I am fairly certain that I don’t need to explain the title of this blog; most of you can identify with the first three words and how they relate to the profession of dentistry. All three present differently and with varying degrees of intensity. I had one patient tell me “I would rather have another child than have you give me the shot.” Others are more subtle, and still some are brought to tears. It’s extremely unfortunate that routine dental visits can cause this much stress for our patients. It also leads us to the purpose of this blog: what can we do about it. First, you should do your best to find a dentist you trust; a dentist that is an advocate for your oral health, and strives to create a positive experience every time you arrive at the office. Second, be open and honest about what you are feeling and any apprehension you have about your appointment. When I notice apprehensive patients, the first thing I do is reassure them that dental fear is common, and then proceed to ask them what their concerns are. The most common answer I receive deals with a past appointment where adequate pain control was not achieved. I reassure them that without adequate anesthesia we will not continue with the procedure. Lastly, but equally important we use distracters; nitrous oxide, music, eye-glasses that can play movies, and blankets to name a few. Over the last few years dentistry has also created a product that adds vibration to the delivery of anesthetic aka “the shot”. The added vibration camouflages the notorious pinch felt by patients and has been a priceless addition to our practice. Let’s briefly review:

  1. Find a dentist you trust.
  2. Be open about your concerns.
  3. Ask for the little things that will make you more comfortable.

Our goal is to provide you with exceptional care and an experience that leaves you smiling. Hopefully this blog has provided you some helpful information to make your next visit a more comfortable one.

Brandon Helgeson DDS