Braces aren't just for teens!
This is Jennifer, Dr. Jones' chairside dental assistant. While I am not at liberty to reveal her exact age, I will let you know that she is a mom of a 16, 19, and 23 year old. Hard to believe, right?! We like to think we are a big part of keeping her looking all bright and glowy like this, because it's such an amazing work environment.
Jennifer has a big, bright smile and is always laughing and talking with patients. Several months ago, she approached Dr. Jones because she was having some tooth and jaw discomfort. After a thorough exam, and monitoring of symptoms, Dr. Jones recommended Jennifer should visit an orthodontist to correct her bite and move teeth into better positions for both esthetics and function.
There are several wonderful orthodontists to whom Dr. Jones refers patients. One is located in our building, which Jennifer ended up choosing. Not only is he a great doctor, it is really convenient for Jennifer to run up the stairs to her appointments. Location is something to consider when choosing an orthodontist, as is getting along with the orthodontist and his/her staff.
Since finding out that she was a great candidate for traditional braces, Jennifer has been quite anxious about this day. A couple of her fears were the length of time that she will wear them and how others would view her...an adult with braces?! Jennifer was able to speak to one our patients recently about her experience with traditional braces as an adult. I really think that helped calm some of her fears and get some important questions answered. If you are thinking about getting braces, or other orthodontic treatment and have questions, I'm sure Jennifer would be happy to talk with you about it.
Jennifer was gone about an hour today to have her braces put on her teeth. In the last month, she had several short appointments for consultations and gathering records (impressions, photos, xrays, etc.) Her orthodontist only put the top ones on, and she will go back next month to get the lower braces. She opted for the ceramic brackets which are basically tooth colored. It is amazing because from a distance, I couldn't even see them. Check out the side-by-side photos below that Dr. Jones took before and after getting braced placed. I had traditional silver braces when I was in high school. I wish that this was an option back then!
We asked Jennifer what her initial thoughts were and she said that while they definitely feel weird and bulky at first, she thinks over time they will be okay because you can hardly see them and it just takes time to get used to new things. We joked that she is going to have to dedicate the last part of her lunch to brushing and flossing so she doesn't greet the afternoon patients with a salad smile!
We will be following Jennifer's progress for the next 24 months. If you have general questions for Jennifer, please leave your questions in the Comments below. Any specific questions, please call our office, or be sure to ask Dr. Jones or Jennifer at your next visit.
Before and after getting braces placed. It is amazing how these ceramic braces are nearly invisible!
By: Ashleigh (with help from WebMD and the ADA website...and Dr. Jones, of course!)
You open up your email inbox and you see an email from your dentist. It is a reminder for your upcoming appointment. Do you:
A. Quickly confirm that you are excited and can't wait for your dental cleaning.
B. Reschedule it because you have more important things to do, like dusting all the baseboards in your house.
C. Trick question...you don't have an upcoming dental appointment because the word "dentist" sends a cold shiver down your spine.
Did you answer B or C? If so, you probably have a bit of dental anxiety or even a dental phobia. You are not alone! It is estimated that 9-20% of Americans experience some dental fear and avoid the dentist because of it.
Dental phobia is more serious than anxiety. Those that have dental phobia usually will avoid the dentist until forced because of pain.
Dental Phobia Signs:
Trouble sleeping the night before the dental exam
Feelings of nervousness that escalate while in the dental office waiting room
Crying or feeling physically ill at the thought of visiting a dentist
Intense uneasiness at the thought of, or actually when, objects are placed in your mouth at a dental appointment
Fear of pain
Fear of anesthetic (numbing) injections or fear that anesthetic will not work
Fear of anesthetic side effects
Feelings of helplessness and loss of control
Embarrassment and loss of personal space
Traumatic past dental experiences
If you have dental fear and phobia it is important to talk with your dentist and hygienist about your dental anxiety. It is normal and quite common and you should not be embarrassed or ashamed to discuss these feelings. Ask for the provider to explain what is happening at every stage of the procedure. At our office, Dr. Jones explains procedures thoroughly and takes time to answer your questions so that you feel a little more in control of what is happening and why. Dr. Jones and the hygienists tell patients to signal them with a simple hand raise if you need them to stop for whatever reason. Whether you are uncomfortable, need to rinse your mouth or just need to take a minute to breathe, just raise your hand and the doctor or hygienist will stop immediately. We feel very confident that we are able to care for our most anxious patients successfully, and ensure that we achieve stable, healthy smiles. The more you feel like you have taken control over your oral health with safe and positive experiences, the easier it will be to come to each appointment.
Below is a 2012 review from a patient that has a high level of dental anxiety and fear:
"I have waited many years to seek out a dentist due to fear and previous bad experiences. Sought out Dr. Jones via the web, wanting a small woman run practice. I have had two appointments in the last month and while their is much work ahead, I feel very confident that I am with the right practice! Everyone is friendly, knowledgeable, professional and strives to make the visit as painless as possible. Dr. Jones personally discusses treatment options with you and encourages mutual agreement before moving forward. While I'm not looking forward to the road ahead, I'm happy Dr. Jones and her staff are driving the bus!"
Two years later this patient was nice enough to submit another review:
"As I have posted before, I Do Not Like Going to the dentist...period! I've been seeing the great Team at Dr. Jone's office for almost 2 years, including having some major restorative work done. Everyone is friendly, professional and caring; trying very hard to make the experience as enjoyable and pain free as possible. I would recommend her practice to anybody having the same "phobia" I used to have."
We applaud you taking the first step...calling the office to make your dental appointment. If you would like to meet with Dr. Jones to see if our office would be a good fit, we offer 30 minute complimentary first exams. Many new patients use this time to "interview" us to see if we meet their needs and see if we are compatible with their needs. We encourage anyone with dental fear to talk to Dr. Jones or anyone on our team. We look forward to seeing you!
Ali Jones, D.D.S. - Dentist