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    Are your patients terrified of visiting your practice?

    Some people hate going to the dentist—but here’s one possible solution to help patients feel safe and cared for.

    With its magical powers rivaling duct tape and WD-40, superglue is an essential do-it-yourself tool in your armamentarium. If it’s broken, superglue can fix it.

    While I often find myself using superglue to fix random things around the house, I never thought this same logic applied to teeth. But that is not the case for Angela, a resident of Cheshire, United Kingdom. Captured in a recent documentary series on BBC entitled “The Truth About Your Teeth”, Angela attempted to superglue her teeth back into place to avoid a trip to the dentist. Her fear of what the dentist would say and do prevented her from making an appointment, let alone getting treatment.

    Worse yet, she felt so trapped, handicapped and self-conscious from her smile that she avoided social interactions with others. These problems affected more than her smile, but shook her confidence and damaged good eating habits. While these extremes are rarely documented, there are definitely more people just like Angela.

    Related reading: Weird news: Woman superglued her teeth in to avoid going to the dentist

    You have probably seen that same fear in your patient’s eyes as you carefully explain the treatment plan, tooth after tooth, quadrant after quadrant. Dental anxiety shows its ugly head and just like that, they are never to be seen again. Yet another person who could have been helped is lost into the crowd.

    Dental team

    Or maybe you have experienced a different type of uncooperative patient. I still remember the moment I desperately tried to relax a patient comfortably into the chair, reassuring him that everything was going to be okay. It was no use. This particular child was developmentally delayed and attempting his first visit to the dental office. It was clear that sitting in the dental chair, let alone sitting for an exam, was out of the picture.

    These patients are often subjected to a vicious cycle of poor oral health. A seemingly small problem turns into a debilitating disease, all because of an inability to see a dental professional. Poor oral health prevents so many people from living life to the fullest.

    Even with the best of intentions and utmost skill, many patients will not or cannot receive traditional dental care. Whether it is due to extreme anxiety, an inability to cooperate, or an extensive treatment plan, there are many reasons that people are unable to receive care to achieve optimal oral health. When all else fails, what are you to do? Instead of turning patients away or having them lost to fear, there is another option.

    Trending article: How to make dental anesthesia less of a pain

    Have you considered a dentist anesthesiologist?

    For many dental practitioners, the concept of a dentist anesthesiologist (DA) is foreign, but for others it is an integral part of their practice. With as few as 10 programs in North America, it is no surprise that this may be the first you have heard of this field. So what is a dentist anesthesiologist?

    A DA is a dental specialist who attended a 2-3 year CODA-accredited program with extensive focus on hospital and ambulatory-based anesthesia practice. Additional rotations include family medicine, cardiology, emergency medicine and pain management. With extensive training in dentistry and anesthesia, a DA’s goal is to provide safe and effective anesthesia for even the most fearful or uncooperative patients.

    While not all cases are suitable for the office-based setting, many patients who suffer from dental anxiety or who are uncooperative may benefit from these services. While the scope of practice for each DA is different, they work in multiple settings, including dental offices, surgery centers or hospitals.

    Continue to page two for more...


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