Is it safe to go to a dentist during the coronavirus pandemic?

Coronavirus image from web

The long and the short of it is that it depends on what your dental practice is doing to take extra steps to keep you and the staff safe.

At The Dental Lounge at Robina we are taking many extra precautions to ensure the safety of everyone and eliminate transmission of the virus.

Firstly and foremost, only fit and healthy patients are allowed to attend!  We are postponing any patients by several weeks if they have any symptoms whatsoever.  So keep this in mind, unlike a doctor’s office or a medical centre, our practice will only contain healthy people!

We will be pre-screening all patients to make sure they fit the criteria to be seen.

When you arrive for your appointment please remain in your car and call us or send us a text message on 0480 018 823 to let us know you have arrived. We will advise you when it’s your turn to come through. We don’t want any people waiting in the lounge area. 

Please don’t bring cash to your appointment; we are implementing a contactless payment system.

When you arrive you will be taken straight through to the treatment room. Please sanitise your hands on arrival. You will also be asked to rinse your mouth with an antiviral mouth rinse for at least 30 seconds before treatment commences.

All surfaces touched by patients are being sanitised after each patient, for example door handles, pens etc. 

Our usual high standards of infection control are continuing as usual, all areas after each patient are cleaned and new autoclaved equipment is used for each patient.  Dental practices have always maintained high levels of hygiene due to the nature of dental work.  Well are well practiced in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

Please try not to bring anyone with you to your appointments. There is a limit of one extra person.  If possible please have them wait in the car. 

If you are a patient who has a higher risk of adverse outcomes, we will schedule your appointment for first thing in the morning. 

When you leave your appointment please sanitise you’re hands again. 

As you can see, we are following all the guidelines as set out by the Australian Dental Association and we really appreciate your cooperation at this time.

Naturally, this is a rapidly evolving situation we are also following the advice of the government. 

Coronavirus image from web

Dental Anxiety, Fear, and Phobia

Is dental anxiety, dental fear, and dental phobia essentially the same thing? That's what I want to explain here in more detail, there are some slight differences. 

Anxiety involves apprehension about a situation, it is not usually about something that is happening, but about something due to happen in the future. For the majority of the population, a visit to the dentist does invoke some feelings of anxiety regarding your upcoming appointment. 

Beyond anxiety, fear is usually a result of exposure to situations that are either real or imagined. A dental patient who has had a previous bad experience at a dentist, may well develop a fear of dentists as a result. This fear is normal, you are facing a situation that previously didn't go well, it is a bit scary.  No one should feel silly about being fearful in situations like that, it is completely normal.   

A phobia is a form of fear that cannot be controlled voluntarily. Phobias create feelings that are out of proportion to the actual situation. Using reasoning to overcome phobias becomes difficult, if not impossible. As a result, individuals usually resort to avoidance strategies, trying to avoid completely, the feared situation. 

At the Dental Lounge, we see the whole range of dentally nervous patients, ranging from anxiety and fear, through to true dental phobics.   Fortunately, through a combination of our approach to dentistry and our atmosphere, we are able to help many anxious and fearful dental patients become capable of receiving dental treatment without any additional medications.  We have essentially helped them overcome their fears.

Of course, for truly dental phobic patients we do offer twilight sedation and treatment under general anaesthetic in a hospital setting. 

For many dental phobic patients, the hardest part is picking up the phone to call or reaching out for help. Many patients tell us they feel embarrassed or ashamed about their fear. Please rest assured that we have designed the practice to help people like you and we will never judge you as we understand that you can’t help the way that you feel.   May I recommend writing down all your fears and concerns before phoning or before attending your first appointment so that in the moment you can remember anything that you needed to let us know.  All of the dentists and staff here are happy to listen to your concerns and work at your pace, whatever that may be. We want you to feel that you are in control, at all times.

How to prepare your child for their first dental visit?

The Dental Lounge - Childrens Dentistry

Preparation of your child is crucial for ensuring their first trip to the dentist is a positive experience.  

Here are a few of my top tips for parents to make that first (and every) visit is a relaxing one. 

Most importantly, even if you have a great fear of the dentist or you are the typical “I hate the dentist” type of patient , please don’t pass this to your child by using negative words. Don’t talk about your fear in front of your child, use positive words and phrases about visiting the dentist.  

Try to make their appointments in the morning so they are not tired, cranky or hungry. Please bring your child in for a quick visit at around 2-3 years of age so that their first visit is simply a fun ride in the chair, counting teeth and maybe even a little kiddies clean. Waiting until your child has a problem to bring them in is not a great way to build up their confidence. By about the third time they attend for a kids checkup and clean most kids feel really relaxed about their dental visits.  

When you bring your child into the dental surgery try to stay relaxed and calm. Please don’t tell your child to be “brave” as this subconsciously tells your child that there is something that they should be afraid of.  Don’t use words like “needle” or “drill” as the dentist will explain anything that is required for their visit in a special way to help keep children calm.  Try to remain more of a passive observer while the dentist is examining your child’s teeth as children tend to stay more calm when their parents are calm. 

Role playing with your child before they come in can be very useful.  Put on some disposable gloves and make a pretend mask and pretend to be the dentist counting their teeth. Tell them about the magic chair that turns into a bed. If they are coming to our practice, you can even tell them that they can watch some tv on the ceiling while we are counting their teeth. 

If you have any concerns about when might be the right time to bring your child in for their first dental visit please call our friendly staff on 5580 8855 and they will be able to help you further. 

The Dental Lounge - Childrens Dentistry

All About 'Happy Gas'

Laughing Gas or ‘happy gas’ as it is aptly nicknamed, is a light sedative that offers a relaxing sensation during dental treatment.

Believe it or not, we cannot use the words "Nitrous oxide" in the first line of the blog post as Google Ads doesn't like seeing that term in the summary text, but that is the technical name for the gas.  

It is a quick and easy process that is perfect for patients who are a little nervous at the dentist. It’s becoming very popular at the Dental Lounge, and there are many people that find it helpful. 

The gas is inhaled through a nosepiece, and begins to take effect after five minutes. Just as quickly as happy gas works, it wears off once the nosepiece is removed, allowing you to drive home safely after your dental treatment.  

As you are awake throughout the procedure, we only recommend happy gas for adults and children with mild dental anxiety. Happy gas is not suitable for patients with severe anxiety, breathing difficulties, during pregnancy, or after recent eye surgery.

If you are interested to find out more please contact us and we can have a chat to see if happy gas might be something that will help you. 

happy gas the dental lounge robina

Straight Teeth = Better Health!

Straight Teeth Better Health!

Is there anyone that doesn't desire straight, beautiful teeth?

But there’s more to straight teeth than first meets the eye.  While being easy on the eye is nice, that’s just one benefit. There are other things you should know, things you probably never thought about before.

If you’re lucky to have well-aligned teeth, you might never have realised the problems crooked or crowed teeth can present. People with teeth like that will often find it difficult to effectively clean their teeth. The gaps in between the teeth can be especially troublesome to access either by flossing, or interdental brushes (little brushes that slide between teeth).  Plaque starts to build up in the areas difficult to clean, long term plaque build-up leads to excess bacteria growth which in turn causes irritation, decay, gum disease, and sometimes eventual tooth loss.

So straight teeth are easier to keep clean, will harbor less plaque and therefore bacteria. There’s even been some studies that have linked the bacteria found around crowded teeth with colon cancers and Alzheimer’s disease! People with straight teeth in general will have healthier teeth and gums and typically keep their natural teeth for longer.

What about abnormal tooth wear?  Crowded teeth often cause one or more teeth to stick out at an odd angle.  In order to effectively chew your food, you may move your jaw in strange ways, struggling to get crooked teeth to cut and chew food.  Teeth now rub together in ways they were never meant to and tooth enamel is worn off much quicker than normal.

Do you know that teeth that are misaligned can push and rub up against soft tissues in the mouth? If you routinely bite your cheek or lips due to a misaligned bite, it can result in cuts, sores, infections, and be a real source of annoyance.

Straight teeth not only look good, they also align and bite together better, avoiding soft parts of the mouth. Each tooth hits accurately and evenly, which means it has almost negligible impact and is less likely to cause tooth wear and cuts inside the mouth.

One of the benefits that cannot be stated enough, is improved confidence and self-esteem.

People that are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth often become embarrassed and hence, self-conscious of their smile. They will often smile with their lips sealed and cover their mouth while talking or laughing.

Straightening your teeth can have a massive impact on your self-esteem and confidence.

A confident smile conveys friendliness and happiness.  People feel more attractive due to the confidence that radiates through their smile.  We all understand that confidence also improves your emotional and mental health, having confidence is a great benefit going through life.

There is also mounting research to link inflammation in the mouth and the bacteria that causes it, to many common diseases.  Researchers are finding the same bacteria ends up in the bodies of people with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, colon cancer and brain diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Research is ongoing, but it is easy to imagine how bacteria gradually going via bleeding gums into the bloodstream is most likely not a good thing.

Being able to keep your teeth clean by removing plaque effectively helps to reduce bacterial growth and inflammation. The importance of this benefit is now far greater than we have ever known in the past.

For patients looking for a straighter smile, we offer a variety of orthodontic solutions individually designed to adapt to your specific needs and lifestyle. Check out our Fastbraces special and our video covering Invisalign and Myobrace as well (Myobrace help kids avoid the need for braces later in life).

Straight Teeth Better Health!