Today in my office I heard something unusual, but it made me extremely happy. One of my patients who had presented himself in the beginning of his treatment with severe anxiety, returned for another consultation and told me that during the interval between consultations he missed me and my team. This validates that our practice has achieved a goal I have had over the course of my career, which is to remove patient fear of dentistry.
Dental patients with phobia are much more common than you might think. Generally caused by trauma, especially in childhood, the fear of a dentist can accompany a person for the rest of his life and in some cases, be so severe as to cause total destruction of the teeth for lack of treatment.
But nowadays the philosophy of work has changed and the modern dentist who cares about his patients should establish a relationship that goes beyond simple procedures. It is necessary to think about the well-being of the patient as a whole, and to offer an environment of maximum relaxation and attention to details, so that a relationship of mutual trust is created.
Tranquil music, aromatherapy, low lights, and chairs with massage and heating built-in are some factors that can immediately lead to a decrease in the level of anxiety within a dental office. Moreover, treating the patient with respect, listening attentively to what they say and how they are feeling allow you to shape personalized treatments for each type of behavior.
For more drastic cases of phobia, using nitrous oxide (laughing gas), can help impart an instant state of calm and well-being and tranquilizing medications taken just prior to the consultation also can relax the patient enough to bring them to a near-sleep state. Often, both techniques are combined for extra jittery patients.
A good practitioner will artfully apply the right degree of remedies, depending on each individual patient, and the specific procedure they are having, whether a simple cleaning or more invasive oral surgery.
In extreme cases it may also be better for the patient to be completely sedated, not only for their utmost peace of mind but also to ensure the dentist can complete treatment as effectively as possible, without the risk of interferences.
In summary, through a combination of spa techniques, medicine, and overall high-quality care, we can create a pleasant environment for our patients that over time will erase years of bad memories, replacing them with smiles and a yearning to come again.
For more information contact Lake Lucerne Dentistry at (407) 410-4489.