How To Deal With Dental Fear And Aniexty

Few people look forward to their trips to the dentist, but perhaps for you it’s more than that. Even though most dental procedures are pain-free, you may have nightmares of dental drills or even feel stressed at the thought of having a basic hygiene appointment.

You are not alone. According to Statistics Canada a whopping 40% of Canadians have some fear of going to the dentist.

dental fear

But not to worry – this is manageable! Read on to find out why so many people have a fear of the dentist, and to discover some tips that may help you conquer it.

Where does the fear come from?

While many people blame their fear of the dentist on unfortunate childhood experiences or scary stories, there are usually deeper factors at play.

Some behaviorists believe that there is a biological reason why some people feel uncomfortable at the thought of having their mouth examined. That reason may be that we unconsciously want to keep blockages, such as a dentist’s hand or dental equipment, out of our mouths in order to keep our breathing unobstructed.

The fear, avoidance, and extreme anxiety one experiences while in the dental chair can be attributed to this natural desire to keep air passages clear and the basic fight or flight response.

It has also been shown that people who strive to always be in control often have a difficult time at the dentist as they can feel helpless while reclining in the dental chair. Having someone take control over what happens in their mouth can be a very frightening situation for many people.

Another common reason for people’s fear of the dentist is that their fear was passed down from their parents. Often if parents are visibly afraid of the dentist and make a point of avoiding dental appointments, this behavior can influence how children view the dentist.

Those who are afraid of needles are also often afraid of going to the dentist as they automatically associate dentists with shot-administered anesthesia, even though many dental procedures do not require any numbing at all.

And of course those who have experienced abusive or otherwise unpleasant experiences while at the dentist are understandably more likely to experience stress and anxiety while at dental appointments. The old school of dentistry used to focus less on the comfort of the patient and more on the procedure. We have learned from those decades-old mistakes and it is standard practice to prioritize your comfort above all else.

After all, we want you to come back to us next time you need a checkup or procedure!

Those who fear the dentist may need dental attention the most

It may seem logical that those who fear the dentist keep their oral health in tip top shape so that they won’t have to ever make a dental appointment. However, studies have shown that because people who are afraid of the dentist do not get regular oral checkups, deep cleansing of the plaque and tartar that can’t be removed with a toothbrush alone is not done.

This leads to larger oral issues such as tartar affecting gums and possibly leading to gum disease. Without regular checkups, other dental issues such as invasive wisdom tooth infections, tooth decay, and various forms of cancer will go untreated and undiagnosed.

If you are someone who avoids dental visits and regular check ups, it is time to face your fears and have a chat with your dentist about your anxieties. This is the best way to decide on a treatment plan that ensures you are as comfortable as possible and can have regular checkups for the good your health.

Here are some of our top tips that can help you overcome these fears and get you back on the path to great oral health:

Talk to your dentist

Sure, it sounds obvious, but many people don’t do it. Talking to your dentist is one of the most important steps to take when confronting your fear.

Dental professionals can only ensure that you are comfortable and attempt to reduce your anxiety if they are aware of what your concerns are. It’s recommended that people who fear the dentist book a consultation with their dentist prior to having any examinations or procedures done.

With the proper preparation, a patient can be made to understand what procedures will be performed and what to expect, greatly reducing their anxiety levels.

dental aniexty

Gain some control over procedures

If you are someone who craves control, talking with your dentist about procedures ahead of time may satisfy that need by giving you the chance to voice any concerns and make any modifications, should you need to.

A common request is that the dental chair not be tilted back so far and instead the patient can be seated in a more controlled upright position. Give it a shot yourself next time you see the dentist. You may be surprised how happy they are to accommodate you.

Have a support system with you

Some people find it extremely comforting to have a friendly face in the room while they are being orally examined or while having a dental procedure done. Bringing a friend or family member can be very calming for some people, making all the difference in the world between a stressful experience and a carefree one.

Be sure to discuss with your dentist beforehand if they are fine with another person being in the room. Just the simple act of asking may be enough to bolster your confidence to a new level.

Find the right dentist

If part of the reason why you dislike going to the dentist is the dentist themselves, it is perfectly fine to say so and to find one who better suits your needs. Try not to be shy about this; you have every right to ensure that you’re comfortable.

Switching dentists can be a source of anxiety for some, but keep in mind that it is best for both the dentist and the patient that the patient is satisfied with their care.

We hope that these tips help you to find the courage to take on your fears of the dentist. Doing so will not only help you to overcome an emotional hurdle but will massively benefit your overall health. Your smile will thank you.


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Leave A Review on Google | Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry Jacksonville FL

We take immense pride in the services we offer and the customers we have had the honor to serve. Click here to see what our clients have had to say about their experience with the Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry in Jacksonville, FL and please also share your experience on Google by clicking and writing a review. We use the feedback to continually better our services. We thank you in advance for your time.

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Write a review by clicking here.  Thank you again for your feedback!

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Like Us On Facebook | Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry Jacksonville FL

At Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we appreciate your patronage and like to share our knowledge of dentistry with our audience on social media, especially Facebook!

To keep updated with the latest news, specials and happy home tips, please visit our Facebook page and give us a like by CLICKING HERE and hitting the thumbs up!

Thank you for your loyalty and continued business! And for those just joining us, Welcome to the Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry community!

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Three Awesome Tips For Flossing | Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry Jacksonville FL


Here are three great tips for flossing:

  1. Don’t overdo it: The American Dental Association recommends flossing once a day to remove plaque and avoid buildup that can cause several major problems. Excessive flossing or flossing too vigorously destroy your gum line, leaving your roots exposed and more prone to permanent damage and decay
  2. Find the right tool: There are a lot of different options when it comes to flossing, not only do you have tons of different varieties of dental floss (waxed, unwaxed, flavored, thick…etc) but there are also toothpicks, water flosser, wooden plaque removers and more. These are all effective tools so take your time to find the one that will make it easier for you and create the habit
  3. Repetition creates habits: If you just can fathom the idea of having to do this every single day just know that no one loves flossing. Yes, it feels amazing to have clean teeth but everyone had to go through an adaptation period. A lot of people bring the habit with them from an early age but there are literally millions of people who took on the habit as an adult and you can do it too! There are many theories around habits but we believe that if you consistently floss once a day (at any time that works best for you) for 33 consecutive days you will incorporate flossing seamlessly into your daily routine!


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Accidents can and will happen!

Dental implant surgery is an effective approach for replacing missing teeth. Whether caused by decay or injury, a cosmetic implant surgeon can affix a titanium stud into the jaw bone and later bond a man-made tooth to the post.

Teeth implants are stable and can be used to anchor bridges, partials or full dentures to eliminate slipping. Implant surgery can improve the quality of your life and enhance your smile.

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The 6 Biggest Dental Problems For People Over 50

Smile! There’s good news from the world of dentistry: Older American are keeping their teeth longer than ever before and the average number of teeth people retain into old age is increasing, says Judith Ann Jones, DDS, a spokesman on elder care for the American Dental Association and director of The Center for Clinical Research at the Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine.

But Jones is not all smiles. As people keep their teeth longer, there are more problems that are likely to arise, which is why keeping up with regular dental visits is so important. Here are the most common problems, and what you can do about them:

Tooth decay
Yes, people over 50 can get cavities. You can get them on the surfaces of teeth that have never been a problem before, but you can also get them around old fillings or at the root of your tooth. “As you age, the root of your tooth becomes softer and sometimes more exposed,” Jones explains.

The Fix: Flouride is not just for kids, Jones says. “Fluoride is one of the 10 most important health measures developed in the 20th century.” Almost 80 percent of people in the United States have fluorinated water, but if you don’t, you should probably add a daily fluoride rinse to your brushing habit. Or ask your doctor about a stronger fluoride prescription gel. If you are starting to get cavities, even if your water has fluoride, consider a fluoride rinse. Ask your dentist if that’s right for you.

over age 50

Dry mouth
Saliva protects us against tooth decay. But if you’re not producing it, your teeth may be at risk. The calcium and phosphate present in saliva prevent demineralization of your teeth, Jones says. How do you know if you have dry mouth? You’ll have a sticky feeling in your mouth, trouble swallowing, dry throat, and dry, cracked lips. You may notice a metallic taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath. You may or may not feel thirsty. Dry mouth is often caused by medications, and as people age, they take more medications. It can also result from smoking or from a blow to the head that somehow damages the salivary glands.

The Fix: If you have dry mouth, you should try to stimulate saliva production. Jones says some people just sip water all day while others find that chewing sugar-free xylitol candies or gum helps. Your dentist may prescribe a prescription saliva substitute or recommend over-the-counter formulations for you to try.

Gum disease
If your gums are swollen, red, or bleed easily, you’ve got gingivitis, an early form of gum disease that can progress and be dangerous. Untreated gingivitis often becomes periodontitis, which is when the gum pulls away from the tooth and creates pockets which can become infected. If this condition develops and continues unchecked, it could cause the loss of bones in your jaw and eventually, the loss of the teeth themselves.

The Fix: The best fix for this condition is regular dentist visits, Jones says. You may need to visit your dentist more frequently so that your teeth can be cleaned and your gums treated for the condition. People who don’t have good access to dental care are more likely to have gum disease, Jones says.

Oral cancer
More than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancers this year, and more than 8,000 will die from it, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation. Oral cancer incidence definitely increases as you get older, Jones says, and is very often linked to smoking and heavy alcohol use. Recently, the number of cases has risen because doctors have discovered that the Human Papilloma Virus also can cause oral cancer.

The Fix: Only about half of people who develop oral cancer survive the disease, Jones says. The best hope for survival is to discover it at its earliest stages—in which case there is an 80 percent chance of surviving for five years. Your dental exam should include a check for oral cancer. Your dentist will hold your tongue and check the soft tissue in your mouth as well as your throat and jaw. If he or she does not, find another dentist, Jones says.

Tooth crowding
Are you noticing that food is getting stuck in new places in your mouth? Or that the overlapping tooth that was cute in your teens now seems to be overlapping even more? You’re not imagining it. As you age, your teeth shift, according to Lee W. Graber, D.D.S., M.S., M.S., Ph.D., Past President of the American Association of Orthodontists. And that can be problematic, not because you’ll look different, but because it can make your teeth more difficult to clean, leading to more decay. It’s also of concern because misaligned teeth can lead to teeth erosion and damage to the supporting tissue and bone, Graber says. Add to that the tendency of older adults to have periodontal disease, and you could end up losing your teeth even faster.

The Fix: If your teeth have really shifted, you could see an orthodontist, who may fit you with a retainer, spacer, or even braces. This may not be necessary, but you should discuss with your dentist whether your teeth are shifting at your regular check up. If they are, it may mean only that you need to go to the dentist more regularly for more frequent cleanings.


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What Is Periodontal Disease?

If your hands bled when you washed them, you would be concerned. Yet, many people think it’s normal if their gums bleed when they brush or floss. In a 1999 study, researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that half of Americans over 30 had bleeding gums.

periodontal disease

Swollen and bleeding gums are early signs that your gums are infected with bacteria. If nothing is done, the infection can spread and destroy the structures that support your teeth in your jawbone. Eventually, your teeth can become so loose that they have to be extracted.

“Perio” means around, and “dontal” refers to teeth. Periodontal diseases are infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease — gingivitis — the infection affects the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the tissues are involved.

For many years scientists have been trying to figure out what causes periodontal disease. It is now well accepted that various types of bacteria in dental plaque are the major villains. Researchers also are learning more about how an infection in your gums can affect your overall health.

In recent years, gum disease has been linked to a number of other health problems. This is a new and exciting area of research, but it remains controversial. Studies have produced varying answers about the extent of the connection between gum disease and other medical problems, and more research is needed.

Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and:

  • Atherosclerosis and heart disease — Gum disease may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease, although the extent of this connection is unclear. Gum disease also is believed to worsen existing heart disease.
  • Stroke — Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke that is caused by blocked arteries.
  • Diabetes — People with diabetes and periodontal disease may be more likely to have trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetics with healthy gums.
  • Respiratory disease— Gum disease may cause lung infections and worsen existing lung conditions when bacteria from the mouth reach the lungs.


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Can You Get a Cavity in Your Dental Implants?

By investing in dental implants, you made a positive, smart choice. You opted for a long-term tooth-replacement solution that has a proven, high rate of success in patients of all ages.

Dental Implant Cavity

You may be nervous about taking care of your implants. Though they can not get cavities, that doesn’t mean they can’t sustain a different kind of infection if they aren’t cared for regularly.

What Is Peri-Implantitis?

Just like natural teeth, implants must be cleaned each and every day to keep plaque build-up at bay. Though plaque won’t lead to a cavity, it can accumulate near the soft tissue of your gum causing peri-implantitis. This is an inflammatory condition that affects the tissue surrounding the implant.

At first, the gums may bleed and become extremely sensitive, but more serious symptoms involve bone loss around the base of the implant. This could result in gum recession, which would expose the supporting implant structure. The tooth could appear longer and eventually the entire implant could loosen.

Taking Care of Dental Implants

Peri-implantitis is preventable, if you make your dental health a priority.

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Benefits of Dental Implants

Millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss — mostly due to decay, gingivitis, or injury. For many years, the only treatment options for those with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. Today, we have dental implants available.

Model of white teeth and dental implantWhat Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw bone. This provides a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth.

What Are The Benefits?

There are many advantages of dental implants over other tooth replacement options:

Improved appearance – Dental implants are made specifically for your mouth. They will look and feel like your own teeth because they are designed to fuse with bone and be permanent.

Improved speech – Ill-fitting dentures can slip within your mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without they worry that teeth might slip.

Eating easier – Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult and may also make it difficult to enjoy some of your favorite food. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence.

Improved comfort – Because they become a part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of slipping dentures that are know to cause sore and irritated gums.

Durability – Dental implants are very durable and are made to last many, many years. With good care, they may last a lifetime.

Convenience – Dental implants mean no more messy adhesives to keep your dentures in place, or the need to remove them every night for cleaning. You care for your dental implants just the same as you would your real teeth.

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Our New Sirona Orthophos XG 3D X-ray Machine

We are proud owners of a new x-ray imaging machine, Sirona Orthophos XG 3D. We brought this new, state-of-the-are piece of equipment into our office for its ease of use and reliable results.  We’re excited to be using this awesome piece of equipment to not only streamline our practice, but also offer our patients the safest and most comfortable experience possible.

Here are some of the key features:

screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-2-53-23-pmHybrid Unit
This hybrid unit not only provides the right 2D image, it is now augmented with the ability to capture an x-ray image in 3D. One scan provides a 2D and 3D image together.

Simplified Patient Positioning
With the auto-positioner, the operator can automatically tilt the patient’s head to get the perfect angle with no interference. The mulit-point stabilization allows the operator to position the patient comfortably through the on-screen guide. Proper patient positioning and stabilization is critical for diagnostic images.

Adjustable Area Of Exposure
The operator is able to adjust the area of exposure by zeroing in and capturing the region of interest that was prescribed by the dentist without exposing unnecessary regions to radiation. The field of view is also large enough to avoid needing to stitch together several images, thus eliminating multiple exposures. The operator also uses the alignment guide, giving them a perfect view of the area to be scanned, eliminating mistakes and the need for re-takes. Short scan time ensures that patient movement during the scan is kept to an absolute minimum, thus further reducing radiation dose.

Integrated Software
The integrated software gives us the ability to scan, diagnose, plan dental implants, and document findings quickly and efficiently. The ability to use these images to map out a blueprint for dental implants allows us to plan the implant with the highest accuracy. This is also an excellent tool for patients to visualize the implant and proposed treatment.

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