Thursday, November 20, 2014

Spiders and Snakes Part Duo

For those of you who read my last blog, you know I'm discussing dental fear. Because dental fear IS NOT a laughing matter, this blog cannot be as light hearted as earlier blogs.

The most important thing you can do is make your dentist aware of your fear and anxiety. Ladies are better at this than men; the more I know about your fear and anxieties the more I can help. Macho men are the most difficult to treat because they won't say they are hurting, I ask can I give you more anesthetic and they say NO! Really, you would rather be in pain than give me permission to numb the area better. I'm sorry but there is a reason why men are the weaker sex.

What can be done for fearful patients? We have several options, the most common over the last 40 years is laughing gas. No, laughing gas doesn't make you laugh. I'll tell the story on how it got its name in another blog.
Valium works very well for people who have a little anxiety and want to take the edge off.
Oral Conscious Sedation works great for fearful patients who haven't been to the dentist for a long time and want to get their work done in the least amount of visits as possible.
I.V. sedation, this is the deepest sedation and is good for short visits like wisdom teeth, or the extremely phobic/fearful patient.

Dentistry has changed dramatically in the 30 years that I have been involved with it, and when we are a team working together. We can make your experience more pleasurable.

Dr. G

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Spiders and Snakes

I'm sure most of you are wondering what do spiders and snakes have in common with dentistry.
Well, those of you who know me, know that when my wife and I had all the children at home, there were several things that they feared. One of them being spiders. I cannot tell you how many times I went into a bathroom to remove one of these creatures. I could never understand how a Daddy Longlegs could evoke so much fear into a child or adolescent. Snakes on the other hand give the willy's. I just don't like them. I would rather have bamboo shoots placed under my fingernails then be alone with a snake. Mice are in a whole different category, I don't have enough time to go there.
As you can probably guess, today's topic is fear. Why is dentistry so fearful? There's several reasons:
1. To allow someone into your mouth you have to give them total control of the situation.
2. "The Shot" Most of us if not all of us have had a painful injection (Dental Terminology 101 says never to use the word shot)
3. The sound of the "Drill", for any of us who have had dental work no other words are needed.
4. Our mind telling us it's going to hurt.
5. The dental work hurting, with newer anesthetics (Novocains) your dentist or hygienist should be able to keep your visit pain-free. More on that in a future blog.
6. White coat syndrome, just walking into a room with the "white coat" will cause an increase in blood pressure, and with it anxiety and fear.
7. Comedians and colleagues talking about root canals and painful experiences.
8. A natural fear of the unknown. A patient can't know everything going on, you're not a dentist, and the mind will put thoughts in your head like "I hope he doesn't hit a nerve," "It's going to hurt"

I feel like I'm doing David Letterman's top 10 list of why dentistry is fearful!
And the #1 reason people fear dentistry, because they haven't seen Dr. Gerosa for their dental work.

Seriously, in the next blog I will discuss what can be done to reduce dental fear and anxiety.

Have a great day,
Dr. G

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

On this day we remember all Veterans! To me it's a more important holiday than Memorial Day because in May we recognize all those who died protecting our country. Today we celebrate everyone who has protected our country both dead and alive.
In the 20th century, our military was used to make medical breakthroughs. Because of the injuries they faced in the line of duty, procedures were created to save the injured and repair the injury. Dentistry also fits into this category.

During the Korean War a material was created called Intermediate Restorative Material, today we refer to it as IRM. This material was used quite often when dental work was done near the front lines. It was made in 3 colors. Yes, you guessed it, red, white and blue. The colors were used so the next dentist would be aware of what was going on with the tooth.

Red meant I went in there, did the best I could but there's still decay and more treatment needed on this tooth.
White meant I got all the decay out of this tooth, all it needs is a permanent filling.
Blue meant I got all of the decay out of this tooth but it needs more extensive work like a crown.

So today we honor all of the men and women who have defended our country, and recognize one of the advances they contributed to my dental profession.

Yes, we still utilize IRM, but we can only get it in white.

Dr. G

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Thread of Life

I'm certain that most of you have no idea that floss is the thread of life!
It actually is; a recent article in time magazine shows that daily flossing can add years to 
your life.

Some of you are aware that plaque build-up on your teeth can put you in higher risk of strokes, but to actually help you live longer, that's amazing.

I know that flossing is a really difficult habit to get into. When I was younger, I would floss at night time, however after children came into my life, it took everything I had to remember to brush my teeth at bedtime, let alone floss. I actually shifted my thinking and got up a few minutes earlier, and now I floss in the morning. 6 days a week. I take Sundays off, I figured if the Christian creator can take Sundays off. so can I.

What type of floss should you use? Really, it doesn't matter, the important thing is breaking up the party that the bacteria are having before there are enough of them to create a problem. What I have found on myself, is that dental tape works better. I have tight contacts and tape, though it is thicker goes between my teeth easier. Many of my patients like Glide because it's impregnated with teflon and they feel this makes it easier.

In another blog I'll go over other uses for floss, but for now try and get in the habit of flossing daily and live longer because of it.

Dr. G

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Brain Freeze

Have you ever one of those brain freeze's; not the one where you have an Icee too fast, but one where you do something that you knew you shouldn't do but did it anyway? You know like touching a hot stove or trying to answer your wife when she asks, "Does this make me look fat?"

That's what happened to me when I was trying to blog. I'm evaluating what time of the year we're in and then trying to write something of interest. Well, we just sailed through Halloween and I realized we're in November! What does this mean? Holidays, travel, Thanksgiving, presents, Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and what do I decide to blog about? Open Enrollment! That is until one of my trusty companions told me that I just grabbed a red hot poker! Now I'm icing my hand and feeling a little embarrassed. Let me just say if you have any questions on dental plans, call your dentist, they truly want to look out for whats best for you.

True Confessions! You want to know what the best part of Halloween? Buying candy at 50-75% of regular price. Yup I do have a sweet tooth and I hate getting a brain freeze.

By the way, honey you look great in that dress.

Dr. G