Posts for: November, 2016
Communication: The Key to a Healthier, More Radiant Smile
A lack of communication between a patient and dentist will take your dental care no where fast. Effective dental care requires a healthy balance of communication and trust in order for appropriate and quality treatment to be provided for your specific needs. Talk to your Mill Creek, WA dentist about your dental fears. Be honest about pain and other medical conditions that may affect your oral health and treatment. And learn to trust your dentist in order to overcome your anxiety and achieve your healthiest, most beautiful smile.
Your general and cosmetic dentist in Mille Creek, Wa is specially trained to communicate and work with anxious patients. They can work with you to identify the best technique for easing your dental fear and administering the most pain free treatments possible.
Open Up About Your Dental Anxiety
It’s normal to be afraid of the dentist and dental procedures. In fact, many Americans share this same apprehension. But when your fear of the dentist prevents you from expressing dental pain, symptoms and concerns, this prohibits your dentist from being able to successfully deliver the best dental care for your specific needs. Does the smell of the dentist make you panic? Do you cringe at the sound of the drill? Open up to your dentist about your misgivings. Once they are aware of your particular uncertainties, they can better modify each procedure so that you are comfortable and confident. In fact, there are many pain medications, relaxation techniques and distraction methods to help you feel relaxed in the dental chair.
Reveal Any and All Health History
Like with any medical office, it’s crucial that you share important health information with your dentist office in order to ensure you are provided with the safest, most appropriate care. This includes medications, medical conditions and any other health-related information. Many health conditions, including allergies and heart problems require special treatment before dental work can be administered, so it’s critical that you reveal all of this information when you go in for your first appointment. Failing to provide this important medical history with your dental professional could result in other severe health problems.
Establish an Honest Rapport
Your dentist doesn’t have to be your enemy. As a matter of fact, your dentist wants to help you maintain a lifetime of healthy teeth and a sparkling smile. Learn to trust your dentist and her experience in the dental field. Once you feel confident in your dentist’s knowledge and expertise, you’ll feel more relaxed with each and every appointment- which should be about twice a year for routine check ups and cleanings.
An experienced and understanding dentist will exhibit the following traits in order to better communicate with a patient and ease dental fears:
• Demonstrate good communication, patience and understanding towards fearful patients
• Thoroughly explain each procedure so that the patient will know what to expect
• Allow the patient to stop the procedure at any time, usually with a hand signal
• Review appropriate relaxation techniques and sedatives, including anesthetics and advanced technology
Visiting the dentist doesn’t have to be intimidating. Open up to your dentist about your fears, share any and all medical information, and learn to trust your Mill Creek, WA dentist today by calling our office at (425) 337-7300 todayy!
It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.
As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”
Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.
When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.
You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?
We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.
Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”
Most everyone knows that going to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings can help save your smile — but did you ever stop to think that it just might save your life?
That's what recently happened to 11-year-old Journee Woodard of Edmond, Oklahoma. The young girl was having a routine teeth cleaning when hygienist Rachel Stroble noticed something unusual: The whites of her eyes (her sclera) had a distinctly yellow tint. Dr. Michael Chandler, Journee’s dentist, confirmed the hygienist’s suspicions, and advised her mom to take her for further testing. The tests revealed that Journee had a tumor covering parts of her pancreas, gallbladder and liver; it could have ruptured at any moment, with devastating consequences.
The tumor was removed three days later in a 9-hour operation, and Journee is now recovering. As for her dentist, Dr. Chandler told reporters that he and his staff were just doing their jobs thoroughly. “It's hard to feel like I’m a hero,” he said (though others might disagree).
Is this a one-in-a-million case? Maybe — yet for many people, a family dentist may be the health care professional who is seen more often than any other. That can put dentists in the unique position of being able to closely monitor not only a person’s oral health, but also their overall health.
There are several reasons why that’s so. One is that most systemic diseases (such as diabetes, leukemia, and heart disease, for example) can have oral manifestations — that is, symptoms that show up in the mouth. If your dentist notices something unusual, further testing may be recommended. Dentists also regularly screen for diseases specific to the mouth — such as oral cancer, which has a much better chance of being cured when it is caught at an early stage.
But beyond checking for particular diseases, dentists often notice other things that may indicate a health issue. For example, if you complain of dry mouth or snoring, and appear fatigued in the dental chair, your dentist may suspect undiagnosed sleep apnea: a potentially serious condition. Many other signs — such as yellowed eyes, a pounding heart rate, or shortness of breath — can indicate potential problems.
Of course, we’re not even mentioning the main reason for regular dental checkups — keeping your smile healthy and bright; for many people that’s reason enough. How does Journee’s mom feel about keeping dental appointments? “I will never miss another dentist appointment,” she told reporters. “I will never reschedule.”
If you would like more information about routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall.”