Overcoming Your Fears Through Communication

WHY IS IT SO SCARY to visit the dentist? Why do thoughts of napkin-like bibs and strange tools with little mirrors attached give some people the chills? Setting aside the high pitched, nails-on-chalkboard-sound one hears during a cleaning, what else do people worry about? Research shows that 10-20% of people avoid the dentist because of fear or anxiety, and 5-10% of people have an actual “dental phobia”—meaning they’ll do just about anything to avoid a visit to the dentist. Some people who have extreme dental anxiety have good reasons. But here at Dental Partners of Boston, we want you to feel at ease and comfortable.

Perhaps it came from a previous negative experience with a procedure or with a dentist. In other cases, some people just don’t like the feeling of being so close to the dentist, or the lack of control they feel while they’re lying in the chair. WebMD talks about some ways to help this kind of anxiety.

Simply put, one way is to just tell one of our doctors, or a team member, about your fears. With 75% of us having some level of fear, it’s common. You don’t need to feel alone. The doctors here didn’t become dentists to scare people—they became dentists because they wants to help people. So, if you hate tight spaces, or you don’t like not understanding what we’re doing in your mouth, it’s OK to let us know. In fact, we WANT you to tell us. It helps us help you.

We’ll gladly explain each dental tool before we use it, and give you extra time to thoroughly rinse out your mouth. And although we can’t promise miracles, we can even try to stop asking you questions while you have something in your mouth!

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