This is a huge question because for the majority of people, me included, the word Dentist equates to Pain!
What is it about dentistry that evokes so many negative emotions? How can so many women tell me they would rather suffer natural childbirth than come see a dentist? (I don’t have kids yet but i believe that is true PAIN!!!)
I did a poll to discover what the main issues were and in summary in no particular order…
- ‘Mean’ school dentists
- Having fillings without anesthetic as children
- Memories of having gas as a child in the dentists chair
- A fear of not knowing what to expect…not being in control
I think the last one is the major factor and it is the one I focus on when treating patients.
Something happens to you when the chair goes back. You become more vulnerable, exposed, afraid, don’t know what to expect and as the anxiety heightens, all those horror stories flash through your mind (By the way I’m describing MY reaction in the dentist chair!!)
However inspite of this, 21st century dentistry is virtually painless and below are some of the tricks I use to help make the experience more pleasant
- Dark glasses to block out the surgery light
- Video Goggles so you can watch a movie whilst having your treatment…helps the time pass faster
- Lip balm to moisturise your lips…more comfy and does help fool the mind that you are relaxed. When you are afraid your lips dry out so by keeping them moist it actually helps relax you
- Bubble gum gel to numb the gum before giving any injection so it is virtually painles
- The Wand which is an electronic way of applying anaesthesia so there is no pressure or pain
But above all, the key is to find a dentist/practice that will take the time to listen, to talk and make you feel comfortable. That’s the key. No matter what gadgets are used, if you trust the team, you will relax and everything will be much more comfortable