Millions of people are so afraid to go to the dentist that they literally don't go until it has gotten really bad. Unfortunately, they don't realize that they are not alone, as people are very reluctant to share this phobia, even with their friends. They think that they alone have this problem and are embarrassed about it.
We try to validate this situation, be understanding and non-judgemental with these people. We also offer them drugs!! In our office we use a little blue pill (not that one) to help people relax and "forget" about the treatment they are about to undergo. Most people report that they do not even remember being in the office for their procedure. The risk is minimal and we are all trained and licensed for any unexpected events.
We also encourage people undergoing major treatment, (multiple teeth and several hour appointments) to use oral sedation to help make the long visit easier. Most people take the medication 1 hour before the appointment and need someone to drive them to and from the office. This is very common in our office as we are always doing major cases, but we got a great big laugh when Wimberly showed up in our office this week for her appointment wearing the following sign:
When we showed Wimberly the photos, she told us that she did not remember making the signs. All kidding aside, oral sedation is a great adjunct to today's dentistry for any one apprehensive about their dental work or facing long appointments.