I can admit that I haven’t taken the best care of my teeth over the years. But, I’ve really been trying to turn things around the last several years. The problem is I get so worked up that I lose sleep for days before an appointment and then I usually end up cancelling it. I’m a mess when I do go and it is so embarrassing.
I recently had to get a deep cleaning, some crowns and fillings. I thought I was going to have a panic attack. But somehow I managed to get through it.
The bad news is that my avoidance of the dentist means I now need to get a couple dental implants. I’m doomed! Do you have any advice on how to find implant dentists that are good for patients with dental fear. I haven’t been able to find one or the other. It seems there are ones that specialize in dental anxiety and others that do dental implants. I can’t seem to find one that deals with both.
-Jill in South Dakota
Unfortunately, sedation dentistry and implant dentistry are not recognized specialty areas within dentistry. This means that there isn’t a certain designation, however it means that any general dentist can offer these treatments. They can become experts in one or both areas by pursuing specialized training.
So, to find the best implant dentist, you will need to check out the dentist’s experience, education and training, and ask to see their portfolio of work for cases similar to yours. A successful implant dentist will have a very high success rate, up to 98% or better. You definitely want to make sure that the dentist you choose has the best dental implant experience in your area.
Then, you can start asking them about their treatment protocol for fearful patients. If the dentist offers sleep dentistry or sedation dentistry, that usually means they understand fearful patients and are empathetic toward putting them at ease.
In this case, it is best to make implant dentistry your focus. Then, once you find one or two that seem like a good fit, schedule a consultation and ask more information about how they treat dental anxiety. They may also be able to refer you to another dentist who may specialize in both areas of expertise.
Good luck! It’s good to hear that you are beginning to keep up with your regular care.
Donald H. Currie, DMD is a dentist in York, PA that is experienced in implant dentistry, as well as cosmetic dentistry and general preventive care.