Frank J. Romano, DMD

Transform Fear into Action….. Overcoming Dental Fears with Dr. Romano

Dr. Romano believes everyone deserves proper dental care. However for some, even the simplest of dental procedures may be very difficult. He feels it is important to spend extra time with all patients; establishing relationships that are built on sensitivity, trust and friendship. He starts with creating a calm, welcoming environment that caters to the patient’s dental needs.

Having fears is natural. Whether it is fear of heights, fear of bugs or even, fear of the dentist. Fears not only occur in children, but are prevalent with adults. As one ages, fear and anxiety increases in many individuals making an experience that was once tolearable now seem very difficult to undergo. But seeing the dentist is one fear you should not avoid. Here are some things you can do to help you get to the dental office and through the appointment:

⁃Speak up. Let us know that you are anxious. Tell the receptionist when you book the appointment, and tell the staff when you arrive. And most importantly, tell your dentist. Let us know what makes you nervous or if you have had a bad experience in the past. It is especially important to let us know if you have felt pain before. Sometimes patients experience unnecessary pain even though they have been given a local anesthetic. They often do not say anything for fear of upsetting the dentist or because they are embarrassed, but a larger dose of anesthetic at the beginning of treatment often works better than trying to give more once the treatment starts.
Talk to the staff about the coping skills that have worked for you in the past and those that you would like to try. Also, ask to start with simple, shorter appointments if possible.
Do not be afraid to ask questions. Some people worry about what is going to happen before and during the procedure. If you are curious, ask what the treatment involves or to briefly explain as you go along.
Agree on a signal you can give—like raising your hand—if you need to take a break during treatment.
⁃Distract yourself. You have a lot of options for distracting yourself to help take your mind off the treatment. Here at Dr Romano’s you are welcome to watch TV or listen to whatever you would like on XM radio (all with noise canceling headphones)
Listening to an audiobook
Occupy your hands by squeezing a soft stress ball or playing with a fidget toy;
It may sound silly, but go to your happy place. Try imagining yourself someplace else. It might help you escape your surroundings and stay calm.
⁃Breathe. Deep breathing brings oxygen into your body, helping slow your heart rate and relax your muscles. You can practice deep breathing anywhere—on the way to the appointment, in the waiting room, or in the chair before treatment begins. There are number of different breathing exercises that may help. For example, you can try breathing in deeply while counting slowly to 5. Hold your breath for a second. Then, sigh or exhale slowly. Do this for 4 or 5 breaths. Deep breathing exercises can even be performed when you’re not facing an appointment. That way, when you have one scheduled, you’ll be better prepared.
⁃Get in tune with your body through relaxation. It may sound backward, but sometimes you can relax by tensing your muscles first. One way is to slowly move from one muscle group to the next before treatment begins, tensing the muscles in each group for 5 to 7 seconds then relaxing for 20 seconds. Four sample muscle groups are:
feet, calves, thighs, and buttocks;
hands, forearms, and biceps;
chest, stomach, and lower back;
head, face, throat, and shoulders.
This exercise also might be something you could practice before your appointment, so that when you need it, you will be ready to fully experience the benefits.

These are just a few coping techniques. Work with our dental staff to develop a plan that not only gets you in the door, but keeps you coming back for visits on a regular basis. Please contact Dr. Romano if you have any questions or concerns.

$500 off Invisalign for the month of October

FREE Invisalign Consultation
$500 off Invisalign Treatment in October
Complimentary Whitening with Invisalign Treatment

The benefits to Invisalign:

It’s removable for good hygiene. You can brush and floss normally which can help prevent decay and gum disease.

Healthier gums. Properly positioned teeth are easier t brush and floss than teeth that are crowded, crooked, or spaced too far apart. Research has shown that periodontal tissue health may improve after Invisalign® treatment reducing the risk of periodontitis and gingivitis.

You can still eat when you want. Because the aligners are removable and should be removed when you eat, you don’t have to worry about what you eat.

Cleanings are quicker and easier than with traditional orthodontics.
There are no brackets or wires to clean around as with traditional orthodontics.

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Schedule your free consultation ONLINE today

http://www.RomanoDental.com

 

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Back to School Checkup

School is back in session. Send your child off to class with a new bookbag, fresh pencils and a healthy smile. Some schools require a back-to-school dental exam.  Still, it’s always a good time of year to schedule one of your child’s regular visits. Romano Dental can help spot and take care of any issues so your child doesn’t have to miss class once school starts. It’s also a great time to help get back on track if some of your child’s dental habits fell away during summer, when normal routines can go out the window and there are a lot more treats around. Here are some points to consider for your child’s exam:
How Is My Child’s Overall Dental Health?
Dr. Romano will be looking at the big picture of your child’s mouth, including teeth and gums. Dr. Romano will check to make sure teeth are lining up correctly, your child’s bite is in good shape and to keep an eye out for any [orthodontic] issues that may show up later.
Will My Child Get a Cleaning Today?
This is a must, no matter how well your child brushes.  Even brushing twice a day cannot get rid of all the bacteria that can lead to cavities so a professional cleaning is the best preventative measure. It removes more of the cavity-causing bacteria, helps to keep gum tissue healthy and can also remove most or many stains from teeth.
Does My Child Need an X-Ray?
X-rays help Dr. Romano see how your child’s teeth are developing and make sure the tooth roots are healthy.
They also are used to see if there is any tooth decay between your child’s teeth. The decay process can move fast, so the earlier it’s caught the better.Your child won’t need an x-ray at every visit – only when necessary.
Can Dr. Romano Check My Child’s Mouthguard?
If your child plays sports year-round, make sure you bring his or her mouthguard along so Dr. Romano can check for wear, tear and fit. If your child is having a growth spurt, losing teeth and getting new ones, the mouthguard might need to be redone.
Does Dr. Romano recommend Sealants?
Sealants can be another way to keep your child from getting cavities, but they’re no substitute for brushing and flossing. A sealant is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that Dr. Romano can place on the chewing surfaces of your child’s permanent back teeth (called molars). Once they’re on, sealants work to keep cavity-causing bacteria and bits of food from settling into the nooks and crannies your child’s toothbrush can’t reach. This helps keep cavities from forming and tiny existing spots of decay from getting worse.  In fact, having sealants on your permanent molars reduces the risk of cavities by 80%. It’s best to get sealants as soon as your child’s permanent molars come through their gums (usually at age 6, then again at age 12). When permanent molars start coming in, parents should ask if sealants are recommended. Most last for years, and Dr. Romano will make sure they’re holding strong at every regular visit.

Opioids for dental pain management

Opioids are narcotic pain relievers that require a prescription from a medical professional. When they are prescribed for you and taken properly, opioids can be a safe and effective dental pain management tool.

What Types of Drugs are Considered Opioids?

Opioids can include hydrocodone (Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin or Percocet), morphine and codeine.

How Will Dr. Romano Help Me Manage Pain?

Over-the-counter medicines, like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can be effective for pain relief following dental procedures. Still, there is no one-size-fits all approach to treatment. To help Dr. Romano decide what course of action is right for you, make sure you update your health history form, talk to Dr. Romano about medications you are currently taking and ask plenty of questions. Feel free to include your primary medical doctor in the conversation. If you are in recovery or struggled with addiction in the past, tell Romano Dental. Your privacy is respected and your medical information is legally protected.

What Should I Do If I Am Prescribed an Opioid?

If you are prescribed an opioid, ask Dr. Romano and your pharmacist the following questions before filling the prescription:
1. What is the goal of this prescription?
2. When and how should I take these?
3. How long should I take these drugs?
4. Are there any risks for me from this medication?
5. What do I do with any extra medication?

How Should I Store and Dispose of Leftover Medication?

After picking up your prescription, take it according to directions. Store it safely out of sight and out of reach from children in a locked cabinet. Put the medication back immediately after taking any dose.

Unfortunately, prescription medications have become a leading source of drug abuse among teens and young adults. These medications are often obtained from a friend or family member who had received a prescription for a legitimate purpose. Parents are sometimes fooled into handing over these drugs to treat an apparent symptom of physical distress or pain. More often, they are stolen from the medicine cabinet or lifted from the trash.

You play an important role in keeping prescription medications from becoming a source of abuse in your household and in the community. Keep your narcotic pain medication in a locked cabinet. Dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications safely and immediately to reduce the risk of another person taking these drugs for nonmedical reasons.

Follow these guidelines from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy:

Follow any disposal instructions on the label or patient information you get with your prescription.
Don’t flush medicines down the toilet or pour them down the sink unless the disposal instructions say to do so.
If there are no disposal instructions, participate in a drug take-back day or find a Controlled Substance Public Disposal Location near you.
If you are unable to attend a drug take-back day, take unwanted prescription medications out of the original bottle and mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter in a sealed bag or closed container. This makes medications less appealing and less recognizable to anyone who can see your trash—including your kids.
Remove all personal information from prescription bottles to protect your privacy.
When taken as prescribed for short periods of time under the care of a medical professional, opioids are safe to use. Abusing opioids is extremely dangerous. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, even one large, misused dose can cause “severe respiratory depression and death.” The American Dental Association is working educate dentists on safe prescribing of opioids and help stop this trend of addiction.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). It’s confidential, free and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Remember Mom this Sunday May 8th with Invisalign

 

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Did your MOM take you to multiple dental and orthodontia appointments? Thank Mom for your beautiful smile by giving her the gift of Invisalign. The clear option for straighter teeth is available at www.RomanoDental.com for $500 off through May, 2016.

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Spring Cleaning is not just for your home…

8 Ways to Improve Your Smile This Spring

Braces
While orthodontic work that begins while a child is growing helps produce optimal results, that doesn’t mean that adults can’t have braces. Thanks to advances in orthodontic treatments, removable aligners, or “invisible braces,” can be used to straighten crooked or crowded teeth. Romano Dental is offering $500 off Invisalign* in the month of May and will provide a FREE consultations to answer your questions about Invisalign treatment, the clear way to straighten teeth. If you have wondered if Invisalign is right for you, make an appointment for this special event by clicking here

Whitening
When it comes to getting a whiter and brighter smile, there are a variety of teeth-whitening products you can try. Your main options are in-office and at-home bleaching. Before starting any whitening treatment, you should speak with Romano Dental. Dr. Romano will tell you what, if any, whitening procedures will work best for you.

Crowns
A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that’s already broken.

Veneers
Veneers are thin shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. Unlike bonding, it is necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your tooth to accommodate the shell. Based on a model of your mouth, they are meant to look like your natural teeth.

Bonding
Not happy with the way your teeth look? Bonding may be the answer. For some, it can help restore the natural look of your teeth. Bonding is a process where Dr. Romano attaches or “bonds” materials directly to your tooth. Your natural tooth enamel and dentin are fused together with bonding materials such as porcelain and resins to create a strong structure that looks great.

Implants
Dental implants are a popular and effective way to replace missing teeth. Surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw, they function as a sturdy anchor for replacement teeth. Made of titanium and other materials, implants are designed to hold restorations like crowns or bridges blend in with your other teeth, and are a long-term option for restoring your smile.

Brushing & Flossing
It may seem obvious, but brushing and flossing are the most important tools for keeping a healthy mouth. Brush twice and floss at least once a day to prevent cavities, and improve your oral health.

Regular Dental Visits
Something as simple as going to Romano Dental twice a year is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your smile. Aside from checking for cavities and oral diseases, and doing routine cleaning, Romano Dental can also provide other options for making your smile even brighter.

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Tips to understanding your dental coverage

Confused by your dental coverage?

Regular visits to Dr. Romano can improve your dental health and if you have coverage, you’re more likely to visit Romano Dental. Those visits can help prevent and monitor dental health issues that could lead to more serious conditions and require more expensive treatment, such as cavities, tooth removal, root canals and even oral cancer.

The good news is that Americans have more choices for dental coverage than ever. Though many people with dental benefits get them through their employers, individual plans are also available through the new Health Insurance Marketplaces established by the Affordable Care Act.

It’s important to know all your options when choosing the right dental plan for you and your family. Use this buying guide to get started—and get covered.

Do I really need a dental plan?
For some people, buying dental benefits may cost more than paying a dentist’s office directly. When considering a plan—especially if it’s not provided through your employer—ask yourself the following questions to estimate how much you might spend out-of-pocket:

• What is your plan premium?
• What is your plan’s deductible?
• What is your co-payment?
• What percentage of treatment costs (coinsurance) will I pay?

 When you consider the total cost of your dental treatment, you must remember to include the cost of the dental plan itself. 

Another important factor to consider is what kind of care you regularly receive from your dentist. Are your regular checkups enough, or do you routinely need procedures (like cavity fillings) performed? Talk to your dentist about your dental history and possible care needs before making your decision. Because your health is always changing, revisit these conversations with your dentist before your policy is renewed each year, or when it’s time for you to choose your benefits at work when you’re hired or during open enrollment.
 Notice that we have used the term dental benefit plan and not dental insurance. Insurance plans are designed to make you whole in the event of a loss. Insurance, by definition, entails a risk of loss to the insurance company. Typical dental benefit plans are not designed to cover all dental procedures, and dental benefits coverage is not based on what you need or what the dentist recommends.

Types of dental plans: Which one is right for you?
PPO and DHMO: alphabet soup or dental plan? Sorting through different dental plans can sometimes feel overwhelming. Get a breakdown of your options, and find out which one is best for you.

How to get dental coverage when you don’t have an employer sponsored plan 
Not all employers offer dental benefits. If you’re struggling to find affordable dental coverage, here are some places to start.

Ask Dr. Romano
Some dental offices are starting to establish dental membership savings plans. Typically, these plans charge you a fixed dollar amount on an annual basis and cover certain procedures at no additional charge (for example, cleanings and exams). After that, other procedures are discounted. Ask Dr. Romano if he offers such a plan.

From the State
Connecticut State Dental Association
835 W Queen Street
Southington, CT 06489-1032
cdingeldey@csda.com

The Affordable Care Act
In 2014, the Affordable Care Act extended health insurance to millions of Americans. About 6.7 million Americans gained health insurance and 1.1 million gained stand-alone dental benefits through the health insurance marketplaces that year. In an American Dental Association study of 40 states, 35.7 percent of medical plans now have pediatric or family dental benefits, up from 26.8 percent in 2014. Learn more at Healthcare.gov.

Oral Health America
Are you over 60 or the caregiver of an older adult in need of dental care? Visit http://www.toothwisdom.org/care/state/connecticut for a list of the resources available in CT

Children’s Health Insurance Program
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provides free or low-cost health coverage for more than 7 million children up to age 19. CHIP covers U.S. citizens and eligible immigrants.

Visit our Website

Contact Romano Dental for questions regarding dental coverage

Resolutions for a Healthier Mouth

6 Habits to Break this New Year

Nail Biting

The habit: This nervous habit can chip teeth and impact your jaw. Biting your nails places your jaw in a protruding position, which causes pressure and can lead to jaw dysfunction.

The solution: Bitter-tasting nail polishes, stress reduction and setting small, realistic goals can help. If certain situations are triggers, hold something to keep your fingers busy.

Brushing Too Hard

The habit: Brushing for two minutes twice a day is one of the best habits you can get into. Just make sure you’re not trying too hard. Brushing too hard and using a hard toothbrush can damage teeth and irritate gums.

The solution: Use a soft toothbrush with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The ideal pressure is a massage – not a scrub.

Grinding and Clenching

The habit: grinding and clenching your teeth can cause chipping or cracking of the teeth, as well as muscle tenderness and joint pain

The solution: Being mindful is the best way to start. Think “relax” when you find yourself clenching.  A nighttime mouth guard can also help.

Chewing Ice Cubes

The habit: Chewing ice cubes is like rubbing 2 crystals together – one will eventually chip or break.

The solution: To avoid breaking tooth enamel, drink chilled beverages without ice, or use a straw so you’re not tempted.

Constant Snacking

The habit: Grazing all day, especially on sugary foods and drinks, puts you at a higher risk for cavities. When you eat, cavity-causing bacteria feast leftover food, producing an acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth.

The solution: Eat balanced meals to feel fuller, longer. If you need a snack, make sure it’s low in fat and sugar. If you indulge in the occasional sugary treat, follow it with a big glass of water to wash away leftover food.

Using Your Teeth As Tools

The habit: Your teeth were made for eating, not to stand in as a pair of scissors or hold things when your hands are full. When you do this, you put yourself at a higher risk of cracking your teeth, injuring your jaw or accidentally swallowing something you shouldn’t.

The solution: Stop and find something or someone to give you a hand. Your mouth will thank you.

 

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Holiday stress may lead to TMJ

TMJ-composite

The holidays can be stressful! Stress and teeth grinding are common causes of TMJ disorder.

Temporomandibular joints, called TMJ, are the joints and jaw muscles that make it possible to open and close your mouth. Located on each side of the head, your TMJ work together when you chew, speak or swallow and include muscles and ligaments as well as the jaw bone. They also control the lower jaw (mandible) as it moves forward, backward and side to side. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working properly may result in TMJ disorder.

Diagnosis is an important step before treatment. Part of the dental examination includes checking the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Romano Dental recommends:

• eating softer foods• avoiding chewing gum and biting your nails
• modifying the pain with heat packs
• practicing relaxation techniques to control jaw tension, such as meditation or biofeedback.

If necessary for your symptoms, the following treatments may be advised:

• exercises to strengthen your jaw muscles
• medications prescribed by Romano Dental i.e. muscle relaxants, analgesics, anti-anxiety drugs or anti-inflammatories
• night guard or bite plate to decrease clenching or grinding of teeth.

In some cases, Romano Dental may recommend fixing an uneven bite by adjusting or reshaping some teeth. Orthodontic treatment may also be recommended. Romano Dental can suggest the most appropriate therapy based on the suspected cause.

If you are experiencing jaw pain and would like to be evaluated, call Romano Dental (203) 372-0881 or click here

Dr. Romano’s Advice for Children and Young Adults


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Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

You can help prevent your baby from getting cavities or developing what is called Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Early Childhood Caries, by beginning an oral hygiene routine within the first few days after birth. Start by cleaning your baby’s mouth by wiping the gums with a clean gauze pad. This helps removes plaque that can harm erupting teeth. When your child’s teeth begin to come in, brush them gently with a child’s size toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. For bottle feedings, place only formula, milk or breast milk inside and avoid using sugary beverages such as juice or soda. Infants should finish their bedtime and naptime bottle before going to bed.

Thumbsucking

Sucking is a natural reflex and infants and young children may suck on thumbs, fingers, pacifiers and other objects. It may help them relax or make them feel safe or happy. Most children stop sucking by age 4. If your child continues to thumb suck that after the permanent teeth have come in, it can cause problems with tooth alignment and your child’s bite. The frequency, duration and intensity of a habit will determine whether or not dental problems may result. Children who rest their thumbs passively in their mouths are less likely to have difficulty than those who vigorously suck their thumbs. If you are worried about your child’s sucking habits, talk to your dentist or child’s pediatrician.

Dental Emergencies

Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Knowing how to handle a dental emergency can mean the difference between saving and losing your child’s permanent tooth. For all dental emergencies, it’s important to take your child to the dentist or an emergency room as soon as possible.

Here are some tips if your child experiences a common dental emergency:

  • For a knocked-out tooth, keep it moist at all times. If you can, try placing the tooth back in the socket without touching the root. If that’s not possible, place it in between your child’s cheek and gum, or in milk then  Call Dr. Romano
  • For a cracked tooth, immediately rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down.
  • If your child bites his tongue or lip, clean the area gently and apply a cold compress.
  • For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.
  • For objects stuck in the mouth, try to gently remove with floss but do not try to remove it with sharp or pointed instruments.h and sometimes used to cover deep pits and grooves. Sealing a tooth is fast and there is virtually no discomfort. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface will be protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing but may have to be reapplied if needed. Both primary and permanent teeth can benefit from sealants. Ask your dentist if sealants will help your child

 Space Maintainers

Space maintainers help “hold space” for permanent teeth. Your child may need one if he or she loses a baby tooth prematurely, before the permanent tooth is ready to erupt. If a primary tooth is lost too early, adult teeth can erupt into the empty space instead of where they should be.When more adult teeth are ready to come into the mouth, there may not be enough room for them because of the lost space. To prevent this from happening, the dentist may recommend a space maintainer to hold open the space left by the missing tooth. 

Sealants

Sealants are a fast and easy way of protecting your child’s teeth that act as barriers to cavity-prone areas. They are usually applied to the chewing surfaces of back teet

Mouthguards

Mouthguards can help protect your child from a dental emergency. They should be worn whenever your child is participating in sports and recreational activities. Mouthguards cushion blows that would otherwise cause broken teeth, injuries to the lips and face and sometimes even jaw fractures. If your child participates in such pastimes, ask your dentist about custom-fitted mouth protectors. 

Malocclusion

Malocclusion, or bad bite, is a condition in which the teeth are crowded, crooked or out of alignment, or the jaws don’t meet properly. This may become particularly noticeable between the ages of 6 and 12, when a child’s permanent teeth are coming in. If not treated early, a bad bite can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean where teeth are crooked or crowded, increasing the risk for cavities and gum disease.

Bad bites can also:

  • Affect proper development of the jaws.
  • Make the protruding teeth at risk for chips and fractures.
  • Affect eating and speaking.
  • Make some teeth more likely to wear abnormally or faster than those that are properly aligned.

Anesthesia and Sedation

Dr. Romano might recommend that your child be administered anesthesia or sedation to relax them in order to safely complete some dental procedures.

Contact Romano Dental  (203)372-0881  www.RomanoDental.com  info@romanodental.com

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