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Making Dental Procedures Less Stressful! September 23, 2011

Posted by carlosgreat in Uncategorized.
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“Smile!” is cheerfully requested when taking pictures but sometimes we don’t smile at picture-taking because we don’t care, have a headache, are rushed, or are not photogenic.  People rarely admit that they don’t smile at pictures because they are embarrassed of their smile.  It’s not like your life depends on it, or is it?  Well, because you were embarrassed to smile, you were unable to connect with the love of your life.  You fail to smile at the job interview so you didn’t get your dream job. Your offer for the beautiful home was rejected because the homeowner felt no connection with you.  Now here you are alone, no job, and homeless because of the absence of a simple smile!  These are exaggerated scenarios of course, yet they are things that we have to consider.

Dental health is very important yet it is often ignored or feared.  Some studies have shown that at least 96% of American had or will have some sort of dental work done. Perhaps we tend to postpone dental care because we are afraid of the shots, drilling, infections, or just pure embarrassment.  These fears can be easily overcome with proper explanation of dental procedures and with the help of visual aids.  This summer I visited El Salvador with my family and my sister had some dental work done while we were there.  The lack of X-rays and of imaging devices in general made my sister very nervous and apprehensive about the dental work needed.  Doctors in El Salvador tend not to explain in very details each procedure to their patient.  My sister on the other hand, was asking every detail of the procedure, the doctor’s experience and the use of visual aids.  I had to ask the orthodontist to set a pre-procedure appointment so that he could go over my sister’s oral treatment needed; he seemed surprised at our request.  It is frightening and scary that in other countries, people who are of higher authority on their field of expertise expect others to accept theories or opinions without questioning.  At the end because of lack of time and medical necessity my sister had the dental work, depending only on the doctor’s experience and the use of basic X-rays, which took a few days to obtain.  A lot of stress would had been avoided if we had a better dental care system and access to better scanning or 3D imaging devices, as we do here in the US.

In the US going to the orthodontist for dental work is not pleasant, but it is no longer frightening as it once was.  Doctors have a lot of new technology available for buying or leasing that ensures the efficacy of the treatment.  There are 3D scanning machines that provide a full view of your facial/jaws bone structure.  This machine rotates around the patient’s head taking images and creates a 3D view.  Doctors can detect right from the beginning if a patient have had some type of bone fracture or injury on the face or jaws.  These machines not only help to prevent possible complications, because of lack of details from the patient, but also help in making more precise dental replacements.  Sometimes just a very small bite measurement deviation can result in improper replacements or future pains and complications.  The good news is that doctors don’t need to do these procedures with just sight – hand coordination.  These scanning machines are capable of making precise 3D images of the patient’s denture.  These results are then sent to the lab where crowns, teeth, and bridges are made with accurate measurements.  The actual scraping and drilling is now being done by lasers, making it possible for a treatment to be completed on the same day.
Short video of the Planmeca Promax 3D imaging machine

The use of laser on dental work is much too expensive for an average person, but the use of the 3D imaging machines is affordable.  There is always some sort of risk in any medical procedure, but the employment of 3D scanning system on dental works makes the experience less stressful.  I am hopeful that all these advancement in medical technology will reach more parts of the world, making it accessible to traveler as well as natives.


1. iamdanielhuang - September 24, 2011

I think the scariest thing about the dentist for me is the atmosphere. When you are sitting in the lobby you can hear the drills going off inside and it makes me uncomfortable. Its good to hear that advances in technology has made dentistry safer and more efficient.

2. zohranaeemi - September 25, 2011

I really enjoyed reading your post first because I want to be a dentist in the future and secondly, the things you mentioned all are true. I as a child was not scared of dentist , but more curious to find out more what is the procedure. I decied that I want to be come a dentist. The lack of technology in third world countries do create a lot of problems as you said with crowning, implants, and others. I really like the video and it is true that with all the technology still a lot of people are sacred to see a dentist, but we don’t think that we will have long term relief and also save money. For example, if someone has a cavity and wait fro few months it can become a root canal . Now to do a filling it cost at most $100, but root canal can cost starting $800. I think we still need to spread awareness so people can go to dentist more often.

3. lineahann - September 27, 2011

I agree that a visit to the dentist can be a terrifying experience, when i was young i was afraid of the drill and now that i’m older I’m afraid of the bill. I think cost is a larger issue than fear, at least in the united States. I agree with Zohra that putting off problems only ends up costing you more, however, if you can’t afford the initial exam what do you do? I am glad that we have the technology we do, we just need to find a way to make it affordable to the general public. Do you know how much this 3D scanning system will cost per visit?

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