Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ideas to overcome the fear.


People are afraid to go to the dentist because they think it could result in unnecessary treatment. It’s a real concern for many people. My advice:

Ask Questions

The best way to get over fear is to get informed and ask lots of questions. The initial examination is perhaps the most important visit. This is where the relationship starts. A thorough examination will reveal any concerns. Don't be afraid to ask questions. We love them and it helps to build trust. 

See Pictures

A picture says a thousand words. A no cost full series of high resolution digital photos are taken of all new patients at our office. This is a great means for patients to see what we see. It takes the guess work of trying to imagine what we are explaining.

Find out Your Options

You always have options. The first one is always to do nothing. Then there is usually a good, better, and best option. Pick one that you are comfortable with after you've been thoroughly educated. 

What should someone do if they feel they could be getting false info/advice from their dentist?
The patient ultimately has the final say in doing anything and if it doesn’t feel right, I’d definitely say get a second or even a third opinion. A relationship between a doctor and the patient is a sacred one. A trust has to be established and if it isn’t, the patient needs to find a place where they can feel comfortable. If it doesn't feel right to you, then do it. 

As humans, we tend to want to fix things when they break. How does dental care differ?
Preventative Care is Crucial

Our mouths are a constantly deteriorating environment. An analogy I use is that it’s like a road that gets a lot of high traffic…it eventually wears down. Cracks and potholes develop, making for a very bumpy ride! The same thing happens in our mouths—fillings wear down, they start to leak, bacteria seeps into areas that it shouldn’t go, and teeth start to rot from the inside.
Waiting Too Long Could Mean Worse Problems

The main idea with dental care is to fix something before it hurts because when it starts to hurt, it’s usually too late. When it hurts, it usually means there’s something serious going on. We want to help prevent that late night emergency when no amount of pain medication helps with the pain of an infected or broken tooth. It’s an extreme visual but it’s very true and it happens more often than it should. Emergency room doctors get a tremendous amount of visits from patients for this reason.
Dental Work Does Not Last Forever

A huge misconception about dental work (fillings, crowns, veneers, root canals) is that they will last forever. Unfortunately they don’t. There’s no product or service in our society that has such a high expectation for success like dental work. On top of that, dental work, such as fillings and crowns, undergo an immense amount of torture every time our teeth come together to chew. 
Preventative treatment saves time, money, and pain

Doing anything in dentistry at an early stage saves time, money, and helps prevent pain. Often times the pain is even emotional pain.  It’s a great sign when something isn’t hurting. That usually means that it can be fixed simply versus a more complicated procedure—such as needing to do a crown, bridge, or even a root canal.