Social Dental Network

Posts Tagged ‘dental appointments’

How Dogs Help Dental Patients Cope with Dental Anxiety

In Dental Anxiety on September 29, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Dental appointments are often put off, rescheduled, or dismissed altogether – much to the detriment of not only our optimal oral health, but also to our dentists’ self-confidence.

Picture how it would affect you to realize that people only come to see you when they need something.

We don’t think that’s fair, or even nice.

Never mind the disservice you’re doing to yourself by neglecting proper dental care, you’re only hurting yourself there.

But please don’t contribute to the anti-dentite sentiments still systemic throughout society!

Change starts at home…and in the doghouse. how_dogs_help_dental_patients_cope_with_dental_anxiety

Whether it’s fear of pain that keeps you away from the dental office, finances, social anxiety disorder, or simply just a rampant dislike for your teeth and gums, one fact remains undeniable; skipping dental appointments will only cost you more pain and financial discomfort in the future – when something unavoidable arises in your mouth.

Would the company of a trusted pet calm your nerves in the dental office?

Sure, aromatherapy combined with relaxation therapy certainly helps calm the nerves, and sedation dentistry can allow anxious patients the luxury of undergoing years of neglected dental work in a single twilight induced appointment.

And I.V. sedation helps those extreme cases of dental anxiety, or assists with special needs cases a great deal.

But there has to be other options out there…but where?

One interesting way a Palo Alto dentist offers relief for anxious dental patients is gaining lots of attention lately.

how_dogs_help_dental_patients_cope_with_dental_anxietyAs it turns out, more dental practices around the country are following suit.

They’re actually employing the family canine as a type of relaxation therapy for anxious patients during their office visit.

Yes, there is actually a dog in the dental office, even right there in the chair with patients!

Buster is there to comfort people who may experience anxiety before and during their dental appointments.

We love it!

Check out ‘Bay Area Buster’ and go ahead and give his Facebook page a ‘Like’ while you’re at it

Basically, some people feel as if the dentist appointment will surely involve pain, or at least discomfort.

It’s OK to feel that way, we understand.

But, things have changed a great deal, and patient comfort and experience in particular have really changed since the times of the kick drill and the spit sink.

Our comfort is among one of our dentists’ primary concerns. We think doggie dental concierge is a great idea to help reduce patient anxiety – share yours!

How can your dental office visit be more enjoyable, less stressful, or more convenient?

Would having the loving, calming presence of the family canine calm your anxious dental nerves?

The first person to share their thoughts on our Facebook page gets a free lolly…or pig’s ear! J

(BTW – Pain is virtually a thing of the past, if you don’t believe us, just ask your dentist!)

Top 5 Questions to Ask in Your Search for a New Dentist – Part 1

In Dental Care on September 15, 2011 at 4:30 AM

According to, dental patients in the United Kingdom are most in the dark about dental implants and crown & bridges, when it comes to dentistry.

That’s across the pond…how about here in the States?

A now not so recent story out of North Carolina and a very recent conversation with a neighbor, inspired some editing and republishing of this inquisitive social dental blog post.

Seems there was a dental interloper out there in NC, practicing dentistry without an actual license. top 5 questions to ask in your search for a new dentist

This kind of thing actually streams across the dental big board more than you’d think, and it again promoted the soul-searching social dentistry question, how can we be sure our newly chosen dentist is legit?

When we go looking for a new dentist, most often we turn to family and friends for a trusted personal referral.

When those opportunities aren’t available we usually take to the Internet for a quick search of dental practices in our immediate area.

That’s when the fun begins.

It seems like we go on a never-ending quest, reading online patient reviews, researching any potential warning signs, and matching our insurance providers, all to find a personable and professional dentist to trust with our family oral health needs.

With almost every dental practice having an Internet presence these days, how can we be sure our chosen dentist best fits our location, dental health care needs, and personalities?

Social Dental Network has amassed the Top 5 questions we should ask our prospective new dentist, please feel free to add your own questions – and be sure to let us know so we can update the list.

How long has the practice been at this location, and how long has the dentist been in practice?

OK, that’s two questions in one but nobody pays attention to ‘Top 6’ lists.

If our prospective new dentist is not in a convenient location, to either work or home, we’ll most likely choose a dentist that is.

Convenience never goes out of style, and there are plenty of excuses out there to skip our dental appointments altogether. But, we need to be realistic when choosing a new dentist, and experience often tops our list of prerequisites when choosing a new family dentist.

We all want a dentist that is both an experienced upstanding member of the local community, and at the cutting edge of health care technology.

A good chair-side manner doesn’t hurt either.

That doesn’t necessarily mean the new dental practice down the street with the wet-behind-the-ears tooth jockey, complete with all the techno tools of today, isn’t a good choice.

Just consider experience and location in your quest for a new dentist.

By simply asking the questions you may learn a lot more about the practice, and that could make the difference in your decision.

Also – a trusted staff that has been with the practice for some time is generally more preferable than a transient, high turnover practice.

If the staff can’t manage to stay at the practice long, how do you think you’ll fare?

Is there any particular practice area of expertise outside of general dentistry?

Sure, a 2 hour drive for a 30 minute check-up seems crazy, but what if nobody in your area offers clear braces, or I.V. sedation, or possesses the technical and practical knowledge necessary to fit you with a brand new set of dental implants?

Location matters, but sometimes we’ll go to the ends of the Earth to get what we want, especially if we’re talking a specialized area of dentistry.

For dental procedures such as sedation, cosmetics, dental implants, and oral surgery for instance, dental patients have been known to travel hours or even out-of-state to see a trusted dental professional for such procedures.

Maybe we wouldn’t want to travel 2 hours for a check-up, but we may consider the journey for a complete smile makeover.

Ask the dentist, or the scheduling coordinator, if there are any specialized areas of focus within the practice.

Do they offer any traditional orthodontics, how about clear braces?

What types of pain management does the practice offer?

How many (veneers, sedation, extractions…etc.) cases has the doctor performed in the past year?

You got us, more questions – but really, who’s counting…never mind reading at this point?

Tune in next week for Part Two of the Top 5 Questions to Ask in Your Search for a New Dentist.

No More Drill for Tooth Decay?

In Dental Care on September 8, 2011 at 4:30 AM

Thoughts of dread often penetrate the psyche when talk of tooth decay treatment arises.

Some find paralyzing fear the only result of the shrill inducing drill. Others can’t stand the uncomfortable feeling of having someone not so delicately whittle away at their teeth.

Whatever it is for us that sparks fear and dread of going to the dentist, technology again comes to the rescue.

Recent news out of the UK holds promise for those of us that totally fear anything metallic and/or mechanical entering our mouths.

Excuses are like belly buttons, everyone has one – despite the depth.

And it’s been said that several excuses are always less convincing than one.

But when it comes to tooth decay treatment, there are no more excuses for missing our dental appointments!

First plasma jets, now tooth regeneration.

No More Pain, No More Drill

Pain free fillings will be coming to a dentist near you.

Just as we now can paint our houses with nanoparticle space-age paint that promises to permeate and protect, we now have magic tooth regeneration gel that acts in a somewhat similar manner.

Thin correlation yes, but read on.

Researchers at the University of Leeds have discovered a pain-free way of tackling dental decay that reverses the damage of acid attack and re-builds teeth as new.

Implementation across the board (and pond) could take time, but we may see the last of drill and fill dentistry in very short order.

For a look at the video, click here.

How does tooth decay form?

According to WebMD, tooth decay is the process that results in a cavity (dental caries). It occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss.

So how does it come to develop?

We know, stupid question.

But wait, there’s no such thing. That kind of thinking keeps us from properly communicating with our dentists whom we trust with attaining and maintaining our optimal oral health.

Along with fearing pain, shrilling drills, and mechanically sharpened instruments poking about our mouths; we also fear being seen as ignorant.

But that’s why we trust our dentists, they’re the pros.

We need not be afraid to talk to our dentists and hygienists like we’re afraid of their tools.

They can perform magic with a probe, spoon, or tweezers…get a power tool in their hand and it’s like having da Vinci sculpt your smile!

We trust them with our health; we can definitely trust them to provide the dental 411.

To not answer the question, see the same treasure trove of interweb medical self-diagnosis neurosis info previously cited.

Then educate yourself by simply asking your dentist or hygienist on your next appointment… or the next time you’re on Facebook.

Do you really think a dentist or hygienist is NOT going to love the dental-centric question?

Think about something in your life that your passionate about…care to talk about it with anyone and everyone within earshot?

Guilty as charged on this side of the table – and it’s not just social media, its human nature.

We’ll wager dollars to donuts over 99.9% of us will be on Facebook before ever gracing the presence of our trusted dental offices.