For most adults who have dental fear or anxiety associated with dental visits, it’s not unusual for its originating source to be from a traumatic dental visit in their past. As an individual who had typically good experiences with dental care growing up, I cannot imagine the memories embedded in those who have endured this type of pain and fear.
What results is typically a reaction that emerges when the victim (and yes, I use the term purposefully) thinks about going to a dentist. Some individuals are so traumatized that they cannot even call a dental office without experiencing an increased heart rate, sweating or even crying. This includes men and women, by the way. There is no age or gender bias when it comes to the reactions of dental fears.
I’m very proud that I have a reputation for a gentle touch. Many patients claim I give ‘painless’ injections. And, while I focus on providing the highest level of skills and technology in all procedures, creating a comfortable experience throughout each patient’s visit is a commitment I try to bring to every aspect of care.
This is also exemplified throughout the practice. From the staff who greet you upon entering to the hands that care for you to the smiling team members you see as you leave, we believe you deserve a warm, caring atmosphere from start to finish. And while all this sounds warm and fuzzy, I’ve treated enough high fear patients to know those reassurances aren’t going to create much of a dent in your receptiveness to dental care.
This is why we offer sedation. Many individuals prefer Oral Sedation. This is a small pill that is swallowed prior to arriving to our office. By the time you arrive, you’ll be relaxed and less antsy. As the pill takes full effect, your relaxation level expands. You’ll be seated in a comfortable treatment chair and covered with a warm blanket. You may doze off but you will be able to respond to questions. You just won’t remember them.
The medication has an amnesiac effect that helps you forget any aspects of treatment. But don’t worry — we still numb the areas being treated. We just wait until your sedation is fully active before we give any injections. You’ll be monitored throughout treatment for safety and comfort by a trained staff member.
Once your procedure is complete, you will return home to rest for a brief period of time. However, you will recover rather quickly and should be back to normal in several hours.
For some with dental phobia, the most extreme level of dental fear, I. V. sedation is the preferred option. Also known as twilight sleep, this is a deeper level of sedation that places you in a sleep state. Although this is an in-the-vein form of sedation, it is also a more reassuring option for those who want to be (and this is their words, often, not mine) “knocked out.” This means that the recovery period is longer than oral sedation as a result..
We are sensitive to the needs of our patients, but especially those with fear associated with dental visits. Often, these patients have sedation with one or two visits and then decide to forego it, feeling reassured that they can trust us to be gentle and caring at all times.
My staff and I try to liken how we care for fearful patients with how we would want someone to care for our own children. We would want them treated kindly, patiently and with gentle hands. That’s what you will find here.
Have dental fears? Know someone who does? Begin by calling and speaking to a friendly staff member – toll free 1-866-9-Smiles. If desired, we can also put you in touch with some patients who have overcome their dental fears. They’ll be happy to share their own experiences while answering your questions.