Dr Darryl Marsh writes… In this blog entry I want to start to talk about dental pain, fear of the dentist and the anxiety that this often results in.
“If you are anxious about dental treatment, you are likely to be more ‘sensitive’ to what you feel at your visits.”
An important key to making dental visits pain free is to be aware that pain is a personal emotional response to what is happening. Different people can have the same thing happen to them: step on a thorn, stub their toe, or have a dental injection, and they will feel a different ‘amount of pain’ for exactly the same incident.
If dental patients have had bad experiences in the past and they are anxious about having dental visits, then ‘the pain they feel’ will be a lot greater than if they are more relaxed about dental treatment.
In other words if you are anxious about dental treatment, you are likely to be more ‘sensitive’ to what you feel at your visits. Being a sensitive or anxious dental patient is nothing to feel guilty or embarrassed about.
How to ‘fear-proof’ your dental visits
Having a bad experience in the past does not mean that anxious patients are doomed to having painful dental visits the rest of their lives.
It does mean that if they want to help to move forward, their dentist needs to invest some extra time and TLC to reduce their level of anxiety, as well as reduce what is physically felt during their dental visits.
In order to beat the natural fear of pain, you and your dentist must become students of all the tricks and techniques of dental pain, fear management and pain prevention.
As the dentist, I need to diagnose and treat your fears and concerns first, then move onto the tooth problems.
Please note that all of the techniques used in our practice are available to be used by any dentist. I don’t pretend to know anything or do anything that nobody else knows about. I simply ensure that all of these helpful techniques are available for patients. My dentist used none of these techniques for me when I was a child in the 1960’s. I really wish he had and that is what motivates me to do my very best to help people who have had problems with their visits to the dentist in the past.