How to Find Peace at the Dental Office

February 2, 2011

This article recently ran in the local newspaper. We are proud to serve the Lake Orion community here at Lake Orion Family Dentistry!

How to Find Peace at the Dental Office

When Lake Orion resident Judith Truscott told her dentist that local anesthesia didn’t numb her mouth like it should, he said he understood. He said he’d dealt with patients with similar problems, and everything would be just fine. Judith wasn’t so sure. In fact, she has always been scared of going to the dentist, and her next appointment would be for a root canal. After the procedure, her dentist pushed his surgical mask up, looked at her, and said it had been a long time since he’d had to administer that much anesthetic. Judith responded, “I told you so,” and the dentist flagged her chart for future reference.

“I have a major fear of the dentist.”

Judith wasn’t satisfied. She avoided dental work for years. She would have her teeth cleaned and attend regular checkups, but would not undergo the dental work she needed. Judith knew her oral health was deteriorating, yet she did not know how to overcome her fears. As a registered nurse, Judith also knew that by avoiding dental work, she risked her overall state of health. She understood the link between poor oral health and heart attack, stroke, and other serious systemic problems. “To be so afraid that it keeps you from taking care of your health is horrible,” she recalls. “If you do not have a fear, you can’t understand it. I was so apprehensive before I found Dr. Greenfield that I would cancel an appointment 3 times and just never get the work done.”

When Judith found Dr. Greenfield at Lake Orion Family Dentistry, her fears were put to rest. “He listened to me and explained my treatment options, what he wanted to do, and why.” Judith says that she felt she had control over her treatment plan. She felt no pressure. “Then I met with Carla, the nurse anesthetist at Dr. Greenfield’s office, and she was excellent. Wonderful!”

In addition to an inability to numb with general anesthesia and an intense fear of dental procedures, Judith also suffers from acute asthma. She asked questions that most people don’t know to ask, and Carla provided the answers and explanation that Judith needed.

After much discussion, Judith, Carla, and Dr. Greenfield determined that two sessions of dental procedures would be required. Judith requested that the milder phase of treatment be completed first, and Dr. Greenfield was pleased to comply. Carla would administer IV sedation to relieve Judith’s anxiety during treatment. “I felt nothing, and I remember nothing,” says Judith. “There was no pain, and it looks great.”

Dr. Greenfield used CEREC, a new technology that incorporates CAD/CAM technology for one-visit, permanent, ceramic dental crowns. Judith had two CEREC crowns placed, along with a dental filling, during her first visit. The procedure took three hours. Afterward, Judith had no anxiety about the second phase of her treatment plan, which was scheduled just a few weeks away.

During the second appointment, Carla administered IV sedation, and this time, Dr. Greenfield placed three crowns and performed laser periodontal treatment. “There was no bruising, no pain, not even at the injection sites,” Judith says. “In fact, I left the next day for a six-week Florida vacation.”

Judith ranks her experience a 12 on a scale of 1 to 10. “I was a basket case when I came in. They really made me feel good; they are very attentive. I never feel like a number at Dr. Greenfield’s office, and my hygienist, Rhonda, is wonderful.” Judith has referred her son and daughter-in-law to Dr. Greenfield, and she hopes that he can help others who are in her situation, filled with fear and in desperate need of dental work to restore and protect their health.

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