the Fear Of Dentistry
phobias and anxiety stem from various
sources. These can lead to a strongly
conditioned fear response. The following
are the most common origins of dental
Previously painful or negative experiences
during visits to a dentist's office.
This can even include careless comments
made by a dentist or hygienist during
a past examination.
severe discomfort with feeling helpless
and/or out of control in the dental
A sense of embarrassment of your
dental neglect and fear of ridicule
and/or belittlement when you present
to the dental office.
Scary anecdotes of negative dental
experiences learned vicariously
from family and friends.
Negative, menacing portrayals of
dentists in movies, TV, newspapers
A sense of depersonalization in
the dental process, intensified
by today's necessity for the use
of barrier precautions, such as
masks, latex gloves and shields.
A general fear of the unknown.
WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT MY DENTAL FEAR?
first thing you can do is to realize
that your dental fear can be overcome.
Fear is a learned behavior which,
therefore, can be unlearned. Patient-centered
behavior modification that treats
you as a whole person, not as a
set of teeth can help you overcome
your fears. This will obviously
take a team approach between you
and your dentist and his/her staff.
Communication is the key. You must
feel comfortable expressing your
fears and concerns and have a sense
that you are being listened to.
If you feel that the Dr. and/or
staff if not genuinely concerned
and listening, then absolutely feel
comfortable with seeking out referrals
to other offices.
should never compromise the level
of communication that you feel is
necessary to give you a sense of
control over your situation in the
dental office. Modern dentistry
with a compassionate dental team
can be truly painless. You can desensitize
yourself to your fears if you take
the first step and allow the right
team to help you overcome your fears.
Sense of Control-
and clarification of any and all
procedures proposed is your right
as a patient. If you have a question
about a particular procedure, ask
it! Empower yourself with the knowledge
to alleviate fear of the unknown.
You should have input into treatment
decisions and choices. You should
be honest with your dentist regarding
how much treatment you think you
can tolerate at first. As you build
confidence in yourself and trust
in the team that is caring for you,
the length of your appointment and
the amount of work accomplished
A Signalling System should be established
allowing you to stop for any reason,
whether it be because you need more
anesthesia, want to rinse out, or
simply need a two second break.
The most common signal is raising
you have been ridiculed in the past
for your behavior or if you are
embarrassed by your present dental
condition caused by your neglect,
please express yourself honestly
and give your present dentist a
chance to understand your concerns
and show you that they care. You
will be amazed at the wealth of
treatment options that you might
not have thought were possible.
With modern dentistry, it's never
too late to recreate a new smile!
you feel tense in the chair, the
easiest way to relax is through
forms of physical relaxation. A
relaxed body promotes a clear and
relaxed mind. The human body cannot
be physically relaxed and mentally
anxious at the same time! The brain
won't process these feelings simultaneously.
Physical relaxation methods are
easier to accomplish at first as
compared to cognitive ones, so practice
forms of physical relaxation first.
Examples of physical relaxation
are Diamphragmatic Breathing, Progressive
Muscle Relaxation, and various methods
taught in yoga . There are numerous
books and sources for these methods.
If you induce relaxation in the
presence of the stimuli that normally
induces your fears (the dental environment),
the fear response will be greatly
diminished over multiple exposures
and you will gradually desensitize
yourself to these fears as you build
confidence. The memories of traumatic
visits will be replaced with more
innocuous ones and this less threatening
environment coupled with your relaxation
methods will help you eliminate
you get more comfortable in the
dental environment, you can engage
in various distraction techniques
that many offices have. The use
of a Walkman or Discman is a common
technique. Many offices now are
equipped with Virtual Reality-like
glasses that provide both visual
and auditory distraction by allowing
you to view videotapes through these
glasses while having dental work
done. We only suggest using distraction
techniques once you have established
some trust and confidence because
your ability to communicate will
be compromised, although it is easy
to stop any of these devices if
dentistry has many new techniques
with regards to the administration
of local anesthetics to block any
possibility of pain. There are many
people who have anatomical or biologic
variations that do require more
individualized techniques in order
to predictably achieve proper local
anesthesia. This variation must
be respected and communicated to
your dentist. All injections should
be given slowly . The needle itself
is not the major cause of discomfort,
but in fact, it is the pressure
and volume of the fluids being injected
that causes the discomfort. There
are also great differences in the
types of tissue in various locations
anatomically and from person to
person that must be considered when
administering injections. There
are even computer-controlled machines
that are now available to standardize
the injection process and make it
more predictable than the conventional
hand-held syringe. (See section
on "PAIN FREE DENTISTRY".)
EMPOWER YOURSELF WITH KNOWLEDGE
AND TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FEARS!
you require any more information
on EMERGENCY DENTISTRY IN
SYDNEY please do not hesitate
to contact us.