How well are we taking care of our teeth, which are very important in terms of both health arid aesthetics? Many people allover the world take a step back when they hear the word “dentist”, and are afraid of going to one. Not taking early measures can turn them into big problems that affect our daily lives in the future. However, combined with today’s developing technology, the right dentist, and the right procedures, the treatment isn’t as a difficult progress as feared.
Familiar Causes of Fears
For most people going to the dentist, or even passing near the dentist‘s office is a cause for nightmares. We know many people who have never been to the dentist unless it was absolutely necessary, which most times is some kind of ache or pain. But what are the causes of dental fears? In fact, before responding to this question, it would be better to define fear. Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion triggered by a threat in an uncertain situation. The reasons behind the dental fears are actually all included in this one-sentence description. The feeling of uncertainty of a person who doesn‘t know how or what is being done inside his mouth and on top of that uncertainty, the perception of threat caused by the dentist’s tools whose unpleasant vibrations can be felt inside one’s head, and the anticipation of being hurt any second… In fact, this is an extremely humanist reaction and comes naturally to everybody. Because we all have a bad previous experience with a dentist, or we’ve all heard those cliche sentences even though we haven‘t experienced them ourselves.
On top of those, there is also the family pressure, which is the most traumatic. The kids who behave badly, who don‘t eat their food or don‘t go to bed on time were taken to the doctor; so that he or she would give them a shot! I Although this initially seems like an innocent threat, it can also cause a resistance to the doctor and the dentist in the child‘s world. This results in people who are afraid of going to the dentist, who can‘t go under treatment, who prefer not going unless they are in pain, or people who have their teeth pulled out rather than go under treatment so that they won‘t have to go back to the dentist again…
Developing Technology Brings Comfort and Convenience to Both Patient and Dentist
One of the most important responsibilities of dentists is, not providing room for this phobia to develop, or overcoming the already developed one. We try to prove to our patients that this phobia is unfounded and unsubstantiated. First, we make time, and listen to our patients in order to develop a relationship based on mutual trust. We don‘t do anything in a hurry. We provide them an environment where they can freely express the causes of their fear and their expectations from us. We know that the most important part of our work is creating mutual trust and care. Then we give detailed information about the treatments, we show them before/after photos, and make small presentations about the comments from previous patients. We provide them information about the area to be treated by using intraoral photos and x-ray records. Thus we eliminate the “uncertainty” element that is the utmost cause of the fear.
Next come the ‘threats’… Emerging technology has brought innovations in the dental field, as it does in many other areas. The first is the topical anesthetics (sprays or gel creams), shorter and much thinner dental needles and more effective anesthetic solutions that eliminate the needle phobia which has been haunting patients for years. A patient who undergoes anesthesia this way often says he doesn‘t even realize it. This effect provides great comfort and convenience to both the patient and the dentist in terms of comfort level for the ongoing treatment.
The Root Canal Nightmare is Over
A root canal treatment used to require many visits to the dentist. These visits would translate to days full of nightmares for a person who fears dentists. Moreover, there are also the horror stories that our neighbors or friends tell in between sessions.. Nowadays, it is possible to finish a root canal treatment in one short and painless session with the help of more effective anesthetic solutions, electronic devices that measure the canal length, rotating electronic tools that are used in removing the nerves within the root and expansion of the canal, and laser-assisted canal sterilization systems. The success rate of these treatments are also very high
Having Veneers Is No Longer a Pain
Most of us probably remember when we were young, our elders who had prosthetic dental restoration were in pain because of their cut teeth, couldn‘t eat, and were in a situation where they had to close their mouth even when talking because of the appearance of their teeth. This situation, that naturally fuels the dentist phobia, is fortunately no longer accurate. The shape, colour and even the size of veneers produced by modern dentistry can be planned on the computer. The teeth are covered with a temporary crown on the day of the operation, so that they won‘t cause an unappealing image or sensitivity. The technicians are able to complete aesthetic works with low margin of error and in shorter amount of time with the help of computer–aided systems. Thus, patients are able to guarantee a smooth and beautiful smile for a long time.
I‘m Having Implants, What If T hey Fall?
One of the most feared surgical operations is the dental implant placement. Patients don‘t warm up to this procedure that can be described as the drilling of the bone. They think it will be a hard and painful operation, they don‘t believe a metal screw will successfully stay inside the bone for many years, or through hearsay they perceive a thousand to one complication as a common occurance. Whereas, now dental implant placement is a very successful and a very easy process thanks to the developing anesthetics, materials, diagnostic methods and techniques. It is the most modern treatment for missing teeth. It is also a treatment that protects the other teeth and the bone. They do their work successfully for many years if treated carefully and regularly checked.
It is Possible to Overcome the Phobia with the Right Dentist and Regular Controls
In most cases, people with phobias can continue their lives without ever facing the object of their phobia. Whereas dental treatment is eventually a requirement for everybody. Escaping from or postponing treatment due to fear, would mostly cause a longer treatment process and costlier work. This may feel like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. The right way is forming a team with the dentist, confronting this fear in an environment that is based on mutual trust, and discovering how easier the treatments actually become. If we can‘t work up the courage to do so, then sedation can be used. The sedation is the patient’s going into a deep sleep with the help of an anesthesiologist. This procedure is used on patients who can’t cope with their fear, and waking consciousness is gradually increased in between sessions. This ensures that the patient gets used to the’ dental procedures.
The easiest and the simplest way to prevent dental phobia is meeting the right dentist at an early age. People who keep in contact with dentists through regular controls from a young age will have neither several dental problems nor dentist phobia. Wishing you all an ever beautiful smile…
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