2312 Whitehorse Mercerville Road, Suite 200A
Mercerville, NJ 08619
John Nosti, D.D.S. DMD PC
4705 Harding Highway
Mays Landing, NJ, 8330
Beder, Abraham D.D.S.
110 Trenton Ave # 1
Barrington, NJ, 08007-1392
Marinari, Arthur M D.D.S.
Denville, NJ, 07834-2766
Levi, Jack D.D.S.
289 Washington Ave
Dumont, NJ, 07628-2313
We'd like to offer one comforting and wonderful fact about today's dentistry: it's much less stressful than it used to be.
Technology, new procedures, and some very sophisticated approaches to dental anesthesia have all contributed to comfortable dentistry, from cleaning to cavity preparations to root canals.
But what if you didn't grow up with modern dentistry, and remember it differently?
If you have had difficult dental experiences, you may be among the 150 million Americans who white-knuckle their way through treatment, or avoid the dentist altogether. The fact is, about 80% of the fearful can overcome dental phobia, with a little help from conscious sedation.
Many dentists understand dental fear and where it comes from. And many are becoming trained in forming good working relationships with fearful patients. Your dentist should encourage you to voice your anxiety and discuss your problems with him or her, before he or she touches a tooth in your mouth.
They should listen to your needs, and agree on small things that help you maintain a sense of control - a hand signal works with some patients. But talking about fear with your dentist - being assertive and letting him or her know what bothers you - is the first step.
If you're moderately anxious, the dental team can provide distracting diversions to put those concerns to rest. If you're extremely anxious, they can virtually put anxiety to rest via oral sedation. This approach involves taking a mild sedative before you arrive for your appointment. You remain awake, but extremely relaxed - so relaxed that many patients have all their needed dental work completed in a single office visit. If dental anxiety has kept you from making an appointment you know is needed - a sedation dentist 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