A Relaxing Trip to the Dentist

If the idea of a relaxing trip to the dentist seems absurd, you’ll be happy to know that over the last few years there has been a major focus on the patient experience by dental practices all over the nation.

From virtual reality to an office that feels like anything but a dental practice to sedation dentistry and even a new system that completely takes over your senses, allowing you to relax - there’s so much going on in the world of relaxation dentistry today. If you are anxious about going to the dentist, find a dental practice that uses some of these new ways to help patients relax and sometimes even sleep through their treatments.

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Dental X-Rays Help Identify Vitamin D Deficiencies

Research published in the International Journal of Paleopathology from McMaster University has shown that dental X-rays can now be used to help spot vitamin D deficiencies by showing the state of the pulp inside teeth. The research team was searching for a way to study vitamin D deficiencies in archaeological specimens without destroying each aged tooth by cutting it open. Their findings could now help identify potential deficiencies in adults and children, which can then be confirmed with a simple blood test.

"Studies are continuing to shed light on the fact that oral health is connected to our overall health in so many ways," said Dr. Amy Norman, DDS, a leading dentist in Everett, Washington.

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Could New Drug Help Teeth Repair Themselves?

Advances in dental and medical technology occur every day, sometimes unbeknownst to the general population. However, a newly published study shows that an Alzheimer’s medication, Tideglusib, that is already developed and successful in clinical trials could actually help promote the biological mechanism for natural tooth regrowth. Could this be the end of dental fillings as we know them?

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3 Reasons to Avoid Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings are one of the most controversial topics in dentistry today, and for good reason. Dr. Norman finds problems in over 90 percent of the amalgam fillings she removes, further proof that these fillings are dangerous for your health and your teeth. Here are three reasons to avoid these fillings and replace them with safer, more effective alternatives:

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When Dental Anxiety Becomes a Phobia

There’s a difference between being uncomfortable with the idea of visiting the dentist and deciding not to go until pain becomes unbearable. This is the line in the sand where anxiety becomes phobia. Many dentists across the nation have taken note of this huge obstacle to care for many patients and are making big strides at providing options for those who otherwise would never step foot in a dentist’s office.

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Can Diet Affect Oral Health?

So, you’ve decided to take your health into your own hands and start losing weight in order to reach a healthier place? One thing you might not have thought about is how dieting affects your oral health. Some diets can actually improve your oral health while other may hurt it.

Low-Fat Diets

For years the gold standard in losing weight was to eliminate fat. Everyone turned to low-fat alternatives of their favorite foods in order to still enjoy some of the flavors they love without the guilt. Unfortunately, when you choose a diet that focuses on low-fat, you have to keep an eye out for products that have added sugar in order to make up for the lost flavors from the fat, said Dr. Amy Norman, DDS, a leading cosmetic dentist in Everett, Washington.

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Children Who Snore Could Have Sleep Apnea

Thanks to television sitcoms, when you picture someone who snores until the house shakes, you likely picture an overweight middle-aged man. For years this was the typical sleep apnea patient and the most likely to get diagnosed and treated for the condition. Over time, research has shown that women and children also suffer from sleep apnea and that they often go undiagnosed, according to Dr. Amy Norman of Dream Smile in Everett, Washington.

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Guidelines Issued for New Cavity Treatment for Kids

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recently released evidence-based guidelines for the first time regarding a relatively new cavity treatment that uses silver diamine fluoride. The AAPD now recommends using the silver diamine fluoride as a treatment for cavities in children and special-needs patients. Experts believe this will lead to more dentists adopting this treatment method, said Dr. Amy Norman, DDS, a leading Everett, Washington dentist.

"The use of silver diamine fluoride provides a less invasive and more affordable treatment. It’s been used for a few years to treat tooth sensitivity and some have used it for cavity treatment," she said. "But now that guidance from the AAPD has been established, it’s very likely to become a much more commonly offered treatment."

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Dental Care for the Disabled

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one in five Americans have an intellectual or physical disability. For those with disabilities, dental care can be a three-part problem. Access to dental care can be extremely challenging since many insurance plans either don’t cover it or provide limited dental coverage; finding a dental provider that offers care geared toward those with a disability can be difficult; and finally, caring for the oral hygiene of people with disabilities at home on a daily basis comes with many obstacles.

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Snoring Isn’t Funny

Contrary to what every sitcom has tried to convince you, snoring isn't a laughing matter. Why? Because snoring is a breathing disorder that’s on a spectrum. On one end of this spectrum you have snoring, and on the other end you have severe obstructive sleep apnea.

Snoring is a sign that your breathing during sleep is not normal. It can even be a warning sign of a sometimes severe disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.

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Does Being Overweight Affect Oral Health?

Research continues to show the many health concerns associated with obesity and unhealthy weight gain in adults and children. Most of the time this information is focused on diseases of the body, but a new study focuses on the mouth and the effects of obesity on oral health.

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AAP Cracks Down on Kids' Fruit Juice Consumption

It’s one of the most popular drinks for children of all ages. From lunchboxes to sippy cups, juice is the drink of choice for many toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children. But now, the American Academy of Pediatrics is taking a new stance on the beverage as research continues to show the health issues associated with fruit juice and other sweet drinks.

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Is Flavored Water Really a Healthy Alternative?

According to the consulting firm Beverage Marketing Corp., in 2016 Americans drank more bottled water than carbonated soft drinks for the first time in recent history. The research showed that on average, the average consumer drank 39.3 gallons of bottled water and 38.5 gallons of soft drinks throughout the year.

Soda contains excessive calories that come directly from added sugars. According to the USDA, a standard 12 oz. can of soda has close to 150 calories. A few of those a day can quickly push the consumer over the recommended daily calorie intake. In fact, one soda a day can easily add up to 15 pounds a year.

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The Harmful Effects of Electronic Cigarettes on Gum Tissue

According to a report by the U.S. surgeon general in 2016, e-cigarettes are the most popular tobacco product among American youth. In fact, the use of these alternatives to cigarettes grew by 900 percent among high school students in just four years between 2011 and 2015.

One study conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center suggests that electronic cigarettes do as much damage to gum tissue as traditional cigarettes. The study was the first of its kind to look at the cellular and molecular levels of oral health and their relationship to the use of e-cigarettes.

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Start Retirement With a New, Improved Mouth

When you reach the age where you start thinking about retirement, you may think about the relaxation and extra time for travel, spending time with family and pursuing favorite hobbies. One thing you're probably not thinking about is dental care -- and how a lifetime of dental care, likely with different dentists, may have left you with mismatched teeth and an imperfect bite.  

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Patient Transformation - Chuck

Chuck's Story

Before

 

Chuck Spaeth never thought that a busy travel schedule would be hard on his teeth. Now 76 and retired, he spent an exciting career as a flight mechanic and airline pilot. His journey included time in the military as well as working for the commercial airline, Alaska.

Chuck said in 1961 he became one of three people to enter Alaska’s first pilot training program. “We were paid to work on flights as mechanics and completed flying hours during down time until we had our pilot licenses,” he said.  

“It’s awesome,” Chuck said when asked about flying a plane. “When the weather was good it was beautiful views and smooth sailing. And when the weather was bad it was challenging and intense. Either way, I loved it.” 

Unfortunately, his demanding responsibilities didn’t always allow for great dental care. “I’m tough on my teeth,” Chuck said. On top of a busy travel schedule, he had a habit of grinding his teeth while he worked. They were worn down, cracking, discolored and putting him in visible distress.

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Patient Transformation - Sandra

Sandra's Story

Before

Sandra never expected that something as small as a BB could cause such a problem decades later. It was only a childhood accident. While shooting a BB gun a BB she fired bounced off a tree and hit her on a front tooth. At 20, the tooth needed a root canal and crown, but now, almost 40 years later, Sandra’s damaged front tooth was falling out.

“My front top teeth had a large gap,” Sandra described how the problem looked and felt. “One was falling out due to bone loss. I’d always been self-conscious of my smile but losing a front tooth was terrifying.” It was embarrassing to talk and smile with anyone.

And, Sandra was not happy about this. “My own dentist never brought the fact up that I was losing my front tooth. ” When it became obvious, Sandra was really disappointed to hear that her dentist would only refer her out for an implant, which was the solution he suggested.

Sandra wanted to have her problem and her long-term care handled by a dentist who seemed to care. Her adult daughter-in-law had just completed Invisalign with Dr. Amy Norman and recommended Dr. Norman to her mother. “I was checking out a lot of dentists,” Sandra said. “And, Dr. Amy made a great first impression!”

During

“The first impression Dr. Norman made was that she was so professional and caring.” Sandra said. “I’d had a lot of dental issues in my life but she didn’t make me feel like I hadn’t taken good care of my teeth. From the moment I walked in the front door, I felt welcomed and safe. I have always had a fear of dentists, but Dr. Norman explained that pain should not be part of the dental experience and what they could do to make me more relaxed and pain free.”

They talked about implants but Dr. Norman also offered other solutions. Sandra felt that the best choice was a 5-tooth bridge and crowns. “Dr. Norman explained all the options and explained the procedures,” Sandra said. “She educated me with all the facts I needed to make a good choice for what would work best for me. A bridge allowed Dr. Norman to replace the lost front tooth without the use of a denture or dental implant. The false tooth would be held in place by being attached to the teeth next to it. These teeth would be crowned. I liked knowing the tooth would be permanent.”

Sandra loved everything about Dr. Norman’s practice and she felt comfortable moving forward with a procedure that would give her a confident smile.

After

“Now I have a beautiful smile and love sharing it with others,” Sandra said. “I no longer fear going to the dentist, but look forward to it. The procedure was painless and the results amazing. My teeth look totally natural, and I have never been happier.”
   
Sandra had found the dental care she needed all her life and was so happy with how she was approached and treated. “Dr. Norman is a wonderful dentist and an amazing, caring women. She is one of those people who come into your life and makes a lasting impression.

“I’d tell anyone in my position to go to Dr. Norman for a consultation.  If you are not happy with your dentist, reach out and get a second opinion.” Doing just that opened the door to Sandra finding Dr. Norman. “I’ve never meet a woman like her,” Sandra said. “ I get very emotional about the experience I had with her. “She is Awesome”





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Patient Transformation - Colette

Colette's Story

Before

For years, Colette suffered with a vertigo that was extremely disturbing. Turning her head triggered the vertigo that proved to be a problem nearly all the time. “While driving, if I was sitting at a stop light, I’d look left and right before proceeding and that would make me dizzy,” said Colette.

The problem was familiar to Colette. She had watched her mother suffer with similar vertigo for 30 years. But Colette was determined to find a solution. “I tried doctors and physical therapy,” said Colette, “but the therapist had me turning my head so that it triggered the vertigo, so I had to stop. It wasn’t helping.”

One day, Colette was looking online and found Dr. Amy Norman. Although it didn’t sound like a dentist could help her at first, Colette read that vertigo was a possible symptom of TMJ disorder. And, Dr. Norman had experience helping patients with TMJ using in neuromuscular dentistry. She decided to give Dr. Norman a call.

During

“Dr. Norman’s team made me feel very comfortable,” said Colette. “They make sure you are comfortable and feel safe. It’s a very good experience. Everything is positive.” In this environment, Colette learned about how issues in her jaw joint, her jaw joint, were causing other symptoms including her vertigo.

Dr. Norman performed a neuromuscular evaluation that lead to a treatment plan. “I got some root canals and she build up my back molars to adjust my bite,” Colette said. Soon after, Colette saw an end to her vertigo symptoms.

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Patient Transformation - Taushka

Taushka's Story

Before

For nearly ten years, Taushka visited all kinds of doctors trying to diagnose and treat the headaches, dizziness and sinus issues. She saw many doctors including Ear, Nose & Throat doctors, allergists, general practitioners and dentists but they all diagnosed her with sinus issues. They were all treating the symptoms and Taushka said “I always had prescriptions for antibiotics, and steroids but never a diagnosis for the real source of my problems.”

“They all told me I had really bad sinus infections,” she said. “But I knew it was more than that. It was too painful and it took its toll on me. When you are living life and you have headaches every day, you just want to stare out the window. You just want to make it through the day like anyone else in pain.”

It wasn’t until she started doing her own Internet research that she came across Dr. Amy Norman and her practice treating TMJ with Neuromuscular Dentistry. Taushka immediately knew from Dr. Norman‘s web site and from her first moments at Dr. Norman’s practice, that she was visiting someone who knew how to take away her pain.

During

Taushka’s first impression of Dr. Norman’s practice was “Wow! It was so much like a spa-like atmosphere. Very relaxed and nurturing. And, her (Dr. Norman’s) knowledge of dentistry is extreme! She is very knowledgeable and she cares!”

Visiting Dr. Norman for a consult with her husband, Taushka got a feel for how Dr. Norman and her Dream Team help patients through the process of treating their TMJ. “The facility was beautiful!” Taushka said. “In the consultation room, both Dr. Norman and Judy talked to me together. Dr. Norman went over the procedure and Judy was there to answer our financial questions. You go in wondering if it’s going to work and how are we going to pay for it, but they help you understand the hows and the whys.”

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Patient Transformation - Victoria

Victoria's Story

Before

Victoria was in college at the age of 20 when she decided it was time to get serious about fixing her smile.  But, her experience talking to dentists about getting a beautiful smile full of straight teeth was not going well.  “I had a severe overbite that sometimes caused me pain,” Victoria said. “I also never smiled with my teeth. I tried to hide them as much as possible.”

The consultations she was having with dentists and orthodontists were not going well.  “I wanted to use Invisalign,“ Victoria said. “I didn’t want to be the girl in college who had braces.  But I wanted straight teeth!”  In her consultations, the orthodontists dismissed the idea of Invisalign, telling her it would not work for her. “They all focused on what was wrong and how bad it was,” Victoria said. “Nobody was telling me what they could do for me.  They all were telling me I need to pull some back teeth to get started and I knew that was not necessary.”

Victoria knew what she wanted. On the Invisalign web site, she noticed the closest Invisalign dentist was Dr. Norman.  And, what a difference she found with Dr. Norman’s approach.  “Dr. Norman is really friendly and seemed genuinely interested in my life goals and my goals for my smile. We were on the same page about what I wanted to happen with my smile and she did a really great job working with my teeth.”  And, Dr. Norman told her how Invisalign could work for Victoria. ”When Dr. Norman said we didn’t have to pull any teeth, I was like… lets do it!”

During

The Invisalign process took about a year but Victoria was amazed to see results almost right away. “There was an almost immediate change,” Victoria said.  “In the first few aligners (which took a few months), I noticed my teeth straightening.  I especially noticed that my eye teeth were perfectly straight in around four or so months.”

Through the process, Dr. Norman kept Victoria’s goals in mind. Victoria told her that she wanted to have an engaging smile that would not hold her back making friends, relationship and networking connections as she was in college and soon entering the work force. “Dr. Norman made suggestions to add to the process.  Made my smile even more appealing,” Victoria said.  “She took the time to get to know me and that made a huge difference.”

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