We Understand Fearful Patients

Posted on Jul 13, 2012 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

Our periodontal practice often sees patients who have a significant fear associated with dental visits. We also understand that not all those who experience fear or anxiety associated with dental visits are the same. While many had traumatic dental experiences in the past, others experience anxiety for different reasons, including:

Fear of perceived pain – Some people merely anticipate pain from hearing tales from others about unpleasant or painful dental procedures.

Feeling helpless or having no control – For some, to sit in a dental chair with an open mouth and not see what’s being done is a frightening situation.

Embarrassment or self-consciousness – Certain adults are uneasy with the physical closeness of a dentist or hygienist that’s required for treatment. This may have to do with the appearance of their teeth or possible mouth odors, fearing they’ll be judged.

Fear of injections or inadequate numbing – Having a tremendous dread of needles, especially in one’s mouth, is another cause for dental anxiety. Some adults also fear the dentist will begin treatment before the numbing meds have taken effect or that the amount of numbing won’t be sufficient.

Fear of side effects – Although no one likes the numbness of a “fat lip” associated with local anesthetics, some may also have dizziness, feel faint or even be nauseous.

What helps each patient relax is based upon their specific situation. We often begin by sitting together in a comfy Consultation Room. We discuss their unique needs and how we can move at a pace that feels good for them.

Patients typically relax when they realize there will be no discomfort and they are in control of how we proceed, whether before treatment or during a procedure. Some opt to include Oral Sedation with their treatment in the beginning. Yet, after their first visit, many no longer feel this is necessary.

When patients feel they can trust you to make sure they are comfortable and ‘cared for’ rather than just being treated, fear and anxiety often disappear. If you, or someone you know, has dental fear or anxiety, call (828) 254-9440 to request a Consultation. We’ll discuss the best way to restore your mouth to a healthy state!

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