Do you or someone you know have dental fear or anxiety? If so, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that up to 40 million Americans have fear of visiting the dentist.
Many of these fears and anxieties originate from old beliefs about the dentist that are no longer true. With a compassionate dental staff and the safest, most modern technology, your dental visit can be a pleasant experience. Here, we’ve listed the biggest myths about dentists that just won’t seem to die — and why they are completely false:
MYTH: Going to the dentist is painful.
Actually, your dentist should be doing everything in his or her power to make you comfortable. There’s no reason that dental procedures should cause you pain. With numbing agents, medications, and a skilled hand from your hygienist or dentist, pain should be virtually eliminated at today’s dental visits.
A good dentist wants her patients to be calm and to feel great about their dental care — so if you’re worried about pain, talk about it beforehand. Tell the dental team about your fears, and ask what can be done to make you as comfortable as possible.
MYTH: I have no control when I’m in the dentist’s chair.
Many people understandably feel helpless and anxious when they’re leaned back in a chair and told to open their mouth. But you, the patient, should still have the control you need at all times.
Talk to your dentist or hygienist about a “signal” to use before you get started. Raising your hand is an easy and effective choice. When you use this signal, the procedure needs to be paused. This can give you time to take a break if needed. A caring, compassionate dental provider will understand the need for you to have this control, and will be willing to stop whenever you need it.
MYTH: My oral habits aren’t great, and the dentist will criticize me.
Your dentist wants to help her patients get healthier mouths, not discourage people from coming to the dentist! Dentists, like doctors, see people with many different health habits and know that people need encouragement and guidance to be their healthiest self.
If your dentist criticizes your oral habits, it’s time to find a different dentist! Call the dentist’s office and speak with the dental team before you book your appointment. This can help you determine whether they make you feel comfortable and welcome. At our office, we focus on helping our patients find ways to get a healthy and beautiful smile. We believe criticizing someone for not having perfect oral health habits is not a good use of your time — or ours!
Would you like to have a positive, comfortable dental experience? Cindy Flanagan, DDS and her team are ready to help you, no matter what your dental concerns may be. Contact her Houston office today!