In over two decades of being a dentist, I pride myself on having a large number of patients who tell me “I love my dental visits.” (YES! There are actually many!). For patients who have no fear or anxiety associated with dentistry, they are able to be relaxed in the dental chair. They are also better able to be active participants in their oral health, effectively combining regular dental cleanings and exams with our individualized recommendations for optimal at-home care.
When one’s oral health is in a healthy state, the gums are pink and less sensitive. This makes cleanings a more comfortable process. Without the anticipation of being uncomfortable during a cleaning or any other procedure, anxiety is typically alleviated. Thus, the patient is relaxed from the get-go. These are the patients who say they actually look forward to their dental visits!
And these visits, when you think about it, are a positive step towards good health, self-confidence, and a more flattering appearance. And, when I say “good health,” I’m referring to good OVERALL health.
Years of studies and intricate research has found that the health of the tissues of the mouth can affect the health of the gut, trigger systemic inflammation, and even activate the mutations that lead to cancer development. Although many people understand that avoiding gum disease can help them avoid discomfort, bad breath, and tooth loss, most are unaware that the infectious bacteria of periodontal disease can enter the bloodstream.
Once bloodborne, the bacteria of gum disease can set in motion processes that lead to a variety of health problems. If you follow my articles or are a patient with us, you may already have learned that this bacteria is associated with higher risks of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, preterm babies, impotency, certain cancers (including pancreatic), and high blood pressure. Some research has even shown links to Alzheimer’s disease. (https://www.alzheimers.net/gum-disease-could-lead-to-the-development-of-alzheimers/)
Obviously, healthy gums are important to your smile and the rest of you, too! And, the benefits of a healthy smile go deeper than it’s appearance. A beautiful smile of healthy teeth and gums can improve one’s self-confidence and self-esteem. It can help you to look younger and even project a more positive impression to others.
Too, when people feel good about their smile, they tend to smile more often. This has been shown to improve overall mood. According to research reported in 2017 by NBC News, a smile causes a chemical reaction in the brain, releasing certain hormones that increase feelings of happiness. (https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/smiling-can-trick-your-brain-happiness-boost-your-health-ncna822591
With all the GOOD associated with a healthy, confident smile, you’d think people would be lined up to get into a dental office! Yet, fear or anxiety associated with dental visits and procedures affects an estimated 70+ percent of adults in the U.S. This causes some to dread dental visits so much that they delay or avoid regular dental care. For others, the mere thoughts of walking into a dental office are so upsetting that they only go when something is so painful they have no choice.
In our Shelby Township dental practice, we have developed a reputation for compassionate care and a gentle touch. Some patients even call my injections “painless.” However, I feel our biggest asset in making our patients relaxed and comfortable is by instilling a sense of trust. When patients realize that our goal, like theirs, is for treatment to be a comfortable experience through every visit, they relax.
Until then, though, we know it is beneficial to provide added relaxation options, including oral sedation (a pill form sedative) or IV sedation (also known as “twilight sleep”). Both provide total relaxation and offer easy recovery. With I.V. sedation, this offers more of a sleep state but recovery does require more time.
Both sedation options are administered by trained professionals with patients monitored by specially-trained staff and advanced safety equipment. To us, your safety is a high priority, just as your comfort.
We have had such good success with high-fear patients over the years that I decided to offer a booklet to those who struggle with these fears. Our “Guide For The Fearful Dental Patient” can be accessed on our web site (https://www.banrbarbatdds.com/comfort-options/) or downloaded here: “Guide For The Fearful Dental Patient”
Oral sedation is also an option for people facing (or who prefer) long procedures and wish to be more relaxed throughout. These may be patients who have no fears or anxiety but wish to eliminate or minimize the stiffness or stress that may come with being reclined with an open mouth for a lengthy period.
It is always a pleasure to see a patient who once had a fear of dentistry walk in with a smile that says, “I am here because I want to be!” We can help you become one of these!
Begin by calling 586-739-2155 or tap here to begin with a no-charge, private session to discuss your particular needs and goals. This will take place in a private consultation room that has you seated in a comfortable arm chair. You won’t be exposed to a treatment chair, instruments or dental “sounds” during this time. It’s simply a one-on-one conversation.
I believe that people become more active and comfortable with dental care when they know the what and how. For fearful patients, it’s also important to know the “who” so a relationship of trust can be developed. Let’s get your smile moving in the right direction and in the right hands.