We all have friends, family members, or coworkers who may be particularly fearful of flying, of roaches, or of religion. Some of them may also be fearful of dental care. We certainly have heard many stories about this. Most unfortunately it seems over the years that dentists have created fearful patients on their own. How sad it that fact?
Yes, I have heard too many times of how my patients received dental fillings as children without the benefit of local anesthesia. I suppose that “back in the day” it may have been considered more fearful to provide a “shot” than it was to provide care without the benefits of that “shot”. For me this is hard to understand.
We do have empathy and sympathy for our patients. We have these concerns particularly for our more fearful patients. We truly feel for you. Our personalities and our practice are uniquely prepared to care for patients who are fearful. Patients who are fearful need to know they will be respected, that their concerns will be heard and properly managed, that they really matter to the practice, and that they cannot tolerate yet another unsatisfactory experience. We know all this!
We do take the time to listen to our patient’s concerns, we do want to know from our patients what will assist them to fulfill their appointments, we do want to know how we can best satisfy our patients, and we allow our patients to make informed decisions on the options for their care.
Many patients value nitrous oxide gas, or laughing gas. This gas allows time to seemingly pass by faster, it allows patients to separate themselves from what is going on, it decreases patient’s perception of feel, and it allows patients to relax. The onset of the benefits of the gas is quite fast, within about five minutes. The effects of the gas, when turned off, can dissipate within about 10 minutes, although patients may perceive they feel as if they had just woken up from a nap.
Many patients also appreciate sleep dentistry, or taking sleeping pills, for their appointments. We allow our patients to take these pills the night prior to their appointment so they can have a good night’s sleep. We also request that patients take one about 90 minutes prior to their appointment. With the pill, patients are more relaxed, they can actually sleep during their visit, and they are less apprehensive about the appointment. We also have patients bring one last of these pills to the appointment in case it is needed to assist them during our treatment.
When patients take advantage of these sleeping pills, they must have a driver bring them to our appointment and take them home. We do not want patients on sleeping pills driving on their own. As a result this makes this sleep dentistry a bit more inconvenient. However, for some patients these pills are needed and are critical. But then again, some patients after several appointments realize that there is nothing going on that is causing the anxiety they used to have. They realize our appointments are really not bad. In other words, after several appointments we often find that some patients no longer opt for the sleeping pills, finding that they can tolerate the appointments just fine, finding that they no longer wanted to inconvenience someone else to drive them for the appointment. For those who need the advantage of the sleeping pill we have no reservation with assisting them.
If you or someone you know would benefit from our empathetic care we invite you to contact us at (972) 250-2580.