Q. Does your office offer gas (nitrous oxide) to control nervousness or anxiety?
A. While it is not unusual for some of us to be more or less uncomfortable visiting the dentist, I believe that good communication between doctor and the patient is key. One needs to know what is planned, why, and how procedures can be accomplished. This can bolster the patient's knowledge and confidence. There are many, less invasive procedures, some of which don't require local anesthesia. Nitrous oxide is not as widely used or available for routine procedures as in the past. For those requiring an anti-anxiety agent, an appropriate oral prescription can be taken a short time prior to the appointment. We prefer that a driver be available to the patient before and after the procedure.
Q. I only go to the dentist when I'm in pain, but the treatments always seem to hurt. I hate to be so afraid. What can I do?
A. The best approach to optimal dental or medical care is to be preemptive or preventative and not wait for a crisis to erupt. Certain chemicals like prostaglandins; given off when there is marked pain, inflammation or infection, sometimes interfere with the effectiveness of local anesthesia. In such a case, often an anti-inflammatory medication such as Advil and, possibly, an antibiotic should be taken for a day or so before solving the problem. From then on, things should be smooth sailing.
Q. Why should I come in every 6 months?
A. Re-care appointments are important for the prevention and early detection of dental problems. This saves you time, money and discomfort in the long run. The insurance companies encourage them because it saves them money as well. There is a segment of the population that needs more monitoring and need to visit us every 3 to 4 months.