July 2020

7 tips to overcome a fear of the dentist and dental anxiety 62a21067d6ba7

7 Tips to Overcome a Fear of the Dentist and Dental Anxiety

Does going to the dentist make you nervous? We’ve got a few tips to help you out.

Your oral health plays a very important role in your life. Not only is your oral health directly connected to your general health, but your smile is a big factor in your success in life. Having healthy teeth and gums ensures you can enjoy life, whether it be eating your favorite foods without fear of a toothache or sharing your beautiful smile with those around you.

Unfortunately, dental anxiety can sometimes get in the way of pursuing your best smile. In fact, dental anxiety affects over 60% of adults globally. The good news is dental anxiety can be managed just as any other phobia or fear can be. With the help of a caring dental team, you can gain control over your fears and empower yourself to get the dental care you need.

If you feel nervous and afraid or even find yourself dreading your dental appointments, Brocks Gap Dental Group wants to help you in any way it can. A great way to start gaining control over your dental anxiety is by applying one or all of these 7 helpful tips.

1. Feel empowered by sharing your anxiety with our dental team and telling them how they can help.

Letting others know about your dental anxiety can feel tough, but taking control of your anxiety and acknowledging it is actually a very empowering experience. Sharing how you feel with our dental team allows us to serve you in a manner that makes you feel as comfortable as possible.

For example, some patients have a fear of the unknown and feel much more comfortable knowing everything that is going to happen in detail. Other patients may be the opposite, preferring details to be kept to a minimum to avoid added stress. Before your appointment begins, let the dentist/hygienist/assistant know you have dental anxiety and fill them in on how they can best help you.

2. Seeing your dentist often can help condition you to feel more confident during treatment appointments.

When a situation sparks anxiety, people tend to naturally avoid it as much as possible. Unfortunately, avoiding dental appointments not only puts your oral health at risk, but it often doesn’t help alleviate any anxiety when you finally do see your dentist.

A better option is to push yourself to see your dentist more regularly. We recommend our patients see us every six months for a cleaning and exam, but we are always happy to see you more often for quick checkups. Doing so can condition you to feel more comfortable with our dental team — and your teeth and gums will thank you!

3. Schedule your appointment when the office isn’t as busy and arrive early so you have time to decompress.

A busy office can make your anxiety feel even more overwhelming. When you’re booking your appointment, ask the staff member you’re speaking to which days and times are least busy. You may also benefit from getting your appointment taken care of early in the morning rather than waiting all day and potentially feeling more anxious.

Another tip is to arrive about 10 minutes early so you can sit and relax for a bit before your actual appointment time. This can be really helpful for those who feel nervousness related to feeling rushed or being late.

4. Don’t hesitate to request in-office sedation to help you relax, even if the procedure is as routine as a filling.

Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center offers in-office sedation, including nitrous oxide or injectable local anesthesia. We also offer hospital sedation for pediatric patients, but even adults with crippling dental fear may find it to be an option.

We encourage our anxious patients to not hesitate to request some form of sedation if it means they will have a more pleasant experience. Nitrous oxide is a great choice for patients who are having trouble relaxing during their appointment and simply want to take the edge off their anxiety.

5. Listen to music or an audiobook to help draw your mind away from sounds that trigger anxiety.

The sounds of a dental drill, the clinking of dental tools, and even just the general ambiance in a dental office can be an anxiety trigger. If you find yourself in this predicament, consider wearing earbuds and listening to something on your phone during your next appointment. You can play some of your favorite music, a guided meditation track, or an audiobook.

6. Bringing a loved one with you to your appointment can help boost your confidence.

Feeling alone can trigger even more anxiety when you’re already in a stressful situation. Although you’ll have our welcome team around you during your appointment, nothing is quite as reassuring as having a loved one accompany you to your visit.

Having someone to chat with on your way to your dental appointment and while waiting can also help keep you in a positive mindset. As a bonus, you can even plan for something relaxing to do after your appointment so you have something to look forward to.

7. For financial-related anxiety, ask your dentist for a complete estimate of costs before your appointment.

Financial anxiety is a very common cause of general stress during dental appointments, especially for urgent treatment that couldn’t have been anticipated. We strive to make our dental services as affordable as possible and be transparent when it comes to providing a cost estimate prior to treatment.

Ask us for a treatment estimate before your next appointment so you can feel confident knowing what you’ll need to pay.

Bentz Dental Implant & Prosthodontic Center provides compassionate, gentle dental care for all of our patients.

The team at Bentz Dental is always excited to see our patients, but we are also very aware that many of our patients do feel some level of nervousness when seeing us. Our goal is to not only provide you with comprehensive dental care but to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible when you’re in our office.

When you’re ready to make your appointment, call our office or fill out this online form to book your visit. When you’re speaking with one of our staff about your appointment, let them know about your dental anxiety if you feel comfortable doing so.

the miracle of implants 62a210713f906

The Miracle of Implants

Implants are the next best thing to natural teeth.

When it comes right down to it, dental implants are the best tooth replacement option modern dentistry can provide. This isn’t just due to their natural appearance or high success rate. It is also because of their function, versatility, and the unmatched benefits they provide for your oral health. While receiving implants isn’t an immediate fix — the entire process takes about six to eight months and involves embedding titanium metal rods into your jawbone — it permanently restores your smile, allowing it to look, feel, and function exactly as if you had all of your natural teeth. Dental implants allow you to create a beautiful, durable smile that helps you look and feel like yourself again, giving you the confidence to smile without worry.

If you’re considering beginning a search for “dental implants near me” but aren’t quite sure whether they’re right for you, here’s a breakdown of the treatment’s benefits.

Implants bond with your jawbone.

When it comes to the function of implants, their single greatest feature is likely their ability to bond with your jawbone by encouraging bone growth. This ability fuels all of the functional qualities that give implants such an advantage over other tooth replacement options. On a basic level, it serves the threefold purpose of rooting the implant even more securely in place and preventing — and sometimes even reversing — bone loss. Since other tooth replacement treatments are much more surface-level, implants are the only treatment that can prevent or reverse the bone loss that occurs in your jaw when you lose a tooth.

They allow you to chew and eat foods naturally.

The secure bond between your implant and jawbone gives it the stability and strength of a natural tooth. This deep-rooted stability helps the implant feel and function like a natural tooth. You can bite into, chew, and eat food, from chewy steaks to hard apples or toffee, just like you would with your natural teeth. There is no need to worry that the implant will fall out or buckle under the pressure. You can relax and go about your day without even thinking about your implant.

Implants are incredibly versatile.

Implants always consist of a titanium metal rod and an attachment called an abutment that’s capped with a tooth prosthetic. In many cases, implants are capped with dental crowns to replace a single missing tooth. They can also be capped with bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures to replace multiple teeth or completely rebuild your smile. Additionally, Dr. Bentz can place your implants wherever you need them, so you can replace a missing front tooth, a missing molar, or both. This versatility works together to make implants incredibly adaptable to your unique treatment needs. Implants can provide you with beautiful, functional results whether you want a smile makeover, need to rebuild your smile, or simply want to replace a missing tooth.

Their aesthetics can’t be beat.

The crown, bridge, or dentures capping your implant are designed specifically for you. They are milled from porcelain, which mimics natural teeth perfectly — especially since the restoration is made to match the color and gloss of your natural teeth. To ensure you’ll love your new smile, Dr. Bentz helps you choose the size, shape, and shade of your new teeth. If you’re replacing one or two missing teeth, this helps them blend in with your natural teeth. No one will even know they’re there. If you’re getting a smile makeover or replacing many teeth, however, it helps you design a smile that complements your facial features.

No two implants look exactly alike; your new teeth won’t look like they’ve come off an assembly line or like they were designed for someone else. They won’t even look like they were designed for you; they’ll just look natural! This ensures you can restore your smile to its full potential, allowing you to feel confident and at home with your smile.

Implants are durable.

Since your jawbone grows around your dental implant to anchor it in place, it’s incredibly durable. If you care for it properly, it should last your entire life. Severe periodontal disease, called periodontitis, can still cause an infection around your implant and cause it to fail, so caring for your oral hygiene is incredibly important. Thankfully, your implant will thrive throughout your lifetime with the same regular and dedicated oral hygiene routine your natural teeth need to stay healthy.

This means you should brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day and use mouthwash and floss at least once a day. You should also visit Dr. Bentz for a preventive appointment every six months. With this basic level of care, your implants should last you a lifetime, though the crown capping will likely need to be replaced every 15 years or so due to wear and tear.

Implant technology is constantly improving.

The technology that goes into making and placing implants improves with each year, which means this year is the best year ever to get an implant procedure done! These new technologies are allowing dentists to plan the placement of implants better, predict complications that could arise during the procedure, reduce the risk of infection, and encourage faster healing times. As a result, getting an implant is safer and more painless than ever before, with an estimated success rate of 98%.

If you’re considering getting an implant, there’s no better place than Bentz Dental Implants and Prosthodontics. We use cutting-edge dental tools and technology to provide patients with the best possible care; very few dental centers can do what we do.

When you get an implant at our office, we first use a CAT scan to create 3D models of your tooth, bone structure, and oral cavity. Dr. Bentz uses this information to simulate the surgery and identify issues that may crop up during the procedure. A biomedical engineer will review the 3D model and simulation to examine your unique bone and tooth structures. This allows them to provide a precise guide for the type of implant treatment, as well as what position the implant should be placed in, ensuring it’ll feel natural and won’t cause any issues with your TMJ. The team is then able to model your implant, teeth, and jaw structure using CAD and 3D printing to ensure everything fits together and to mill the final prosthetic. Each of these steps uses the latest cutting-edge technology, so that your procedure goes smoothly and yields the best results possible.

They cost more than other treatments, but there are ways to afford your implant.

You may find yourself thinking, “That sounds expensive! How much do dental implants cost?” The price of an implant varies greatly based on each individual’s treatment needs, so it’s hard to pin down an exact estimate for the cost of your implant without knowing your treatment needs. Dental implants usually aren’t covered by dental insurance, but your medical insurance may cover it as a surgical procedure. So while you should expect a bigger price tag than other treatments, there are ways you can reduce costs. The long-term oral health benefits, comfort, and durability of dental implants make the cost worth it for many patients. Dr. Bentz can provide you with an estimated cost and discuss financing options with you during your initial consultation.

Dental implants are a unique, versatile treatment option that can give you a healthy, beautiful smile you can be truly confident in. If you’re looking for prosthodontics specialists in Philadelphia who can help you create the smile of your dreams, feel free to call our office and schedule an appointment at any time.

how a smile makeover can change your life 62a2107bd72da

How a Smile Makeover Can Change Your Life

Gain the smile of your dreams without losing its unique qualities.

Like your fingerprints, your smile is unique to you; no one else has one exactly like it. Our sociable nature, however, means your smile has a much bigger impact on your everyday life than your fingerprints do. In addition to the more practical jobs of your teeth, your smile helps you connect with the people around you and impacts your self-confidence. Unfortunately, if you don’t love your smile, you may find yourself looking at it and wishing you could completely transform it, though you may have no idea where to start.

If this sounds familiar, a smile makeover might be the answer you’re looking for. When you get a smile makeover, Dr. Bentz helps you design your ideal smile. He then uses a series of cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as teeth whitening, veneers, and dental implants, to create it. The end result is a customized, natural-looking smile that’s just as unique to you as anyone else’s smile, and it can transform your daily life in more ways than one!

Here are a few ways a smile makeover can change your life.

Increased confidence in your smile means you’ll smile more often.

After you’ve undergone a smile makeover, you’ll find that you smile more often — and you actually feel comfortable doing so! You won’t have to cover your teeth, second-guess yourself, or wonder what the people around you are thinking about your teeth. Instead, you’ll just be able to enjoy the moment! You may even find yourself looking for excuses to laugh at someone’s jokes or shoot them a smile because you finally feel comfortable showing it off.

Smiling gives you a boost of happiness.

Have you ever heard the saying that the best way to make it through a bad day is to smile? Well, it turns out there’s actually a little truth to it! Your brain associates smiling with happiness, so when you smile — even if it’s not genuine — your body releases endorphins, or “happiness hormones.” The result won’t suddenly transform your day from bad to good, but it’ll give you a little boost of happiness that can help you make it through the day. Psychology Today says even holding a half-smile for at least ten minutes will help you feel happier and more relaxed.

More frequent smiles will do wonders for your social life.

Feeling confident enough to smile freely and often can absolutely transform your demeanor, with many studies concluding that smiling makes you appear friendlier, more approachable, healthier, and even more attractive. A study conducted by Swansea University even found that a simple smile had just as much of an effect on how healthy participants said people looked as having the right BMI or wearing makeup.

Additionally, remember how smiling to yourself can give you a little boost of happiness? You can actually create a positive feedback loop of happiness with another person just by smiling at them. This is because the mirror neurons in that person’s brain fire up, often causing them to smile back, which then makes them feel happier. In response to their smile, you feel happier, too. This cycle can help you connect with other people, build new relationships, and strengthen existing ones. While it may seem like a minor detail, smiling more often and more confidently can work wonders for your social life, helping you make more friends and giving you an extra edge on dates.

Strong, durable teeth mean you can eat the foods you love.

The main goal of a smile makeover is to help you gain a beautiful smile you can be confident in, but it can often improve the function of your teeth in the process since it can replace missing teeth with dental implants. The porcelain material that treatments like veneers, dental crowns, and implants are made from is durable, strong, and stain-resistant, so you can be confident that your teeth are strong enough to take the same daily wear and tear as your natural teeth for years to come. As a result, you won’t have to worry about whether or not your dental restorations can take the pressure of eating your favorite foods; you can eat chewy, crunchy, and sticky foods all without worrying.

Even if your smile makeover doesn’t require treatments to restore the function of missing or damaged teeth, knowing that your dental restorations are strong enough that you don’t have to second-guess biting straight into an apple or enjoying fresh toffee is a huge deal. Just don’t use your new teeth to perform tasks that you shouldn’t perform with your natural teeth, either, such as opening packaging or cracking nuts; these actions can damage your restorations just as easily as they can damage natural teeth.

Straighter, more even teeth improve your long-term oral health.

Unfortunately, crooked teeth are harder to clean properly than straight teeth. Even if you’re being careful, it can be hard to reach all the nooks and crannies, which can cause a buildup of plaque and hardened tartar in those areas. Using cosmetic treatments to straighten your teeth and even them out makes them easier to clean, which decreases your likelihood of suffering from cavities and gum disease. Additionally, teeth that stick out a little bit ahead of the others are more vulnerable to injury because they’ll take the brunt of any force to the area, so ensuring that your teeth are straight and even can help protect you from expensive, painful injuries to your teeth.

It’s possible to gain a smile you absolutely love without it looking like it came off an assembly line or sacrificing the unique qualities you already love about your smile. Each element of your new smile is designed and custom-made for you to ensure you love the way your new, unique smile frees you to unleash a grin whenever you’d like.

5 things you should know about preventing and treating periodontal disease 62a210869e8cf

5 Things You Should Know About Preventing and Treating Periodontal Disease

Addressing gum health is vital for your oral and overall health.

When dentists use the term “oral health,” your teeth likely spring to mind immediately. However, it may surprise you to learn just how important your gums are to your oral health as well. Although gum health is often overlooked in at-home dental care, the health of your teeth relies on the health of your gums in more ways than one. Your gums function as part of the supporting structure of your teeth. They also provide a seal against bacteria, protecting the roots and bones beneath your gum line from infection. If your gums are unhealthy, it negatively affects the health of your teeth—and the health of your entire body. Unfortunately, since the importance of gum health is often overlooked, nearly half of Americans have some form of periodontal disease.

As a result, we’ve put together 5 things you should know about preventing and treating periodontal disease.

1. Stopping periodontitis is one of the most important health decisions you can make in your entire life.

Most people simply aren’t aware of the impact periodontitis can have on their teeth—let alone the overarching impact it can have on your overall health. Periodontitis is a severe type of gum disease where bacteria make it beneath the gum line and begin attacking the roots of your teeth. It can easily go unnoticed because it’s often painless, but if it isn’t treated it can lead to tooth loss. In fact, periodontitis is the biggest cause of tooth loss in America.

Once oral bacteria make it beneath your gum line, it often also finds its way into your bloodstream. Once there, it wreaks havoc on your overall health. In addition to making it harder to control existing health issues such as diabetes, periodontitis has been linked to increased risks of stroke, heart disease, and pregnancy complications like preterm birth. The bacteria can also cause potentially life-threatening infections, such as endocarditis, in other parts of the body. You can also inhale this bacteria into the lungs, where it increases your chances of getting respiratory illnesses like pneumonia.

There’s even evidence that oral bacteria target immune cells, destroying their ability to fight invaders while leaving their ability to cause inflammation intact. This can provide an opening for other illnesses, including some cancers. These massive impacts on your short- and long-term overall health are major enough to influence your lifespan, so treating and preventing periodontitis can help you live a healthier, longer life.

2. For prevention and treatment, diet matters much more than people realize.

Your diet can have a huge impact on your oral health. Not only can it help to prevent—or cause—cavities, but it can also impact gum disease. Sugars are infamous for causing cavities because they fuel oral bacteria, but carbohydrates are just as guilty because they’re easily broken down into sugars in your mouth. As a result, eating a balanced diet is essential for maintaining a healthy mouth and a healthy body. This means focusing on consuming a good balance of lean proteins, whole grains, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Crunchy fruits or vegetables, in particular, can actually scrape plaque off your teeth as you chew.

You don’t have to eliminate your favorite sugar- or carbohydrate-rich foods, but you should limit how often you eat them. It is better to eat one or two large snacks during the day instead of snacking constantly. It’s also better for your oral health if you drink water between meals instead of other drinks. This gives your saliva the chance to fight bacteria and return the pH of your mouth to normal.

3. Most people don’t take it as seriously as they should until it’s almost too late.

Since the far-reaching effects of periodontitis aren’t well understood, most people simply don’t take it as seriously as they should until it’s almost too late. At the very least, they wait until they’ve entered a much more difficult stage to treat. Periodontitis can cause permanent damage to the roots and supporting structures of your teeth. This damage isn’t always easy or possible to repair. It can be difficult to treat, involving a range of nonsurgical and surgical procedures, depending on each individual case. Dr. Bentz will choose which treatment is best to get beneath your gum line to clean the area of bacteria.

Thankfully, taking periodontal disease seriously is as simple as taking steps to prevent it from happening in the first place. You should also mention any concerns about bleeding gums with Dr. Bentz. While a little bleeding when you floss may not seem like a big deal, it’s a warning sign of gum disease. Even if it’s minor, it’s vital that you take it seriously and take steps to treat it right away—before it can become a major issue that costs you time, money, and pain.

4. There’s a treatment for periodontal disease called laser gum surgery.

While it might sound like something out of a sci-fi novel, the use of lasers in dentistry is becoming more and more commonplace. There are a number of very good reasons for that. Laser gum surgery can treat periodontitis safely and less invasively than traditional treatments that rely on scalpels for cutting. They’re incredibly precise, allowing dentists to remove the damaged tissue without harming healthy tissue, which leaves more of your gum tissue intact.

Additionally, since lasers cauterize and sterilize tissue as they cut, there’s less bleeding and swelling both during and after the procedure. There is also a reduced risk of infection while you’re healing. You’ll even take less time to heal from laser gum surgery than you would from surgery using traditional tools like a scalpel. The lasers are also nearly painless, which greatly reduces—and sometimes eliminates—the need for localized anesthetics. Laser gum surgery isn’t an option for every case of periodontitis because very severe cases need more extensive surgery. However, laser gum surgery is an ideal treatment option for many patients, making the entire process easier, faster, safer, and more pain-free.

5. There are topical antibiotics dentists can prescribe if you are a good candidate and need support getting periodontitis under control.

Procedures like laser gum therapy, scaling, and root planing are essential for treating gum disease. Antibiotics can also provide an extra boost to help you heal faster and to reduce the chance that your infection will return. Dr. Bentz may place topical antibiotics such as Arestin beneath your gum line during your procedure. It’s completely painless and dissolves immediately. These antibiotics hang around and help fight lingering bacteria for an extended period of time. This makes it a good addition to your treatment, especially if you’re concerned about reoccurrence.

Antibiotics, however, do not replace the importance of great oral hygiene. You’ll still need to implement and stick to an oral hygiene routine that includes brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day, using mouthwash and flossing at least once a day, and visiting Dr. Bentz for a preventative care appointment at least every six months.

Periodontal disease can wreak havoc on your mouth and your entire body if it’s left unchecked, so it’s vital for everyone to understand the importance of preventing and treating the disease while there’s still time. Thankfully, periodontal disease is easy to prevent and there’s a wide range of treatments available to match your needs. If you suspect you may have gum disease, don’t waste time waiting for your symptoms to get worse—give our office a call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Bentz right away!


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East Norriton, PA 19401

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