Phobias are fairly common in day-to-day life. Many people express their own fears, whether it's spiders or public speaking. But did you know that we're also one of your biggest fears?
If you're nodding along while reading that, then don't worry; you're not alone! "Dentophobia" (the fear of going to the dentist) is one of the more common fears that Americans have. Whether you're afraid of our equipment or what we're going to tell you during your exam, these are the top four reasons people are afraid to come see us.
The Top Four Reasons People are Afraid of the Dentist
Going to the dentist doesn't have to be a scary experience, yet millions of people mark it as one of their biggest fears. Do any of these reasons sound familiar to you?
You are afraid of our drill. We get it. We do not even like calling it a drill because of the negative association with it. Instead, we like to call it our handpiece. If you hate the sound of our handpiece, by all means, bring your earbuds with you to tune us out! We will not be offended.
You're afraid of pain. It is a shame that so many people have had poor dental experiences and link an exam with us to pain. We are incredibly gentle here and strive to keep our patients comfortable. When we have to fix a patients tooth, we take every precaution to make sure it is a pain-free experience. If you do notice any discomfort during your appointment, speak up! We can adjust your anesthetic dose to make the pain go away.
You don't like needles. Needles are smaller these days, and most patients do not even report feeling the initial pinch when we give them anesthetic. Nowadays, many anesthetics don't even have to be administered by a shot, which means you may not even encounter a needle during your exam. The important thing to remember is that the needle is there to prevent you from feeling any pain, and while it can be daunting, it really is painless.
You're afraid of what we'll say. If you have history of neglecting your teeth, or you have seen a family member or loved one undergo extensive dental care, then it is understandable to be a little bit anxious about what we will tell you during your dental exam. The biggest way you can reduce that fear is by scheduling regular dental appointments with cleanings, and taking very good care of your teeth at home, to prevent any unpleasant surprises.
We don't want you to be afraid of us! We go above and beyond to keep our patients calm and at ease when they come in for an exam because we understand how nervous you might be.
If you haven't scheduled an appointment in over six months due to fear, please give our kind and gentle dental staff a call today to set up your exam and cleaning!
The Center for Implant & General Dentistry Clay Keith, D.D.S. | Paul Denson, D.D.S.