Of all the health care providers available, it seems that people
avoid the dentist's office the most. Some people just do not see oral health
care as important unless they have a problem. Some had bad experiences as
children, so they are afraid to return based on their past trauma. Some worry
about pain and discomfort during dental procedures.
Today's oral health care is vastly removed from the procedures of years gone
by. So many advances have been made in the last twenty years, and new
technologies are put into place all the time. This may be something to bring to
the attention of that great-uncle who likes to recount horror stories at the
family reunion. For those who have a genuine fear of dental work, here are a
few ways they can prepare themselves for a visit to the dentist:
1. Eliminate the unknown.
Old wives' tales abound regarding dentists, as they do in every other area of
health care. Before a person goes to the dentist, he can gain as much knowledge
as possible about the office and general procedures. Most fears come from the
unknown, so arming oneself with information is a great antidote.
If gathering information online, it is important to reference sites that are
reputable. Most of these would be specific medical sites with a .gov or .edu in
the address name. It is helpful to ask close family and friends what dentist
they use and what experiences they have had. To avoid the horror stories
mentioned above, it is best to ask those that go to their dentists on a regular
When a person has decided on a dentist to visit, he could make an appointment
just to meet the dentist and find out what his practice is like. Several good Pennsylvania dentists are open to this and are happy to answer questions.
2. Find out what pain control methods are
Most people are familiar with oral injections and nitrous oxide (also known as
laughing gas). These are less invasive procedures, and often deliver a painless
experience while calming a patient's anxiety.
If the idea of injections is bothersome to a patient, there is a newer
technology that actually delivers anesthesia electronically. This anesthesia is
controlled by the patient according to his level of discomfort and relaxes him
as well. A benefit of this procedure is that it is only in effect as long as
the device is turned on. This means that the patient is able to resume all
normal activity, even driving, as soon as he leaves the dental office.
Many Pennsylvania dentists have the capability of even more pain control
methods, so a patient can be at ease knowing all that is available to him.
"Painless dentistry" is truly possible with today's technologies.
3. Investigate newer practices.
Cosmetic dentistry has taken great leaps over the last decade. Traditionally,
if one had crooked teeth or other cosmetic dental problems, it was expensive
and difficult to correct. Today, even braces look much different, with clear and
ceramic versions available for a negligible difference in cost. Looking better
has never been so easy.