Are you one of those people who avoid the dentist out of fear? You have a lot of company. Avoidance and denial are strong human emotions, which can play a role in why people don’t visit the dentist as often as they should.
“Gentle Dentistry” has become a catch phrase in oral care. But, what does Gentle Dentistry really mean? Here are a few ideas to empower you as a dental care patient to know you are receiving true gentle dentistry.
- Is the staff kind, attentive and helpful? Are you treated with respect and consideration at the front desk? Caring staff is a reflection on the dentist’s philosophy. A supportive interaction with the staff goes a long way to making your visit positive. A well-trained staff will build a relationship with you and assist you in your goal for a healthy smile.
- Do you feel you can talk candidly with your dentist? Does your dentist give you time to talk and does she listen to your concerns? Communication is the best way to develop a positive dental experience. Tell your dentist about your past experience and alert her to your anxiety. A truly gentle dentist will take your fear into consideration in the treatments she recommends.
- Is your dentist’s office designed to promote comfort? Some dental offices look like clinics, with stiff 1960’s furniture lining the walls and neon lighting. A true gentle dentist will have an office designed with calming colors and lighting, which has an effect on your mood. Decorative elements simulating nature and reduced eye-tension lighting really help to keep nervous patients calm. Dr. Ascough, who incorporated Feng Shui into her office design, positions her dental chairs to face a soothing garden, not a wall with scary dental posters. Minimalist décor promotes both spaciousness and tranquility.
· Modern dentists have reduced dental discomfort by purchasing supplies and equipment that are up to date and use technology that reduces dental discomfort. Is your dentist using the most up to date technology designed to reduce discomfort? For instance, Dr Ascough uses the latest laser technology for treatment of gum disease. She also recently introduced a new state of the art restoration system that uses advanced LED imaging with computer aided design and manufacturing. This system, also known as Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC), allows her to restore teeth by producing ceramic crowns, veneers, onlays and inlays in a single sitting with the patient, rather than the multiple sittings required with traditional dentistry. Not only does this save her patients a lot of time, but also gives them the look they want that day with high quality results.
- Is your dentist still using a drill? Today an air abrasion system is available. Think of it as micro technology for sandblasting decay from a tooth. Unlike traditional drills, air abrasion generates no heat, sound, pressure or vibration leaving more of the healthy tooth tissue behind and reducing the risk of later fracturing or chipping the tooth. Tools like these reduce discomfort significantly and the procedure is quicker.
- Sound management has become an important element in Gentle Dentistry. Patients report that the sound of the drill increases the sensation of pain. Does your dentist employ ways to redirect your attention during treatment? Dr. Ascough has TV screens installed so patients can watch a movie or play games using disposable earplugs or wireless headphones. Patients can also listen to music, which has been proven through research to relieve stress. Her patients report a significantly more comfortable visit. Plus, the time in the chair goes more quickly when you are enjoying entertainment you love.
- Is your dentist gentle? Of course, it takes a gentle dentist to provide gentle dentistry. A dentist who makes you smile or laugh, has light and small hands, and a soothing touch make a big difference. Dr. Ascough, who is recognized for her sweet nature and agile hands, has also added Aromatherapy and warm blankets to her toolkit of techniques to increase her patient’s tranquility.
Dr. Ascough takes the concept of Gentle Dentistry seriously. To her it is more than a marketing phrase. Armed with the above information, you can be sure your dental treatment is genuinely Gentle Dentistry. For more information on Gentle Dentistry call Dr. Evelyn Ascough at 619.298.0821.