Technology and the Patient-Dentist Bond

The Ties That Bind

Technology has indeed impacted positively on dental care, broadening the horizons and leading to discoveries and advancements making possible state-of-the-art dentistry. Technology applies to almost everything dentistry – from diagnostics to impression-taking, restoration design to 3D printing images, and many more. While dental practitioners are becoming more adept with today’s innovations, becoming knowledgeable in different applications, be it in clinical or laboratory scenarios, is technology taking away something that used to bind dentist and patient?

What has technology brought to dental practice? How does it affect the professional practitioner? How about his patients? Is the connectivity between care provider and care receiver changed much?

Technology has brought competence to dental practice, inspiring confidence in new and existing patients. A dental office with up-to-date setting, including its chairs, machinery, materials, and a tech-savvy staff are telling prospects and callers how seriously capable is the practice. It’s the impression that the dentist is staying abreast with the newest advances, continually learning for his own good and the good of his practice.

The benefits of technology cascade to patients who see it applied to them with legitimate and tangible results. Patients hear and are made to understand what a particular technology can do. Technologies introduced into practice are enabling greater precision, productivity, and time savings than methods from the past. Restorations can be done in hours rather than weeks, radiation exposures are limited to its lowest levels making imaging safer, lasers can make quick work of cavities and gum tissue with pin-point precision, and these are some of the advantages of high technology.

Dental Technology in Bellevue Overlake Dental

Technology has enhanced communication between dentist and patient. Text and email messages keep both parties easily and conveniently in touch. Automatically generated appointment reminders improve patient compliance and tracking leading to better office efficiency. Modern social media has created closer ties and genuine familiarity between the parties. While technology improved connectivity, still the personal relationship matters most. Rather than creating barriers, technology proved to have more pros than cons.

At Overlake Dental, patients clearly see and experience the benefits of high technology in most of our approaches and techniques. What is also as clear as daylight is the bond we nurture with all our clients. It’s what giving care is all about, really.

Helping Your Child Overcome Fear of the Dentist

Best Techniques for a Happy First Timer

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that a child’s first visit to the dentist is by age 1, or within six months of the eruption of his or her first tooth? However, many parents are not aware of this recommendation or are somewhat apprehensive themselves.

It turns out that 2.6 years is the average age of a child’s first visit, as a survey declared. Hence, many children have not seen a dentist until well after the time recommended.

As a parent, you may be unsure how your child will react at his first time at the dentist’s. Your own fearful experience might have been communicated without you realizing it. You might have deferred it for too long especially if your child has issues of his own. All you want is to make him comfortable on his first appointment so that succeeding visits will be a breeze. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started and with less anxieties.

Firstly, you must be seen by your child as the perfect role model of dental health. Show him how you take care of your own teeth and gums. Encourage him in the proper home care of his teeth and gums and to be responsible about doing it regularly everyday. Tell him why it’s important and the benefits for him.

You can bring your child to your dental appointments to appreciate the surroundings and to interact with friendly staff. It must be a place he will feel at ease. Or you can play act the role of dentist-patient, with available toys that can serve as tools of the trade. Play time must be exciting and fun to prick his interest. Your dialogue must always be happy and positive.

Instill in your child trust in the dentists and his staff, that they are nice, friendly and helpful. If a procedure needs to be done, don’t say everything will be ok if he is bound to feel discomfort. Just be by his side, providing comfort and assurance.

Lastly, be aware of the recommended age of first visit – either by first birthday or first tooth out time. The earlier you expose your child to the dentist, the sooner will he appreciate the encounter. This will also limit the issues to light ones and prepare the child for more complex procedures in the future.

Happy First Encounters in Bellevue

Bring your child to Overlake Dental for his first, happy dental experience. We know children so well, they become our patient-friends for a long, long time. That’s only here at Bellevue.

Proper Oral Hygiene: No Compromise

Living with Mouth Bacteria Everyday

Some dental experts say that the quality of life of patients can be impacted by their state of oral health. If oral health is compromised, quality of life suffers. Hence the importance of restorative, endodontic, orthodontic, periodontal, or oral surgical specialists. Likewise important are the procedures or highly sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and devices. But do these really improve the state of oral health? Yes, when the need arises they are vital helps, and even irreplaceable.

For the dental care professionals, preventive measures do more for oral health than curative procedures. By that, we mean hygiene of the mouth and all its structures. But if your regular dental appointments for the purpose of hygiene happen twice a year, or say, every three months, who looks after your hygiene in between those times?

Obviously it is your commitment to the practice of good oral hygiene that will keep your structures in their healthy state.

Proper and regular brushing, flossing and mouth rinses are specifically meant for bacteria in your mouth, which has been said as one of the dirtiest places you’ll ever know. Just ask your dentist. All the different types of food and drink we take in over the course of the day naturally leave remnants that cling to teeth, gums, tongue and other mouth structures.

They attract bacteria, very especially if they are starchy and sugary. Bacteria reproduce over a few hours only and pretty soon they will colonize in areas you don’t even see. Irregular or improper brushing can leave them untouched. Your next dental appointment might show cavities already. Indeed, dealing with mouth bacteria is a daily grind.

Expert Home Care Advice in Bellevue

This simply puts into focus the quality of your daily home care for the mouth. If you show up at your dentist’s clinic with periodontal disease, it means your home care has been very faulty. Every patient’s oral health is a direct reflection of their home care.

Proper oral hygiene at home is the cornerstone of good oral health. Experts will say so. Regular dental appointments are opportunities for you and your dentist for serious oral health discussions. The expert can give proper instructions on the manner of brushing and flossing, type of toothpaste and brush if need be, foods that should be part of your diet and which to avoid.

Our Bellevue dentist, Dr. Lee can also recommend procedures to be done to minimize or completely address risks that compromise your oral health, or that a medical condition that can impact your mouth health should be seen by a doctor.

Let our Bellevue dentist sit down with you for some really serious oral hygiene talk. It will serve you in good stead for as long as you want healthy teeth and gums.

Do You Have Enough Calcium in Your Diet?

Living Mouth-Healthy with Calcium

Did you know that calcium is mostly stored (about 99%) in teeth and bones, yet it plays a vital role in many body functions outside of teeth and bones?

To name some, calcium is essential for a healthy cardiovascular system, it helps in muscular function, and aids in transmission of nerve impulses. Overall, it is the most abundant mineral in your body. And how’s your oral health? Are you getting enough of calcium in your diet?

Your teeth enamel is the strongest, hardest substance in your body, even stronger than bone itself. It is the teeth’s first line of defense. Composed of amorphous calcium phosphate providing structural support, enamel does not break down easily and can repair itself because its calcium content stimulates recalcification and prevents tooth sensitivity. Hence, the mineral is also vital in the formation of young dentition and continuously necessary to maintain adult teeth enamel throughout its lifetime.

Calcium also attracts fluoride, increasing the amounts that get absorbed by the enamel. As we know, fluoride increases tooth enamel resistance to bacterial attacks that lead to cavities and decay. Fluoride also strengthens teeth by replacing some of the phosphorus in enamel. Calcium is better absorbed alongside vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium while boosting teeth and bone mineral density.

Your jaw is also calcium-rich and depends on calcium for its constant remodeling – resorption and deposition of bone. A strong and healthy jaw is necessary to support children’s and adult teeth and prevents early loss of teeth. As we age, the more we need calcium to support teeth and bones.

Osteoporosis, arthritis and other conditions affecting bone, such as lifestyle, should be a concern for you. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, a diet rich in calcium can help healthy teeth and bone longevity.

Children need calcium to develop strong teeth and bones while adults need calcium to maintain them. There are many foods abundant with calcium. Cheese, yogurt, and milk are dairy products and are most of the best sources of calcium. Dairy products neutralize damaging acids that eat away teeth and are rich in casein, an enamel-protecting substance.

How to Increase Calcium Intake by our Bellevue Dentist

Leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli and bok choy are also healthy sources of calcium. Adults can get their calcium similarly but you can also have this beneficial mineral from dietary supplements and multivitamins.

Know more about calcium’s benefits from your Bellevue dentist. It is one mineral you cannot do without if you want to have healthy teeth and bones.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation in Bellevue Dentistry

Approaching the Anxious and Fearful Patient

Nitrous oxide has been proven an effective and safe anesthetic used in hospital based procedures but more popular in dental practise. Administered by inhalation, this odorless, tasteless gas has analgesic, anxiolytic, and amnestic properties. It can be considered the right approach for the anxious dental patient.

With various methods and levels of sedation available, nitrous oxide use is a form of conscious sedation. The patient does not fall asleep and can still talk with the dental staff , though he might not remember everything about the procedure done to him.

Some dentists administer IV or IM sedation for deep sedation in which highly fearful patients will benefit in order to have dental work completed. Relaxed patients are less likely to gag or move during procedures. It also becomes easier for the dentist to work.

Nitrous oxide affects the brain by blocking pain-signaling neurons. It also increases the activity of GABA receptors, which leads to decreased anxiety. Also, patients feel content and even euphoric with release of dopamine, a nitrous oxide effect.

However, nitrous oxide effects differ from patient to patient. Some patients feel giddy and even laugh. Others feel relaxed and light-headed. Some patients’ arms and legs feel heavy while others experience tingling in their arms and legs.

The gas is used during basic dental procedures such as dental fillings, occasionally used for routine cleanings for patients with severe dental anxiety. Nitrous oxide isn’t as strong as other sedatives; though not for major surgeries, it is used in hospital settings. It can be initially given to patients in preparation for heavier sedation. It is especially helpful for children and those patients with special needs. Well tolerated, it does not cause allergic reactions and does not have any lingering effects.

There are a few situations contraindicated for nitrous oxide sedation, such as pregnant women in the first trimester, COPD patients and those with upper respiratory tract infections, those with middle ear issues, those with psychological disturbances, and current or recovering drug addicts.

Nitrous oxide is a proven an asset to a dental office. With right usage and precautions, right administration, appropriate candidates and proper consent, it can be considered indispensable in dental practice.

Anxious and Fearful No More in Bellevue

Nitrous oxide can be safely used in both children and adults here at Overlake Dental. If you have such anxieties, you need not worry. Your procedure will be as safe, smooth and anxiety-free. Only in Bellevue.