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Wellesley Food Pantry

August 8th, 2012

The Wellesley Food Pantry is a wonderful organization committed to helping the members of the community in need. They are currently looking for:

Canned meals, mayonnaise, coffee, jelly, canned peas, canned carrots, hearty beef soup (e.g., Progresso), and cereal.

They are also looking for bar soap and toilet paper.

We were happy to donate toothbrushes and toothpaste recently. Oral health is very important and we're happy to help!

All donations are greatly appreciated and really make a difference. Thank you for your generosity!

Dental Anxiety Help - 7

November 18th, 2009

Dental Anxiety Help 7 – “Cognitive Distortions”

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 help

Dental Anxiety Help - 7 "Cognitive Distortions"

Last week, I mentioned some questions you can use to analyze your worries - challenging them and holding them to a new light.  This week, I am providing a list of common cognitive distortions and examples of how they may apply to you and dental anxiety.

1.) All-or-nothing thinking - Thinking of things in absolute terms, like "always," "every," or "never." Few experiences are so absolute.                                                     I always hate going to the dentist.

2.) Overgeneralization - Taking isolated cases and using them to make wide generalizations such as a painful trip to one dentist when you were young.                                All dental appointments are painful.

3.) Mental filler - Focusing exclusively on certain, usually negative or upsetting aspects of something while ignoring the rest. For example, focusing on the possibility of feeling some discomfort, eclipsing the health and well-being that you get with good dental health.                        Whenever I go to the dentist all I can think about is that drill!!!

4.) Disqualifying the positive - Continually "shooting down" positive experiences for arbitrary, ad hoc reasons.                    Bill said he had a great experience with the dentist. That had to be fake.

5.) Jumping to conclusions - Assuming something negative where there is no evidence to support it.  Two specific subtypes are also identified:

  •  Mind reading - Assuming the intentions of others
    • The hygienist just looked at me. She thinks I have bad teeth and she's going to yell at me.
  • Fortune telling - Predicting how things will turn before they happen.
    • I just know it's not going to go well.

6.) Magnification and minimization - Inappropriately understating the obvious or exaggerating the way people or situations truly are. Often the positive characteristics of other people are exaggerated and negative characteristics are understated. There is one subtype of magnification.

  • Catastrophizing - Focusing on the worst possible outcome, however unlikely, or thinking that a situation is unbearable or impossible when it is really just uncomfortable. This is what most people find their mind does with dental anxiety.          The hygienist is going to dig at my gums and I'm going to bleed all over the place and then they're going to yell at me for not flossing!

7.) Emotional reasoning - Making decisions and arguments based on how you feel rather than objective reality. Once worry takes hold then your "rational" judgments can get a little sketchy.       I am nervous and you shouldn't go to the dentist feeling nervous so I am going to cancel my cleaning....

8.) Making "should" statements - Concentrating on what you think "should" or "ought" to be rather than the actual situation you are faced with, or having rigid rules which you think should always apply no matter what the circumstances are.                  Dental work should be painful if it's done right.

9.) Labeling and mislabeling - Explaining behaviors or events, merely by naming them; related to overgeneralization. Rather than describing the specific behavior, you assign a label to someone or yourself that puts them in absolute and unalterable terms. Mislabeling involves descriving an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. Such labels cast a bad light and enforce your worry.  

  • Dentists are just drill jockeys!
  • I am a big baby.

10. ) Personalization - Assuming you or others directly caused things when that may not have been the case. When applied to others, blame is an example.  

  • That bad trip to the dentist when I was 7 was totally my fault. I can't handle the dentist.

 

In a few weeks the Dental Anxiety series will wrap, but you can always go back and refer to the previous entries as a resource. 

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

For information on sedation dentistry, used by Drs. Ali and Ali to help nervous patients, please visit the "Sedation" section at www.WellesleyDentalGroup.com  

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

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