6 Ways to Deal with Dental Anxiety

Seeing your dentist regularly plays a critical role not only in your dental and oral health, but also in your overall wellness. You probably already know this. However, you might also be reluctant to visit the dentist for a common reason: dental anxiety.

Don’t worry if you still struggle with fear of going to the dentist! You’re not alone. Research indicates dental anxiety may affect up to 75% of American adults to some degree. 

This type of anxiety may be so common at least in part because it has many potential causes. They include:

Luckily, there are various ways you can ease your concerns about dental appointments. They include the following:

Speak With Your Dentist

There’s no reason not to tell your dentist about your anxieties! Virtually all dentists thoroughly understand that many patients experience at least a little fear about receiving dental treatment. Anything you may tell your dentist, rest assured, they’ve likely heard it before.

When your dentist is aware of your anxiety and has some idea about what might cause it, they may be better able to address your fears. For example, if you worry that a procedure will be painful, your dentist can explain how they can minimize your discomfort. If the overall environment of a dentist’s office makes you anxious, they might be able to take steps to ensure the atmosphere is more calming, such as playing relaxing music.

A dentist might also let you bring your own “anxiety distractions” into the exam room. For instance, they may let you play one of your favorite podcasts to distract you from any worry or fear you might otherwise experience.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can reduce anxiety in a number of situations. This includes going to the dentist.

Focus on breathing slowly and deeply into your diaphragm when you feel anxiety before or during a dental visit. When possible, you may also try the following exercise:

Research shows that repeating deep and calming breathing exercises for just a few minutes can have a major impact on stress and anxiety levels.

Bring a Friend

Some people who may not necessarily feel much anxiety when preparing for an appointment with their dentist may nevertheless become anxious as soon as they find themselves in the dentist’s chair. If this sounds familiar, consider asking your dentist if a close family member or friend can accompany you in the room as you undergo treatment. The presence of a support buddy could help you remain calm.

See a Dentist Regularly

Again, you already understand that seeing a dentist regularly is important for your health. It’s also worth noting that seeing your dentist consistently may also address your dental anxiety. 

Exposure therapy is a common treatment method for people who experience anxiety in certain settings or situations. The more someone is exposed to their fear, the less it bothers them over time.

This approach may help you cope with your fear of going to the dentist. If you genuinely make a point of seeing your dentist often, you may find the experience becomes less and less troubling over time.

Maintain Your Dental Health

While a routine cleaning might not bother you, a more involved procedure (such as a root canal) may cause anxiety. This is another good reason to stay on top of your oral hygiene! If you keep your teeth and gums healthy, the odds that you will need to undergo such procedures will be much lower.

Ask About Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is an option to consider if you experience significant dental anxiety. It involves using medication to help you feel more calm during treatment. This is a topic your dentist can discuss with you in greater detail.

Just remember, there’s no shame whatsoever in struggling with anxiety over seeing the dentist. Studies and surveys show most people experience this type of anxiety to some extent. Fortunately, as these examples demonstrate, this might not be a type of anxiety you need to live with.

Talk to a Dentist About Your Anxiety

At The Ricco Dental Group, in Plainview, New York, we understand that dental anxiety is common. Thus, we’re always happy to discuss this topic with patients, helping them feel as comfortable as possible during treatment. To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 516-931-3999.

Do Dental Implants Affect the Appearance of Your Smile?

Dental implants can replace missing or damaged teeth. They are considered to be the highest quality tooth replacement option available in dentistry. Dental implant technology provides a naturally functioning prosthetic for anywhere from one to a full arch of teeth. 

If you’re considering dental implants, you may be wondering if they will affect the appearance of your smile. In some cases they may affect your smile, and in other cases they may not. Here’s what you can expect in terms of cosmetic effects of dental implants. 

What Are Dental Implants? 

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium that is surgically placed in the jaw bone. Titanium is a biocompatible material that is capable of fusing with the bone to form a solid bond. Once the implant fully fuses with the bone, an artificial tooth can be attached to complete the replacement. 

How Many Teeth Can Dental Implants Replace?

Dental implants are capable of replacing anywhere from one to all of your teeth. Here are the various implant options:

How Will Dental Implants Affect My Smile?

The impact that dental implants will have on your smile depends on the location of the dental implant. If you are getting a dental implant to replace a molar near the back of your mouth, your smile may not be affected at all. Even a bridge near the back of your mouth will most likely be unnoticeable. 

If you are getting a dental implant to replace a tooth near the front of your mouth, it will improve or maintain your existing smile. An implant will fill in the gap where you’ve been missing a tooth and give you a better looking smile. For a tooth that was not visibly damaged, a dental implant can replace the tooth without changing your smile in any way. 

A complete set of implant supported dentures can give you a natural looking smile, replacing damaged or missing teeth. 

Do Dental Implants Look Natural?

Dental implants consist of 3 parts: the implant itself, the abutment (the post that connects to the prosthetic), and the prosthetic. The implant and abutment are both made of titanium. The prosthetic (crown, bridge, or dentures) is made of porcelain in most cases. Porcelain is used for its strength and its resemblance to natural tooth enamel in texture and sheen. 

Another reason that dental implants look natural is that they are anchored in the jaw in the same way your natural teeth are. This allows a dental implant and crown to blend right in with your existing teeth. Implant supported dentures look more natural than the traditional type because they sit right against your natural gums rather than being attached to acrylic that is made to resemble gum tissue. They also stay in place securely without slipping when you eat and talk.

Where Can I Get Natural Looking Dental Implants?  

If you need replacement teeth but you’re concerned about how they will affect your smile, the Ricco Dental Group provides dental implants that look and function just like your natural teeth. We use high quality materials that look natural and last for many years, providing single tooth replacements and implant supported bridges and dentures. 

Call 516-931-3999 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment. 

How Long Will Invisalign Take to Straighten Your Teeth?

Clear aligner systems are the latest technology in orthodontics. Aligners are clear plastic trays that fit over your teeth and gradually shift them into proper alignment. They allow you to straighten your teeth discreetly and comfortably. 

It seems that new aligner-based orthodontic treatments come on the market every day, but Invisalign was the first. This means it is the most tested and reliable option available. If you’re considering Invisalign, you may be wondering how long the treatment takes. Here’s what you can expect. 

How Does Invisalign Work?

Invisalign treatment begins with a consultation. Your dentist will examine your teeth, bite pattern, and jaw structure to determine whether or not you are a candidate for Invisalign. If so, digital impressions will be made of your teeth that the computer system uses to create your aligners. You’ll receive a series of aligners that are designed to gradually shift your teeth into proper alignment. You’ll wear each aligner for about 2 weeks, then switch to the next aligner in order until you’ve worn all of them and your teeth are in the desired position. 

How Long Does the Process Take?

From the time the computer designs your treatment plan, you’ll have an estimate for the length of your treatment. Invisalign treatment may take anywhere from 6 to 18 months to achieve the desired results, for an average treatment time of about a year. 

What Factors Affect Treatment Time?

Treatment duration varies from one patient to another due to the following factors:

What Can I Do To Shorten My Treatment Time? 

You can’t always shorten your treatment time, but you can make sure it stays on schedule with the following tips: 

Where Can I Get Invisalign?

One of the biggest benefits of Invisalign is that you can often get it through your dentist’s office. The Ricco Dental Group provides Invisalign treatment for patients who are ideal candidates. After a brief evaluation we can begin the Invisalign process to straighten your teeth and align your bite for improved dental health and a better looking smile. 
Call 516-931-3999 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Year-End Dental Benefits

Dental insurance is a benefit offered by many employers as part of your benefits package. If you’re self-employed you may purchase your own. Insurance typically works on a yearly calendar where benefits begin on a certain date and either end or are renewed on a certain date. Features such as deductibles, flex spending accounts, and out of pocket maximums all work on a yearly basis. 

Most insurance plans begin in January and end in December. This means that all of the aspects of your insurance plan that are calculated on a yearly basis will reach the year end on December 31. While health savings accounts (HSA) roll over to the next year, most other benefits don’t. If you want to take full advantage of your dental insurance benefits, here are some things to consider. 

Confirm Your Plan Renewal Date

If you want to get the most out of your dental benefits, the best place to start is to find out exactly when your plan ends and renews. Most plans follow the typical calendar year, meaning they end on December 31 and renew January 1. However, some insurance plans operate on a different schedule, so be sure to check with your insurance provider to determine the final date of the current plan year. 

Get to Know Your Benefits

Your insurance provider should have provided you with a benefits guide that fully explains every aspect of your plan. You may have received an actual paper copy, a digital copy, or a link to a benefits guide online. Review this guide to get a complete understanding of your dental benefits so that you can take full advantage of them. 

Check on Your Yearly Deductible

Most dental insurance plans have a yearly deductible that must be met before insurance begins paying for services. Find out the amount of your yearly deductible and how much of the deductible has been met. You can get this information by contacting your insurance provider, accessing your account online, or reviewing your most recent explanation of benefits you may have received in the mail. If you’ve already met your deductible for the year, any additional dental services you receive may be fully covered. 

Find Out Your Annual Maximum

The annual maximum is the total amount your insurance plan will pay toward dental services for the year. Find out what this number is and how much your provider has paid toward this amount. If you need a dental procedure, it may be a good idea to get it done now if you still have a sufficient amount of your annual maximum left. If not, you may want to wait until the new year when your plan renews. 

Use Your Flex Spending Account

If your plan includes a flex spending account (FSA), the funds will most likely not roll over to the next year. Whatever you don’t use before the end of the calendar year will be lost. Flex spending accounts, as their name suggests, are somewhat flexible about what you can use the funds for. FSA funds can be used for a variety of dental services, even elective procedures in many cases. You may be able to purchase dental products such as denture cleaners and adhesives and toothache relievers with your FSA account. 

Take Full Advantage of Your Benefits 

If your plan covers dental cleanings, be sure to use that benefit each year. Most plans include two cleanings per year, 6 months apart. In most cases these appointments are fully covered with no out of pocket expenses. Now may be the best time to get other dental services such as fillings, root canals, or crowns when you can make the most of your dental insurance coverage. 

Use Your Benefits to the Fullest With the Ricco Dental Group

You most likely pay a premium each month that comes out of your paycheck toward dental insurance. If you don’t use the benefits, those funds have gone to waste. The Ricco Dental Group can help you take full advantage of your dental benefits. If you’re due for a dental cleaning and exam, schedule now as appointments are filling up fast. Don’t let your dental insurance benefits go unused this year. 
Call 516-931-3999 or contact us today to schedule an appointment.

How to Choose the Best Dentist for Your Family in Nassau County

It’s important to choose the perfect family dentist for your family’s needs, but it can be hard to figure out where to start looking or what you should consider when choosing a family dental practice in Nassau County. Family dentistry is highly personalized, and each dentist has different specialties and focuses on different aspects of dental care. To ensure that you and your family are receiving the most personalized and effective dental care possible, here’s what you need to know.

Factors to Consider When Looking For A Family Dentist 

When looking for a good family dentist in Nassau County, there are a few important items you’ll want to focus on. One of the most important things to consider is your family’s unique needs. If you have children, you’ll want to find a dentist that has a lot of experience in pediatric dentistry. You should consider location when choosing a family dentist, and whether or not they take your insurance plan. 


The most important thing is that you find a dentist who is well-qualified and experienced in the various aspects of family dentistry. Most Nassau County dental practices’ websites will give you more information on their dentists. Experience is especially key with restorative dentistry, which involves services like root canal therapy, fillings, crowns, and implants. 

Office Atmosphere and Technology

Walking into a dentist's office can be intimidating, especially if you are nervous about a procedure or dental work in general. The best family dental offices are not only equipped with the latest dental technology including lasers, digital imaging, and intra-oral cameras, but also provide a welcoming and family-friendly atmosphere. 

Communication & Satisfaction With Staff

The most important thing you need to do when choosing a family dentist is to find one that you are comfortable with and has staff who will communicate well with you. The staff should be willing to answer any questions you have and explain any treatments you might need. 


One of the easiest ways to help yourself and your family keep up with your dental health is by choosing a practice that is close to home and convenient for the whole family. The Ricco Dental Group is conveniently located in Plainview, NY at 709 S Oyster Bay Road, and serves patients throughout Jericho, Hicksville, Muttontown, Syosset, Bethpage, and Old Bethpage.

Cost And Insurance Policies

When looking for a family dentist in Nassau County, you’ll want to make sure the ones you are considering take your insurance plan if you have one. Otherwise, many practices offer payment plans for those who are interested.

Patient Reviews

Lastly, one of the best ways you can find a dental practice for the whole family is to see what other patients think. A practice’s reviews can give you a better idea of patient experiences so you can make an informed decision for your family.

Family Dentist In Nassau County, NY

The Ricco Dental Group is a full-service dental practice that provides family dentistry services as well as general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To make an appointment, contact us today by calling 516-931-3999 or request an appointment online. 

How Often Should You Get a Dental Cleaning?

Most Americans don’t get dental cleanings as often as they should, which could lead to serious problems down the line. According to survey data, only about one-third of Americans make it to the dentist the recommended two times per year. In order to keep your teeth and gums healthy, it’s advisable to have regular dental cleanings with your dentist or hygienist. Here are some things to consider when deciding how often to schedule cleanings with your dentist.

What Happens During A Dental Cleaning?

During your dental cleaning, your hygienist will remove any plaque or tartar that has built up on your teeth. They'll also give you an X-ray to make sure there aren't any hidden problems or concerns. If they find anything, they'll let you know and discuss the best course of action for treatment. Finally, after the exam is finished, they'll teach you how to brush and floss properly and check in with you about how often to come back for cleanings.

The Risks of Not Getting Regular Cleanings

If you have not had regular dental checkups, then there are some risks that you may be unaware of. It is important to know that the state of your teeth can affect your overall health. 

Dental plaque is what causes cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. If left untreated for an extended period of time, these issues can cause problems in other parts of the body and could lead to diabetes and heart disease.

Why Are Dental Cleanings Important?

Dental cleanings are an important part of maintaining good oral health. They remove plaque and tartar buildup, prevent tooth decay, and detect oral cancer. The frequency of dental cleanings will vary depending on your individual needs and medical history. Some people with sensitive teeth may need to go more often than every six months if they are prone to cavities. Others may only need a checkup once or twice per year.

How Long Should You Go Between Dental Cleanings?

The ideal time between cleanings is six months. When teeth are not cleaned for too long, plaque and tartar can form on the teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and other problems that can be detrimental to your oral health.

Does Dental Insurance Cover Dental Cleanings?

Dental insurance varies from provider to provider. The best way to find out if your plan covers cleanings is to ask the person who handles your benefits for the company if your insurance is employer-provided. If your employer doesn’t offer dental coverage, some plans cover one to two cleanings each year. However many dental cleanings your insurance covers, make sure to take advantage of the benefits you pay for by seeing your dentist once or twice a year.

Are You Due For A Dental Cleaning?

The Ricco Dental Group is a full-service dental clinic located in Plainview, New York that provides a range of general dentistry services. To make an appointment for a dental cleaning, call 516-931-3999 or request an appointment online.

Why General Dentistry is Important

General dentistry is sometimes referred to as preventative dentistry. And that, in a nutshell, is why general dental care is important. It’s the part of dentistry that includes routine dental examinations and cleanings, makes sure your mouth is looking healthy, and finds any small oral health issues before they become larger problems, and corrects them. 

Afterall, caring for your teeth means caring for your health, not just your dental health but your entire body. Routine care now benefits you not just in the present, but in the future as well.

General Dentistry Areas of Care

From routine dental care, including professional cleanings, dental examinations, x-rays, and polishing, to handling issues such as including cavities, tooth decay, infection, cracked teeth, and gum health, general dentistry covers each of these areas, and encourages a good oral hygiene routine to help you keep teeth healthy at home.

Our general dentistry practice includes:

And if needed:

Maintaining and improving your oral health is what general dentistry is all about. 

General Dentistry is Important

As you can tell, focusing on the little things, such as regular cleanings and exams, is important. A thorough exam can point out any issues such as early stage gum disease, so we can quickly and effectively address them before they become much larger problems. A single filling made now could prevent the need for a root canal or even a tooth extraction down the line. Placing a crown on a tooth that has a small crack can prevent tooth loss. 

You get the idea. By caring for your teeth routinely, and watching for any small issues now, you can prevent pain, discomfort, and larger issues down the line, allowing you to keep healthy teeth for the rest of your life. And, keeping your dental health strong also means keeping your whole body healthy. Gum disease, for example, can affect your whole body. Your gums serve as a barrier to prevent overall bodily inflammation, with gum disease linked to health issues including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and more. Catching any tissue abnormalities early can mean the difference between a simple treatment and a painful, complex treatment for oral cancer in the future.

Frequent treatments identify any threats to your health, and also have a positive effect on your budget, mitigating the need for far more costly future treatment due to neglect.

And finally, regular general dental care also provides cosmetic benefits that enhance your smile with a brighter, healthier appearance that makes you both look and feel your very best: from just receiving a routine exam and cleaning twice a year or as recommended by your dental team. 

Are You Ready to Learn More About General Dentistry?

If you’re ready to learn more about general dentistry and how it can help your dental and overall health, reach out to us today! We’re here to help!