Many Causes Of Dental Anxiety

Our practice sees many patients who were once afraid of going to the dentist. We are proud that we’ve been able to help so many overcome these fears and now enjoy a healthy, attractive smile. Most no longer require any sedation or relaxation medications.

We also understand that not all those who experience fear or anxiety associated with dental visits are the same. While many had traumatic dental experiences in the past, others experience anxiety for different reasons, including:

Fear of perceived pain – Some people merely anticipate pain from hearing tales from others about unpleasant or painful dental procedures.

Feeling helpless or having no control – For some, to sit in a dental chair with an open mouth and not see what’s being done is a frightening situation.

Embarrassment or self-consciousness – Certain adults are uneasy with the physical closeness of a dentist or hygienist that’s required for treatment. This may have to do with the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odors, fearing they’ll be judged.

Fear of injections or inadequate numbing – Having a tremendous dread of needles, especially in one’s mouth, is another cause for dental anxiety. Some adults also fear the dentist will begin treatment before the numbing meds have taken effect or that the amount of numbing won’t be sufficient.

Fear of side effects – Although no one likes the numbness of a “fat lip” associated with local anesthetics, some may also have dizziness, feel faint or even be nauseous.

What works for each patient is based upon their specific situation. This is why we begin by sitting together in a comfy Consultation Room. We discuss their unique needs and how we can move at a pace that feels good for them.

Patients relax when they realize there will be no discomfort and they are in control of how we proceed, whether before treatment or during a procedure. Many opt to include Oral Sedation with their treatment in the beginning. Yet, after that visit, they no longer feel sedation is necessary.

Trust is what it’s all about. When patients feel they can trust you to make sure they are comfortable and ‘cared for’ rather than just being treated, all the fears and anxiety often disappear.

If you, or someone you know, has dental fear or anxiety, call Toll Free 1-855-9-Smiles to request a free Consultation. It’s the first step toward a healthy, confident smile!

Summer Travel No Vacation From Dental Care!

We all love a vacation, but ‘relaxing’ from your daily oral care regimen could result in costly repairs down the road. Avoid taking ‘time off’ from your morning and evening oral hygiene routine so bacterial growth doesn’t require dental treatment as a result. Here are a few tips for your oral well-being while you’re on the road:

• When you pack, place your tooth brush, floss and toothpaste in one container separate from other items. When you arrive at your destination, you can keep this by the sink so they are handy each morning and evening.

• Take along plenty of sugarless gum, which helps you maintain sufficient saliva flow in the mouth. This aids in removing bacteria before it builds into the stick film that forms plaque.

• Follow tooth brushing with a good brushing of your tongue. This dislodges additional bacteria that are embedded from their warm, moist ‘home.’

• Drink lots of water throughout the day to keep oral tissues moist. If you can’t brush right after a meal, swish with water or chew sugarless gum.

• Make sure you are current on your 6-month oral hygiene exams and check-ups prior to your trip. This enables us to remove any plaque so you’ll have a clean mouth and terrific smile for your time away.

Enjoy a great summer, safe travels, and by all mean, bright smiles every day!

Dr. Barbat Named Among ‘Top Dentists’ By Hour Magazine

The July 2012 issue of Hour Detroit magazine features ‘Top Dentists’ in the area, and I’m proud to say it is my patients and peers who have placed me on this list.

Each year, the magazine solicits votes from its readers to determine the Detroit area’s Dentists who are the ‘top choice’ in their profession. Because the award of ‘Top Dentists’ is the result of those who’ve been in my care or familiar with our high standard of care, it is the ultimate compliment. It’s like a ‘People’s Choice’ award and I am extremely honored by this.

Thank you for all who voted and understand how optimal oral health is such an important part of your physical, psychological and physiological well-being!


Your Saliva Plays Important Role In Overall Health

Certain medications, age, smoking or particular foods and beverages can contribute to a dry mouth. A dry mouth enables oral bacteria to ‘hang around’ and multiply. The longer it remains in your mouth, the more reproduce. This build up is the beginning of the sticky film that forms plaque. While daily brushing and flossing curtail the accumulation of bacteria, a sufficient flow of saliva provides a continual support system to your efforts.

Your saliva is far more than just moisture in your mouth. Modern science is now using saliva as the body’s window for exposing all types of medical and dental problems. Tests can now use saliva to determine the type and quantity of your oral bacteria to reveal if you are at greater risk for developing gum infections.

Not only is saliva a necessary part of your oral health, it may become a crystal ball for your entire body in the not so distant future! Research is on the brink of using saliva to reveal the early presence of oral cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and Sjogren’s syndrome. Researchers are also working on tests that use saliva to show the presence of tumors in the body and even where they are located.

Even though this research is exciting, we already know it is vital to take every step to maintain excellent oral health. Research has shown a link between periodontal (gum) disease bacteria and heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and some forms of cancer.

An estimated 75% of Americans over 35 have some form of periodontal disease. Gum disease is also the nation’s leading cause of tooth loss. Missing teeth create a long list of problems, from gastrointestinal to psychological.

To combat dry mouth, drink plenty of water throughout the day, use oral rinses especially made for dry mouth and be dedicated to your brushing and flossing routine. If you take medications that are drying, ask your physician if there are alternatives without this side effect. Since drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking are especially drying to oral tissues, users should be diligent with their oral health commitment. And, by all means, keep your 6-month check-ups and cleanings without fail. These appointments remove build-up that has accumulated to minimize or eliminate damage to teeth and gums.

2012 Scholarship Winners Announced!

For the eleventh year, we have awarded the Ban R. Barbat, DDS-PC Scholarship to local high school graduates pursuing a career in the medical or dental fields. The 2012 recipients are:

Ryan Brunk, a graduate of Eisenhower High school and the Utica Center for Mathematics, Science & Technology, will be attending Michigan State University this Fall with the goal to become an Anesthesiologist. In addition to excelling academically, Ryan has been involved in varsity sports and became an Eagle Scout at the age of 14. Throughout high school, he was able to maintain a grade point average of over 4.0 in a rigorous curriculum of advanced placement courses.

A scholarship was also awarded to Utica High School graduate Devpreet (‘Dev’) Chahal, who attended the Utica Center For Mathematics, Science & Technology as well. She has been accepted at Wayne State University, where she will continue her goals to become an Orthopedist. Dev has been recipient of numerous academic awards in addition to devoting countless hours to volunteering in health career settings, including the Henry Ford Hospital and American Red Cross.

I am so impressed with the dedication and aptitude of all the applicants for this Scholarship. Our future is in good hands with the type of commitment we’ve seen through Ryan and Dev. I know their families are very proud! Congratulations to both!

Improper Bite Alignment Creates A Head-To-Toe Problem

When I was in grade school, we used to sing a song that went, “The head bone’s connected to the neck bone, and the neck bone’s connected to the shoulder bone, and the shoulder bone’s connected …” while touching each body part as we sang. While this gave us a fun way to get some exercise while learning about body structure, I sometimes still think of this song as a Dentist.

When I find improper bite alignment in a patient, there is typically more going on than the repercussions this can cause in the mouth. As research has shown, an improper bite can create a long list of problems, including:

• Worn, cracked or chipped teeth

• Frequent headaches, migraines and sore jaw joints

• Ear ringing

• Feeling off-balance and dizzy at times

• Disrupted sleep from clenching and/or grinding teeth

• Pain from strained face, neck and shoulder muscles

Imagine having one leg shorter than the other. Although the body adjusts so you don’t notice this in your gait, it can lead to hip pain, back and knee problems, pain in the shoulders and neck, headaches and even sciatica.

If your bite is off, there are several ways to resolve the problem. Sometimes, simple recontouring of teeth at certain points will help. Some cases require more involved treatment, such as Invisalign to move teeth into proper position, or crowns placed to restore correct height so the teeth meet properly. However, ignoring bite misalignment typically allows a bad problem to become far worse. It is not something that will correct itself.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, call toll free 1-855-9-Smiles to schedule a free consultation. I’ll be happy to explain methods to correct bite realignment and answer your questions during this time.



Dental Visit Is BEST Way To Help Remedy Bad Breath!

No one wants to have bad breath. It is not only offensive to others, a ‘rotten’ breath odor reflects poorly on your oral (and even overall) hygiene commitment. Bad breath sends others a negative message about you. And once you subject them to it, others may permanently associate you with this breath odor.

Contrary to what most believe, bad breath is not caused by certain foods we eat. It typically results from sulfur compounds which are released during the digestive process. These sulfur compounds are released from the back of the tongue and throat, giving off an unpleasant odor.

While some companies promote products to conquer bad breath, many merely mask the problem or even cause more harm. Home remedies are especially risky, as many can actually make the problem worse, such as these that can actually contribute to bad breath:

• Execessive use of mouthwash – This produces a sloughy, smelly tissue that causes odor to become even worse.

• Breath mints – Long-lasting sugar candies create acid attacks in the mouth, increasing cavity risk.

• Tongue piercing – Tongue jewelry allows you to harbor more bacteria on your tongue, adding to the chance for bad breath.

• Alcoholic beverages – Saliva helps to remove oral bacteria. Alcohol is drying to oral tissues and reduces the amount of saliva in your mouth.

• Mint chew tobacco – Smokeless tobacco causes gums to recede, increasing the chance of losing the bone and fibers that hold teeth in position.

• Intestinal cleansing methods – Bad breath does not originate from the stomach, making this an ineffective method.

The best way to eliminate bad breath? Have a dental exam to determine the true factors that are contributing to breath odor, such as gum disease, dry mouth or certain medical conditions. Once these issues are resolved, look forward to a fresh mouth and worry-free closeness!