I wrote a blog earlier this month about the importance of children’s dentistry. In that post I mentioned that our biggest weapon against dental fear is introducing children to the dentist earlier in their lives. Our office works with your children and family to give them a pleasant and positive dental experience. While we are confident in our ability to go above and beyond for every patient, unfortunately we cannot erase the social perception about dentists.
About 20 percent of Americans have dental anxiety, and about 5 percent of Americans are so afraid that they avoid the dentist at all costs. That means that millions of people are not getting the dental care they need. Even if those people who avoid the dentist brush and floss religiously, they could still have serious dental issues and not even know it.
Brushing and flossing cannot remove all plaque or bacteria from your mouth, and you need an oral health professional to clean your teeth once every six months. Plaque and bacteria can lead to cavities or cause gum infections. Gum disease is very prevalent and will affect about 75 percent of Americans. It’s also the leading cause of tooth loss and has been connected to heart disease and diabetes. This ties into dental fear because it’s possible to create serious oral and overall health issues for yourself by avoiding the dentist.
There are a couple ways to combat dental phobia. First, we try to make our patients comfortable in the chair, and we will never judge you or make your feel guilty about your smile. We also offer a special program called Smile Creation that allows patients to see the end result before we launched into any treatment. I’ve found that by providing the information to patients, they are more comfortable with your services. We try not to surprise any patients during their treatments. We keep everyone in the loop and never rush you through your visit.
I’m Too Scared to Step Foot in a Dental Office
We frequently see patients who have serious trepidations about stepping foot in a dental office. That’s a big problem because ignoring dental problems or skipping dental visits leads to serious dental problems down the road. In some cases the patient has not been to the dentist and is afraid what they might hear. In other cases, the person cannot bear the sights, sounds, or smells of the dental office. There is a way to treat those patients and give them the care they deserve.
Using oral conscious sedation, we can help the patient relax in the dental chair while they receive their treatment. We render oral sedation in pill form, and we can use this method to treat complex dental issues in one visit. The treatment is very safe and affordable. We simply prescribe a pill for you to take before your treatment. You’ll have a friend or family member drive you to our office the day of your appointment. The great thing about oral sedation is that patients rarely remember the treatment. There’s not need to face the sights, sounds, or smell of the procedure. Much of the time, our patients actually fall asleep during the procedure.
I take pride in my ability to make people feel comfortable in the chair, but it’s just a fact of life that some patients need an extra treatment to help them face a dental office. I certainly understand, and am happy to treat those patients. Most of our sedation patients find that they do not even need the treatment after their first few visits with our office.
Here are some advantages of oral conscious sedation:
You’re still awake during the treatment but may not remember the treatment.
The medication relaxes you in the dental chair
The mediation relaxes the muscles, which makes visits easier for patients who have a bad gag reflex
It’s a low-cost solution to dental fear
The effects wear off shortly after your visit
You can complete the care you need in one visit.
I have studied oral conscious sedation rigorously and have seen the treatment work wonders on even the most fearful patients. If you have fears or concerns about treatments, or if you’ve had a bad experience at a prior dentist, understand that there are still ways to keep your teeth healthy. To hear more about our oral conscious sedation, call our office today.