711 Avocado Avenue
El Cajon, CA 92020
Cave Potente Hanson
4065 3rd Ave # 300
San Diego, CA, 92103-2184
365 S Rancho Santa Fe Rd # 201
San Marcos, CA, 92078-2338
Smolkin, Darin D.D.S.
14610 Hawthorne Blvd
Lawndale, CA, 90260-1521
Sturm, A Jack D.D.S.
1515 State St # 7
Santa Barbara, CA, 93101-2536
Most people are well aware of the value of dental care, but cannot bring themselves to get into their dentist's office and climb into the chair. The reason: fear.
Dental anxiety, unfortunately, is sometimes a shared family experience. Whether it's just a bout of sweaty palms or acute anxiety, the fears and attitudes of parents can easily be passed along to children unintentionally. Perhaps you grew up without the technical advantages available today. Your unpleasant memories can be fierce enough to interfere with family dental education - and health.
Parents can begin to allay phobias - and keep from spreading them around - by examining the source of apprehension. Dental phobia generally hinges on fear of pain, choking, or loss of control. The dental environment might feel overwhelming. Invasion of personal privacy - the mouth - can be frightening. When you schedule an appointment, how do you feel about it? Do you find yourself cancelling appointments at the last minute? Do certain pieces of equipment make you uneasy? A little soul-searching can help pinpoint your fears.
You need to speak frankly with your dentist. Chances are, he'll understand. He'll take time with you to describe new techniques - and there are many - to overcome fear. His dental staff will take special care to respect your feelings and dispel any misgivings.
With some effort, nearly everyone can learn to overcome dental anxiety and relax. The direct benefits - you'll feel more comfortable when you visit, and, if you or your family have been avoiding the dentist altogether, your dental health will begin to improve. Indirectly, you'll offer a positive role model for your family. Take this step for yourself, and the family will follow. Call your dentist today to find out how he can help.
Many patients face their dental appointment with a degree of anxiety. Research has shown that the largest cause of this fear is the fear of pain ... the fear that at some time during their dental care treatment they are going to be hurt.
Sedation dentists have information available about a variety of drugs known as local anesthetics, which are the safest and most effective drugs in all of medicine. Local anesthetics are a resource used in anxiety-free dentistry for the prevention and management of dental anxiety resulting from dental and surgical procedures, not to put the patient to sleep.
Local anesthetics, commonly called Novocain by patients (Novocain is no longer used, having been replaced by newer, safer, and more effective drugs), are drugs which, when injected near a nerve, prevent stimulation from reaching the brain where it would be interpreted by a person as pain. Sedation dentists interested in practicing anxiety-free dentistry know these also work very well as temporary relief of a tooth ache.
The injectable local anesthetics, used today by sedation dentists provide complete relief about 100% of the time. The duration of the numbness varies from drug to drug -- some providing short durations, while others remain effective for up to 12 hours. A doctor will select a drug for a patient that is appropriate for the type of dental care procedure they are having done.
In order to be effective during dental treatment, local anesthetics usually need to be injected. For many people, this is the most uncomfortable part of the entire dental appointment.
Local anesthetics can be administered quite comfortably. Sedation dentists and dental hygienists take pride in their ability to administer local anesthesia easily and comfortably.
The following are some of the procedures sedation dentists practicing anxiety-free dentistry might use to make this procedure more comfortable:
If an individual is fearful of receiving a local anesthetic injection, they should tell the assistant or the sedation dentist BEFORE the procedure starts. The use of conscious sedation such as laughing gas, as part of anxiety-free dentistry, can work wonders to make this procedure more comfortable for the patient.
By Stanley F. Malamed, DDS