For those who have a fear of dentistry, or anxiety associated with dental visits, most seem to have developed this from an experience as a child. Perhaps a dentist was too rough, or failed to deliver sufficient novocain before a procedure, or began the procedure before allowing the novocain to take effect. When such a traumatic experience occurs in one’s young life, no wonder they EXPECT to have pain when undergoing future dental care.
We treat many patients who have high levels of dental fear, some who can be classified as dental phobics. These are people who literally break into a sweat when just calling a dental office. Many avoid care until an emergency need arises, and then must have costly repairs that could have been prevented had they been able to receive regular check-ups and cleanings.
We begin by inviting fearful patients to visit our office for a conversation. They are seated in a comfortable arm chair in our Consultation Room. During this time, we discuss their fears and explain the comfort options available. We suggest most start with a procedure that includes oral sedation, when they feel ready.
Oral sedation is in pill form and allows the patient to relax even before they arrive to the practice. A companion brings them and the patient is drowsy by the time they get to the office. This helps them avoid the anxious feelings typically associated with dental visits.
Once here, we have a trained staff member escort them to a comfortable treatment chair where they are covered with a warm blanket. They are closely monitored throughout their visit for both safety and comfort. I numb the areas we are working on and ask the patient questions throughout treatment to ensure they are comfortable and pain-free. Even though the patient is totally relaxed, they are able to communicate with me as needed.
When treatment is completed, we help the patient walk to meet their companion to be taken home. Most patients have no memory of their treatment afterwards. Some remember hearing voices, but that’s typically all they can recall. Once home, they may want to nap for a brief time, although most feel refreshed and ready to resume normal activities by that evening. Because oral sedation has a quick recovery (unlike I.V. sedation), the patient does not have a ‘drugged out’ feeling to recover from.
It’s important to understand that oral sedation is an aid in helping patients overcome their dental fears. Our goal is for the patient to feel they no longer need to be sedated for their dental care, which is what we’ve accomplished with most of our once-fearful patients. After their initial treatment, many realize their comfort here is a priority and we want them to feel they are always in control.
Your dental visits are important for your oral health and appearance as well as your overall health. Getting the proper treatment and feeling good about coming for preventive care can make you feel good from the inside out! Never let fear control YOU! Call (586) 739-2155 and our friendly staff will arrange a free consultation for you. Remember, this is just a chat — you’ll never see a treatment chair! But, it is your first step toward confident smiles!