I’m pleased that we have the chance to chat. After 25-plus years in my specialty, there are questions which many of my patients have. I may be able to help you with some FAQs which you find useful.
Since finishing my surgical residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital, I’ve served the people of N.H. My experiences with patients clearly shows:
Almost everyone is anxious about their needed oral surgery care. Some are just about “terrified”. This could be based on a bad previous experience with a dentist, or what they’ve heard from others about oral surgery. For many, the mouth is a private place, and doing necessary care is much more scary than many other types of surgery.
I very much respect patients’ fears as being real to them. I begin our visit by finding out how YOU feel about what needs to be done. Most patients appreciate that I “experimented” on myself. I’ve had two wisdom teeth removed awake with novocaine. Separately, the other two were removed while I was “asleep”, with General Anesthesia. So, when you tell me about how you feel, I can relate.
You can expect honesty from me about what you’ll experience. A tooth may not be “hard” to me, as I’m quite good at what I do. However, you may find the thought of novocaine, and the sensations of pressure and some noise to be more than you can handle. We’ll then discuss whether General Anesthesia would help you. Many patients choose Anesthesia, including some who admit that they have a special anxiety about “dentists doing stuff in my mouth”.
My training included months as an Anesthesia Resident. So, for example, I did anesthesia care for abdominal, orthopedic and urology procedures, as well as for removing teeth.
Our Anesthesia Care is very similar to what you’d receive in a hospital-but at a fraction of the cost. General Anesthesia is very different from those dentists who give you a pill to “relax you”, or Conscious Sedation, where you are awake, and usually aware. I can, of course, use these forms of “relaxation” for the right patients. Basically, my concern is your care and comfort, and which works best for you. That’s why we chat at length before I treat you. It’s also why I have advanced medical training and certifications.
So, my “agenda” is to help you by whichever method you and I agree will work best for you. Your medical well-being as well as your emotions is what I’m advising you on, before you’re cared for.
Dr. Paul E. Levy