Your Gentle Dentist in Boise
Do you count yourself among the millions of people who would rather wrestle a grizzly bear than go to a dental appointment?
Does the thought of jumping off of the Empire State Building without a parachute appeal more to you than having a cavity filled?
Would you rather play football with an active beehive than take that shot of anesthetic in your gums? At Maple Grove Dentistry, we completely understand those feelings.
We know that many people have had bad, sometimes horrible, experiences at the dental office, and many of those people wait until they experience intense pain, possibly years later, before visiting another dentist.
Dr. Russ Jensen has a different approach. His years of experience in dentistry have helped him develop a gentle touch that reassures our patients and puts them at ease.
If you would like to experience gentle dentistry at its finest, call our Boise, ID dental office today at (208) 853-2221 for an appointment.
What Causes Dental Anxiety?
Dr. Jensen understands that while some patients may stress out over a dental appointment, others feel downright frightened. Their fear may keep them from visiting the dentist for years, which only makes things worse.
By the time they finally do go to the dentist, usually due to experiencing pretty bad pain in their teeth, they typically need a lot of work done. Patients give many reasons for their fear of going to the dentist.
A few of the most popular include:
- Pain – Fear of pain, the most common reason given by patients for their fear of the dentist, can keep people from visiting the dentist for years. This fear may stem from watching television shows and movies that portray dentists as sadistic and mean, enjoying the pain they inflict on their patients. Some older patients may remember visits they attended as children, well before some of the advances we have seen in pain management. Dr. Jensen has a gentle touch, and works very hard to make his procedures as minimally invasive and pain-free as possible.
- Past Experience – Many patients have had terrible experiences with other dentists in the past. Maybe a doctor performed work on a tooth that did not get numbed correctly. A patient may have had painful procedures performed on him, then later found out that they were unnecessary. These patients deal with the fear that the same thing will happen to them again next time they go to the dentist. At Maple Grove Dentistry, we make sure to include you in treatment planning, and will talk you through every step of the procedure, explaining why we need to perform it.
- Loss of Control – Some people feel that once they sit in the dental chair, they have no control over what will happen next. They may have had a dentist take advantage of their stress and anxiety and pressure them into undergoing treatments they did not want. Sometimes these patients feel as if the dentist has the final say and they must do what he says. When you visit our office, you are the “boss” and have the final say on all treatment options. Dr. Jensen will not pressure you into any treatments you do not want.
- Embarrassment/Judgement – Patients who have avoided the dentist for a long period of time worry that when they finally do make an appointment they will be lectured or treated badly due to the current condition of their teeth and gums after years away. Dr. Jensen and the staff at Maple Grove assure you that this will not happen in our office. We understand your fears, and we will not judge you. The fact that you have made the attempt of overcoming your fears and have taken the step of coming in for the treatment you need deserves praise, not judgement.
While dental anxiety can keep people from visiting the dentist for a long time, patients can overcome their feelings of stress and fear when they have pain and can’t stay away any longer.
Some people, however, suffer from dental phobia and can feel so crippled by their fear that they can’t even call the office to make an appointment.
Just thinking about a dental appointment can keep them from sleeping the night before. As they sit in the waiting room, these patients become increasingly nervous, to the point of sometimes becoming physically ill.
They may require some coaxing to walk back to the exam room, and some may even break down and cry as they sit in the chair.
Our staff recognizes the fear that patients with dental phobia have, and we allow them to take their time walking back to the exam room, offering them emotional and physical support along the way.
Occasionally, just having someone to hold their hand as they walk back provides the support these patients need.
While Dr. Jensen strives to provide gentle, minimally invasive dental care, he realizes that some patients require something more to make it through their appointment.
For these patients, we offer sedation dentistry. When patients come in for a consultation, the doctor talks with them about their anxiety and recommends one of our sedative options to help them feel calm and relaxed while in the chair.
We offer sedation for all procedures from simple cleanings and filling cavities to more complicated procedures like root canal therapy or placing dental implants. The doctor can even complete several treatments that would normally require multiple visits to complete in just one day with the patient under sedation.
Sedatives reduce the brain’s ability to recognize pain and discomfort, while easing feelings of stress and fear. By the time the sedative wears off, most patients find they have little or no memory of the procedure.
Forms of Sedation We Offer
At Maple Grove Dentistry, we offer three types of sedation. Dr. Jensen will help you decide which option will work best for you during your consultation.
He will consider the procedure being performed and your level of stress and anxiety, and make a recommendation that he feels will offer you the most comfort.
- Nitrous Oxide – Sometimes called “laughing gas” due to the feelings of euphoria it can induce, nitrous oxide is a gas that you inhale through a mask, and it will leave you feeling calm and relaxed. The effects of the gas will start to diminish as soon as the mask is removed, leaving you free to return to work or any other activities right away.
- Oral Sedation – If the doctor recommends oral sedation, you will take a sedative in pill form about an hour prior to your appointment. The sedative will begin to relax you almost immediately and it wears off slowly, so you will need a responsible driver to bring you in for your appointment and take you home after. As the doctor works, you will slip into a state of complete mental and physical relaxation. While under mild sedation, you will maintain the ability to converse with the doctor, but you will have no awareness of any details of your treatment. Even better, many times the sedation medication has an amnesiac effect preventing you from remembering most, if not all of your appointment. Most patients who use oral sedation can resume normal activities by the same evening.
- IV Sedation – If you would like to be completely sedated for your appointment we will work with a dental anesthetist or a nurse anesthetist. They will monitor your sedation allowing Dr. Jensen to focus on your care. When we schedule these appointments we try to complete most if not all of your treatment in one visit.
Overcome Your Anxiety
Dr. Jensen wants to ensure each and every patient has a fantastic experience when visiting our office.
If you feel anxious or scared about visiting us, feel free to call the office and we will be happy to talk to you and explain our procedures, so you will know what to expect when you come in for an appointment.
Our office uses advanced technology, and with sedation dentistry options we are able to minimize, if not completely eliminate any pain and you will remain comfortable while the doctor works.
Patients who need overcoming their fear of the dentist can go to www.dentalfearcentral.org for more information about dental phobias and how to handle them.
The site provides information about overcoming your fear and forums where you can talk to others with dental phobia, many of whom have successfully dealt with their fears.
Call Us Today
If you have stayed away from the dentist due to anxiety or fear, we ask you to give Dr. Jensen a chance to prove that dentists can be gentle and just want to help keep you healthy.
When you feel ready, call our Boise dental office for an appointment.