Many people suffer irrational fear when visiting the dentist. The fear can lead to avoidance and eventually more extensive and expensive treatment to restore a problem with a tooth. Fear happens to the best of us, but most can overcome the initial fear and follow through with dental treatment. However, some begin to ignore indications that their oral health is in decline.
Distressed patients can be classified into two basic types;
Common anxiety is from the fear of the unknown, usually able to over come fear and receive treatment. The fear is a reaction to an unknown impending danger.
A phobia is an intense unreasonable fear with a fight or flight response that causes avoidance because of the psychological burden.
Now, let’s examine some facts;
Fear of dental pain is very common in older adults because of painfully antiquated dentistry. Technological advances in dentistry have improved the profession significantly, however painful, past treatments can surface to the forefront of our minds.
Embarrassment can develop into phobia when people are ashamed of what their mouth and teeth look like, and the close proximity necessary for treatment can trigger even more anxiety.
Fear can arise during treatment from a feeling of helplessness and lack of control over what’s happening. Updates to a patient can help disseminate the feeling.
It’s important to establish a doctor/hygienist/patient relationship before in case a dental emergency arises. Not all dental procedures are painful.
At Drs. Kimmerling & Aguilera, patients with fear are given special notice.
1. Although all patients are seen on time, people with fear/anxiety are seen immediately.
2. Nitrous oxide gas (laughing gas) can be used to help ease tension and fear.
3. Every dental assistant at Verde Pointe Dental Office is highly trained with an expanded duties certificate to better aid in comfort and expertise.
4. Simple distraction techniques are often used, especially on younger patients.
5. Numbing gel applied to the gums helps at injection sites.
6. Verde Pointe Dental Associates has invested in new technology aiding patient comfort.