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How to cope at the dentist if you are fearful

No one likes the dentist as it’s hardly the most exciting or relaxing experience in anyones life. For some the problem goes beyond this. Psychologists have studied many ways in which we as humans deal with fear and phobias. One of these is to avoid the ‘trigger’ that makes us fearful in the first place. It would seem to make sense – avoid what you are scared of and it will all be fine. The trouble with this is that rather than keeping you safe, it actually reinforces the fear and so makes it worse.

what to do if you are frightened of the dentist

From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/deegephotos/6274980282/ & fermentarium.com

In terms of the dentist, there may become a time when you have to or need to visit the dentist and you have a high level of fear. This is the worst situation of all. In this article we look at some steps and things you can do to help alleviate your fear.

Some facts

* Firstly understand that most dentists recognise that most people do not like the dentist and that there are a significant portion of people who are truly scared. A little understanding from the dentist towards the patient can go a long way, therefore communication and trust are important parts of this relationship.

* Sometimes the longer it takes you to visit the dentist, the potential of consequences rises. Not only can it reinforce your fear, but it can actually be detrimental to your teeth and overall health. If you know you have an issue, it is best to try and resolve it as quickly as possible.

* Nowadays you should be reassured by modern advances in science and technology. Visiting the dentist isn’t as bad as it was 20 or more years ago. Part of the reason why adults are scared to visit dentists is it brings back uncomfortable childhood memories of the experience. Times have changed for the better!

If you know dental phobia is a problem for you, then follow these steps as an initial way to overcoming the problem:

1) Ask friends and family if they can recommend a suitable dentist and one that specialises in dental anxiety. Here at Tamworth Dental and Implant Clinic we are experts in dealing with nervous patients so you have no need to worry.

2) Start small and work up. Perhaps an inspection might be all you can cope with the first time, and then gradually move up to a scale and polish and gain more confidence in your own ability.

3) Take someone with you if you think it will help calm your anxiety and actually get you to turn up. Most dentists are used to having plus one or two’s, as they are familiar with parents who go with their children for example.

4) It may help to agree some kind of signal with the dentist for when you feel uncomfortable and they can stop treatment. This may help you to feel more in control of the situation.

5) Don’t be afraid to ask questions and discuss anything you need to or are unsure about. As already mentioned earlier having an honest and open relationship with your dentist is important for any client, but especially for those where fear is an issue.

To find out more on dental anxiety visit our nervous patients section.

Tooth sensitivity

Chances are we have all been there and all suffered this at some point and research shows that it is actually quite a common dental problem with thousands suffering and the normal onset age for this condition seems to be 20 to 50 years old, although the peak period seems to be for those in their thirties – indicating that although anyone can have it, it tends to be younger people which experience it (perhaps contrary to belief.)  The medical term for tooth / teeth sensitivity is called dentin hypersensitivity.

what causes sensitive teeth

From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/affordabledentistnearme/34825088922/

The answer to the question ‘what is it’ is simply you will know if you have it! Try eating ice cream or having a hot drink or possibly something bitter. Do you get a sharp uncomfortable pain? This is likely to be tooth sensitivity. Despite the pain, tooth sensitivity is generally not a serious problem, even if it often proves an irritation for many people. We use the word ‘generally’ because on some occasions persistent, or severe tooth sensitivity can be a symptom of another underlying problem, so it is best to mention if you have this issue and your dentist do the diagnosing for you!

How does this problem occur?

Sensitive teeth and the pain associated are caused by teeth enamel which has worn away or possible receding gums. A diet heavy in acidic foods, brushing teeth regularly hard so as to remove enamel are also other possible factors. Once wear happens, the dentin (essentially the root of the tooth) becomes exposed, and this allows for the pain signals to be carried along nerve endings.

Whilst the above factors play a significant role in bringing about tooth sensitivity, the actual agreed onset reason is not fully understood or accepted in the medical world. For example, some would argue that changes in composition of the teeth can cause it, while others would disagree.

How to manage / deal with sensitive teeth.

As indicated above, since the problem isn’t often serious then self-management is normally the key to the problem.

* Ensure you brush and floss your teeth properly. It goes without saying that this is a general requirement of good oral and teeth health.

* Sensitive toothpastes are a very common remedy, and all major / leading brands have some variation in this variety available for purchase. These toothpastes generally work by ‘filling the gaps’ thus the dentin is not exposed and pain can’t travel. You can also rub toothpaste on affected areas without having to change your normal daily toothpaste totally. The former is obviously better, because many of these products give results from regular rather than occasional use.

* Your dentist may get you to experiment with dietary changes to see whether anything particularly is causing the problem and whether its exclusion can help.

* Types of treatment which can be available for this problem include fluoride treatment and application of a sealant. These both have a similar effect of ‘covering up’ the exposed dentin.

* As a last resort, root canal treatment may be necessary which removes the nerve tissue stopping the pain.

Remember that while sensitive teeth are a nuisance, they can generally be managed well with sometimes the smallest of changes. You may also find the problem comes and goes and you experience long periods of time where it simply isn’t an issue.

While on our website, visit our general dentistry section where you can learn about other common problems that people have with their teeth.

10 Fun & Unusual Facts About Teeth

Every so often it’s nice to write about something different, unusual or light hearted, and we thought we’d give this a go in our latest blog post. To any animal, teeth are an invaluable thing, but just like everything in life even teeth have secrets or quirky facts associated with them. In our latest article we seek to inform you of some surprising facts or things you may never even have thought about concerning the subject of teeth.

things you may not know about teeth

From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/65172294@N00/268763415/

1) It is thought that the average person spends around over a month in their lifetime cleaning their teeth. That’s a lot of toothbrushes and toothpaste to get through also!

 

2) Adult humans have 32 teeth, babies 20. This is different to our domestic pet friends – cats have 30 teeth, and dogs have more, standing at 42 teeth. Spare a thought for snails though. Despite their small size some are said to have over 25,000 teeth!

 

3) Are you left or right handed? Studies have shown that you tend to chew food on the side of your mouth which correlates with your hand movement. I.e. Those who are right handed chew on the right hand side of their mouths.

 

4) We think of finger prints as unique pieces of information about us – everyones finger print is different. This however isn’t the only thing. Our teeth are also unique ‘prints’ of revealing who we are. This is why dental records are a good form of identification if other avenues fail.

 

5) Tooth enamel is one of the toughest substances in the human body. So next time you hear about worn enamel, think how strong this must have been in the first place.

 

6) It is well known that brushing teeth alone is not sufficient – other measures like flossing need to be undertaken. Research has shown that a person can miss up to 40% of their mouth if they fail to floss.

 

7) Plaque is a common bacteria found inside mouths. Did you know however that plaque is made up of around 300 different types of bacteria?

 

8) Saliva is an important substance that is used to break down food, keep teeth clean etc. During a lifetime, an average person produces enough saliva to fill the size of two average swimming pools!

 

9) Toothpaste (as we know it) is a relatively modern invention which has only been around for about 100 years. Before this, common substances used to clean teeth included chalk, lemon choice and even ash from charcoal. This is quite contrary to what we know now about some of these substances today.

 

10) A smile is the first thing that over half of people notice about new people. What further reason do you need for looking after your teeth to promote and radiate that stunning smile!?

 

To get in touch with us, find our details at the contact us page.

Five factors which make a good dentist

Here at Tamworth Dental & Implant Clinic we strive to be the best and aim to treat our customers all as individuals by providing a quality service delivered in a professional and friendly way. Just see our dental awards for evidence of this.

BUT, have you ever actually stopped to think what makes a dentist good at their work? In this blog post, we will consider what are accepted to be some common factors:

How do dentists stand out from the rest

From: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sean-b/245744537/

1) Clean working area.

Everyone knows that first impressions count, and as far as dentists are concerned, this is as much about their treatment room as it is about them as a person / people. Imagine walking into dentist’s room, where it is totally cluttered or things not clean. Beyond being unprofessional and potentially dangerous, this gives a first impression something close to not being bothered or not caring. Hardly likely to make a good welcome, is it?!

2) Listening.

Listening skills are important in many if not all jobs, but especially and highly so for those in which personal ‘medical’ work is being undertaken like dentistry. The patient needs to feel like they are being heard, understood, and a response / action given based on those two things. A dentist or any professional who doesn’t listen is simply not respecting their patient and this is a quick way for trust to dissolve.

3) Helping to learn.

Nearly all who visit dentists have limited technical experience about the subject beyond the usual day to day cleaning routine. A good dentist will help to explain things and educate their patients. Not only does this empower them to take control of their own oral health, it can also help them to spot or reduce chances of problems.

4) You are unique.

As you saw from our ‘opening statement’ we aim to treat all customers as individuals – we believe that this is a fundamental principle. We may all have teeth, but there are variations and differences between us all. These differences need to be dealt with on a case by case, one by one basis, and this can only be done if someone is treated as unique. Everyones experiences and stories are different and this also adds weight to the fact that all customers are and should be treated as individuals.

5) Respect of your custom.

(Private) dentists are not businesses in the traditional sense that you may think a shop is, but nonetheless, a dentist is a business and needs to earn it’s money in order to operate. Imagine going into a local supermarket that always opened an hour late, never had much stock, had rude assistants, and expensive items. Not somewhere you are likely to return!

The inclusion of the same kind of positive principles apply to dental practices and therefore good dentists respect their customers and client base by taking account of:

* Time factors – doing the best possible to be punctual to all patients and avoiding cancelling unless exceptional.

* Pricing – setting fair prices which do not appear to fleece the customer.

* Work – carrying out high quality work which is important as a sense of satisfaction for both customer and dentist alike.

Does your dentist adhere to these 5 values? We’d like to think our clients believe so!

To have a look at our treatment prices, visit our fees page.

Fizzy drinks and teeth

In this article, we will look at the relationship between the two. Most people know or at least are aware that fizzy drinks are not good for teeth, but with so many options now on the market (including diet / zero sugar varieties) it can be easy to get confused or perhaps led up the wrong path on this subject.

While fizzy drinks may taste good, they are damaging for your teeth. That is the bottom line – there is no getting away from that. Of course, life wouldn’t be worth living if we didn’t do what we wanted or had pleasures (including food and drink) every now and then. However, there are some important things to be aware of which simply a lot of people are not what it comes to fizzy drinks and teeth problems.

Most fizzy drinks contain many ingredients which ‘attack’ the teeth. This is not the primary aim of course, but it is the result. Most people think that swapping from sugar to sugar free varieties will get around the problems associated. This is only half true. The problem with fizzy drinks is the chemical composition of the liquid itself, just as much as the sugar that is in it. In other words, diet fizzy drinks are equally as bad for your teeth even if they are a bit easier on the waist.

relationship between teeth and fizzy drinks

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cartercomics/51944070/

Sugar aside, the common feature in all fizzy drinks is citric acid. As the name suggests it is very acidic (around pH 2 in its purest form, but don’t worry, it is diluted somewhat to make it safe for human consumption.) That said it is still an acid and will start to disintegrate teeth if it encounters the precious enamel.  If you increase your uptake of drinking fizzy drinks, you are exposing yourself to this kind of damage which can and may lead to oral problems. We have all heard or seen what paint stripper does to paint. Although much less dramatic, the principle is similar here.

As far as sugar in fizzy drinks is concerned this is considered somewhat of a double whammy when the above is taken account of too. When an amount of sugar is in the mouth, it gets broken down my bacteria which causes acid. Similar to the above, the more you drink sugary fizzy drinks, the more this happens. The result is somewhat of a double onslaught attack here, which makes full sugar fizzy drinks much worse than diet ones. Remember though that we are advocating that all fizzy drinks are bad for teeth!

The answer? Stop drinking fizzy drinks! We accept that this is perhaps impossible and unrealistic practically, so what is the sensible answer? Being aware of the above facts and information is a good first step. Chances are that this probably concerns you a little and will be the catalyst you need for you to reduce your intake of fizzy drinks. Like with anything, moderation is the key and getting the balance right between limiting damage and having pleasure is the ultimate destination.

One Tip: Try drinking fizzy drinks through a straw rather than normally through a glass. The liquid can bypass the teeth to some extent, helping the problem a little.

Want to know what we are like at our work? Visit our testimonials section, to find out what customers say about us.

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