At www.TheGentleDentist.com we realize that many have had bad experiences in their past at the dental office. Typically 5-10 years go by and the high fear patient finally gets to the point of where they can’t stand their oral pain any longer. This is when they do research on the internet with a desire to find a dentist who specializes in treating the high fear patient who has not been into the dentist for years. With a search on Google for “dentists for chickens”, “dentist for the fearful patient” or “dentistry for the dental phobic” we usually come up high on the search engines especially when looking for the Shelby Twp., Macomb Township, Sterling Heights or Washington Township Michigan areas. After reading through our web site they find it comfortable enough to get the will power to at least email us.
After they talk to Jessica our scheduling coordinator and make their appointment they will receive electronic health history questionaires to fill our in the convenience of their own home. The day before their appointment I will call them up to introduce myself. Because dentistry requires a high level of trust I like to introduce myself to them and see if they have any questions or concerns. Many times they will give me a history of their horrific experiences at the previous dentist. These are usually experienced as a child so we try to work through the issues slowly to eventually proceed with the exam. We will only proceed when they are willing to do so.
The mouth is an extremely personal space. Most people don’t want others (including the dentist) to see their embarassing smile because of darkened teeth, missing teeth, cavities or bad gums. Up to this point it has been their little “secret” and to go beyond that “secret” it is very difficult. Most often they will say “I’m so embarassed of my teeth” or “I should have been in here years ago”. The good news is that there is only room for improvement and what has happened in the past has been in the past. Our goal is to move them beyond the past and to look forward to their future healthy and good looking smile.
Another issue that has kept them from regular dental check ups is that they fear that they will get scolded or lectured to. I always reassure them that it is my responsibility to inform them of their situation and we will work together as a team to move. Lecturing will never work and has never been something that I have done and will never do.
These are some of the personal things we do at www.TheGentleDentist.com to make the visit for our high fear patient one that can be tolerated and even appreciated. If you have questions please call our Shelby Township office at (586)247-3500.