Laughing in the face of dental fear | Stillwater Dental Associates

Laughing in the face of dental fear

Do you have fear of the dentist?  Don’t fret, you are not alone!  Research shows the about 50% of adults suffer some degree of dental fear, and about 5% of them have extreme dental fear.  Through speaking to our patients, we have found that most of the time it stems from a childhood experience.  Choosing the right dental office for you and your family can lead to a long lasting relationship with them.  When finding a childhood dentist, make sure that they work very well with children and have the patience to do so.  It is this choice in the early years that can lead to a positive adult experience.  Maintaining your dental health through preventative care is very important.  Most dentists recommend a preventative visit 2 times a year and most insurance companies pay for those visits.

Managing Stress

Managing stress during a dental visit include optimism on the part of the patient and an atmosphere of humor in the interaction with the dental staff.  In one study, the University of Gothenburg team asked people with dental fear to complete a questionnaire and identified five main methods used by the patients to fight dental fear:

  • Using internal resources.  For example, telling yourself your’e strong enough to endure it, despite your fear.
  • Self distraction.  For example, bring your head phones to listen to music, or play a mental game with yourself to keep your mind off of it.
  • Distancing.  For example, telling yourself that the pain sensation feels like something else, such as numbness.
  • Prayer
  • Optimism.  Be positive, think ahead to when the treatment is over, get to know the staff and become “family” with them.

Our dental office is very familiar with fearful patients and we strive to make your experience one that is comfortable, and inviting and reassuring.   We love our patients and have reviews from our patients stating that ours is the only office that they will ever come to.  Some patients will even come to us if they don’t have insurance because of the atmosphere.  We love to laugh, and get to know our patients.  Rest assured that you will be welcomed and feel very comfortable at our office.

“Psychological barriers can be broken down with humor, both as a result of the patient and the dentist coming together more as equals, and as a result of humor reducing stress, increasing well-being and creating a pleasant atmosphere.” Researcher, Jenny Bernson.

Overall, humor has been found to be an enormous help in managing fear of the dentist office.  Patients deal with stress significantly better, and they visit the dentist more regularly than patients who spend their time in despair or catastrophic thoughts.

 

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