Dental fear is quite prevalent, so rest assured that being afraid is normal. There are a few reasons why you would feel afraid to visit the dentist and if we examine the most common reasons, we can see that they should not be barriers to keep you from seeking dental care.
Fear of embarrassment is often cited as one of the biggest fears in visiting the dentist for the first time or after an extended time away. We are all doing our best in a complex world and sometimes we don’t do what we know we should be doing. As adults, we don’t want to be yelled at or scolded either. The good thing is that dentistry has changed, and we are trained to be coaches and helpers. Our entire professional life is dedicated to helping people get and stay healthy. No matter what problem you have, we have seen it and know how to help. We also see a person who is suffering as someone who needs our help.
Fear of pain is another common reason. Tooth pain is like nothing else. If you have ever had a toothache, then you know; there are epic pomes written as early 1797 with “Address to The Toothache” by Robert Burns. There is a scientific reason for the severity of that pain. The nerve that detects tooth pain is a cranial nerve which means that the pain signals go directly from the source to the brain. In your hand the nerves relay information through the spinal cord prior to traveling to the brain, the pain can be muted and controlled. The good news is that with modern anesthetics and sedation dentistry we can make the entire visit painless and as pleasant as possible. Many times, patients are already in pain because they waited too long to make their appointment and we were not able to address problems PRIOR to them becoming painful. Remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Additionally, Sedation Dentistry allows us to use oral medications to calm and put you to sleep, and due to an amnesic quality of the medications, sometimes you will not even remember the visit.
Fear of the cost of treatment is the final biggest reason to avoid the dentist. Dentistry can cost a lot, there is no hiding from that fact. While dental “Insurance” can help if you have it, there is nothing that covers it completely and there will usually be some out-of-pocket costs associated with your treatment. An initial examination of your teeth is usually covered by your dental insurance, and if you don’t have it then you can expect the cost to be under $100 for your exam, x-rays, and a discussion with your dentist about treatment options. Many offices, such as ours, have in house plans for the uninsured that help to give a discount on dental services. Financing is also available with flexible payment options. Rest assured that any additional charges will be discussed PRIOR to the procedures taking place.
Visiting the dentist can be scary but don’t let that fear keep you away. Let the office know if you are anxious and what you are anxious about, and we can help guide you through the process so you can have a healthy and beautiful smile.