Helping Anxious Patients in Lafayette
Understanding Dental Fear and Anxiety
Experts estimate that nearly three-quarters of American adults feel afraid of the dentist to some degree. Of that number, approximately 10-15% experience fear or anxiety so intense that they avoid visiting the dentist at all costs. Unfortunately, without the benefit of preventive care, many people with dental fear face increasingly severe oral health problems. Very often, fearful or anxious patients will not seek professional help until a problem has reached an emergency stage and requires invasive treatment.
Gentle Sedation Options
To help her patients who suffer from dental fear but who nonetheless want to enjoy the benefits of regular professional dental care, Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri DDS offers several gentle sedation options:
- Nitrous Oxide: Since the mid-19th century, dentists have used nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to sedate patients before undergoing dental procedures. Nitrous oxide is easily administered, safe for nearly everyone, provides a mild sense of tranquility and relaxation, and wears off quickly.
- Oral Sedation: A more recent innovation in sedation dentistry, oral sedation consists of a pill, usually an anti-anxiety medication such as Valium or Halcion, that a fearful or anxious patient ingests about an hour before their appointment. Oral sedation provides a more profound sense of detachment and relaxation and is appropriate for moderate-to-severe dental fear in people of all ages. Oral sedation will leave you feeling woozy and “out of it” for several hours after your appointment, so patients will need to arrange for reliable transportation home.
- Nitrous Oxide with Oral Sedation: For patients with severe dental fear and anxiety, a deeper level of relaxation is required. By combining nitrous oxide with oral sedation, patients can remain in a state of near-sleep through any length procedure.
Creating a Tranquil Office Environment
Very often, people who feel nervous, anxious, or afraid of the dentist feel this way because of a generalized distaste for stark, clinical environments. At Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri, DDS we want all of our patients to feel relaxed and at home, so we have created a space that feels cozy and secure. From our brick floors to our modern décor, we have made every effort to ensure our patients’ comfort. We offer:
- Televisions in every room.
- WiFi connection so you can bring your favorite mobile device and browse the internet while you wait.
- Neck pillow and blankets to help you feel warm and well cared for.
- A Keurig machine in case you’d like to enjoy a hot beverage.
- A well-stocked children’s area.
Visit Your Lafayette Family Dentist
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri DDS, call our office at 337-704-2126. Our Lafayette dentist’s office proudly provides preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services to families and individuals in Lafayette, LA, the Acadiana region.
Education is key
Education is a lifelong journey and a truly dedicated family dentist never stops learning. To this end, Dr. Gina Liggio Maestri DDS obtains 75-80 hours of continuing education every year, twice the state’s requirement. In addition, Dr. Maestri and her team focus on educating our patients through hands-on techniques and the open sharing of information. Well-informed patients tend to make better decisions when it comes to at-home dental hygiene and lifestyle choices that impact oral health. If you have any questions about family dentistry or feel that you need some professional guidance, please feel free to ask.