5932 Hubbard Drive
Rockville, MD 20852
4901 Seminary Road, Suite 120
Alexandria, VA 22311
1901 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Suite 905
Washington, DC 20006
Dr Vladyslav Ovcharenko , D.D.S. DMD PC
13880 Braddock Rd Ste 109
Centreville, VA, 20121
Strittmatter, Edward J D.D.S.
5957 Centreville Crest Ln
Centreville, VA, 20121-2344
Dr Laura Pierce , D.D.S. DMD PC
1440 Reed Canal Road
Centreville, VA, 20120
Dr William A ODonnell , D.D.S. DMD PC
5675 Stone Rd Ste 205
Centreville, VA, 20120
We'd like to offer one comforting and wonderful fact about today's dentistry: it's much less stressful than it used to be.
Technology, new procedures, and some very sophisticated approaches to dental anesthesia have all contributed to comfortable dentistry, from cleaning to cavity preparations to root canals.
But what if you didn't grow up with modern dentistry, and remember it differently?
If you have had difficult dental experiences, you may be among the 150 million Americans who white-knuckle their way through treatment, or avoid the dentist altogether. The fact is, about 80% of the fearful can overcome dental phobia, with a little help from conscious sedation.
Many dentists understand dental fear and where it comes from. And many are becoming trained in forming good working relationships with fearful patients. Your dentist should encourage you to voice your anxiety and discuss your problems with him or her, before he or she touches a tooth in your mouth.
They should listen to your needs, and agree on small things that help you maintain a sense of control - a hand signal works with some patients. But talking about fear with your dentist - being assertive and letting him or her know what bothers you - is the first step.
If you're moderately anxious, the dental team can provide distracting diversions to put those concerns to rest. If you're extremely anxious, they can virtually put anxiety to rest via oral sedation. This approach involves taking a mild sedative before you arrive for your appointment. You remain awake, but extremely relaxed - so relaxed that many patients have all their needed dental work completed in a single office visit. If dental anxiety has kept you from making an appointment you know is needed - a sedation dentist can help!
Most people are well aware of the value of dental care, but cannot bring themselves to get into their dentist's office and climb into the chair. The reason: fear.
Dental anxiety, unfortunately, is sometimes a shared family experience. Whether it's just a bout of sweaty palms or acute anxiety, the fears and attitudes of parents can easily be passed along to children unintentionally. Perhaps you grew up without the technical advantages available today. Your unpleasant memories can be fierce enough to interfere with family dental education - and health.
Parents can begin to allay phobias - and keep from spreading them around - by examining the source of apprehension. Dental phobia generally hinges on fear of pain, choking, or loss of control. The dental environment might feel overwhelming. Invasion of personal privacy - the mouth - can be frightening. When you schedule an appointment, how do you feel about it? Do you find yourself cancelling appointments at the last minute? Do certain pieces of equipment make you uneasy? A little soul-searching can help pinpoint your fears.
You need to speak frankly with your dentist. Chances are, he'll understand. He'll take time with you to describe new techniques - and there are many - to overcome fear. His dental staff will take special care to respect your feelings and dispel any misgivings.
With some effort, nearly everyone can learn to overcome dental anxiety and relax. The direct benefits - you'll feel more comfortable when you visit, and, if you or your family have been avoiding the dentist altogether, your dental health will begin to improve. Indirectly, you'll offer a positive role model for your family. Take this step for yourself, and the family will follow. Call your dentist today to find out how he can help.