Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentist

Improve Your Smile. Porcelain Veneers Can Make A Beautiful Difference!

In about anything these days, what defines ‘quality’ and enhances longevity begins with the material — from clothing to tires to furniture and on and on, your investment in the very best pays off by giving the results you most desire.

When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, the materials used and the skills of the dentist are significant components of getting the most from your investment. Most of us have seen people who have had obvious dental work – NEVER the goal! In cosmetic dentistry, the goal is to create a beautiful smile that looks like you were born with!

Smile enhancement typically focuses on the front 6 – 10 teeth most visible in a full smile. These are the teeth you want to have the most natural look and feel possible in shape, shade, opalescence (the way light is reflected) and luminosity (the opaqueness).

In most cases, we use porcelain veneers to re-create appealing smiles that are balanced to facial features. Porcelain is the closest thing in durability and appearance to natural teeth and provides the best longevity of all dental materials. Additionally, porcelain resists staining better than other materials.

When replacing fillings, porcelain can be also be used for inlays or onlays to give the most natural appearance. When laughing, for example, using porcelain means the ‘tops’ of teeth won’t reveal signs of dental work. It can be precisely shade-matched to blend into existing teeth and, again, with excellent durability.

Yet, we all know even the best materials can disappoint when applied by substandard skills or inexperienced hands. For example, investing in a beautiful cashmere coat can be a waste of exquisite material if cheap thread is used and the workmanship is shoddy.

Choosing the right cosmetic dentist for you begins with a consultation appointment. During this time, you can ask questions, such as:

• What advanced training have you had that qualifies you in cosmetic dentistry?

• How will you check my bite after this treatment to ensure a proper fit?

• How do you select the dental lab who creates the veneers (or other ‘restorations’)?

• How long have you been in dentistry and what do you do to fine-tune your skills as new techniques and materials come available?

Also, visit the dentist’s web site Smile Gallery to see some examples of before-&-after’s. Look for patient quotes on the site to see if their words are reassuring to you personally.

Patient of Dr. Ban Barbat

When visiting the dentist’s office, look to see if he or she has displayed examples of their work, either in framed photography of actual patients or in albums in the reception or consultation rooms. A dentist who is skilled and experienced is confident showcasing her work!

Porcelain veneers will give you a beautiful result, if in the right hands. Your new smile should make you FEEL wonderful and inspired to share it often! An attractive smile should also get complimented by others, even strangers! That’s a terrific feeling and a sure sign that your investment was a wise one!

Discuss your smile during a free consultation. Call 586-739-2155 to arrange a time when we can sit together and determine what may be best for you.

While you’re here, we can also have our Financial Coordinator explain easy payment plans that can help you make affordable, monthly payments while enjoying your fabulous, new smile!

 

Let Teeth Whitening Improve Your Smile!

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint on a house will do to improve it’s appearance. Or having an old vehicle given a new paint job. Or even having a piece of furniture refinished.

To no surprise, having your teeth whitened also gives a smile a tremendous pick-me-up. And, what’s even better, whitening teeth is affordable, quick and long-lasting.

However, there is a significant difference between teeth whitening systems offered by dentists, such as Zoom 2, versus what is sold over-the-counter. Although you can purchase a quick-&-easy whitening kit everywhere from the grocery store to the drug store, are you really getting a reasonable amount of whitening for the money you’re being charged?

There are four factors to consider when you’re thinking of whitening your teeth:

• Degree of whitening – If you have just mild surface yellowing, a drug store whitening kit may be all you need. However, to truly make a difference in teeth that have yellowed, grayed or browned or those with deeper stains, a professional level of whitening is needed. These are designed to go deeper in the tooth and lighten beyond what is just surface staining. Our Zoom 2 system tackles very deep stains to provide a significant level of white.

• Longevity of whitening – When you whitening your teeth, you certainly don’t want to lose the look after several months. Yet, that can happen when you use kits that only tackle surface discoloration. Although we advise our Zoom 2 patients to take measures to lessen the staining effects of red wine, coffee and blueberries, the longevity of whitening is far beyond what OTC kits can offer. Remember, with store-bought kits, you’re only treating surface stains. With Zoom 2, you’re getting down deep into the tooth to lighten. This helps you enjoy a whiter, brighter smile for a long time.

• Safety and sensitivity – Because Zoom 2 is administered in a dentist’s office under a dentist’s supervision, the safety of your teeth and gums is an important part of the process. Trying to maximize the level of whiteness through a kit’s limited potential is risky. Zoom 2 is designed to create minimal, if any, sensitivity to gum tissues and is safe for both teeth and gums. When drug store kits’ directions are not followed to the letter, you risk the well-being of your smile. Mishaps to tooth enamel or gum tissues can be costly to repair. It’s best to stick with a dental professional.

• Quick and easy – While many store-bought kits require a brief amount of time, the process may require time spent every day for a week or more to accomplish noticeable whitening. Our Zoom 2 process requires about an hour. You just sit back and relax and we’ll do the rest!

Whiter teeth are an affordable way to make flaws in a smile less noticeable. Plus, white teeth project a healthy, well-cared for smile that sends a positive message to others.

Your whiter, brighter smile is just an hour away! If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of a professional, dentist level whitening system, call 586-739-2155. We’ll discuss the process and cost and gladly answer any questions.

Inlays & Onlays Explained

Keeping natural teeth is important for reasons in addition to just creating an appealing smile. A natural tooth provides a number of advantages both above and below the gum line.

It has been shown that people who have their natural teeth live an average of ten years longer than people who wear dentures. And, it is a fact that, when a natural tooth is lost, the next to be lost will be one adjacent.

When most people think of having a cavity in a tooth repaired, a ‘filling’ is typically the anticipated procedure. However, large cavities of teeth that have an overload of decay or previous fillings are often crowned. A crown (or ‘cap’) covers the entire top and sides of the tooth to protect the remaining structure. This helps preserve the tooth along with its roots that are so beneficial to the health of the jaw bone that supports them.

In the past, many dentists used a silver ‘amalgam’ material to fill the portion of the tooth that was removed.  Because of the concerns surrounding the suspected hazards of amalgam’s mercury content, non-amalgam filling materials became the standard choice for most dentists.

Non-amalgam tooth-colored fillings contain no mercury and provide a more tooth-like appearance. Yet, there are times when a filling is not quite right and a crown may be more than is needed. This is where inlays and onlays are a better option.

Inlays and onlays are ideal when a large, biting surface area of a tooth needs repair. Inlays and onlays are like porcelain puzzle pieces. They are custom-designed to fit precisely into the tooth, similar to how a puzzle piece fits snugly into a jigsaw puzzle.

The procedure begins with removing the decayed area and preparing the tooth. You are fully numbed during the procedure. While you relax, a mold is made of the area to be replaced with the inlay or onlay. A temporary ‘restoration’ will be provided to protect the area while a dental lab creates your final porcelain inlay or onlay. Once the restoration is ready, you’ll return to our office to have it ‘seated’ into placed and secured with a special dental adhesive.

The porcelain used in inlay and onlay construction provides exceptional durability and provides a highly natural feel and function with exceptional longevity. During both appointments, your comfort is a priority. If desired, oral sedation can be added to treatment for added relaxation.

When a tooth needs repair beyond the adequacy of a simple filling (or less than the need for a full crown), an inlay or onlay may be the ideal remedy. If this is best for your individual situation, I’ll be happy to explain the procedure, comfort options, treatment time and estimated cost.

Call 586-739-2155 to request a no-cost, no obligation consultation.

NEURO-MUSCULAR DENTISTRY MADE SIMPLE

Do you suffer with frequent headaches or migraines? Frequent headaches affect nearly 50 million Americans. And while many sufferers search for a solution, many fail to connect the dots between these headaches and their dental anatomy.

Amazingly, the position of how our upper and lower teeth meet is a typical cause for headaches, jaw pain, sore muscles, neck and back pain, limited range of motion of the neck, poor posture, stuffy and ringing ears, grinding and breaking teeth, dizziness, fatigue and more. All of these symptoms can be due to one’s bite being off, perhaps by only a millimeter (1/25th of an inch).

Your dental make-up is an intricate composition of muscles, joints and teeth and plays a major role in your overall comfort and health. Because humans are incredibly adaptable, the body’s muscles, bones and joints can function although these are not in ideal alignment. This is as true with the bite as with other parts of the body, such as when one leg is shorter than the other. However, there are times when the body cannot adapt, which is just as true with dental problems.

Neuromuscular Dentistry is a modern advancement based on the understanding that the temporo-mandibular joints (TMJ) need to be in a comfortable resting position for the ultimate comfort of the joints, muscles, bones and teeth. When this occurs, all structures work together harmoniously.

The levelness of the teeth is just as critical.  The forces of the bite must be distributed down the length of the body. If the bite is tilted, then the forces are misdirected. This can cause as much of a problem for a patient as if the hips are not level.

When dentists are trained in Neuromuscular Dentistry, they have a unique understanding of its impact and how to incorporate it into restorative and esthetic treatment in order to help patients avoid future problems or correct those they may have been dealing with for years.

In my office, we have successfully treated patients for symptoms not normally associated with what people consider a dental problem can occur. Some examples are:

  • One patient was unable to close his eyes without falling for 27 years. This was resolved immediately when his bite was properly aligned.
  • Another patient who couldn’t turn his head to the left due to neck pain regained full range of motion once his bite was restored properly.
  • A patient who required massive amounts of pain pills for neck and back pain and headaches stopped taking them once his bite was restored.

As mentioned earlier, humans adjust to flaws. Yet, having flaws for years confuses the body’s perception of comfort over time. Unexplained pain is often attributed to other aspects of the patient’s life, such as stress, hormones or posture. Some are told it’s all in their head. They are given drugs or sent for therapy to deal with these problems, having no awareness that the source may be dental.

Today, advancements in computer technology enable dentists trained in Neuromuscular Dentistry to capture information for more effective treatment. It also gives visual ‘proof’ of treatment requirements so patients accept the authenticity of the diagnosis.

Neuromuscular Dentistry is such an important part of all implant, restorative (crown-&-bridge, partials, etc.) an cosmetic procedures in our office, so much so that we have invested in advanced technology. This allows us to measure the electrical activity of the muscles and determine the ideal resting position of the mandible (lower jaw). Throughout treatment, patients can monitor their progress by comparing before-&-after data.

Many people do not realize that bite misalignment is often due to more than crooked teeth. We’ve seen patients who’ve experience years of migraines, simply because of one crown being too high. The delicate balance in the mouth when it comes to the muscles, joints, bones and teeth working together is amazing.

If you have frequent headaches, migraines, jaw soreness, ear ringing, dizziness, tingling fingers, pain in the neck or shoulders, jaw popping or difficulty opening the mouth fully, bite misalignment is likely the culprit. These problems will only worsen without treatment.

To discuss your options and the diagnostic process, call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to request a no-charge, no-obligation consultation. I’ll gladly answer your questions so you can determine the best course of action for your specific needs.

 

Dental Woes From Sugar & Carbs Date Back To Ancient Ancestors

If your family’s Easter holiday was like ours, you’re probably still feeling full from chocolate bunnies, marshmallow Peeps, sugar-glazed ham and coconut layer cake. Like many American holidays, we surround celebrations with yummy eats, most laden with sugar with a big percentage in carbohydrate form.

As a matter of fact, there are few holidays that don’t include sugary and starchy indulgences. We go from homemade fudge and sugar cookies at Christmas to pumpkin pies and candied yams at Thanksgiving followed by cream-filled chocolates at Valentine’s Day, sugar-filled Easter baskets, summertime ice-cream and colas and finally roll our way into a Halloween candy high.

We Americans love our sugar. So, it’s no surprise that the University College London and the London School of Hygiene cited the United States as the world’s highest consumer of sugar.

One of the most common diseases worldwide is tooth decay. When the University College and London School of Hygiene researched public health records from around the globe, they found that almost 90% of America’s school age children have had tooth decay. Adults with cavities came in even higher – 92%. When compared to other countries with a very low sugar diet, such as Nigeria where only 2% of the population have experienced tooth decay, the problem – and solution – seems pretty simple.

Yet, denying ourselves sugar and carbs is tough, especially when they stare us in the face so often . You can’t even go to a gas station without having sweet treats, sugary beverages, chips and ice cream within arm’s reach of the check-out counter. Even my dry cleaner has a stand of Tootsie Pops by the cash register.

Here is where the problem lies, however, as far as your dental health goes. All food or beverages create an acid attack in the mouth. This is a normal part of the digestion process. However, sugar and carbohydrates (which also break down into sugar) give oral bacteria an added boost. As bacteria reproduce in the mouth, tooth decay can occur more easily.

Because of the way sugar reacts in the mouth, it becomes a particular problem for teeth. Oral bacteria eat, reproduce and thrive on sugar as they attack gum tissues and tooth enamel. This onslaught of bacteria causes the gums to become inflamed, instigating the initial stage of periodontal (gum) disease. Not only does oral bacteria create cavities and gum disease, it is the leading factor in adult tooth loss.

Sugar’s destructive force on teeth is nothing new, of course. You may find it interesting that an architect and his team discovered early attempts at filling teeth, dating back 13,000 years. It is believed that the Upper Paleolithic era introduced changes in diet, including the cultivation of grains and other carbohydrates. In the mouth, these carbs break down into simple sugars and feed cavity-causing bacteria. Hence, cavities and other dental problems appeared with much greater frequency. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/ancient/worlds-oldest-dental-fillings-packed-with-hair-asphalt-and-lots-of-pain/?utm_source=TWITTER&utm_medium=social&utm_term=20170411&utm_content=857321840&linkId=36410650)

The World Health Organization recommends no more than 5% of daily caloric intake from sugar. Sounds logical until you consider that sugar is everywhere. For example, look at the sugar content on the label of your pasta sauce, catsup or salad dressing. Being bombarded by hidden sugary ingredients can make it challenging to stick to the WHO’s 5% guideline.

Even with our best efforts to limit sugar and carbs, we are battling a powerful foe. Sugar is addictive, so much so that MRI scans show sugar activates the same regions in the brain as those turned on by cocaine. The problem is made worse by our ability to develop a tolerance. This means that the more sugar we eat, the more we crave. Simply put, this is a trait of drug addiction and symptom of substance dependency.

Sugar should be a minimal part of our daily intake. In addition to the damage that can occur from oral bacteria, a balanced diet of proteins and fiber from fruits and vegetables is better for your weight, heart and digestive system.  To avoid dental repairs, be committed to twice daily brushing, daily flossing, and lots of drinking water.

If you are behind on your 6-month dental cleanings and check-ups, call toll free 1-866-9Smiles. During this time, we will remove bacterial build-up so you can avoid treatment time and expense in a dental chair.

Adults Gravitate To ‘Invisible Braces’ For Comfort & Easy Care

Would you be surprised to learn that one-fourth of people who are in treatment to straighten teeth are adults?

Apparently, the benefits of properly aligned teeth have gained due recognition in recent years. While the number of teens in braces has nearly doubled over the past 20 years, the number of adults in orthodontic treatment rose almost 40% between 1996 to 2015. And, there seems to be no slow down in sight.

The power of an appealing smile in the U.S. has taken on its own persona. Other than make-up, cosmetic dentistry represents the largest non-surgical beauty industry. In one study, 38% of Americans stated they would decline a second date with someone with crooked teeth. The study also showed the same percentage perceived that those with straight teeth are more intelligent.

While beautiful smiles have been known to enhance facial appearance while boosting self-esteem and self-confidence, they can come at a steep price. For a smile makeover (porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns  applied to teeth most visible in a smile), costs can easily reach $12,000 and above.

While it is far more economical to move your natural teeth into their proper positions for a more appealing smile, there are health benefits to doing so as well. Straight teeth are easier to keep clean. Crowded, crooked teeth form tight angles that allow debris and food particles to accumulate. These tight nooks make brushing more difficult, providing a breeding ground for oral bacteria.

As oral bacteria multiply, a sticky film known as plaque forms. When not thoroughly removed, it can form cement hard colonies of bacteria known as tartar, or calculus. Tartar cannot be brushed or flossed away and requires the use of special tools by dental professionals to remove.

These hardened masses may seem dormant but are actually thriving colonies of bacteria that attack gum tissues and tooth enamel. As they continue to thrive and reproduce, the damage can result in cavities and periodontal disease. Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammatory disease caused by infectious bacteria. Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S. and affects nearly 47% of the population.

Another bonus of properly-aligned teeth is their role in keeping the TMJ (jaw joints) in healthy position. The jaw joints are located just in front of the ears. Proper bite alignment aids these joints in moving fluidly in their sockets. When misaligned teeth disrupt the ease of jaw joint movement, the result is typically stress and strain on the joints.

When stressed or strained, a domino effect tends to radiate out in a number of ways. TMJ disorder can lead to migraines, frequent headaches, sore jaw joints, difficulty opening the mouth fully, worn or chipped teeth from night-time clenching or grinding, ear ringing, jaw popping and dizziness.

For adolescents in braces, many proudly draw attention to their treatment with colored bands. However, adults often feel awkward when it comes to wearing wires and brackets. This method of realignment also makes eating difficult, creates challenges with oral hygiene and is physically uncomfortable. For adults in social and business settings, traditional braces can also cause discomposure.

Fortunately, today’s dentistry offers an effective, comfortable and affordable alternative to the challenges associated with braces.  Invisalign is an ‘invisable’ tooth realignment system that uses custom-made molds to gently ease teeth into proper positions. There are no brackets or wires, so the gums and lips are not subject to sore spots or tears. The molds are nearly undetectable, so patients avoid uneasiness when speaking or smiling.

As a dentist, I’m especially pleased that Invisalign helps patients be more thorough with their oral hygiene while in treatment. Since the molds are removable for eating and brushing, you can eat the foods you want and properly clean your teeth without the brushing and floss-threading challenges required for traditional braces.

We offer Invisalign for both teens and adults. However, we’ve seen that Invisalign is most appealing for adults, especially those who wore braces in their teen years and have experienced shifting over the years. The Invisalign process eases teeth back to their proper positions simply and comfortably.

Invisalign isn’t appropriate for all situations, however. Some bite realignment requires the more-involved process of traditional orthodontics. For these needs, we have an orthodontic specialist on staff. Dr. Jerry Wesley is an Orthodontist who can provide traditional realignment with braces. He and I are both certified Invisalign providers.

Let’s discuss the option best for you. Begin by calling 586-739-2155 to schedule a no-charge exam and consultation. I will explain the process and determine if Invisalign is appropriate for the degree of realignment you need. During this time, we can also discuss payment plans, many with no down payment required and interest-free.

Smile Makeovers Have Positive Effects Inside and Out!

While the visual impact of the smile makeovers we create for our patients is obvious, what cannot be seen, just by looking, is the significant effect a more flattering smile can have when it comes to (what we refer to as) “smiling from the inside out.” It’s the uplifting feeling these patients have when their smile truly reflects their inner joy.

An attractive smile tends to boost one’s self-esteem and level of confidence. Our ‘smile makeover’ patients often tell us they find themselves smiling more often and feel more outgoing. From what we witness, it’s no surprise that research has found that the mere act of smiling gives a boost to one’s mood.

Apparently, the brain reacts to smiling by releasing endorphins, which are our ‘natural high’ chemicals that make us happy. Even ‘faking’ a smile seems to prompt this reaction, according to research.

When it comes to smile improvements, however, having a ‘makeover’ isn’t always needed to make a positive result in both appearance and perception of how one feels about their smile. Sometimes, even small changes can have a tremendous effect. In some cases, we’ve placed just four veneers on upper, front teeth for a marked improvement.DrB Pt Mirror copy

Porcelain veneers are the ‘gold standard,’ providing optimal durability, longevity and natural appeal. Veneers give a opalescense like that of natural teeth, even reflecting light in a similar way. Yet, there are a number of ways to improve the appearance of a smile.

Whitening teeth can create a notable improvement for those who have stains or discoloration from foods, aging, smoking or medications. A whiter, brighter smile tends to camouflage flaws and projects a cleaner, healthier appearance of teeth.

Bonding is another way to repair minor flaws, such as chips, uneven teeth, or gaps between teeth. Although not as durable as porcelain veneers and less resistant to staining, bonding is a less expensive method for improving small issues. And, when it comes to a smile, these small issues can have a dramatic effect on how one feels about their smile.

You may be surprised that many esthetic treatments can often be completed in just one visit. And, as with all procedures in our office, comfort is a high priority. For those who desire, we make oral or IV sedation available. Both are safe relaxation methods that erase most, if not all, memory of your procedure time. Recovery is quick and you are monitored throughout treatment with advanced equipment and trained staff.

Imagine yourself with a smile that gets compliments often. Would it make you want to smile more often? Would you feel more attractive? Would it boost your confidence in social or business settings?

Yes? Then, begin with a free Consultation to learn about the latest techniques and materials in esthetic dentistry. During this time, we’ll discuss the best options to create the smile you desire. I’ll go over the specifics of treatment and estimated costs. If desired, you can also meet with our Financial Coordinator to learn about easy payment options, most are interest-free with no down payment required.

Imagine that smile you want and then take a first step to fulfilling your dream! Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to arrange a time convenient for you.

Not All Crowns Are Created Equal (And Why Prices Vary)

Many of us are familiar with the phrase “a rose is a rose.” While the scent of a rose would be pleasant regardless of its name, this reminds us that comparisons aren’t always “apples to apples.” Roses can vary a great deal, just as crowns, bridges and other dental restorations.

As a dentist, I regularly see new patients who have aging crowns or bridges. Some of these restorations are breaking down rather soon, typically due to inferior quality or being placed improperly. For those who assume all crowns are the same, like roses, this is far from the case.

To begin, most crowns are made by a dental lab selected by the dentist and to specifications of that dentist. In order to trim expenses, the cheaper labs typically create results of lesser quality. Typically, the appearance won’t have the natural appearance that blends seamlessly with other teeth. And, the feel won’t provide the smooth finish that feels like a tooth surface. It will look and feel like a ‘fake tooth.’

Patient of Dr. Ban Barbat - Crowns That Look Natural, Of Exceptional Quality
Patient of Dr. Ban Barbat – Crowns That Look Natural, Of Exceptional Quality

In addition to a compromise in the look and feel of a crown, longevity is another area where cost cuts mean sacrifices in quality. The life of a crown is dependent on its materials (along with proper shaping and placement). Obviously, a crown made of lower grade materials won’t hold up as well over time.

Proper placement also has a tremendous effect on the life of a crown. When a tooth is prepared for a crown, the shape, shade and size of the crown is provided to the dental lab. There is no margin for error. The slightest misstep in height or shape can create conflict for the teeth above or below.

For example, a crown that is just a fraction of a millimeter too tall or short will hit incorrectly on the tooth that meets it in a bite. As a neuro-muscular dentist, I know how significant this can be on a patient’s overall oral structures. This minute disparity can result in bite misalignment that leads to headaches, migraines, sore jaw joints, ear ringing, dizziness, facial pain or pain in neck and shoulder muscles.

The same principles apply to a bridge. Bridges that look good, fit correctly, and last an exceptionally long time are worth “doing right the first time.” When a bridge is selected based on the lowest price, like anything, the repercussions of cutting corners will show up eventually.

Rather than think of a crown in terms of its cost, consider what it will provide to you for a fair price. Will it look as natural as your surrounding teeth? Will it feel like a tooth? Will it last for a long time because it was made of quality materials? Will it be placed so you avoid problems from bite misalignment in the future?

When it comes to what is spent on a smile, we all want to feel we have made a good investment. We believe our patients deserve the highest quality in crowns, bridges or veneers for a reasonable cost. Too, we want you to feel pleased with your investment long after it is made.

Let’s sit down together to discuss how you can achieve a healthy, confident smile and enjoy exceptional results in an affordable treatment plan. Call 586-739-2155 to schedule a cost-free, no-obligation consultation. We can also discuss easy payment options, some with no down payment and interest-free.

Is Dental Fear Preventing You From A Confident Smile?

I’ve enjoyed over two decades of dental practice. During this time, I have been blessed with a wonderful staff and a fabulous patient family. In all these years, one of the most challenging hurdles I’ve seen for a number of patients who want a confident smile? It’s not treatment cost or time or concern about the results. It’s dental fear.

For most adults who have dental fear or anxiety, the originating source seems to stem from a traumatic dental experience in their past, often as a child. I’ve heard stories from some who recall being held down in the dental chair by a hurried, rough dentist. Some adults have shared how a dentist continued in a procedure even after being told they were not numb. Naturally, these episodes embed deep into one’s subconscious and overshadow every thought of dentistry.

As a dentist who has treated hundreds of patients who once had high levels of dental fear or anxiety, I understand. There are few times in our lives where we must remain reclined on a narrow chair while someone with pointed instruments pokes around in an area as sensitive as our mouths! Not being able to see what is going on merely adds to the element of fear for some people. Add in the noises, bright lights and feeling vulnerable and, for many people, you have a recipe for white knuckles. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s the other side of that picture, though. Our goal is to NEVER make a patient feel uncomfortable (physically or emotionally) and to ALWAYS create an experience that encourages them to see dental care as positive parts of their overall health and well-being. Once a fearful patient realizes that we can be counted on, they relax. When they realize they are truly in charge of the pace of their treatment, they relax. And, when they realize how wonderful it feels to have a healthy, confident smile, they smile when they walk into our office and smile when walking out!

While I focus on providing the highest level of skills and technology in all procedures, creating a comfortable experience throughout each patient’s visit is a commitment I try to bring to every aspect of care. This is exemplified throughout the practice. From the staff who greet you to the hands that care for you, we believe you deserve a warm, caring team from start to finish.

Some fearful adults do well when Oral Sedation is combined with their visits. This is in pill form and taken prior to arriving to our office. By the time you enter, you’ll be relaxed. You’ll be seated in a treatment chair and covered with a warm blanket while the pill takes full effect.

In addition to helping you relax, Oral Sedation has an amnesiac effect that helps to erase most (if not all) memory of treatment afterward. Throughout your treatment, you’ll be monitored for safety and comfort by a specially trained staff member.

After your procedure, you will return home to rest. Recovery is quick and most feel back to normal within several hours.

In addition to treating fearful or anxious patients, we are also experienced in treating dental phobics. These individuals have such high levels of dental fear they shake or sweat at the mere thoughts of walking into a dental office. In these situations, IV sedation (twilight sleep) is often the preferred option. This is an in-the-vein form of sedation that places you in a sleep state. Most have no memory of treatment after but do need a longer recovery period as a result.

While we are sensitive to the needs of ALL of our patients, we are especially so with those who have fear associated with dental visits. Often, however, the patients who require sedation for one or two visits will decide to forego it upon realizing they can trust us to be gentle and caring at all times.

If you have dental fears or know someone who does, begin by calling toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to speak to a friendly staff member. Ask for a no-cost, no obligation consultation. I’m always happy to meet with patients in this private room that is removed from the clinical side of the office. During this time, we can discuss your concerns and I’ll explain how we can help you at a pace you feel is right.

If desired, we can also put you in touch with some patients who have overcome their dental fears and are now smiling confidently and beautifully!

Don’t let a traumatic episode in your past hold you back from the smile you desire. Take that first step today by making a telephone call. You’ll be treated kindly and respectfully.