By Mark Levy | February 2, 2013
People have lots of reasons for avoiding dental appointments? What’s yours?
Some people think oral health isn’t very important (check the science – oral health is crucial). Others experience anxiety or fear about dental visits. Lots of people feel that they can’t go to the dentist because they don’t have dental insurance – not true. Whatever the reason, regular dental visits are too important to skip. Think about the use and abuse your teeth get every single day! Is it any wonder we want to check them every six months to make sure everything is OK?
Here are several excuses that people use to avoid visiting the dentist:
- I don’t have dental insurance. Dental insurance policies typically don’t cover very much anyway. If you stick to regular dental hygiene visits and practice good oral care at home you will be surprised at how little your preventive care will cost. Taking care of your mouth helps prevent expensive situations from popping up in the future. If we do discover a problem it usually costs a lot less to deal with it early. A good example is tooth decay – a small cavity can be filled very easily but if it is ignored it will become a very large cavity, which can turn into a much bigger problem including root canal and a crown.
- My teeth aren’t that important. Our mouths are very important. We use our teeth to chew our food which is the first step in the digestive process that allows our bodies to draw needed nutrients from the things we eat. Gum disease and tooth decay are caused by oral bacteria. These oral bacteria can travel throughout the body and have been found everywhere from the heart to inside tumors. Keeping your mouth healthy is key to keeping good overall health.
- I have dental anxiety. We understand patients who have dental anxiety and fear. Using sedation dentistry we can treat years of neglect and dental damage while you are completely relaxed. Different people require different levels of sedation so we offer a range of options, from nitrous oxide to fearless dentistry using a little pill. You can have a beautiful healthy smile despite your anxiety!
- I’m afraid you’ll find something wrong. If you do have trouble brewing in your gums or teeth wouldn’t you want to know? After all, oral health problems won’t go away on their own, they will only get worse. This is one case where ignoring the problem won’t make it go away – unless your tooth has to go away because the damage is too severe!
Please contact Columbus general dentist Dr. Mark Levy today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your visit. You’ll be surprised at how enjoyable your visit will be and you may even stop avoiding dental appointments!
By Mark Levy | August 18, 2012
Most people look for goods and services online these days – including searching for information on their healthcare. But can you trust online health information?
It depends upon the source. Information from the Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic websites is probably trustworthy. The stuff you find on cheapohealthcare.com, maybe you might want to think twice. Online message boards are popular and a source of both good and bad information. Dental message boards abound with both good and bad advice. The people who rant and complain seem to have something to complain about in all areas of their lives -sense a pattern? I liked this post:
I didn’t go the dentist for about 20 years. Complete scaredy cat.I’d brush the suckers but i didn’t go until the wife nagged at me and somehow my mouth said yes. Well i go regularly now, i’ve had my wisdom teeth out, a root canal, some fillings and a crown. It still scares me a bit but almost none of has been bad. The fear has been the worst part. My root canal was almost completely painless. It was nothing. The fillings, meh, no big deal. Amazing.
Thank goodness his wife nagged him to schedule a dental visit and he discovered how easy and comfortable modern dental care can be. It is a shame he avoided care for 20 years because of fear – a trusting relationship with his dentist and a knowledge of sedation dentistry could have saved him years of anxiety and discomfort.
Sedation dentistry is a wonderful tool for patients who experience anxiety about dental office visits. Patients can get the care that they need, including preventative care like cleanings, without feeling anxious or fearful. A little pill allows total relaxation and lets us repair years of dental neglect in fewer visits – no discomfort or anxiety.
Many patients discover that once they form a good relationship with their dentist just like the gentleman who posted on the message board, they no longer fear going to the dentist. These anxious patients discover that treatment isn’t as uncomfortable or painful as they thought it might be and as he said meh, no big deal.
Find out more about sedation dentistry and how it can help you by contacting Dr. Mark Levy in Columbus, OH today at 614-476-6696. Our caring staff is here to help you get the care you need.
By Mark Levy | May 11, 2012
Skipping out on making that appointment for your dental hygiene visit? If you think that the worst that will happen is fuzzy teeth then you need to continue reading. There are several health benefits that go along with your regular dental visit that might surprise you.
Most of us go to the dentist at least once a year. A survey by the Centers for Disease control found that 71% of women had their teeth cleaned in 2008. That still leaves about 30% of women not getting regular care and women typically do more preventive care than men so I don’t even want to guess at the number for the guys!
Here’s the healthcare that you are missing out on by not making those dental hygiene appointments:
- Oral cancer screening is a part of every appointment. We look for discolorations, swollen or ulcerated areas or anything out of the ordinary. Early diagnosis and treatment equals very high cure rates.
- Heart disease is not caused by gum disease but the two are closely linked. A study from Berkeley found that women who got dental care reduced their risk of heart disease by one-third.
- Nutritional problems often show up in the mouth. For example, a pale colored tongue can be a sign of an iron deficiency.
- Diabetes and gum health are closely related. Having diabetes increases the risk of gum disease and having gum disease makes it harder to control your blood sugar. Your dentist should be an integral part of your healthcare team when it comes to fighting diabetes.
Remember that for almost all of the things that can go wrong with your dental health early detection means an easier, and less expensive treatment. If dental anxiety or fear is making you skip preventative care then sedation dentistry might be the answer. Ask us how sedation dentistry can help you.
Please contact Dr. Mark Levy at StoneRidge Dental Care in Columbus, OH today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your next dental hygiene appointment. Your oral health and overall health are important, don’t delay.
By Mark Levy | March 29, 2012
We know they are linked but we don’t usually think about it, I mean the connection between oral health and colon health. Research from England has shown that the oral bacteria responsible for gum disease can also play a role in the development of colon cancer. More work is needed to confirm the link but it seems that the bacteria act as precursors for the colon cancer.
In another study completed by The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute colorectal tumor samples were analyzed and scientists found high amounts of gum disease causing bacteria in the tumors. These separate research projects prove a link exists and it is now up to researchers to discover how the bacteria are related to the colon cancer.
The links between dental health and overall health just keep growing. Keeping your teeth and gums as healthy as possible will not only protect from possible colon cancer but oral bacteria is also linked to heart disease, diabetes and pregnancy complications.
If you are one of the millions of American’s who avoid dental offices because of fear or anxiety — we can help! You don’t have to accept poor oral health because of your anxiety. Using sedation dentistry we are able to give patients the care they need while they are completely relaxed. Often years of dental neglect can be corrected in just one visit.
Please don’t delay — contact StoneRidge Dental Care in Columbus, OH today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your dental hygiene appointment and don’t forget to ask about your sedation dentistry options.
By Mark Levy | March 3, 2012
Can you learn to be fearless about dental appointments? About 5% of adults in the U.S. suffer from severe fear of the dentist and countless others experience mild to moderate anxiety before their appointments. Swedish researchers have found that optimism on the part of the patient and humorous interactions with the dentist and dental office staff are an important part of managing stress during a dental appointment.
The University of Gothenberg identified these methods used by patients to combat their dental anxiety:
- Internal strength – Repeat to yourself that you are strong enough to do this despite your fear
- Distraction – Play mental games, sing to yourself, keep the mind busy
- Prayer – Divine intervention may not heal your cavity but prayer offers many anxiety reduction.
- Optimism – I’m going to reward myself when this is done.
- Distancing – Mentally removing yourself from the situation – think of your favorite beach.
Humor proved to be a great stress reducer. It seems to help if your dentist is funny – and no, looks don’t count!
Probably the best tool we have for handling dental anxiety is sedation dentistry. At StoneRidge Dental Care we offer dentistry using nitrous oxide or with “a little pill” to allow our patients to get the treatment they desperately need without feeling fearful. The type of sedation that is best for you will depend upon your level of anxiety and your health. It is possible to wipe away years of dental neglect in just a couple of visits using sedation dentistry.
Please contact our Columbus, OH area office today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your appointment.
By Mark Levy | January 30, 2012
Why do you need a root canal? For most people it is because a tooth has been damaged by decay or accident.
Root canal therapy works to heal the inside structure of the tooth which has been damaged and infected. The pulp inside your tooth is made up of of arteries, veins, nerves and lymphatic vessels. This is what gives nourishment to the tooth which keeps it strong and healthy. The pulp of your tooth is also the part that feels the difference between hot and cold and it is the part that lets you know when something is wrong.
Problems with the pulp can start with bacterial infections caused by tooth decay or trauma. The tissue in the tooth begins to break down and die and you begin to feel pain. At this point you can either remove the tooth and replace it with an implant.
Most of the time we try to be conservative and keep the tooth. To cure the infection we clean out the pulp and replace it with a biocompatible sealer to fill the space — a root canal. Modern anesthetics ensure that you don’t feel discomfort during the procedure and digital x-rays allow us to instantly see how treatment is progressing.
Many people feel anxiety about dental visits. This tends to increase for root canal visits because people have heard horror stories from many years ago. Don’t worry, if you feel extremely nervous about your needed root canal please let us know. Sedation dentistry offers you options for receiving this needed care without fear or anxiety.
Please contact StoneRidge Dental Care in the Columbus, OH area today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your next appointment.
By Mark Levy | January 3, 2012
How many New Year’s resolutions did you make? Three days later how many have dropped by the wayside? Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US so prevention should be on your list of resolutions for 2012.
Resolve to get your teeth professionally cleaned on a regular schedule and you’ll be helping your heart health without ever stepping inside a gym.
Research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in November showed that people who had their teeth cleaned had a 24% lower risk of heart attack and a 13% lower risk of stroke. By removing inflammation-causing bacteria from your teeth you reduce your heart disease risk.
What is your reason for not keeping those dental hygiene appointments? Many people avoid dental cleanings because of anxiety or a fear of dental visits. Using sedation dentistry you can easily get the dental care you need, even preventative care like cleanings, without feeling anxious or afraid. Several types of sedation are available to our patients and all of the team members at StoneRidge Dental Care are understanding and supportive.
In the Columbus, Ohio area please contact cosmetic dentist Dr. Mark Levy at 614-476-6696 today to find out more about sedation dentistry.
By Mark Levy | December 20, 2011
For smokers it is probably the resolution they make every New Year. Quitting smoking offers all sorts of health benefits and it is well known that smoking contributes to harmful bacteria in the mouth that are responsible for gum disease. Scientists have also known that when smokers quit, the microbe population in their mouths change. What they didn’t know was whether or not smoking could reverse the colonization of bad bacteria.
A study reported in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology found more good reasons to quit smoking. Patients with chronic gum disease that quit smoking while undergoing treatment had lower number of harmful bacteria in their mouths. Even more impressive – the number of good bacteria increased! A win-win situation for the patient in many ways.
A long term study completed by researchers from The Ohio State University and Newcastle University showed that those study participants that quit smoking had a reduction in their levels of harmful bacteria and an increase in health-associated or “good for you” bacteria. “These results indicate a critical role for smoking cessation counseling in periodontal therapy for smokers,” according to the report.
This study did not include patients that used other forms of tobacco, only smokers. It will be interesting to see if anyone completes a similar study using smokeless forms of tobacco.
Diagnosing and treating gum disease in its early stages is best. However, if you have been living with chronic gum disease for some time don’t despair. Treatment for gum disease has changed significantly over the years and a healthy smile is easier to achieve that you might guess. Contact StoneRidge Dental Care in Columbus, OH today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your appointment – and if fear or anxiety have been keeping you from visiting the dentist remember that dentistry with “a little pill” can make your visit calm and anxiety free.
By Mark Levy | November 29, 2011
Feeling fearful and anxious about going to the dentist is a huge problem for some people and an article in the Columbus Dispatch talks about how dental professionals can help anxious patients get the treatment they need.
About 25% of fearful patients have reported having a bad experience in the dental chair as the reason for their anxiety. Other patients may fear having a painful procedure. I have talked to patients who never had a bad experience or a painful experience at the dentist but still expressed fear.
Whatever the reason, the fear is real for these patients and so is their need for treatment. Small cavities can become large ones which can lead to more complicated and costly treatment so it is especially important for those suffering from dental anxiety to visit the dentist regularly — prevention is especially important!
Here at StoneRidge Dental Care we work closely with our patients to ease their fears. For patients who are extremely anxious we can offer sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry allows you to receive the dental care that you need while in a completely relaxed state.
For more information about sedation dentistry or to schedule your consultation please contact StoneRidge Dental Care serving the Columbus, OH area at 614-476-6696 today. You can have the healthy, beautiful smile you’ve always dreamed of!
By Mark Levy | October 14, 2011
Even though the importance of healthy gums for diabetic patients has been well documented a new report in the British Dental Journal has confirmed that most diabetes patients do not understand the link. Researchers surveyed adults visiting a diabetes clinic and discovered that only 13% of participants knew that swollen or tender gums could be affected by diabetes and vice-versa — that their diabetes could make their gum disease worse.
Inflammation from gums with periodontal disease can make it more difficult for diabetics to manage their blood sugar levels, can lead to increased deaths from oral cancer and is linked to heart disease. This study shows that patient education about the importance of oral health and its effects on general health is still lacking. At StoneRidge Dental Care we believe it is important that our patients understand these links. For diabetic patients it is especially important that brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily and visiting the dentist on a regular basis become part of their normal routine.
Protecting the health of your gums and teeth by scheduling regular dental hygiene visits starts with a simple phone call to Mark Levy, DDS in the Columbus, OH area at 614-476-6696. If you have avoided dental visits because of anxiety or fear please remember to ask about sedation dentistry. You can receive all the dental care you have been putting off without anxiety or discomfort.