2016 - Carrie, Dental Anxiety Therapist

Carrie has been treating anxiety related symptoms for over a decade. She received her doctoral degree in clinical health psychology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City in 2005. She then joined the Air Force as a commissioned officer where she began her path toward treating those who suffer from anxiety related symptoms.

She is available to assist patients who find dental visits to be overwhelming and anxiety provoking. She does so by utilizing a variety of different techniques scientifically proven to successfully treat dental fears.

Carrie also owns her own private practice as well as a retail store in the Crossroads neighborhood. She lives in midtown with her large family and enjoys anything that has to do with traveling and spending time outdoors.

For more information, you can contact her directly or discuss your needs with Dr. Fleming and his team.

Carrie Parker

2013 - American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynocologist, says Dental Cleaning and Dental X-Rays are safe during pregnancy. 

Washington, DC -- Teeth cleanings and dental X-rays are safe for pregnant women, according to new recommendations issued by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College). Ob-gyns are now being advised to perform routine oral health assessments at the first prenatal visit and encourage their patients to see a dentist during pregnancy.

“These new recommendations address the questions and concerns that many ob-gyns, dentists, and our patients have about whether it is safe to have dental work during pregnancy,” said Diana Cheng, MD, vice chair of The College’s Committee on Health Care for Underserved Women, which issued the guidelines. According to The College, oral health problems are associated with other diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. “We want ob-gyns to routinely counsel all of their patients, including pregnant women, about the importance of oral health to their overall health,” said Dr. Cheng.

2012 - Total Joint Replacement, recommendations by the American Dental Association

In 2012, the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) released the first co-developed evidence-based guideline on the Prevention of Orthopaedic Implant Infection in Patients Undergoing Dental Procedures. The clinical practice guideline, with three recommendations, is based on a systematic review of the literature. The review found no direct evidence that dental procedures cause orthopaedic implant infections.

The Guideline Recommendations:

1. The practitioner might consider discontinuing the practice of routinely prescribing prophylactic antibiotics for patients with hip and knee prosthetic joint implants undergoing dental procedures.

2. We are unable to recommend for or against the use of topical oral antimicrobials in patients with prosthetic joint implants or other orthopaedic implants undergoing dental procedures.

3. In the absence of reliable evidence linking poor oral health to prosthetic joint infection, it is the opinion of the work group that patients with prosthetic joint implants or other orthopaedic implants maintain appropriate oral hygiene.

Additional Resources

If you have any questions about these recommendations, please contact the ADA Division of Science via e-mail. ADA members may also use the Association’s toll-free number and ask for x2878.

2008 - Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Dental Procedures, recommendations by the American Heart Association and the American Dental Association

The current recommendations recommend use of preventive antibiotics prior to certain dental procedures for patients with:

  • artificial heart valves
  • a history of infective endocarditis
  • a cardiac transplant that develops a heart valve problem
  • the following congenital (present from birth) heart conditions:*
    • unrepaired or incompletely repaired cyanotic congenital heart disease, including those with palliative shunts and conduits
    • a completely repaired congenital heart defect with prosthetic material or device, whether placed by surgery or by catheter intervention, during the first six months after the procedure
    • any repaired congenital heart defect with residual defect at the site or adjacent to the site of a prosthetic patch or a prosthetic device

Relax, your dental team cares about you!

Thousands of people don’t look forward to visiting the dental chair. Most dental procedures aren't painful. However, just being examined can make people feel stressed, especially if they have a bad dental experience under their belt. Most people can live with having some anxiety about going to the dentist. For those with dental phobia or dental anxiety, however, the thought of a dental visit can be horrifying. They may be so frightened, in fact, that they’ll avoid going to the dentist all together.

Dental anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It has been estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That's about 30 million to 40 million people. Those with dental anxiety will have a sense of uneasiness when their appointments grow near. They'll have exaggerated or unrealistic worries or fears.

Dental phobia is a more serious condition. It's an intense fear or dread. People with dental phobia aren't merely anxious, they are terrified or have panic attacks with even the thought of visiting the dentist. People with dental phobia have a higher risk of gum disease and early tooth loss. Avoiding the dentist may have emotional costs as well. Discolored or damaged teeth can make people self-conscious and insecure. They may smile less or keep their mouths partly closed when they speak. Some people can become so embarrassed about how their teeth look that their personal and professional lives begin to suffer. There is often a serious loss of self-esteem. People with dental phobia also may suffer from poorer health in general, and even lower life expectancy. This is because poor oral health can be related to some life-threatening conditions, such as heart disease and lung infections.

There are varying degrees of dental anxiety and phobia. At the extreme, a person with dental phobia may never see a dentist or cancel appointments time and time again. Others may force themselves to go, but they may not sleep the night before. It's not uncommon for people to feel sick or, in some cases, to actually get sick, while they're in the waiting room. The good news is, dental anxiety and dental phobia can be treated. There isn't a clear boundary that separates anxiety from phobia. Everyone has fears and concerns and copes with them in different ways. However, the process of dental work does not need to fill you with terror. If it does, then you may need some help overcoming the fears.

If any of the information found above describes you, please tell your dentist or a member of your dental team about your feelings, worries and fears. He or she will help you overcome these feelings by changing routine procedures and address your concerns. You also may be referred to an anxiety coach who can teach you ways to overcome your fears and support you through dental procedures. Don’t wait just ask for help, we are here for you and your health.