Stress and isolation due to the pandemic are certainly bad for our mental health, but dentists are seeing evidence our oral health is suffering too.
Millions of Americans are delaying dental appointments over concerns about coronavirus infection, and that’s likely to trigger increased fees for patients, job cuts for workers and fewer family practices.
When the pandemic began this spring, essentially all dentists temporarily shut down for all but emergency appointments, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. While 99% of dentists have reopened, the number of patients visiting offices remains about 20% below usual levels, according to the American Dental Association.
And dentists don’t expect it to improve much more anytime soon despite significant safety measures they’ve rolled outto protect themselves and patients from COVID-19.
Spending on dental care could fall by up to 38% in 2020 and 20% in 2021, the ADA projects. Of dentists surveyed by the trade group, more than 46% said their patient volume was down at least 15% from usual levels during the week of Oct. 5.
Dr. Linda Rasubala and Dental Assistant Olga Kushch treat a patient in Eastman Dental’s Howitt Urgent Dental Care clinic. (Photo: Keith Bullis, Eastman Institute for Oral Health)
About 15% to 20% of regular dental patients say “they’re not going to go back to the dentist until there’s a vaccine or a proven treatment,” said Marko Vujicic, chief economist of the ADA.
“They’re a segment of the population that’s very cautious, and they’re waiting for COVID to pass, so to speak,” Vujicic said. “They’re simply not returning to usual activities, period.”
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Katia Lee is among them.
Lee, a self-employed professional photographer in Columbia, South Carolina, hasn’t gone to the dentist since before the pandemic began, in part because she doesn’t want to risk getting infected and passing it to her 76-year-old mother.
“The practice I go to, they are lovely, don’t get me wrong – I really like my dentist and my dental hygienist,” she said. “But I know at least half of them have families – that means you’re trusting not just them but their kids, their husbands, that’s why it’s so scary. I have to trust everybody else to keep myself safe.”
With COVID-19, can I visit the dentist?
In August, the World Health Organization angered dentists by advising that “routine non-essential oral health care – which usually includes oral health check-ups, dental cleanings and preventive care – be delayed until there has been sufficient reduction in COVID-19 transmission rates from community transmission to cluster cases or according to official recommendations at national, sub-national or local level.”
The ADA said it “respectfully yet strongly disagrees” with the WHO’s guidance, pointing to numerous safety measures dentists have set up to reduce the risk of transmission, steps advised by the Centers for Disease Control and
While searching for a dentist you will want to review dentists overall ratings online, as well ask around and see what friends and family have to say about their own dentists. The information gleaned from these reviews allows you to begin to narrow down your choices to the best possible candidates and eventually make a final decision.
When you do dentist ratings online and elsewhere, you will want to pay close attention to several key pieces of information, which include services provided, training, costs and location. When performing research on dentist, you will want to take note of what each dentist specializes in. If you require no special treatment and have rather healthy teeth, then a general dentist practice might work best. On the other hand, if your teeth are relatively healthy but require improvement in appearance, your Review dentists search should focus on practices offering cosmetic dentistry. For those with children whom may need braces or some form of corrective services now or possibly in the future, should focus on orthodontists.
At this point in your search of dentist sites and ratings, you will have gathered a list of possible dentists based on the specialties and you will want to take that a step further and find examine their training in said specialty. Find out how long they have been in practice and what sort of continuing training they partake in and which dentists education and training will best suit your needs. Most review sites or the dentists own site will have the training the dentist has undergone and this will help to reduce the list of possibilities further.
Finally, focus on the dentists located in areas convenient for you. Those that are in close proximity to either your home or work place make it easier for you to get to especially in the case of emergency. The last but certainly not least factor in deciding which dentist is best from the dentist site will be the costs for procedures. This is especially important for those who are uninsured but even with insurance there are certain procedures that are not covered.
So be sure to contact the dentist’s office to inquire about prices on procedures that you are interested in and those that you anticipate needing.
There are lots of people with anxiety about going to the dentist. It is something that is difficult to overcome. I have had a fear of the dentist that included avoiding going for years and when I did go I had panic attacks on the way, in the dentist and in the chair.
By visiting your dentist regularly you can prevent problems before they start. Those who avoid going to the dentist are actually risking their teeth needing more serious treatment. Basically what it comes down to is that if you don't overcome your fear you teeth will get into a worse condition and the treatments will be more complex.
But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Dental procedures have advanced so much that nothing is as frightening or painful as before. Yes some of the procedures do hurt but nothing you can't handle. It is the fear that is the most serious issue. As someone who has overcome this – the number one thing you must do is communicate. Communicate to your dentist that you have some fear. There are lots of dentists nowadays who are much more sensitive to how their patients feel. If they are aware of this they can help you. I know that when I spoke to my dentist about the fear half of it went anyway.
Remember regular cleaning visits to your dentist are the best way to keep your teeth healthy and prevent problems. That is the measure for your teeth and you fear. Just take small regular steps.
Some tips on what your options are and how you can get help with your dentist fear.
Overcoming Dental Anxiety
• Dentists are now using mild sedatives know as sedation which means you can sleep right through any complex treatment. You just wake up afterwards when it is finished.
• Ask friends or family for a recommendation for a dentist so that you know you are seeing a sensitive and approachable dentist.
• When visiting the dentist don't hesitate to ask any questions – remember you are the customer.
• Let the dentist know you have anxiety and build some trust between you both.
Over time you will work with your dentist and overcome your fear whilst establishing a great relationship with your dentist.
Finding yourself in the middle of a dental emergency while vacationing in a foreign country is a nightmarish thought for most people, especially when that country is also a foreign speaking one! Unfortunately I found myself in that exact position last year while on holiday in a city called Mérida in the south of Mexico, it's the capital of a region called Yucatán.
My wife and I had been looking forward to the trip and planning it for a number of months. 2 weeks in the warm sun, enjoying the local culture and food not to mention a much more relaxed pace of life. My work is stressful and I was really needing the break away.
About 3 days into the vacation I started to feel the first signs of pain in the back of my mouth and within 24 hours this had become progressively worse to the point where I was unable to even sleep. An infection had somehow gotten into a section of the gum around one of wisdom teeth and it was clear I needed to get to a dentist as soon as possible.
Fortunately there is an online magazine called Yucatan Today which is set up for the local English speaking community living here and I was able to find the dentists other Americans were visiting and recommending. This was a Godsend to say the least.
I quickly found a dental practice which came highly recommended called "Dental Rosel" located in the north side of the city, in an area called "Altabrisa". Aside from the personal recommendations what attracted me the most was that the dentist had trained internationally and that the clinic was equipped with all the latest in dental technology. For some reason my mind immediately equates lots of technology with 'less pain'.
Upon seeing Dr. Rosel he immediately helped me to relax, I found his nature to be very warm, friendly and welcoming. He quickly identified the problem and prescribed me a course of antibiotics to fix it. This was necessary before any dental work could be carried out. 3 days later I was back in the chair and underwent a procedure about an hour long to clear the problem for good.
For anyone visiting this southern region of Mexico and finding themselves in a similar position to me I would highly recommend that you first consult the opinion and advice of other ex-pats living there. Speaking personally I can highly recommend Dental Rosel as one of the nicest and most qualified dentists you'll find anywhere in Merida.
A dentist is someone who is qualified to take care of all aspects of your oral health. Do you have a family dentist or a regular dentist you visit when you have a toothache? Do you trust the solutions they provide? Are you comfortable talking to them about your dental problems? Your dentist or family doctor should be someone you can approach and tell them about the challenges you are facing. When a problem is discovered, it is the dentist's responsibility to come up with a permanent solution. You shouldn't accept every solution that comes your way. Some solutions are temporary. Temporary solutions will force you to keep going back to the dentist from time to time. Dentures are one of the solutions a dentist can administer to you. They are preferred by many dentists for a number of reasons.
- Level of confidence
Confidence is something that can change how you walk, talk or even how you express yourself to those around you. As a matter of fact, if you are confident, you will be able to stand up for the things you believe in. However, on a personal level, if you don't have confidence, then you can't express yourself well. If you have no confidence, then chances are your self-esteem level will also below. If you have low self-esteem, you will feel terrible about yourself and this will kill your confidence levels too. Self-esteem issues could be brought about by your dental issues. Sometimes people have low self-esteem and low confidence levels because they are ashamed of their dental issues like missing teeth or even tooth decay. Once you get partial dentures inserted into your gum, your teeth will look perfect and you will be able to feel confident that you have a lovely smile and you will be confident enough to face any crowd.
- Better functionality
Sometimes you could avoid eating certain foods because your teeth are acting up, and other times it could be because you are healing from dental procedures that you underwent. One thing you need to know is that when you have dentures fitted in your gums, you will be able to comfortably eat and chew without any problems. You will not be scared that certain foods might cause pain when you chew them.
- Verbal communication
Communication is something that is mainly done verbally. Sometimes you can use sign language to communicate. If you are able to talk, then it is advisable that you use verbal communication. Sometimes this is a challenge if you have missing teeth. However, when you get these teeth replaced, you will be able to communicate with ease. Dentures will ensure that you pronounce everything correctly.
Avoid dentists? I know what you are thinking that this must be some kind of joke! Unfortunately I was of the same opinion for many years of my life. I was convinced that there was no escape. I felt trapped knowing that I had no choice but to go to dentist 3-4 times a year, spending a lot of money that I could spend on something else.
I am sure that you know the feeling when something is wrong with your car and you know very little about mechanics of the car. Guess what? You end up in the garage frustrated thinking, what a waste of time and money!
It goes beyond question if you can afford dentist or not. Certainly it is expensive and over the years it will become even more expensive because as your teeth and gums deteriorate, dental procedures will become more elaborated and costlier.
You might also be thinking that you have a dental insurance, so what? It will still cost you some money and your time, not to mentioned negative feeling and pain from dental interventions. Many people are terrified of going to dentists. Would you rather spend your time in more pleasant way than go through ordeal in dental chair?
There is one very important factor you should not forget. More frequent visits to your dentist, more work is done on your teeth and your gums. It means that your over all dental health is deteriorating. Think this way, if you do not stops the habit of seeing your dentist, you will loose your teeth over the years end most likely you will end up with denture and all related problems.
It is not rosy picture, is it? The purpose of this article is to make you think how you can take control of your dental health and learn how to avoid dentists all together. I also have good news for you.
When the term dentistry comes to mind, people may recall their family dental clinic, where they go to have their teeth cleaned and checked. However, the dental profession is much bigger than they think, and general dentists are only one of the specialties in the study of dentistry. For those who want to know more about the other dentist types, they can continue reading.
Everyone's family dentist is a general dentist who regularly looks after the oral health of his / her patients. Majority of the work of these professionals involves preventive oral care, which covers regular dental cleaning, x-rays and teaching patients about oral care at home. General dentists are in charge of restorative oral care – like treating tooth decay by substituting it using artificial fillings, preparing chipped, cracked or missing teeth, as well as whitening services. They treat oral problems brought about by gum disease plus root problems below the gumline. They can guide patients in getting braces, mouth guards and false teeth, among other treatments. Since a general dentist is the health care practitioner that people most often see, they also monitor the health of the patient's mouth, head and neck to make sure there are no problems.
General dentists can treat a lot of conditions, and may be experienced in providing specialty care elements. So, they can provide patients with a recommendation of certain types of dental specialists such as those follow.
Orthodontists are known to install braces, but their care goes beyond that. In general, orthodontists fix misaligned teeth, jaw bones, plus other supporting facial structures for cosmetic and functional purposes. This means to say that they improve the bite of people by designing custom oral hardware – like braces, retainers, clear dental alignment trays, mouthguard, face masks and headgear to address developmental issues. Such devices work over a period of time to improve deformed bone structure and teeth with spacing problems.
Periodontistry focuses on gums, and periodontists help in diagnosing, treating and preventing different gum problems. This includes the treatment of extreme gum pain and inflammation, diagnose and treatment of extreme gum or periodontal disease, installation of dental implants and cosmetic skin grafting on gums. In general, a periodontist is involved in anything that has got to do with extensive work to be performed on gums. Gum disease treatment occupies a huge part of periodontistry. Therefore, periodontists usually give advice to general dentists on the prevention and treatment plans that will fit the patient's lifestyle.
The tooth's inner part, also known as the "pulp", is covered by the tooth's hard enamel plus inner layer of dentin and is located below the gumline. It is soft, consists of sensitive living tissue and is part of the tooth which endodontists focus on. The tooth pulp can get damaged, rotten or inflamed because of trauma, injury or decay, so this needs to be either removed or treated. When treated and preserved, the tooth can be kept alive inside the patient's mouth. …
We always hear that four out of five dentists recommend chewing a particular brand of gum or using a certain toothpaste. Yet there’s always one dentist who doesn’t buy into the group-think. Why is there never unanimity? And if one in five don’t recommend a particular brand of mouth wash… well that means there are thousands of dental professionals who wouldn’t recommend it! Well, the truth is that these polls don’t actually represent what they want you think they represent. It’s actually a time-honored obfuscation of truth in American marketing, and it has been used since at least the 1950s (at one point four out of five doctors preferred Camels).
Advertisement is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission but is subject to some legal grey areas that exist where government regulation of commerce meets common law and the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause. The federal Truth in Advertising Act imposes restrictions designed to ensure that scientific statements are backed by at least some kind of study. However, the law also recognizes certain statements as ‘puffery,’ assertions no sane person would believe to be fact. If you hear words like ‘clinical study’ or ‘national survey’ you have a reasonable belief that some kind of work was done (though that’s no assurance that the work was reliable). The ‘four out of five’ trope is broadly phrased ad-speak that aims to create the illusion of statistical analysis without over-promising much in the way of evidence.
It is often important to pay attention to what exactly is being said in the commercials. For example, if the ad states that four out of five professionals recommend a certain product, they could have only asked five select people, chosen in advance or cherry picked. The ad could also claim that four out of these five dentists recommend flossing with picks, and there are five men in white lab coats on the screen. That could mean four of the dentists pictured recommend it. Or maybe the commercial tells you that nine out of ten recommend brushing your teeth with brand X. That may be true, but they could also recommend brand Y or Z. You have to imagine any dentist would recommend brushing your teeth with most brands of toothpaste.
So if these are all, in one way or another, misleading, why not make everyone agree? Probably because it’s more believable to bluff small, and a majority is good enough. While these claims sound like factual statements, the devil is usually in the details. The words are vague enough or obtusely true in a way that As Mark Twain said, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. They can often be manipulated to reflect any number of partial truths.
You know that you need good dental care but unless you can stop your fear of dentists it will cause you to keep putting off those appointments.
You want to keep your teeth in tip top condition but your dentist phobia means that you positively dread having someone poking and prodding around in your mouth, then making you slurp down some sort of fluoride goop that tastes like a cross between bubble gum and Tylenol.
Stop Your Fear of Dentists
One way to help stop your fear of dentists is to ask to be “put under” while they drill away. That way, once the anesthetic has started to work, you’ll be unconscious while your dentist does their work. This can work but it’s an extreme solution – one that you should really only consider if you don’t have time to work out any other solution for your dentist phobia. And you may need to change dentists as not all are authorized to perform this kind of operation.
Another way is to take a trusted friend with you to literally hold your hand whilst the dentist performs his or her duty.
If you have more time available, you can stop your fear of dentists in its tracks by using the ancient art of hypnosis.
Trips to the dentist are never fun. After all, who would voluntarily go to lie down on a chair with a dentist scraping and prodding away at your precious teeth? Sometimes even thinking about a trip to the dentist can bring on your fear of dentists. You start thinking about cavities, fillings, drills, needles. And your dentist phobia comes up full strength!
Through hypnosis, you can stop your fear of dentists and allow a trained professional to help you keep your teeth in pristine condition. Your dental phobia will be banished to the past, where it belongs.
All you need to do is listen to one simple MP3 track. You can do this in the comfort of your own home, maybe listening on your iPod, well away from the source of your dentist phobia.
Hypnosis is a method where you can reach a deep state of relaxation. Once that state is reached, your subconscious mind will be given a series of suggestions which will help you to stop your fear of dentists. Many people all over the world have overcome their dentist phobia with hypnosis. It’s one of the most cost-effective treatments that you can find. You don’t even need to take a trip to a professional hypnotherapist – there are many CDs and MP3s out there that will do the trick for less than the cost of your next checkup.
You owe it to yourself to keep your teeth in pristine condition. If you suffer from dentist phobia then you need to find a way to stop your fear of dentists in its tracks.
While beauty may only be skin-deep, it is considered as a valuable investment – especially in certain fields, like acting and modeling. Not all people are born to be naturally beautiful, and for this reason, some choose to enhance their best features to strive for perfection. One such feature could be a person’s smile. A smile can look more attractive with perfect teeth and prominent jaw line. This can be enhanced with the help of cosmetic dentistry, a field in which dentists use a range of cosmetic dental procedures.
Cosmetic dentists are far more advanced than regular dentists. Just like regular dentists, they are familiar with dentures, dental crowns, dental bridges and dental implants, but they are more advanced in the sense that they are experts in procedures such as restorative dentistry, teeth straightening, teeth whitening, cosmetic and surgical teeth bleaching, applying porcelain veneers and bonding techniques. Patients can consult a cosmetic dentist as to what type of dental treatment they want to undergo.
As a permanent solution to replace few or a mouthful of missing teeth, cosmetic dentists offer dental implants and dentures. The costs involved depend on the type of materials used in making the implants, the laboratory where these are made, plus the experience of the dentist. Usually, cosmetic dentists may charge more than regular dentists to perform such tasks. However, when it comes to problems involving multiple dental implants, cosmetic dentists are more capable of coming up with a better solution. When you choose a cosmetic dentist, you could save on both time and money than what you will spend when you make several tips to a regular dentist until the procedure is complete.
Cosmetic dentists offer a number of remarkable procedures to straighten uneven or crooked teeth. The teeth of an adult can be straightened by means of an orthodontic method of treatment called Invisalign. This is done by fitting teeth individually with brackets made of clear, transparent material, as opposed to the traditional metal material. Using different sets of aligners for a couple of months could correct the teeth little by little, giving an ideal position. Porcelain veneers can also be used as another alternative, which is a simpler way to straighten teeth and create a perfect smile.
Most patients go to cosmetic dentists for teeth whitening. Needless to say, white teeth are an easy way to get a perfect smile. In the process of teeth whitening, the dentist bleaches the teeth until their natural color surfaces. Cosmetic dentists are experts in this field of work and can be consulted for issues regarding a person’s teeth and smile. This service should be affordable to many, as painless as much as possible, and helpful in enhancing your smile.