Our Dentist of the Month will be answering questions straight from dental patients and our Members. This month, Dr. Kaianne Conibear who has provided dental care for families in the Orlando area for the past 5 years will be answering your important dental health questions!
What are some easy ways to improve the appearance of my teeth?
There are many ways to improve the appearance of your teeth. The easiest way is keeping them healthy with a cleaning and exam to make sure they are cavity free. Cleanings keep the gums and bone healthy-and they remove some stains. Cavities turn parts of the teeth from healthy, hard and white to decayed, soft and brown-so preventing them is important. If healthy, you can whiten your teeth in many ways and you can straighten them with orthodontics. Each person is different, so speaking with your dentist will help you find out what is right for you.
How do you calm patients that are nervous about a procedure?
Of course there are sedation options in dentistry. I offer nitrous oxide and oral sedation. However, many times people do not want or need sedation; they just need to feel comfortable. I always assure the patient that they are in control during the procedure and tell them how to signal me if needed so we can adjust and make them comfortable, or just take a break. I also assure them that they will be numb, and I test a lot to make sure they don’t feel anything.
The most important thing is finding out more about the patient and what makes them nervous. Is it the needle? Is it not knowing or understanding what is going on? When we find out what is making them nervous we address it. Many times they have had a bad experience in the past that haunts them. Sometimes we start with just a small, short procedure to help them gain confidence. Every person is different; it is about personalizing what we do for each person.
How do you foster a dentist-patient relationship?
It is about personalizing what we do for each individual. Everyone in our office knows we need to listen to the patients so we address what their concerns are, from a cleaning today to pain or aligning teeth. There is no specific way, just listening and getting to know the patient and what is important to them. No two patients are alike.
What would you tell a patient to do in a dental emergency?
Call your dentist. Any patient that calls with an emergency we make time to see them that day. Many times you will hear us ask, “How soon can you be here?” If it is after hours there is usually an answering service or an on call person to take your call. Many times in true emergencies after hours you may be referred to an urgent care or emergency room. If you don’t have a dentist and it is after hours this is where you will have to go, unless there is a 24 hour dentist in your area that can see you.
What are some of the causes of bad breath?
Bad breath can be dental or non-dental. If it is dental, then it is usually one of three things: Periodontal disease, tooth decay, or bacteria on your tongue. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that accumulates in your gum tissue and causes destruction of the tooth-supporting tissues (gums and bone). This can be treated by your dentist if it is not too severe, but when it is your dentist will refer you to a periodontist. Non-dental causes could be gastrointestinal, tonsils, or sinus related and cannot be treated by your dentist.
Do you have a question for our Dentist of the Month? Let us know in the comments below!