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B Sedki M.S., D.D.S.
Family and Cosmetic Dentist in Commerce Twp. MI
Family and Cosmetic Dentist in Commerce Twp. MI


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Do You Have a Cracked Tooth?

Do you have a sharp pain that quickly disappears when you bite into something? Do you have pain in your teeth that comes and goes? Do you have dental pain when you eat or drink? If so, you could have a cracked tooth or teeth!

Cracking a tooth can be easy. It can happen from chewing on hard objects or foods such as nuts, ice or hard candy.
Clenching your teeth or grinding them can also lead to a cracked tooth. This is because clenching and grinding yields uneven chewing pressure and the structure of the tooth wears down. Fillings and restorations can also crack due to this. Exposing tooth enamel to extreme hot and cold is also a culprit. Your teeth can crack by eating hot food then drinking ice water!

A cracked tooth or teeth can be painful and lead to further oral disease. Sedki Dentistry, Commerce Twp MI can help. We can evaluate and identify the problem and recommend a treatment based on what’s best for you! We found the following article on cracked teeth helpful and hope you do too.

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

What Is It?

Some teeth have cracks that are too small to show up on X-rays. Sometimes the cracks are under the gum. These small cracks are known as “cracked tooth syndrome.”
Cracked tooth syndrome is most common in lower back teeth (molars). That’s because these teeth absorb most of the forces of chewing.
Some people grind or clench their teeth. These people may be more likely to have cracked tooth syndrome. Sometimes, the way a person’s teeth come together can put too much pressure on one tooth. This can cause the teeth to crack.
Teeth with large fillings may be more likely to crack. Teeth that have undergone root canal treatment are weaker than other teeth and also may be more likely to crack. People with one cracked tooth are more likely to have others, either at the same time or in the future.

The tooth may hurt sometimes when you bite or chew. Read Full article here.

If you think you have a cracked tooth it is wise to seek dental help right away. Sedki Dentistry, Commerce MI is a complete family dental clinic that offers services for all dental health concerns. Dr. Sedki and his experienced staff are professional and committed to providing uncompromised care to their patients. Maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile is their goal. Call Sedki Dentistry today and get started on a healthy, beautiful smile!

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Is Chewing Gum Good or Bad for Your Teeth?

U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that a whopping 175 million Americans enjoyed chewing gum or bubble gum in 2017.1 Given that the population of the U.S. was estimated at 325 million in 2017 that translates to over half of all Americans having enjoyed this confectionary treat last year, and research indicates that Americans enjoy gum a lot.

The average American consumes 1.8 pounds of gum, on average, every year according to the Census Bureau.2 From a dental perspective, there are both good and bad sides to Americans’ love of gum.

The good news is that chewing sugar-free gum can actually be good for your teeth.
The key here is the words, “sugar-free.” Even if the gum is not advertised as cavity fighting, as long as it is sugar-free you can derive benefits from it. When you chew sugar-free gum, food particles stuck between teeth get caught in the gum.

Chewing gum also prompts your body to produce saliva, which rinses food particles out of the mouth and also neutralizes acids that can erode tooth enamel. In fact, studies have shown that both the act of chewing and the flavor of the artificial sweeteners in the gum stimulate ten times the normal rate of saliva flow.3 Chewing gum can be very beneficial especially in situations where you can’t brush your teeth after eating.

There are also compounds in some sugar-free gums that can actually improve your teeth. If the sugar-free gum is sweetened with xylitol it has the added benefit of inhibiting the growth of one type of oral bacteria, Streptococcus mutans, which cause cavities.4

Simply put, xylitol makes it difficult for the bacteria to adhere to teeth, which puts a stop to the cavity causing process. It is reported that with xylitol use over a period of time, the types of bacteria in the mouth change and fewer decay-causing bacteria survive on tooth surfaces.5

Research has also shown calcium lactate, when used in gum with Xylitol, can actually boost helpful minerals in tooth enamel.6 Another substance to look for in your sugar-free gum is phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP). Many manufacturers are adding it to their products as it is said to re-mineralize and harden tooth enamel, making teeth stronger and less likely to incur tooth decay.7

There are drawbacks to chewing gum, too. If you chew gum containing sugar, you can actually increase your chances of getting a cavity. Not all artificial sweeteners are the same. There is a body of research linking the artificial sweetener aspartame to cancer, so you may wish to avoid that sweetener.

Gum chewing can also contribute to jaw pain and is not recommended for people diagnosed with temporomandibular disorder or TMJ. Chewing gum can also cause dental work such as crowns, bridges and fillings to break or become loose.8

While chewing sugar-free gum is a good way to clean and protect your teeth, it is important to recognize that it is not a substitute for good oral habits. To maintain good oral health you still need to brush your teeth at least twice each day for at least two minutes each time, and floss your teeth daily.

Also remember that it is best to let the acid in your mouth settle for at least 15 to 20 minutes after your eat or drink before you brush your teeth. Following these simple tips, along with chewing sugar-free gum when it’s not possible to brush your teeth, will go a long way in protecting your irreplaceable teeth.

Sedki Dentistry, Commerce MI is a complete family dental clinic that offers services for all dental health concerns. Dr. Sedki and his experienced staff are professional and committed to providing uncompromised care to their patients. Maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile is their goal. Call Sedki Dentistry today and get started on a healthy, beautiful smile!

1 Consumption of Chewing Gum / Bubble Gum in the U.S. 2017, United States Census Bureau

2, 7 Gum That is Good for Your Teeth: Too Good to Be True?, Colgate

3, 4, 5 Gum Chewing: Helpful or Harmful?, Delta Dental

6, 8 Something to Chew On: Chewing Gum and Your Teeth

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Seasonal Allergies and Oral Health | Commerce Twp Dentist

Seasonal allergies are known to cause oral health conditions. Many of us don’t even realize it, or even think about it. It’s important to make sure you know how your teeth and mouth can be affected by seasonal allergies.

Sedki Dentistry, Commerce Twp, can help you identify your oral health concerns and whether they are a result of seasonal allergies or part of something more serious. We found the following article helpful in identifying the symptoms of allergies and ways to manage and protect your mouth.

How seasonal allergies can affect your oral health

When allergy season is in full swing, your dental health may not be on the top of your mind. But a case of hay fever can make an impact on your teeth and gums. Here’s what to look out for and how to protect your mouth.

Tooth pain

Sinus pain is a common symptom of your immune system waging war on pollen and dust. The hollow spaces in your head fill up with mucus, causing aches and pains in your face. The maxillary sinuses, the largest sinuses in your face, are located above your mouth. When pressure builds in these sinuses, it can push down on the roots of your upper molars. You may experience sensitivity to hot and cold or notice pain that shifts as you sit, stand or lie down.

Try antihistamines to see if you can get any relief. If your toothache goes away after taking antihistamines, the tooth is likely allergy-related. Read the Full article here.

Sedki Dentistry, Commerce MI is a complete family dental clinic that offers services for all dental health concerns. Dr. Sedki and his professional staff are excited to help you achieve incredible oral health. We offer new patient discounts as well as special offers for your dental needs. As a full-service dental practice, we are able to handle all your dental needs. We look forward to offering you exceptional service and can’t wait to meet you, call today for a FREE consultation!

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What You Drink Can Hurt Your Teeth

As temperatures heat up and people take to backyards and beaches, keeping hydrated becomes even more important. There is little doubt that plain water is the best drink choice to promote overall health. But water is a bit boring, especially when we can so easily be enticed by sports drinks, energy drinks, carbonated beverages and juice.

It might make your decision on what to drink a little easier if you understand how those sugary and acidic drinks can take a toll on your teeth.

When you consume sugary drinks, a select group of harmful bacteria produce acid in your mouth.1 The presence of this acid starts demineralization, a process which removes minerals from the tooth enamel, which is the shiny, protective, outer layer of your tooth. Saliva is the body’s way of constantly reversing this damage through a process called remineralization where the saliva, in addition to water and fluoride from toothpaste, help the enamel repair itself from an acid attack.

If those acid attacks are frequent however, mineral loss causes the tooth enamel to weaken, and a hole in the tooth, or what is referred to as a cavity, forms.
There have been research studies on the effect of sugary drinks on tooth health. One popular study which is often cited on this topic was published in the Academy of General Dentistry clinical journal, General Dentistry, in May/June 2012. The study revealed that high acidity levels in sports and energy drinks eroded tooth enamel, especially among adolescents who are more likely to consume these drinks and to consume more of these drinks than other age groups.

Researchers examined the acidity levels in 13 sports drinks and 9 energy drinks and found that the acidity levels can vary between brands of beverages and flavors of the same brand. After immersing samples of extracted human teeth in the each beverage for 15 minutes, followed by immersion in artificial saliva for two hours and repeating the cycle four times daily for five days, researchers found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks.

The researchers further discovered that energy drinks caused twice as much damage to teeth as sports drinks.2 In rebuttal, the American Beverage Association issued a statement that the four drinks per day used in the study did not reflect typical consumer consumption and that consumers don’t keep any beverage in their mouths for 15 minutes.3

There have been other studies, however, which have also shown how sugary beverages hurt teeth. A large scale study of adults in Finland, published in 2014, revealed that drinking one to two sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) a day was linked to a 31 percent higher risk of cavities.4

Further a research study, published in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry in March 2017, revealed that the frequency of SSB consumption was positively associated with tooth loss among young adults even when the average SSB intake was less than one time per day.5

It is difficult to completely eliminate sugary beverages from your diet. Some tips to minimize the threat these beverages pose to your teeth include drinking the beverage at one time, rather than taking occasional sips throughout the day. This prevents repeated and prolonged acid attacks on your teeth.

Chewing sugar-free gum after drinking sugary beverages can also help, as would rinsing the mouth with water after drinking sugary beverages. The gum and the water will both increase saliva flow, which remineralizes the teeth.

Also, wait at least 30 minutes after drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, or up to an hour after consuming sport or energy drinks, to brush your teeth, as your mouth needs that time to bring the pH level back to normal.6 Rootbeer is perhaps the best choice of soft drinks since it is non-carbonated and, according to a recent report in General Dentistry, does not contain the acids that harm teeth.7

Dr. Sedki and his staff at Sedki Dentistry want you to enjoy life with a healthy mouth and smile. Regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings are highly recommended and routine for good dental health.

Our goal is to work with our patients in achieving and maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile. Call Sedki Dentistry in Commerce Twp today and schedule a checkup!

1, 4 How Sugar Causes Cavities and Destroys Your Teeth, by Verena Tan, RD, PhD, 4/6/2017

2 Sports and Energy Drinks Responsible for Irreversible Damage to Teeth

3, 6 Energy Drinks: Bad for the Teeth? by Kathleen Doheny, WebMD

5 Permanent Tooth Loss and Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Intake in U.S. Young Adults, Journal of Public Health Dentistry, March 2017

7 Root Beer May Be “Safest” Soft Drink for Teeth, Colgate

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See Your Dentist Before You Whiten Your Teeth

It is no secret that having a great smile with bright white teeth gives a person a more youthful and appealing appearance. In fact, in a 2012 study by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry almost all respondents (99.7%) believe a smile is an important social asset.

In this same study, respondents ranked “straightness of teeth” and “whiteness and color of teeth” as the top two things they notice first about a person’s smile.1 If your teeth aren’t as white as you would like them to be, there are steps you can take, but it is important to be informed in order to avoid any teeth whitening issues.

The best advice for those wanting to whiten their teeth is to consult with a dentist first.

The American Dental Association (ADA) Council of Scientific Affairs issued a Statement on the Safety and Effectiveness of Tooth Whitening Products in April 2012. The ADA recommends that patients consult a dentist for a thorough oral examination to determine if bleaching is an appropriate course of treatment.2

The Academy of General Dentistry recommends that your dentist supervise any whitening treatment, even over-the-counter preparations.3

There are several important reasons for this advice. Extremely dark stains may not bleach well, nor do crowns or other dental restorations. Because crowns and dental restorations are matched in color to your existing teeth, when you whiten adjacent teeth, the crown or dental restoration will not match.

Another consideration is tooth sensitivity. If you have this issue it can become worse when subject to teeth whitening treatments. According to the ADA, tooth discoloration can also be caused by a specific problem that either will not be affected by whitening agents and/or may be a sign of a disease or condition that requires dental therapy.4

Finally, it is a good idea to get a dental check-up before starting any whitening program so a dentist can advise you on how to use the products safely and effectively.

Using strips or gels longer than advised may set you up for sore gums and other problems. Your dentist will also advise that you avoid soda, sports drinks, and other acidic beverages for a couple of hours after whitening products are applied in order to protect your teeth.

A dentist can also advise if the over-the-counter product you wish to use is safe. According to the ADA, “while available evidence supports the safety of using bleaching materials of 10 percent carbamide peroxide (3.5 percent hydrogen peroxide) by dental health professionals, there are concerns with the use of at-home bleaching materials with high hydrogen peroxide concentrations.5

Based on a patient’s medical history, a dentist will also advise on possible allergic reactions to ingredients in the bleaching materials. In addition, patients using at-home bleaching materials often encounter ill-fitting trays, which you wear over your teeth like a mouth guard. An ill-fitting tray may cause irritation to a patient’s gums.

Your smile and your teeth are precious assets. Grabbing some whitening toothpaste or an at-home whitening kit without consulting your dentist may put those precious assets in jeopardy, causing you unnecessary discomfort and pain. Investing in professional dental advice to get the brightest smile possible is money well spent.

Sedki Dentistry, Commerce MI is a complete family dental clinic that offers services for all dental health concerns. Dr. Sedki and his experienced staff are professional and committed to providing uncompromised care to their patients. Maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile is their goal. Call Sedki Dentistry today and get started on a healthy, beautiful smile!


1 American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Whitening Survey, Summer 2012

2 Statement on the Safety and Effectiveness of Tooth Whitening Products, Council on Scientific Affairs, American Dental Association, April 2012

3 The Risks of Tooth Whitening, Delta Dental

4, 5 Tooth Whitening/Bleaching: Treatment Considerations for Dentists and Their Patients, American Dental Association, September 2009 (revised November 2010)

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Restore Your Smile with Clear Braces

If you are thinking of straightening your teeth, traditional braces are probably what comes to mind. Wires, brackets, rubber bands and a list of foods that need to be avoided. Fortunately, advancements in dental and orthodontic technology has produced more discreet and easier ways to straighten teeth.

Our Commerce Twp. dental office offers professional Invisalign® services to patients. Invisalign® is a state-of-the-art alternative to braces and is virtually undetectable. They are commonly referred to as clear or invisible braces.

Invisalign® works by straightening your teeth with a custom series of invisible aligners created for each patient.
The clear aligners are similar to trays, which are comfortable to wear over your teeth. The process works by gradually shifting your teeth into place. They are a convenient choice for eligible candidates. A complimentary consultation with Dr. Sedki in his Commerce Twp MI dental practice can identify if Invisalign® is right for you.

Because these aligners are removable, it makes for easier dental care and maintaining proper oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing. You don’t have to struggle with food getting stuck or wires breaking!

Aligner treatment yields a confident, beautiful smile by treating a range of dental issues such as an overbite, underbite or crossbite. Overcrowded teeth or widely spaced teeth are also corrected.

The duration of treatment varies from case to case however, averages between one to two years. Approximately every couple weeks, as your teeth gradually shift, you get a new set of clear aligners.

Throughout your treatment, Dr. Sedki will monitor your progress with monthly visits. This ensures your treatment is progressing as planned and is customized to meet your needs.

Sedki Dentistry, Commerce Twp is a complete family dental clinic that offers services for all dental health concerns. Our dental practice also offers many cosmetic options and dental treatments including braces, veneers, implants and dentures.

Maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile is our goal. Call Sedki Dentistry today and get started on a healthy, beautiful smile!

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Celebrate Your Child’s First Birthday with a Dental Visit

It always surprises parents to learn that most dentists, including the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), recommend that children visit the dentist when their first tooth appears at 6 to 12 months of age, or no later than their first birthday.

This recommendation is also supported by the American Public Health Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.1 There is a simple reason for this recommendation. If your child has teeth, they can have cavities.

In fact, research reveals that 41 percent of children aged 2 to 11 years had dental caries (cavities) in their primary teeth.2 Research also reveals that more than 1 in 4 children in the United States have had at least one cavity by the age of 4; many as early as age 2.3

Baby teeth, or primary teeth, are more porous and thus are more susceptible to decay than adult teeth.
Preserving those primary teeth are important. A child needs their teeth to chew properly and to develop their speech skills. Those primary teeth also save space for permanent teeth to emerge. Cavities can also cause pain. When a toddler gets a cavity in a primary tooth treatment often necessitates the use of sedation or general anesthesia, which both have associated risks.

Our next post will focus on how to prepare for your child’s first dental visit and what to expect.

The very foundation of oral health includes early dental care. This helps to ensure your child grows up with the best possible opportunity for a healthy smile. Sedki Dentistry in Commerce, Michigan is the best choice for children of all ages. We are committed to creating healthy and confident smiles.

Dr. Sedki and his staff take extra steps to provide patient education and work with your child one-on-one to instill the importance of good oral hygiene. We help each child maintain a healthy smile by focusing on preventative care. Serving our local community here in Commerce, MI and the surrounding areas, we can help children develop a smile that will last a lifetime.

Call Sedki Dentistry today!


1, 2 Early Preventive Dental Visits, Pediatric Oral Health Research and Policy Center of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Jessica Lee, D.D.S.

3 Your Child’s Age 1 Visit, Oral Care Center,

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Should You Invest in an Electric Toothbrush?

For years, many dentists and dental hygienists have been advocating the use of electric toothbrushes for their patients.

Dental health professionals report that they can actually tell if a patient is using an electric toothbrush because their patients’ teeth and gums are cleaner than those of their other patients who use manual toothbrushes.

Electric toothbrushes are quite a bit more expensive than manual toothbrushes. So is an electric toothbrush better than a manual toothbrush?
Research bears out the informal findings of dental health professionals. In 2014, Cochrane, an international evidence-based research organization, free from commercial sponsorship, released the results of an analysis of 56 studies done on electric vs. manual toothbrushes over a 47-year time period.

The analysis by authors from the Cochrane Oral Health Group revealed that there are benefits in using a powered toothbrush when compared with a manual toothbrush. The analysis revealed that there was “an 11% reduction in plaque at one to three months of use, and a 21% reduction in plaque when assessed after three months of use.

For gingivitis, the analysis found there was a 6% reduction at one to three months of use, and an 11% reduction when assessed after three months of use.”1 Dental plaque is the mass of bacteria that grows on surfaces within the mouth and forms tartar. A build-up of dental plaque can lead to tooth decay. So, if using an electric toothbrush can reduce dental plaque by 21%, that is a significant improvement in oral health.

In terms of reducing gingivitis by 11%, that is also a worthwhile improvement as gingivitis is inflammation of the gum tissue which can progress to periodontitis and tooth loss.

An important feature of electric toothbrushes is the timer feature. Since the American Dental Association recommends brushing twice per day, for two minutes each time, the built-in timer on an electric toothbrush makes it easy to meet those brushing goals. Some timers switch a toothbrush off at the two-minute mark while others vibrate to indicate that the time is up.2

Another helpful feature on some electric toothbrushes is a monitor which detects when you are putting too much pressure on your gums. Too much pressure can abrade tooth enamel, or the root of the tooth in cases where gums are receding, and cause teeth to become hypersensitive to hot or cold.

Children can benefit from using electric toothbrushes. Manufacturers make children’s electric toothbrushes appealing by producing models where the toothbrush handle is shaped like a racing car or a mermaid or a cell phone.3 This can make brushing fun for children, and because the toothbrush does the work, parents need only make sure that the child is reaching all their teeth with the toothbrush, rather than worrying that they aren’t brushing correctly.

Those with difficulty holding a toothbrush, like the elderly or those with arthritis or other dexterity challenges, can also benefit from using electric toothbrushes. Cleaner teeth and better brushing are powerful reasons to invest in an electric toothbrush.

Decreasing prices, with some models selling for under $15, have made the electric toothbrush more affordable. However, the bottom line is that electric and manual toothbrush are both acceptable to use to maintain good oral health according to the American Dental Association (ADA).4 Whichever brush type you choose, use it twice a day for two minutes at a time and you will be on your way to a cleaner mouth and a brighter smile.

Sedki Dentistry, Commerce MI is a complete family dental clinic that offers services for all dental health concerns. Dr. Sedki and his experienced staff are professional and committed to providing uncompromised care to their patients. Maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile is their goal. Call Sedki Dentistry today and get started on a healthy, beautiful smile!


1 Powered/Electric Toothbrushes Compared to Manual Toothbrushes for Maintaining Oral Health, Cochrane, June 17, 2014

2 Best Electric Toothbrushes, Best, May 2018

3 Ordinary vs. Powered Toothbrushes: Stroke of Genius? by Dulce Zamora,

4 Does an Electric Toothbrush Do a Better Job Than the Regular Kind?, Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association

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Understanding the Link Between Gum Disease and Diabetes

There is an intrinsic link between your oral and physical health. Both of which can affect the quality of your life. When oral problems such as gum disease arise, it is important to know if and how it can affect your physical health.

Diabetes affects millions of people and millions of mouths. The following article helps us understand the connection between the two as well as what it can lead to if left untreated. We hope you find it helpful.

Diabetes and Gum Disease: Understanding the Link to Protect Your Health

Do you know that there is a link between diabetes and gum disease? Diabetics have a higher risk of developing gum disease than people who have healthy blood sugar levels. The relationship appears to go both ways; research indicates that having a serious gum infection can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Taking care of your mouth, whether you have diabetes or not, is more important than you may be aware of.

What Causes the Increased Gum Disease Risk?

What do high blood glucose levels have to do with your oral health? For a person with diabetes it is more difficult to defend the body from a bacterial infection; high glucose levels make it easier for bacteria to flourish in the mouth. Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums caused by a bacterial infection. The germs in plaque infect the teeth and gums, leading to gingivitis, the first stage of this disease. If left untreated, this oral health condition can result in tissue damage and eventual tooth loss. The more serious stages of gum disease are known as periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.

How Does Periodontitis Affect Diabetes?

The relationship between diabetes and gum disease becomes even more powerful when you look at the potential effect of an infection on blood glucose levels. Read the full article here

Sedki Dentistry, Commerce MI is a complete family dental clinic that offers services for all dental health concerns. Our goal is to work with our patients in achieving and maintaining long term dental health and a beautiful smile. Dr. Sedki and his experienced dental staff are professional and committed to providing uncompromised care to their patients.

Regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings are highly recommended and routine for good dental and physical health. Call Sedki Dentistry in Commerce Twp today and schedule a checkup!

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How to Reduce Dental Anxiety

nxiety is a normal emotion which many people experience prior to uncomfortable or unknown situations such as test taking or making a major life decision. Excessive anxiety, or anxiety which prevents you from accomplishing a goal, is not only physically uncomfortable, but it can have serious consequences.

For those with dental anxiety, the emotion can actually lead to significant health risks, including gum and mouth diseases and loss of teeth. If you have been putting off a visit to the dentist for months or even years because of dental anxiety here are some tips that may make it easier for you to face your fears and take action to improve your oral health.

First, recognize that you are not alone in your fear and discuss your fear with your dentist.
About 20% of people experience enough anxiety that they will go to the dentist only when absolutely necessary according to Peter Milgrom, DDS, the director of the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle and author of Treating Fearful Dental Patients.

Dr. Milgrom also estimates that between 5 and 8 percent of Americans actually avoid dentists out of fear.1 It is important to make your dentist and your dental team aware of your anxiety. This puts you in control, which is often key to becoming more comfortable in any anxiety-filled situation.

“Fear of dentists stems not so much from the experience of pain as from the lack of control that patients experience in the dentist’s chair,” says Ellen Rodino, PhD, a psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif., who has studied dental fear.2 “You’re lying prone, a dentist is hovering above you, and he’s putting you in a situation where you can hardly talk or respond. That creates a lot of anxiety for some people because they don’t feel in control.”

To bolster your feeling of being in control you should discuss the following with your dentist and dental team: 1) Your ability to leave anytime want; 2) An agreed upon hand signal that you can use when you want the dentist to stop what they are doing and give you time to relax; 3) An explanation by the dentist of what they will be doing, how long it will take and how much discomfort they anticipate you will feel; 4) The responsibility of the dentist to ask your permission to proceed before moving on to the next phase of treatment; and 5) The cost of your care and options for paying for that care, including any available payment plans.

Feeling comfortable with your dental team is also an important way to alleviate fear. You can schedule an appointment to meet the dentist and the dental team without having to have any dental work done. At this appointment, you can ask questions about their qualifications and get their suggestions on ways they can help make the experience as relaxing as possible for you.

If you are comfortable with the dentist and the team, set up an appointment for a simple procedure such as an oral exam. Go to your first visit with someone you trust and have them stay with you during treatment. Bring your headphones and music player with you to the dental visit and listen to your favorite music during the procedure. This trick can also block out or minimize other sounds in the dental office, such as dental drilling, which can cause you anxiety.

Using relaxation techniques can also be helpful. The simplest technique is to take a deep breath, hold it and then let it out very slowly. “This will slow your heartbeat and relax your muscles,” says Dr. Milgrom. Another technique he recommends is progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in turn.3

Visualization techniques are also helpful in reducing anxiety. In an article written for by Kristen Bottger on How to Overcome Dental Anxiety the author recommends two books that may be helpful — Code to Joy by George Pratt and Peter Lambrou and When Panic Attacks: The New Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life.4

Seeking professional help, such as that provided by a licensed therapist or psychologist, is also an option for understanding and overcoming your dental anxiety.

There are also medications which the dentist can administer to make you more comfortable. Those medications range from laughing gas (nitrous oxide) to sedation dentistry. There are also technologies which make injections completely comfortable (even undetectable if done correctly).5

The worst thing you can do is to let dental fear stop you from getting the care you need. Dr. Kenyon Glor, a dentist in Ohio summarized it best in an online article, Easing Dental Anxieties: Getting to the Root of the Problem, at, when he said, “The biggest effect on dental health is avoidance of care. Simple things become more complicated and expensive.”6

Sedki Dentistry, Commerce MI is a complete family dental clinic that offers sedation dentistry and services for all dental health concerns. Call Sedki Dentistry today and get started on a healthy, beautiful smile without anxiety!
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