Graphic art anxious woman in dental chair with dentist ready to start work

Graphic art anxious woman in dental chair with dentist ready to start work

When you think about visiting the dentist, how do you feel? Anxious, worried, or stressed perhaps. Wouldn’t it be nice if going to the dentist was as routine as getting a haircut or manicure? Well it can be. Many modern dental offices focus on making sure the patient experience is as pain-free and stress-free as possible. Plus, the latest dental technology can make procedures like getting a crown or X-rays much more comfortable and safer than in the past.

So instead of grinning and bearing it, you can feel relaxed about going to the dentist. Think of your dentist visit like a workout at the gym. A dentist visit takes only a little time, is far less work than lifting weights, and has lasting benefits. It’s good for your teeth and your overall health. Most of us know that getting cleanings and preventive care on a regular basis can help you to avoid problems later on. Here are some common issues people face when they skip the dentist for too long:

Young afro american woman wearing winter sweater over isolated background touching mouth with hand with painful expression because of toothache

  • Toothache: Most of us have some kind of experience of toothache. Once you’ve had a tooth that is damaged enough to cause toothache, you don’t forget the sharp, strong pain that comes with it, making you miserable until you can get to a dentist. Regular preventive care can help you avoid the pain of toothache by diagnosing problems before they hurt and by preventing them in the first place.
  • Bad breath (or halitosis): Did you know about one out of four people has a type of halitosis? Some may not even realize they have bad breath unless someone lets them know. However, you can take some easy steps to fix the problem. A dentist can help you figure out what’s causing bad breath and how to treat it.
  • Gum disease: If your gums bleed when you floss or brush your teeth, or if they’re tender or swollen, those are early signs of gum disease. If it’s not treated, gum disease can cause tooth loss and lead to other serious health problems. A dentist has simple treatments that can help prevent or stop gum disease from progressing. Your teeth will last longer, and it won’t hurt to brush your teeth anymore.
  • Your smile:  If you have crooked, broken, yellow or missing teeth, it’s hard to feel good about your smile. Cosmetic dentistry today is so advanced that you can have your teeth restored better than ever, and not feel much discomfort at all. Don’t shortchange your own happiness with how you look and feel, just ask a dentist about the options you might have.

These are just a few examples of why dental care is both important and easy compared to the alternative pain and tooth loss from poor dental hygiene.

While you might know you have a dental problem, worrying about the treatment could prevent you from setting up an appointment. It’s easy to just take charge of the process. If you don’t feel comfortable with your current dentist for any reason, it’s perfectly fine to try somewhere else. Call or visit a few dentist offices before you decide which dentist to use. There are as many professional styles as there are people in dentistry, and eventually you’ll find a place you feel most at home.

What’s new in dentistry will make you smile

smiling young man in dentist chair looking at dentist's tablet computer as she explains a dental procedure

If you currently don’t have a dentist, or you’re thinking about trying a new one, how can you choose a dentist you feel comfortable with?

Here are few questions to ask when deciding which dentist to see:

  • Does the dentist use the latest techniques such as sedation dentistry or laser dentistry to minimize pain and discomfort for a patient? With sedation dentistry, no IV needle is used and you snooze during most of the procedure, but you can still respond to a question. Laser dentistry is virtually painless and doesn’t use drills and needles, which causes stress for many people. Many procedures can be done with laser dentistry, so if you find a dentist who offers it, that may make a good regular dentist for you. You can also get painless teeth whitening for a brighter smile.
  • Does the dentist provide “dental health care” and not just “disease care”? A good dentist not only treats problems after they happen, but also encourages easy, routine cleanings and regular exams to check the health of your gums and teeth to prevent dental disease. Regular care is a lot less painful, and more affordable, than the “emergency care” model, when you call the dentist only if you have a serious – and painful – dental problem. Find a dentist where you are at ease with the hygienist who cleans your teeth and with the dentist who examines them. Just make that inexpensive 6 month cleaning and exam part of your regular self-care routine.
  • Does the dentist office feel relaxed? A good dentist will know how to make your visit pleasant, from start to finish. The office should be sparkling clean and neat, but relaxed and inviting. Comfortable chairs, music or a low volume TV for entertainment can help take the edge off.  Some offices may even offer coffee or tea for those who have to wait a bit. The staff should be quiet, busy and happy, helping patients to relax and feel welcome. If you don’t feel “at home”, it’s ok to find another dentist you enjoy visiting.
  • Does the dentist take the time to inform you about your care? Trust is an important part of your relationship with a health care professional, and this is especially true for your dentist. Being able to ask questions before a procedure will help you feel less anxious and more at ease during the procedure. Your hygienist plays an important role as well. He or she can answer questions about dental care and gather information about any problems you have to let the dentist know. From front desk to the dentist chair, your entire dental team should be dedicated to giving you quality care that’s right for you.
  • If you feel anxious. If you feel anxious on the day of your appointment, it’s ok to let the dentist know. This is more common than you may think. The dentist may suggest solutions, like taking breaks with a chance to walk around, a moment to relax or meditate, drinking a glass of water before he starts work, or adjusting the chair or light. Another solution is to break multiple treatment visits into multiple shorter visits. Just let the staff know, and you may be surprised how many ways they can help you feel better about your visit.

Looking for a dentist in the Las Vegas area?

Young handsome man smiling confident showing and pointing with fingers to clean teeth after dentist visit

Dr. Jesus Medina, Jr. DDS provides personalized dental care for his patients. Whether you need routine preventive care or restorative dentistry, Dr. Medina uses the latest painless technologies, like Waterlase laser dentistry, and is dedicated to making sure all of his patients get the highest quality of care. Dr, Medina’s practice is conveniently located just off I-95 at the Rainbow interchange, at 777 N. Rainbow Boulevard, #395, Las Vegas, NV 89107. Contact his office at 702-368-3627 for more information about easy and pain-free dental care.

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