Author Archives: Savannah Dental

All-On-4 Immediate Load Dental Implants: What You Should Know

All-On-4 immediate load dental implants have revolutionized the field of dentistry. While dental implants have been growing in popularity since the early 1990s, replacing an entire upper or lower arch of teeth with individual implants is time consuming and expensive. A traditional implant-supported fixed bridge is a more cost-effective solution, but it still requires a series of appointments. With an All-On-4, sometimes referred to as Teeth in a Day, you can have an entire mouthful of teeth replaced in one sitting. Here’s what you should know.

3D rendering : lower teeth and dental implant transparent render

Benefits Over Dentures

Although dentures have been replacing teeth for centuries, even modern technological advances cannot overcome their basic limitations. A lower denture sits on the gums, while an upper denture uses suction to attach a plastic plate to the roof of the mouth. Both are prone to slipping, severely reduce bite force, and can be both physically uncomfortable and socially embarrassing.

Dentures also do nothing to halt the resorption process, in which gum and bone tissue is slowly lost following the extraction of tooth roots. Even the best-fitted dentures must be periodically re-fitted to account for this loss, and resorption is a major contributor to the physical aging process of the face and mouth.

Dental implants replace the tooth roots, halting and even reversing resorption. Because they are integrated into the jawbone, they provide stability and restore better than 90% of the bite force of the natural teeth. No longer will you need to avoid biting into apples or chewing tough steak. And because your replacement teeth are stable, slipping is a thing of the past.

Benefits Over Traditional Implants

A traditional full-arch implant bridge requires you to have implants placed and then topped with a healing cap. You will then wear a traditional denture for several months until your mouth fully heals. At that time, you will return to the dentist to have abutments and a fixed bridge placed.

Although this process works well, it is slow. Coping with a traditional denture for several months can be challenging, causing you to severely curtail both your diet and your social life.

An All-On-4 removes the waiting period. As soon as your teeth are extracted, your dentist will immediately place 4 implants at strategic spots along your upper or lower arch. These implants are ready for a fixed bridge immediately, with no waiting period required. Your dentist will place an acrylic fixed bridge during the same appointment, allowing you to eat normally as soon as you feel up to it, which is usually within a day or two.

If you want even more natural-looking teeth, you can switch the acrylic teeth for porcelain teeth in just a few weeks. There is no maximum time limit, so you are welcome to live with the acrylic teeth for a while, and then switch to porcelain at some point in the future if desired.

Is All-On-4 Right for Me?

Like any dental procedure, All-On-4 is not right for everyone. It is a bit costlier than dentures, though less expensive than a traditional implant-supported fixed bridge or individual implants. In addition, those with certain underlying medical conditions may need to get their physical health under tight control before undergoing the procedure. Your dentist will closely examine your current oral and overall physical health and your goals for treatment, and make a professional recommendation.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

Dental Work and Pregnancy: Myths vs. Facts

Pregnant women are continually bombarded with information on what to do and what not to do during their pregnancy. Modern technology virtually guarantees that women will receive a lot of this information from internet sources, well-meaning friends and family, and other sources of questionable veracity. With so many claims swirling around, it can be tough to separate myths and old wives’ tales from scientifically proven facts. Here is what you need to know about dental work and pregnancy.

Pregnant woman at dentist before treatment

Myth: Avoid Routine Dental Work

Fact: Routine Dental Work Is Safe and Essential

If you are planning to become pregnant, it is a great idea to go ahead and visit your dentist. Have a routine checkup and cleaning, and have any needed treatments performed. However, many women become pregnant unexpectedly. In this case, it is important not to neglect your annual exam and cleaning. Pregnant women are at higher risk for swollen, bleeding gums, which can lead to gum disease, a condition that is linked to preterm birth. Never be afraid to receive routine dental work during your pregnancy.

Myth: Dental X-Rays Are Dangerous

Fact: Dental X-Rays Are Acceptable in Moderation

Because pregnant women should not be exposed to unnecessary radiation, it makes sense to put off nonessential x-rays until after you give birth. However, if a dental emergency should arise, x-rays may be essential for diagnosis. With proper shielding, dental x-rays are considered generally safe during pregnancy. Tell your dentist about your pregnancy and discuss the risks and benefits before proceeding.

Myth: Emergency Dental Treatments Should Be Avoided

Fact: Emergency Dental Treatments Should Be Performed

Many women worry about the effects that anesthesia and antibiotics, as well as dental procedures such as extractions and root canals, could have on their babies. Because there is a small risk with any procedure, putting off elective treatments until after the birth is advised. However, if a dental emergency arises, the risks of infection from putting off treatment are higher than the risks associated with performing a dental procedure.

Your dentist will work with you to use the safest medications possible in the lowest doses that still provide comfort. It is better to have your mouth thoroughly numbed than to put yourself and your baby through the stress of intense pain.

Myth: The Second Trimester Is the Best Time for Dental Work

Fact: This Is True

In many cases, it is possible to schedule both routine and emergency dental work. Although studies do not show increased risks with dental work performed during the first trimester, many dentists and patients prefer to wait until after this critical time in fetal development. Most dentists and patients also try to avoid the third trimester, when laying on your back could be painful and early labor is a possibility.

During the second trimester, most women have gotten used to the pregnancy. Morning sickness may have subsided, and the baby has made it through the critical first weeks. If you need dental work that can’t wait until after you deliver, this is the ideal time to have it done.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

Porcelain Veneers: A Simple Way to Improve Your Smile

First impressions are crucial, whether you are interviewing for a job or going on a first date. Your smile is a key part of your first impression, but many people have unsightly teeth. Whether your teeth are crooked, stained, worn down, or yellowed, porcelain veneers are a simple way to improve your smile.

Shade determination with the help of a shade guide.

What Are Porcelain Veneers?

Porcelain veneers are very thin porcelain shells that go over the front of your teeth. They require very little tooth preparation, making them a healthier choice than crowns. As they are tightly bonded to your teeth, porcelain veneers are durable and long-lasting.

What Conditions Do Veneers Solve?

Veneers do not fix dental health issues. If your teeth are diseased or injured, you must have those problems treated before you receive veneers. However, many people have healthy teeth that do not look their best. Here are some common cosmetic issues that veneers can cover.

Wear and tear: Teeth tend to wear down over time, especially in people who tend to chew on ice or other objects, or use their teeth as a tool.

Minor breakage: Falls and other light traumas can cause one or more teeth to chip or break. While deep damage needs to be fixed, porcelain veneers can cover chips and minor breaks.

Discoloration: Teeth can become discolored for many reasons, including excessive fluoride consumption, root canals, tetracycline, and large fillings.

Misshapen or uneven teeth: Misshapen and uneven teeth are quite common, due simply to the fact that some teeth grow in more perfectly than others.

Minor gaps or crookedness: Minor gaps and slightly crooked teeth don’t necessarily need a complex treatment such as braces or Invisalign, but you might wish your teeth were a bit straighter. Porcelain veneers can help.

Are Porcelain Veneers Permanent?

Very few dental treatments last a lifetime. However, porcelain veneers are one of the longer-lasting treatment options. They are strong and durable, and can easily withstand the normal forces of biting and chewing. With proper care, they can easily last for well over a decade.

In addition, porcelain veneers are less prone to staining and yellowing than natural teeth. While tooth whitening must be repeated regularly, veneers continue to look white and healthy as long as you follow excellent oral hygiene habits.

Will I Look Natural?

Many people shy away from porcelain veneers for fear of receiving a too-white, artificial-looking “game show host” smile. In reality, though, porcelain veneers are extremely natural in appearance. They mimic the translucency and sheen of real teeth and can be color-matched to your existing smile.

For a whiter smile, you might choose to have your natural teeth whitened and then your veneers color-matched to that tone. While this is a great option, keep in mind that you will need to have the whitening repeated regularly for all of your teeth to match.

Supplementary Cosmetic Dentistry

In addition to tooth whitening, your dentist might suggest further treatments to more fully enhance your smile. Invisalign is one of the most common. While minor crookedness and small gaps are easy to correct with veneers, Invisalign is best for more severely misaligned teeth. This allows us to place only the needed veneers, rather than filling up your mouth in an effort to create the impression that your teeth are straight.

Like any other cosmetic treatment, porcelain veneers are not right for everyone. Your dentist will consider the health and aesthetics of your current smile, along with your budget and your personal goals for treatment. Before any work begins, we will work hard to ensure that you have a detailed understanding of our recommendations and that all of your questions and concerns are addressed.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

What to Expect at Your Dental Appointment

Dental appointments are an important part of your dental hygiene routine and your overall health. Generally, these appointments follow the same routine to ensure that you get the highest quality of care. If you’re unsure of what to expect at your next dental appointment, here are some things you can expect.

Happy Father With Daughter At Reception Of Dentist's Surgery

Signing in with the Receptionist

When you first arrive at the dentist’s office, expect to sign in with the receptionist and fill out any necessary paperwork that might be required. If you have dental insurance, be prepared with your card and any relevant co-pays that might be applicable. If you are a new patient, plan to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes earlier than your appointment time to fill out paperwork about the office’s privacy policies and your health. The dentist will want to know about past medical procedures, health conditions, and allergies, especially to medications or latex.

X-Rays

If this is your first dental appointment at this particular practice or if it’s an annual check-up, you can expect to have x-rays taken of your mouth, teeth, and jaw line to identify any potential dental concerns. Dental x-rays are considered safe, although you should discuss any concerns about the procedure to your dentist. Pregnant women may want to check with their health practitioners to see if x-rays should wait until after the baby is born.

Examination

During most dental appointments, your dentist will examine your mouth and teeth. The dentist will look to see if your gums are healthy and if any dental issues, such as cavities, emerged since your last appointment. If this is your first time or if it’s an annual check-up, the examination should take more time to complete.

Procedure

Next, the dentist will complete whatever procedure you came in for. This may include a filling or a root canal. Dental cleanings are typically performed by experienced dental hygienists. You’ll be offered pain relief, topical or injectable, for more invasive procedures that may cause pain. Surgical procedures may require nitrous oxide gas or further sedation.

Recommendations

Depending on what the dentist finds during the examination, the dentist may make recommendations for procedures or improved dental hygiene. The dentist should explain what is recommended, as well as why and how it should help. If there is time available to complete the recommended procedure, it is possible that it could take place during your dental appointment.

Quotes

Your dentist should provide you with a price quote for services before completing any of the recommended procedures. If you have dental insurance, the dentist or staff members will determine what your out of pocket costs are. In some cases, especially for more expensive procedures, you may have to agree in writing to the procedure.

Going to the dentist should be a quick and painless part of your oral hygiene routine. If you schedule regular dental appointments, you should catch small dental issues, like cavities, before they become more serious and expensive dental procedures, like root canals. At Savannah Dental Solutions, we provide professional, expert dental care. Call us at 912-354-1366 for an appointment today.

Fluoride Myths vs. Realities

A naturally occurring mineral that is well-known for its ability to reduce the risk of cavities, fluoride has been added to municipal water supplies since 1945. It is also a popular additive in toothpastes, and is sometimes prescribed at higher strengths than are available over the counter. Yet myths about fluoride are as old as its first use, and have found new life in the digital age. Here are the realities behind the most common fluoride myths.
Myths about Fluoride

Myth: Fluoride causes cancer.

Although this myth is rampant, it has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked. In more than 50 epidemiological studies, performed at different times and focused on different genders and age groups, there has been zero evidence of any link between fluoride and cancer.

Myth: Fluoride causes behavior problems and even lowers IQ scores.

While it is true that a few foreign studies found a possible link between fluoride and problems with both behavior and intelligence, there are a number of red flags. First, the data collection methods were questionable, leading to unreliable data. Second, the studies were not peer-reviewed. Third, the levels of fluoride used in the studies were far higher than those used in the United States. Fourth, the studies failed to account for outside variables, including exposure to arsenic and contaminated grains.

Repeated studies within the United States have shown no ill effects from the fluoridation programs currently in use in this country. They have, however, shown tremendous benefits.

Myth: Ending water fluoridation is an excellent way for cash-poor communities to save money.

The reality is that community water fluoridation has a higher return on investment than any other public health strategy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), communities of more than 20,000 residents pay only about 50 cents per person per year for water fluoridation. The cost of treating tooth decay, coupled with the loss of work hours due to dental treatments, is far greater.

Myth: Since fluoridated toothpaste is so readily available, the time for fluoridated water has passed.

Despite the easy availability of fluoridated toothpaste, both the American Dental Association (ADA) and the CDC continue to recommend water fluoridation at a level of 0.7ppm (parts per million). In fact, the prevalence of bottled water could actually be harming teeth, due to the lack of fluoride. Many dentists prescribe fluoride tablets to children who drink bottled rather than tap water, as well as those living in communities without fluoridated water.

Myth: Fluoride is not safe for infants and children.

This myth stems from a misunderstanding of a reasonably common benign condition. Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic issue that can cause faint white streaks or slightly darker staining of the teeth. It is generally caused by overexposure to fluoride before the age of eight. However, dental fluorosis does not cause any pain, nor does it affect the functionality or health of the teeth.

To minimize staining, dentists tend to monitor the amount of fluoride that young patients receive. This monitoring has given rise to the myth that fluoride is bad for kids, but in reality, the American Dental Association states that reasonable exposure to fluoride is safe for all ages.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

Children’s Dental Health: Starting Good Habits Early

Many parents don’t think too much about their children’s baby teeth, since they will fall out anyway. Yet good childhood dental habits can set the stage for a lifetime of oral hygiene. In addition, it is important to keep the baby teeth healthy until they are ready to fall out. Around 60 to 90 percent of children develop cavities in their baby teeth, and untreated dental disease can cause lifelong problems with the bite, the permanent teeth, and the gums. Here’s how to start your kids on the road to dental health.

Children's Dental Health - Starting Good Habits Early

Model Appropriate Behavior

Your kids are constantly watching you, so renew your commitment to your own dental health. Drink lots of water, minimize sweets, brush and floss regularly, and see the dentist at least twice per year. If your kids see these habits as just part of life, they are more likely to adopt them.

Normalize Brushing and Flossing

Start wiping your new baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth or sterile piece of gauze within the first few days of life. As soon as the first tooth comes in, start brushing it gently with a child-sized, soft-bristled toothbrush and a tiny smear of toothpaste. Once two teeth touch, start flossing between them. Your child should never remember a time when oral hygiene wasn’t a daily occurrence.

Visit the Doctor

Babies need a dental checkup once per year starting around their first birthday. Most pediatricians handle the first and second year appointments. These are great opportunities to learn about brushing an active baby or toddler’s teeth, managing teething issues, and any other concerns that might arise.

Control Sugar

It’s fine to give small children milk or fruit juice, but keep an eye on how much they drink. Get your baby used to drinking plain water at naptime and bedtime, and he or she will be less likely to balk when you fill the sippy cup with it later on. As your child switches to solid foods, make sure the majority of snacks are healthier options such as cheese or fruit. When you do provide a sugary drink or snack, brush the child’s teeth right away if you can, or rinse the mouth completely with plain water.

See the Dentist

By around age three, most kids can brush their own teeth with a bit of help. This is a good time for a first dentist visit. The goal is to let the child get used to the office and the basic procedures in a low-stress way. Depending on your child’s personality, it might just be a quick chance to meet everyone, or the child might get his or her first exam and cleaning.

After the first visit, feel free to bring your child along on your own appointments to build comfort and familiarity. We will also start scheduling regular appointments for your child. As your kids grow up, we will by their side to ensure that their dental health is as good as it can be. From cavities to knocked out teeth, we are here for emergencies as well.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

6 Tips for Finding a Good Dentist

Although there are a lot of good dentists out there, finding just the right one for your family can be tough. Many simply do not click with you. Some don’t use the latest techniques, some have a hurried approach, and some specialize only in particular patient groups. Here are some tips for finding a good dentist for your family.

Finding a good dentist

1. Ask About the Dentist’s Education and Training

Think of searching for a dentist like conducting job interviews. Some of your most basic questions should be about the dentist’s education and training, particularly as it applies to your family’s needs. Where and when was the dentist trained? Does he or she take frequent continuing education classes? Does the dentist have certifications in dental implants, oral surgery, or other specializations? What about specific populations, such as geriatrics or special needs patients?

No dentist is an expert in all fields. However, the dentist you choose should be up to date on the things that your family is most likely to need. If you have a small child, experience with pediatrics may be among the most important factors. Likewise, if one of you is facing extensive dental work, a certification in oral surgery might be a primary consideration.

2. Consider the Overall Approach to Dentistry

It is important that you and your dentist see eye to eye on your overall approach to dental health. Do you prefer an old-school dentist with a paternalistic bedside manner? Are you looking for cutting-edge treatments? Do you want to be a collaborator in your own dental care, or would you rather have your dentist make all of the major decisions? None of these are right or wrong, but the dentist you select should reflect your own personal style.

3. Think of the Practicalities

Your dentist’s office should be reasonably convenient to your home or workplace, and the office hours should fit with your schedule. You should choose a dentist who accepts your insurance plan, and offers some type of financing for extensive procedures. Take a look at the missed appointment policy as well, especially if your schedule is tight and ever-changing.

Also consider how the office policies align with your family’s needs and concerns. Is the dentist skilled at handling nervous patients? Is sedation available if needed? Does the dentist handle complex cases, or serve as a treatment coordinator with a network of specialists? Is it acceptable to bring a relative or friend into the treatment room? Again, there is no right or wrong, but some policies do not mesh well with some individual needs or desires.

4. Consider the Costs

Dentist fees are complicated, so there is typically no way to get a firm price without an exam. Still, it is worth calling around to compare ballpark fees either on specific work, or on such common procedures as X-rays and simple fillings. Don’t choose your dentist based solely on price, but make sure that the one you choose is reasonably competitive in your local area.

5. Take a Look Around

Stop by the offices of your top few dentists to get a feel for how they operate. Is the waiting room clean and inviting? Do you receive a warm welcome? Are treatment rooms clean, and do staff practice universal precautions? Also take the time to ask a few questions and note the responses. Do you feel like there is an open and honest rapport, or does the staff seem bothered and rushed?

6. Personal Connection

Finally, make an appointment with the dentist you like best. Ultimately, this is the only way to tell whether you truly click. Think of this as a final interview rather than a firm commitment. Get to know the dentist and staff, and think through whether these are people with whom you feel comfortable. If you are unsure, feel free to move on.

Finding a good dentist is relatively simple, but finding a good dentist that is right for you can be trickier. Put in the time and effort to find someone with whom you can truly build a professional relationship based on trust and rapport. Do not entrust your family’s dental health to a dentist who, for whatever reason, you just don’t feel comfortable with.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

How to Get a More Photogenic Smile

Selfies and casual photos with friends have become a daily fact of life, thanks to the ubiquitous nature of smart phones. Yet many people hate the way they look in photos, and quite a few of those focus on their own smiles. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a Hollywood bombshell to flash a beautiful smile every time. You just need to follow a few simple tips.

Get a photogenetic smile

Smile Naturally

One of the biggest mistakes that non-professional smilers make is forcing a smile. A big, wide-open grin can look more like a grimace through the camera lens. At the opposite end, avoid the quick, face-crinkling smile that shows up when you run into an old friend, which can make your face look awkwardly scrunched in the photo.

Instead, choose a gentle, relaxed, natural smile. Let your lower lip follow the natural curve of your bottom teeth, and your mouth open just slightly. This is the slightly dreamy smile brought on by thoughts of a loved one or memories of a favorite event.

Choose the Right Lipstick

The lipstick shade you choose can actually affect the color of your teeth in photographs. If your teeth are slightly yellowed or stained, select a color with pink or blue undertones. Look for darker shades such as berry, wine, or plum. If you prefer pinks, try a rose rather than a true pink. Any color that is extremely bright or intense, such as a true red, can reproduce strangely in photos.

Take Practice Photos

Everyone has their own best angles, most natural smile, and other individual features. If you have a big event coming up where you know you will be photographed, take the time to play with your look. Start by scrutinizing your reflection in a mirror as you toss your hair and try out different poses. When you find a few you like, snap a handful of selfies. What you see in the mirror may be different than what you see in the camera lens, so test out your favorite looks in photographs.

Consider a Smile Makeover

If your teeth have seen better days, consider a smile makeover. This is the process of correcting imperfections and giving you the best possible smile. If you have any current dental health issues, they must be addressed first.

After that, the sky is the limit. Your dentist will take photos and X-rays, check out photos of any smiles you really like, and work hand in hand with you to design your ideal smile. Be careful with the concept of the “perfect smile,” though, as a perfect smile rarely looks natural. Instead, work with your dentist to design a natural-looking smile that complements your features.

Depending on the cosmetic issues you have, your smile makeover might include one or many different treatments. For example, you might use Invisalign to straighten your teeth and then whiten them or add veneers. Your dentist will work hard to “balance” your smile as well, ensuring that the color and shape of each tooth blends into a harmonious whole.

Fortunately, digital design equipment lets you see exactly what your new smile will look like before you commit. Your dentist will photograph your existing smile, and then use technology to morph it into the new smile you are considering. When you are happy with the digital results, your dentist will create a wax mockup that lets you try out the results. This gives you the opportunity to see how your new smile looks and feels, while allowing the dentist to make any needed adjustments to ensure that your new smile is just as functional as it is beautiful.

Looking great in photographs comes naturally to models, actresses, and other professional smilers, but it can be tough for the average person. Depending on the current condition of your teeth, you might simply need a new lipstick color and a bit of practice, or you might benefit from a full smile makeover. Either way, it is relatively simple to achieve the photogenic smile of your dreams.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

Coping With Dental Phobia

Dentophobia, or the fear of dentists, is surprisingly common. It can be mild or severe, in some cases causing sufferers to avoid even crucial dental work. When untreated, dentophobia can have devastating consequences to your oral and overall physical health.

coping with dental phobia

Specific Fears

 
Dentophobia can be broken down into several specific fears. Some people have just one fear, but most sufferers have at least two. Severe dentophobia often involves most or all of these fears simultaneously. 

  • “The Dentist”: Like “The IRS” and “The DMV,” “The Dentist” is often seen as cold and uncaring, or even sadistic. Those who have had previous negative dental experiences are at the greatest risk for this specific fear.
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  • Pain: At one time, painless dentistry was impossible to achieve. Modern techniques have rendered most procedures virtually pain-free, but a slight amount of discomfort is common. If you are extremely sensitive to oral pain, you might be afraid that the pain will be unbearable.
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  • Mouth Numbness: It is true that having your mouth numbed feels odd, and people with this specific fear worry that they will be unable to swallow or even breathe. You are more likely to develop this fear if you have previously experienced choking or trouble breathing, whether in or out of the dentist’s chair.
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  • Sights, Sounds, and Smells: If you have had a previous bad experience with the dentist, your fear might be triggered by the general atmosphere of the dentist’s office. Many people name the sound of the drill as their number one fear.
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  • Needles: Trypanophobia, or the fear of needles, is also incredibly common. If you suffer from this fear, you are likely afraid of the injections used to numb your mouth.

 

Complications of Dentophobia

 
Dental health is highly individual, so the results of dentophobia vary dramatically from person to person. Some people can make it for years without seeing a dentist, while others are at risk from just one missed appointment.

Either way, there is no question that dental disease progresses over time. What starts as a tiny cavity could eventually lead to a rotten and broken tooth. This means more invasive dental procedures, if the tooth can be saved at all, and facing these procedures could make you even less inclined to see the dentist.

There are also social consequences to neglecting your teeth. If yours are broken and rotted, you might have trouble getting certain jobs, finding dates, and feeling confident around your friends. This can lead to isolation, depression, and increasing social anxiety.

In addition, worsening dental issues lead to infection. Infected teeth and gums hurt, and the infection can eventually spread to the rest of your body. This can lead to overall unwellness and even raise your risk for heart disease and other serious medical conditions.

Coping with Dentophobia

 
Fortunately, modern dentistry offers several solutions for managing the fear of the dentist. If your fear is relatively minor, consider bringing a portable music system or DVD player. Simply relaxing into good music or your favorite movie can help you relax.

Schedule an initial consultation with the dentist, without planning for any work to be done. Discuss your fear, and ask the dentist for suggestions. You might be able to set up a hand signal to show the dentist that you need a break, and a different signal to ask for more local anesthesia. You can even discuss the tilt of the chair and the order of the work to be performed. Just knowing that you retain some control can make a big difference in how you’re feeling.

Sedation dentistry is another wonderful option. From nitrous oxide to take the edge off, through deep IV sedation that will render you largely asleep for the procedure, sedation dentistry can help you remain calm and relaxed throughout your experience.

If you have a severe and paralyzing fear, you might consider consulting with a mental health professional. Hypnosis and cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques can help you kick the fear for good, rather than simply trying to manage its effects.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.

What to Expect From a Dental Implant Procedure

In modern dentistry, a dental implant is considered the gold standard to replace a missing or failing tooth. Individual dental implants can be used to replace any number of teeth from one to an entire arch. Implant-supported overdentures and fixed bridges are more cost-effective solutions for spans of missing teeth. Regardless of which procedure you choose, however, the general process is very similar.

What to Expect From a Dental Implant Procedure

Evaluation and Planning

The first step is to determine whether you are a good candidate for implants, and what steps need to occur before you are ready for the implant placement. Your dentist will take detailed X-rays and scans to learn the current condition of your mouth. You will then work together to develop a plan of action. At this stage, it is very important to ask questions and express your concerns to ensure that you end up with the best possible plan for your unique needs.

Extraction and Repair

The success rate for dental implants is extremely high, but they need to be given the best possible chances for success. To guard against infection and possible failure, they must be placed in a healthy mouth. Therefore, if you need other dental work such as fillings or root canals, your dentist will take care of those projects first.

Since dental implants replace teeth, your failing teeth must be extracted. In most cases, this is a simple matter that needs only local anesthesia. However, if your extractions are complicated or you are nervous, you can opt for sedation. Discuss this with your dentist during your planning appointment to learn exactly what your choices are and whether you will need someone to drive you home.

Possible Bone Grafting

Most people do not need bone grafting, which replaces jawbone that was lost due to severe decay or trauma. If you need it, though, you must have it done, as the implant must be able to fuse into bone. This procedure is relatively simple, but it requires several months of healing time.

Implant Placement

Dental implants are usually placed under local anesthesia. After thoroughly numbing your mouth, your dentist will cut a precise flap in your gum tissue, and then use a series of drills to gently open a hole in your jawbone. The implant is then screwed in and secured, and the gum tissue is stitched back together.

The implant may be topped with either a cover screw or a healing cap. A cover screw is a flat piece that protects the implant during healing. A healing cap is similar, but is shaped like an abutment, which is the piece that eventually connects the implant to the crown. This allows your gums to heal in just the right position for your final restoration.

Depending on how many teeth were extracted, and where they are positioned in your mouth, you might receive a temporary partial or full denture to wear during healing. This ensures that you are never without teeth.

Abutment and Crown

After your mouth heals for a few months, you will be ready for an abutment and crown. This is a relatively minor procedure in which the dentist will reopen the gum tissue and replace the healing cap or cover screw with an abutment. The final crown is then fitted on top.

For those who are having multiple teeth replaced, the dentist will have placed two or more implants at strategic spots in your mouth. You will receive abutments for all of the implants, along with a dental bridge or overdenture, at this time.

All-on-4

All-on-4 is an excellent alternative to the traditional implant process for those who need an entire arch of teeth replaced. After your teeth are extracted, your dentist can immediately place four implants at key points along your upper or lower arch. These immediate-load implants are capable of taking the pressure of regular eating and chewing with no waiting period.

You will receive a fixed set of acrylic teeth immediately, so you can begin eating normally as soon as you feel ready, which is typically within a day or two. You have the option of having the acrylic teeth replaced with porcelain teeth in a few weeks or months for an even more natural look and feel.

Dental implants are considered the gold standard in modern tooth replacement. Many people are afraid or unsure of the process, but we are confident that you will find it quite simple and easy. We encourage you to ask as many questions as you like to ensure that dental implants are the right choice for you.

Married dentists Chad and Alexandra Schnabel welcome you to Savannah Dental Solutions. From caring children’s dentistry to high-tech cosmetic procedures and even full-mouth reconstruction, we blend the latest technology with traditional customer-oriented values. To start your journey to better oral health, call us today at (912) 354-1366.