Nervous about going to the dentist?

When we meet new patients, it’s very common for them to tell us: “I hate the dentist.” We get it. Scary sounds, smells, sights, and for some people, scary memories. Read on to find out where these nerves come from and what we at Atlanta Family Dentistry do to help our patients feel comfortable.

Where’s the fear coming from?

For many of our patients, dental fear has roots in childhood. Many patients can point to a particular bad experience or set of experiences. Unfortunately because these experiences happen when patients are young, they can lead to a lifetime of avoiding the dentist.

For our pediatric patients, this is why we recommend starting visits early so that a child’s first experience at the dentist is a comfortable cleaning and exam rather than a more invasive treatment. For patients who need a lot of treatment, we may refer to a pediatric dentist who can put him or her to sleep.

What helps with dental fear?

One of the scariest things about going to the dentist or getting healthcare in general is the sense of losing control over our body. Dentistry can be especially scary because one of the main ways we use to communicate–our mouths–is full of other people’s hands!

That’s why we tell all of our patients they are the ones who are in control. We ask every patient to raise a hand if they want to pause for any reason, even for something as small as an itchy nose. The minute a patient’s hands go up, all of our hands and instruments immediately exit.

We also go to great lengths to answer any questions patients may have about a procedure or a treatment plan. Often, understanding what is going to happen before it happens helps to ease the anxiety.

Are you anxious about going to the dentist? Give us a call and give us a chance to put your fears at ease.

image by Vassilis on flickr, CC license

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