Overcoming the fear of dentists

Let’s face it: We would all rather be on a beach or in the comfort of our own home rather than sitting in the dental chair. Most dental treatments require shots of an anesthetic (Lidocaine) to numb the tissues and teeth, and many people are afraid of needles.

Even though anesthetic helps prevent unnecessary pain and trauma, a lot of people really try to avoid the dental office due to a fear of needles. It’s not always the fear of pain during the injection. Often, people dread the feeling of numbness that may take a few hours to wear off, or they have experienced their heart racing and a feeling of “jitters” after the anesthetic has been given. I have had people tell me they had an allergic reaction to dental anesthetic, when in fact they just experienced a normal and short-term side effect of the medicine.

A few years ago my mother-in-law became a patient at Schumacher & Bauer and needed a few teeth restored. Dr. Bauer placed topical anesthetic (numbing gel), and administered local anesthetic to make her experience as painless as possible. As my mother in-law sat in the chair her heart started racing and she started shaking. She raised her shaky hand and said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I feel like I’m going to have a panic attack or heart problems.” I explained that this was just a side effect of the epinephrine in the anesthetic; epinephrine can act just as adrenaline does and can create a “fight or flight” sensation. I assured her it would go away within a few minutes. This was enough to calm her down; it wasn’t her having an allergic reaction, a heart problem, or losing control like she had previously thought, it was a very temporary side effect.

I have come across many patients who experience everything from mild anxiety in the dental office to intense dental phobia. Many fears can be diminished through education and understanding.

At Schumacher & Bauer we take pride in making our patients feel at ease through education and by talking them through procedures. We try to make you feel more comfortable by providing blankets, pillows, headphones, and music. Patients also have the option of using Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas). We build relationships with our patients and call many of them our friends. We do not just treat your teeth, but we are truly here for you and to make you feel at home in our care.

The next time you have an appointment with us, tell us what we can do to make you more comfortable.

We’re featuring stories and suggestions from the team members at Schumacher & Bauer, DDS in our new monthly blog series. You can view all posts in this series here

By |2018-08-10T16:29:11+00:00August 10th, 2018|Our Team|

About the Author:

Rilene Port
Rilene is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and has been a dental hygienist with Schumacher & Bauer for almost 9 years. She thrives from being around and serving other people and outdoor activities. She lives in Westerville with her husband of 17 years and her two spunky and beautiful kiddos.