Category Archives: Cater to Cowards

Bravery in a Pill

I’m at my wits end with my wife. She has a cavity. Her first one. You’d think she’d be grateful she made it this many years (she’s 49) without one. Instead, she’s been skulking around the house for days moaning about how she can’t go through with it. It’s not like she has a choice. But, I’m afraid she really is going to wig out when she gets there or just cancel her appointment. I want this over with. is there anything a dentist can give a coward so I can make sure she goes through with this?

Dan B. – Camden, Arkansas

Dan,

I want to tell you a story.

A woman and her husband interrupted their vacation to go to the dentist. “I want a tooth pulled, and I don’t want Novacaine because I’m in a big hurry,” the woman said. “Just extract the tooth as quickly as possible, and we’ll be on our way.” The dentist was quite impressed. “You’re certainly a courageous woman,” he said. “Which tooth is it?” The woman turned to her husband and said, “Show him your tooth, dear.”

It’s easy to be brave when something isn’t happening to you. Your wife isn’t being irrational. Look at it from her perspective. She’s never had a cavity, so she doesn’t know what to expect. The unknown can be very frightening. When you don’t have personal experience or information about something, your mind tries to fill in the blanks. For instance, you might imagine the things you see on television about dental work are true. Most of pop-culture demonize dentists. If she’s picturing somethings she’s heard about or seen on television, it could be a horror film scene in her mind.

Anxiety can make treatment go south quickly. The key will be getting her relaxed. There are dentists who specialize in helping frightened patients. These dentists usually use some form of sedation dentistry. If your dentist isn’t one of them, I’d find one who is. You don’t want this one experience to keep her from the dentist in future years. It can put the whole of her health at risk.

The most common form of sedation is nitrous, but her anxiety is too high for that to be effective. She’s going to need oral conscious sedation. Because of that, she’ll need someone to take her to and from her appointment, as well as stay with her throughout the day. She’ll be unsteady on her feet and in danger of hurting herself from a fall.

I realize this seems silly to you, but it is very real to her. Try to imagine something that would terrify you which other people think is easy.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Dentist Abused Me While I Was Under

I went to a dentist who advertised as catering to cowards. I thought that meant he’d be compassionate. In reality, he was a jerk. The only thing he did to help with my dental fear is drug me. Unfortunately, for him, I recorded the whole session with a personal recorder I keep handy.  I have trust issues.  He spent the entire procedure saying crude things to his co-workers about me.  Here’s my dilemma. The drugs help and I need more work done. But, I will NOT go back to this dentist. Are they all the same?

Laura H. – Mississippi

Laura,

What an awful experience! I’m disgusted you had to endure that. Having to listen to crude things being said about you while you were in such a vulnerable position must have felt so violating.  I want you to know in no uncertain terms that this “cater to cowards” dentist is a jerky anomaly.

Most dentists who specifically advertise to treat fearful patients do so because they care. They want to help fearful patients have positive experiences so they’re comfortable getting the dental care they need and deserve.

Do some internet research on dentists who treat fearful patients. Aside from the cater to cowards term you searched earlier, you can also look under sedation dentist.  After you make a list of dentists, I’d also check out their reviews. Sometimes reading what other’s experiences are can give you a gut feeling about someone.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

How Do I Deal with My Husband’s Dental Anxiety?

I have a two-pronged problem with my husband. He has a toothache. However, he suffers from dental anxiety. He’d never admit that, of course. Instead, he blames finances. A couple of years ago, he was laid off. He’s since found a new position, but he keeps saying we need to catch up financially before he indulges in a dental appointment. I’m sure it’s his dental anxiety. How can I help him?

Vicki E. – Delaware

Vicki,

Your husband is not the first man to struggle with dental anxiety. If you combine that with financial anxiety then you have your hands full getting him to go. However, I have some help for you.

There are dentists who cater to fearful patients. They’re not only sensitive to their fears, but can provide a sedation option if necessary.

There is a way to help his financial anxiety as well. Many dentists understand that people with dental anxiety avoid the dentist, which causes them to need more work than they would otherwise have needed. As a result, they’ve made provisions to help them with payments.

Let him know of these options. It may ease his way back.  It is important he gets his toothache looked at. If it’s an infection it will spread.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Dealing with Dental Anxiety with Wine

I’ve struggled with dental anxiety in the past. It’s been getting worse every time. The last time, I left the waiting room before my appointment.  Drinking wine often relaxes me when I’m extremely anxious. Would it be okay if I drank some before my appointment?

Maelen – Denver

Maelen,

While it is fine to drink some wine, you need to be sure you tell your dentist. It will interfere with some medications he might need to give you, so it’s important he’s aware of everything you’ve taken.

I may have a better solution for you. Dental anxiety is not uncommon. Because of that, many dentists offer sedation dentistry. It’s a way for you to have a pain-free appointment.

There are several levels of sedation: nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation, and IV sedation.  Talk with your dentist about your level of anxiety. That will help determine which type of sedation will serve you best.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Dealing with Dental Fear After Cancer

I just finished by third round of chemotherapy and I’ve been cleared for now, but the treatment did a number on my teeth. Not only are they in the worse shape of my life, but they hurt all the time. I know I need to see a dentist, but I’m feeling like a coward right now because of how much they hurt. Is there  a way to deal with this without more pain?

Elaine K. – Delaware

I want to say first, that you are in no way a coward. You have gone through a hell on earth with your chemotherapy treatment and are still willing to face the dentist even though you are in so much pain.

Dental issues are very common after cancer treatment.  Chemotherapy can destroy your enamel, leaving you highly susceptible to decay, cause oral sores and leave your whole mouth feeling painful.

 

If I were in your place, I’d look for a dentist who uses dental sedation. That can give you a pain free appointment, while actually getting more than the normal amount of work done.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Help! I have an irrational fear of needles

I’m really hoping you can help me. I have an irrational fear of needles. A seriously irrational fear. I passed out when I had to have my tetnus shot updated for a trip. I have a toothache. I know I need to see a dentist, but I’m positive I’m going to end up needing a local anesthetic. I can’t bear the thought. Is there anything that can help me with this? I don’t want to let my teeth get damaged, but I can’t do a needle either.

Brenda M. – California

Brenda,

Don’t feel badly. You’re not the only one who has a fear of the needles. When there is a dental patient with fear as severe as yours, I generally recommend oral conscious sedation. There are no needles required and you can have a completely pain free dental appointment.

Before any dental work is done, you’re given a pill to take. This pill will relax you. Completely relax you. In fact, you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

If at that point your dentist still needs to do a local anesthetic, you won’t feel it. It will be the best time you’ve ever had at the dentist.

Ideally, you want someone who is DOCS certified, like Dr. Theriot. You can read more about that on our cater to cowards webpage.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Loose tooth because I am a coward

I’ve got a loose tooth. Not because I did anything to it, but because I’m a coward. I haven’t been to the dentist in years. I know I’m the cause of the loose tooth, but don’t know how to get myself through the dentist’s doors.

Angela B. – Franklin, TN

Angela,

You’re not alone in your fear of the dentist. Many Americans avoid the dentist and only go as a last resort. Of course, avoiding the dentist is what causes the last restort to begin with.

That tooth will need to be splinted if it’s not already too late to save it. I have a solution for you, and it may prevent you from loosing any teeth, but you’ll need to go to the dentist’s quickly.

What you want is a dentist that caters to patients with dental fears. Often you’ll find they do some form of sedation dentistry. This will give you a completely pain free dental appointment, from start to finish.

There is an additional upside to this for you. Sedation allows you to get a lot more work done than you normally would be able to in one appointment.

Because you’ve been away for so long, you’re likely to need quite a bit of work.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Can I bring someone with me to the dentist?

I’m afraid of dental procedures. Always have been. I manage to get through cleanings, but it takes a lot out of me and I usually end up having to have a drink afterwards. I have to have a more serious procedure and I don’t think I can get through it alone.  Do you think I could bring someone with me for some moral support. I think without that, I’ll end up passing out.

Ashley F. – Pennsylvania

Ashley,

In all honesty, it depends on the dentist you go to. Each of us run our practice and operatory a little differently.  You’re not alone with your dental anxiety. Many Americans feel the same way.

Let me assure you that there are dentists that are compassionate with fearful patients. Many of them will let you bring someone with you.

One thing I would also look into, if I were in your position, is sedation dentistry. You could have totally pain free dental appointments, which should eliminate your fear.  You likely won’t even need to bring a friend.  Talk to a compassionate dentist about it and see what you think.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Help! Sedation didn’t work for me

I have some dental anxiety. I avoided the dentist for a long time. Then I developed a problem. My friends knew I was in pain and that I’m a total coward about dentists. They suggested sedation dentistry. They said I’d have a dental appointment without feeling anything. Either they lied or I’m immune to sedation, because the nitrous oxide did NOTHING. Is there anything that can help me, because I still have the dental problem that needs to be dealt with. The appointment was too painful to continue, so I left.

Maggie D. – Minn.

Maggie,

You are not the only dental coward I’ve heard from. Before you despair, I have great news that will enable you to get the care you need.

Nitrous oxide is just meant to take the edge off mildly anxious patients. It sounds to me like you have more substantial anxiety, which is why it didn’t work.

What you need is oral conscious sedation. This is much stronger than nitrous oxide. I promise that not only will you have a pain free appointment, but you will be completely relaxed. It’s possible you won’t even remember the appointment.

Yay!

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.

 

Scared of sedation, but scared of the dentist

I’m terrified of the dentist. Absolutely terrified. I’ve had friends tell me that sedation is a haven for people like me, but I’m actually scared of the idea of sedation. What if I don’t wake up?  Can you help this total coward?

Lori E. – South Dakota

Lori,

You’re not alone in your fear, either of the dentist or of not waking up.  The sedation you use with a dentist is different than that of surgery. In surgery, you’re not conscious. Dental sedation, your are still conscious, but are completely pain free.

Don’t worry, even cowards can have safe, pain free dental care. In fact, dentists like Dr. Theriot cater to cowards.

One thing you can look for to put your mind at ease is the dentists sedation qualifications. For instance, Dr. Theriot is DOCS certifified. DOCS is the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation. This training assures the dentist has the training to keep you safe during the procedure.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.