Comfortable Care and Fear Control
I’m a chicken and don’t like coming to the dentist. I’m embarrassed.
After fear of cancer, fear of the dentist is the #2 healthcare fear. More than 50% of Americans do not visit the dentist in a year, many out of fear. But just because you’re afraid, doesn’t doom you to a life of poor dental health, ugly teeth and eventually dentures! I can help you overcome your anxiety and get the care you need.
How can you help me?
First, I find out what is making you fearful – did you have a bad experience as a child? Have you had trouble getting numb and treatment hurt in the past? Do you have questions about what treatment involves? Do you understand how your treatment will be done? Once I know what it is that bothers you, I can address that need.
How can you make sure I can relax?
There are several ways that we can help you be more comfortable. First, we are sure that you’re never in pain, cold, hungry or just need a break. We carefully explain what we’ll do to help you feel confident in your choice for care – or if you’d rather not know much about what we’re doing, we don’t have to share it.
Deep breathing and modified hypnosis
Deep breathing is always a good way to relax, and we remind patients often to breathe. I am also certified in Dental Hypnosis, but use the concepts of general relaxation rather than formal hypnosis to help patients feel more safe and comfortable. Deep breathing is one concept of hypnosis.
Nitrous oxide is a harmless gas sometimes known as ‘laughing gas’ or ‘sweet air’. It does NOT put one to sleep nor render one unconscious in any way; normal communication is completely possible. Nitrous oxide merely relaxes our patients and allows them to have dental care more comfortably and happily! We use local anesthetics with nitrous oxide, but the patient generally just doesn’t care. Feeling relaxed makes it less likely that the patient will interpret any sensations as painful. I so want patients to be comfortable that I don’t charge for nitrous oxide as do most dentists. I’d prefer you be relaxed!
It helps some patients to take a minor tranquilizer to be easily have dental care. They can be used to quiet the mind the night before care so sleep is possible and be taken before the patient comes to the office. They can also be used in conjunction with nitrous oxide. In small doses, like this, these drugs are not dangerous or addictive. It is best to have someone drive you to the appointment if you’ve taken a minor tranquilizer.