Most of us do not really enjoy medical visits, but we understand that regular checkups are a vital part in maintaining our health, so we grin and bear it. Usually, by the end of the appointment, we realize there was nothing scary to anticipate after all!
For others, however, the levels of anxiety can escalate to the point where they are actively avoiding visiting the dentist. Research has shown that up to 30 to 40 million people skip out on professional cleanings and/or having other issues examined due to their anxiety!
If you count yourself as one of the many patients who experience dread when it comes to dental care, we here at Priti Naik, DDS can help! We have identified some of the top reasons why people avoid the dentist, and have solutions that make it easy for you to go to the dentist again.
We don’t want to hear bad news. It’s not that we are afraid of the professional cleaning itself–it’s that we’re afraid of discovering something is wrong with our teeth and needs restorative dental work that may be costly or painful.
The likelihood of hearing ‘bad news’ is pretty low, especially if you are diligently brushing and flossing every day and avoiding a sugary diet. And, should it become clear that a dental procedure is needed, rest easy: modern dental care has evolved into a practice that is minimally invasive and rarely, if ever, causes lasting discomfort.
The instruments look scary. A tray full of gleaming tools is generally the image that pops into adults’ minds based on experiences from childhood, but today’s dentistry is so technologically advanced that many dentists can boast that they practice ‘needle free dentistry’. Lasers now take the place of any tools previously used for scraping plaque off of teeth, enabling dental care to be painless and efficient.
While sitting in the dentist chair, we are completely helpless. Not true! Dentists have focused their practice to be patient-first, or patient-centered. This means that you will be informed every step of the way so that you make the final call, not the dentist! By staying informed, you will have complete knowledge of your oral health, and you will be aware of all of the options available to you that suit your lifestyle and budget. Doesn’t that feel good?
Negative past experiences. For some adults, they associate the dentist with some outdated techniques and ‘bedside manners’ that were a part of their lives as children. The way dentistry has advanced, the technology and approach have created a medium of dental care that is gentle, warm, informative, and extremely sophisticated.
We recommend being open and honest with your dentist prior to an appointment. Pipe up! Let him or her know that you carry some fear with you that makes you want to duck and hide. Relaxing at the dentist may be easier than you think when you have a whole team ready to support you.
At Priti Naik, DDS, it’s important to us that we know how our patients are feeling so that we can accommodate them in whatever way is necessary to boost confidence and increase their comfort in the dentist chair.
If you–or a loved one–has been avoiding the dentist, we encourage you to give us a call at (703) 288-1800 or stop by our office at 8230 Boone Blvd #320, Vienna, VA 22182 so that we can guide you through the new experience of gentle modern dentistry.