anxiety

Avoid Marijuana To Prevent Periodontal Disease

October 20th, 2016

Your oral health isn't only determined by your brushing habits and diets - it's also affected by your everyday habits. You've probably heard that smoking cigarettes is an unhealthy habit that can harm more than just your mouth. But did you know that smoking marijuana, an illicit drug used by over 22 million Americans in the past month and particularly common among adolescents, (based on a survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted in 2014) also leads to oral and overall health problems?

According to a study published in JAMA Psychiatry, researchers from Arizona State University showed that periodontal disease, which is caused by infection and inflammation of the gums and bone mass, is directly linked to cannabis usage. Those who persistently smoked marijuana for up to 20 years had a great risk for periodontal disease later in life at 38 years old. In addition, marijuana users are more likely to have poor oral hygiene habits and depend on alcohol, which can also lead to periodontal disease.

Other problems caused by marijuana use include short-term fear, anxiety, psychosis, delusions, or hallucinations. Additionally, cannabis may be linked to increased risk of accidents, injuries, bronchitis, heart problems, cancer, and mental health issues.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

Resources:

http://420day.org/sites/default/files/anti-marijuana%20symbol.png

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/310667.php

 

Ever Dream of Losing Teeth?

September 8th, 2016

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Typically we all have one-of-a kind dreams at bedtime. However, a common dream that some have experienced is a dream about their teeth falling out. This may be in the form teeth breaking, rotting, or going completely missing. These dreams are not only scary, but are also confusing. If you've ever experienced dreams about losing teeth, check out what it could possibly suggest:

  • Anxiety

Dreaming about losing teeth could be a result of anxiety, according to recent studies in dream interpretation. The dream may indicate that you're experiencing a lack of control in a situation. It is also said that the dream could be a reminder about a important decision you need to make or have made already.

In the report, The Loss of Teeth in Dreams: An Empirical Investigation, analysts compared the personalities of individuals who frequently dream about losing their teeth to individuals who frequently dream about flying. It was found that the individuals dreaming of tooth loss were significantly more anxious and/or depressed than the other individuals studied.

  • Death and fear of aging

In some cultures, such as Chinese, losing teeth in a dream is considered an indicator of the future death of a family member. Also, these dreams have been said to represent a fear of getting older or concern about their own death.

  •  New beginnings

On the brighter side, losing teeth in a dream may be associated with giving birth or welcoming someone new into your life, according to some psychologists.

  •  Life changes

Tooth loss dreams may come during a transition in your life. Dream interpreters suggest that these dreams can arise due to letting something go, leaving a situation, or starting on a new adventure in life.

  • Health related

Dream interpreters have also suggested that dreams of missing or losing teeth could be a sign of malnutrition or poor diet. It could even be a sign of poor dental health.

 

If you're experiencing dreams about losing teeth, it is important to analyze what is going on in your life at the time. These dreams can be shocking, and knowing the possible causes of these dreams may help you control them. If you believe these dreams are due to poor dental health, make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and their newest addition to the team, Dr. Zarah Ali, if you have any thoughts or concerns. The caring team at Wellesley Dental Group will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other periodontal or oral surgery needs, Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/13/dreams-about-teeth-falling-out_n_891520.html

http://www.dreammoods.com/commondreams/teeth-dreams.html

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-fkRylb-K1DE/V4UJkoDNjbI/AAAAAAAAH3Q/_VgYrVeSKSQGKUvLp_mNv-Yzco-TJELxgCL0B/w523-h294-no/2132f3c1-75be-4de0-bc81-a8ac02e3cde8

Don't Bite into Bruxism

September 17th, 2015

bruxism

 

At some point in time, you've probably experienced grinding or clenching your teeth. This condition is known as bruxism. Most of the time, individuals don't even know when they're doing it! When teeth grinding becomes a habit, it can result in severe dental damage, discomfort, and even an interrupted sleep pattern.

Teeth grinding can happen during the day, but in many cases it happens during sleep. Do you often get up in the morning with a headache, sore mouth or jaw? Have you ever been told by a loved one that you're grinding your teeth at night? If so, it's important to visit your dentist before more dental problems arise, including abnormal bite or crooked teeth.

Clenching or grinding teeth during sleep is medically termed sleep bruxism. According to a study, 8% of adults grind their teeth during the night and more than 1/3rd of parents indicate to the dentist that their children are experiencing symptoms of bruxism. Children who still have all their baby teeth or are starting to grow in their permanent teeth can even experience bruxism. Many people typically learn that they grind their teeth by a loved one who can hear the grinding at night.

The causes of bruxism are still not clear, although many studies commonly associate it with stress, anxiety, alcohol consumption, certain medications, cigarette smoking, sleep problems, and snoring. It's possible that treating sleep apnea can help alleviate sleep bruxism.

Teeth grinding may not seem like a big deal, however, it can lead to fracturing, misalignment, or tooth loss. It can also affect the dental appliances within your mouth, such as crowns, root canals, bridges, implants, and dentures. Bruxism also affect your jaws, which can result in TMD/TMJ issues, hearing loss, and a change in the appearance of your face. Your dentist may suggest wearing mouth guards to avoid the damage caused by tooth grinding. If severe, your dentist may even recommend braces or oral surgery.

Remember, Don't use your teeth as tools. For example, chewing on pencils, ice, and other hard objects can cause serious wear on your teeth. Try to manage your stress and train yourself not to grind your teeth by relaxing your jaw muscles.

Keep a stiff upper lip and make sure that you are practicing the necessary oral habits in order to prevent the wear and tear to your teeth!

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/basics/treatment/con-20029395

http://beautifulsmilesrgv.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/bruxism.png

http://www.medicinenet.com/habits_that_wreck_your_teeth_pictures_slideshow/article.htm

https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-disorders-problems/bruxism-and-sleep

Can Yoga Improve Your Oral Health?

April 30th, 2015

 

 

Stressed out? Your dentist can usually tell! Stress can have a significant impact on your oral health.  In fact, dentists can detect oral symptoms of stress, including canker sores, teeth grinding (bruxism), gum diseasetemporomandibular disorders (TMD), burning mouth syndrome, and dry mouth, just to name a few. Luckily, many studies have shown that yoga can help people relieve stress, anxiety, and believe it or not, dental troubles!

Many studies have revealed that individuals who are stressed are more likely to neglect their oral care. As mentioned above, the tension in jaw muscles can lead to jaw clenching and teeth grinding. The good news is that along with alleviating stress, yoga improves posture. Poor posture not only affects your body, but also your mouth. It can cause the jaw to shift and affect the alignment of teeth. This can lead to Temporo-Mandibular Joint disorders (TMJ), which can cause pain chewing, nerve inflammation, headaches, and more!

Stress can also lead to dry mouth, which occurs due to low amounts of saliva production. Saliva flow is essential in helping get rid of germs in the mouth. Dry mouth leads to bad breath (halitosis), and can eventually develop into tooth decay and periodontal disease. Further, stress has been shown to increase inflammation in the mouth and  body. Bacteria in your mouth can cause gum inflammation, which plays a huge part in gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Although yoga may not fight cavities, it can improve the condition of your mouth and the health of your body by eliminating tension and stress. Yoga is a popular form of exercise that dates years and years back from India. Yoga incorporates both physical and mental disciplines for the purpose of achieving a peaceful balance between body and mind.  It promotes relaxation and can boost your mood, which can help you live longer and age-well. It also can reduce your blood pressure.

Another great thing about yoga is that it encourages a healthy lifestyle. It typically prompts people to practice better oral hygiene habits, implement healthier diets, and to get rid of poor oral health habits, including smoking.

So why not enjoy the many health benefits of yoga? There are plenty more, including:

  • Improving flexibility
  • Increasing muscle strength 
  • Preventing cartilage and joint breakdown 
  • Boosting immunity
  • Lowering blood sugar
  • Helping you focus
  • Improving your balance
  • Helping you sleep better
  • Increasing your self-esteem 
  • Benefiting your relationships

Yoga may not have been the first thing that you thought of when discussing how to maintain a healthy mouth. However, few methods of stress relief compare to that of yoga! Eliminating stress through practicing yoga may be a great option for preventing pain and oral health problems.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://lacunaloft.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Kids-Yoga-Portrait.jpg

http://awomanshealth.com/stress-and-oral-health/

http://yoganonymous.com/practice-for-the-teeth-3-ways-yoga-improves-dental-health

http://www.medicinenet.com/temporomandibular_joint_syndrome_tmj/article.htm

http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit/

Can Depression Undermine Your Oral Health?

October 9th, 2014

Young Woman Biting Her Finger NailDid you know that tooth loss is linked to anxiety and depression? You heard correctly; that means that taking care of your teeth protects more than just your physical well-being, but also, your mental state.

These findings were concluded based on a study that was presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, which occurred in March of this past year, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The American Association for Dental Research is a non-profit organization composed of nearly 3,500 members. Its mission is stated as, “to advance research and increase knowledge for the improvement of oral health, to support  and represent the oral health research community, and to facilitate the communication and application of research findings.”

In the study, researchers examined a potential association of tooth loss with depression and anxiety.The study was conducted using The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Survey, a complex, telephone survey the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments administer. Researchers focused on the 292 eligible participants, people who were 19 years old and up, who had answered questions pertaining to depression, anxiety, and tooth loss out of the overall 451,075 respondents who participated in the survey in 2010,

13.4 percent of of this eligible group of participants reported anxiety, 16.7 percent reported depression, and 5.7 percent reported tooth loss.

Demographics of the participants included the group being evenly split between males and females, with 68.7 percent of the participants being non-Hispanic whites, 12.7 percent were African American, 12.5 percent were Hispanics, and 6.8 percent reported being other. Further analysis of this selected group of participants confirmed initial thoughts that depression and/or anxiety were significantly related to tooth loss, when compared with participants who had not reported themselves as having depression or anxiety symptoms.

The study was overseen by Dr. R. Constant Weiner, a professor at West Virginia University. Her findings concluded that several biopsychosocial factors influenced a person’s dental health. What are “biopsychosocial factors”? This all-encompassing term is as an expression for all factors, embracing biological, psychological, and societal influences, that result in a scenario, such as tooth loss. Dr. R. Constance Wiener noted that prominent  biopsychosocial factors that resulted in tooth loss were the relative presence or lack of feelings of self worth and self-esteem, as well as a lack of access to dental care.

What are the reasons for this connection? People who suffer from anxiety may avoid dental care, and people who suffer from depression are often negligent in self-care, which includes dental care. It is a chicken-or-the-egg scenario to try and determine whether depression, and its related lack of self-care, leads to tooth loss, or whether tooth loss leads to a loss of self-esteem that results in depression and anxiety. Either/or, the relation between depression/anxiety and tooth loss is significant enough to garner attention.

If you’re suffering from tooth loss, there is help available. At Wellesley Dental Group, we offer dental implants, which are beautiful and fully functional. We offer a caring, non judgemental environment where our focus is on your health and happiness. No matter the current state of your teeth, there is a place for you at our office. Our Dr. Ali is a renowned cosmetic dentist who can help you have a smile you’ll be confident showing off. Rest assured, you’ll be happy with your results! If there is anything we can do at all to take care of your oral health, please call 781-237-9071 or email smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment for consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Kim. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

 

References:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/03/21/tooth-loss-linked-with-anxiety-and-depression/67417.html

http://www.aadronline.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3452

http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/plaque-on-teeth

Images:

http://www.faverodental.com/2014/06/tooth-loss-linked-to-depression-and-anxiety/

A Link Between Depression/Anxiety and Tooth Loss

March 29th, 2014

Grow TeethTooth loss is often a result of a variety of factors.  One may experience tooth loss as a result of periodontal disease or severe caries.  A new study led by R. Constance Wiener of West Virginia University has concluded that tooth loss is associated with complex, chronic conditions like anxiety or depression. 

The association is complicated and has to do with a lot of biopsychosocial factors.  For instance, a person suffering from depression is more likely to neglect their oral health.  Alternatively, a person with a lot of anxiety may avoid the dentist due to dental anxiety.

This study looked at surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  These surveys also concluded that people in the 46 - 64 year age bracket, women, blacks, Hispanics, and those that are unemployed were more likely to meet the criteria for major depression.

Tooth loss can lead to a host of negative consequences including speech problems, stiff jaws, chewing problems, and the weakening of remaining teeth.  There are many tooth replacement options available from dental implants to fixed bridges -- all of which look like real teeth!  Dental implants are often the most expensive option, but are considered to be the most comfortable.  An implant consists of an artificial root inserted into the bone and is covered with a crown that mimics a real tooth.  A fixed bridge is made up of a group of crowns fixed together and use the neighboring, existing teeth to anchor it in place.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation. Dr. Ghazi is available for various oral surgery appointments and wisdom teeth extractions, while Dr. Emad is here to help with your orthodontic needs. 

Sources:

http://psychcentral.com/news/2014/03/21/tooth-loss-linked-with-anxiety-and-depression/67417.html
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140320111903.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fhealth_medicine%2Fdentistry+%28Dentistry+News+--+ScienceDaily%29
http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/03/23/study-tooth-loss-associated-with-depression/
http://www.studiodentaire.com/articles/en/causes-consequences-of-tooth-loss.php
Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Tips to Conquer Dental Fear!

July 25th, 2013

Let’s be honest: many people tend to be scared or nervous before a visit to the dentist’s office. Dental phobia is something that people continually cope with; however, it doesn’t always have to be this way! Here are a few tips on how to beat dental fear.

 

Look for a dentist that you feel most comfortable working with. There are many dentists out there with different personalities, and finding one that suits an individual can be key in feeling less anxious and nervous during an appointment. Dentists are willing to work through fears and are happy to go slow if need be.

 

Ask the dentist to go through the procedure beforehand. Having a dentist go through the steps can allow individuals to prepare for what is to come. Patients always have the right to know what kind of work their dentist will be doing on them.

 

Don’t be afraid to let the dentist know when the procedure is uncomfortable. Patients are able to establish “stop” signals with dentists. This allows the patient to take breaks when needed and can allow them to relax before proceeding.

 

Breathing exercises are also a great way to calm the nerves and prepare for a dental procedure. Here are six breathing exercises (hyperlink six breathing exercises and use: http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/ ) that can bring about relaxation. Turning up your favorite music can also help turn down the anxiety. When sitting in the waiting room, pop in your earphones and listen to calming music or even music that you love. There are also dental offices that have TV monitors in the exam rooms. This is also a great way to take your mind off of the fear and anxiety and to tune into a great show.

 

There are medications that allow patients to relax. Dentists recommend nitration oxide, anti-anxiety medicine or sedation for patients who can become extremely nervous during an appointment. If you believe that medication can help cope with a dental visit, find a dentist that can cater to your needs.

 

Here at the Wellesley Dental Group, we need to make our patients feel as comfortable as possible. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questionsContact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com

 

References:

http://psychcentral.com/library/phobia_dentist.htm

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dental-fear-our-readers-suggest-coping-techniques-20100825327

http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/

READ MORE HERE!!!

http://wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog/?p=1981

http://wellesleydentalgroup.com/blog/?p=600

Happy Holidays from WDG

December 13th, 2012

There's a nip in the air and soon enough, the snow will fall, leaving in its wake a quiet and reflective atmosphere. Most of all, it will be a warm sense of family that will keep the winter from feeling too cold.

We at Wellesley Dental Group have built our team through that sense of family. It was only this weekend that we joined together at the home of Drs. Ali and Ali and shared with each other the joy that comes with the holidays.

We want to extend that joy to you, our patients. Our family. Through your support and trust, together, we have created the community that is Wellesley Dental Group.

We want to wish you all a very happy, warm, and beautiful Holiday Season.

 

From the Caring Team at Wellesley Dental Group,

 

Happy Holidays!

 


Are You Sensitive?

December 11th, 2012

Over 40 million adults in the U.S. have experienced pain from sensitive teeth. So what causes this uncomfortable sensation that’s so widespread?

The underlying cause is that the dentin, which is under your enamel (the hard protective layer covering your teeth) is exposed. The dentin has tiny tubes full of fluid that trigger nerves found in the pulp of the tooth when the dentin is exposed to heat, cold, or acidity. When that trigger happens, you feel pain.

Why does the dentin get exposed in the first place? There numerous reasons, but the most common are:

  • Brushing too hard: you can wear down your enamel by brushing too hard. An easy way to see if you are brushing too hard is to take a look at your brush. If all the bristles are pointing different ways, you need to ease up. Using soft bristles is also a good idea to minimize enamel erosion.
  • Bruxism (grinding your teeth): your teeth flex when you grind your teeth, which increases enamel erosion.
  • Gingivitis (or gum disease): gum sensitivity can lead to increased tooth sensitivity because more underlying dentin root surface is exposed.
  • Tooth decay: especially painful when the pulp is exposed.
  • Certain whitening products: although there are more recent whitening options available, such as our Sinsational Whitening, that cause minimal to no sensitivity.
  • Acidic foods: these foods increase enamel erosion, which exposes more dentin.
  • Plaque build-up: especially when the build-up is near the root surface.
  • Recent dental procedures: however, this sensitivity should only last between four to six weeks.

Now that you understand some reasons why you may be experiencing sensitive teeth, you should visit your dentist. Drs. Ali & Ali will be more than happy to help, so be in touch by calling (781)-237-9071 or email them at smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

In the meantime, boost your oral health by reducing enamel erosion and take steps to:

1. Maintain good oral hygiene
2. Use a soft-bristled tooth brush
3. Use a desensitizing toothpaste
4. Be careful not to eat acidic food
5. Use fluoridated dental products
6. Get a mouthguard if you are grinding your teeth

Sensitive teeth is a treatable discomfort and with proper management, you have great chances of feeling better.

At Wellesley Dental Group, we can apply sealants, desensitizing agents, fluoride, as well as other specialized treatments for your discomfort. Come in for a consultation!

Sources:
Crest
Sensodyne
WebMD

The Silent Destroyer

December 3rd, 2012

Gingivitis. If you don’t know the signs, it’s easy to miss until it’s too late. Put simply, Gingivitis is gum inflammation and generally comes before full-blown periodontitis, or gum disease. Not all cases of gingivitis, however, lead to gum disease, so make sure to visit your dentist, to keep your gums healthy!

Usually starting painlessly, Gingivitis has few indicators, some of which may be:

• Gums that bleed during and after tooth brushing or upon flossing
• Red, swollen, or tender gums
• Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth
• Receding gums
• Formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums
• Loose, shifting, or misaligned teeth
• Changes in the way teeth fit together upon biting down, or in the fit of partial dentures.

Even if you don’t have any of these symptoms, you may still have gum disease, so make sure you regularly visit your dentist.

It’s especially good to visit your dentist for a check up if you have been ill or have had hormonal changes. Even changing medication, especially to one that causes dry mouth, can increase your risk of gingivitis.

Bad habits, such as smoking and general bad oral health practices, such as not flossing, also increase your risk. Also, check your family history since gingivitis and periodontitis are more frequent in people whose family has dealt with gum disease. In fact, the American Academy of Periodontology says that up to 30% of Americans may be genetically susceptible to gum disease.

In the meantime, before you meet with your dentist about your gums, here are some things you can do to increase your oral health and decrease your chances of gum disease:

• Stop smoking. Smokers are seven times more likely to get gum disease than nonsmokers, and smoking can lower the chances of success of some treatments.
• Minimize stress. Stress may make it difficult for your body's immune system to fight off infection.

• Eat healthily. Eating foods with antioxidants can help your body get over an infection.
• If you clench or grind your teeth, get fitted for a mouth-guard. Grinding and clenching can put force on supporting teeth, which can increase gum damage.

And don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth! Removing plaque daily is one of the best ways to keep your gums and teeth happy and healthy.

Sources:
American Academy of Periodontology.
American Dental Association.
Web MD

Flex Spending | Are you ready for the New Year?

November 26th, 2012


The Holiday season is upon us and 2012 is in its last month. That means, time is running out to use up your flex spending before the New Year comes in! Use your dental insurance benefits and make an appointment now, before the Holidays come into full swing. Use it or lose it!

Wellesley Dental Group strives to provide our patients with the best possible care, and an important part of this process is informing patients of their dental needs. Many individuals who are paying for dental insurance do not realize that their plans provide coverage up to a certain dollar amount annually. It’s not too late to maximize your dental benefits! You still have time, so make the most of it, what are you waiting for?

There are many more options available to you so you can utilize your remaining flex spending. Remember to check your plan and take the necessary steps to make the most of you flex spending. Here are some available options:

• Invisalign
• Crowns
• Fillings
• Orthodontic Treatment
• Gum treatment and surgery
• Dental Implants
• Root canals
• Wisdom teeth extraction

Check with your insurance or dentist to find out exactly what is covered and how it fits with your current needs.

Remember, for most individuals, insurance benefits and flex spending do not carry over into the next year.

We would love to help you with your necessary treatments and find the best financial options for you. Take advantage of your tax-free dollars now before it’s too late by making an appointment now. Our office will be closed for the holidays from December 23rd -January 2nd, so be sure to get in early!

If you have already used up your flex spending for this year, it’s the perfect time to come in and start planning for 2013. It’s never too early to read up on new Healthcare Flex Spending account rules so you can start the New Year ahead of the game.

We highly recommend becoming familiar with both your dental benefits and needs. Planning for necessary and preventative treatment now will save you unnecessary risk, cost, and stress later. Drs. Ali & Ali and their team at Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions and advise you on how best to maximize your remaining dental benefits. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Insurance and Flex Spending for 2012

October 3rd, 2012

As the season starts to grow cold, we are reminded that the year is now coming to an end. Before we all become wrapped up in all that this entails, now is the time to remember that time is running out for dental insurance benefits and flex spending for 2012.

Wellesley Dental Group strives to provide our patients with the best possible care, and an important part of this process is informing patients of their dental needs. Many individuals who are paying for dental insurance do not realize that their plans provide coverage up to a certain dollar amount annually. This means that it’s not too late to maximize your dental benefits! You still have time and you should make the most of it.

There are many options available to you for utilizing the remainder of your flex spending. Remember to check your plan and take the necessary steps to make the most of you flex spending. Here are some commonly available options:

  • Crowns
  • Fillings
  • Orthodontic Treatment
  • Gum treatment and surgery
  • Dental Implants
  • Root canals
  • Wisdom teeth extraction

There are many more available! Check with your insurance or dentist to find out exactly what is covered and how it fits with your current needs.

The New York Times offers some suggestions on ways to maximize this insurance benefit before it is too late.

It bears repeating that for most individuals, insurance benefits and flex spending do not carry over into the next year. In essence, what you do not use, you lose.

Studies show us that patients who postpone dental needs run a higher risk of emergency care in the future. Putting off dental treatment does not make the problem go away – it worsens it, which in turn increases the cost.

We highly recommend becoming familiar with both your dental benefits and needs. Planning for necessary and preventative treatment now will save you unnecessary risk, cost and stress later. Drs. Ali & Ali and their team as Wellesley Dental Group will be very happy to answer your questions and advise you on how to best maximize you remaining dental benefits. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Pediatric Cavities Reach Record High

October 2nd, 2012

A combination of the food we eat and our culture is drastically changing children's oral health. We wish it was for the better!

Our society moves at a rapid pace, which means more meals and snacks are consumed on the go. Furthermore, because of our fast paced nature, we turn to fast food and unhealthy, sometimes sugary snacks rather than nutritious options. This results in an elevated number of cavities in children.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a statement saying that "28 percent of preschoolers in the U.S. experience decay in primary or "baby teeth." And for the first time in four decades the number is increasing. Currently, among children 2 to 5 years old, one in five has untreated cavities."

Poor diet, drinking bottled water (no fluoride) versus tap, and going to bed with sippy cups are all culprits of the rise in pediatric cavities. Also, because many people are out of work in the recession, without dental insurance, visits to the dentist can't be afforded.

The dental society states:

"A dentist should examine a child as soon as primary teeth begin to appear, usually during the first six months and no later than the first birthday. This is similar to a 'well-baby' checkup, and it will not only identify potential problems, it gets the child used to visiting the dentist at an early age."

Some tips for preventing tooth decay in children are:

- Wipe a baby's gums after feeding with a clean, moist cloth to ensure all residue is removed.

- When two teeth appear that are touching, gently floss between them.

- Avoid giving children sports drinks and soda.

Drs. Ali & Ali are more than happy to answer any questions you have about pediatric oral care or any other concern. Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Flu Shots For Kids 6 Months And Up

September 27th, 2012

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is stressing that parents bring their children aged 6 months and up to receive a flu shot. Small children are especially susceptible to influenza.

Recent studies have shown that these young children are even more prone to catching the flu than the elderly, a fact commonly thought to be reversed. Parents and day care workers are also advised at getting the vaccine as well. This will help protect kids and is called "cocooning."

The AAP states:

"The concept of cocooning is particularly important to help protect infants less than 6 months of age because they are too young to be immunized with influenza vaccine."

This practice doesn't just help protect infants and young children from the flu - it helps prevent it from spreading into large groups of people as well.

Children was asthma, diabetes, weak immune systems or neurological problems are all at high risk as well as women who are pregnant, just delivered, or breastfeeding.

Yearly immunization is stronly recommended because the flu virus mutates with each passing year. Immunizing yourself and children as soon as possible is advised.

There are several flu clinics coming up in Wellesley:

- Walk-In Clinic - Saturday, October 20, 2012 - 9 am to 3 pm - seniors 65+ - Wellesley Hills Congregational Church (pregnant women/those with compromised immune systems also welcome)

 

- Walk-In Clinic Wednesday, October 24, 2012 (volunteers can do both shifts)

Shift #1  1:15 pm to 4:30 pm

Shift #2  4:00 pm to 7:15 pm

Dinner-snack will be served

 

-Walk-In Clinic - Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 8:15 am - 1:15 pm

Breakfast will be served

 

Also, optimal oral health is key to warding off sickness, especially in flu season. Contact Drs. Ali & Ali at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com for more information!

 

Half Of American Adults Have Periodontal Disease

September 18th, 2012

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have recently revealed that one out of every two American adults aged 30 or older has periodontal disease! How shocking is that?

These findings are based off of information gathered by the CDC in their 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). This survey aims to evaluate the health of both adults and children in the United States. This survey was unique because for the very first time, it examined the entire mouth for various stages of periodontal disease. It's important to note that gingivitis, the beginning stage of periodontal disease, was not examined.

Also, in earlier NHANES, only partial mouth exams were done. This would leave a large margin of error since not all teeth were checked for periodontal disease. This more than likely caused for underestimations in previous NHANES.

Pamela McClain, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and a practicing periodontist, said:

“This is the most accurate picture of periodontal disease in the U.S. adult population we have ever had. For the first time, we now have a precise measure of the prevalence of periodontal disease, and can better understand the true severity and extent of periodontal disease in our country. The AAP values its collaboration with CDC to better understand the burden of periodontal disease in Americans.”

There are also numerous curiousities worth noting, such as periodontal disease being more common in men than women and most prevalent in Mexican Americans. Smokers, those living below poverty level, and those with less than a high school diploma all boast high rates as well.

Drs. Ali & Ali take periodontal disease very seriously. During a hygiene appointment, each patient is thoroughly examined for signs and symptoms. If there is a problem developing, the patient is fully educated on the disease and what can be done to control it.

If you have questions on periodontal disease or another concern, please don't hesitate to contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Filtered Yelp Reviews

September 12th, 2012

While perusing Yelp recently, we stumbled across a button labeled "filtered" reviews. We were surprised to see so many wonderful things written about our office. The doctors and staff thank you all so much for your kind words. It means to much that you trust us with your oral health.

"Dr and Dr Ali always make me feel welcome and comfortable. Our kids don't mind going to the dentist because it's a nice place and not a place of fear. Always on time and always with a smile." - Lisa

"Wellesley Dental Group is the best! I came from out of the area to go to school at Babson and needed a place out here for all my dental needs! It is in an incredibly convenient location and the whole process from check-in to follow-up is efficient and pleasant." - Jason

"I really love Wellesley Dental. A warm, friendly staff that makes dental visits enjoyable, thorough and satisfying. I know when i leave their office, I have had the best care and wouldn't trade that for anything." - Apple

"It was my first visit to dental office in America, and it was absolutely great! Drs. Ali and Ali are highly competent and smart people. I get excellent care here. The staff is very friendly and welcoming.  I never regretted that I chose Wellesley Dental Group!" - Nadia

Read more! :)

 

Psychological Distress Linked To Increased Risk Of Death

August 8th, 2012

Stressed out? It may be time to take a breather! New research shows that stress, even at low levels, were 20% more likely to die over a ten year time span.

However, these findings can't necessarily prove that being stressed or depressed is directly linked to death. Similar studies have been conducted and have been unsuccessful in figuring out if people become sick because they're stressed or they become stressed because they're sick.

This study was featured in the British Medicine Journal. The data was compiled from information taken from over 68,000 people over the age of 35. The survey asked a variety of questions on topics such as sleep patterns, ability to face problems, and feelings of worthlessness. The lower the score of the survey taker, the less stressed of a person they are.

The most startling part of the survey is that more than 8,300 people passed away, mostly from heart disease and stroke.

Taking steps toward reducing stress is an important factor in maintaining optimum health. If you feel that your stress level is affecting your quality of life, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Lasers In Dentistry

July 26th, 2012

It's true that many people fear the unknown, especially when it comes to dentistry. However, did you know that there is technology available that makes getting your teeth fixed a comfortable experience?

Dr. Ejaz Ali explains,

“Most of our patients don’t even know this exists, but we are always looking for ways to improve the comfort and clinical care of our patients, and thus we have invested in this advanced technology."

This revolutionary system called Waterlase MD™, from BIOLASE Technology, Inc., is a unique dental tool that pairs laser energy and water to perform numerous dental procedures less invasively. It is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for use in filling cavities, prepping teeth for crowns and root canals, inserting implants, and more.

To learn more about this cutting edge technology or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Diabetes and Oral Health

June 29th, 2012

Although good oral health is important for all people, diabetics need to be extra vigilant when it comes to monitoring their mouths. Having a thorough understanding of oral care and things to look for will help ensure a healthy smile.

Gum disease is a common thing to happen to diabetics. This is when dental plaque has been sitting too long on teeth without being properly removed. Over time, gums can become inflamed and gingivitis could result. Symptons of this include red, swollen gums and bleeding when brushing.

Diabetics are also more likely to spread infections throughout their body due to the elevated blood sugar levels.  An easy way to help prevent this is keeping your glucose levels under control. However, the body's natural defense mechanism in the presence of an infection is to raise blood sugar.

Visiting the dentist on a regular basis is an easy way to help maintain your oral health. This keeps your dentist on top of any problems that may be developing. Another major thing to be aware of is heart problems. Cholesterol build up in the bloodstream can happen as well.

You can read more about diabetes and oral health care here. Also, Drs. Ali and Ali would be more than happy to answer any questions and concerns you may have regarding diabetes care. Contact us at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com!

Wellesley Dental Group on Pinterest

June 19th, 2012

Do you pin on Pinterest? If so, we want to pin with you!

Our Pinterest page is a great way for you to stay connected with what's going on in our office. It also features team photos and bios, services offered, office technology, and patient testimomials among other things.

Please visit our Pinterest page and pin with us today!

Dr. Femina Ali on TV

June 12th, 2012

Did you know that your dentist was on TV? Dr. Femina Ali sat down with Wellesley Media to talk about her community involvement, the importance of giving back, and what she finds inspiring. It is truly a lovely segment and we hope you enjoy it!

Please visit our YouTube page to view the video. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Dental Exam Fears

February 15th, 2011

 

For many people, children and adults alike, the thought of going to the dentist causes their hearts to race with fear.  Children who fear going to the dentist may develop stomach aches just prior to dental appointments or create excuses to avoid appointments.  Once in the dentist’s office or chair, these anxious kids may act out, throwing tantrums that make it extremely difficult, or even impossible for the dentist or hygienist to complete even a simple cleaning.

If you are the parent of a child with such a fear, it might be helpful to ask your child about what, precisely, he or she fears.  Is it a fear of potential pain?  Is this fear applicable to visits to all medical professionals?  Is it a specific fear of the sound of a drill or the potential to gag or even vomit during the exam?  Once you have a clearer understanding of what your child fears, you will be able to help calm him or her by educating him/her about what really happens during routine dental visits.

Going to the dentist should not be a frightening experience.  In addition to educating children about what to expect when they go to the dentist, parents should be empathic yet firm.  Let your child know that many people, maybe even yourself, have similar fears, but routine check-ups do not hurt and are necessary to ensure healthy teeth.  If you or your child has an extreme fear of going to the dentist that cannot be easily resolved through discussion and understanding, the fear can typically be eliminated quite quickly and easily with professional assistance.  A cognitive-behavioral psychologist is trained to help people learn relaxation techniques to calm themselves down, then gradually face their fears in a safe environment.

Going to the dentist should not be a stressful or anxiety-provoking experience for you or your loved one.  Gain control over your fear and let your bright smile shine through!

Trina Zilla, Psy.D.

Dr. Zilla is a cognitive-behavioral psychologist with a private practice in Wellesley, specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Dental Anxiety Help - 3

February 11th, 2011

Dental Anxiety Help 3 - "To worry or not to worry"

In this blog series, Dental Anxiety Help, ou guest contributor was, Andre Perreault, LMHC. At the bottom of each “Dental Anxiety Help” you can find links to previous entries as well. If you’d like to reach Mr. Perreault directly, please call him at (617) 835-6581.

Dental Anxiety Help 3 - "To worry or not to worry"

“Oh, don’t worry about it,”

This is a throw away line that we might hear several times in any day. Those who worry know though that it is hard to simply ‘not worry about it’. Worry has staying power. It is unpleasant. On the other hand it actually can be helpful. It motivates us to be prepared, to be aware or to accomplish something. While that is true, too much of an internal push to prepare, be aware, or to ‘get there’ can be detrimental. Worry, simply, is only helpful until it isn’t. When we have some control over what it is we worry about then worry can be helpful. You have a paper due and you’re worried about it? Then worry may push you to do the paper and it’s done. When it comes to a dental visit though, much of the control is in the gloved hands of your competent dentist.

So tip #2 is to build trust with your dentist. Now, I know this is a difficult task for many folks. Building trust in your dentist will take some effort on the part of your dentist and your dental health, in addition to your mental health, is worth the extra attention. Call your dentist and let them know you are having some difficulty with nerves or anxiety. There are many people who do this. Your dentist will be happy to set up a time to meet with you, and hear your concerns. Your dentist has seen this before and will know what to do. They will be gentle with you, make you comfortable, and make you familiar with the process and procedures.

Previous entries in Dental Anxiety Help series

Entry 1 - "I think I have dental phobia" Click here
Entry 2 - "Reality Check" Click here

For more information on how Wellesley Dental Group can help with sedation dentistry, please click here

Dental Anxiety Help - 8

November 25th, 2009

Dental Anxiety Help 8 - "Physical Responses”

In this blog series, Dental Anxiety Help, we’d like to introduce our guest contributor, Andre Perreault, LMHC.  Every Wednesday we will be featuring his advice and helpful tips for people who experience anxiety, fear, and phobias about dental visits.  Please check back every week for more – we will tag our posts with “anxiety” for quick reference when viewing in a feeder program. At the bottom of each “Dental Anxiety Help” you can find links to previous entries as well. If you’d like to reach Mr. Perreault directly, please call him at (617) 835-6581.

Anxiety is a feeling response to the perception of a possible harm.  That response is a lot more than just a feeling.  Your body has a number of its own reactions that you may not even notice.  The catch is that each one of those body reactions affects your thinking too.  And after affecting your thinking each of these body reactions also feeds back into your initial feelings of fear making them stronger.  Here is a list of body responses to the stress of anxiety and fear and the physical results that you might experience with those feelings. Lady with flower

Heart rate goes up: When this happens you have an increased tendency to obsess on a thought. ("Oh no this is going to hurt. I know it is. I know it is. I know it is.")

Breathing rate goes up: When your breathing rate increases you have an increase in compulsion. ("I am getting out of here!")

Circulation is centralized: When your circulation centralizes in your body, you get cold hands and feet.  Your blood isn't making it to your limbs fully and you have a decrease in agility and could trip. (Clumsiness due to poorer motor control in addition to distraction.)

Muscle tension rises: When your muscles stiffen up this leads to rigidity in the body, greater discomfort, and an overall drop in strength.

Energy increases in the short term: This symptom can sound positive; unfortunately you experience a constriction in your thoughts and behaviors along with this. (Your imagination is cut off. You can't imagine any positive possibilities and you get stuck with the negative possibilities you have begun to obsess on.)

Increase in dis-ease: This leads to an overall experience of fatigue.  You may have to take a nap after you experience rather strong periods of anxiety.

Relaxation is your best tool in dealing with anxiety, so Tip #6 is to learn your own best relaxation methods.  People like different foods.  People like different music.  And people have all different ways to relax that work better for themselves than for others.  The ways you relax may be personal but the effect is universal.  Consider again the effects of anxiety listed above.  Relaxation has the opposite effect.  When you relax, you keep your mobility and decision making ability.  You stay comfortable.  You remain at peak performance in mind and body.  You feel in control.  You are better able to self regulate and you have a much greater tolerance for others in your personal space.

At the dentist, tolerance for closeness is really quite important.  When you think about it, a dentist, or any doctor examining you, gets into your personal space.  You need to be comfortable with that physical but professional closeness to allow the dentist to work on your teeth.  That takes a lot of trust and it's much easier when you can relax.

Believe it or not, relaxation is something that takes practice.  Just like any physical activity that you want to improve upon, you have to practice.  Ideally you would have at least 20 minutes a day during which you could practice relaxation.  As you practice your relaxation response -- ability to make yourself relax -- will be easier and easier, and it will become second nature.  Here are three common relaxation techniques:

  1. Progressive muscle relaxation: When anxiety takes hold, progressive muscle relaxation can help you release muscle tension and take a "time out" from your worries.  The technique involves systematically tensing and then releasing different muscle groups in your body.  As your body relaxes, your mind will follow.
  2. Deep breathing: When you're anxious, you breathe faster.  This hyperventilation causes symptoms such as dizziness, breathlessness, lightheadedness, and tingly hands and feet.  These physical symptoms are frightening, leading to further anxiety and panic.  But by breathing deeply from the diaphragm, you can reverse these symptoms and calm yourself down.
  3. Mediation: Many types of meditation have been shown to reduce anxiety.  Mindfulness meditation, in particular, shows promise for anxiety relief.  Research shows that mindfulness meditation can actually change your brain.  With regular practice, meditation boosts activity on the left side of the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for feelings of serenity and joy.

Our series concludes next week with some online resources for dental anxiety.  In the meantime, you may visit the sedation dentistry and relaxation section of Drs. Ali and Ali's website at www.WellesleyDentalGroup.com.

Also, please feel free to refer back to the previous 7 Dental Anxiety Help series posts.

Entry 1 – “I think I have dental phobia” Click here

Entry 2 – “Reality Check” Click here

Entry 3- “To worry or not to worry” Click here

Entry 4 – “Positive Outcomes” Click here

Entry 5 – “Schedule your worry time” Click here

Entry 6 – “Ask these questions” Click here

Entry 7 -- "Cognitive Distortions" Click here

Dental Anxiety Help - 6

November 11th, 2009

Dental Anxiety Help 5 – “Ask these questions”

In this blog series, Dental Anxiety Help, we’d like to introduce our guest contributor, Andre Perreault, LMHC.  Every Wednesday we will be featuring his advice and helpful tips for people who experience anxiety, fear, and phobias about dental visits.  Please check back every week for more – we will tag our posts with “anxiety” for quick reference when viewing in a feeder program.  At the bottom of each “Dental Anxiety Help” you can find links to previous entries as well. If you’d like to reach Mr. Perreault directly, please call him at (617) 835-6581.

Dental Anxiety Help - 6 "Ask these questions"

Now that you've worried your quota you can really look at what you've got.  One of the symptoms of anxiety is that you know, on some level, that your worries are irrational.  That's good.  And now you're going to find out how.

This works best when you have some of your worries written down.  Look over the list of dental worries.  If you need to, take a  moment to write out some of the negative possibilities or predictions you have.  Be as detailed as possible.  These often hide in "what if" propositions.

So tip #5 is to ask yourself is your worry actually worth a worry?  Worrying takes over valuable thinking time.  There are plenty of more productive or pleasurable forms for your thoughts to take so stop, look at your worry, and see if it qualifies for mind-time.  Worries often fit into a psychological category titled Cognitive Distortion.  This means that a thought is distorted in some way, expanded, augmented, or multiplied.  The product is a worry thought that is distorted and made much larger than it needs to be.

Cognitive distortions are not based on reality.  All the same, they are hard to give up.  They are part of a thinking habit that is long-lived.  Like any habit this one can be hard to break.  The good news is that the work, though hard, is simple.

Here is a short list of questions that you can apply to your worries.  Asking these questions challenges a worry and can help you hold it to a new light.

  • What is the evidence that the thought is true? That it's not true?
  • Is the worry helpful to me?
  • How does the worry protect me? How does the worry hurt me?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10 what is the probability of this worry coming true?
  •  If the number is low what is a MORE probable outcome?
  • What would I say to a friend who had this worry?

Next week, I will provide a list of common cognitive distortions.  You might recognize that some of your worrries fit into one of the categories of garden variety cognitive distortions.  Some apply to dental anxieties more than others.

If you have any questions about dental anxiety and applying these tips and suggestions to your life, please contact me at (617) 835-6581.  Drs. Ali and Ali are also available to answer any questions you may have about the types of treatments available to make dental work less stressful. 

Entry 1 – “I think I have dental phobia” Click here

Entry 2 – “Reality Check” Click here

Entry 3- “To worry or not to worry” Click here

Entry 4 – “Positive Outcomes” Click here

Entry 5 - "Schedule your worry time" Click here

Wellesley Dental Group's website more information on sedation dentistry.

Dental Anxiety Help 5

October 29th, 2009

Dental Anxiety Help 5 - "Schedule your worry time"

Anxious?In this blog series, Dental Anxiety Help, we’d like to introduce our guest contributor, Andre Perreault, LMHC.  Every Wednesday we will be featuring his advice and helpful tips for people who experience anxiety, fear, and phobias about dental visits.  Please check back every week for more – we will tag our posts with “anxiety” for quick reference when viewing in a feeder program.  At the bottom of each “Dental Anxiety Help” you can find links to previous entries as well. If you’d like to reach Mr. Perreault directly, please call him at (617) 835-6581.

Dental Anxiety Help 5 - "Schedule your worry time"

 

Sometimes it's so hard to stop a worry.  Sometimes it may be better just to go ahead and worry, but only a little.  Worry thoughts have a distinct ability to hang around.  They can linger once they start so one approach to accomodating this strong urge to worry is to schedule it in. Yes, really.

So Tip #4 is to schedule your worry time.  Pick a time, perhaps a 10 to 15 minute block, every day during the week before your next dental appointment.  During that scheduled time, sit down at your desk, at your table, in a chair, and worry.  If you find it helpful to write down all the worries then do it.  You may find that once you are actively trying to worry it's a little more difficult than you would think.  Watch the clock and give yourself a few minutes to wrap up.  Also, keep track of what your worries are.  Write them down if you need to.  Then throughout the day as you worry, remind yourself to hold that thought until your next scheduled worry session.

 

 

Entry 1 - "I think I have dental phobia" Click here
Entry 2 - "Reality Check" Click here
Entry 3- "To worry or not to worry" Click here
Entry 4 - "Positive Outcomes" Click here
For more information on relaxation dentistry at Drs. Ali's office, please visit www.WellesleyDentalGroup.com and click on "Sedation" tab.

 

Dental Anxiety Help - 4

October 26th, 2009

Dental Anxiety Help - 4 "Positive Outcomes"

In this blog series, Dental Anxiety Help, we’d like to introduce our guest contributor, Andre Perreault, LMHC.  Every Wednesday we will be featuring his advice and helpful tips for people who experience anxiety, fear, and phobias about dental visits.  Please check back every week for more – we will tag our posts with “anxiety” for quick reference when viewing in a feeder program.  At the bottom of each “Dental Anxiety Help” you can find links to previous entries as well. If you’d like to reach Mr. Perreault directly, please call him at (617) 835-6581.

Dental Anxiety Help 4 - Positive Outcomes

"Worry takes a number of shapes and forms."

In your mind it can become an attempt at prediction.  In worry people often cycle through thoughts, reviewing every possible item of concern and fear as though maintaining that level of focus will allow anyone to predict and prevent anything unwanted.  This too is related to control and is actually quite a set-up for a bad experience at the dentist.

So tip #3 is to begin focusing on the positive outcomes of a successful visit to the dentist.  Ask yourself the question; "suppose my visit to the dentist goes really well, what would that look and feel like?"  Then mentally walk through the entire visit and imagine how it will go.  Walk through this with some detail!  Begin in the waiting room, end with the final rinse and spit.  Imagine the dentist smiling, and then you look up and say, "That went very well.  That's the best visit I've ever had."

I have one guideline for this exercise.  Avoid using the word "not."  That includes "doesn't, didn't, wouldn't, couldn't, don't, and won't."  Walk yourself through the visit telling yourself how your best dental visit did go, not how it didn't go.

Entry 1 - "I think I have dental phobia" Click here

Entry 2 - "Reality Check" Click here

Entry 3- "To worry or not to worry" Click here

 

Dental Anxiety Help - 2

October 7th, 2009

Dental Anxiety Help 2 - "Reality Check"

In this blog series, Dental Anxiety Help, we’d like to introduce our guest contributor, Andre Perreault, LMHC.  Over the course of the next several weeks (every Wednesday) we will be featuring his advice and helpful tips for people who experience anxiety, fear, and phobias about dental visits.  Please check back every week for more – we will tag our posts with “anxiety” for quick reference when viewing in a feeder program.  At the bottom of each "Dental Anxiety Help" you can find links to previous entries as well. If you’d like to reach Mr. Perreault directly, please call him at (617) 835-6581.

Dental Anxiety Help 2 - "Reality Check"

One of the most common fears seen by dentists, maybe the most common, is embarrassment.  "My teeth are the worst of anyone I know and the dentist is going to yell at me."  This is the first thought for thousands of people when they are reminded of the dentist.

Tip #1 is simply a bit of a reality check in two parts.  First, thousands of people feel embarrassed about their teeth and the takeaway from this point is that you're not alone.  Many people feel the same way, and dentists have gotten much better at making patients feel comfortable.  Secondly, it is highly unlikely that  your teeth are truly the worst that your dentist has seen.  Search in Google images for "bad teeth" and chances are that your teeth look much better than many of the photographs you'll come across.

In any case, it is true that in years past, dentists have used "The Talk" to try and scare people into good hygiene.  Fortunately, dentists have generally come to find admonishing patients scares them away, rather than encouraging good hygiene.  Now dentists have a much better and more supportive approach of educating patients and helping them to be responsible for their dental care.

Previous entries in Dental Anxiety Help series

Entry 1 - Click here

Dental Anxiety Help

October 5th, 2009

In this blog series, Dental Anxiety Help, premiering today, we'd like to introduce our guest contributor, Andre Perreault, LMHC.  Over the course of the next several weeks (every Wednesday) we will be featuring his advice and helpful tips for people who experience anxiety, fear, and phobias about dental visits.  Please check back every week for more - we will tag our posts with "anxiety" for quick reference when viewing in a feeder program. 

 

[caption id="attachment_608" align="alignleft" width="237" caption="Andre Perreault, LMHC"]Andre Perreault, LMHC[/caption]

If you'd like to reach Mr. Perreault directly, please call him at (617) 835-6581.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think I have dental phobia”

If you have dental phobia then simply thinking about the dentist may lead you to a lot of tension, sweaty palms and even get your heart pounding.  These are just some symptoms of the anxiety associated with dental phobia. Now here is the important part; you are one of hundreds of thousands of Americans today who struggle with dental phobia and better yet, if you’re reading this than you are taking a step toward dealing with the anxiety that is holding you back from better health and a gorgeous grin.

Here are some tips, hints and general information about anxiety. Learning about anxiety is an essential component of dealing with anxiety. So take a deep breath and open up your mind so later you can open your mouth and get the job done.

Think about your past trips to the dentist and consider these questions:

Do you worry, become tense or feel on edge?

Are your worries or concerns irrational, but you can’t shake them?

Do you feel that something bad will happen despite firmly knowing that it’s highly unlikely?

Do you begin to sweat or feel your heart pounding?

Do you tremble at all or experience shortness of breath?

Do you feel dizzy?

Do you feel any fear?

These questions progress through levels of experience of anxiety and fear. You may answer yes to some and no to others but the most important question is this; do any of these feelings or experiences make it difficult for you to maintain your dental health?

If you answered yes to several of these, especially the last question, you are dealing with some level of dental anxiety or fear. If your experience of fear is intense, keeping you from thinking of the dentist, let alone going a dentist’s office, you are dealing with some level of phobia.

You may find it helpful to distinguish between anxiety, fear and phobia. Anxiety is fear of the unknown. Everyone experiences some level of anxiety especially when approaching a situation that they’ve never been through before. Fear, on the other hand is fear of something known. You’ve been to the dentist before. You know what the dentist will do and what it felt like last time and still you are afraid even to the point of experiencing the fight, flight or freeze reaction. And phobia is the same as fear but much stronger. Dental phobia is fear of the dentist that is so strong that even thinking about a cleaning causes a fight or flight reaction.

Side note: dental anxiety and dental phobia are not what most would easily consider a mental illness. However, dental anxiety or phobia can be experienced in addition to a more severe condition. The experience of anxiety consistently over time is linked to depression. It is believed that both anxiety and depression involve similar neurochemical processes in the brain and are related to the same biological vulnerability. Those who experience anxiety are more susceptible to depression and the reverse is also true.

 

Self-Help

I am here to help. To begin with I want to provide some general information to help educate those who might be feeling nervous about the dentist. I have included general information about anxiety, fear and the body’s responses to those feelings. In this blog series, I will be discussing a number of tips and exercises that you might find helpful.  If you would like to work with me personally please call (617) 835 – 6581.  You can also consult with Drs. Ali and Ali at 781-237-9071 on dental treatment options that reduce anxiety.  Thanks and I hope you find this helpful. Check back on Wednesday for tip #1 on combatting dental anxiety.

More entries

Dental Anxiety Help 2: Reality Check   click here

Relaxation Dentistry

August 17th, 2009

There are many patients who have a great deal of fear and anxiety over dental procedures; if you are one of them, we want you to know they you are not alone.  This fear may lead people to avoid dental visits, including cleanings and check-ups, which can negatively impact their oral health and overall wellbeing.  On top of that, years of neglect can also result in costly and more involved treatment. 

 

Many Wellesley Dental Group patients have greatly benefited from relaxation dentistry by means of “oral conscious sedation.”  In this type of sedation, a patient is not “knocked out” like in general anesthesia, but is prescribed medication to take prior to the dental appointment that will help them relax.   Patients are able to communicate with the dentist, but usually have little recollection of their dental work.  We meet with each sedation patient prior to their treatment so that we can map out a sedation plan based on factors such as their health history, weight, diet, and anxiety level.  

 

Wellesley Dental Group is happy to announce that in addition to the relaxation dentistry we provide we are collaborating with Andre Perreault, a mental health clinician, to help patients with anxiety, fears, and phobias about dental work.  He will be available as a resource and for fear and phobia consultations.  A native of Massachusetts, Mr. Perreault received his master’s degree from Boston College.  He performs a great deal of outreach work in Boston, and he can see patients in their home or within our office at 5 Seaward Road in Wellesley.  

 

If you feel that a consultation would help you, or you would like to learn more about our relaxation dentistry, please contact us at abby@wellesleydentalgroup.com or at 781-237-9071. 

 

 

 

 

 

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