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Do You Struggle with Dental Anxiety?

Struggle with Dental Anxiety? Follow these tips for a stress-free dental visit. At Norge Dental Center, we understand not everyone looks forward to their dental visits as much as we do. For some people, dental procedures and even routine cleanings can cause great anxiety. So, we strive to make your visit to our practice as comfortable and pleasant as possible.  From deep breaths to stress balls, we’ve gathered together our best advice for managing your dental anxiety. Next time you visit our Williamsburg office, try out these quick tips for an even more stressless appointment.  Make a Plan  As soon as your appointment is on the calendar, you can begin to set yourself up for success. Start by making a game plan for the day. Try easing your worry by coupling your visit with something you love—maybe a trip to your favorite coffee shop or a long walk. If you haven’t already spoken with your dentist about your procedure, be sure you are clear on the goal of the treatment before you arrive.  Sometimes, understanding the “why” makes the “how” a little less stressful.  Bring a Friend If you can, bring a friend or spouse to your appointment. Having someone there with you when you walk into the office can do wonders for your mood throughout your visit. Some procedures are more invasive than others, so your doctor may recommend you find a ride home with a loved one anyway.  Be sure you understand any pre-op recommendations from your dentist ahead of time.  Talk to Your Dental Care Team  If you’re still feeling anxious when you arrive at our office, be candid with your dentist about how you’re feeling. If your care team understands the source of your worry, there may be ways to help mitigate the situation. For example,  if you’re scared of needles, they may be able to give you a heads up to close your eyes before administering a shot. Or, if you’d feel more comfortable knowing what’s happening throughout the procedure, your dentist may be able to narrate the process.  Create a Distraction  One of the best ways to manage your anxiety during a dental procedure is to create a distraction for yourself. Try bringing a pair of headphones to your appointment so that you can listen to calming music or a podcast and take your mind off your mouth. When the sounds of the dental equipment are dulled, it’s often much easier to relax. Moving your muscles is another great way to release your body’s built-up stress. Since you can’t move very much during a dental procedure, you might try bringing a stress ball or two that you can grip throughout the process.  Use Relaxation Techniques  Before, during, and after your appointment, it’s always a good idea to take a moment to relax. Your mind and body are connected, so slowing down your thoughts can help to calm the feelings of anxiety happening in your body. Try the box breath technique—four counts to inhale, four...
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Why a Dental Abcess Should be Treated Quickly

Why a dental abscess should be treated quickly If you have any kind of swelling in your gum, it almost certainly indicates a serious infection that should be treated urgently. Dental abscesses result from a bacterial infection in the teeth or gums. For example, it may come from an untreated cavity. Cavities result when some of the bacteria in our mouths mix with sugars and starches in our diet to produce acid. This acid attacks the hard enamel coating of our teeth and, as the cavity gets deeper, it eventually infects the nerve and blood supply of the tooth. In some cases, a dental abscess is caused by an infection of the gum. Bone loss from gum disease can create a pocket between the tooth, gum and bone. When bacteria and other debris get into this pocket, an abscess can form. <br> The treatment for an abscess depends on how severe the infection is. If the abscess has been caused by decay, root canal treatment may be needed or the tooth may even have to be removed. If the abscess has been caused by the gum, the gum will need deep cleaning or surgical treatment. Again the tooth may need to be removed. Sometimes, a small incision may be made into the gum to drain the abscess. If this happens, antibiotics and pain medication may be used to relieve discomfort. If you wait until the gum is severely swollen before seeking treatment, the situation can become very serious. The abscess at this stage can prevent you breathing properly and can be life-threatenting. So if you have any signs of swelling in your gum, contact your dentist immediately.  

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy During the Holidays

It’s not easy to stay healthy during the holidays. Sweets seem to appear everywhere you go, and with all of the present-wrapping and card-writing, there’s not much time to devote to you and your family’s health and well-being. Luckily, Hermey the Elf, best known for his adventures with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, joined forces with the American Dental Association (ADA) to come up with tips for keeping your mouth and teeth healthy during the holidays. In the classic holiday movie, Hermey dreamed of becoming a dentist and helping people keep their teeth healthy. In 2014, the ADA awarded Hermey with a Dental Do Gooder (DDG) for his passion for dentistry. That year, Hermey and the ADA came up with a set of tips to help families keep their smiles in tip-top shape. ✓ Have a routine. Hermey always brushes his teeth two times a day, for two minutes, and you should too! It’s what keeps your mouth healthy in December and all year long. Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste that has earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance.   ✓ Choose the carrots. Cookies and sweets are nice holiday treats, but instead of reaching for another candy cane, take a cue from Rudolph and eat the carrots.   ✓ Don’t forget the dentist! The holidays can be a busy time, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about your teeth. If you are due for a teeth cleaning or need work done, don’t forget to visit your dentist in the New Year.   ✓ Drink water. You need a lot of energy for holiday activities, but avoid drinking sodas, sports drinks and juices with lots of sugar. Instead, drink water with fluoride in it to keep your teeth strong and healthy.   ✓ Protect your teeth. Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports throughout the year.     

Thank you Veterans!

Happy Veterans Day from Norge Dental Center. We couldn’t be more proud of our US Army Dental Corps Veteran, Dr. C Ray Henley! He served proudly from 1989-1994. Today we celebrate him along with so many others and thank you for your service, dedication and sacrifice. “Yesterday, today, tomorrow, and forever we will be thankful for all of your hardships, bravery, and sacrifices so that we may live free.” 

Why You Should Expect Top-Notch, 5-Star Service From Your Dentist

What comes to mind when you think of 5-Star Service? Hotels? VIP Access? Upscale spas? How about a dentist’s office?  Due to the nature of our fast-paced automated world, the dentist office is one of the few places left that you can go and still have a real human-to-human experience. Unfortunately, not everyone sees the dentist’s office in a positive light. We’re here to change that. Here at Norge, we believe that you should experience 5-star service from the moment you walk through the door. Providing a relaxing environment is one of the first steps to a memorable dental experience. Our office doesn’t feel like the typical “cold” dentist’s office. With an inviting staff welcoming you in by name, and a relaxing lounge complete with a waterfall, our patients say it feels more like a spa.  Easing dental anxiety is also a large part of providing a relaxing environment. We don’t let you say “ahhh” without hearing your story first, and answering any questions you have about treatment. When Dr. Timothy K. Johnston opened his practice fresh out of dental school in 1989, he immediately knew that he wanted to separate his practice and the experience he would soon provide from the rest. He opened with one dental chair and one employee. Today, he’s turned Norge Dental Center into a 5-star dental experience for patients in the Williamsburg area.  With a total of 16 dental chairs, 5 dentists under one roof, and a total of 37 employees. Dr. Johnston also teaches other business owners how to apply this same level of high quality customer service in their business. You can check out his book on 5-star service, “Ring Bell for Service?: Never Force Your Customers to Get Your Attention, When You Should Already Have Theirs!” “If you never leave your customers ‘ringing the bell for service,’ you will have extraordinary success!” – Dr. Johnston In addition to providing a relaxing environment for the adults, we created an entire wing dedicated to the kids of Norge and the experience we provide to ease their fears of the dentist office. We combine a fun environment with education to get them excited about coming to their next checkups and cleanings! Plus, they get to meet Douglas, the Tooth Fairy’s Favorite Pet Monster. To experience the Norge 5-star difference for yourself, call our office to book your first appointment. We can’t wait to meet you, and help you achieve the smile of your dreams! (757) 231-7080 

Coronavirus Update: Williamsburg Virginia

As the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak unfolds, we want to assure you that we are closely following all recommendations from the VDA (Virginia Dental Association) and ADA (American Dental Association).  Your safety and health is the most important concern to us. For the time being, our office hours will remain the same. We will, however, ONLY be seeing patients for dental emergency appointments. We will also be working with a very limited amount of employees to limit interaction. Our main goal is to serve you safely! ALL routine cleaning and preventive appointments will be rescheduled for at least the next 2 weeks. We are working diligently to contact all patients individually via phone to get you rescheduled. Social distancing is encouraged by: Asking patients to wait in their cars until their appointment. We will call you from inside the office when your doctor is ready to see you. Asking patients to not bring children or others along (unless patient requires a driver) Possibility of contamination is reduced by: All common areas (including door knobs) will be disinfected frequently. Hand sanitizer and soap is available. At the beginning of each dental appointment: Patients & staff will be required to wash hands Temperature of each patient will be taken Patients will be asked to rinse with antimicrobial rinse Patients will be encouraged to wash hands before leaving our office Please, call to reschedule your appointment if:  You feel ill (running a fever, have a cough or trouble breathing) You have traveled internationally in the past 2 weeks You have been in contact with individuals who are confirmed to have COVID-19. You have an underlying health condition that puts you at higher risk for getting COVID-19. There are still a number of variables and unknowns, but this proactive measure is aimed to limit the spread and keep patients and practitioners safe. Right now, our priority is to do our part to decrease the rate of transmission. Many of you have heard on the news in recent days of the importance of “flattening the curve” to prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed. If we can decrease the number of patients who require ICU care over the next several weeks, we will have done our part. We want to thank you for letting us serve you and also for trusting us with your dental needs. Dr. Timothy Johnston & Staff 

Dentistry From The Heart Cancelation Notice

“Dentistry from the Heart,” which was scheduled for Saturday, March 21, has been cancelled due to concerns about coronavirus.  For the past 8 years, the event has provided thousands of local James City County patients with free cleanings, extractions or fillings – and we are cancelling the event only after careful consideration. While we are disappointed to have to make this decision, we are also confident that putting safety first is the right thing to do.  In the past, “Dentistry from the Heart” has brought together dozens of hygienists, dental assistants, dental professionals and volunteers donating their time and resources in order to provide thousands of dollars in free dental care and much needed relief to people in need in the community. But as you might imagine, this creates a high-density environment where patients and staff are all in close quarters. At a time when coronavirus is spreading quickly, we believe it’s prudent to cancel rather than risk the health of our patients. We hope to resume this event in 2021 because it is an important service to our community that we have been committed to for the past 8 years.  The CDC has provided information about what you can do to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Please take a look at these resources – and take care.  Steps to Prevent Illness Frequently Asked Questions and Answers Frequently Asked Questions and Answers   

What Your Dental Hygienist Wants You To Know Before Your Appointment

You’ve probably spent your fair share of time with a dental hygienist. After all, they are usually the ones to meticulously clean your teeth, apply fluoride treatments, and assist your dentist in various procedures. Here at Norge Dental, we are pulling back the curtain and sharing what they want you to know before arriving at your appointment. With years of experience under their belts, they’re here to answer your burning questions, ease your anxiety about procedures, and help you maintain a healthy beautiful smile! Here’s 3 Things Your Dental Hygienist Wants You To Know Before Your Appointment: If you don’t floss regularly, but decide to the morning of your dentist appointment, we know. (You can’t hide those bleeding gums from us!) The good news is that we practice shame-free dentistry here at Norge Dental Center. So instead of shaking our heads, we’ll show you the best techniques to flossing your teeth and how to incorporate it into your routine. Soon, flossing will become a daily habit, and you’ll have healthier gums in no time! Speaking of floss, string floss works better than floss picks because it hugs the side of your teeth. With that being said, any floss is better than no floss. X-rays are important. The need for x-rays is dependent on several factors, including: present oral health, your age, your risk for disease, and any signs and symptoms of oral disease. Children often need more frequent x-rays than adults because their teeth are still developing, and your dentist will want to make sure their jawline and adult teeth are coming in nicely, free from tooth decay. If you, or a member of your family is new to Norge Dental Center, we’ll want to get initial x-rays to set a baseline for the future and confirm your current oral health status. If you are pregnant, please let us know at the beginning of your appointment. While we use a leaded apron for every patient during x-rays, it’s important for your dentist to know if you are pregnant, or could be. Fluoride is beneficial to BOTH children and adults. It’s “nature’s cavity fighter” and helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel. Each time that you brush your teeth with a toothpaste that has fluoride as an ingredient, or use other dental products that have fluoride in them, you’re helping to rebuild the damage to our teeth caused by the acidic drinks/foods we consume.    Did you know that for the past 70 years fluoride has been added to public water systems to help prevent cavities? Encourage your children to drink more water. Not only is it better for their diet, but it’s also better for their pearly whites! If you have any questions about an upcoming appointment, please give our office a call at (757) 231-7080. 

The Toothbrush, Mouthwash & Floss Dentists Love

With new dental products showing up what seems like daily on shelves everywhere, it can be overwhelming to decide on what toothbrushes, mouthwashes, and floss is best for you and your family. Don’t worry, our team at Norge Dental Center is here to help! Just like how you keep a running list of favorite recipes on your Pinterest board, we keep a list of various oral health products that we love and recommend to our patients. Below you’ll find our recommendations for toothbrushes, mouthwashes and floss brands. Note: We love electric toothbrushes because they have an in-handle timer to keep you brushing the full two minutes. Sometimes when we’re in a hurry to get out the door it’s easy to cut our brushing and/or flossing time short. Electric toothbrushes hold us accountable for our oral health. Toothbrush Recommendations #1: Philips Sonicare ProtectiveClean (4100, 4700) Built with two cleaning modes and three intensity levels, this toothbrush provides the superior deep clean you’re looking for while being safe on gentle areas. #2: ORAL-B PRO 5000 This toothbrush has 5 Cleaning Modes, a pressure sensor to tell you when you’re pushing down to hard on your gums and has an in-handle timer to let you know when to switch areas of your mouth.** #3: quip Electric Toothbrush + Subscription quip provides electric toothbrushes that start at $25, and don’t require any cords. Each toothbrush has a battery that lasts 3 months, and comes with a refill of a brush head, toothpaste & floss every 3 months.** Mouthwash Recommendations #1: ACT® Kids Anticavity Fluoride Rinses Available in 3 flavors without the burn of regular mouthwash, these rinses are specifically formulated for kids with the maximum amount of fluoride to help protect against cavities.** Floss Recommendations #1: Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Floss While helping to prevent gingivitis by eliminating plaque, it slides easily between tight spaces and provides cool, clean feeling each time you floss.** #2: quip Floss With a sleek design, this pre-marked for the perfect length floss expands to help you clean between teeth by showing the areas that have already been used.** **Indicates the product or certain mentioned flavors have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Since “analysis paralysis” is a real thing, we’re providing you with solid recommendations for you and your family’s oral health. Speaking of, have you booked your family’s cleanings for 2020 yet? Remember to get those on the calendar every six months to maintain optimum care. Give us a call today to book your appt (757) 941-7682 Want to read more about “analysis paralysis”? Check out this TED Talk Video by Psychologist Barry Schwartz on The Paradox of Choice. 

9th Annual Dentistry From the Heart Event

On Saturday, March 21st 2020 Norge Dental Center will be hosting our 9th Annual Dentistry From the Heart event. Our team will be providing the first 200+ patients with a free cleaning, extraction or filling. Eligible to patients age 18+ only. We will have dozens of hygienists, dental assistants, dental professionals and volunteers donating their time and resources in order to provide thousands of dollars in free dental care and much needed relief to people in need in the community. Patients are asked to arrive early as the event is a first come first serve basis. Event registration will begin at 8:00am and patients will be seen through 4:00pm that day. Patients are also encouraged to dress appropriately for the weather, to bring a chair, blankets, water, snacks, etc. as they may be waiting outside to be seen. For more information about the event please connect with us on Facebook: Event Link or contact us at 757-564-0804. Event Title: 9th Annual Dentistry From the Heart Event Date & Time (Begin to End): March 21, 2020 8am-4pm Location: Norge Dental Center 

Why We Practice Shame Free Dentistry at Norge Dental Center

What is “Shame Free Dentistry” and why do we practice it? Have you ever found yourself putting off a dentist appointment because you were afraid of being judged by the state of your teeth? Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve received any treatment, and you’re embarrassed for anyone to know? Unfortunately, those are common fears associated with the dentist’s office, but we’re here to flip the script. Norge Dental Center is a shame-free, judgment-free zone! No matter how long it’s been, our goal is to help you regain and maintain optimum oral health. Good oral health not only improves your overall quality of life, but it also reduces your risk for heart disease. Even the office of the Surgeon General (part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) has emphasized the importance of oral health, sharing that the “mouth is the center of vital tissues and functions that are critical to total health and well-being across the lifespan.” Taking care of your oral health is taking care of your body, too. It’s important to visit the dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and checkups to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape. But exactly how often should you go? There’s no one size fits all answer in terms of treatment, but we recommend a cleaning two times each year. The best time to get that first cleaning is right now. You’ll find that we don’t judge based on what your care has looked like in the past. We’re here to help get you back on track so you can feel confident in your smile again, live your best life without oral pain or discomfort and actually enjoy a dentist appointment for once. How do we do this? We understand that dental anxiety is REAL, so we take extra special care to ensure all of your concerns are addressed before we begin any treatment. You won’t say “ahhh” before we hear your story first. The experience we provide at Norge is unlike anything else. From our lavender scented eye shades to the soothing music we provide, you might find yourself questioning whether you’re at the dentist’s office or at the spa. We even offer conscious sedation for those with higher levels of anxiety to ensure you’re comfortable during your cosmetic or restorative treatment. Sound like something you’d like to experience for yourself? Call our office directly at (757) 941-7682 to book your FREE Smile Consultation. This 30 minute consultation gives you a chance to speak freely with one of our knowledgeable dentists about your concerns, expectations and hopes. We can share some remarkable before and after photos with you, and and you will receive up-front pricing information based on the recommended treatment plan. Once you and your dentist agree on a plan, you can get started immediately (or feel free to get a second opinion). You’re under zero obligation. Experience the difference at Norge Dental Center for yourself, and you’ll be on your way to a...
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How Your Dentist Can Help With Headaches & Jaw Pain (TMJ)

If you experience frequent headaches in your everyday life, it’s time to take a closer look because having a headache multiple times per week may not be something you have to live with. Very often, your jaw could be the culprit. Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ disorders) affects 15% of Americans, and could be the reason you’re experiencing the following symptoms: -frequent headaches -jaw pain -clicking/popping noises when your mouth opens Keep in kind clicking and popping don’t necessarily have to be present for there to be a jaw problem that causes headaches. The good news is that our team at Norge Dental Center can help! TMJ can start with because of other conditions, like arthritis, tooth and jaw alignment issues, and stress and/or teeth grinding. If there have been past injuries or dislocation, TMJ may be a longer-term effect. Symptoms range from migraine headaches to teeth clenching and grinding, all directly impacting how you feel on a daily basis. Your teeth shouldn’t be causing you pain, and one of the first steps to treating TMJ is proper diagnosis. Before your next dental appointment, prepare a list of all the symptoms you experiencing on a daily or weekly basis. It’s important to tell your dentist what’s been bothering you so we can help – and it’s important to write these down in advance so you don’t forget in the moment! When checking for TMJ, your dentist will perform an exam to check your joints/muscles for tenderness and see if you have difficulty moving them. If diagnosed with a TMJ disorder, we can help correct or manage symptoms so you can get back to living your life. There are multiple solutions available, and your dentist will work with you to determine the best one. TMJ Mouthguards are worn to help protect your teeth against grinding/clenching during the night. If prescribed this device, you’ll remove it in the morning – hopefully headache free! If a mouthguard isn’t enough, Bite Correction might be recommended. This treatment requires dental work as it may include dental crowns, orthodontics, bridges or other techniques. Bite correction helps ensure the proper contact between your top and bottom teeth. If you have an upcoming appointment, make sure to share with your dentist any symptoms you’ve been experiencing. And if you’re new to Norge Dental Center, we’ll discuss all of your questions and concerns during your first visit. You really can live a happier, pain-free life just by asking for help. Call our office directly at (757) 941-7682 to make an appointment.  
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