Ozark, MO -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/27/2011 -- Feeling nervous or worried at the thought of a dental appointment is very common but with dentistry's many advances, those fears may be unnecessary.
"The diagnosis and treatment for dental problems is getting more sophisticated and comfortable all the time," says Dr. Marc Barnett. "Also, dental professionals and practices are more aware and considerate of these special needs."
Barnett-Davis Dental Group is one practice in Southwest Missouri that is conscientious about those common fears and is trying to erase dental anxiety and phobia one patient at a time. Drs. Marc and Kelly Barnett and Tracy Davis and their highly trained team treat patients every day that experience some level of dental anxiety.
"We understand that many patients are apprehensive or even frightened about coming to the dentist, so we take time to listen, explain procedures and make a plan with them to cope with their fears," says Davis.
Patients will notice that the Branson dental practice is designed to be relaxing as soon as they step into the door. There are soothing sounds of a waterfall, the subtle aroma of scented candles and soft chairs in the waiting room. Comfort is just as important in the treatment area too with each room equipped with comfortable chairs, cozy blankets available, soft headrest pillows, nitrous oxide relaxing air and satellite-fed stereo headphones.
"We work with patients every day that have dental fears, and we can help them overcome those feelings and learn healthy coping mechanisms instead of avoiding the dental office," says Kelly Barnett. "In fact, we have many patients who started out here with dental phobia and now they enjoy coming to the dentist."
She says the most important advice in dealing with a dental phobia is to let the dentists know about the apprehensive or scared feelings and if they know, the cause of the feelings. Loss of control is what many patients fear about being in the dental chair. Maybe the fear stems from a previous experience where a dentist did not stop the procedure or examination in spite of the patient being in distress or requesting they stop. Some patients who were physically, emotionally or sexually abused in the past find that being in the dental chair reminds them of these experiences. Others just have a general preference for being in control of situations.
"Whatever the reason, if you are that patient, the one who fears a dental visit or loss of control, the dental team at Barnett-Davis Dental is the one for you," says Marc Barnett. "We don't want anyone to feel embarrassed by their dental anxiety and avoid seeing a dentist because neglecting routine cleanings or restorative dentistry procedures only makes them worse or causes larger health problems."
The level of dental fear varies from individual to individual. Some patients may experience a vague sense of uneasiness about their appointments and have exaggerated or unfounded worries and fears. While others with the more severe dental phobia experience intense fear and dread about the lack of control that results in person feeling terrified, panic stricken or paralyzed, explains Davis.
To diminish anxious feelings, Drs. Barnett and Davis give their patients the following advice:
• Communicate with the dentist about fearful, tense or anxious feelings. Barnett-Davis Dental Group tailors the treatment plan and pace to suit the special needs of the patient.
• Barnett, Barnett and Davis offer patients the option of nitrous oxide and relaxing prescription medications to take before appointment.
• Marc Barnett emphasizes that the patient is always in control of the appointment at their dental practice. A prearranged signal between the patient and dental staff can be used to stop the procedure immediately if the patient is experiencing discomfort or the need for a break.
• Schedule appointments on days and times when least likely to feel rushed or physically strained.
• Go to bed early to get the recommended number of hours of sleep the night before an appointment. Wear soft, comfortable clothing and eat small, light meals the day of the appointment.
• Choose a soothing scene beforehand to visualize during the visit.
"Remember, we really do care and want your visits with us to be pleasant and comfortable," says Kelly Barnett. "We have decades of experience to draw on. We want to help you create new coping mechanisms and overcome your dental anxieties and phobia."
She recommends patients also check out the American Dental Association website and Simple Steps To Better Dental Health website to get a better understanding of dental fears and helpful information about how to relax before and during dental treatment.
"Please call the office today, and let us get started on finding a solution to your dental anxieties," says Davis. "You don't have to let those fears hold you back any longer."
Learn More To learn more about Barnett-Davis Dental Group, call (417) 581-3600 or visit this page: http://www.barnettdavisdental.com/makeappt.php. About the Drs. Barnett and Dr. Davis Located in the Springfield, MO area, Drs. Marc and Kelly Barnett and Dr. Tracy Davis practice a full range of cosmetic and general dentistry.
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