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Is anxiety of facing the dental chair stopping you from making an appointment for a checkup at your local dentist near Burke, VA? Join the crowd. More than 75% of dental patients surveyed said they have at least “some anxiety” about seeing the dentist. Between 9% and 15% stated they avoid dentists because their fear is so intense.
Whether it is a general unease or outright fear you are feeling, you are adding to the problem by avoiding the dentist’s office. One of the principle reasons people are able to keep their teeth in good working condition for a lifetime is because they have regular checkups. They also enjoy better overall health and have more confident smiles.
Here is a look at the short- and long-term benefits of going to your dentist near Burke, VA, and a list of ways to manage your dental fears.
Regular visits to the dentist, usually recommended at six-month intervals, let your dentist check the oral health of your teeth and gums. This simple step is the major reason people are able to keep their teeth for a lifetime.
It wasn’t always so. In a study done in 1859, just before the Civil War, the brand new American Dental Association reported that most people lost their teeth by age 40. Your chances of keeping yours for a lifetime have increased dramatically in the last 160 years.
When you go to your local dentist near Burke, VA, regularly, he can repair the damage from cavities when they are small, before decay causes major problems. Extensive decay is one of the major reasons people need to have teeth extracted.
Though it is true that implants are a significant advance over dentures, they are expensive. By investing in regular checkups, you don’t have to pay for implants, or partials and bridges. And all of these procedures are also time consuming. If you have to miss work to have the procedures done, you are losing money.
Most people have at least one cavity in their mouth. The condition isn’t a major problem unless the decay is untreated. The area needs to be cleaned out and filled when it first appears.
Untreated, it might eventually need a root canal or even an extraction. It also causes bacteria to build up in your mouth and travel throughout your body, spreading inflammation.
At regular checkups at your local dentist near Burke, VA, the dental hygienist can clean and polish your teeth. This gets rid of plaque, which causes cavities and gum disease. It also removes surface stains. When you smile, your teeth are whiter and more attractive looking.
Modern fillings match the surrounding teeth. When you get small problems fixed regularly with natural-looking fillings, your teeth appear clean and uniform in tone.
If you have cracked, uneven or stained teeth, modern dental techniques can help. Your local dentist near Burke, VA, can recommend veneers to cover up cracks or chips. Laser whitening at the dentist office can get rid of deep stains.
This is one of the long-term benefits of regular checkups at your local dentist near Burke, VA that surprises many patients. Professional cleaning and scraping done on regular visits reduces the amount of bacteria in your mouth, which travels throughout your body.
This is the source of much of the chronic inflammation that is behind major illnesses. It has been linked to a wide range of problems, especially cardiovascular disease like heart attack and stroke.
Systemic inflammation, made worse by bacteria in the mouth, is behind a number of chronic conditions that are often associated with aging. Regular cleanings can give you a healthier body and a longer life span.
Gingivitis is gum disease in its later stages. This is the number one cause of losing teeth as you age. When tartar builds up on your teeth, it also extends below the gum line. If left untreated, it can destroy the gum and the bone that supports your teeth. It also leads to inflammation.
With regular checkups at your local dentist near Burke, VA, you can avoid gum problems. The cleaning done by your dental hygienist gets rid of bacteria before it can get into the gums, leading to serious disease.
If you do have gum problems, your dentist can arrange a deep cleaning that gets rid of the bacteria below the gum line. This returns your teeth and gums to a healthy state.
Cancer is a scary word. The earlier it is detected, the greater the chance of beating it. Regular visits to your dentist give him the chance to check your mouth, gums and lower face for signs of abnormalities. He looks for signs of sores that don’t heal, white patches on your gums and unusual bleeding. If he does find problems, he can send you to a specialist for a biopsy.
So now you know why it is important to go to your local dentist near Burke, VA, regularly. But what about your fears? Here is a look at how you and your dentist can manage your anxiety. You may never enjoy a trip to the dental office, but you can take control of your fears long enough to ensure good oral health.
There are many strategies for handling anxiety. Using all of them isn’t necessary. Experiment to find what works for you in the weeks and months before your next appointment.
Here is a look at how you can take control of your fear of the dentist.
Check out books at the library about ways to deal with anxiety to learn more. Call your local dentist near Burke, VA for suggestions of programs, DVDs, audios and books that deal specifically with dental fears.
Set up your appointment early in the day so you have less time to let your fear build. Ask a friend to come with you. Ask the dentist to let you take a break from the dental chair when your stress levels get too high. Arrange a sign that lets him know you need a timeout.
If these strategies don’t work for you, you need to find a dentist that understands dental fears and phobia. For example, Annandale Smiles offers sedation dentistry. The dentists at the practice know how important it is to help patients feel relaxed and calm during their visit.
That’s why they offer minimal sedation that is safe for the patient and allows the dentist to complete the procedures that are necessary for your oral health. Most patients don’t remember anything about their visit.
Sedation dentistry involves taking a pill about one hour before your visit. When you arrive at the practice for your appointment, the dentists use monitoring equipment to check your pulse and blood pressure.
If you think you would benefit from sedation dentistry, call for a consultation to see if you are a good fit and to learn more about what is required. On the day of your actual dental appointment, you will need someone to drive you to the office and to accompany you into the clinic.
Annandale Smiles, your local dentist near Burke, VA, has an experienced staff who can deal with a wide range of dental issues, not just anxiety. All your dental needs are under one roof, making it simple to have your entire family treated at one office.
At Annandale, you will find experts on staff for dental cleaning, cosmetic dentistry, teeth straightening, preventive care, TMJ issues, gum care and control of infections. The professionals at Annandale know how to handle everything from cavities to cleaning, root canals to implants.
Give the office a call. They can answer your questions about insurance, financing, preventive care and the most advanced types of cosmetic care. Don’t let another checkup pass. Manage your fear, take care of your oral health and let yourself smile confidently.