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 experiences at the dentist have literally paralyzed patients 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 80’s 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 this problem to make visits much more comfortable.  For example, we use sedation or dream dentistry 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 obviously critical to have procedures pain free.  Anesthetics properly administered do a wonderful job in controlling pain and therefore anxiety. Using topical anesthetic before the injection eliminates the “prick” from an injection.

Because fear comes from a loss of control it is vital that you are in complete control of the procedure and have a way of stopping your dentist if you need a break or are in pain.

It is also very helpful if all of your questions are answered when you need additional information.  Anxiety arises from fear of the unknown and when you are expecting pain the anxiety even heightens even more.

I, and other modern dentists, 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.

I read your article on the use of Fosamax and have concerns about the use.  My wife uses a similar drug for osteoporosis.  What should I do?  What is your reference and what other medications act like this.  Thank you for informing the public about these risks as now I feel more informed.

Thank You,
Henry B.

Dear Mr. B.,
You are not the only person who expressed concern about the use of these drugs.  There is a class of drugs called Bisphosphonates they fall under the brand names such as Fosamax, Aredia, Boniva, Zometa, Didronel, Skelid & Actonel.

My source for the article is from May/June edition of The Academy of General Dentistry (the authority journal for the general dentist).  I have also created a link where the original position is taken from the following web site address:

If you don’t have access to the internet and would like to have a free copy, simply call our office at (586)247-3500 for your copy of the article.

We have received numerous calls in response to the article and am happy to pass along the information when it becomes available.

I saw an interview with you over the local cable news station about some contest to win a free computer.  My grandson is a great kid and does some great things at his church.  What does he have to do to enter this contest?

You are referring to our “Do A Good Deed” Contest.  To enter, your grandson needs get on the computer, go to and click on the Good Deed logo.  Then he would a brief paragraph or two about what he as done to make a positive difference in his community.  There are a few questions on the form that need to be completed and his entry will be completed and ready to be submitted.  He could also fax us his entry at 586.247.1211, or send it to our office at:15055 22 Mile Rd. Suite 2 Shelby Twp. Michigan 48315.

This is a refreshing program that I hope will cause kids to step out of their comfort zone and be kind to another person.  There are so many dark and negative things we constantly hear about in the news and in our society. I am hoping to make a small impact towards the positive actions a person can make.  This contest also provides an opportunity for our youth to spend some time reflecting upon their kindness and/or good deed.

It will be my pleasure to present a new computer at their school to a well deserving child.   Our current contest winner will be selected October 15, so it is a little late to enter the ongoing contest.   We are accepting new entries now for our next computer so please pass this along to his parents so they can provide some encouragement to write it down and enter.  Our next contest will be targeted for February.  I look forward to receiving your grandson’s entry, it sounds as if you are very proud of him.

To Submit your questions please e-mail me at, fax us at 586.247.3500 or write us.  Thank You,  Robert Antolak DDS