Dental Anxiety 101: FAQs About Handling Dental Fears

Between 9 and 15 percent of individuals do not get the dental care they need because of fear of the dentist, which goes to show just how common it is to have dental anxiety. If you are well aware of dental treatment anxiety because you deal with it yourself, you may have a few questions. Take a look at some things you likely want to know about your dental anxiety and fear and the answers you can rely on.

Should you discuss your fears with your dentist?

Absolutely! Your dentist can’t help you out if they have no idea what you’re feeling. Of course, most dentists can recognize the signs of dental anxiety. But the more you open up and communicate, the easier it will be to establish a plan of action that can keep you at ease. For instance, if you let the dentist know that you have anxiety because you are claustrophobic and don’t like feeling crowded near your face, they can take more frequent breaks, make sure your airway is not crowded, etcetera.

How can you handle dental anxiety without sedation?

Dental anxiety can sometimes be helped through basic relaxation techniques. For example, Harvard Health offers a nice list of relaxation techniques during stressful moments, such as:

  • Breathing focus, which involves taking long, deep breaths and focusing on the breathing process
  • Guided imagery, which involves mindfully focusing on pleasant imagery
  • Body scan, which involves tightening and relaxing certain muscle groups

When do you know sedation dentistry is the best solution if you have dental anxiety?

If your dental anxiety is so severe that nothing your dentist does or changes helps to combat the anxiety, you may need to consider getting treatments while sedated. Nitrous oxide gas, which is often referred to as laughing gas, can sometimes be used to curb anxiety. Your dentist may also be able to give you a mild oral sedative just before your treatment. Some dentists even offer full sedation dentistry, which is treatment performed while you are completely sedated.

It is perfectly normal to get nervous at the dentist, but some people have more problems with dental anxiety than others. Reach out to us at Dentists of Hinsdale Lake in Illinois for an appointment.

Girl after Cosmetic Dentistry in Willowbrook IL

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Cosmetic dentistry is actually a group of procedures that more and more people are availing of. In the past, cosmetic dentistry was considered a pure vanity procedure. Now, however, it’s widely known that cosmetic dentistry offers health and emotional benefits beyond appearance.

What Are the Types of Cosmetic Dentistry?

When you are striving to achieve better oral health as well as improved appearance for your teeth and gums, there are many cosmetic dentistry options to choose from.

Professional Teeth Whitening

The dentist offers professional teeth whitening that surpasses any results you might get from home kits. The results are faster, safer and more authentic-looking than over the counter kits, too.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are used to replace a decayed, broken, cracked or missing part of the top surface of the tooth. Dental crowns help your smile look better, but they also improve oral functioning in the areas of eating, drinking and speaking.

Dental Implants

Dental implants enable the dentist to install a faux tooth where one is missing. With the “magic” of dental implants, your smile can look nearly perfect, despite having lost one or more tooth.

Inlays and Overlays

Inlays and overlays simply refer to surface enhancements or “fillings” that take care of minor imperfections in the tooth. These materials are permanently bonded to the tooth in the dentist’s office and closely match the natural color of surrounding teeth.

Why Do People Have Cosmetic Dentistry?

People have cosmetic dentistry for a variety of reasons. in many cases, cosmetic dentistry is used as a way to make teeth look better. The emotional boost of having attractive teeth and a nice smile can be life-changing. It can make a person have more confidence, smile more and in turn improve the actual quality of life through a better social life,, more opportunities and so on.

Other times, people get cosmetic dentistry because they know it will improve overall health by improving their oral health. Cosmetic dentistry can help with speaking, chewing, drinking and protect against tooth decay and deterioration.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dentistry, speak to your dentist. Your dentist can advise you about the different cosmetic dentistry options that might benefit you personally.

What is Preventative Dental Care?

Lots of children get tired of being asked, “Did you brush your teeth?” It becomes a redundant inquiry when you’re a little kid, but there’s a reason many parents stress the importance of toothbrushes and toothpaste at a young age—preventative dental care is an essential building block for an overall healthy body. With that said, it’s vital at all stages of people’s lives, not just when they’re kids.

What Does Preventative Care Actually Mean?

In dentistry, preventative care means keeping your teeth as protected and healthy as possible by way of:

  • Brushing
  • Flossing
  • Using mouthwash
  • Making regular appointments with your dentist at least twice a year

This is because it doesn’t take long for the food and drinks you consume to leave their mark on your tooth enamel. By definition, preventative care means preventing problems that could occur if you neglect your teeth and gums, but that doesn’t mean much if you don’t really understand the potential hazards that are lurking below the surface of your favorite foods.

Why is Preventative Dental Care Important?

The process works like this: leftover matter from food and drinks clings to your teeth, usually near the gum line where it has some space to hide from your toothbrush. Those particles produce bacteria, which eventually turns into plaque. When left untreated, plaque turns into tartar, which can cause a large variety of health problems including:

  • Cavities
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loss of teeth

The longer oral health issues are ignored, the worse they can become. Preventative care not only protects your teeth from incurring damage and disease, but it allows dental health professionals to catch early signs of problems before they get out of hand, so they can get them under control. Oral health issues can result from genetics, bad habits, or unforeseen accidents, but the more attention you put into your day-to-day routines, the less likely you’ll be to suffer irreparable damage in the long run.

Are you searching for a dentist in Willowbrook, IL? Dentists of Hinsdale Lake is operated by a team of oral health professionals who put preventative care and patient comfort front and center. Schedule your initial appointment with us today!

woman smiling white teeth

3 Ways to Prevent Tooth Enamel Loss

As the erosion of your tooth enamel occurs, it loses its ability to protect against tooth decay. Although fluoride can help rebuild enamel, it is better to keep it from eroding in the first place. Luckily, there are many ways to accomplish this goal and preserve your dental health. Check out these three methods to find your ideal way to prevent tooth enamel loss.

Avoid Acidic Foods and Beverages

Tooth enamel already withstands an onslaught of acids from the waste released by plaque bacteria. Adding more in the form of acidic food and beverages only serves to wear the enamel down even more. So, to avoid making this problem worse, avoid excessive consumption of:

  • Soda
  • Fruit juice
  • Citrus
  • Tomatoes
  • Sour candy

As you limit these substances, you give fluoride a chance to halt tooth enamel loss and start to rebuild the lost minerals.

woman smiling white teeth

Keep Gastric Acid Under Control

Like acidic food and beverages, gastric acid can wreak havoc on tooth enamel. As the acid comes up the esophagus, it often contacts the molars and backsides of the teeth, causing visible damage in those areas. You can keep this problem at bay by controlling your acid reflux symptoms with help from your doctor. They can prescribe medications and help you make lifestyle changes that make a big difference in your health.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum Everyday

By washing away bacteria and their acidic waste, saliva plays an important role in preventing enamel loss. Your salivary glands may not always produce the optimal amount of saliva on their own, but you can help them along by chewing sugar-free gum. As you chew the gum, your salivary glands amp up their production of saliva, washing the tooth enamel clean.

How Your Dentist Can Help Prevent Tooth Enamel Loss

If you would like to receive help preventing tooth enamel loss, your dentist at is always available to help you create an effective care plan. With their assistance, you can establish beneficial professional teeth cleaning schedule and perfect your at-home oral care routines. We welcome you to give us a call at 630-323-5333 to set up an appointment with your dentist to receive the support you need to prevent tooth enamel loss.

Do I Need a NightGuard?

If you’ve been grinding your teeth a lot at night or clenching them when you get nervous or stressed, you may be wondering if a night guard could help. Or, maybe your dentist has mentioned using a night guard to you and you’ve wondered if it is really necessary. The answer really depends on you and how committed you are to protecting your teeth.

What is a night guard?

A night guards is a clear plastic device that fits over your teeth. Usually, night guards are used over the top teeth, but occasionally they are recommended for the bottom teeth as well. Night guards act as protection against enamel loss when you grind or clench your teeth. To be effective, night guards need to be worn almost every night.

Dental Nightguard Willowbrook

Benefits of using a night guard

There are a number of benefits to using a night guard. Among these are…

1. Protection from enamel erosion. As we mentioned earlier, a night guard provides a barrier to help protect the outer layer of your teeth, the enamel. Enamel loss can make your teeth appear gray and cause your teeth to be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

2. Reduced jaw pain. Grinding and clenching your teeth can also result in jaw pain. Using a night guard can help reduce this pain.

3. Saving money in the long run. Investing in a night guard will likely save you a significant amount of money in future dental bills. Enamel loss is generally treated with veneers, an expensive cosmetic dentistry solution.

4. Helping you snore less. Grinding and clenching your teeth at night can lead to snoring. Using a night guard regularly can help lessen your snoring and help you and your partner get a better night’s sleep.

To learn more about whether a night guard can be beneficial to you, visit us online at Dentists of Hinsdale Lake or request an appointment by calling (insert contact information). We’ve been serving the Hinsdale, WIllowbrook and surrounding communities for more than 30 years.