Is Fear Of Dentistry Ruining Your Smile?
It is estimated that about 70% of American adults have some level of fear or anxiety when it comes to going to the dentist. Some have such high fear levels that the mere thoughts of going to a dentist causes them to break out in a sweat or even cry. These people are categorized as dental phobics and tend to avoid dentistry until the pain becomes so intense they must force themselves to seek treatment.
How sad is it that people develop such an image associated with dental visits? For many, the fear was triggered by a traumatic experience in a dental office. I’ve had some patients share how a rough dentist continued to work on them in spite of them not being numb. Some, as children, were held down in a dental chair and terrified while a dentist ignored their pleas.
As the child of a dentist, I took great pride knowing my Father was kind and gentle to his patients. His goal was to NOT hurt his patients and he took special measures to provide care that was comfortable and well-paced. Now, as a dentist myself, I feel a deep sense of gratitude in knowing he was my foundation for creating patients who feel good about coming for dental care.
Now, dentistry places more of a priority on comfort and offers a number of comfort options. While more of today’s dentists are sensitive to fearful patients, some offices provide special features to accentuate patient relaxation and comfort. For example, we offer topical numbing before injections, headsets with soothing music, and ergonomically designed treatment chairs.
Additionally, we offer oral sedation for total relaxation when a patient desires. Oral sedation is in pill form and has a quick recovery, leaving little or no memory of the procedure afterwards. With oral sedation, numbing is still provided but injections are delivered after the patient is in a totally relaxed state.
Still, for some fearful patients, just making the appointment and walking in the door can be a traumatic process. We suggest beginning with a consultation, which takes place in our private room that is removed from the clinical side of the office. During this time, we can discuss your concerns and I’ll explain the best options to help you achieve the healthy, confident smile you desire.
Often, fearful patients relax just from meeting the ‘right doctor.’ If you have delayed dental care due to fear, the sooner you are seen the more you’ll save in treatment time and expense. Begin with a no-cost consultation to learn how your fears can be overcome so your oral health can be restored. Call (219) 987-5733 to schedule.