Is Anxiety-Free Dentistry a Myth?

F E A R in Scrabble Letters

Why is fear of the dentist so common? Some patients really look forward to an expert inspection, thorough cleanings, and taking the right steps to fixing long-term problems through oral surgery. However, a healthy number of our patients suffer from anxieties about a number of factors they encounter when they visit us. Fortunately, we’re here to alleviate those fears through knowledge and understanding, and working closely with you to make sure that we assuage your every anxiety.

 

We firmly believe that anxiety-free dentistry is 100% possible for each and every patient. Although it is uncommonly referred to as “odontophobia”, as dentists we understand that it’s not really a traditional “phobia”; that is to say an irrational fear. A lot of what we do as dentists can be scary for patients who don’t know what to expect. Like any fear, the first step to overcoming it is understanding it.

Our future blog posts on anxiety-free dentistry will dive deeper into the specific causes of particular anxieties, and some of the unique tactics and tools we use to defeat these anxieties. But before we go too far, we can outline the impacts that the diverse forms of odontophobia can have on your overall health and wellbeing.

First, let’s talk about the things the commonly frighten patients. Trigger warning: dentists use pointy tools and loud tools, huge machines and tiny machines. We use needles, drills, and surgical tools. We use local anesthetics and gasses that can put you to sleep. We take many steps to make our office warm and welcoming, and maximize your comfort at every moment. Nonetheless, responses to the idea of sitting in the dentist’s chair under bright lights with other people using these implements in your very personal space can range from mild discomfort to extreme anxiety or panic attacks.

The number one trend we see amongst patients who are afraid of the dentist is that we never see them! It’s very easy to keep procrastinating even the most urgent dentist appointment. Some people can go years without seeing a dentist, whereas others may need much more frequent care. Tooth decay will not get better with time, so make sure you don’t let a small cavity that can be filled in just a few minutes turn into a rotten tooth that will require expensive and invasive dental work. For the parents reading, know that if you’re afraid of the dentist, your kids will be afraid of the dentist. 

The number one solution to overcome procrastination due to dental anxiety? Come see us! Give us a call or an email! It doesn’t even have to be for the appointment itself. We can go over your every fear and anxiety, and talk with you about the true nature of these procedures. Together, we can establish whether your fears are based on your own real, lived experience or common misconceptions. We’ll then formulate a set of solutions for each and every anxiety you have, ensuring that your next dentist visit is more pleasure than pain! Here’s to your health!

Author
Belmont Dentistry

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