Dentist Blog

Posts for tag: dental anxiety

September 20, 2017
Category: Oral Health

The British Dental Health Foundation says that close to 40 percent of people who shun dental visits do so because of fear so extreme it'sdental fear actually phobic. Are you one of those individuals who will do anything to avoid exams, cleanings and restorations such as fillings? If you are, we have a solution for you in the office of Dr. Paul Culver. Known as Brookfield, WI's gentle dentist, Dr. Culver and his staff truly pamper patients who worry about their dental appointments. Learn about what's different in Dr. Culver's approach to preventive, restorative and cosmetic services for your teeth and gums.

What is dental phobia?

When people suffer from dental phobia, their fear and nervousness exhibit themselves as:

  • Panic attacks
  • Profuse sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Avoidance of dental care altogether

Most dentists have seen patients who have neglected their oral health for so long that tooth roots are fractured and teeth are literally loose and falling out. These are sad situations.

What causes dental phobia?

Dr. Culver says past bad experiences with dentists often ruin people's image of modern dental techniques. Additionally, some individuals may be claustrophobic, hate the sounds of dental instruments (such as the high-speed drill, for instance), or simply cannot sit still in the treatment chair for long periods of time. Whatever the reason, patients oral health and systemic well-being suffer.

What is the solution?

Dr. Culver and his dedicated team treat each and every patient, no matter the age or condition of their teeth and gums, with gentleness and respect. Their treatment rooms are comfortable and bright, and they offer the latest in diagnostic and treatment technologies that make exams, cleanings and restorations a breeze. Additionally, Dr. Culver ensures patient comfort during each and every procedure, utilizing nitrous oxide to relax people and locally injected anesthetics to provide pain-free experiences.

Lastly, your gentle dentist in Brookfield crafts treatment plans with your specific needs and goals in mind. His explanations are clear, and he answers each question carefully. Dr. Culver is known for his patient-centered attitude and excellent listening skills. He's known for putting patients completely at ease.

So, don't wait

If you have been postponing your routine exams and cleanings, or if you are concerned about the health of a tooth, please come to Dr. Culver's friendly dental practice in Brookfield, WI. Your oral health is his priority and so is your comfort. Please call the office team today to schedule an appointment: (262) 782-1655.

By Paul G. Culver, DDS
September 09, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Professional basketball player Lamar Odom is sometimes known as “the candyman” because of his notorious fondness for sweets. But when his sweet tooth finally caught up with him — in the form of a mouthful of decayed teeth — the six-foot-ten-inch, 230-pound hoops star admitted that he had been avoiding treatment… because he was afraid of going to the dentist!

It took two Kardashians (Khloe and Kim) and a painful toothache to finally persuade Odom to sit in the chair. Once he did, it was found that he needed a root canal, a wisdom tooth extraction, and several fillings. Yet the fretful forward sailed through the whole set of procedures in a single visit, and walked out with a big smile afterward. How did his dentists make that happen?

Put it down to the “magic” of sedation dentistry. With anxiety-relieving medications that can be delivered orally (in pill form or by gas) or intravenously (into the bloodstream), the techniques of sedation dentistry can help even the most fearful patients get the dental care they need. That’s good news for about 50 percent of the population, who admit they’re at least somewhat afraid of the dentist — and even better for the 15 percent who avoid dental care completely due to their fear.

Dentists have a number of ways to ease apprehensive patients through a dental visit. An oral anti-anxiety drug can be given in pill form about an hour beforehand. Nitrous oxide (sometimes called “laughing gas”), which is administered by a mask placed over the mouth or nose, may also be used to relieve anxiety. The calming effects of these medications help make any nervousness melt away — and in many circumstances, mild sedation is all that’s needed to ease the fear.

For lengthier or more complex procedures, intravenous (IV) sedation may be recommended. Unlike deeper (unconscious) sedation, IV sedation doesn’t cause “sleep.” Instead, it puts you in a comfortable semi-awake state, where you can still breathe on your own and respond to stimuli… but without feeling any anxiety. And when the procedure is over, you probably won’t have any memory of it at all.

IV sedation can be administered by dentists who are specially trained and equipped with the proper safety equipment. While sedation is being provided, you will be monitored at all times by a dedicated staff member; when it’s over, you will rest for a while as the medication quickly wears off. Then (as is the case with oral sedation), you’ll need another person to give you a ride home.

Does sedation dentistry really work? Lamar Odom thinks so. “I feel so much better,” he said when his 7-hour procedure was over. “I feel like I accomplished something.”

If you would like more information about sedation dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Sedation Dentistry.”