This is a story one of my patients told me, about facing his fears of visiting the dentist. Though he was a grown man, this was his first-ever visit to the dentist. Partly because he never thought it was necessary and partly out of dental phobia.
Dull pain in the back of his mouth turned sharp and uncomfortable by the end of the day. He couldn’t take it anymore and had to come to terms with facing his worst nightmare. He had to see a dentist.
This was his first visit to a dentist. After looking at the X-ray, the dentist patiently explained to him that pulling out the wisdom tooth would fix the toothache.
Numbing the side of the mouth where the wisdom tooth needed to be extracted was done with a small jab. In a few moments, the right side of his mouth went numb.
The doctor stood on his right side and started prying on the wisdom tooth that was to be removed. Aaaaah, he cried, he was in pain.
The doctor asked the patient what was wrong and the patient replied with a sad face “it hurts”.
Surprised, the doctor replied “really ? Hmm..” and he walked around to the left side of the patient, opened his mouth, and gave a gentle push to one of the teeth on the side of the mouth that didn’t have local anesthesia.
“Ouch, that hurts,” said the patient looking at the doctor and the doctor replied
“Right. Now that’s what hurt or pain actually feels like. When I was working on your right wisdom tooth it wasn’t actually hurting, but your brain had already assumed that it was”.
Lesson learned: In 90% of the cases of dental real phobia, the perception of dental pain is often much worse than the pain itself.
The thought of visiting a dentist sends shivers down the spine for many kids as well as grown-ups. This can mostly be traced back, to an unsavory experience the person had during a previous visit to the dentist.
Our dental team at SmileFactory, North-Goa makes every effort to ensure that your experience is genuinely a happy one. No wonder you’ll see smiles all around SmileFactory.
The root of dental phobia is in the conclusions you make either by experiencing things firsthand or a combination of one or more factors that you assume or hear about. Let’s talk about a few of those.
“Fear of needles” (needle phobia or Trypanophobia) is a real cause that plagues a lot of people. Studies suggest around 20% of the population is affected by it. Even if you’ve heard or observed a friend or family member in pain at a dentist or during routine blood work, it might cause you to panic although you weren’t the one being pricked.
Afraid of needles? There are now gels and patches available that can be applied to greatly reduce your uneasiness about the injection. Our dentists use very thin needles and inject the solution slowly to reduce discomfort.
Some patients worry about the pain returning after the effect of anesthesia wears off. Many dentists use anesthesia that lasts longer or advises pain medication prior to some procedures because these measures have been shown to reduce pain after treatment.
Especially with patients that have a lower threshold of pain tolerance. Once a fearful patient starts trusting their dentist, they quickly overcome the fear.
Fear of visiting the dentist can also stem from tales that you might have heard or a movie with grotesque visuals or story. Some people can’t deal with the feeling of helplessness. Even others have a general fear of hospitals and doctors, which naturally transcends to the dentist’s office.
I won’t tell you that dental treatment is never painful, on rare occasions, it is. But most of the time, treatments are completely painless, or only slightly uncomfortable.
You see, we as dentists are well aware of the pain, and no dentist in their right mind would want to inflict unnecessary pain, it’s bad for our practice. You might never come back.
If you experience uneasiness let your dentist know, and if they don’t pay heed, it’s time to find a new one.
Check out this story of how a patient overcame dental phobia.
As much as anything else, you need to find a comfortable dental environment where you feel relaxed, at ease, and cared for. Several factors such as the atmosphere in the reception and the waiting room, as well as the manner and skills of the dentists and the help staff goes a long way in calm your nerves.
Talk to us if you are afraid of visiting the dentist. We guarantee you’ll never be afraid of the dentist’s chair again.