Hi, my name is Dr. Antolak, the dentist at TheGentleDentist.com. We are located out in Shelby Township, Michigan. Our phone number is (586) 247-3500.
What I’d like to talk to you about today would be, what makes us at the Gentle Dentist, the “Gentle Dentist“? We know that there are many people who claim to be gentle and gentle dentists and the such. But one thing I’d like to do really is to talk about, what is it, the things specifically that we do here in our dental office in Shelby Township, Michigan that are going to make you want to come in and visit us and be part of our clientele.
Number one is the very nature of our name, we got a lot of people who are browsing on the internet for gentle dentistry and the things that they’re looking for and why we get them.
First thing is that we want to make you, as our dental patient, the primary focus. You are the center of our attention at that moment in time. We are not distracted with other dental patients who are being seen. You know, it’s very important to make your comfort our primary concern.
There’s a lesson I learned 25 years ago. I graduated from dental school at University of Michigan in 1987 and so 25 years ago or so I learned that very valuable lesson which was to do things on myself first before I can do them on my patients. I remember very specifically in my second year of dental school there, that my instructor said if you really wan to do a good job on your dental patients and you really want to have a great career. He said go ahead and numb yourself up. So I did. I went to the mirror and I numbed myself up in the very front area of my mouth. And I realized at that moment in time just how sensitive the mouth is, and how it can be. What I also learned, is that, the way that you do it is, we apply topical anesthetic to the gums and then inject very slowly, after about 2 minutes or so. And I’m telling you, most of our patients that wetreat that way say, “I never even felt a pick or anything”. Which is a really new experience for them, since they’ve always felt that pick from the needle during that process. And also, just injecting very very slowly. That takes maybe 2 to 3 minutes to do that. I know that might seem like a lot of time. But the truth is that the pain comes when that tissue is expanded with the solution, with that liquid solution, that’s what makes the pain. So, if we could do it slowly enough, and the fact that I’m observing you while I’m doing it. I look at your hands. I see if the hands are tight or if they’re relaxed. I look at the eyes to make sure that the eyes aren’t squinting from pain and there’s these signs that can really be picked up if we are alert and astute to that.
Another thing is, I just don’t want to hurt you. You know, because the fact that I’m here and I want referrals from you. And just because we want to do what we want to do and make sure that we’re feeling comfortable in knowing that you’re having a decent experience at the dentist.
Another thing that I do to try to make a big difference is I like to make a phone call to you our dental patient before you come into our dental office. So you contact us, you fill out the necessary paperwork online, and then I’ll give you a call because I want to know who I’m gonna to be talking to. And I want you to feel like you are very welcomed into our dental office. And so that’s very important and we’ve had numerous people say what a relief it was when they first got that first call to make that happen.
Many of our dental patients come to us with a history of all these horrible experiences so what it really requires is a lot of compassion, time to really develop trust. Because trust is the major component that is broken down usually as a child. So if you were treated at the dentist as a kid and they hurt you and yet you had no opportunity to stop the dentist because they’re big and scary and you made a pact with yourself. I find this many times to be the truth. You found a pact with yourself saying, I’m never going to the dentist again because they hurt me and I’m not going to let that happen to me again.’
It takes time to change that trust around and so during that period of time, what I wanna do is to work with you very slowly and have you trust what I have to tell you. And trust when I do things. And we’re going to go at a very slow pace, okay? So that’s really important.
Another thing that makes dentistry quite nervous, and I’m aware of that, is our level of the closer that we come to somebody the closer that we have to have a more trusting relationship with them and the more that we expose ourselves to them. So if I’m speaking to you from five or six feet away there’s usually not much of an issue. But as I come closer to you and closer, then that gets among the circle of influence where you really will only allow certain people in your lives to get close enough. In private dentistry we have assumed for years that it’s okay for a stranger like us with sharp things in our hands to potentially hurt you. And yet we encroach upon that most personal space. And so, that is something I don’t take for granted. I realize I’m a dentist. I know what I have to do, I know that’s how we do it. But the truth is, is that, I need to gain your trust before and asking for permission. If you have that level of fear, to encroach upon you. To allow ourselves to get into that close area. And so that you do trust enough that I’m not going to hurt you. And if I say that I’m not gonna pick, I’m not gonna pick. And that’s where trust develops over a period of time.
Also, for those people who have a lot of fear, once again, as we work through these things. But at the same time we still need to use some of our medications that we have. For example, for people who have just a little bit of fear of the dentist, we may use some nitrous oxide. That’s the breathing gas that you use through your nose and helps to relax you. It really helps to create more of a sedative feeling for you.
For those people who have really high-level fear, we use our oral conscious sedation. With that is we give you a pill before your dental appointment, about an hour before you come in. You’re relaxed and we treat you. Many times there’s no remembering, no history, no remembering of what took place. You’re relaxed, it’s a great experience. So that’s what we do for our level of patients who have either a high fear, high level of fear or they also have a lot of dentistry to do at one visit.
In conclusion, these are all the things that we try to do in our dental office to make you feel comfortable. Not to mention, our dental staff is very friendly here. We’re never going to judge you from your past. We realize that it’s been tough for you to come in. Most of the time, to make that entrance between our parking lot and the door is a huge thing. Between you making that phone call and you coming in the office is a big big process. So, each step along the way, we realize that it’s something that’s really difficult. So I’m not here to judge you.
All I’m here really to do is to say I understand where you’ve been. And I want to help you to get where you want to go with your life, and with your smile, to give you something to smile about and feel good about yourself again.
So if you like what you hear, my name is Dr. Robert Antolak. We’re located out in Shelby Township, Michigan. Our website is www.thegentledentist.com and our phone number is 586-247-3500. Thank you