and let them know how you feel. When there is an understanding that anxiety is an issue, your dentist and staff will do what they can to keep you in a comfortable and safe state. Both you and your dentist need to establish that a foundation on what exactly causes your fear and anxiety and how such issues can be mitigated. Perhaps performing a procedure a certain way or not showing you possible dental tools involved in the procedure will make you feel more comfortable.

    Psychology

    Along with environment and communication, it is also important to help you psychologically. If it makes you feel more comfortable, the dentist should go over the tools used during the procedure, explain to you exactly what they are for, and how they effectively help you. It is also beneficial for your dentist to review the procedures with you, explain what will be done, and what you should expect. These techniques will not only build a relationship between you and your dentist, but it will allow you to feel safer in a dental environment.

    Sedation

    If the anxiety and fear is extremely severe, or if certain procedures are just too much to handle, the final option is sedation. Your dental specialist can use either laughing gas (inhalation sedation) or an IV (intravenous sedation) to relax you. Both of these will help you get through the procedure smoothly and without fear.

    Overall, there are a great number of techniques to controlling your fear and anxiety at the dentist. You just need to find the right professional that suits your needs and helps you feel as comfortable as possible, and luckily there are many professional dentists out there who care about their patients.

  • What Is the Difference Between Cavities, Decay & Caries?

    Dental treatment at Maple Avenue Family Dentistry Good dental hygiene is important to keep teeth whole and healthy. The idea is to prevent dental caries. Caries is the disease that leads to tooth decay and cavities. That is simple enough to say, but what are caries, tooth decay, and cavities? What do they do to your teeth, and how are they prevented? Here is a look at what they are and how they are related.

    What Is Caries

    Caries is a disease process. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar in the food you eat and produce acids that leach minerals from your teeth. As the mineral levels in the tooth decrease, a white patch appears where the tooth enamel is getting weaker. This is the beginning of tooth decay. At this point the damage might be reversible with fluoride.

    What Is Tooth Decay

    Tooth Decay is the breakdown of the structure of the tooth. As the decay progresses tooth enamel is compromised and the dentin exposed to air and bacteria. At this point a filling may be the only way to prevent more damage to the tooth. You want to stop decay as soon as possible to prevent more serious problems.

    What Is a Cavity

    A cavity is the last step before the tooth decays completely. When a white patch forms on a tooth it is on the way to forming a cavity – which is simply a hole in the tooth. Once the white patch begins to form a depression in the tooth, a cavity is forming. Eventually the cavity will reach the pulp in the center of the tooth and begin to damage the nerve. The nerve damage is what causes a toothache. Eventually the nerve will die and the tooth will begin to rot and an abscess may form. Once the tooth begins to hurt a root canal may be necessary.

    Is Caries Preventable

    Caries is easy to prevent:

    • Brush at least twice a day, preferably with fluoride toothpaste.
    • Avoid sugary drinks and foods. Eat nutritious snacks.
    • Visit the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning.

    If you already have a dentist and get visit regularly, that is awesome. If you do not have a dentist, or your last visit was a year or more ago, call a dentist and make an appointment. Have a family member, friend, or your doctor recommend a dentist if you don’t have one.