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locating sympathetic dentist?

C

Clem

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Apr 24, 2006
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I am ready to find a new dentist--my current one is good, but doesn't do nitrous or anything stronger than valium (which doesn't work for me). In a town with >100 dentists, how do you find one that is good with high anxiety patients and is actually competent? I wrote to the state ADA--no response. I called the college of dentistry--they won't recommend anyone outside the college, and NO ONE there uses nitrous. IV sedation, yes, but I don't think I need that. Besides, I can't afford the hours that would take. My dentist referred me to someone else for a crown who used nitrous, but i didn't like him--he didn't let the nitrous work long enough to make the horrid shot tolerable, and his staff was rude and horrible. I have a couple recommendations from friends--do I call and set up an interview? Is there a listing somewhere? Start working through the phone book? It's kind of intimidating.
 
R

RP

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Have you tried our Find-a-dentist page. There's also some great tips here:


I started with emails (to ones that offered sedation) and then had a consult visit. You can also try Dr.Oogle and google dentist reviews by a particular name.

Its too bad you have to switch if you trust your dentist, perhaps your GP can help with an anti-anxiety med prescription.

rp
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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You could try and see if there's any dentists who use the Wand in your area (Milestone Scientific have a locator on their website.

Personal recommendations are usually the best way though, especially when they come from people who used to be nervous about dentists (and injections) but have found someone they trust.

Having a look around a number of offices can also help to form a picture and I'd highly recommend this.

Once you've got a short-list, try emailing the dentists on the shortlist, describe your issues, and ask how (not if) they can help you. See what types of replies you get back. The replies can give valuable clues as to their personality and their ability to provide gentle painfree treatment.
 
C

Clem

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Thanks for the input. I have looked at your find-a-dentist page, and there's not much in my state, and nothing in my city. I would like to stay local if possible. I have googled dentists in my area, but they all SAY they are gentle--but are they? I suspect it's just a line to suck you in. And very few advertise nitrous. And fewer offer email contact. Most of the reviews available are negative, so I know who to avoid, but it seems that if patients like them they don't really fill out the review stuff. So I think it will be a lot of phone calling and hit-and-miss stuff.

I do not trust anti-anxiety meds. Valium does VERY LITTLE for me--it lasts about 5-10 minutes, and then I'm stuck with an ongoing procedure and no relief (meaning I experience full-blown all the little details and noises and sensations, which is what I'm trying to avoid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Although Halcion was mentioned once, he never offered it again and even avoided it when I brought it up. I am so sick of having to tough it out with him, especially when he says things like "Oh, this one is a piece of cake." It says to me he really doesn't understand squat. And I don't think I need the hammer of IV sedation, which is moot because he doesn't offer it anyway.

I did finally call my daughter's pediatric dentist, because years after my daughter changed to an adult dentist she commented about the Happy Gas of Dr. Mary, which kind of astounded me, it had never been mentioned before. And she (the doc) did recommend someone in town, so I'll be chatting with him in the next few weeks.

If I was looking for a painter I could check the BBB and get all kinds of references with no problem. But finding someone to look after your health is this hush-hush, secretive undertaking--just the opposite of what it should be.

And I don't get the ADA not responding. Jerks.
 
brit

brit

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Websites: avoid those stating 'we cater to cowards' /'as comfortable as possible' = diddly squat.

Google for: painless local delivery, painless anaesthetic, painfree care/ treatment/topical, the Wand, comfortable injection, and make sure when you find a page 'the painless' doesn't just relate to when you are sedated. Gentle (chairside manner) although good is not the same as 'painfree technique'.

My gem came up under: 'painless (insert town) dentist'. Maybe someone unrushed and with nitrous is the key thing for you though.
The occasional one advertises that they 'see one patient at a time' meaning they are not rushing between patients in a drive for efficiency and production.

It is not common for them to boast about their comfortable injection technique so the ones who do, usually can deliver it.

Visiting promising premises is good if you can do it, you can eliminate loads on the spot that way. If you are at all picky re layout etc it is a good method.
Best of luck.
 
C

Clem

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After much procrastination and fits and starts in this search, I finally called my daughter's former pediatric dentist and asked for a recommendation, thinking that a good one can recognize another good one. I called last week and of course, they are out at a CE conference. But I have a short meet and greet this week, so we'll see. He does offer nitrous upon request.

Ads in this town are minimal. And no one apparently will be caught dead advertising painfree techniques, because that implies that there might be pain involved at times, and the whole dental field is in major denial about that, as we all know. Very few are rated, and those are the bad ones. I have not been able to find anyone with a combination of the wand and nitrous. For the most part, personal recommendations are not reliable, unless you know someone with the same anxiety issues, they all say "oh, he's great", just a superficial thing. And I won't take my husband's recommendations any more, he does fillings without any local of any kind, the masochist. And the College of Dentistry here will not make recommendations outside the college, probably for liability issues, the cowards. And no one at the college does nitrous, only IV, which I really don't think I need.

In any case, I hoping he'll be OK. My plan is to have my last regular visit with my dentist in March, then transfer records and be done with this.

Whew. My heart was pounding while making the call to the new guy.
 
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brit

brit

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We'll keep everything crossed for you then :thumbsup:.
I wholeheartedly agree with you that if you are doing the personal recommendations thing, the person you take the recommendation from has to be on the right page as well.
They don't have to be a fellow phobic but they do have to have the same comfort standards. e.g. I would avoid a dentist who did (painful) stuff without LA (even if they were willing to give me local) because I don't want to be worked on by someone who would knowingly inflict unnecessary pain on another person.
The best way to get painfree care is to find a dentist who cares about their reputation in the comfort department whether for altruistic reasons or not. Someone who treats their patients as they would their Mum lol.
Why do you need to go back to the other dentist? Can't you just transfer your records? Or do you want to explain why you are leaving - brave lady if you do :respect:.
 
C

Clem

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I'm going back because it seems the decent thing to do. He's been as good to me as he knows how to be, I think, but I just can't do the valium thing any more--it doesn't work. And I do love the hygienist. They do deserve to know why I'm leaving.
 
C

Clem

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That's a fantastic thought--wonder if they'd go for that?
 
C

Clem

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So I met this new guy and I think I'm going to make the switch. He's in a family practice, just him and his dad, a receptionist and one assistant. The thing I noticed right away was how quiet it was there, compared to the veritable beehive of my current place. That should be nice. I liked him, he's taught at the local dental college, seems to be sympathetic, so I think it's worth a try at least. He offers nitrous on request for an extra fee, which is fine with me. The important thing is that he seems to be willing to work with me. We'll do a couple of cleanings with nitrous so I can get to know what to expect with it, and then I'll be ready, I hope, if and when work needs done. Whew. It was tough getting this done--so much easier to keep putting it off.
 
brit

brit

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Congrats Clem :jump:
I really hope it works out perfectly this time. Did you share your main 'disapppointments' with the other place?
 
C

Clem

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As much as I felt appropriate. There's a line between expressing what went wrong at the other place before it just comes across as complaining/whining and I didn't want to start off that way. We'll see. I think it'll be easier to pick up on problems and make changes now.
 
C

Clem

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So I had my final visit with my old dentist, broke the news, exchanged warm fuzzies, etc., it's all good. Except that I have a broken filling, lower bicuspid, that needs to be fixed ASAP. Crap. I guess I'll find out SOON how well this new guy is going to work out--I may as well just have him do it rather than muck around with Valium (that doesn't work) and the "old" guy or someone else temporary (that was such a success last time--Not). I had planned to have a couple of cleanings with nitrous to get used to it before I had to have "real" work done. So goes the plans of mice and men, I guess.............

God, I hate that hideous shot.
 
brit

brit

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So I had my final visit with my old dentist, broke the news, exchanged warm fuzzies, etc., it's all good. Except that I have a broken filling, lower bicuspid, that needs to be fixed ASAP. Crap. I guess I'll find out SOON how well this new guy is going to work out--I may as well just have him do it rather than muck around with Valium (that doesn't work) and the "old" guy or someone else temporary (that was such a success last time--Not). I had planned to have a couple of cleanings with nitrous to get used to it before I had to have "real" work done. So goes the plans of mice and men, I guess.............

God, I hate that hideous shot.
Let's hope you are pleasantly surprised then... good luck
 
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