Addressing Dental Anxiety and Phobia
Drs. Jason and Alex Hecht are sympathetic toward their patients with dental anxiety and dental phobia. They reach out to fearful patients and try to create a comfortable, relaxing environment and offer conscious sedation. Both doctors are licensed in conscious sedation and are happy to offer this service to patients who might have otherwise not received the treatment they need.
Dr. Jason Hecht: One of the things that keeps people from coming to the dental office is, of course, dental fear, which is a huge thing. Almost everyone in the world is going to have some type of dental apprehension, and the degree to which they have that dental apprehension at some point will keep people from going to the dentist in the first place. What happens when someone doesn't go to the dentist for months, years, they might even have a problem developing. They might even feel a problem developing. They might even have pain in a tooth that just keeps getting worse and worse. Of course, the rational thing to do would be to treat that tooth and get it taken care of with what's available in the dental world, but the dental fear takes over. And the dental fear from maybe an experience when they were younger or from just an experience that they had recently just creates this aura of pain and anxiety. When you even think about the word dentist, when you even think about the word tooth and you just know that they just feel like even going, stepping their foot into the door is just going to be a painful experience. So we try to reach out to these people, these people who through no other way than someone reaching out to them, they're just going to be in more and more pain. And they're going to lose more and more teeth because they don't seek that help because of the fear of what's going to happen at the dental office. Dr. Alex Hecht: We do offer conscious sedation, which is a way of sedating a patient. When they're here they get medicated to a point where they're somewhat awake, they sort of know what's going on, but because of the conscious sedation the next time they come in they don't even remember that they were here. I mean, they know they had stuff done because they see the stuff in their mouth. That's actually one of the areas that we excel in. We're both licensed and qualified in conscious sedation and we use it, I would say, on 25% of these large cases. Dr. Jason Hecht: Yeah, and what they realize is it's not the painful, unpleasant experience of being in a dental office. What they get out of it is the new teeth. They come in, they get very relaxed and all they remember is coming in and being relaxed. Then they walk out with their new set of teeth without that fear. Well, people don't want to take their situation so seriously. They want to know that we're affectionately calling them cowards. We're not. . . Dr. Alex Hecht: And they come in, they say, "You do cater to cowards, don't you? I mean, that sign is for real isn't it?" They want to make sure that it's not a. . . Although, it is sort of comical, they want to make sure that we mean that. Dr. Jason Hecht: Because they say, "I am a coward. I do need to be catered to." Dr. Alex Hecht: And that's like, it gives them the opening of asking for it and then we just do.