- Does the thought of going to the dentist conjure up bad memories?
- Do you have trouble sleeping before a dental appointment?
- Do you feel like you are awaiting execution when sitting in the reception area?
- Does your heart pound or do you feel queasy when you see or hear dental equipment or people in white lab coats?
- Do you feel like you are suffocating during oral exams?
These are classic signs of dental anxiety. The Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle estimates 20 percent of the population suffers from some form of dental anxiety – enough to put off seeing their dentists until a problem is unavoidable. Another 5-8 percent have full blown dental phobia.
Those numbers are disturbing to me. Proper oral care keeps the mouth healthy and the smile pretty, but even more important is the overwhelming evidence that shows tooth decay and gum disease are linked to major life threatening disease like diabetes, cancer, stroke and cardiopulmonary disease. It you don’t get regular dental care, these ailments may become real issues in your lives!
At FocusedCareDental, we address dental fear, so patients can manage their stress and optimize their health. You need to have regular checkups, but you NEVER will be lectured if your anxiety has gotten the best of you and you’ve been missing in action. We care about your teeth and overall health…and that includes your emotional and psychological wellbeing. Scolding never helps anyone, so we don’t do it!
But, we do offer oral sedation dentistry services and train our staff to be sensitive to those suffering from dental anxiety. Our staff is kind, compassionate and professional. We listen carefully to our patients. In fact we encourage our patients to ask questions and to be assertive when it comes to their comfort in the dental chair.
6 Tips for a Successful Office Visit
- Find a dentist you trust. Communication is key.
- Set up a consultation, prior to the actual exam date.
- Tell your dentist you think you have dental phobia.
- Ask questions. Understand your treatment. It reduces stress by half.
- Practice relaxation techniques before and during your appointment.
- Consider the oral sedation options to minimize stress and worry.
Many dislike the feeling of being out of control and vulnerable while in the exam room. However, when we pair compassionate care with oral sedation dentistry, our guests experience stress-free appointments and leave happy and healthier. Many of our patients in the Tarzana, Encino, Woodland Hills and Sherman Oaks areas have found this approach very helpful.
Oral sedation dentistry involves using nitrous oxide during the appointment or taking a small sedative tablet by mouth before the appointment. This will make you calm, relaxed and probably even a bit drowsy. Of course you’ll need a friend or family member to provide transportation to and from our Encino office to keep everyone safe.
You’ll arrive in a stress-free state and be able to complete your appointment with little to no anxiety and no pain. We recognize that every patient’s pain threshold is different. If needed, additional numbing agents are used to optimize comfort. Oral sedation suppresses the sound and sensations of dental work and memory of the appointment will be vague to non-existent.
If this anxiety-free dentistry approach appeals to you, please call the offices of Dr. Allan Melnick, DDS, for a consultation or to make an appointment: (818) 385-3681.
Best Regards, AM
Tip of the Day: If you suffer from dental anxiety, visit the office ahead of time. Get familiar with your surroundings and meet the FocusedCareDental.com staff. Ask about oral sedation options. Then if you decide to make an appointment, make it for early in the morning. There will be less time to worry and more time to allow medication to wear off throughout the day.