Highland Springs HERALD
701 Highland Springs Avenue, Suite 12 Beaumont, CA 92223 www.tmjandsleepapnea.com babylaser.com 951.769.1616
M any patients’ fears or anxieties smells. Combine these with reclining on your back while providers look into your mouth, using water and suction in the deep, dark hole you breathe through — it’s no wonder this experience can provoke anxiety! You may think, “What is going on in my mouth with all those tools anyways?” This fear of the unknown and unfamiliar can be very powerful. One of the scariest parts of medical and dental care for my childhood self was immunizations! I was never afraid of the doctor or the dentist, but when those needles came out, so did my fear. Now that I’m a dentist and administer shots myself, that fear is gone. I know what to expect when giving or getting a shot, and I understand why it matters. This knowledge is one of the handiest tools in my toolbox when I’m helping a patient overcome all sorts of dental anxieties. When it comes to kiddos, I use a “tell, show, do” behavioral technique. This makes their appointment fun and interactive, and it removes the unknown factor. Instead of fear, the young patient is curious and inquisitive. The only time I avoid showing a child what I’m doing is when I have to administer a shot. Most often, we are able to administer the shot without the child knowing it happened (thanks to fabulous topical jellies). It’s a great feeling when a kiddo leaps out of the dental chair and says, “See, Mom, I didn’t have to get a shot!” Mom and I wink and move on. I will never lie to a patient, however. So, if the child outright asks, “Do I need a shot?” I will always answer honestly. I talk them through this “big, scary” step, so surrounding dental treatment stem from fear of the unknown. Our office is filled with noisy equipment and “sterile”
Overcoming Your Dental Fears
This knowledge is one of the handiest tools in my toolbox when I’m helping a patient overcome all sorts of dental anxieties.
they understand it’s not as intimidating as it looks. My honesty sets a precedence that they can trust me, and it develops a long-term trust in dental care.
For those with sleep-disordered breathing conditions or craniofacial disorders, these fears can be further multiplied due to a lowered threshold for sharing their airway or pain tolerance. At our office, we make a conscious effort to include these nondental factors in our appointment preparations. Your comfort is our priority. We do our best to actively listen to each patient to understand their fears. Our relationship has to be built on mutual trust. Once I know what the concern is, we can address the fear together. I would never expect a patient to overcome their dental anxiety alone. You always have someone in your corner when you’re sitting in my office.
If you are afraid of the dentist or if dental anxiety has kept you from regular appointments, I’d be more than happy to help. We can conquer this together!
–Dr. Jessica Sabo
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