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Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

Top 5 Advancements in Dental Patient Comfort – Part 2

In Dental Anxiety on January 23, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Dental practices around our neighborhoods are making the transition, gone are the days of the staunch boring reception area and the intimidating, dauntingly invasive, operatory environment.

Dental offices these days are taking advantages of advances in technology and patient communications; and this win-win situation benefits the dentists as much as the dental patients.

Our local dentists are better equipped to serve their communities, and communicate new less invasive, relatively painless ways to service dentistry to the local neighborhood!

Dental patients are happy to return to their trusted dentist; we understand preventative dentistry costs us way less than waiting ‘til something hurts, or worse. And we take comfort in the fact that a trip to the dentist can be a relaxing comfortable experience.

Here are three more recent advancements in dental patient comfort, be sure to share your thoughts and comments below:
 
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IntraOral Cam

The use of the Intra-Oral camera system has allowed dental patients to actually witness what it is our dentist is doing inside our mouths.

Dentists can now use intra oral cameras together with a chair-side monitor in order to increase patient education and awareness.

Sometimes as patients, we can even feel resentful or reticent about certain dental procedures recommended by our dentist – we recommend finding a new dentist if that’s the case – but the intra oral camera also allows us to get some visual evidence.

We don’t have to take anyone’s word for it…we’re sure our trusted dentists would be happy to illustrate in full digital 1080pHD, exactly what oral maladies need attention!

Visual cues help us understand and that understanding reduces our fear, helping us become more comfortable with that root canal, however uncomfortable the notion may seem.

Lasers

The use of lasers in dentistry is a significant advancement that has taken place within our lifetime. The days of the kick drill or hamster wheel cavity coring contraption have given way to space age dental technology and improved patient comfort.

According to the Academy of Laser Dentistry, with laser surgery, there is a reduced need for local anesthesia, bleeding is minimized, swelling is controlled, and there is usually little, if any, postoperative discomfort.

Laser energy enhances the effect of tooth bleaching agents for a faster and more effective result. Natural looking restorative materials for teeth are more quickly cured to greater hardness. Lasers that remove tooth decay are fast and seldom require anesthesia.

Dental lasers are used for a variety of treatment procedures. Your dentist knows which types of patient care are more patient friendly with a laser than with alternative traditional methods.

Have questions about laser dentistry…ASK your dentist! 

 
Communication

Dentists are connecting and communicating with patients and their surrounding communities in ways never before realized. Our personal interaction and communication habits have allowed us to open ourselves up to this age of dental enlightenment.

Local dentists are publishing beneficial dental health articles, offering free oral cancer screenings, and engaging their local communities beyond the simple appointment reminder.

Our dentists are community partners in our oral health; partners with us in our ceaseless defense of defending our optimal oral health that is constantly threatened by the problematically persistent cavity creeps.

We need to talk to our dentists more…and that includes outside the office, when their hands aren’t poking and prodding in our mouths.

Give them feedback, offer suggestions, respond to surveys, and maybe once in a while spread some digital word of mouth about your dentist.

From Foursquare to Facebook, dental practice to patient communications has changed.

How else have improvements in communication led to improvements in patient comfort?

 

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Top 5 Advancements in Dental Patient Comfort

In Dental Anxiety on January 19, 2012 at 4:30 AM

Do you HATE going to the dentist?

The anxiety some people feel from just thinking about going to the dentist can have a serious impact on their oral health.

We’re fearful of pain and discomfort, we delay care, our teeth and gums suffer, and we wind up paying through the nose for treatment that is above and beyond our insurance coverage.

It’s a vicious cycle…This is our fault, not our dentists fault.

Sure dental healthcare costs are not cheap – but only relatively speaking.

But they certainly can be more manageable if we adhere to maintaining our oral health and keeping up with regular dental appointments.

Simple, we ignore our teeth and gums and it will cost us more money than simply showing up to the dentist every 6 months.
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Pain and discomfort are figments of dentistry past; here are a couple quick examples of not so recent advancements in dental patient comfort.

Fear often comes from the unknown, the more we familiarize ourselves with something that evokes fear the more manageable that fear becomes.

Our trusted dentists are merging no fear dentistry with all the comforts of a spa treatment.

We no longer need to fear going to the dentist!

CAD/CAM Dentistry

This not-reserved-to-dentistry acronym stands for; Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing.

What this means to us as dental patients is time-saving convenience, without being a cost prohibitive procedure.

Instead of having multiple office visits, and multiple anxiety discomfort opportunities, we can now have that dental crown manufactured, shaped, contoured, and fit correctly in as little as one office visit.

The dental lab has been brought to the dentist’s office.

Sedation Dentistry

Aside from the obvious benefits of reducing anxiety, fear, and pain, the use of sedation in dentistry can also allow us as patients to reduce costs of dental care.

Some people need dental work that has been neglected for years; whether we choose to go the IV route or drop the Conscious Sedation regime, sedation dentistry allows us the opportunity to take care of all that neglected dental work in fewer appointments.

…all while comfortably ensconced in a painless semi sleepy state…replete with comfy fuzzy blankets, warm soothing teas, and pleasant whiffs of aromatic aromatherapy.

Are we talking dentistry or spa treatments here…the line is getting more blurry every day, but dental patients receive all the benefits!

Tune in next week for the second installment of our Top 5 Advancements in Dental Patient Comfort.

Maybe you have some suggestions to add to the list, what are some recent patient comfort advancements you’ve noticed at the dentists’ office?

Delaying Dental Care Due to Cost…Why it Doesn’t Make Cents

In Dental Care on January 17, 2012 at 4:30 AM

According to a recent survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, cost is the number one reason, amongst readers polled, for delaying dental care.

The complete report is available to subscribers in the February issue of Consumer Reports.

One of the most interesting conclusions revealed by the Consumer Reports study was how most people were satisfied with their dental care.

Take it from the stalwart consumer community defender, not us:

Going to the dentist is no one’s idea of a good time, but the 51,768 Consumer Reports subscribers who told us about their oral health were nevertheless overwhelmingly satisfied with their dental care.

In fact, they rated it higher than most other services and on a par with the care they got from their doctors.

What’s more, few readers reported experiencing anything beyond mild pain—even for the infamous root canal.
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No Pain for a Root Canal?

We had to check our hearing for that one…you mean to tell us that for something as necessarily off-putting as a root canal, we can actually feel no pain?

Techmology is wonderful isn’t it?!?

But it’s ultimately our trusted local dentists that deserve the kudos, so let’s all do ourselves a favor and not ignore them like we ignore our own optimal oral health from time to time.

Just as Consumer Reports defends and informs their subscribers, our local dental enforcement teams diligently protect the teeth and gums of their surrounding communities from the incessant invasion of ever present cavity creeps.

Ignoring our dentist is bad for our bank account, and bad for our overall health.

These are indisputable facts we will be happy to debate with any anti-dentite out there.

 
It’s simple; we go to the dentist and yes, it costs us money – sometimes above and beyond what our insurance or employers cover.

Alternatives to High Cost Dental Care?

Is there really no  room in our budget for oral health…maybe we need to think about that next time we’re lining up for a $5 cup of coffee, or paying $100 each month for an all-encompassing super terrific smartphone plan.

Here’s the choice…we as Americans love choices right?

1.       Go to the dentist and practice preventative maintenance.

2.       Ignore the dentist; brush, floss, and hope…a wish in one hand…

Door number one reveals optimal oral health and relatively manageable dental healthcare costs.

Choose number two your own peril, and then be prepared to pay out the nose when the plaque really hits the fan!

And don’t worry…your dentist will revel in the “I told you so” rhetoric as you endure that painless root canal from the comfort of their dental chaise.