Flossing – You Know I Know

If you are my patient, you get asked how much you floss at least twice a year. It’s my job as your dentist to get this information.  And yet, I get lied to roughly fifty percent of the time. The majority of those who tell me they are flossing are not.  You don’t have to lie, your gums are truth telling.  If you are not flossing, or think you can floss right before you see me and pass as a dedicated flosser, the jig is up.

In any event, not many people floss once a day every day. Let’s be real. If you are flossing three times a week, you are in upper echelon of oral hygiene. If you floss less than that, you have to make a habit of it. Flossing is like anything else, the more you do it, the more efficient you become at doing it.

I tell my patients to attach it to something. If you watch Jeopardy or Sports Center, bust out 18 inches of floss when you hear the theme song and get to work. Attach flossing to one of your daily rituals a few times a week it will easily become a habit.  It is a small thing you can do for yourself with great long term results.

When my patients do finally make it a habit (trust me, my hygienists and I can tell), they said how easy it is to maintain it. Regular flossing means less time and money spent in my chair, which means you can put your funds towards flossin’ your other grill.

Comfortably Numb – Overcoming Dental Fear and Anxiety with Sedation

Sedation Dentistry in Chandler, AZ

Fear and anxiety are common issues associated with dental treatment. A bad experience with a previous dentist can have you avoiding routine dental check-ups.  A fear of needles, or the simple fact the mouth is a very personal area, could be keeping you from receiving necessary dental treatment important to your overall health.

THE FEAR FACTOR

There is no shame in having dental fear or anxiety. You are not alone in your dread.  There are a lot of you!  It is important to talk about and recognize my patients’ fears in a rational and tangible manner. Dentistry has come a long way in a short amount of time. Advances have been made making treatments easier, faster and painless.  But at the end of the day, being asked to sit back and open wide while I poke and prod is awkward and intrusive.  It is key to make this process as painless and comfortable as possible.

COMFORTABLY NUMB

I offer oral sedation medication, also know as “conscious” sedation.  Oral sedation provides a more relaxed and anxiety-free dental treatment experience. Patients with dental-phobia can receive the dental care they need while avoiding the fear and anxiety associated with their treatment.  Sedation is utilized to provide a relaxed, easy and calm state.

Some forms of sedation, such as nitrous oxide gas, can help raise your threshold for pain. However, most dental procedures still require local anesthetic to temporarily block pain impulses from affected teeth and gum tissue. However, with oral sedation, the injection is given after you are already sedated and comfortable. Ideally, you will not be bothered by or remember the sensation of the injection.

An additional benefit of sedation dentistry is that patients often feel their dental procedure lasted only a few minutes. When in reality, it has taken far longer to complete treatment. Therefore, complex dental procedures such as smile makeovers and full mouth restorations are more tolerable.

CONSCIOUS SEDATION

Oral sedation is currently the most common technique used to control patient fear. The medications can create such a comfortable experience that some patients do not remember the visit. However, oral sedation does maintain a level of consciousness in the patient for safety and cooperation.  You will not be physically asleep.

Medications used in conscious sedation include: Halcion, Xanax, Valium, or Ativan. The medication is taken prior to your appointment, and it is important to have a responsible caregiver accompany you to the procedure.  A caregiver is also necessary to drive you home after the procedure is completed, and stay with you for an additional two to four hours.

Most patients only require being sedated for one or two treatment appointments.  After they experience a pain free dental visit or two, that is all they need to get over their fear and anxiety.  Additionally, they no longer have the inconvenience of coordinating with a driver to and from their appointments.

If a previous experience has left you fearful and anxious about completing necessary dental procedures, sedation dentistry can help you overcome your anxiety.  Sedation dentistry addresses some of the fears that keep people from going to the dentist on a regular basis, making patients more likely to receive recommended routine care.  As a result, they are less likely to neglect their oral health or allow problems to worsen to the point of requiring extensive dental treatment.

You do not have to be reluctant to change the appearance of your smile due to dental-phobia.  You can complete treatment without fear, anxiety, or pain.  Come on in, and become comfortably numb!