Category Archives: Dental Fear

Ashamed of your smile? Take a look at this newly discovered Bucktoothed Ghost Shark!

ghost shark | compassionate dentist in Prescott

The reason many people avoid going to the dentist is because of the shame or embarrassment they have relating to their teeth. This is just a gentle reminder that Prescott Dentistry is a judgement-free, compassionate dentist in Prescott! Don’t allow these fears to prevent you from visiting the dentist, remember that your smile can’t be that bad… especially after you see this newly discovered bucktoothed ghost shark!

The deep sea is a strange and much more terrifying place than any dental office in Prescott! According to science, there are now 50 known species of ghost shark and the second largest was just discovered. This one has been dubbed Hydrolagus erithacus. At about 3 feet long, this ghost shark sports rabbit-like buckteeth and a large bulky head. In fact, the ghost shark is a member of the genus Hydrolagus which is latin for “water rabbit”.

These deep sea dwellers live in the cold murky depths between South Africa and Antarctica where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Interestingly, ghost sharks aren’t technically sharks, they are cartilaginous fish related to rays and sharks. These type of fish use their large pectoral finis to navigate their environment, not their tails like sharks. Scientists also refer to ghost sharks and similar species as ratfish or chimaeras. Little is known about these ocean dwelling animals because of the depths at which they live.

However, there was one discovery about their behavior due to this find, as the stomach of one of the specimens contained the claw of a crab, indicating that the fish may use their powerful teeth to crush crab shells and other sea floor crustaceans. That’s one case the staff at Prescott Dentistry will stay away from!

Are you looking for a compassionate dentist in Prescott? Contact us today as long as you aren’t a ghost shark!

Photo Courtesy of Kristin Walovich

Top 3 Reasons To Visit the Dentist in Prescott, AZ

Top 3 Reasons To Visit the Dentist in Prescott, AZ

Live down in the Phoenix area but aren’t happy with your dentistry choices? Or maybe you’re from up the hill in Flagstaff or Sedona? Maybe you visit family regularly in the Prescott area as a cool weather retreat and have some dental work that needs to be done anyway. Whatever brings you to the Prescott area–there are plenty of reasons why you might want to consider making Prescott Dentistry your preferred dentist in Prescott, AZ, even if you’re not from around here. We’ve listed just a few below!

1.    Prescott Dentistry Practices Biomimetic Dentistry

You’ll be hard pressed to find another Biomimetic dentist anywhere else in the great Grand Canyon State. Biomimetic dentistry is an emerging field that utilizes nature-mimicking materials to restore your mouth to it’s natural state with less invasive techniques. No more sensitivity after a filling! The doctors at Prescott Dentistry will make your teeth look great without the use of invasive crowns or root canals. Your teeth will be restored to their natural strength and feel.

2.    Get Pampered with our Complimentary Comfort Menu

Do you suffer from dental fear or waiting room anxiety? Your future dentist in Prescott, AZ, Prescott Dentistry offers a complimentary comfort menu to calm your nerves. For your standard appointments you will be able to choose from a heated neck wrap lightly sprayed with Aveda soothing oils, a supersoft microplush throw blanket, an unscented flaxseed cooling eye pillow, and a neck/lumbar pillow. For restorative treatments you may also have music (headphones) or the option to view a movie or TV show.

3.     Ozone/Oxygen Therapy

The team at Prescott Dentistry offer Ozone/Oxygen Therapy which is a natural way to kill bacteria and promote healing. Ozone is a naturally occurring gas molecule which quickly breaks down to provide healing oxygen gas and active oxygen ions which kill bacteria.

Convinced yet? Schedule your appointment today to enjoy one of the most soothing and minimally invasive dental experiences in the state–with Prescott Dentistry, your dentist in Prescott, AZ.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/25/2016) familyfriends754 (Flickr)

Amazing Dental Facts and Stats

Amazing Dental Facts and Stats

Ready to learn some amazing facts and stats relating to your oral health? In celebration of the 40th anniversary of National Smile Month from the Oral Health Foundation, coming to a close this June 16th, here are some figures that will blow your mind–and not necessarily in a good way. Let our team at Prescott Dentistry know which ones you found most interesting!

  • Less that ¼ of adults floss regularly

  • One quarter of adults, and one third of men admit to not brushing twice a day.

  • Brushing your teeth just once a day (instead of the recommended two) increases your chances of developing tooth decay by 33%.

  • A frown requires 43 muscles, while a smile only takes 17!

  • More than ¼ of adults only visit the dentist when there is  a problem–which is not recommended for effective biomimetic and preventative care!

  • Twenty-five percent of adults have not visited a dentist in the two or more years!

  • Two thirds of us have plaque that is visible.

  • Over 50% of us would avoid telling a friend about their bad breath, out of fear of it affecting the friendship.

  • Nearly 30% of us suffer from dental pain–don’t let this continue!

  • Almost half of adults are not happy with their teeth. The reason? Discolored teeth comes in highest at 64%. If you fall under this category, contact us about teeth whitening in Prescott today!

  • On average, adults have about 7 fillings.

  • Men are less likely to suffer from extreme dental anxiety than women.

Do you fall under some of less that desirable statistics and want to remedy that? Contact Prescott Dentistry today to get your oral health back on track!


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/13/2016) dbjules (Flickr)

Why do I need a biannual checkup?

Local Dentist Prescott

For those of you who always need to know the “why” behind the professional recommendations you hear, this blog is for you! All of us have been told at one point or another that we should visit the dentist twice a year for a biannual cleaning and checkup. That’s pretty simple advice, but it still helps to know what happens and what the purpose is behind these visits. This is especially true for those of us who suffer from dental fear and waiting room anxiety. Below we detail the “what” and “why” of your biannual checkup!

Your biannual checkup can be broken down into two main elements. The first is the checkup or exam and the second is the cleaning. Each element is necessary to maintain the long term health of your teeth and gums.

Checkup

Dr. Montes or Dr. Thompson will thoroughly examine your teeth for tartar, plaque, decay, or other problems. What is plaque, you ask? Plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, is the first stage that eventually hardens into tartar. Tartar is only able to be removed by the cleaning performed by your dentist or dental hygienist, it doesn’t come off with brushing or flossing. Next, we will examine your gums. The space between your teeth is measured. Deep spaces between teeth may indicate gum disease. Finally, your neck, throat, head and tongue will be examined for signs of cancer or other problems.

Cleaning

This is where the plaque and tartar are removed. Then surface stains are also removed from your teeth via polishing with a gritty paste, and finally a very thorough flossing is done.

We hope that this is a helpful post that helps ease any dental fear or anxiety you might have and encourage you to schedule your biannual cleaning with your local dentist Prescott Dentistry.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (6/2/2016) Parker Knight (Flickr)

Anxiety common in dental patients…and what we do about it!!

pretreatment anxiety

Do you often feel a sense of uneasiness or anxiety while in the waiting room of your dentist in Prescott? If so, you’re not alone. A new study published in BMC Oral Health has found that anxiety and dental phobia levels remained elevated even with patients waiting for a routine cleaning or checkup. One in three patients reported an elevated level of anxiety while awaiting their scheduled dental hygiene appointment.

The authors of the study did not expect to see such a high percentage of dental phobia sufferers when dealing with routine hygiene checkups. Not only that, the procedures that could be classified as painful had no correlation to increased anxiety. The only correlations that were found were that on average, the older the patient, the less they experienced dental fear and those with symptoms of gingivitis also correlated with those who experienced more anxiety.

Authors of the study suggest that fear of the unknown may be a large contributing factor to dental phobia or pretreatment anxiety, along with expectation of pain and a perceived unpredictability of dental treatment. You will be relieved to know that the staff at Prescott Dentistry go above and beyond in an effort to make our patients feel more at ease. Dr. Montes, Dr. Thompson and the staff explain our biomimetic procedures that are preventative in nature and less invasive than the traditional drill and fill form of dentistry. We offer a comfort menu of options that can make your visit more pleasant, sedation and laughing gas are available, and of course, the gentle, healing, compassionate demeanor all contribute to a better experience.

Contact the doctors and the compassionate team at Prescott Dentistry to ask about non-invasive biomimetic dentistry techniques that are sure to alleviate your pretreatment anxiety.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (5/12/2016) Christina Welsh (Flickr)

What is Minimally Invasive Dentistry?

What is Minimally Invasive Dentistry?

You may have noticed our motto, “Minimally Invasive Dentistry in a Caring Environment”. The caring environment part of the philosophy is accomplished by Prescott Dentistry‘s commitment to treating our patients with the utmost caring, respect and understanding. However, you may be wondering what minimally invasive dentistry is all about. In a nutshell, minimally invasive dentistry and biomimetic dentistry are nearly interchangeable. While biomimetic dentistry is named such after it’s goal of mimicking nature to better treat your oral health, it just so happens that mimicking nature tends to be less invasive inherently in comparison to traditional dentistry.

Biomimetic dentistry is a method of restoring and preserving teeth to as close to their natural state as technology and science will allow. This approach uses the natural intact tooth as a framework for dental restorations that mimic nature in appearance and function. The goal behind the biomimetic approach to dentistry is to preserve the original function and form of your teeth by keeping in tact the very maximum amount of the initial tooth structure.

In contrast, traditional dentistry methods generally include removing more of the healthy tooth material than is necessary in order to perform restorations. Full crowns and posts are becoming needed less and less with minimally invasive biomimetic techniques allowing the use of properly bonded composite and porcelain restorations. The cutting edge techniques involved in biomimetic dentistry provide a less painful and caring atmosphere while allowing our patients to preserve their natural teeth for as long as possible.

Contact Prescott Dentistry today if you want to hear more about biomimetic dentistry and schedule your appointment today!

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/19/2016) Amanda Bowman (Flickr)

Biomimetic Dentistry & Fighting Dental Fear

Biomimetic Dentistry & Fighting Dental Fear

Dr. Montes and the staff at Prescott Dentistry strive to provide a comfortable and painless experience for our patients by implementing minimally invasive biomimetic dentistry procedures. However, there are some people who suffer from dental fear or anxiety when confronted with even routine dental visits. Procrastinating and putting off your checkups can exacerbate problems with your dental health. It is important to understand that the nature of biomimetic dentistry in itself is one reason to ease your anxiety about visiting the dentist. Biomimetic dentistry utilizes preventative measures to repair one’s teeth to their original form and function as opposed to more invasive procedures commonly found in traditional dentistry.

One thing is for sure, dental phobia is not something that should be easily dismissed. About 10% of people suffer from dental fear and it can severely effect their health by leading to years of dental neglect. According to Dara Gasior, doctor of Psychology, there are a couple of effective techniques for fighting dental fear.

1. Systematic Desensitization

While it has a scary sounding title, this method is actually both effective and fairly innocuous. With this method, whatever the person is afraid of, you work at slowly introducing. In the case of dental fear that could be just placing a call in to your dentist in Prescott. Another possible step could be just watching a quick video about dentistry. The third step might be just visiting the waiting room of a dental office without actually setting up an appointment. The important thing is that it is done in small steps.

2. Mindfulness

If the first approach doesn’t work, additional coping skills may be required. Meditation and mindfulness, when practiced routinely, can help you control your thoughts enough to focus on something other than what is causing you fear and anxiety. For children, this could be as simple as having a stuffed animal or blanket with them to hold onto and focus on while they are in the chair. The key however, is to practice mindfulness even when not in stressful situations, so that when the pressure is on you have enough mental practice to control your thoughts more effectively.

Lastly, phobias are rarely the result of rational thought. Telling somebody that they way they are thinking of feeling is irrational doesn’t tend to be helpful. Lack of belief in someone’s fear is far from helpful, and it doesn’t provide any comfort. If you are fearful of the dentist, don’t hesitate to contact Prescott Dentistry, even if you just want to call to feel things out before you commit to an appointment.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/16/2015) Iryna Yeroshko (Flickr)

Gentle Dentistry and Why Men Avoid Medical Treatment

Gentle Dentistry and Why Men Avoid Medical Treatment

At this point most of us know that preventative care is vitally important in preventing more serious conditions down the road, whether that’s gum disease or heart disease. Everyone also knows that, if we’re being totally honest, going to the dentist or doctor isn’t generally the most fun thing to do. Despite that common knowledge, it seems that women are better at sucking it up and looking at the overwhelming positives of preventative medical treatments and checkups. Certain studies in the past have shown that men tend to drag their feet quite a bit more when it comes to visiting their dentist or primary care doctor than women. A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians indicated that over 1/2 of men surveyed hadn’t had a physical in over a year.

A dentist that practices gentle dentistry or a caring doctor might help motivate men to make it to their appointments, but it isn’t totally clear what is causing men to avoid medical treatment. According to the survey, 29% of men reported that they “waited as long as possible” before resorting to going to their doctor or dentist when they are in pain or sick.

The results also reveal that one of the most common answers guys gave in response to the reason for their absence was that they didn’t feel that they were “sick enough” to need help. This doesn’t explain why men are also far less likely to make routine dental exams. The logic doesn’t hold up in that case as there is no evidence that men have healthier teeth than women. It also doesn’t take into account diseases that are generally without symptoms in their early stages like high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

One perhaps obvious hidden cause for this absence of men is fear. Whether it’s a fear of the lack of control, or finding out that there is something seriously wrong with them. At Prescott Dentistry we aim to create a calm, less fearful environment with gentle dentistry in Prescott to avoid this problem. However, according to a Rutgers study, fear may not be the most prevalent reason for their avoidance. This study found that men with more old-fashioned, macho ideas of masculinity were half as likely to take advantage off preventative healthcare. Theories also include that genetic evolutionary behavioral adaption or cultural conditioning to not show any signs of weakness are to blame.

At Prescott Dentistry, all of our treatments aim to be categorized as gentle dentistry. So if you suffer from dental fear, or just a little too much pride, perhaps it’s time to move past it and schedule your visit today!

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/13/2015) arileu (Flickr)

The Placebo Effect: Explained?

The Placebo Effect: Explained?

Have you heard of the placebo effect? This phenomenon is known my most who might answer that question as a medicine that’s just “pretend”. While in one respect that definition of a placebo is true, there may be more to it than just a pretend pill. For some people, a placebo actually works. The first study that proved the placebo effect was actually a real, measurable effect, was completed in 1978 on a test group who had just had their wisdom teeth removed. The study showed that a certain group of “placebo-responders” responded to the placebo suggesting the pill activated natural endogenous pain relief chemicals.

It appears that there may be certain commonalities among those who respond to the placebo effect. Certain studies have shown that altruism and thrill-seeking behaviors may be an underlying link, and others have suggested that the effect is actually a result of the ritual of going to the doctor and the human connection provided not the pill itself. The most recent study seems to be suggesting that genes may be a determining factor. A gene known as COMT is associated with dopamine regulation in the brain, which is linked to both good feelings and pain. A high dopamine mutation means that that person is more sensitive to both. As it turns out, one of the follow up studies centered around patients with irritable-bowl syndrome did in fact reveal that the group with the high-dopamine variant of the COMT gene had a stronger reaction to the placebo.

While we promise none of our anesthesia or treatments are placebos, maybe in the future those who have been identified as these “placebo-responders” will only need a sugar pill when undergoing their dental services in Prescott, AZ! In the mean time, don’t be afraid, the staff at Prescott Dentistry takes the utmost care in our patients and make every effort in providing a comfortable, safe environment. Contact us today for all of your dental service needs!

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (9/10/2015) Pascal (Flickr)

Fighting your Dental Fear

Dental Fear in Prescott AZ

Dental fear can be rooted in many different concerns. It can be the sounds and smells conjuring scary memories from childhood, a sense of shame regarding the current state of one’s teeth, or even just a fear that you can’t quite put your finger on. What everyone really wants is a gentle dentist that will address their dental fears openly, honestly, and with compassion and understanding.

If you identify with the fears listed above, or any others you might have about dentistry, don’t worry about it. Nearly 15% of Americans go as far as avoiding the dentist due to their dental fear. Though it is important that you not become one of those “avoiders” – as neglecting the issue can only amplify the problem and your fears by worsening dental health.

If the fact that Dr. Montes and the staff at Prescott Dentistry strive to create a comfortable and understanding environment isn’t quite enough to get you through the door, and your fear stems from experiences many years ago as a child, we have good news. Recent generations of younger people have much lower rates of dental fear due to more effective anesthesia and more attention to patient comfort.

Contact us for more information how how we can make your visit as easy and painless as possible to alleviate your dental fear.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/26/2015) Allan Ajifo (Flickr)