Fear of the Dentist

I am about to admit something that my closest friends already know. I am afraid of the dentist, no, I mean really afraid of the dentist. Actually, it is not the dentist, but dentistry. Dentists are professional medical practitioners whose passion is to provide care for teeth and gums. They worked hard to learn their profession and deserve respect. I do respect my dentist, but am fearful of the procedures.

About two years ago, I was fired by my family dentist. I anticipate the pain so much that I begin to react before the poor dentist is even near my mouth. After avoiding the dentist for many years, make that many, many years, the dentist’s nurse was doing a cleaning on me. I was freaking out so much that the dentist stopped her and basically “fired” me as a patient. He wasn’t being mean, he merely suggested that my reactions were intense and that I should seek out a dentist that practices sedation dentistry.

A short time later, I saw a new billboard on the highway which advertised Fingerlakes Dental specializing in sedation dentistry. So I called for an appointment. I am so glad I did. After doing some brief research on the internet, I learned that 15% to 30% of individuals have some type of fear or anxiety about dental procedures. Some, so severe, that even the thought of a dental visit or procedure will cause them to become ill. I am not that way, I am merely very fearful. I’ve been there, done that, it hurts, I’m scared! I also read those dentists are the most feared of all doctors.

The dentists and staff at Fingerlakes Dental understand how real these fears are to those that have anxiety. I had a lot of work done in a five and half hour session under sedation. I took a sedative the night before and then a stronger one an hour before my appointment. Even though I was conscious throughout the session, I remember no more than a few minutes of the whole process. The staff was wonderful. Even though my mouth was sore afterwards, I did not experience the fear and anxiety that I would have if I was not sedated and that, I am most thankful for.

I have even been attending my cleanings. The hygienist slathers my gums with topical anesthetic and lets it sit until it really kicks in. Then gives me the regular anesthetic with the needle (which I barely feel at all) and I inhale nitrous the entire time. Through the session, I listen to relaxing music and do a lot of praying to keep my mind off the session. I also keep my eyes closed the entire time. Does that sound excessive? Maybe, but it sure works for me. I am glad that this office understands how fearful I am and is willing to go to these lengths to make me comfortable. They are kind, considerate and patient.

If you are fearful of dental procedures, then I gladly suggest that you seek out sedative dentistry. Ailing teeth can not only affect your appearance but your overall health and your enjoyment of life. Originally, I had pain and discomfort chewing my food, it is much better now that I have had work done. I am very thankful for the work and services that Fingerlakes Dental provided to me.


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