1) I was referred, but I am scared to go.
Dr. Berube frequently works with extremely anxious patients. We usually see the patient for an examination and radiographs first, and then she can go through your treatment options, including sedation. This first visit is noninvasive, so there is nothing to fear! We would suggest that you come in for that first appointment, meet Dr. Berube and get to know her. We have had many reformed "chickens" who are no longer anxious!
2) I am very scared of the dentist and scared of needles. What do I do?
Our standard response is that we would be really worried if you really liked needles!!! Honestly, no one likes the thought of needles. About 90% of our patients are extremely dental phobic. Our goal is to treat not only the condition, but also the fear. We try to make our atmosphere a friendly one so that you don't feel as apprehensive about coming. We will discuss options for treatment, including sedation, and the pros and cons of these choices. Please do not let fear be a deterrent to treatment. Again, if left untreated, your condition will only get worse and require more extensive and costly treatment down the road.
3) I was told by a friend that they had some sort of periodontal surgery and it was very painful. This scares me.
Please be careful when discussing treatment with others. Every dental experience is different for each person and each situation is different for each person. Even though you think you may be discussing the same procedure, you may not be. You also can't be sure about the other person's pain tolerance and psychological status. We say this only because your positive or negative view of treatment greatly affects the perceived outcome.
4) Do you offer sedation?
Yes, we do offer sedation, but it is not required. Dr. Berube prefers using local anesthesia only if possible, for several reasons. These reasons include decreasing cost, time of treatment, and risk. If the patient is not sedated, the patient does not need to have a friend or loved one take the day off to escort them to and from the appointments (you can drive yourself to and from the appointments). Many people are happy that the appointments do not need to be a hassle to themselves and others. However, if you still desire sedation, we offer oral and IV sedation. With oral sedation, a pill is taken in the office about one hour prior to the procedure. An escort is required. This will serve to relax you, not put you to sleep. IV sedation is another option, however, because of the great increase in cost, I will discuss alternatives. There are some situations where, depending on the complexity of the treatment or the patient's medical condition, Dr. Berube will recommend that an anesthesiologist come to the office to give you general anesthesia. Dr. Berube's goals are to decrease your fear of dental work, and also keep the treatment as affordable as possible. Please also remember that there are increased inherent risks with sedation procedures.
5) I did not have a good experience when I've had gum surgery before. How is your office different?
We perform surgical techniques that are considered to be minimally invasive. In the past, surgical treatment included very extensive opening of the tissue. When using this type of modality, there were severe changes in thermal sensitivity, functional issues and food impaction. This could also compromise esthetics. Minimally invasive surgical procedures contribute to faster healing, less perceived pain, less recession, and less morbidity. For those patients with severe disease, bone loss, and other preexisting issues, sensitivity and food impaction may still occur, but less so than in the past.