Dads, Be Brave!


Want your kids to be friendly and fear free at the dentist? It is up to you, Dads!  A new study reveals that parent’s attitude towards oral health and dental visits predict how their children will react in the same situations.  It is a good thing Dr. Doug Heller is a periodontist, his two kids will have some bright oral health futures.

The University of Madrid conducted a study comparing the views of children versus their parents when it comes to visiting dental offices like Periodontal Associates. Participants included 183 children between the ages of 7 and 12.  Forty-three experimental studies from across six continents were also included in this review.

The majority of studies confirmed a relationship between parental and child dental fear. This relationship is most evident in children aged 8 and under.  The study then concluded that, yes, there is an association between parental and child dental fear.  This is good to know as many people have anxiety and negative thoughts about dental work, and if we know where it begins, then Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman and others can put a stop to the fear.

América Lara Sacido, one of the authors of the study, said that “along with the presence of emotional transmission of dentist fear amongst family members, we have identified the relevant role that fathers play in transmission of this phobia in comparison to the mother.”

More so than mothers, fathers sway their children in how to react to the dentist.  In fact, the reaction from their dad will often over shadow the mother’s regardless if it is negative or positive.

 “Although the results should be interpreted with due caution, children seem to mainly pay attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when deciding if situations at the dentist are potentially stressful,” said Lara Sacido.

1c170-dadTo help this cycle, Drs. Versman, Heller, and Beckman strongly suggest finding a steady, primary dental provider that the entire family can bond with and trust like Periodontal Associates.  Then, both parents should be active in the children’s dental appointments to assure they will be in good hands. Anxiety is a strong consequence of trips to the dentist office; however, as the industry advances routine dental procedures are becoming more and more comfortable.

 “Through the positive emotional contagion route in the family, the right attitude can be achieved in the child so that attending the dentist is not a problem.”

Need a dentist to trust? Call Periodontal Associates today as Dr. Versman, Dr.Heller, and Dr. Beckman are the best doctors in Denver! We provide dental implantsgum grafts, bone grafts, treat gum disease, and even provide regular hygiene cleaning appointments. Our patients travel from all over Denver, CO to see our specialists here in Aurora,CO, and some of our patients have even been with us for over 35 years!  We can be reached by call (303) 755-4500 or by clicking this link.  Visit our website for more information about common dental practices and more about Periodontal Associates.

Psychologist and Dentists Marry Ideas and End Fear

Are you Fearful About Dental Implants or Dental Visits?


I think it is safe to say there is a common and overwhelming fear of the dental office. It can be a common cause of anxiety as people visualize a drill-wielding man in a white coat just waiting to cause pain and remove teeth. Although this could not be further from the truth with Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman here at Periodontal Associates, it is pleasing to know there are some steps being taken to disprove this nightmare and increase the frequency of dental appointments to help with dental maintenance and prevent the need for dental implants.

Researchers at Sydney University claim that psychologists have helped to reverse decay in many patients.  Professor Wendell Evans, researcher on reversing tooth decay, created this relationship with psychologists to promote preventive dental care. The dean of Sydney University’s Faculty of Dentistry, Professor Chris Peck, said patients in the new caries management program would undergo behavioral interviewing. “We use psychologists to change an individual’s behavior to get them to modify diet and to use the best preventive approaches. It is not one appointment, but multiple appointments to reinforce those changes.”

Although this study is going on in Australia, Dr. Versman, Heller, and Beckman have great ways to eliminate fears for good in the Denver – Aurora, CO area. Here are a couple of ways:

  1. Talk to the dentist – The dentist is not a mind reader. Though it can be hard to talk about irrational fears with a stranger, Dr. Versman, Heller, and Beckman take extra precautions during visits if fears and anxiety are communicated – just ask our patients!
  2. Bring a portable music player – Music acts as a relaxant and also drowns out any fear-producing noises. Listening to calming music throughout the appointment will help to reduce anxiety. (Periodontal Associates usually has great jams playing in every room!)
  3. Agree on a signal – Many people are afraid that the dentist will not know they are in significant pain during the appointment, and will carry on the procedure regardless. The best way to solve this is to agree on a “stop” hand signal with the dentist. Both parties can easily understand signals like raising the hand or tapping on the chair.
  4. Spray the throat – Throat sprays (for example, Vicks® Chloraseptic® Throat Spray) can actually control the gag reflex. Two or three sprays will usually keep the reflex under control for about an hour.
  5. Take a mirror – Not being able to see what is happening can increase anxiety and make the imagination run wild. Although Dr. Versman, Heller, and Beckman are great at walking you through the procedure before it even begins.
  6. Sedation – If there is no other way to cope, sedation offers an excellent option for many people. There are several types of sedation, but the general premise behind them is the same: the patient regains their faculties after dental implant or treatment is complete.
  7. Ask about alternatives – Advances in technology mean that dental microsurgery is now an option. Lasers can be used to prepare teeth for fillings, whiten teeth and remove staining. Discuss all the options with the dentist and decide on one that is effective and produces minimal anxiety.

 See what you can learn already about making the dental visit more relaxing? Just imagine how at ease and excited you will feel about defeating your gum recession and gaining a beautiful smile with your dental implants after you meet with our doctors: Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman.  They will walk you through the process in ways you can understand and know what to expect.  Our entire dental implant team here at Periodontal Associates will make you feel at home and carefree, you won’t even need a psychologist!

Go ahead, give us a call at (303) 755-4500. We are located in the Denver metro area, specifically Aurora. We cannot wait to end your apprehensions about dentures, implants, gum grafting, oral reconstruction, or even teeth cleaning!