I haven’t always taken the best care of my teeth, but I’ve gotten much better over the years. I really hate going to the dental office and get terrible anxiety- not your average anxiety either. I pace in the waiting room, I can’t bear to sit in the chair and wait for the dentist, and I even sweat up a storm. Somehow, I made it through most of my reconstructive work, which included a deep cleaning, a couple of crowns, and some fillings. However, my avoidance of the dental office cost me two teeth- one towards the front and one all the way in back. I want to replace them, but I’m not sure how to go about looking for the best implant dentist for patients with anxiety. It seems to me that most doctors offer one service or the other, but not both together. Is there a trick to finding the best implant dentist for someone in my situation, or do I have to choose between someone who is either great with anxious patients or someone who is truly the best implant dentist?
Martin in Connecticut
Let’s start with the basics. There are only nine specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, and none of them relate to dental implants or treating anxious patients. This is actually a good thing, because it means that any general dentist can go through additional training, and become experts in either (or both!) types of treatment.
In terms of finding the best implant dentist, you’ll want to look for someone who has lots of experience, and who has a successful track record. Naturally, those who have the most training and practical experience will have a very high success rate- as high as 98-99%. You can also ask for before and after photos of their real patients, so you can see firsthand what their finished restorations look like. This way, you’re able to evaluate his cosmetic and mechanical skill levels.
It takes a special kind of doctor to treat anxious patients. Generally, if you see that an office provides “sedation dentistry” services, it’s a sign that the doctor is familiar with the psychology behind anxiety, and that he takes extra steps to set his patients at ease. You don’t necessarily have to take advantage of to it, but seeing “caters to cowards,” “gentle dentistry,” or “sleep dentistry” alongside his traditional services, should indicate that the doctor will go the extra mile to set the right atmosphere for you and will be understanding if you need time to settle in.
Before you book an appointment, have a look around the websites of prospective offices and look for the signs that he’s the best implant dentist around (experience, skills, photos) and also that he provides additional services for those who suffer from dental anxiety. Don’t hesitate to call and ask questions if you’re not sure, and take advantage of consultations to make sure that you mesh well with the doctor you choose.
This post is sponsored by Cleveland dentist Hylan Dental Care.