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Dental fear: don’t bite the dentist, please!

Fear of the chair is a very real and very scary problem! This is the fear of receiving dental care treatments and can have a number of reasons. At least I’ve made contact with some of them at the Clinic.

Many of the people I see or treat that have an irrational fear of the dentist feel that way because they’ve been traumatized in the past. I’d even say that this is the most common of causes. Other people feel very anxious because they can’t see or understand what’s being done to them.

And of course, there are the cases of the patients who “herited” that fear from others, being parents, friends of even mass media. Yes, mass media often portraits dentists as evil doctors whose sole purpose in life is hurting patients with their saws and weird-looking tools. This is not true, of course, but I’m sure all of you recognize what I’m saying.

So, I’m here telling you that dental fear can be beaten and controlled.

If you are afraid of going in the chair, the first thing you have to do is to tell your doctor that. Ask the dentist to be gentle and talk you through the treatment. Also, make sure you two come up with a signal for when he should stop and give you a break.

I don’t want to scare you even more, but having a very scared patient in the chair can be dangerous. It can be dangerous for the doctor – getting your hand bitten is not good, I can tell you. And it can be harmful for the patient, because sometimes the tiniest of erratic and anxious movements can cause the hand to slip.

So, if you feel you are very, very scared, you can always ask for a local anesthetic, even if it’s a mild procedure.

The process can be long and take some time, but with the help of your dentist and some courage, dental fear can slowly disappear. A relaxed patient is a good patient! And we dentists just want to see you happy!

 

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