Does the dentist seem scarier than a horror movie monster? Would you rather do just about anything other than book a dental appointment? Does the thought of drilling make you want to hide under the covers? And does something as simple as a fluoride treatment give you flashbacks of past fear?
If you have a fear of the dentist, trust that you are not alone in your anxiety. Many people of all ages experience dentophobia – millions, in fact – but this does not mean you should skip seeing the dentist for good. It is totally understandable that a visit to the dentist of any sort may bring about an uneasy feeling or even a paralyzing fear. The “what ifs” of the unknown are not always easy to engage with, so thoughts of what’s to come can be daunting.
Even if a patient personally likes their dentist, the idea of scheduling a cleaning can throw them into shivers. From basic checkups to serious dental procedures, patients who fear the dentist just don’t want to deal with any of it. But avoiding the dentist is a bad idea, as you surely understand. Sure, the fear is real, but the repercussions will be far worse if you avoid oral care at all costs.
Your anxiety may be causing you to put off oral exams and cleanings, and leading you to pretend issues in your mouth are not really there. But we all know that this avoidance won’t benefit you in the long run.
You can overcome your fear of the dentist. Dr. Barry and Dr. Love will be by your side every step of the way doing all they can to make every appointment less nerve-wracking and more comfortable. It may take a bit of time before you are totally at ease in the dentist’s chair, but with every visit, your anxiety will diminish. Before long, a visit to the dentist will be a piece of cake! Just brush your teeth after enjoying a slice…
I am deathly afraid to visit the dentist. Do you offer sedation dentistry to help me get through it?
Dental sedation is one tried-and-true way to make your visit as stress-free as possible. We understand and empathize with your concerns and fears and want to make your exam or procedure as pleasant as it can be. The fact that you want to come in and are seeking a solution is a brave step in a positive direction. We offer sedation dentistry at Lifetime Dental Health to address these issues and get you through your visit fear-free.
What type of sedation dentistry do you offer?
Good news! Here at Lifetime Dental Health, our sedation dentistry is needle/shot-free! No worries about pain to relieve your stress…something that could add another layer of anxiety onto an already anxious state of mind. Rather than administering shots, we use pills to put you at ease instead. You will take an oral sedation pill about one hour prior to your visit. It’s as simple as that. This pill is meant to make you relax and feel more comfortable by the time you arrive at the office. Make sure you have a friend or family member who can drive you to your appointment! You won’t be totally out of it or unconscious after the pill kicks in, just groggy to a degree. You will have no problem communicating with the dentist, so you needn’t worry about not being able to speak or address any mid-procedures worries. The pill just calms you down and makes things more mellow. Your fear will lessen, and you’ll be calmer the whole time. We will carefully monitor your vital signs during your entire appointment, just to be sure your oral sedation medications are working effectively and your body is functioning normally. The pill seems like a miracle, but it’s real and reliable. You can trust that you’ll be less anxious and ready to face your appointment head-on.
Am I a good candidate for sedation dentistry? What sorts of issues is it best for?
There are a bunch of reasons patients fear the dentist, and every patient is unique in their trepidations. Most commonly, sedation dentistry is recommended for the following reasons:
Overall anxiety/fear surrounding dentist visits
Dislike of noises, equipment, smells, and other dentist-associated elements
Sensitive gag reflex/trouble keeping the mouth open for extended periods of time
Issues with becoming numb with the use of local anesthetic
Super sensitive teeth
Major dental work is needed a/long appointment
Aids in overall comfort during the visit
The next time you feel too fearful to come in for your dental appointment, communicate with our dentists, and we’ll work out something for you. Sedation dentistry is a successful way to overcome dentophobia. We’re not as scary as you think!
Gum disease is serious business. Also known as periodontal disease, it is the most common dental problem adults suffer from. Three out of four adults have some degree of gum disease. That’s 75%! Not only does gum disease affect the gums, but it can worsen significantly if left untreated, potentially resulting in tooth loss. From discomfort to more dire situations, gum disease is prevalent and problematic. But it’s not hopeless. And we’re here to help.
Here’s what you should know about gum disease, from the various telltale signs to the ways Drs. Barry and Love can treat you in a timely fashion. If gum disease is not tended to before the damage has gone too far, the repercussions can travel throughout the body – from respiratory illnesses to heart disease to diabetes to fatigue to problems with the jawbone, even to premature birth and/or low birth weight for women who are expecting or who plan to become pregnant.
Help! How can I tell if I have gum disease? What are the signs and symptoms?
There are a number of signs you should look out for that may indicate you have gum disease. You may see one or two of these common signs listed below or suffer from them all. The severity of each symptom varies from patient to patient, so do not neglect even the slightest indicator of potential gum disease. The earlier you are seen and treated, the better off you will be.
The common signs and symptoms of gum disease include the following:
Tender or gums
Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
Unusual/unpleasant taste in mouth
Isn’t it normal for gums to bleed a bit during brushing and/or flossing?
The short answer…no. Gums should never bleed. Bleeding gums are a sign of irritation (possibly infection) and can lead to serious problems that go way beyond your mouth if left untreated. You could be at the start of something that will only get worse if you begin to see your gums bleed, even just a bit. This mild form of gum disease is called gingivitis. It could lead to further disease developing, so speak to Dr. Barry or Dr. Love about this at your next appointment.
If my gums are bleeding during brushing and/or flossing, should I stop brushing and/or flossing?
Brushing is essential, as is flossing. Do not disrupt your routine, because not brushing could make matters even worse. What you should do is schedule a dental checkup as soon as possible, and we will treat your gums and provide you with gum disease prevention tactics. It could be that you’re just brushing too hard or improperly. This could cause gums to bleed. We’ll figure it out and go from there.
Is there anything I can do to prevent getting gum disease in the first place?
Preventative dentistry is the key to a healthy mouth. Scheduling regular dental checkups/exams and cleanings will keep your oral health in check, including the gums. Proactive patients do themselves a great service by seeing us, even when nothing seems to be wrong. Waiting until something goes wrong means small issues have a greater chance to develop, oftentimes leaving you in a predicament. The deep cleaning we can do along the gum line and a thorough in-office exam will ward off disease, keep your mouth fresh and clean, and keep us abreast of any abnormalities along the way. The removal of plaque and tartar, as well as food debris and bacteria, will make gums healthier. The process is relatively pain-free, but if your gums are severely tender or highly inflamed, we can discuss the option of numbing the area before the deep cleaning. Our goal is to make your appointment as comfortable as we can.
If I do not show any signs of gum disease at my regularly scheduled cleaning, do I need to follow up?
No signs of gum disease is naturally a great thing, but it does not mean you are in the clear forever. As aforementioned, three out of four adults suffer from gum disease at some point in their lives. The odds aren’t in your favor, sadly to say. So, keep coming into the office for your regular checkups and take care of your oral hygiene at home. If you have questions as to how to properly care for your teeth and gums, let’s discuss during your next visit.
Gum disease is common, but it doesn’t mean it’s something you should take lightly. Drs. Barry and Love can help with the proper preventative care and treatment if needed. Your gums will be as healthy as can be, allowing you to flash a smile you can feel good about.