Our Current Blog Articles
January 16, 2018
Overcoming Your Fear of Seeing the Dentist
Here at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, we want to help you with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. We understand that while it is generally not a fun experience, it is necessary for good mouth health. Ultimately, avoiding your dentist makes the situation worse because you will increase your chances of needing more work done. We have put together a few tips to help make your visits to the dentist better.
Lack of Control
One of the primary reasons people do not enjoy the dentist is a lack of control. You are in a chair in a prone position and there is a person with their hands in your mouth. This prevents you from speaking and generally results in a strong feeling of a lack of control. Additionally, our mouth is primary to our survival. We need our mouths the breath, eat, and drink. In general, our deepest instincts direct us to avoid letting people touch inside our mouths. It is understandable then that many people don’t really enjoy visiting the dentist.
The tools required for fillings, crowns and more do not necessarily help with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. Sharp metal instruments do not generally inspire a sense of calm and needles are a major source of fear for a number of people. Additionally, the whirring and clicking noises are not calming. Unfortunately, there are a number of sources of a fear response at the dentist’s office.
The First Step
If going to the dentist is a bit like pulling teeth, for either you or a loved one, starting by admitting there is a problem is helpful. A number people make excuses and come up with reasons why they can’t make it to the dentist. Admitting that fear of the dentist is a problem will help you better come to terms with potential solutions. It is also helpful to identify what the exact issue is. Is it the needles? Have you had a bad dental experience before? Is it the chair? Pinpointing your exact fears will help you better determine effective strategies for addressing your issues.
Find a Good Dentist
Finding a good dentist can help alleviate the fear of a botched dental experience. You can ask family or friends for recommendations and you can look for dentists who are concerned with their patient’s comfort and are willing to address dental anxiety. Additionally, finding a dentist with a sense of humor may be helpful. A study found that use of humor in a dentist’s office does have a positive effect on the level of fear for dental patients.
If you need a caring professional who can help with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist, contact us here at Wimmer Dental for a consultation.
Maybe your issue is the sounds of the drills and suction. Finding ways to take your focus away from the noise may be helpful. You could consider wearing noise-canceling headphones or earplugs as a way to help reduce or eliminate the disturbing sounds. A number of dental offices now offer movies or television programs that you can watch on screens on the ceiling as a way to provide a distraction. You can also bring earbuds and your iPod or phone so that you can listen to music instead of the drills.
Relaxation Techniques can be Helpful
There are a number of relaxation techniques that can be very useful in being less anxious and overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist. Meditation can be a helpful way to deal with dental anxiety. Visualizations, prayer, and controlled breathing can also be effective. All of these offer some method for helping you control your level of stress and fear at the dentist’s office. If these don't work, you can also ask about sedation dentistry.
Pay Attention to Your Gut Feeling
Sometimes the relationship between you and your dentist is not a good one. It doesn’t mean your dentist is not effective, just that they may not be the best dentist for you. A positive relationship with your dentist and their staff is important to helping you overcome your dental fears. If you feel like the dentist or the staff is not the best fit, it may be helpful to try a different dentist office. A number of offices these days are putting forth extra effort to attract patients who are fearful of going to the dentist. Trying a different office may be a good strategy for finding a good dentist near you.
Slow Dental Work is Better Than None
Instead of trying to get all your dental work done in a short period of time, you may be better served by shorter appointments over a longer period of time. A little treatment is better than no treatment because as we all know ignoring a problem is rarely an effective method of making something better. Small amounts of repeated, successful exposure can be effective in diminishing your dental anxiety.
Good Preventive Care will Help
Good dental habits will help you with having to have painful work done in the first place. Brushing your teeth well, flossing daily, and eating a good diet will help you avoid having to have some of the dental work that causes you anxiety. Prevention can be a great way to need easier visits and help you with overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist.
Talk to Your Dentist
Open and honest communication with your dentist will help your high anxiety. Your dentist may have additional helpful tips for dealing with your fears. It will also help your dentist be more mindful of your situation. Keeping your dentist informed is a good way to avoid inadvertent anxiety-causing situations.
Overcoming your fear of seeing the dentist can be done with a little patience and determination. If you need a dentist that will help you with your dental anxiety, contact us at Wimmer Dental, serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We provide a positive atmosphere for our patients and will help you address your dental fears while taking excellent care of your teeth.
December 12, 2017
Get to Know Dental Implants
Here at Wimmer Dental, serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, we want you to get to know dental implants. This option can be a very natural looking solution to certain dental issues, and they can be so real looking and feeling that many people forget they even have them. Dental implants can be an excellent and long-lasting way to improve your smile.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants position a synthetic tooth root in a patient’s jaw. This root will be set so that it can hold either a bridge or a replacement tooth. Depending on the number of implants that will be done, a session can be completed in as little as an hour or it can take a few hours. In some cases, the implants may be done over multiple visits.
Dental Implant History
Long before today’s version of dental implants, ancient civilizations performed the first dental implants. Mayans actually were the first to try a version of these procedures. They would use tooth-shaped shells and would insert them into their jaws and gums to allow the jawbone to grow around the pieces to provide sufficient support.
The Modern Implant
Once you get to know dental implants, you’ll see that we’ve come a long way over the years. The modern implant can be a long-lasting solution for your dental issues. At some point though, the implant may wear down and a replacement may be necessary. The average span of dental implants is 10 years. The great thing is that implants can be replaced without needing additional oral surgery. Sometimes, with regular dental care and check-ups, your implant can actually last a lifetime.
Dental implants are often cylindrical shaped posts. They’re made of medical-grade titanium because of the material’s durability and strength. Often the implant is attached to a patient’s jawbone during a surgical procedure. The patient usually receives a regional anesthetic and sedation. Following the surgery, the site of the implants is given time to heal and the implant is given time to fuse with the patient’s jawbone.
Generally, dental implants have three parts to them. The first part is the implant which is kind of like a screw that permanently attaches to your jaw. The second part is the abutment which is like a connector. It is permanent but removable by your dentist. The abutment is what holds the tooth or teeth that are being put into place. The third part is the crown which is the part that looks like a tooth or teeth. This part is generally made out of porcelain or zirconium to provide a durable but natural look.
If you think implants would be a good solution for your dental issues, contact us at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas, and get to know dental implants.
Endosteal Dental Implants
This is one of the most common implants. The implant is molded into the shape of a tooth’s root and is placed into a patient’s jawbone. This kind of implant can be done for one or several teeth. It can even be performed for an entire set of teeth. Endosteal implants are available in a variety of sizes allowing your dentist to choose sizes that will look the most natural in your mouth.
There are two parts to this type of implant. In the first step, the dentist creates an implant size hole. For step two, the root part of the implant is inserted into the hole. In general, it can take 3 to 6 months to recover fully from an endosteal dental implant procedure.
For patients with narrow or short jawbones, this plate implants may be a more suitable choice. Plate implants involve a long flat plate inserted; the gums are closed with stitches. The jawbone and gums will grow up around the plate and the crown will be connected to the implant after recovery is complete. Recovery from plate implants can take up to 6 months.
This last type of dental implant is only performed when a plate implant is not possible. Custom-made implants act as artificial jawbone and attach to the patient’s real jawbone, if possible. Subperiosteal implants are fit to rest on top of the patient’s jawbone but under the patient’s gums.
Who Benefits from Implants
Dental implants have increased in popularity over the years because they are effective, strong, and durable. After recovery, people with implants have no lists of food to avoid. This is a clear benefit over options like dentures. The people who may find that implants are a great option include the following:
- Patients with missing or damaged teeth. Dental implant procedures can help improve a patient’s smile. The effect can be natural and healthy looking.
- Patients who may need to have one or more teeth pulled because the tooth is failing.
- Patients who are dissatisfied with their smile.
A patient may not be a candidate for an implant if their jawbone is in poor condition or if the patient’s oral health is too poor. Your dentist will provide information for you about what options would be most suitable for your specific situation.
Once you get to know dental implants, you’ll see that it’s like any other kind of surgery. It comes with a risk of infection. Some patients may experience rejection which is when the body treats the implant like a foreign object. In rare cases, the implant may fail.
Your dentist or oral surgeon can discuss the potential risks of having dental implants. Overall, most patients enjoy having dental implants and are pleased with the end result. This is part of the reason implants have grown in popularity and use.
The cost of an implant procedure will vary depending on your situation and your insurance. Discuss your options with our office to determine what the cost may be for you.
You can get to know dental implants by contacting us for an appointment here at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We can help you determine if dental implants would be the right solution to improve your smile and correct the oral health issue you may be experiencing.
November 17, 2017
All About Botox and Dermal Fillers
At Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we want to share all about Botox and dermal fillers. Wrinkle treatment options are on the rise and are more widely available now more than ever before. You can get treatments over-the-counter and now many healthcare providers, like our own Wimmer Dental, offer treatments for those who want longer-lasting options. Botox and dermal fillers are two of these longer-lasting options.
Both Botox and dermal fillers are used to treat facial wrinkles. Both also are administered via injections, often in multiple locations. Though they are similar, they are not the same and they are not used in the same ways. So let’s talk all about Botox and dermal fillers.
Botox is a kind of muscle relaxer that is made from bacteria, called botulinum toxin type A. It has been available for over twenty years. It has been used as a treatment for neurological disorders that result in muscle weakness as well as for migraines. Botox is also used to treat other medical issues.
When Botox is used for treating wrinkles and it is usually used on dynamic wrinkles. These are the wrinkles that occur as a result of using your facial muscles to form expressions. Such wrinkles are usually located around your eyes and mouth. They are also found between your eyebrows. As people age, these dynamic wrinkles become more pronounced and can result in people feeling like they look tired or grumpy all the time. Botox relaxes the dynamic muscles so they don’t move and this reduces the dynamic wrinkles in your face.
Botox is not used for wrinkles caused by the breakdown of collagen. Here at Wimmer Dental serving the Centennial and Littleton areas, we inject Botox into the muscles that are responsible for those dynamic wrinkles you would like treated. The whole process is very quick and within two weeks you will see a noticeable difference.
Dermal fillers are primarily used for smile lines, but can also be used to plump up areas of the face and lips. Sometimes they can be used to reduce the appearance of scarring. Dermal fillers are not approved for use on other parts of the body. Some of the dermal fillers available include:
- Calcium hydroxylapatite
- Hyaluronic acid
- Poly-L-lactic acid
- Polymethylmethacrylate beads
Botox injections are very effective and the side effects are minimal. The most common side effects, such as bruising, disappear after a short period of time, sometimes only a couple days. Results are clear within a week or sometimes a little bit longer. There are a few medications that interfere with the effectiveness of Botox. You should consult with your provider for information on side effects, contraindications, as well as any questions you have.
Botox treatments last for approximately 3 to 4 months. To maintain the improvements of the treatments, you will need to have repeated sessions.
Dermal Filler Effectiveness
Dermal fillers are also highly effective and severe side effects are rare. Each dermal filler lasts for a different length of time and is made of different materials.
- Calcium hydroxylapatite can last up to approximately 18 months and is composed of a temporary gel substance
- Collagen can last four months.
- Hyaluronic acid can last as long as 12 months, though some patients need maintenance after six months.
- Poly-L-lactic acid is a man-made material that lasts for approximately two years though there are some reports of longer periods.
- Polymethylmethacrylate beads is a permanent dermal filler.
With some dermal fillers, an allergy test may be recommended to ensure that the treatment will be safe for you. Your provider will have recommendations to minimize any common side effects. Be sure to discuss which treatment may be best for your situation and be sure to ask questions.
Both Botox and dermal fillers have side effects. The most common side effects are swelling and bruising. For each product, there are different potential side effects that you should discuss with your provider.
The costs for Botox and dermal fillers vary. Insurance companies generally will not cover these sorts of treatments. Some providers will work with you on a payment plan or financing. You should discuss the possibility of these options with your provider if you need them.
These procedures do not take very long, most of them only last a few minutes. You may need to have a consultation appointment first and possibly a follow-up appointment to ensure you are pleased with the results. Some offices may not require multiple appointments, so this may vary by provider. Overall, Botox and dermal fillers do not take much time and can have great results.
The overwhelming majority of patients are pleased with the results of the Botox and dermal filler treatments. Many patients enjoy feeling younger and more youthful as a result of their treatments. Given the minimal side effects and how pleased patients are with the outcome, this explains why these procedures have been in use for so many years.
Questions to Consider
When discussing potential Botox or dermal filler injections, here are some questions you may want to explore with your provider:
- How satisfied have your previous patients been?
- What qualifications do you have?
- Do you have any examples and pictures of before and after to show me?
- What after-care will I need?
- What products do you use and recommend and why?
- What are the potential side effects?
- Are there any conditions that would preclude me from using your available products?
It is important to be sure that you and your provider have a clear understanding of your treatment plan and that any concerns you may have are fully addressed ahead of your chosen treatment.
If you are interested in Botox or dermal fillers, contact us at Wimmer Dental serving the Littleton and Centennial areas. We know all about Botox and dermal fillers. We can discuss your needs and expectations to determine the best options for you.
October 19, 2017
About TMJ and Its Causes
Here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial, we want to share a little about TMJ and its causes. A lot of people suffer from TMJ or TMD. If you are experiencing facial or jaw pain, perhaps a toothache or issues chewing, you may be wondering whether you have TMJ or TMD.
On either side of your head, there are temporomandibular joints (TMJ). These joints work in conjunction with your ligaments, muscles, and bones. All together, they are what enables you to speak, eat, yawn, chew, and more. Often mistakenly called TMJ, temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are conditions that can cause your temporomandibulars to stop working properly.
According to the American Dental Association over 15% of Americans suffer from TMD that cause chronic facial pain, headaches, earaches, and jaw pain. TMD can be a temporary issue for some but for others, the condition can be long-lasting. Women tend to suffer from TMD more frequently than men. The cause is not clear, though many dentists think that problems stem from the jaw joint or the surrounding muscles. Additionally, TMJ issues are associated with the following:
- Clenching or grinding teeth
- Stress, particularly if you clench your jaw or teeth as a result
- Dislocation of the ball and socket disc
- Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis of the TM joints
- Jaw, head, or neck injuries
To determine whether you have TMD, your dentist will check your jaw and your bite. You will be examined for jaw tenderness or locking of your jaw. Your dentist may also check for clicking or popping noises which may also be an indication of a TMD. Your dentist may also need to take x-rays. If warranted, you may be referred to an oral surgeon to be treated.
If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, you should see our dentist at Matthew Wimmer Dental serving the Centennial and Littleton areas.
- Neck, shoulder, or facial pain when you chew, talk, or open your mouth
- Trouble or difficulty opening your mouth fully and easily
- Jaw locking
- Grating, popping, or clicking sounds when you open or close your mouth
- Problems when you chew or issues when you bite
- Facial swelling, particularly on the sides of your face
- Headache, toothaches, or neck pain
- Hearing loss, dizziness, or earaches
Your dentist will have recommendations for your TMD that may vary based on your situation. You may need to wear a night guard or a splint. Your bite may need correction or you may have specific teeth that need to be treated. You may be encouraged to eat softer foods, avoid chewing gum, and limit your stress over situations that may prompt you to clench your jaw. Surgery may also be needed, but it should only be a last resort.
Now that you know about TMJ and its causes, contact us here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial to make an appointment. If you are concerned about a potential TMD problem, let us take a look and determine the best course of action to provide you with relief.
October 5, 2017
Save Money with End of Year Dentistry
Did you know that you can save money with end of year dentistry? We here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial want you to know how to save some money and get the most out of your dental benefits. So, don’t hesitate to make your appointment right away!
It is a simple thing. Use as much of your dental benefits as possible, before the end of your benefit year, to save yourself possibly hundreds of dollars on preventative treatments and more. If your dental insurance runs on a calendar year, the end of the year is a great time to take advantage of savings before the year runs out.
Here are the basics of how to save money with end of year dentistry.
There is an amount, called the annual or yearly maximum, which is the most your dental insurance will pay for your dental work in one year. The yearly maximum is reset at the beginning of every year (usually on January 1st) and is often around $1,000 (on average). Any unused benefits do not roll forward to the next year so using up your benefits is a great way to make the most of the dental insurance you have.
Your deductible is the amount of money your insurance requires you to pay before your insurance will cover some of your dental needs. The fee varies from insurance company to insurance company. If your dentist is not a network dentist, your deductible is likely to be higher. Your deductible will also start over at the beginning of the year, so it is best to get whatever work done before the deductible resets. The average deductible can be as low as $50, though yours may be much higher or lower.
You pay an amount every month to your insurance company. This is called a premium. Your premium will frequently cover a certain number of dental cleanings every year, as well as other treatments. If a treatment is provided as part of your benefits, it is to your advantage to use them, otherwise, you’re paying premiums and getting nothing in return.
At the beginning of the year, it’s not unusual for your insurance premiums to increase or your benefits decrease. Even your annual maximum may change. Taking advantage of work before the year is over will frequently save you money because the amount you’ll pay out of pocket will typically be lower.
Your Small Problem Can Grow
Waiting to get dental work done risks needing more serious work. Frequently, cavities and other problems get worse with time, making them more expensive to treat. Don’t wait to take care of your dental issues. It truly will save you money.
Save money with end of year dentistry here at Wimmer Dental in Centennial. Use your benefits before the year is over and get your dental issues cared for now. If you need dental work done, call us for an appointment. We will help your mouth feel better and use your benefits before the year is out. It is a great way to save money.