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Taking the fear out of dentistry

June 27, 2017 | Posted in Dental Procedures | Be the first one to comment

Taking the fear out of dentistry

One out of four Canadians does not visit the dentist on a regular basis, and fear of pain or discomfort is the leading reason. Usually this fear is well founded, based on negative experiences in the past.

A combination of advances in dental technology, new treatment approaches, and a truly caring attitude among our staff, mean that many previously fearful patients often tell us “That really wasn’t so bad!"

It begins with communication

We believe that overcoming dental anxiety begins with making sure we understand your concerns and past experiences. We also work hard to make sure you clearly understand the work we are planning to do. All procedures are carefully explained before we begin, so you know what will happen. And we don’t begin the work until your questions and concerns have been answered.

Modern technology helps

The range of modern anaesthetics at our disposal means that we can usually get you completely frozen the first time. But we always check before we begin any work, and throughout the procedure. If at any point the freezing starts to wear off, or you are uncomfortable for any reason, we will stop the work we are doing until you are feeling more comfortable.

Remember the discomfort of the needle going in? Well, we now use a topical anaesthetic before we use the needle, which makes it considerably more comfortable. For all children, and adults who are more sensitive, we use an instrument people refer to as “the magic wand” instead of a needle. The Wand, an electronic anaesthetic delivery system, takes a bit longer, but most people hardly even feel a thing.

Other things we can do

We have a range of other things we can do for patients who are more anxious. Our staff are equipped and trained in the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), which can be very effective for nervous patients.

In some cases we will prescribe medication prior to an appointment. Music with headphones is also helpful for many patients. You’re welcome to bring your iPod/mp3 player or just bring in your favourite CD. We will supply the headphones.

So don’t let past bad experiences stand in the way of a healthy mouth. Make sure you let us know about your concerns and past experiences. Once we understand the problems you’ve had, we’re confident that we can work with you to help avoid pain, and deal with whatever anxiety you are feeling.

I haven't visited a dentist in a long time


We welcome your visit, don’t feel embarrassed

One of the reasons that some people don’t go to the dentist is that they’ve waited so long since their last dental visit that they are now embarrassed to go. After all, the people that work at a dental office are likely so careful with their teeth, they just won’t understand. Right?

Don’t worry! Almost every one of us at Humber Valley Dental has had at least one family member who has avoided the dentist…some for a very long time! We understand. We care about helping people get back into a regular dental routine and would be happy to see you.

It doesn’t matter why

People stay away from the dentist for many reasons. In some cases it is well-founded fear from past problems. In other cases it may have been financial concerns, other health issues, or simple procrastination.

We can help with any of these issues

Dentistry has come a long way in the past 10-20 years, and we have many new ways to help put nervous or fearful patients more at ease. (See I’m afraid of dental work for more information). We also have several options to help manage financial issues, and we’re really good at the friendly prodding of procrastinators.

So don’t let embarrassment stand in the way of your health. We’re an understanding group, who are eager to help you get into a regular dental routine.

I'll go to the dentist when I have a problem


I’ll go when I have a problem, Some people don’t go to the dentist until they have a specific problem. Please don’t make this mistake yourself!

If you are waiting until you have a problem before your next visit to the dentist, please read on. We could tell you that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, or that “Visiting us before you have a problem is the best way of never having to visit us with a problem”. However, most people who do not regularly see a dentist already know that.


It’s more than just your teeth!

Instead, we’ve found that many of our infrequent patients have appreciated us suggesting they read a recent article published in Reader’s Digest. Entitled, “The Check-up that Could Save Your Life”, it explains that regular trips to the dentist can do more than keep you smiling and your breath fresh - they can help with the early detection or prevention of a wide range of other serious health issues.

So why not call now and set up an appointment? At a minimum, it will save the discomfort and cost of more extensive treatment later, and as the article points out, it might be a whole lot more important than that.

We’d be happy to see you, even if it has been a while since your last visit to a dentist.


I have a problem now and don’t have a dentist.


Don’t worry. We do our very best to accommodate emergencies, even if you are not yet a regular patient. Call us and we’ll schedule some time to get your problem looked after.

Even if the problem you are experiencing is not yet too severe, it is time to get into a dental office…quickly! Very few dental problems resolve themselves on their own. The sooner you get your problem looked after, the easier it will be, and the greater our chance of restoring your mouth to a completely healthy condition.


Infection Prevention For Your Safety.

Sometimes patients are concerned about the potential for illnesses to be spread in medical or dental facilities. Given the large numbers of people, and the presence of saliva and blood, this is a very important concern. When it comes to infection prevention, we always err on the side of caution. For us, this means that all staff and patients are considered potential sources of infection. Consequently, we pursue thorough disinfection and sterilization procedures after every visit, assuming any patient could have been highly contagious. This protects all subsequent patients in our office.

To achieve our safety goals, all staff members wear surgical gloves and waterproof “SARS-rated” masks when working in a patient’s mouth. All soaps used in the office are therapeutic disinfectants. Additionally you will find waterless hand disinfectants throughout the office.

See for yourself, At Humber Valley Dental, we believe very strongly in the importance of infection prevention and have chosen to take numerous steps to protect you and our other patients. We’d like to show you just how thorough we are:

The most important concern in infection control is the instruments we use. All instruments that come into contact with your mouth have been thoroughly sterilized.

In addition to sterilizing hand explorers, mirrors, and drill bits, we also put all air and water syringes, suction handles and tips, and the hand pieces that power the drill in the autoclave for sterilization.

We follow a maintenance schedule to check our equipments and ensure they are in good working condition. To ensure our equipments autoclave is working properly at all times, we include a test strip in every load that we sterilize. We also have an automated instrument washer that offers a better, safer and more thorough way to wash and disinfect our instruments.

It is also important to minimize the risk of infections being passed by the surfaces that you, the dentist, the assistant or the hygienist touch. Because we can’t sterilize things like the dental chair, counter tops, computer keyboards or phone handles in an autoclave, surfaces that get touched are cleaned with a disinfectant after every patient.

Because disinfection solutions are not 100% effective, frequently touched surfaces also get an extra plastic wrap, which is changed after each patient.

Infection prevention in any medical setting is very important for your safety. We take it very seriously at Humber Valley Dental.

How a dental check-up saved someone’s life

Tom, a 59-year old farmer, could barely eat. The pain was so excruciating that he could barely open his mouth. He hated seeing the dentist and didn’t have a dental checkup in 20 years. At the urging of his wife, he finally gave in and scheduled an appointment with a local dentist. The dentist checked Tom’s mouth and found a lump and sent Tom to a specialist for a second opinion.

The following week, Tom arrived at the specialist's dental office. The specialist carefully examined his mouth and said that the lump was cancerous and had to be removed right away. The following week, Tom had to undergo a 6-hour surgery. During the procedure, Tom's jawbone was split wide open so that the dentist could access the cancerous lump at the back of his throat. The cancerous tissue was carefully removed and Tom was patched back up.

After the surgery, the dentist turned to Tom and said “It’s lucky that you came to see me when you did. If that lump wasn’t removed, you would have died within 6 months” Tom was speechless. He never realized that dental visits were so important for his health. Now, he makes sure to visit the dentist twice a year to ensure that everything is ok.

Besides treating decay, your dentist can check for signs of cancer, diabetes, and other oral health problems. Your dentist can spot diseases early on and treat them before they become life threatening. That’s why regular dental checkups are so important for your health. Besides routine checkups, your dentist can perform a deep cleaning of your oral tissues so that your teeth and gums can stay healthy.

Without these routine checkups, oral health issues, such as decay, gum disease, and infections, can creep up and impact your oral health. Besides gum erosion, gum disease also increases your risks of tooth loss, heart disease, diabetes, and other health complications. So be sure to see your dentist every six months. It may just save your life.

I have other health issues

We are skilled at providing dentistry to people who are dealing with health issues. Considering the potential interaction between dental procedures and other health issues is always important. Many things including, but not limited to, rheumatic fever, heart murmurs, past hospitalisation, cancer, immuno compromised conditions, medications you take, and even allergies, can have important impact on how we will handle your dental treatment.

If you have health issues, we can still meet your oral health needs effectively. But it is important that you raise them with us, so that we will be able to take the right steps to do so safely.

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