Tremble with trepidation every time you visit the dentist?
You can’t let fear get the best of you — it could cause more than past a cavity.
“You can’t have general health without dental health” says Dr. Jason Baker dentist practicing with Valley
Dental Spa in Okemos. “So many times people treat their mouths as separate entities from the rest of their bodies. and they’re not.
Dr. Kristy Beck-Bair, a dentist practicing in Diamondale, agrees.
“Recent research shows dental health impacts overall body health,” she says.
Studies suggest poor oral health can contribute to heart disease, strokes and clogged arteries. It can make diabetes mote difficult to control. Gum infections are often one of the first waning signs of AIDS.
If those reasons aren’t persuasive enough to help you overcome your fear of visiting the dentist, take heart. Local options. from sedation dentistry to dental spa are available.


The health benefits of maintaining oral health are widespread.
For starters, Beck-Bair says good oral health can help you maintain a healthy weight.
“Oral health impacts how well you can eat” she says. “If you’re In pain, you cant eat the same healthy diet others can.”
She says most everyone knows the first step to maintaining oral health. “Make sure to keep your gums healthy by thoroughly brushing and flossing,” Baker says women should discuss potential health issues facing them with their dentists.

glbmpic01“Oral contraceptism can increase the risk of dry socket,” he says. ‘Menopausal woman — and those undergoing premature menopause — take a lot of medications that can cause dry mouth. That can lead to cavities because you lack the proper amount of saliva to prevent them. You also have to watch out for periodontal disease. which is bone loss of the structures supporting your teeth.”
“Your smile affects your life In so many ways,” Baker says. “your own personal confidence is at stake.”


If you’re afraid of the dentist, you’re not alone.

Valley Dental Spa

“We’ve seen alot of people come In who are very apprehensive,” Beck-Bair says.
“Some dentists give IV sedation to patients. If someone is so fearful they can’t get through a procedure any other way, that’s one way to go. But I think If you let your dentist know you’re afraid and find someone who will proceed with you slowly and will make you comfortable and communicate well, that’s the most important thing for you.”


At Valley Dental Spa you enter a waiting room with fresh fruit and a massage chair. While you’re seeing the dentist, a massage therapist (above) will massage your hands. The service, along with a few other added treats, are complimentary. Dawn Valley says treatment costs are similar to other dentist offices.

If open communication isn’t enough to assuage your fears. consider visiting Valley Dental Spa in Okemos, where parafin dips and shoulder massages go hand in hand with cleanings and cavity fillings.”After your X-rays, a masseuse massages your hands and forearms during your treatment,” Dawn Valley the spa’s former office manager, says. “We have headsets to let you listen to music and eye masks if you don’t want to see what’s going on. I’ve heard there’s a study that found if you recieve something pleasurable and something painful at the same time, your brain defaults to only espenence the pleasure because can’t process both at once. We want to make it a pleasurable experience” And dont worry. about price. “The spa services are complimentary”

Valley says. “Our fees have stayed the same and were right in the medium range. “We were wccessful as a dental office before doing this stuff,” she rays “We took a risk and tried something different and the responre has been overwhelming. There have been some months where we’ve had double the new patients that we used to have.”
A DAY AT THE DENTAL SPA Imagine you’re heading to the dentist for a cleaning. At Valley Dental Spa, that comes with some serious pampering. “Right away you’re greeted in the reception room where there are couches, fresh fruit, a leather massage chair that reclines and a fireplace,” Valley says. “It smells like lavender, not

like a dentist’s office.” But that’s only the beginning. Once you head back to an examination room, the real fun begins. “Our massage therapist greets you and dips your hands in parafin and will do a neck and shoulder massage, then leave a heated wrap around your shoulders to relieve tension,” Valley says. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, you get more. “When your treatment is finished, we bring In a pewter tray with a face towel like they do on a first class flight,” Valley says. ‘We give you complimentary lip balm and Listerine pocket strips to get any bad taste you may have out of your mouth.”