Relax, You’re in Good Hands: Dealing with the Stress of Having a Procedure
We understand the anxiety people feel when they go to the dentist, especially an oral surgeon. Maybe you had a traumatic dental experience in your past or you simply don’t enjoy the feeling of someone’s hands in your mouth. The thought of undergoing mouth “surgery” can lead to feeling even more apprehensive.
A consultation with one of our doctors is the first step toward making sure you feel confident and reassured. By speaking with you in advance of surgery, we can delve deeper. What we often find is that a patient’s anxiety stems from more deep-seated concerns.
Patients don’t come into our office because they want “surgery.” They come to see us because they either want to get out of pain or desire to rejuvenate their mouth to a more healthy state that they remember from their past or that they always desired to attain.
These desires, however, come packaged with fears as well: Will the procedure itself be more painful that the pain I’m currently experiencing? Will my problem ultimately get fixed? Will my mouth look and function the way that I want it to in the end?
Both of our doctors begin our consultation appointments by doing a lot of listening. We need to find out what your chief complaints are and we need to address those concerns as we propose treatment.
For instance, some patients desire unawareness of the surgeries they are planning to pursue. In other words, “You gotta knock me out, Doc!” As oral surgeons, we are well-trained anesthesia practitioners, certified by the state dental board to provide in-office sedation for our procedures.
However, for other patients, the thought of sedation is more anxiety-provoking than the surgery itself. In those instances, we can tailor the proposed anesthesia treatment plan to the desires of the patient…deep sedation for some, light sedation for others or, for those who prefer awareness, keeping the patient awake during the procedure.
Every procedure carries surgical risk, and providing informed consent is an important part of the consultation discussion as well. Fortunately, the most common oral surgery risks are temporary and completely treatable.
Dry sockets, while painful, can often be effectively managed by a quick post-operative visit. Wound infections, while unpredictable, often respond to appropriate antibiotic therapy. The body’s healing properties more often than not work in our favor to ultimately provide patients with the desired outcome.
In instances where our patients experience less common and more difficult to manage outcomes, we are there to shepherd them through their recovery. We are committed to managing any complications. You are not alone and should never feel that way under our care.
In some cases, we will redo our procedures for free to ensure that patients achieve the desired results. If we can’t remedy an undesired or unforeseen outcome, we will refer our patients to the appropriate specialists to guide them to an acceptable solution. We maintain a dialogue with our referring dentists and work with them throughout your treatment to assist them with your comprehensive care.
We constantly evaluate our performance and we appreciate feedback from our patients so that we know both what you liked about your care with us and what suggestions you have for improvement.
All of this information, we hope, helps you feel more at ease about visiting the oral surgeon. We look forward to seeing you soon in our office!