Overcome Dental Fear For A Smile You’ll Love!

Nearly seventy percent of American adults have some level of anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist. Some even have such high fear levels that they are categorized as dental phobics. These people become so upset at the mere thoughts of dental visits that physical reactions such as breaking out in a sweat or even crying occur.

Some adults who have dental fears aren’t sure of the origins, although others have vivid memories of when these fears began, perhaps of a dentist who failed to get them fully numb and began a procedure despite their pleas.

Today, dentistry has made much progress in comfort options. Additionally, most dentists are more sensitive to fearful patients. Some offices feature options such as topical numbing before injections, headsets with soothing music, and ergonomically designed treatment chairs. These features help to relax patients and make them more comfortable throughout their procedure.

For optimal relaxation, some offices also offer oral sedation while others are also certified and equipped to provide I.V. sedation (“twilight sleep”). For procedures that do not require the sedation depths of I.V. sedation, we recommend oral sedation. Oral sedation provides exceptional relaxation, leaving little or no memory of the procedure afterwards. Oral sedation also has a faster recovery than I.V. sedation.

For patients who prefer a deeper level of sedation, we offer I.V. sedation. This places patients in a sleep-like state for optimal relaxation. Many fearful patients like its ability to erase memory of the procedure afterward. With both oral and I.V. sedation, numbing is still provided but injections are delivered after the patient is in a totally relaxed state.

Regardless of the comfort option you select, it is important to choose the dentist that is right for you. For some, just making the appointment and getting in the door for the initial visit is a traumatic process. It may be helpful to go to the office after-hours and walk to the front door to become familiar with its location and appearance.

You can also begin with a consultation to meet the dentist and explain your concerns. This will help you determine if the practice is going to be a good fit for your particular needs. Often, fearful patients relax just from meeting the ‘right doctor.’ I urge you to find one who is highly experienced in helping fearful patients receive the care they need.

If you have delayed dental care due to fear, the sooner you are seen the more you’ll save in treatment time and expense. Begin with a free consultation to learn how your fears can be overcome so your oral health can be restored to a healthy state. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles.

Straight Teeth – Invisalign Vs. Traditional Braces

Straight teeth not only create a more appealing smile, they are an advantage to your oral health. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean and provide proper bite alignment. When teeth are properly aligned, this helps you avoid TMJ disorder, which can result in headaches, jaw joint pain, chipped and broken teeth and night-time clenching and grinding.

Invisalign (for teens and adults) are sets of clear molds that gently move teeth in stages. The advantages are the ability to remove the molds to eat and clean teeth, heightened comfort and avoiding the awkward appearance that some feel with traditional braces.

However, there are reasons that traditional braces may be the best option for your individual situation. One is the permanence that braces have in your mouth. Because Invisalign molds are removable, it is tempting to leave them out longer than the recommended period. This also increases your risk of losing the molds.

Invisalign is also more costly than traditional braces, although they typically move teeth at a pace faster than braces. They are excellent options when teeth need mild to moderate realignment, but not as effective for severe crowding or malocclusion.

We are so pleased that Dr. Jerry Wesley has joined our practice. As an Orthodontic Specialist, Dr. Wesley has the training, skills and experience to help you understand your options and recommend the best choice for a successful outcome.

To arrange a no-cost consultation and examination with Dr. Wesley, call 1-866-9-Smiles. Or, learn more about Dr. Wesley at: http://www.banrbarbatdds.com/meet-dr-wesley.php




Whitening Methods Can Lead To Costly Damage

I recently stumbled across a Pinterest article on a whitening method for teeth. It consisted of mixing lemon juice and baking soda. I cringe when I hear of homemade concoctions such as this because they can cause severe damage to teeth and gums.

Using an abrasive substance such as baking soda can wear down tooth enamel. Add the high acidity of lemon juice and you have a potent combination. Enamel is the protective coating of your tooth, not a solid block of enamel. It does not regenerate itself and once its worn away, porcelain veneers or crowns will be needed to restore the integrity of your teeth.

These whitening methods are just as risky to gum tissue. When an overly-abrasive substance is used to brush teeth, tender gum tissues can be damaged. Having tears in the gums is an open door to oral bacteria, making you more susceptible to gum disease. Keep in mind that the bacteria of gum disease can also enter the bloodstream and cause trigger inflammatory reactions. This bacteria has been linked to heart disease, stroke, arthritis, diabetes, preterm babies and even impotency.

Although the ADA states that, when used correctly, whitening strips are safe, they caution that gray and brown tinged teeth won’t respond as well, and sometimes not at all. And, if applied incorrectly or pushed into the gums, whitening strips can also erode enamel and lead to tissue damage below the gums.

Want to whiten your smile with exceptional results through a quick, safe process that has superb longevity? Our Zoom 2 system is comfortable, safe and can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of your smile. Why risk the health of your teeth and gums? Call 1-866-9-Smiles to discuss Zoom Whitening for yourself or as a gift for someone you love.

Getting Painful Jolts From Hot Or Cold?

Are you occasionally experiencing painful jolts when you drink hot or cold beverages? This commonly stems from sensitivity caused by gum recession.

When the gums pull away from teeth, they leave portions of tooth roots exposed. Unlike the enamel-coated tooth that extends above the gums, the root portion below relies on gum tissue to protect the dentin.

Dentin wraps around the neck of the tooth and consists of tiny tubules that surround the root’s nerve center. If the dentin is exposed, the nerve center responds with pain signals. This typically happens when the bristles of a tooth brush or hot or cold foods and beverages reach exposed areas.

Gums that have pulled away from teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease is a common cause of gum recession. Gum disease is also the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss.

When bacteria in the mouth are not removed on a daily basis, plaque forms around the teeth. Plaque is toxic and causes irritation to the gums, which can develop into gingivitis. As the gums become more inflamed, gingivitis progresses to periodontitis (gum disease).

Another cause of gum recession can be from over-zealous brushing or using an abrasive substance such as baking soda. When tender gum tissues are scrubbed away, so is the protection that covers sensitive areas.

Gum recession can also occur from teeth clenching or bruxing (tooth grinding). This action can break down gum tissues and eventually lead to recession. In addition to receded gums, clenching or grinding can cause teeth to become worn or chip.

If gum recession is minor, we recommend switching to a soft bristle tooth brush and lightening up on your stroke. Rather than a back-&-forth ‘scrubbing’ motion, swipe from the base of each tooth to its end. Then, use a circular motion to clean the tops of teeth. A sensitivity toothpaste that contains potassium nitrate will also help to block nerve endings.

In more severe cases of gum recession, gum tissue regeneration or gum grafting may be necessary. These are performed with a high level of comfort and excellent outcomes.

The best way to remedy gum recession is sooner than later. Begin with an examination so you can hopefully avoid extensive treatment or expense. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to learn more.

Ear Ringing, Dizziness, Headaches? The Cause May Surprise You.

Persistent symptoms – those that don’t clear up in a couple of weeks – are indications that something is wrong. Sometimes, the original causes of these symptoms are the result of an incident that occurred many years in the past.

When frequent headaches, jaw pain or discomfort in the jaw joints when chewing arise, it’s fairly obvious that the temporo-mandibular (TMJ) joint should be considered as having a role. However, for people who have symptoms such as frequent ear ringing, ear pain or dizziness, the jaw joint is not initially deemed to be a source. Many individuals go from specialist to specialist trying to determine why they feel dizzy so often or why they have this maddening ringing in the ears. The doctor you think could provide an accurate diagnosis and successful treatment is rarely a neuro-muscular dentist or Orthodontist.

People who are recently in a car wreck are often ‘on the alert’ for neck or back pain. If you were hiking and slipped on the trail, ankle pain or a pulled hamstring that emerges a few days later is easy to trace back to its source. However, let’s say you played defense in football and took some really hard blows. Or, you fell off a ladder years ago with quite a jolt. Although you may have emerged from such incidents seemingly unharmed, years later, the jolt you experienced may have been just enough that your jaw joint was injured.

Most people cannot ever trace “the one, true injury” back to their TMJ disorder. This is because it can take years for trauma to the jaw joint to show symptoms. Unlike neck pain after an auto accident or a pulled muscle after an intense tennis match, TMJ disorder develops symptoms slowly, in most cases.

While medical specialists will order CAT scans, examine the ears and sinuses, or prescribe muscle relaxers or heat-&-ice therapy, you may experience some relief. However, to get to the symptoms’ true source and eliminate the problem, for good, failing to consider the TMJ is a recipe for re-occurrence and continual visits to doctor after doctor.

We’ve successfully treated many people who have had decades of headaches, migraines, facial pain, jaw pain, ear aches, dizziness and ringing ears. As a neuro-muscular dentist, I see far beyond your teeth and gums. Their intricate connection to jaw joints, head and neck muscles and your posture are all related. When the jaw joints are stressed or stained, a domino effect occurs, which typically encompasses the proper function of adjoining parts.

In addition to my intensive training in neuro-muscular dentistry, I’ve incorporated advanced technology into our practice specifically designed to detect the true source of TMJ disorder. The diagnostic process is comfortable and thorough so we’ll have sufficient information to make an accurate determination for your symptoms’ source.

We also have an Orthodontic Specialist on our team. Dr. Jerry Wesley has extensive training in creating proper bite alignment for the elimination of TMJ disorder (which can also be caused by a misaligned bite). Once the source of your symptoms is determined, we’ll make recommendations to help you overcome these problems and resume your life without often-debilitating symptoms.

Having a healthy, appealing smile is of tremendous benefit to your overall health and well-being. However, it is equally important that muscles, joints, bones and teeth work together properly – not just for your comfort, but so you’ll avoid problems in the first place.

If you have experienced ear ringing, dizziness, sore jaw joints or frequent headaches or migraines, call for a free consultation at 1-866-9-Smiles. We’ll discuss the best way to determine the true source of your problems and methods to restore you to comfort and a healthy smile that’s worry-free!

You may also enjoy the patient testimonial at: http://www.banrbarbatdds.com/tmd.php

Dental Fear Or Phobia? Take These Steps To A Healthy Smile!

Although an estimated 75% of American adults have some level of dental anxiety, approximately 10% of the adult population are categorized as dental phobics. These are people who have such severe fears that the mere thoughts of going to the dentist is unnerving. Many dental phobics can’t even bring themselves to call a dental office without breaking into a sweat or even crying. It is no surprise that the high number of adults with some level of gum disease is about the same percentage of those with dental phobia, fear or anxiety.

Most dental fears stem from a past traumatic experience in the dental chair, often as a child. These memories become so ingrained that anything associated with dental visits recreates the trauma in their minds.

Today’s dentists are more sensitive to individuals who have dental fear and phobia. However, before we can help you enjoy a healthy smile, it is necessary to get you into our office in the first place.

If you have dental fear or phobia, here are a few suggestions that may help you take that first step…

• If you cannot make the call yourself, have a close friend or family member call and ask questions (Is the dentist trained and experienced in treating fearful patients? What comfort options are available? Do they offer a consultation so fearful patients can get to know the dentist before scheduling an appointment? Etc.)
• Consider visiting the dental office after hours. Walk to the front door and become familiar with the location and building’s appearance.
• When a dentist does not have a consultation room that is removed from the clinical section of the office, certain noises and smells can create discomfort for fearful patients. If the consultation must take place in a treatment suite, it may be best to look for another office.
• Most dentists experienced with fearful patients understand the need to share their concerns. They will listen without rushing the patient and answer their questions using easy-to-understand terms. The individual should leave feeling reassured about the dentist’s commitment to their comfort.
• Some offices offer Oral Sedation, which is in pill form and taken prior to the visit. This helps the patient to be in a relaxed state by the time they arrive at the office. For those who prefer a ‘twilight sleep’ state, ask if I.V. Sedation is available.
• When any sedation is used, ask about safety monitoring equipment and training of staff members who will be assisting the dentist. Your safety is as important as your comfort.

Taking small steps at a comfortable pace is typically how most patients conquer dental fears and phobia. Some people will never be able to have dental care without anxiety, but in the proper hands, can accomplish necessary treatment for a healthy mouth and confident smile.

If you have not seen a dentist in years and have gums that are tender, swollen in spots or bleed when you brush, you have gum disease. This is the leading cause of adult tooth loss and will only worsen without treatment. Additionally, the bacteria of gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, stroke, perterm babies and more.

The sooner you receive treatment, the less involved it will be. And, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy a terrific smile. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a free consultation. A pleasant conversation in our private consultation room may be your first step to optimal oral health.

Mouthwash Helps With Good Oral Hygiene But Doesn’t Replace It

I was recently reminded of when Jessica Simpson announced on an Ellen episode that she brushes her teeth “maybe three times a week.” Simpson said she uses Listerine and flosses everyday and uses “a shirt or something” to wipe her teeth. Claiming her breath is fresh, she feels her mouth has been adequately cleaned.

Being in the dental field, this attitude is shocking. Failing to adhere to proven preventive measures of twice-daily brushing, flossing and 6-month checkups and cleanings is a recipe for a long list of oral problems to come.

Plaque is the sticky film of bacteria that clings to teeth and gums. If not removed within 24 hours, bacteria begin to attack supporting bone and gum tissue around teeth. As plaque accumulates, calculus (also known as tartar), forms on teeth. Calculus is the hard substance that can only be removed by a dental professional using special tools.

The added bacteria of calculus broadens the attack on tooth surfaces and gum tissues, moving you into the first stage of periodontal disease, Gingivitis. Untreated, this can lead to advanced gum disease, which is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss.

Frequent use of mouthwash because of bad breath reveals an underlying problem that should be addressed sooner than later. Persistent bad breath is a sign of gum disease, which will only worsen without treatment. Additionally, when bacteria enter the bloodstream through tears in diseased gum tissue, it can trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body. The bacteria of periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, memory loss, preterm babies and even impotency.

If you’d like to add an oral rinse to your oral hygiene routine at home, ask for a recommendation that contains fluoride or antimicrobial agents to get the best benefit. However, twice daily brushing and flossing, combined with 6-month dental check-ups, is a necessary part of having and maintaining a healthy mouth, with or without an oral rinse.

Let’s help you achieve a healthy, confident smile. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles if you have questions or prefer a free Consultation in a private discussion.