Dentistry for those who fear the Dentist

This video on dentistry for dentist fear or dental phobia was created in our Dental Anxiety Dental Fear office.

Hi this is Dr. Jeff Dorfman at The Center for Special Dentistry in New York City talking about dental fear, dental phobia, why people don’t like going to the dentist. And I cannot understand why you would not want to come to a dentist like me! But let me give you a few ideas of what makes people afraid and how we can take care of it most simply. One of the most common reasons why people are afraid of the dentist is dentists don’t give patients enough time to get numb before the dentistry begins. An explanation of that is, imagine you had a tough day at work and you are meeting your friends for happy hour and you’ve had your first few sips of wine, and after a few sips of wine you’re not yet feeling relaxed. But it might take 10 or 15 minutes to talk to your friend and drink a little bit more wine before you finally go “Ahhhhh! I feel more relaxed!” And dental novocaine is really the same way. Once you give it, it could take 10 or 15 minutes—sometimes 20 minutes—before the full impact of the novocaine begins to work. At The Center for Special Dentistry, we actually leave our patients with enough time to get numb, so by the time we begin, they will be comfortable. Conversely, if you’re working in a dental practice that has to do high volume dentistry, and get patients in and out of a dental chair in 30 minutes for example, they don’t have the time to give you 15 minutes to get numb. All they can do is give you novocaine and then right away begin working, and that actually becomes a problem. So that’s one thing you want to know. Other things you need to know that could help you take care of dentistry, is you can always have laughing gas. Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, is very effective (a) in augmenting or adding to the anesthetic benefit of novocaine. It also is an anxiolytic, which means it reduces anxiety, and the third great benefit of nitrous oxide or laughing gas is that you also lose sensation of time. So if you are in the dental chair for two hours, for example, for a more complex procedure, you actually (when the gas is turned off) might not really feel like you were in the dental chair for that long. These are some things that could actually make you feel more comfortable in dentistry if you came to The Center for Special Dentistry.