Although Itani Dental San Francisco strives to make every patient feel comfortable and safe in our care, we realize that fears of the dentist are a very real concern affecting a good portion of the population to some degree, and an estimated 10-15% of the population to a greater degree. This latter group of patients has what is known as “dental phobia”, and it often prevents them from seeking regular treatment to the detriment of their oral, and therefore overall, health. Patients with dental phobia might consistently make and break dental appointments (a fearful “fleeing instinct”), or they become no-shows because their fear of the dentist causes avoidance. At Itani Dental San Francisco, we do not want any patient to suffer from infections, broken teeth, or generally poor smile appeal because they cannot overcome dental phobia. We want to treat you before a tooth gets infected or broken or your gums require intense periodontal work.
Dental phobias and stress can be so severe and operate on such a subconscious level that they can lead to “dental fear dreams,” or panic attacks that are marked by classic symptoms of increased breathing and heart rates and sweating. This is why we offer a full range of sedation dentistry options, ranging from oral sedation that induces relaxation or comfortable dentistry, to intravenous or general anesthesia. We can work with you to best manage your fear.
Because of the unique nature of our practice – providing Sedation and Sleep Dentistry for patients with phobias or special needs – Dr. Itani is a noted expert in this field. Your regular dentist may not be able to provide a full range of sedation options, or s/he may not hold a hospital affiliation. Inhalation or oral sedation may not be enough for patients with severe phobias who either face extensive work because of avoidance of the dentist, or whose phobia is so marked that the only way to safely treat them is with deeper sedation.