In generations past, people who have experienced the age of dental work when little anesthesia was used during dental work have carried memories of those trying times into the present with a fear of going to the dentist. Just the fear of pain can prevent many people from getting routine preventative care. Any needed restorative work is also put off, until their condition becomes worse and are forced to seek treatment that will relieve their pain. Anxiety, as well as more intense phobias, are very common.
Anxiety about a dental visit may not always involve the fear of pain, however. Just the thought of being examined can cause an uneasiness or stress. Unfounded worries of what is going on, or what happens next, having to sit still, and not being in control of the environment can trigger these feelings.
When a person has put off seeing the dentist for a long time, the embarrassment of having others looking in their mouths and seeing their condition makes them uncomfortable. Ways to alleviate the fear is to bring headphones and listen to music you like. Relaxation techniques such as slow deep breathing and muscle tensing-relaxing can also help.
If the fear becomes strong enough that a person loses sleep the night before an appointment, feels nauseous, panicky, or short of breath, even at the thought or sight of the instruments, or staff wearing white coats or scrubs - then it is considered a phobia. It is recommended to visit your health care professional for further guidance.
We understand and want you to let us know about your fears so we can help you. We explain everything and be sure your questions are answered. Our friendly and caring staff wants to make sure your visit is a pleasant one.