Thank You from your Family Dentist!

February was a fantastic month!  As National Children’s Dental Health Month, I had a great time teaching children and parents about pediatric dental health.  I also enjoyed participating in local events and health fairs to educate everyone on their oral and dental health.  I would like to send a special thank you to all of the following groups for allowing me to serve you:

E.P. Rayzor Elementary School of Lantana

E.P. Rayzor PTA

North Star Academy of Lantana

Castle Creek Christian Academy of Flower Mound

Alden Montessori of Flower Mound

Immaculate Conception Church of Denton

Asbury United Methodist Church Mother’s Day Out & Compass Homeschool Enrichment

Taylor Oaks HOA of Double Oak

I look forward to many more opportunities to support our communities!

Dr. Matt

Family Dentist Pediatric Periodontics Implants Crowns Veneers Dentist Cosmetic Dentist Lantana Flower Mound Double Oak Argyle Corinth Denton Highland Village Copper Canyon Lantana Argyle Lewisville Cosmetic Dentist Argyle Dentist Cosmetic Lantana Argyle Ponder Justin, TX Periodontics Dentures Highland Village Argyle Denton

Pediatric Dentistry from Your Family Dentist

Pediatric Dentistry from your Family Dentist

At Country Lakes Family Dental, we know kids!  In fact, many are surprised to hear that the majority of our patients are 14 years old and younger.  Of course, some joke that my kids alone help with that fact, but kidding aside, we live in an area thriving with families.  Just looking at city data we see the percentage of family households in the Denton area are above state average with Argyle at 85.4%, Flower Mound at 86.1%, Corinth at 80.0%, etc.  As parents of these families, we naturally want the best for our children, including their oral health.  So I’m offering this blog to help you parents understand a few of the important facts about pediatric dentistry.

What do we need to know first about pediatric oral health?  For starters, I would like to overcome a common misconception that primary, or baby teeth, are expendable.  It is true that most of the time, our baby teeth are replaced with permanent dentition, but the reality is that baby teeth serve very important functions for a long period during our childhood.  The typical primary tooth is not exfoliated until up to age 12, and in the meantime, these teeth are utilized for purposes including speech, eating, smiling, and space maintenance.  The most important of these functions is space maintenance.  Our permanent teeth are much larger than our primary teeth, and if a baby tooth is lost early, that space can collapse resulting in crowding of the permanent teeth.  Moreover, it is even advantageous to have spacing between primary teeth for space maintenance and easier cleaning.

When taking care of baby teeth, it is important to understand that the enamel of primary teeth is thinner than permanent teeth.  This makes it even more essential that baby teeth are well cared for from the beginning and on a frequent basis.  Preventative dental measures are the best approach and start with good oral hygiene habits and good nutrition.  The moment a tooth erupts, brushing should begin daily.  Using fluoride toothpaste is beneficial, but remember to always supervise the child, only use children’s toothpaste, and only use a small smear until the child is able to spit on his/her own.  Also, try to avoid sugary foods and frequent snacking, and never give a child juice or soda in a sippy cup that the child has access to throughout the day or night.  In addition, preventative dental treatment should include regular dental check-ups, fluoride treatments, and sealants when indicated.

Should a child require dental treatment, there are only a few pediatric dental procedures that are performed for baby teeth.  The first is your basic tooth filling where the decay is removed from the tooth and a composite restoration is placed.  If the tooth has lost a significant amount of tooth structure or if the child is at high risk for tooth decay, a stainless steel crown is used to cover the entire tooth surface.  Other crown options exist which include porcelain on the outer surface or a full composite crown for front teeth to improve esthetics.  If the decay has reached the nerve or pulp of a tooth, a baby root canal (or pulpotomy) is indicated, as long as the tooth is still vital and no abcesses are present.  Your dentist can determine if a baby tooth is still vital.  If a baby root canal or pulpotomy is performed, typically a crown is required for the tooth.  If it is found necessary to extract a baby tooth, it is important for your dentist to recognize when space maintenance is necessary.  When any procedure is performed on your child, it is essential that the child is made to feel as comfortable as possible.  Using nitrous, distractions techniques, and explaining or demonstrating the dental procedure work well to ensure your child has a positive dental experience.

Your child’s first dental visit recommended upon the eruption of their first tooth or at least by their first birthday.  Making an appointment at this age will provide the parents with proper oral health education for their child, and at the same time, help accustom the child to their new dental home.  Beginning this routine early not only allows for proper preventative pediatric dental care, but it also helps set the stage for making oral health a priority.

Of course this blog is just a summary of pediatric dental care, and there are many more topics to discuss about your child’s oral health.  If you have any specific questions about your child’s dental care or oral health, feel free to email me at drmatt@countrylakesdental.com or call us at 940-455-7645.

Keep smiling!

Dr. Matt

Family Dentist Pediatric Periodontics Implants Crowns Veneers Dentist Cosmetic Dentist Lantana Flower Mound Double Oak Argyle Corinth Denton Highland Village Copper Canyon Lantana Argyle Lewisville Cosmetic Dentist Argyle Robson Ranch Dentist Cosmetic Lantana Argyle Ponder Justin, TX Periodontics Dentures Highland Village Argyle Denton Cosmetic Invisalign Dentist Cosmetic Dental Implants Lantana Argyle Highland Village Flower Mound Robson Ranch Veneers Lumineers Crowns Filling Pediatric Dental

Managing Dental Anxiety with Your Family Dentist

 

Hello All!  For my first blog discussion, I would like to speak on an all too-familiar topic I deal with on a regular basis, and hopefully, in a way that will apply to the great neighbors of our beloved communities.  I would like to first begin by defining a specific term.  The term “dental IQ” is one often used in dental circles to describe the level of oral health care of individuals of certain geographical areas or designated subclasses.  Typical suburban areas like Lantana and Argyle and those of the mid-cities area fall in the category of a high dental IQ as many residents present with outstanding oral health.  Of course, achieving a high dental IQ does not merely imply healthy teeth and gums with no history of dental treatment, but instead, it is an indication of patients who actively seek and receive dental treatment when necessary and keep routine dental appointments.  However, despite living in an area of a high dental IQ, some individuals will fail to maintain the same standards as their peers.  One of the main causes of this trend is the topic of my discussion: dental anxiety.

As a dentist, it is obvious to me that dental anxiety is a subject that is well known and often expressed by the general public. When patients share with me that they are afraid of the dentist, I will jokingly remind them that no one was scared of me before I was a dentist and then I suggest that they imagine me as someone else.  It may seem silly, but it conveys the reality that dental anxiety is a matter that is often misdirected or misunderstood.  I recognize that dental anxiety is a real concern for many current and potential dental patients, but, in my experience, it is also an issue that can be easily managed if its nature is truly appreciated.  Therefore, to attempt to overcome dental anxiety, it is best to understand its source.

Most experts will agree that the majority of dental anxiety originates from a feeling of lack of control.  This is no surprise as certain aspects of a dental appointment such as lying back in a dental chair and being hovered over may create a feeling of helplessness.  In addition, for many patients a dental examination can feel like a breach of personal space, and patients may experience feelings of intrusion or embarrassment .  Another common source of dental anxiety is the experience of a poor previous dental experience.  As a result, simple queues like sounds or sensations of a dental appointment may trigger a recollection of this past event.  Understanding the source of your dental anxiety will help in learning to cope and even master it.

So once we identify the basis of dental anxiety, what do we do?  The answer lies in a comfortable dentist-patient relationship.  Though I joke about it, I appreciate when patients express honest feelings about their concerns.  Overcoming dental anxiety requires effort from both the dentist and the patient, and when I am made aware of a patient’s anxiety, I am able to produce a strategy to deal with it.  All approaches begin with conquering the assumption of lack of control.  All patients have a level of control over the appointment.  If a break is needed or if a sound or sensation is causing anxiety, simply make this aware to the dentist or dental auxiliary, take a pause, and allow yourself to regroup so that treatment can continue.  If you feel you cannot complete the appointment, find an acceptable stopping point and reappoint for another time.  I cannot express enough how much I personally value completing treatment in a comfortable and gentle manner in order to ensure proper dental care is received presently and in the future.

Dentistry itself has evolved significantly such that many other adjunctive measures are also available to increase patient comfort.  Advances in dental technology such as digital x-rays, intraoral cameras, and other dental tools help to improve the comfort and speed at which dental treatment is performed.  Distraction techniques such as calming conversation, music, or even hypnosis (and, yes, I know a hypnotist), can also assist in creating a more comfortable atmosphere.  The best distraction technique, not only for my pediatric patients but also my adult patients is the ability to watch television during an appointment.  Finally, pharmaceutical measures can be implemented to reduce anxiety such as nitrous oxide, enteral sedation, or for advanced periodontal, oral surgery or implant cases, even IV sedation is a measure our office utilizes.

The ultimate goal of reducing dental anxiety is to make it possible to receive dental treatment in a comfortable way so that oral health concerns can be addressed before they worsen.  Creating a comfortable environment through communication and understanding is the first step to achieving this goal.  I believe every patient deserves a comfortable dental experience, and by forming strong patient-dentist relationships, I hope to improve all my patients dental IQ.

Many blessings to you and your families,

Dr. Matt

Family Dentist Pediatric Periodontics Implants Crowns Veneers Dentist Cosmetic Dentist Lantana Flower Mound Double Oak Argyle Corinth Denton Highland Village Copper Canyon Lantana Argyle Lewisville Cosmetic Dentist Argyle Robson Ranch Dentist Cosmetic Lantana Argyle Ponder Justin, TX Periodontics Dentures Highland Village Argyle Denton Cosmetic Invisalign Dentist Cosmetic Dental Implants Lantana Argyle Highland Village Flower Mound Robson Ranch Veneers Lumineers Crowns Filling Pediatric Dental

Happy to be Your Neighborhood Family Dentist

Hello from Dr. Matt!

I am excited and enthusiastic to offer an informative and entertaining dental blog for anyone and everyone.  Since day one, I have enjoyed serving the families of the many great communities of Denton County:  from Bartonville to Double Oak, Lantana to Argyle, and Corinth to Highland Village, and many more.  As your local dentist and neighbor, I want to always be available and accessible to you and your families to not only provide great dental care, but to also educate everyone on their oral health.  That is why I feel it is an essential part of my vocation to provide a resource that discusses the dental topics important to you.  I encourage anyone to contact me if there is a subject you would like to learn more about, whether it is pediatric dentistry, periodontal disease, implants, or even just overcoming dental anxiety.   You can always reach me at drmatt@countrylakesfamily dental.com, and I am always happy to respond.  I look forward to improving your family’s oral health through many more future posts!

Family Dentist Pediatric Periodontics Implants Crowns Veneers Dentist Cosmetic Dentist Lantana Flower Mound Double Oak Argyle Corinth Denton Highland Village Copper Canyon Lantana Argyle Lewisville Cosmetic Dentist Argyle Robson Ranch Dentist Cosmetic Lantana Argyle Ponder Justin, TX Periodontics Dentures Highland Village Argyle Denton Cosmetic Invisalign Dentist Cosmetic Dental Implants Lantana Argyle Highland Village Flower Mound Robson Ranch Veneers Lumineers Crowns Filling Pediatric Dental