Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist
All doctors must display a sense of bed side manner, and for us dentists, that means providing pain free dentistry. The truth is, the fear of the dentist is nothing new to us, and it’s something we have struggled to help patients with since the first modern dentists began practicing.
Dentists have two priorities. We want you to have the best dental work possible. Dentists want your smile to be perfect, and your oral health to be the best it can be. We also want you to leave happy. We want you smiling in both ways.
Dental anxiety is not new, and it’s slowly disappearing, thanks to sedation dentistry and other marvels in the medical world.
We can help you overcome your fear of the dentist with our tools and tricks of the trade, but you can also help yourself fight dental anxiety.
Some Dental Fear Facts
- How Common is Dental Anxiety?
The American Dental Association confirmed that roughly 75% of Americans deal with dental anxiety. You’re not alone.
- Do Dental Injections Hurt?
Dental injections hurt as much as any other injections, but most dentists use a numbing gel to reduce the pain.
- Do Dentists Judge You?
Some people who desperately need dental treatment avoid it because they are embarrassed. So, the fear of the dentist has nothing to do with pain and everything to do with shame. Please don’t worry! Do doctors judge us? Do therapists judge us? The answer is simple: the good ones do not.
Good dentists love what they do, and we love to create smiles. We are not in the business of judgement, we are in the business of treatment. You’re taking step to help yourself, and that’s all we care about. Let us help!
- Can Bad Teeth Be Fixed
Yes, of course! It might take longer, and you may have to come in for multiple appointments, but bad teeth can be fixed, or replaced. Smiles can always be restored.
- Dental Phobia is Called Odontophobia
Dental phobia goes way beyond a fear of the dentist, and is characterized as the “persistent, unrealistic, and intense fear of a specific stimulus, leading to complete avoidance of the perceived danger.”
What Can the Dentist Do?
Stress management is the most recent approach to help patients overcome their fear of the dentist. It’s something we practice at our dental office in Delray Beach and Boynton Beach. We provide a relaxing environment, couches, and high end dental chairs to help patients relax.
Make sure your dentist offers free laughing gas (nitrous oxide), too!
What Can You Do?
Find A Supportive “Pain Free” Dentist
Yes, they exist. The thing is, dental procedures are pain free, because at that point you have already received local anesthetic.
A real pain free dentist will make sure that the injections don’t hurt. Find a supportive dentist who understand your fear of the dentist and ask for a pain free experience.
Ask for A Signal
Most anxiety comes from a feeling of helplessness. Ask to develop a signal with your dentist that when given causes them to stop immediately. Usually this works with a “hand up” approach.
You should be comfortable at the dentist, or at least as comfortable as you are at a doctor’s office. So be vocal!
Dentists are not only doctors, but we are people, too! The last thing we want to do is make anyone uncomfortable, or to scare any of our patients. We want everyone leaving with a great smile, and also the ability to smile.
So, speak up and let us know that you are afraid of the dentist.
- Ask for more numbing gel before receiving local anesthetic.
- Ask for laughing gas.
- Ask for anxiety medication.
- Ask for more time to let numbing agents take effect.