Question: I have a tremendous amount of fear when it comes to going to the dentist. It has gotten to the point where I have to go and don’t know what to do. Help!!!!
Answer: You and many other patients come in to see us with this exact problem. Past visits at the dentist have in some circumstances “paralyzed” patients with hear and then put off appointments for years. These bad and usually very traumatic experiences can stay with people for decades. In fact I saw a patient the other day who was in his 80s and he could remember every detail of a visit when he was a child that kept him from visiting the dentist for over 60 years.
Modern dentistry has responded to these issues to make visits much more comfortable. For example, we use sedation to put people in a state where they have no memory of their procedure and are very relaxed when they get to the office. It also allows for them to get many procedures done at one visit so they don’t have to continually return to our office. Another option is to watch a movie on our virtual reality glasses. Dental procedures fly by while you watch your favorite movie.
It is critical to have dental procedures pain free. Anesthetics properly administered do a wonderful job in controlling pain and therefore anxiety, which means injecting slowly with compassion using topical anesthetic before the injection eliminates the prick from an injection.
Because fear comes from a loss of control it is very important that you are in complete control of the procedure and have a way of stopping if you need a break or are in pain and in need of additional anesthesia.
Anxiety arises from fear of the unknown and when you are expecting pain the anxiety even heightens even more. It is also very helpful if all of your questions are answered when you need additional information.
At TheGentleDentist.com we take the time to know our patients to the point where they feel comfortable because it is like seeing an old friend. These relationships are important and can’t be stressed enough.
Please don’t let your bad experiences affect your present condition. Modern dentistry emphasizes prevention over all other things so do yourself a favor and don’t delay this any longer. You will be amazed at how easy and user friendly dental care can be. Also don’t be embarrassed if you haven’t been to a dentist in years and are afraid of past judgments from the dentist. A modern dentist will help you look forward to your future care and would never lecture you.