Help for patients with dental phobia

(WPRI) — Dr. David Ahearn, from Southcoast Smiles, talked to The Rhode Show about Dental Phobia and Sedation Dentistry.

Dental phobia is a top 3 most common fear in our society, and is too often hidden by shame and guilt or denial making problems worst. The greatest opportunity for the prevention of dental phobia is to create fantastic experiences for young patients. Anything safe, painless and familiar will pay off in a lifetime of dental health comfort and safety.

Unfortunately, most of the highly dental phobic patients have suffered a dental or even medical experience that makes it difficult or impossible to receive dental treatment.
For these individuals, prevention of the phobia is impossible; however it is sometimes possible for mildly apprehensive patients to reset their anxiety clock. This can be accomplished through re-calibration in a comfortable, non-threatening environment.

Some symptoms of dental phobia are: Avoiding seeing the dentist, bleeding gums, resisting smiling, hide your teeth – even from friends and family. Many dental phobic’s are quite clear about their fears while others are much less forth right.

Unfortunately, avoidance complicates the problems involved in treatment and raises the cost of care dramatically. So if you have symptoms- You have a problem and, the sooner you address these the easier it will be.

Often pre-medications used for the treatment of general anxiety can be used to make even the first examination appointment possible.

Dr. Ahern says that the creation of a calm restful atmosphere when combined with a highly trained and compassionate staff is the most important foundation for making care possible. Given the fact that most dental treatment can be accomplished in a very short time period doctors most commonly find that the best and (most practical) method of treatment is to do what any other surgical specialty would do and use sedation techniques to provide comfortable care.

Doctors are able to use state of the art technology to complete a patient’s dental care in one or two sedation appointments.

Sedation technology has advanced remarkably in the past decade. Monitoring to ensure patient safety has advanced to an extraordinary level.

Appropriate facilities such as Southcoast Smiles are designed and state inspected to ensure a consistent quality care. This certification comes with the commitment and focus on providing a level of service that is more like the combination of an outpatient surgicenter and hotel rather than that of a typical dental clinic.

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