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Fear of Dental Care

April 4, 2013

I read recently that the fear of dentists was one of the top 10 greatest phobias. As a dentist, I am of course familiar with the fact that people are afraid of dental procedures. But the top ten? Really?? Up there with public speaking, death, and snakes?
Since I graduated (yikes- 10 years ago!) I have been trying to single-handedly irradicate this situation. On my journey I have encountered everything from total irrationality to well-founded suspicion based on horrific childhood experiences. I have tried to patiently and gently guide each of these poor suffering individuals back to the safety of modern, gentle and effective dental care. In most cases, I have succeeded. I can cite case after case of folks once
distraught at the thought of stepping into my office who now earnestly recommend me to friends and relatives, saying, “really, it’s no big deal… just go get it fixed!” I have mastered the art of the dreaded injection (so I’m told time after time). Most people don’t feel anything. At all. Nada.
I explain what I’m doing as I go, and stop when patients need a break for any reason. I’m conservative, thorough, and gentle. That’s how I’ve built my practice. But apparently it’s not enough. To those of you who still cite ‘the dentist’ in your major fears, please come see me. I’ll do what I can.

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3 comments

  1. Excellent information it is really. I’ve been waiting for this update.


  2. I have heard about trauma informed care. Is this something you practice? I haven’t been to a dentist in years because going to the dentist is very difficult and embarrassing


    • I wasn’t familiar with the terminology, so I researched it a bit. To the extent it applies to dental care, diagnosis and thoughtful treatment planning, we do embrace this methodology.
      To my way of thinking, it’s hard to provide a framework in which acceptable care is provided without considering any trauma involved (whether it is directly involved in the dental issue or more generalized)



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