Gentle dentistry is all about making the patient feel as comfortable as possible. A gentle dentist balances the best oral care with an approach that eases any patient anxieties.
To ensure this outcome, gentle dentistry requires that dentists combine skills, new technologies, and a complete awareness of the patient’s mindset.
At Parrish-Childs Dentistry, we understand that the mere thought of a dentist visit causes angst for some patients. That’s why we offer gentle dentistry services – to guarantee your dental health while keeping your mental health calm and collected.
Our focus is on you, no matter your age or oral health situation. So, you determine the level of care we need to provide. As a practice that believes in gentle dentistry, we have all the capabilities to ensure that, no matter your stress level, we will help you deal with any dentist visit with ease. Our gentle dental care includes care for patients of all ages. In fact, we offer gentle family dentistry care alongside our general dentistry services.
That may mean we utilize a form of sedation dentistry during your visit, or it may just mean that our calming and relaxed atmosphere inside our offices is enough to put your fears at rest. Whatever it takes, we are trained and ready to help you achieve your best smile.
For instance, we will talk with you before your first visit so that we are ready to meet your needs. If you require some form of sedation as part of your gentle dental care, we offer a whole range of options, including:
Nitrous oxide – Known as “laughing gas,” this mild sedative is delivered through a mask placed on your nose. Nitrous oxide helps you relax, and it wears off quickly.
Oral sedation – A step up from laughing gas, this relatively mild option requires that you take a pill prior to your visit (such as a Valium), which relaxes you but allows you to stay awake for your visit (you will require a driver before and after your visit).
IV sedation – This moderate option allows us to medicate you through a vein, works fast, and will most likely allow you to sleep through your visit (you will require a driver after your visit).
These sedation techniques and services are not the only avenues of gentle dentistry, however.
Other Comforts of Gentle Dentistry
Because gentle dentistry is a total approach to dental care, we look at every possible angle to can make your experience as soothing as possible. That means comfort. From the waiting room to the examination chair, we have thought of everything to make you as relaxed as you can be.
That’s why gentle dental services include features like massage chairs, neck pillows, refreshments, lip balm, blankets, and scented facecloths.
We also offer a choice of music, or television (shows and movies) to keep you occupied.
Dental Phobia and Dental Anxiety
If the thought of a dentist visit makes you nervous, you’re not alone. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic notes that “About 36% of people in the U.S. have a fear of dental treatment, with 12% having an extreme fear. About 3% of adults in industrialized countries may have dentophobia and avoid going to the dentist at all.”
The reasons for dental anxiety and dentophobia often stem from bad experiences as a child – such as pain and discomfort during a dental visit. But they can also derive from embarrassment (fear of what a dentist may say about your teeth or breath, for example), or mental health concerns (some people are just naturally fearful of doctors and dentist visits).
There is no need to be ashamed if you experience any nerves when the word “dentist” comes up. In fact, that’s why gentle dentistry exists – because dentists and oral health care providers realize that your dental health is important enough that they’re willing to do anything to help you obtain optimum dental health and a winning smile.
We do not judge. In fact, we do everything in our power to make our patients feel welcome and comfortable.
Questions to Ask Your Dentist about Gentle Dentistry
If you’re interested in gentle dentistry, you should ask your dentist and their staff about it either during your next visit or – even better – over the phone before your next visit.
They will have several questions for you that will help them determine the best way to treat you. However, you should also ask some questions of your dentist. And if you want to know more about gentle dentistry, ask your dentist these questions:
How do you define gentle dentistry?
What techniques or technology do you use in gentle dentistry?
What do I need to do to prepare for gentle dentistry?
Does gentle dentistry cost more during a visit?
Does your dentist have specific training?
While there is no special certification required to offer gentle dentistry, there is some very specific training that is required.
In general, a gentle dentist must be willing to work with patients who present a broad range of anxieties – requiring patience, an open mind, and a commitment to care. He or she must also know how to work with sedation and treat patients with a light touch while also delivering quality oral health care.
Gentle dentistry also requires that a dentist offer the latest and least invasive technologies so that patients experience the most comfort possible.
Does your dentist invest in new technology?
It is much more difficult for a dentist who relies on older technologies to provide gentle dentistry. That’s because older technologies are often larger and more invasive – which necessarily causes more discomfort when in use.
The latest dental technology is designed both for patient and doctor, providing care with comfort.
That means gentle dentists may offer options such as:
- SD CT scanning – This easily employed technology provides a view of your mouth and supporting structures that is more comprehensive than that provided by digital X-rays. And it requires less work for the patient than older-style X-rays.
- Intraoral cameras – These cameras produce high-resolution images of your mouth in real-time so that the dentist can provide you with more effective care. They are also unobtrusive and quick so that the patient is not holding their mouth in an awkward position for any length of time.
Does your dentist recommend new treatments?
During gentle dentistry, your dentist may alter or change the way in which they provide treatments. They may also add new treatments or aspects of treatment, such as sedation, or new technology.
Does your dentist have a welcoming practice?
Gentle dentistry is all about making the patient feel welcome. So, if they do not have a welcoming practice, you may not expect them to practice gentle dentistry. If you’re looking for a gentle dentist practitioner, judge how they welcome you in person and on the phone.
How To Make Dentistry Gentle On The Pocket Book
Ask your dentist about the costs associated with gentle dentistry – and check with your dental plan provider to determine if they offer any special plans or pricing for the additional treatments that often come with gentle dentistry. Many dentists also offer special pricing and payment plans to accommodate gentle dentistry patients.
Gentle Dentistry Involves Your Whole Dental Experience
Gentle dentistry is not just something to be used on specific appointments, it is part of an entire approach to dentistry – one focused on putting even the most nervous patient at ease. At Parrish-Childs Dentistry we excel in making everyone welcome and comfortable, while also providing the utmost in dental health that fits your budget.
If you’re interested in gentle dentistry or have questions, please call Parrish-Childs Dentistry today at 770-536-0581 and let us help set your mind at ease while helping you achieve your best smile. We are taking new patients and would love to show you what are current patients already know about our comfort and care.