Category Archives: Ask the Dentists

Happy Holidays from Gentle Dental & Ask the Dentists…

Keeping with the Holiday spirit, here are a few fun facts about Christmas! Enjoy!

1)  It’s hard to go more than five minutes without hearing the familiar tune of ‘Jingle Bells’ running through your head during the month of December. The truth is that you should have been hearing it in November. According to history Magazine, composer James Lord Pierpont wrote the song in the 1850s to play for his Boston Sunday school class during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races. Kids and adults loved the song and eventually changed the lyrics to fit Christmas. No word on whether the original lyrics contained the line, “Dashing through the snow, in a one-turkey open sleigh.” Continue reading Happy Holidays from Gentle Dental & Ask the Dentists…

Dental Phobia

Today, dental procedures are truly pain free; however, just the thought of being examined can make some people feel extremely stressed.  This is termed “dental phobia”.  A phobia is an intense, unreasonable fear.  People with dental phobia often put off routine care for years or even decades. They will put up with gum infections (periodontal disease), pain, or even broken and unsightly teeth.  It has been estimated that about 30 million to 40 million people delay dental treatment. People often use the words “anxiety” and “phobia” to mean the same thing, but they are different. Those with dental anxiety will have a sense of uneasiness; dental phobia is a more serious condition. It’s an intense fear or dread. People with dental phobia aren’t merely anxious. They are terrified or panic stricken.

Avoiding the dentist may have emotional costs as well. Discolored or damaged teeth can make people self-conscious and insecure. They smile less or keep their mouths partly closed when they speak.  Some people can become so embarrassed about how their teeth look that their personal and professional lives begin to suffer. There is often a serious loss of self-esteem.

Dental phobia, like other disorders, can be treated. Without treatment, dental phobia is likely to get worse over time. That’s partly because emotional stress can make dental visits more uncomfortable than they need to be.  This means they may feel pain at lower levels than other people. They may need extra anesthetic, pre-medication, or other comforting treatments.

Causes of Dental Anxiety and Phobia

People develop dental anxieties and phobias for many different reasons.

Pain — Negative past experiences — In a survey of people who had not seen a dentist for 12 months, 6% reported fear of pain as the main reason. The fear of pain is most common in adults 24 years and older. This may be because their early dental visits happened before many of the advances in “pain-free” dentistry.

Feelings of helplessness and loss of control — Many people develop phobias about situations such as flying in an airplane in which they feel they have no control.  It’s common for people to feel helpless and out of control, which may trigger anxiety.

Embarrassment — People may feel ashamed or embarrassed to have a stranger looking inside the mouth. This may be a particular problem if they’re self-conscious about how their teeth look.

Anyone who has had pain or discomfort during previous dental procedures is likely to be more anxious the next time around.

There isn’t a clear boundary that separates “normal” anxiety from phobia. Everyone has fears and concerns and copes with them in different ways. However, the prospect of dental work does not need to fill you with terror. If it does, then you may need some help overcoming the fears.

If this describes you, you need to tell your dentist about your feelings, concerns and fears. I assure you, he or she will absolutely help you overcome these feelings.

Please e-mail ANY dental related questions to:

Gentle Dental Providers LLC

1044 Lacey Road, Forked River, NJ


Dr. J.G. Rainieri

Dentistry can really be a pleasant experience:  Let us show you how…

Mail questions to:

Answers will appear in our next publication

Laminate Tooth Veneers

Veneers are thin pieces of tooth colored material used to recreate the natural look of teeth by making slight position alterations to change tooth shape, size, and/or color.  Communication with your dentist about what you want corrected is critical for a successful result. Spend time clearly identifying what cosmetic improvements you want to accomplish.  Each mouth is different and veneers need to be carefully researched.  Your dentist will most likely begin with a smile analysis to determine what steps are necessary to achieve the smile you desire. In addition, your dentist may be able to create a diagnostic mock-up that will allow you to “try on” veneers and other procedures to see if the final result is actually what you’re looking for. Continue reading Laminate Tooth Veneers

I Would Like Some Information About Dental Implants?

Dental implants are made up of titanium and other materials that are compatible with the human body and designed to completely blend in with your other teeth.  They are a popular and cost effective way to replace missing teeth and secure uncomfortable or loose dentures.  If you are self-conscious about your missing teeth, they are an excellent long-term option for restoring your smile. In fact, the development and use of implants is one of the biggest advances in dentistry in the past 40 years.   Most patients find that a dental implant is secure, stable and an excellent replacement for their own tooth. Continue reading I Would Like Some Information About Dental Implants?

Ask the Dentists

“A public service forum from the Forked River Gazette”

In answer to many who have asked “Are silver fillings (Dental Amalgams) safe?

ADA Council on Scientific Affairs – Revised Opinion: August 2009

Dental amalgam is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. It contains a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness. Continue reading Ask the Dentists

The Types of Teeth and How They Function

Most of us take our teeth for granted until something goes wrong. Our teeth help us chew and digest food, play an important role in speech, and impact our health overall. And by brushing up on your dental health knowledge, you’ll be taking the first step toward giving your teeth the attention they deserve.Bottom of Form

How much do you know about your pearly whites?

The Development of Teeth

Humans have two sets of teeth, primary (or baby) teeth and then permanent teeth, which develop in stages. Although the timing is different, the development of each of these sets of teeth is similar. Continue reading The Types of Teeth and How They Function

Like Parent, Like Child: Good Oral Health Starts at Home

Parents are a child’s first teacher in life and play a significant role in maintaining his or her overall health. Providing oral health education to mothers and families is essential to teaching children healthy habits and preventing early childhood tooth decay, according to an article published in the May/June 2010 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).   With all of the challenges that new parents face, they may not think much about the link between their child’s oral health and overall health. Continue reading Like Parent, Like Child: Good Oral Health Starts at Home

Happy Holidays from Gentle Dental & Ask the Dentists…

Thanksgiving Fun Facts

1) Sugary food such as sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie and red wine contain Streptococcus mutans, which can be very harmful to your teeth and can help create plaque.

2) Try to drink water and brush your teeth after dessert in order to avoid tooth decay caused by food high in sugar.

3) Turkey contains phosphorus, which can encourage tooth development in children.

4) Cranberry Sauce with no preservatives or added sugar is extremely beneficial for your teeth, disrupting the harm caused by Streptococcus mutans.

5) Turkey stuffing, mixed with celery and carrots contain a high amount of vitamin A; very beneficial for your teeth! Continue reading Happy Holidays from Gentle Dental & Ask the Dentists…

I Am So Afraid Of Going To the Dentist.  How Can I Conquer My Fears?

Ask the Dentist: 

If you break into a cold sweat just thinking about a trip to the dentist; you’re not alone. There are many, many people who’ve had horrible experiences at a dentist, often as a child, and so, they can’t bring themselves to go back.  I have heard countless stories from patients who have undergone traumatic dental work or work when their jaws weren’t fully numb. Continue reading I Am So Afraid Of Going To the Dentist.  How Can I Conquer My Fears?

What Options Are There To Improve A Smile?

In today’s world there is a tremendous focus on one’s personal appearance. It is no surprise that this trend has spread to the dental world as well. Cosmetic dentistry offers a myriad of options to help you achieve your best smile. With the many advancements available at their fingertips, dentists are able to preserve more of their patients’ teeth than ever before, thus giving patients a more beautiful yet still natural smile. Consumers are now looking to their dental practices for way more than just clean teeth.

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For starters, most dentists are now using porcelain fillings for cavities rather than the traditional metal. These fillings, which may be covered under most dental plans, allow dentists to closely match the color and texture of their patients’ teeth, making the fillings much more ‘natural-looking’ than their metal predecessors. Another option is teeth whitening, which is also the most popular cosmetic dental procedure. It currently represents a billion dollar industry and still continues to gain popularity. Dentists offer both in office whitening and take home kits. Either method utilizes peroxide bleaching and each can be very effective in getting that dazzling white smile.
Dental bonding is a great and affordable way to repair imperfect teeth and even change their shape and color. Dentists use a resin, or durable plastic material which they paint directly on a patient’s teeth. A laser light is then used to harden the material which literally bonds to the teeth.  Each tooth that is bonded will take about one hour in your dentist’s office. One potential to downside to this dental procedure is that the bonding is not permanent and may wear down or break over time.Gentle Dental
A longer lasting, but more costly way to improve your smile, is to get dental veneers. Veneers are essentially caps custom made to fit over your teeth to correct major cosmetic problems like chipped teeth, severely discolored teeth or teeth with a rough or less than perfect texture.
Finally, you can opt for a complete smile makeover which encompasses more than one of the above cosmetic dental procedures. You and your dentist should discuss which options are best for you so that you may achieve the optimal results and the best smile possible. A great dentist will help you greatly by giving you a very realistic idea of what you can expect following your procedures.  With so many choices out there, there is really no reason not to be perfectly pleased with your smile.

Please e-mail any dental related question to:  Gentle Dental Providers, LLC, 1044 Lacey Road, Forked River, NJ 08731; 609-994-3880.  Email to