Understanding Gentle Family Dentistry

One of the biggest reasons why people avoid visiting a dentist is because of dental anxiety and a general fear of dentists. While it might be more common in children, many adults also face similar issues.

People who are afraid of visiting the dental office tend to put off dental treatment until it’s too late. This worsens their oral health, putting them in painful positions that require extensive treatment. This cycle only increases their fears.

Gentle family dentistry is the practice where you visit the dentist, sans fear. The phrase has been picked up by dental practitioners to describe their approach to the patient’s dental health. However, each dentist has their way of gentle family dentistry – adapted to reflect their patients and practice.

It must be noted that what is gentle for one patient could be painful for another and vice-versa. Dentists who state that they practice gentle dentistry have built their approach circling four main areas –

  • Their dental skill and expertise
  • Investment in new dental technologies
  • The techniques they use
  • The overall patient experience

Why Caring For Your Dental Health Is Important

We understand that it isn’t easy to show up at your dentist’s office, especially if you have a phobia of dentists. But one of the first things you need to understand is that caring for your dental health is important and should not be ignored.

Your dental and oral health has a direct link with your general health. Poor dental hygiene leads to numerous issues, the most common ones being cavities and gum disease. Both issues have links to diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

The Centre for Disease Control over 47% of adults in the United States over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is progressed gum disease and affects the jaw bone securing the teeth in place.

Taking care of your teeth should be a lifelong commitment. If you are alert about caring for your oral health right now, you’ll be thanking yourself later since let’s be honest – dental treatment isn’t exactly cheap.

Take the following steps to ensure your oral health is looked after –

  • Using fluoride toothpaste, brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss between teeth at least once a day
  • Avoid high sugar intake
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid any form of tobacco
  • Drink fluoridated water

Signs That Indicate Issues With Dental Health

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Prevention is better than cure.” In dentistry, it is exceptionally true. Being consistent with your dental visits prevents dental problems before they become significant. The bigger the issue, the more painful to treat, the costlier it is.

Keep an eye out for any of the following signs and symptoms. Be sure to get in touch with your dentist if you experience them.

  • Swollen gum or bleeding when you brush
  • Constant bad breath
  • Teeth becoming suddenly and extremely sensitive
  • Toothaches
  • Sores in your mouth that do not heal
  • Loose teeth
  • Facial swelling
  • Receding gums
  • Pain on chewing food
  • Dry or burning mouth

How Do You Know If Your Dentist Practices Gentle Family Dentistry

Earlier, we spoke about the four main areas around which a dentist has formed their practice. Let us look a little into what each of them entails.

The Dentist’s Specific Training And Skills

As expected, we’d all like to believe that all dentists try their best to be as gentle as possible with their patients. However, the phrase “gentle dentistry” means something more.

Dentists nowadays have access to extensive training and knowledge on how to care for patients who are phobic about dentistry or anxious about pain. They can employ sophisticated and effective behavior management techniques that help patients to relax.

Dentists are also sensitive to their patient’s feelings. They will adjust their approach or behavior to put their patients at ease. 

Investment In New Technologies

In recent years, dentistry has progressed tremendously. Newer technologies are specifically designed to make the process easier and more comfortable for both patients and dentists. For example, technologies such as numbing gels, air abrasion techniques, etc. allow dental phobic patients to experience a less intimidating appointment.

‘Gentle dentistry’ involves the use of technology that allows patients to choose their treatment. Many dental phobic patients feel scared because they aren’t in control of the situation in the dental office. By using such technology, the dentist can give the patient opportunities to talk about their fears and treatment. This helps build a stronger relationship between the dentist and the patient.

Using New Techniques

A good rapport with patients is essential to a thriving dental practice. Dentists practicing gentle family dentistry place great importance on spending time with patients, getting to know their treatment preferences. Additionally, they make sure that the patient feels comfortable before progressing with the treatment.

For certain dental phobic patients, small steps mean a great deal, even if it means scheduling their treatments over several visits. For others, they prefer getting over with the treatments as soon as possible, so they opt for minimal visits.

The Patient Experience

Unlike the treatment-focused method of the past, the current focus is the quality of the overall patient experience. While quality treatment is still pretty much default, how the patient feels in the practice is as important. 

Dentists, especially those practicing gentle family dentistry will pull out the stops to create a friendlier practice. The ‘how’ varies from one dental office to another. It is up to the patient to decide what works for them. 

Some patients with a fear of dentists get increasingly anxious in the waiting room. Therefore, their dentists might bring them straight to the treatment area instead of making them wait. Other patients might have a hard time relaxing in the dental chair. The practice might install televisions or have music to keep them distracted and comfortable.

At Norwood Dental, you’ll be pleased to know that we place immense priority on how our patients feel when they visit us. With numerous years of experience and the involvement of modern dental technologies, you’re in safe hands at our office. To experience what it’s like at Norwood Dental first-hand, schedule a consultation with our experts. Call us at (952) 467-3518.

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