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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.


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! 


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?


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?

Can Music Take Away Dental Pain?

In Dental Anxiety on January 3, 2012 at 4:30 AM

Forget Novocain, Lidocain HCl, nitrous oxide, conscious sedation, and general anesthesia…all we need is some good tunes to wash away the pain we sometimes feel while sitting in the dental chaise.

Even just the fear of pain keeps too many people away from the dentist.

So if you haven’t got time for the pain, or is the anticipayayshun is killing you…all you need to do is lose yourself in the music to cure your dental anxiety!

Says Who?

Don’t just take our word for it; ask your dentist if they offer headphones, DVDs, Wi-Fi, iPads, Xooms, PlayBooks, Kindles, or some type of tunes.

And yes, this music to your dental pain ears comes from a very credible source.

This recent scientific dental specific news highlighting the benefits of music as an anxiety reducer comes directly from the Journal of Pain.

Crazy as the name sounds; the Journal of Pain is published by a legit medical consortium – The American Pain Society.

You can click over to an abstract of the published article here to read how music engagement reduces pain responses, but how personality factors like anxiety and absorption modulate the magnitude of effect.
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Maybe your dentist is still in the Sony Walkman or Muzak ages when it comes to enhancing your dental experience, and that’s OK – just as long as the procedures and medical technology is up to snuff.

If not, run away.

Dental practices these days are decked out with all kinds of creature comfort accoutrements, but if your dentist is still using chloroform and kicking the pedal on the dental drill press, give them some constructive criticism.

Technology is merging with advancements in dental patient care, not just clinically but with practice communications as well.

Odds are if your dentist is on Facebook, your dental patient experience is already sublime!

Now go find your dentist on Facebook – and give them a ‘Like’ if you feel like going to the dentist is no skin off your teeth!

Happy New Year!