If you are afraid of the dentist, then you are not alone. It is one of the most frequently experienced phobias, and many people never learn to overcome this fear of someone having such intimate access and control to our mouths. However, just because you are afraid of the dentist does not mean that you will not need to go and visit one at some point or another, and when that time comes around and you really need some dental care to keep you healthy, it can be a challenging time. Of course you want to get some medical help, but at the same time, the last thing that you want to do is go to the dentist! This can lead to dental problems getting worse, and then the dental treatments will take longer – it is a vicious cycle!
Thankfully, there is a way that a dentist can help a nervous patient to relax, and it isn’t by humming or chanting or visualising: it actually involves a little medication that helps them to relax and reduce their stress. In higher levels it would actually make someone go to sleep, but dentists always ensure that the dose is much smaller, so that the patient stays awake and able to make conscious decisions, but their panic and anxiety have disappeared. This is called oral conscious sedation, and it has completely transformed many people’s lives – before they tried it, they had not been able to go to the dentist for years. With oral conscious sedation, they were relaxed enough to sit through the diagnosis and the treatment without any stress.
If you get very anxious when you think about going to the dentist, why not ring them up and ask them whether they offer oral conscious sedation? It could just be the perfect thing for you.
Most people don’t really like going to the dentist – even other dentists! Many people within the industry have worked hard to make it a little less stressful and a little more enjoyable, whether it is making the visit more personalised and specific to that patient, or making the dental practice itself feel less like a hospital and more like a day spa. Known as dental spas, these tend to offer slightly different services to their patients that the traditional dental practices, such as teeth whitening and aromatherapy. This new type of experience can really start to challenge people’s expectations of what ‘going to the dentist’ really looks and feels like.
Aromatherapy itself has been around for a very long time, and thousands of people have benefited from the clever way that practitioners are able to gently encourage the emotions of a patient to change simply by using different smells. It really goes to show how much of an influence the mind can have over the body – and vice versa! By attending a few aromatherapy for dental anxiety appointments, you can see a drastic change in the way that a person feels about going to the dentist.
What is fascinating about this shift in dental mentality is that many dentists are not actually even bothering to advertise that they do things a little differently – their patients are such brilliant walking adverts themselves! They cannot stop telling people the difference that aromatherapy has made to their dental anxiety that more and more people start to visit that dentist for that very reason. After all, dental anxiety can be absolutely crippling, and prevent some people from receiving the dental care that they so desperately need. By reducing stress, aromatherapists are giving back those patients control over their own bodies.
Researchers have just made a discovery (that if proven) that will have game changing effects on the way dental medicine and stomatology (oral medicine) are practiced. In fact, it can make your future trips to the dentist infinitely more comfortable and rewarding.
What if someone told you that you had a cavity but you didn’t need a filling? Or your filling failed, but you didn’t need a root canal?
These may seem highly improbable to you, however, researchers at Wyss Institute at Harvard University and University of Nottingham have made this a very real scenario.
We have all heard of stem cell (cells that divide and multiply to replace cells that have died due to wear and tear, disease or injury) research. Yes, it is hotly debated and both sides have viable arguments. Most of the controversy surrounding stem cell research deals with using embryonic stem cells, and for some that poses a moral and ethical dilemma.
This research, however, uses what is called native stem cells. That means stem cells that already exist in our bodies. The researchers developed a synthetic biomaterial that they inject into the affected tooth and then harden with an ultraviolet light.
The biomaterial stimulates the stem cells already present in the tooth to begin to regenerate dentin. Dentin is the hard bony-like material that makes up the bulk of a tooth. It is just under the enamel.
This is huge for a couple of reasons. One the need for traditional fillings is eliminated. With traditional fillings, the tooth is drilled out and filled with a substance such as: gold, plastic or resin based material, or amalgam. Amalgam fillings are toxic to the body and detrimental to a person’s health as they contain mercury. Many people do not even feel comfortable with the safer materials, as they are still technically a foreign substance to the body and come with its own set of concerns for some.
This new research could make fillings (of any kind) obsolete. Since the tooth can essentially heal itself, the filling would not be necessary.
Statistics show that 10-15% of fillings fail. This is a problem because when that filling fails, a root canal is then needed to address the issue. Root canals can also fail and then the tooth must be extracted/replaced, and replacement options often present biocompatible concerns. This new advancement can eliminate the need then for not only fillings, but root canal as well. Since the tooth is regenerating and healing itself, there is no filling to fail and therefore, no root canal to perform.
This is all still in the preliminary phases, but much work and research has been done in the last several years and we can only hope that soon, this will be a standard treatment in every dental office. All future dental “fillings” will be comprised of this biomaterial and will save many of us from choosing from the difficult dental options we have today.
Globally, elderly populations are increasing, and with this comes a greater awareness of the issues that plague our senior citizens. One of the diseases that has the most profound effect on the elderly is Alzheimer’s, which is caused by brain cell death and is progressive, meaning it gets worse over time. It starts with short term memory loss and can rapidly progress to advance stages, where, amongst other effects, can cause the person to no longer remembers their own family and loved ones. Eventually people afflicted with this disease will be unable to perform the most mundane of tasks for themselves.
Alzheimer’s is the biggest source of dementia in the older demographic in the United States, and, non-coincidentally, periodontal disease is also prevalent in the senior population. Studies have shown that there may be a direct correlation between the two.
Science daily commented on a joint study on this very subject conducted by the University of Southampton and King’s College London:
“The presence of gum disease at baseline was associated with a six-fold increase in the rate of cognitive decline in participants over the six-month follow-up period of the study. Periodontitis at baseline was also associated with a relative increase in the pro-inflammatory state over the six-month follow-up period. The authors conclude that gum disease is associated with an increase in cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s Disease, possibly via mechanisms linked to the body’s inflammatory response.”
The initial stages of periodontal disease are characterized by sore, inflamed and bleeding gums, which progresses to severe infections, bone loss and the eventual loss of teeth. Studies are now showing links to a number of other health problems, including lung and heart conditions. Gum disease should be taken seriously, and addressed when symptoms first present to prevent the progression of the disease.
Often the real tragedy is that as an elderly person begins suffering from Alzheimer’s, they are less able to care for themselves, often allowing the gum disease to thrive unchecked.
Prevention is the key here. Our elderly loved ones should be encouraged to have regular dental checkups and practice daily dental hygiene behaviors at home. In fact, everyone, regardless of age, should adhere to the same guidelines. Gum disease can have a negative impact on anyone’s life and it is one of easiest things to prevent.
Daily brushing and flossing along with a healthy diet go a long way in preventing gum disease from gaining a foothold. Regular cleanings and ozonizing (ask our office about home units) are key to preventing and often reversing the effects of gum disease. The bacteria contained in tartar can be toxic to our health and taking care of our teeth from the toddler through to old age can have an overall positive impact on our lives.
To make an appointment for a dental cleaning in San Diego, please call us at (619) 359-6569.
When you receive a diagnosis of Lyme Disease, you can be sure that your health will never quite be the same again. From now on, every diagnosis has something that little more complex, every medication that you take could have a slightly different outcome, and you can to take a lot more into consideration when you are offered food when you’re out and about! The important thing to do is ensure that you do everything you can to keep yourself as healthy as possible, and one key factor that many ignore is your dental health. This is something that Dr Paige Woods, a dentist based at Brighton Dental, is working hard to combat.
Many people do not realize that their Lyme Disease can be completely altered if their body is fighting any other infections, and so it is very important to try and prevent any infections from getting into your body. People can be very good at keeping themselves warm and wrapped up in winter, and making sure that they do not go anywhere near sick people, but then they don’t even brush their teeth before they go to bed! There can be millions of different types of bacteria living in a person’s mouth if they are not taking care of their dental health, and any of these can become full blown infections that really make your Lyme Disease worse.
Dr Paige Woods has some simple advice for people who have Lyme Disease and want to make sure that they keep their dental health a priority as they focus on their health: brush your teeth for three minutes twice a day, use a mouthwash, and ensure that you visit your dentist twice a year for a check up. Your dentist is going to be your best ally when it comes to fighting your Lyme Disease, so it is vital that you see them often.
For a free consultation on how oral health can improve your overall health, call (619) 359-6569.
Dental implants are a wonderful treatment option for patients who have a tooth missing, but when you start to lose more and more it starts to get complicated: by the time that you have got to eight or nine dental implants, the time, money, and discomfort starts to add up! That is why so many dentists now are suggesting a complete dental arch, which is a type of permanent fixed denture that is fitted to dental implants that are placed in the mouth. This reduces the number of dental implants that you have to have, and therefore makes it a lot simpler to receive.
For many who want a complete dental arch San Diego is the place that they go, because that is where Dr Paige Woods has her dental practice. Well known throughout the dental community for her excellent techniques, when it comes to something like a complete dental arch you want to know that you are in good hands! The most common name for this type of treatment is ‘All On Four’, and what it means is that the complete dental arch is attached to and anchored by not eight or nine, but just four dental implants. For some patients who already have two dental implants, this means that you would only need to receive two more dental implants in order for this treatment option to be perfect for your needs.
Few realize that it is possible to have comfortable and well fitting permanent dentures on just four dental implants, but dental technology is changing and the treatments are changing with it. Why not give Dr Paige Woods a call now, and discuss the different options that are available to you in person with a full consultation? You may find yourself closer to a complete dental arch than you think!
Call (619) 359-6569 for a free consultation.
Like many other kinds of dental treatments, onlays are usually known by their more common name of partial crowns, and are a treatment option that many people will have during their lifetime. This is a restorative treatment that helps a cracked tooth to not only keep decay at bay and keep healthy, but also look better as well. There are many different kinds of materials that can be used to create onlays or partial crowns, and although gold used to be the most popular material, it is now composite or porcelain that most people ask their dentist for.
Dentists offer onlays to patients who have teeth that need a little more structural support than they are currently getting, in order to make sure that the tooth itself does not collapse or continue to weaken. Some people will choose to have a partial crown because it will greatly enhance the cosmetic look of their teeth, and it is a brilliant way to do both at the same time. Built to last many years, onlays can happily sit in a patient’s mouth for in some cases up to a decade without the patient really noticing, and they will last even longer if you make sure that you follow your dentist’s recommendations about keeping them clean and following good dental hygiene.
Receiving an onlay is almost completely painless, and for many people will not include any discomfort either, especially if your dentist is well practised at fitting them for their patients. For the best advice about onlays San Diego dentist Dr Paige Woods is happy to give consultations and appointments to those who are interested about learning more. There’s no pressure to make any decisions on the spot, and you can go away with all of the information that you need to make your decision.
Call (619) 359-6569 for a free dental onlay consultation.