I wanted to share my experience in the hopes of helping patients who are as terrified of the dentist as I was until recently. I would avoid the dentist at all costs. Just the idea would give me shivers and cause me to tear up with dread. I’d actually avoided the dentist for a few years because of a bad experience. When my molar started to hurt, I became distraught. I knew I would have to go. I went and was blown away by the experience. The dentist put me at ease immediately. She could tell I was afraid and sat down beside me and just talked to me. She told me I needed a crown but not to worry, she’ll make sure it goes well. When I came back I was a tad nervous, but again, she put me right at ease. She gave me this Q-tip loaded with this bubble gum tasting medicine that numbed up my gum. She talked to me while she gave me the shot and all I noticed was some pressure. It was the easiest appointment of my life and I thought it’d be the worst. I just wanted people to know you just need to find a dentist who understands scared patients. I feel I can go to the dentist regularly now.
I’m glad you found a dentist who caters to fearful patients. They’re very helpful in working with patients that struggle from dental anxiety. Sometimes just having a dentist that is compassionate and will sit with you and take the time you need is all it takes.
What If Your Anxiety is So High Numbing Medicine Doesn’t Work?
We’ve had many questions by patients from other practices where the dentist would give them seven, and sometimes up to ten, shots and they still couldn’t get numb. It was a horrifying experience for them. What they don’t realize is the anxiety is why they can’t get numb.
Your metabolism kicks up when you’re afraid. This burns off the numbing medicine. The greater the fear, the faster it burns. That is why your dentist putting you at ease before giving you the shot made such a difference. But, what if the patient just can’t relax?
Different Levels of Sedation Can Help
Periodically, it’s just a matter of having a bit of nitrous oxide. This is commonly known as laughing gas and can help relax a patient having trouble getting nervous.
When their anxiety is severe, not even nitrous can help. They need serious help. In that case, oral conscious sedation would be best. They’re still conscious and able to respond but they’re so relaxed that they need a friend to drive them to and from the appointment. The upside is their numbing medicine will definitely work.
I’m so glad you found a dentist who is just what you needed.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.