Don't let your fear keep you out of the chair !
If your palms start sweating and your heart starts pounding at the thought of visiting the dentist, you are not alone.
The vast majority of individuals experience some anxiety toward dentistry. However, about 10 to 15 percent of the population suffers from high dental anxiety, which has been associated with avoidance behaviors and adverse outcomes to dental health. It’s important to find ways to “unlearn” this dental fear because when dental professionals can catch a problem in your mouth early, it minimizes expense, time and discomfort.
Here are some ideas:
The first step is to identify where your fear came from.
According to a recent AAP survey, periodontists report that the two most common origins for patient fear are family and friends or personal bad experience more than 10 years ago. Discuss your fear with family members, friends and your dental professionals. In many cases, the fears are no longer realistic because of advances in dentistry.
Next, find ways to feel more in control of your experience.
- Ask your periodontist to explain any procedures being considered. Knowledge can be empowering. Your periodontist can also explain your options for techniques to control pain and stress, such as medications, anesthesia, sedation and relaxation techniques that can make your treatment virtually painfree. And, you and your periodontist can agree on a signal, such as a raised hand, that will stop the procedure and allow you the opportunity to deal with your anxiety.
- Choose times for your appointments when you won’t be rushed or stressed by other issues.
- If you feel tense when you get into the dental chair, try relaxation techniques such as rhythmic breathing or visualizing calming scenarios, such as relaxing on a beach. Or, distract yourself with a Walkman or by focusing on something in the room.
- Most importantly, remember that your dental professionals are your allies. Enlist their help in overcoming your fear by not being embarrassed to talk with them about it and by asking any questions you may have.
What else can be done?
Dr. Chang and Dr. Tatum are trained and certified to use provide conscious sedation through two proven methods:
• Oral Medication taken about an hour before your appointment will help to eliminate mild anxiety and allow you to relax throughout your treatment. This option is not as effective as intravenous sedation; oral sedation is more suitable for short appointments in older patients (more than 40 years old).
• Intravenous Sedation involves the administration of a sedative through an intravenous catheter. This form of sedation is designed for individuals with more severe dental anxiety. With IV sedation, the level of sedation can be carefully controlled throughout the treatment, ensuring that the patient never experiences too little or too much.
WHEN is Conscious Sedation administered?
Conscious sedation is administered in office to facilitate the following procedures and circumstances:
• Nervous/anxious patients requiring dental work
• Dental implant therapy
• Sinus augmentation/grafting
• Block grafting
• Wisdom teeth removal
• Gag reflex
• Difficulty becoming numb
WHO CAN ADMINISTER Intravenous Sedation?
Intravenous sedation is extremely safe when administered by qualified providers. To perform these advanced sedative techniques, special training and clinical experience is required. In addition to training in sedation techniques, Dr. Chang is also trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) from the American Heart Association. Approval to perform IV Sedation requires the office to be specially equipped with emergency equipment and medications. This includes an ECG monitor to observe your heart rate, rhythm, and breathing. The office contains more emergency equipment and drugs than required by law and our staff constantly trains to provide the highest level of sedation care.
HOW will I FEEL?
You will feel comfortable at all times. You will be in a deep and relaxed state but will be responsive to verbal commands. Patients often comment that they were asleep throughout the procedure. You will be given a local anesthetic for the work in your mouth after the sedative is administered.
Following your treatment, it is unlikely you will remember the actual dental procedures. You will be groggy and unsteady and therefore MUST have a responsible ADULT (18 years of age or older) escort you home. Patients should not drive a vehicle, operate dangerous equipment, or make any important decisions for at least 24 hours after receiving intravenous sedation. A follow-up phone call is usually made to check on the patient’s condition and answer any questions.
Contact us today!
Periodontics & Implant Center of McKinney
Dr. Paul P. Chang D.D.S., M.S.
-Board Certified Periodontist & Prosthodontist
Dr. Catherine Tatum D.D.S., M.S.
-Board Certified Periodontist
321 N. Central Expressway, Suite 101
(Inside of Prosperity Bank Building)
McKinney, TX 75070
McKinney Periodontist; Dr Paul Chang is a board certified periodontist dedicated to excellence in treating periodontal disease (gum disease), gingival (gum) recession, and replacement of missing teeth with dental implants. Please come and visit McKinney periodontics in McKinney TX, Dr Paul P. Chang. DDS MS