MANY OF US, even though we know that going to the dentist is a safe, normal, and important part of life, don’t find it particularly fun to lie flat on our backs while someone pokes around our teeth and gums. For some, though, the very thought of visiting the dentist fills them with anxiety, and it could even be a full-blown phobia. That’s why we’d like to put our focus on helping our patients overcome their dental anxieties and fears.
Dental Anxiety Stats
Fear of going to the dentist is fairly common, with an estimated nine to 15 percent of Americans completely avoiding visiting the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That means up to 40 million Americans are taking a serious gamble with their dental health. Putting off a basic twice-a-year cleaning out of fear leaves patients much more susceptible to tooth decay and painful infection. It’s always better to view dental care as preventative, not just reactive.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentist
If you’re worried about going to the dentist, that might be because history and pop culture have given you the wrong idea. Before WWII made anesthetics the norm, dental procedures were uncomfortable, to say the least, but the field has come a long way since then. Modern dental offices maintain a high standard of comfort and care for patients. We use the latest in anesthetics! We have a nasal spray that can be used to numb front teeth on the top to get those teeth numb. The spray is called Kovanaze and it can be effective in certain situations. Give us a call and ask us more about it we are happy to talk about Kovanaze and the other methods we have to make your visit more comfortable.
Advice For Overcoming Dental Anxiety
Keep in mind many people deal with coming to the dentist every day. While most of those people don’t have dental anxiety as you may have, they do it and live. This may sound funny but to people with dental anxiety we understand the fear and realize it is real, you are not just acting scared for attention.
Remember we are here to help you have the success we can use things like nitrous oxide but you can still overcome that with fear. Sometimes nitrous oxide or laughing gas can have the opposite effect. We have seen where a person gets feeling weird then they start to fear more because they are feeling strange and it makes things worse.
We use the latest technology and techniques. One thing with technology is it usually makes things go quicker and easier. For example; our curing lights when we started McOmie Family Dentistry back in 1998, curing lights took 30 seconds to cure 1 mm of filling material. Our current state-of-the-art curing lights employ LED technology and have no cord they can cure at least 2mm of dental filling material in 3 seconds. So let’s say we did a 5mm deep filling in 1998. The curing time would have been two and a half minutes alone. With the new curing light, the same filling would be cured in 6 seconds. That doesn’t sound like a bunch but if you have dental fear every second in the chair seems like an eternity. Our tooth bonding agent in 1998 took almost 5 minutes to do all the steps today our bonding agent takes 3 seconds. This is just an example of two things we have many more and just a bonding agent and a curing light can make the average filling 7 1/2 minutes faster than it was 19 years ago. AMAZING!!!
We can answer your questions beforehand. Many people have a fear of the unknown and there are many unknowns when you are facing a dental procedure. You may be the type that wants to know everything we are doing before we do it. But on the other hand, you may be the type that doesn’t want to know anything that we are doing until it is done.
What About Sedation Dentistry And Medications?
Sedation and medications should be used as a last resort. Dr. Mark McOmie has hospital privileges at Memorial Hospital and takes patients there for sedation when necessary. We find that we are successful at helping people through procedures when they face anxiety. We have many many patients that have come in scared and needing extra help after a couple of visits they are doing great and don’t have fear anymore. This is what we want to help our patients do. Sedation dentistry is expensive, requires scheduled drugs, and takes lots of time. Patients can’t drive home they need a driver they are sedated for hours and need to take an entire day off just to have a small procedure. It is better if we can help you through the procedure without the drugs and get you on the path to becoming less fearful. If we can’t get to that point we can always schedule a day to do safe sedation at the hospital where a team of highly trained professionals in sedation will handle the sedation in the safest and most effective way.
We Will Work With You!
Your care and comfort are our top priorities. If you or someone in your family struggles with dental anxiety and it’s interfering with getting needed dental care, we’d love to schedule a time for you to come to our practice so that you can get used to the facility and get to know our team. We can answer any questions you may have. We know dental anxiety is a real thing it is not made up we have helped hundreds of people overcome their fears and we are ready to help you. So call us to let us help you! McOmie Family Dentistry 423-899-1112. We hope to see you soon!