Dental Anxiety Help 2 – “Reality Check”
In this blog series, Dental Anxiety Help, we’d like to introduce our guest contributor, Andre Perreault, LMHC. Over the course of the next several weeks (every Wednesday) we will be featuring his advice and helpful tips for people who experience anxiety, fear, and phobias about dental visits. Please check back every week for more – we will tag our posts with “anxiety” for quick reference when viewing in a feeder program. At the bottom of each “Dental Anxiety Help” you can find links to previous entries as well. If you’d like to reach Mr. Perreault directly, please call him at (617) 835-6581.
One of the most common fears seen by dentists, maybe the most common, is embarrassment. “My teeth are the worst of anyone I know and the dentist is going to yell at me.” This is the first thought for thousands of people when they are reminded of the dentist.
Tip #1 is simply a bit of a reality check in two parts. First, thousands of people feel embarrassed about their teeth and the takeaway from this point is that you’re not alone. Many people feel the same way, and dentists have gotten much better at making patients feel comfortable. Secondly, it is highly unlikely that your teeth are truly the worst that your dentist has seen. Search in Google images for “bad teeth” and chances are that your teeth look much better than many of the photographs you’ll come across.
In any case, it is true that in years past, dentists have used “The Talk” to try and scare people into good hygiene. Fortunately, dentists have generally come to find admonishing patients scares them away, rather than encouraging good hygiene. Now dentists have a much better and more supportive approach of educating patients and helping them to be responsible for their dental care.