Welcome to my dental blog! My goal with this blog is to discuss a lot of the questions that I get from patients on a regular basis as well as keep you informed about some of the really cool things going on in Dentistry today that make me really enjoy what I do! Please feel free to post comments as well. If there are certain issues you'd like me to discuss, please let me know and I'll be sure to include them in future posts.
For my first post, I thought about one of the most common issues patients have when they come into my office: FEAR. Somewhere, somehow, along the way, something happened and they are afraid to be in the chair. Some folks are having a hard time just sitting in the waiting room. Nervous, sweaty hands, racing heartbeat--- I think we can all relate to that on some level and that most of us have some kind of anxiety associated with the Dentist. Even if its just a teasing from a sibling that goes way back to when we were kids. Dentistry has quite the reputation for being painful ("Please, don't hurt me!"), and scary ("Do you have to give me a shot? Will this hurt?"), and ultimately the biggest thing we're all afraid of ("How much will this cost?")!
All these fears can add up to make a trip to the dentist a pretty stressful event. But, in spite of it all, I'm grateful for everyone who makes it in, who makes a committment to face their fear and get checked out. Sometimes its just an insane amount of pain where there is no other choice and it has to be dealt with, and with others, its just out of a knowing that they need to get in.
I have found that a lot of this fear comes from the fear of not knowing what's going to happen. Not knowing if it will hurt, or the cost, or what's wrong. Once I can walk the patient through what's going on in their mouth, and show them pictures of their teeth, and their xrays and talk about what we can do to give them a healthy mouth, a lot of the fear goes away. We have the technology now to make a trip to the dentist a painless experience. I always love to hear patients say "That was the best shot I've ever had! I didn't feel anything!" I take a lot of pride in being able to give painless injections as I think the shots are probably the number one thing most people are afraid of.
The other transformative event I love to see is when someone has had an awful experience from the past and I am able to help them see that its not going to be that way here in my office. I am firmly committed to establishing a strong bond of trust with all of my patients and keeping all communication lines as open as possible as we navigate through whatever their needs may be. Trust and communication really do wonders to outweigh fears! These, as well as a new found knowledge of what their specific needs may be, and a plan to restore their mouth back to health. Its really a gratifying experience for me to be able to help calm someone's fears about dentistry and have them be okay about coming in to the office and having their teeth and mouth happy and healthy!
So, if you're afraid about going to the dentist, you're not alone. The first step is always the hardest one. But if you can face your fears enough to come in for an appointment, I promise that it won't be nearly as bad as you think it might be! In fact, you may actually enjoy it! Well, maybe not quite that extreme, but I am here to listen to your concerns and fears and help in any way I can along the way.
All my best,