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Nervous Nancy Goes To The Dentist: How Dental Technology Can Ease Your Fears

Jun 05, 2013

Dental Technology Eases Fears
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Hate going to the dentist? Most people do.  What is it about sitting in that chair, or the waiting area for that matter, that makes us squirm?  But there is no reason to be a Nervous Nancy.  This month, we explore how dental technology can ease your fears and help those teeth stop chattering. 

Medical technology is always changing to improve the patient experience, and dental technology is no exception.  The experiences you encounter in a dental office experience can cause a variety of emotions.  If you are already frightened about going, entering an environment that is outdated, smells funky and where the receptionist is wearing a nurse’s hat from 1942 is going to make your anxiety level skyrocket.  You would probably feel better if you were greeted by an inviting waiting room with excellent magazine choices, an iPad to enter your patient information and bottled water.  Sounds like a trip to the day spa, doesn't it?  The reality is, this is your new dental office… and your experience gets better from here!

Let’s step back a moment and talk about how you made the decision to find this new dentist.  You probably just purchased a great dental plan from Dental Insurance Store and used the dentist locator tool.  You call the dentist of your choice to make the appointment.  The receptionist will ask many of the questions over the phone about the paperwork you usually fill out once you arrive. 

Some offices will send you a link to their website where you can fill out paperwork online at your leisure.  Step one in medical office pains averted!  The systems that dental offices use now are so advanced they can book the appointment, store all your records, review and file your insurance and bill you in one fell swoop.  The patient is already at ease and they haven’t even entered the office.

Today is your appointment, Nervous Nancy.  As a new patient, you’ll need x-rays.  If you are like me, this is the worst part of a dental visit. I have a small mouth and the bitewings are always too big.  I end up with a cut up mouth which makes the rest of my visit very unpleasant.  But there is good news!  A full-mouth series of photographs can be taken with digital cameras and the close-ups with intraoral cameras.  No more bogus bitewings or waiting for the film to develop.  All of the photos with the digital cameras can be transferred quickly to the computer and dropped right in to your charts.  Third parties can also have access to the “film” quicker if are referred to a specialist.

This also means that your dentist can speak with you more candidly about your oral health.  They can show you what they see and how they can treat your issue.  This provides a more personal experience, albeit a sometimes gross one, and allows you to become more involved in your oral solution.  Do you feel your dental fears going down the little spit sink now?

But wait.  What if the digital cameras capture a cavity or two?  Your anxiety level spikes again.  That probably means your mouth will have a date with the drill.  The sounds, the smell, the feeling… it’s too much.  But don’t fret, Nervous Nancy.  Technology has improved here as well.  For several years, many dentists have used a procedure called air abrasion cavity preparation. 

Dr. Jeffrey Rubino has offered this technique for his patients since 1997.  Air abrasion is a high-speed stream of air mixed with sterile silica powder.  "The nozzle tip is about the same diameter as the head of a pin, which allows for very conservative tooth preparation," he said. "Since there isn't any physical contact or heat generated from friction, there is no pain and this allows me to skip the anesthetic injection.”  Your fear of needles AND someone drilling your tooth has just dissipated.

Now the only thing that technology cannot really assist us with is the bill.  If you have insurance, it is a great help.  If you need insurance, I know where you can get a quote for free!  In the future, you may not even have to visit the dentist.  Nah, you still need to twice a year… it just might be that your dentist is a robot instead.

Thanks for joining us today at Agent Straight-Talk.  Stay tuned for Dean’s article next Wednesday and his take on dental technology and you!  And remember, “Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” – Mother Teresa.

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Copyright 2013 Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC©

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