There are many ways to select a dentist to select for you and your family and I would like to have you consider some of the factors I feel that are important when selecting a new dentist for yourself and family.  10 traits customers look for when choosing a new dentist and a new dental home are as follows:

  1. Personal Referrals– The most trustworthy way to find out who a dentist is they can use is to ask their friends and family. We find that many of our new dental patients come from personal referrals and reputation in the Macomb, Shelby Twp., Clinton Township community.  Facebook is a wonderful way to find out who a good dentist is by just posting the question “who is  a good dentist I can trust?”
  2. Homey atmosphere-Since dentistry is such a personal thing, selecting a new dentist for you and your family must assure that you will feel comfortable with the environment, people who serve you and total atmosphere.  Details from the reception area to the bathroom must feel like yours at home.  I is critical to be treated with respect and feel listened to during all steps of the process.  Since your time is so vital, it is important to get in when your dental appointment is and not be waiting for an extended period of time.
  3. Sterility of equipment and Cleanliness-A new dental home needs to be not only comfortable, but must conform to the strictest OSHA guidelines to make certain that you and your family are safe.   Everything must be sterilized or thrown away that was previously used in someone else’s mouth.  The sterilizer must be monitored to make certain that it is always working properly.  Treatment rooms must be wiped down all the time and be very clean.  Before choosing a new dentist home it is your right to ask for a tour and ask how things are sterilized and taken care of.  We love to show off our level of attention to detail at our dental office so please ask.
  4. Technology– Computers and high technology are a must to make sure the new dentist you choose is current. The advancements in dentistry require technology such as computers in each room, digital x-rays that reduce radiation exposure up to 75% over regular x-rays, digital photos to relate with the patient. Paperless charting and paperless forms help to speed the process of filling all necessary forms before even stepping into the dental office.  This makes the office green and is more friendly to the environment.  Lasers and sonic cleaners used to clean the teeth help improve the comfort in treating dental patients.
  5. Full spectrum of dental services including emergency care-This is important because it allows for consistency of dental treatment.   Communication can be difficult between general dentists and specialists so if  you find a new dentist who provides a complete level of dental care you can also have more dental treatment done in fewer visits and therefore it is more convenient.   For our high fear patients or those who  require that multiple procedures be done at one visit oral sedation is available.   At our dental office we perform both the surgical placement and restorative aspect of implants; complete cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, Kor whitening, white fillings, and bleaching.   Root canal, tooth extractions, dentures, crowns, bridges and other general dental treatment is performed in the office.
  6. Interest Free Payment Plans-Because dentistry can be a large financial investment finding a new dentist who has interest free plans available is important.   This gives the customer the ability to have more procedures done at one time and spreading out the payments over time.   They must also accept all of the major credit cards including Master Card, Visa, American Express and Discover.
  7. Accept dental insurance plans-Each dental insurance plan is different so it is important to call the new dental office to see if they participate with your dental insurance plan.  You certainly get what you pay for especially when it comes to dental insurance.  Be aware that if it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t.   The expertise of the dentist and dental team are a reflection of the fees they charge.  We accept Delta Dental, Blue Cross and other dental insurance plans and or fees are in the middle of the road so we may or may not be the dentist for you, but it is worth it to see if we take your denal insurance plan.
  8. Time spent Explaining and having all of your questions answered– This is important because in this rushed world our biggest commodity is the time we have so it is important to respect the patient’s time- giving them the time they need for all of their questions to be answered.   And at the same time, not spend too much time and too much detail if the new patient doesn’t need the detail to make a decision.
  9. Community involvement-it is important to give back to the community both locally and internationally.   I believe that your new dental team should give back to those who they serve.   We do this through our Candy Buy Back program, our Good Deed contest and through Christian mission in Haiti to treat the under privileged people there.
  10. Convenient location, wheelchair access  and office hours-It is important to have easy access with ample parking, wheel chair access and convenient office hours including evenings and Saturdays.  If you choose The Gentle Dentist as your new dental office we have Saturdays and evening appointments.  Since we are in a detached medical office building located on 22 Mile Rd. just west of Hayes in Shelby Township, it is easy for us to treat “wheel chaired” patients.

Dr. Antolak treats his dental patients in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere where you are treated like a guest in the home.  His motto is to “relax while we take care of your smile”.   He specializes in cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry and general dentistry using sedation dentistry if necessary for his high fear patients. He has been treating patients for the past 24 years and is located in Shelby Township, Macomb County, Michigan.

At www.thegentledentist.com located in Shelby Twp. Macomb county Michigan we live up to our name.  Believe it or not even doctors are nervous of coming into the dentist and in this case we served a husband and wife physicians at the same time.  This testimony was done immediately after some dental treatment was done on them by Dr. Antolak.  The dental injection was painless even though she had some bad experiences with the numbing process in the past she trusted the techniques of the gentle dentist and it was a great experience.  The use of topical anesthetic and letting it work long enough allows an injection to be done without any poke or prick.  Using small guage needles, injecting slowly and having a desire to not hurt his patients Dr. Antolak’s results are gentle.  For an appointment call 586.247.3500. or visit http://www.TheGentleDentist.com

At www.TheGentleDentist.com we realize that many have had bad experiences in their past at the dental office.  Typically 5-10 years go by and the high fear patient finally gets to the point of where they can’t stand their oral pain any longer.  This is when they do research on the internet with a desire to find a dentist who specializes in treating the high fear patient who has not been into the dentist for  years.  With a search on Google for “dentists for chickens”, “dentist for the fearful patient” or “dentistry for the dental phobic” we usually come up high on the search engines especially when looking for the Shelby Twp., Macomb Township, Sterling Heights or Washington Township Michigan areas.  After reading through our web site they find it comfortable enough to get the will power to at least email us. 

After they talk to Jessica our scheduling coordinator and make their appointment they will receive electronic health history questionaires to fill our in the convenience of their own home.  The day before their appointment I will call them up to introduce myself.  Because dentistry requires a high level of trust I like to introduce myself to them and see if they have any questions or concerns.  Many times they will give me a history of their horrific experiences at the previous dentist.  These are usually experienced as a child so we try to work through the issues slowly to eventually proceed with the exam.  We will only proceed when they are willing to do so.   

The mouth is an extremely personal space.  Most people don’t want others (including the dentist) to see their embarassing smile because of darkened teeth, missing teeth, cavities or bad gums.  Up to this point it has been their little “secret” and to go beyond that “secret” it is very difficult.  Most often they will say “I’m so embarassed of my teeth” or “I should have been in here years ago”.  The good news is that there is only room for improvement and what has happened in the past has been in the past.  Our goal is to move them beyond the past and to look forward to their future healthy and good looking smile. 

Another issue that has kept them from regular dental check ups is that they fear that they will get scolded or lectured to.  I always reassure them that it is my responsibility to inform them of their situation and we will work together as a team to move.  Lecturing will never work and has never been something that I have done and will never do. 

These are some of the personal things we do at www.TheGentleDentist.com to make the visit for our high fear patient one that can be tolerated and even appreciated.  If you have questions please call our Shelby Township office at (586)247-3500.

At www.thegentledentist.com we are concerned about the overall health of our patients and one of the treatments we can team up with the physican is treating Obstructive Sleep apnea (OSA).  OSA is a chronic disorder where patients usually start off snoring and then during the deepest part of the snore will evolve to gasping for air after a period of time when no breathing is present.  This closure and obstruction of the air passage can create a number of problems with the patient:

  • Chronic sleepiness has been shown to increase traffic accident incidence.
  • High blood pressure.  Because the body senses a drop in oxygen in the blood stream it is critical for the adrenal glands to send a surge of adrenaline into the blood stream which increases the heart rate and increase blood pressure.  Over time this creates a lot of stress on the body and can lead to a heart attack.
  • Diabetes.  This high blood pressure can affect the way that blood sugars are metabolized in the body.
  • Impotence.  For men their sexual drive can be affected
  • Relations.  Because snoring keeps the family up at night the use of such a device can provide peace for all concerned.

Treatment:  The cPAP is a pressure filled mask that is plugged into the wall which runs a humidified air compressor which forces air down the trachea and into the lungs.  This has a quiet buzz and is like a Darth Vator mask.  Patients sometimes find it difficult to wear and decided to not wear it and end up being non complient. 

The oral sleep appliance is different in that it is much smaller and convenient to use.  Rather that forcing air into the lungs by pressure this oral appliance shifts the jaw forward and the soft tissues attached to the jaw open the air space.  By eliminating the cPAP things are more comfortable and much more compatible.  Keep in mind that the cPAP is the gold standard and is usually preferred by the sleep doctors but the problem is that the patients have a difficult time tolerating it.  It is important for the patient using the oral appliance go through a series of exercises during the morning after waking up.  This 10 minutes is important because it reseats the jaw back into where it needs to go and when doing so the bite is not affected. 

It is important for your dentist to have a good understanding of the occlusion (bite) and the TMJ (Jaw Joint).  If you have a cPAP and just can’t use it let us know about it.  If you have some of these symptoms mentioned above let us know so we can refer you to a sleep physician and order a sleep study.  Even though you may not think this is a problem you would be surprised to find out just how good you would feel with a good night sleep. 

If you have comments or questions and are in the Shelby Twp. MI area please call us up at (586)247-3500 or email me at DrAntolak@TheGentleDentist.com.

At  The Gentle Dentist located on 22 Mile in Shelby Township, Michigan we feel led by the Holy Spirit in what we do.  God has gifted us to provide dentistry in a very relaxing environment.  The dental office can and has been a very stressful place to be at for countless people and just the thought of going to the dentist causes them to break out in a cold sweat.  Many new dental patients who visit us are drawn to our Shelby Dental Office for a number of reasons:

  • We believe that the Holy Spirit draws us closer together for a higher purpose in that those who have a high level of fear are comforted with the way they are treated. With the history of bad experiences that many of our dental patients bring it is critical to be a good listener and a better responder to their needs.  Trust has been lost from previous dentists who have said they would stop if the dental patient needed them to stop and they didn’t.  This lack of trust seriously affects them and it is our desire to transform them.  It is not us but how God  uses us to help develop a higher level of trust.
  • Through the process of praying over our dental patients before treatment is begun calmness is experienced. God is the giver of peace and we want to help create the connection to Him.
  • We play Christian music in the dental office so that a joyful environment is sensed.
  • We are not forceful with our Christian Faith but just available to listen and then provide a reassuring word to our dental patients. Our dental office is our ministry and we become close to those who choose to become dental patients.
  • We are in the process of creating a Christian Lending Library so those who have an interest in this type of information can borrow it.

The following is our Mission, Vision and Core Value Statements:

Mission Statement

“We at The Gentle Dentist use our God given talents and abilities to serve our patients with Christ like compassion by listening to their needs first and then delivering individualized uncompromised dental care with respect and integrity”.

Core Value

“Irrespective of the result, every decision made and action taken at The Gentle Dentist and has the characteristic of integrity at its foundation”.

Vision Statement

With God’s Blessing, we will continue to grow and prosper by striving to be the most qualified and respected group of dental professionals in the area”.

Find out for yourself what it is like being treated in a Christ focused environment so give us a call at 586.247.3500.

About The Author

Dr. Robert Antolak, DDS graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality and appropriate cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry in the most comfortable and gentle way possible. Because being a dentist has been a lifelong dream, Dr. Antolak has a passion for the profession. He enjoys helping people feel better about their smiles and therefore their self-image with dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. His Dental Practice is located in Shelby Township, Michigan (Sterling Heights area in Macomb County).  For more information visit The Gentle Dentist.

At The Gentle Dentist located in Shelby Twp. Michigan near Sterling Heights and Clinton Township we are a general dental practice who are concerned about your entire family’s oral health.

Because February is National Children’s Dental Health Month there are some things that need to be addressed when it comes to the care of your child’s teeth.  I know that getting your child motivated to brushing their teeth is a huge challenge for all parents.  I have an 8 and a 9 year old and am just recently experiencing this task as being easier.  The young years can be the most difficult as it involves so much of the parent’s involvement and time.  The important thing is to keep at it and show them how to brush their teeth by example.  If you know the proper technique and set the example then it will eventually become easier.

Good dental habits are critically important to set for your children for a lifetime of health. Since there is a direct relationship between oral health and total body health I wanted to write this article for parents who struggle with getting your kids to brush their teeth even though they don’t want to.  To do this I have interviewed my 8 year old son, Matthew and Grace our 9 year old daughter:

Question:  What is a good way to motivate you to brush your teeth?

Matthew:  Not wanting to get more cavities because they hurt.  It makes my mouth feel better and cleaner.

Grace: Because it gets the food out of my braces and the tooth paste tastes good.  IT also gets the slime off of my teeth.

Question:  When is the best time for you to brush your teeth?

Matthew:  Before school when I get up so I don’t have stinky breath and at night.  It is hard for me to do this when I am tired though.

Grace: Before school after eating breakfast, after school and before bed time.

The following are the basics of tooth brushing for you and your child:

Place a toothbrush beside your teeth at a 45-degree angle and gently brush teeth in an elliptical motion. Brush the outside of the teeth, inside the teeth, your tongue, the chewing surfaces and between teeth. It is important to brush the teeth for 2 minutes each setting.  The use of electric tooth brushes such as the oral B or the Sonicare are the best. Our kids use the child Sonicare which is more effective in removing plaque and and has a notification when the 2 minutes are up. This way your child will brush long enough.

Fluoride: The use of fluoridated toothpaste  is important to remineralize the surfaces of the teeth.  Bacteria from the mouth forms plaque, the sticky substance that form on teeth. This plaque when it comes into contact with the sugars from food and sweets make an acid.  This acid over time will dissolve the enamel and for a cavity.  It is important that proper nutrition and proper eating habits are incorporated into your lifestyle.

Parents should pay attention to the amount of fluoride their child receives. Too much fluoride can cause tooth discoloration, and too little fluoride can cause teeth to be more susceptible to cavities. Bottled waters need to be on the list of items that parents must check before giving to their child. Some bottled waters have little or no fluoride at all.

It is best to  contact your dentist for more specific information on your child’s oral care.  Remember to visit your dentist every 6 months for his/her advice on oral care.  If you don’t have a dentist for your family and are in the Sterling Heights, Clinton Township, or Macomb Twp. area then give us a call at 586.247.3500 or email Nikki@thegentledentist.com for an appointment.

At The Gentle Dentist we provide General, Cosmetic and General dentistry for the entire family.  Call today to become part of our growing family of dental patients.

Question: January means the beginning of a new year and I am preparing to make a dental appointment after procrastinating for the last couple of years.  I see ads in the yellow pages, newspapers and magazines.  What is the best way to confidently select a dentist in the Sterling Heights area of Macomb County, Michigan?

Answer: I would attempt to choose a Dentist in the Sterling Heights area of Macomb County, Michigan by first asking your friends and family who they go to and see if they are happy with the dental treatment they are receiving.  Personal referrals are the best way to confidently choose your Sterling Heights area  Dentist. Next, it is important to research out the dentist you are considering going to and ask questions like:

  • Is the Dentist qualified to treat your specific need?
  • Does the Dentist have convenient hours?
  • When calling their Dental Office are you treated in a friendly manner or is the dental receptionist rude?
  • A great tool is using the internet to research the dental office and almost meet the dentist and dental  team by visiting their web site.  It should also be possible to make a call and meet the dentist.

I believe it is critical that the dentist is approachable and not too busy to take their time and listen to your concerns and answer your questions.  If the above describes what you are looking for why not give us a call and try us out.  If you are pleased with your dental  treatment you have been receiving then bravo to you and your dentist.

About the Autor

Dr Robert Antolak is “The Gentle Dentist” and is located in the Sterling Heights area of Macomb County in Shelby Township, Michigan.  To schedule a dental appointment please contact his Shelby Twp. Dental Office at 586-

By the nature of our dental name and web site www.TheGentleDentist.com/sedation_dentistry we attract many high fear dental clients who have avoided dental visits for many years.  I would like to address some of the most common situations that we encounter in Shelby Township, Michigan.  It is my hope that if you identify with one of these scenarios that you make a decision to take action and visit your dentist.

  1. “Personal space” is the distance in which one has a certain level of comfort with another individual.  This is defined by the fact that we are more comfortable with strangers at a distance then up close.  The more intimate we are with someone the closer they can encroach on this space.  In the health care profession and dentistry more specifically, we encroach on one’s personal space to treat them usually without permission from the patient.  I tell my dental patients that it takes time to develop rapport and trust so that we can get close enough to them physically to examine and treat them.  We in the medical and dental profession have just assumed that it was OK to jump in the personal space without investing the time necessary to develop trust. This is especially stressful for those who have been in auto accidents, been involved with facial injuries or who have been assaulted.
  2. These traumatic events have made the victim suspicious and skeptical of most anyone and these dental patients usually require a lot of time so that they can trust us.  Eventually permission is granted and we are invited to examine them and enter their personal space.  In our office if they need to stop the visit they have plenty of opportunity to do so without pressure.  Our goal is to have our high fear patients make small positive steps forward no matter how long it takes. Because dentistry deals with one of the most sensitive areas of the body (the mouth) there are many dental patients who have been hurt by the injection, have been treated in a very rough manner or the dentist did not numb them up adequately that they had pain with everything that was done to them. It was during these times that a decision was made and told themselves that they were NEVER going to put themselves in this compromising situation again and so they continue to avoid the dentist at all cost.  We find that these events usually had taken place during a childhood visit and their fear will last their entire life unless something can break the cycle and trust can be restored.   I have heard horrible stories of children getting slapped by their childhood dentist because they complained that they were being hurt.  Many bad events similar to these took place scarring these people for many, many years.
  3. Dental treatment requires a patient to lay flat on their back so we have better access to the mouth to perform dentistry.  This physical body position leaves many feeling venerable and unprotected.   Until they know they are safe, asking a dental patient to lean back may be asking too much out of them.
  4. Gagging is a real issue for those who have a difficult time breathing through their nose.  With a history of gagging there are many patients who are challenged to get back into the dentist for fear that they will be embarrassed from another episode of this.
  5. The sound of the dental drill makes many nervous and am told is like “nails on the chalk board”.
  6. When one avoids the dentist for a long period of time there is a strong tendency of self-condemnation and embarrassment.  The last thing the high fear patient needs is to be “preached at” and being told “you should have …….”.  It is important to show mercy and let them know there is a future and hope.

When we see those who avoided the dentist for many years due to dental fear, a bad experience or other reasons it is vital to not judge them but to let them know that the only thing we can do is learn from the past.  We only have control of the present moment and our reactions to the moment.  With God’s favor they will have a positive future and we at our office want to work towards their goal of this positive future.  I also tell them that it is not my position to judge them because we all have different pasts.  I also provide prayer support for those who desire it.  Many of our patients find comfort in this act of inviting God into their care.

In summary the solutions to the problem:

  • For new dental patients who make dental appointments I like to give them a personal call the day before their first visit to not only welcome them but to start and open the relationship in a non-threatening manner.
  • When one arrives to the dental office we like to give them a tour and treat them like they were visiting our own home.
  • During the interview it is very helpful to discover the source of what makes one so nervous of the dentist and acknowledge it with no judgment.
  • With respect and empathy move forward at the pace the patient feels comfortable doing so.
  • Introduce the use of conscious sedation dentistry which allows us to treat the high fear patient without much memory of the visit.  This also works well when a lot of dentistry in needed at once.
  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is used to take the edge of anxiety off.  The benefit is that they can have treatment without requiring a driver to provide transportation.

Movie Glasses and Headphones attached to our i-Pod are used to block the noises that emanate from the dentistry.  The use of music in this way provides a great distraction.

  • Great techniques used to provide dental anesthesia and numbing is critical to put an end to painful shots and lack of complete numbness.

My hope for you is that your dental provider has an understanding of these principals and uses them to provide compassionate dental care.  Modern dentistry should not hurt and if your fear has kept you from getting your oral health taken care of then take action now.  2011 is here and do yourself a favor and get the New Year off on the right foot by taking the first step by calling your dentist.  If you do not have a happy dental home then call us at now (586)247-3500.  If you prefer to email me directly with questions or concerns about your fear then my email is DrAntolak@TheGentleDentist.com.

 

I have patients come into our Shelby Township Dental Office asking advice on whether to have mini implants or standard sized implants placed.  This is a fairly common question I get and want to give some information which describes their commonalities and their differences.   Generally, I would have to answer  that the basic differences in them is the flexibility and what they are going to be used for.

Dental implants are made of titanium, a metal that is completely compatible with the body.  The human  body does not have a reaction to this metal.  Very few metals are bio-compatible which means that they do not create an immune response in the body.  This is what has made implants successful over the past 40 years or so.

  • The standard dental implant is usually made of 2 pieces and is greater than 3 mm in diameter   The standard dental implant has an external screw that allows it to be screwed into the bone and an internal thread which allows different components to be torqued down into the dental implant.    The inside threads of the standard sized implant allows different  components to be attached to them.

The components or abutments are used to:

  • replace missing teeth or a single tooth.
  • Hold  removable dentures in place so they can be snapped on and off. These abutments are like “snaps” and because they are screwed into the dental implant they can have a stronger hold than the mini dental implants

There are many different manufactures of these standard  dental implants that have their own shape and design.  The good news is that they all work very well with a over a 95% chance of success.

  • Mini dental implants are a solid one piece screw that is less than 3 mm in diameter with a specialized ball shaped end that sticks out of the jaw bone.  Inside of the denture is a rubber O ring that fits around this ball.  When the denture is placed over the ball the rubber O ring keeps the denture retained.

Comparisons:

  • Because the mini dental implant is only 3 mm in diameter it needs to be 1 piece for strength. The 2 piece standard dental implants have enough diameter so that an internal thread can be placed inside of the top of the dental implant and keep it strong enough.  When comparing the two systems it is necessary to use four mini dental implants to hold a lower denture in place whereas two standard implants would be comparable.
  • The cost of a standard implant is about 50% more because of the fact that there are more components and because the surgery is a little more advanced.
  • Mini dental implants are good for those who are in poor health because no flap of gum tissue needs to be made for these.  Because no flap is needed it also becomes more challenging because the bone in these patients is usually very thin and it is hard to determine where the ridge of bone is.
  • Because the standard sized  dental implant has individual components screwed into them the become more universal and can be used for different purposes.

I can do and have done both mini dental implants and standard dental implants in my Macomb County Dental office but I prefer the placement of standard dental implants if there is enough bone because it is more predictable to use in my hands.

About The Author

Dr. Robert Antolak, DDS graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality and appropriate cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry in the most comfortable and gentle way possible. Because being a dentist has been a lifelong dream, Dr. Antolak has a passion for the profession. He enjoys helping people feel better about their smiles and therefore their self-image with dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. His Dental Practice is located in Shelby Township, Michigan.  For more information visit The Gentle Dentist.

Many people think that dental implants hurt when they are placed or that cosmetic dentistry may not be for them.  At our Shelby Twp. dental office cosmetic, implant, sedation and general dentistry can be accomplished at the same location.  By combining multiple dental procedures it is possible to get all of your treatment done is only a couple of visits.  This patient tells of the confidence he has now and gentle dentistry he has received getting his complex  problems taken care of.   Now he can eat and smile confidently where he wasn’t able to do so in the past with his previous situation.  If you have concerns about your smile or are tired of having your dentist now come up with a diagnosis or long term solution to your dental problems give us a call at (586)247-3500.

About The Author

Dr. Robert Antolak, DDS graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality and appropriate cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry in the most comfortable and gentle way possible. Because being a dentist has been a lifelong dream, Dr. Antolak has a passion for the profession. He enjoys helping people feel better about their smiles and therefore their self-image with dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. His Dental Practice is located in Shelby Township, Michigan.  For more information visit The Gentle Dentist.

Dentures – The emotional and physical ramifications discussed.

Even though this article may not pertain to you there is most likely someone in your life who has dentures or will need them in the future.  There are around 40 million Americans who are denture wearers so this is applicable to many readers.

When a person needs to have their teeth removed due to dental decay or periodontal disease there are both physical and emotional issues that need to be addressed. If at all possible it is usually best to save the teeth and fabricate a removable partial denture (sometimes referred to as a bridge) that attaches to the remaining natural teeth.  If this is done properly and maintained with regular dental visits and cleanings it should provide years of service to the patient.  If for some reason the natural teeth can’t be saved then dentures are inevitable.

  • Emotional: Loosing a tooth or many teeth is a significant event on one’s life as it may lead to the feeling of getting older, depression because they experience the loss of one of their body parts, or the fact that they are so embarrassed because they feel like a failure which can lead to depression and the need for themselves to become recluse.  A huge fear that denture wearers have is that if they sneeze or laugh too much that the denture will fall out.   This is a reality and a huge embarrassment for those who have a loose fit in their dentures.  It is necessary to be supportive to those who we love when they go through this process.  It also takes time to adjust to dentures since they are foreign plastic plates that are only held in by suction on the top denture and just sit there on the lower.  Lower dentures sit on top of the bone with the lips pushing them one way and the tongue pushing them the other.  Food doesn’t taste the same with dentures because the upper plate covers the palate and therefore temperature is not transferred. Denture wearers can only generate about 25% of the biting force as those who have natural teeth so it is very difficult to bite down hard to chew hard food.
  • Physical: There are many changes that take place after loosing teeth.  After a tooth is lost the bone that used to support it starts to collapse into the hole.  Placing an implant in the extraction site can preserve the bone and be used to hold a denture in with a snap in fit.
  • Effects of bone loss: Over time as bone shrinks the face can become more sunken in because there isn’t enough support for the lips and face so things start to sag.  Dentures can be made to add needed underlying support to look more youthful and natural. It amazes me when a denture is properly made what a difference it makes.  It is also necessary to place the teeth in the proper position so the patient looks natural and not like their teeth are too long or too short.

It is obvious that those who are currently using dentures or those who will be in need of them in the future are literally dental handicaps.  These are prosthetic and are only a substitute for the natural teeth.  If at all possible we will attempt to use at least some of the natural teeth to support the denture.  Everyone is different and their mouths present with different issues.

It becomes apparent to those who are neglecting their teeth that they need to make a decision for their future by taking care of them and getting them examined.  I have seen a number of young adults who sip on pop and sports drinks throughout the day who have decay throughout the mouth.  Unfortunately some of them will need to have their teeth removed and the shame is that this is all preventable.

What is common is that everyone wants to look nice, eat well and avoid embarrassment.  Even though dentures are difficult to get used to and aren’t like natural teeth a well made set can make a difference.  Contact our dental office in Shelby Township, Michigan (Macomb County) at (586)247-3500 for a free dental consultation to see if we can help you out.

About The Author

Dr. Robert Antolak, DDS graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality and appropriate cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry in the most comfortable and gentle way possible. Because being a dentist has been a lifelong dream, Dr. Antolak has a passion for the profession. He enjoys helping people feel better about their smiles and therefore their self-image with dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. His Dental Practice is located in Shelby Township, Michigan.  For more information visit The Gentle Dentist.

Dentistry can bring on night sweats, rapid heart beat, hyperventilation and all of the symptoms of a huge anxiety rush.  This type of feeling is usually felt before a dental appointment for those who have had bad experiences.

These bad events can stay with people for decades.  The level of fear can last for many years because the fear is ingrained into that person’s memory.  Because we deal with very close spaces and are directly in one of the most sensitive and personal areas on the human body trust must be one of the most importent issues that the dental patient must have.

Modern dentistry has equipped ourselves to deal with these issues to make visits much more comfortable.  For example, we use sedation to put people in a state where they have no memory of their procedure and are very relaxed when they get to the office and during the procedures.  It also allows for them to get many services done at one visit so they don’t have to continually return to our office.  Another option is to plug in a DVD into our virtual reality glasses and watch a movie.

It is critical to have dental procedures pain free.  Anesthetics properly administered do a great job in controlling pain and therefore anxiety, and as a result trust starts to become developed.

Because fear comes from a loss of control it is very important that you are in complete control of the procedure and have a way of stopping if you need a break or are in pain and in need of additional anesthesia.

Anxiety stems from fear of the unknown and when you are not sure the anxiety increases.  It is also very helpful if all of your questions are answered when you need additional information.

Because relationships are so important and can’t be stressed enough we have personal interviews with the patient so that their needs are met and so that there are no misunderstandings.

Please don’t let your bad experiences affect your present condition. Modern dentistry emphasizes prevention over all other things so do yourself a favor and don’t delay this any longer.   Your needs will be met and you will be comfortable having treatment as this is my promise. You will be amazed at how easy and user friendly dental care can be.

It is easier said than done, but don’t be embarrassed if you haven’t been to a dentist in years and are afraid of past judgments from the dentist.   A modern dentist will help you look forward to your future care and would never lecture you.

About The Author

Dr. Robert Antolak, DDS graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He is dedicated to providing the highest quality and appropriate cosmetic, sedation and general dentistry in the most comfortable and gentle way possible. Because being a dentist has been a lifelong dream, Dr. Antolak has a passion for the profession. He enjoys helping people feel better about their smiles and therefore their self-image with dental implant and cosmetic dentistry. His Dental Practice is located in Shelby Township, Michigan.  For more information visit The Gentle Dentist.

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