Facing Dental Anxieties

Serving Cherry Creek and Denver, Colorado

Studies show that the top fears of going to the dentist are:

  • Fear of injections and other pain
  • A sense of not being in control
  • A sense of being smothered by having their comfort zone invaded
  • Financial loss, often including missed time from work
  • Embarrassment of their dental conditions
  • Dental office sounds
  • Past experiences at other dental offices

Lets Address these

In order to work with you and face your fears and anxieties, please allow us to address your fears and concerns to help you overcome them before the start of the exam.

1) Injections and other pain

Fear of injections is at the top of the list of fears and phobias for most patients. Once we help a patient overcome that fear, most of the other things take care of themselves. In truth, 85% (if not more) of the injections should not be painful. However, everyone has a different tolerance of pain.

Techniques we use to help overcome your fear of needles include:

Proper placement of high strength topical anesthesia.
In order for topical to work, the gums must be dried off and the topical has to sit on the gums for a period of time that allows it to work.

Use of Smaller caliber needles
Dental needles are very small in comparison to their medical counterparts and IV’s.

Warming of Anesthetic
This theory states if you warm the anesthetic its closer to your body temperature, allowing the tissue to accept it easier.

We will highly recommend you to close your eyes.
There is absolutely no need for you to see the needle. Yes, the needle is going to look big, it’s a few inches always from your eyes! Looking does nothing except get you worked up! (I know if I get a flu shot, I look away)

We will tell you when the needle is inserted.
Because we know you want to know.

We will go slow…
Slow needle insertion and slow injection of the anesthetic. The needle is not the part that causes pain, it’s the quickness the anesthetic is injected into the tissues. You may think the process is extremely slow, but it’s slow for a reason. This is the key to a painless injection. There is no need to be in a hurry.

Letting the anesthesia work
We will give the anesthesia time to work and will evaluate your numbness thoroughly before starting.

2) A sense of not being in control

You are always in control! We will ask step by step during the procedure how you are doing. We don’t feel asking you if you are ok can be asked enough. We will also stop immediately if you raise your hand or make any sound that doesn’t allow me to think you’re not ok.

3) A sense of being smothered by having their comfort zone invaded

To help you with this we will encourage the use of watching TV. We have TV and headphones that will allow you to take your mind off of us working so close to you. By focusing on the TV, it will allow you not to focus on things that cause you anxiety. We also have large spacious facility with large windows in treatment rooms to reduce the feeling of confinement.

4) Financial loss, often including missed time from work

Dental work is by far a financial loss. It actually can be a financial gain. Studies show if you feel confident with yourself and health, it allows for positive energy, focus and attitude, which allows you to succeed. Getting your dental work done is one of the best investments you can make for and in yourself.

You also have the benefit of knowing what things are going to cost upfront. While dentist do encounter financial surprises during treatment, they are usually minimal compared to our medical counterparts. I have seen hospital bills from surgeries and overnight stays, it’s not pretty.

5) Embarrassment of their dental conditions

This is what we do, what we see, day in and day out. There is no need to be embarrassed from your teeth. This is what we are here to help you with, your conditions. With your dedication and commitment, we will treat your condition and it will change things for the better. Education of your problems is a must. We have intra-oral cameras and digital X-rays that allow you to see the problem. We also have patient videos to allow you to understand your treatment.

6) Dental office sounds and smells, an past experiences in other dental offices

Eliminating distasteful sounds is often a problem, but they be can minimized. We have invested in electronic drills that are 40% more quiet than the traditional air driven drills. We also have a TV in the reception area, a door that separates the treatment rooms from the lobby, in office overhead music. Noise canceling headphones and TV’s above the chair also allow for a great experience. We have tried hard to eliminate any traditional noise that can be frightening. We also use a laser that makes a noise, which currently is not associated with dentistry. Eliminating office smells are combated by the use of potpourri, candles and air fresheners. If however you have allergies to any of this, we will be sure to remove them for your appointment.

7) Past experiences in other dental offices

This is a very important phobia of dentist. Many people have bad experiences at the dentist as kids and adults, including myself! The good thing is that dentistry has changed, at least at Ascent Dental! With all the technologies and techniques, treatment is faster, easier and more comfortable. Ascent Dental’s motto is Elevate Your Dental Experience; it’s something we live by. We want you to trash all those old ugly past experiences and allow us to show you a new positive experience. One you will be grateful for. Our success is through your experience, if you don’t have a good experience, we don’t succeed.

Other notes:

First, if you have a fear of dentists, you should minimize the need for any major treatment but routine dental visits by practicing good oral hygiene. You cannot drink numerous sugar flavored soft drinks or sports drinks, chew gum, suck on mints containing sugar, not brush or floss, fail to use fluoride and then be surprised if you have dental problems. Regular dental cleanings can help catch small problems before they become big problems. Your treatment will be easier with a small cavity (caught earlier, less chair time) verses a larger cavity which may require a root canal and crown which will require more visits, chair time and increased cost.

Secondly, if you presently don't have a dentist, Ascent Dental Group would be honored to work with you and feel free to ask us any questions. We know finding a new dentist and office is a hard decision, and we want you to choose us with confidence.

Thirdly, we will ask you to inform us of your fears with openness and honesty. Don’t expect us to know that you have a fear of the dentist. We will always be kind, caring, gentle and painless, but if we are aware of a specific problem, we can be sure to address it.

Fourth, if you feel your dental fears go beyond what we can help with, please don’t hesitate to ask for a referral to someone who can administer IV sedation.

Fifth, you should never self-medicate prior to dental treatment without informing us. It could pose a danger if we administer anesthesia or other medications.

Sixth, think positively! Once you convince yourself that treatment is necessary, and the dental problem will only worsen if gone untreated and may require more difficult procedures, which could cost more, accept the situation begrudgingly and you will overcome your initial hesitations allowing for a positive outlook with treatment.

Seventh, you must remember that we are your partner in achieving good oral health. Never consider us an adversary but rather a friend.

For more information on dental fears and anxieties –  http://www.dentalfearcentral.org/