It is not uncommon to hear someone say they dread going to see the dentist or they hate the dentist. Colgate Oral and Dental Health Resource Center estimates that around 9-15% of the people in our country have some sort of dental anxiety or phobia. These worries or fears can arise from a variety of reasons such as a previous bad experience, fear of pain, lack of control, fear of the unknown, or even an embarrassment of their own mouth. Regardless of the reasoning, it is important to be upfront and let your dentist know of your concerns and together come up with a way to overcome those concerns to have a pleasant dental experience. The worst thing you can do is to allow your dental anxiety and phobia to lead to dental neglect and affect your overall oral health. So, in order to prevent that from happening, at Moorkamp & Arthur Family Dentistry, we take extra measures to help you deal with dental phobia.
We will work with you to come up with your own, uniquely designed plan to manage your dental phobia or anxiety. Some options can include:
- Pre-examination/Pre-treatment office visits – become familiar with your surroundings and our staff even before your first appointment
- Complete explanation of treatment or no explanation at all – whatever you desire
- Listening to music to drown out any undesired noises
- Signals with patients to stop treatment if they feel any discomfort
- Pharmacotherapy, to include sedatives the night before and morning of dental appointments
- Nitrous Oxide or laughing gas to provide relaxation during treatment
At Moorkamp & Arthur Family Dentistry, a unique way we decrease anxiety for new patients is through our initial examination. You can be at ease knowing that your initial appointment is focused on a non-invasive, comprehensive examination to assess your overall condition and come up with an individualized treatment plan to optimize and more importantly maintain your oral health. After your initial examination, your next appointment is a sit down, outside the dental treatment room, one on one with your dentist on the findings from your examination. These appointments allow you time to have any questions or concerns answered as well as the autonomy to decide on your dental care going forward in a more comfortable environment. If an initial examination is even too daunting, we can schedule a pre-examination/pre-treatment visit, as mentioned above, where you tour the office and meet the dentist and staff informally.
Dental treatment is often associated with pain, when in reality a lot of dental treatment is and can be pain free. At Moorkamp & Arthur Family Dentistry, we have implemented a variety of tools and techniques into our daily practice to make the less desirable parts of dental treatment a lot more tolerable. Two of the most commonly heard concerns from dental patients are the injection of anesthesia or the fear of not being numb when treatment starts. We use specialized instruments and topical anesthetic, along with technique, to minimize any discomfort you may feel during the injection. This, along with stronger anesthetics and the time you need to let the anesthetic work, should provide a worry-free and dare we say relaxing dental appointment.
So, if you take anything from this blog post, remember to be open and honest with your dentist about any anxiety or fear you have about your dental care. We’ve seen thousands of patients with different anxieties and phobias, and with around 30,000,000 people in our country experiencing the similar concerns, you are not alone. Dentistry has come along way and here at Moorkamp & Arthur Family Dentistry we work hard to remove any negative stereotypes associated with dentistry and make your experiences with us as enjoyable as possible.