Okay, well, if you're nervous about your dental care, we have a variety of sedation options that are easy and inexpensive, and we'll make sure that you're able to get the care that you need. I think that the relationships that we build with patients really helps in handling each situation as it occurs. The staff, myself, and my assistant, hygienist, and whatnot are very good in dealing with people. Recognizing anxiety or recognizing moments where they should pause and get clarity and then focus on what's mattering to you before we move on.
Do you suffer from dental anxiety? Do you need help getting past a painful dental experience from your past? Dr. Wilhelm at Mark W. Wilhelm, DMD, MSD can help you be comfortable and relaxed while you take care of your smile.
Is dental anxiety common?
If you are suffering from dental anxiety, you may feel like you are alone. This is not the case. Millions of Americans suffer from this type of fear. In fact, the latest estimates put the number between 24 and 35 million people. That number sounds even bigger when you take into account that the total population of the 10 largest American cities adds up to just over 24 million. Dental fear is a very real problem, and you don’t have to feel like you’re the only one, because you’re not.
How do I get past my dental fear?Read Transcript
I would say that most people are afraid of the dentist. The biggest reason people don't go to the dentist is anxiety or fear. I also see a lot of elderly patients and they have ailments, so we have various shaped pillows and things like that to support their neck or their back. We're constantly having to stop and let somebody get up and move around because they're stiff and things like that.
When it comes down to just anxiety, we have various sedation options. I've done IV sedation in the past. We don't so much anymore because oral sedation works so well, and we've done hundreds, if not thousands, of oral sedation cases. It's something that we do several times every week, and it makes the difference between being fearful and then having a procedure done comfortably and not remembering the appointment at all.
When people are visiting us—we’ve had folks that literally scheduled an appointment for a consultation, they came to the office, they were in the parking lot, and then they drove home. They couldn't get up enough nerve to actually come into the office. So we didn't know that; at the time, they failed. Then later, they called and they apologized, and they came back. We actually saw them, and they told us that story.
Well, then we just tell them that we have sedation options and that you'll be comfortable. We can get more work done in the appointment time. Then, when they're done, they're just very happy. Of course, then they can tell other people—and a lot of folks will come in because of sedation options for them. Then, I think, just basic chair-side technique and being in control of the situation and being assuring and comforting and things like that.
In order to get past any kind of problem, you need to figure out what the source is. Once you have identified where your fear came from, you need to talk through it with someone. This needs to be someone who has a healthy view of dentistry, not someone who also suffers from dental fear. A wonderful option is to come and talk to Dr. Wilhelm. He will listen to what you have experienced and can give you expert feedback on what was going on when your fear was born. You may find that the procedure that caused your fear is no longer in practice or has been changed to lessen any pain it caused.
Can Dr. Wilhelm help me with my dental anxiety?
Besides talking through your dental fear, Dr. Wilhelm will make sure that you are comfortable during your dental procedure. One reason people feel pain at the dentist’s office is that they are not administered enough anesthetic to keep them comfortable. Many dentists give medication based strictly on age, weight, body size, and other physical characteristics. This leads to a very generalized view of how much anesthetic a patient needs to be comfortable during their treatment. Dr. Wilhelm knows that you are not like any other person he treats, and he will make sure that you are given the appropriate amount of medication to keep you pain-free.
What comfort options are available at Mark W. Wilhelm, DMD, MSD?
At Mark W. Wilhelm, DMD, MSD, your comfort is one of our top priorities. We offer pillows and blankets to help you relax and be comfortable in the dental chair. We also have music and videos available to take your mind off of your treatment so that you can get the dental care you need.
What types of sedation are available?
- Nitrous Oxide – This is the mildest form of sedation available. You will be relaxed and comfortable during your treatment. You may feel drowsy, but you will be able to participate in your own treatment if needed. Nitrous wears off quickly following your appointment and will allow you to drive yourself home.
- Oral – Your sedation level can range from mild to moderate with our oral sedation. You will arrive an hour before your appointment to take your sedation (in pill form). Oral sedation will put you on the edge of sleep, or you may even fall asleep. However, you will be able to respond to commands. This type of sedation is effective for most all procedures. The effects of this type of sedation will take several hours to wear off following your appointment. This means you will need a ride home.
- IV Sedation – With this level of sedation, we can adjust the sedative effects throughout the process based on what you need. You will be asleep during the procedure and will need some time following to recover. Again, you will need a ride home.
- General Anesthesia – This is the highest level of sedation we offer, and you will be totally asleep. It will take a little time for you wake up following your procedure, and you will definitely need several hours following to get back to normal.