What’s difficult for us is that few people look forward to a spell in the dentist’s chair. But serious anxiety prevents millions of Americans from seeking proper preventative care. The consequences of this problem may go far beyond dental pain or lost teeth. When you see your physician you are seen in an exam room, but when you see us, you are in an operatory. The difference is we operate and many times its right then and there. And that has to cause you some, if not a lot of anxiety.
In a recent survey by the American Dental Association, 41 percent of respondents said they were not planning to visit a dentist because they experience anxiety over dental visits. Think about that. You don’t check on your oral health because of the anxiety involved in going to the dentist. Imagine how that effects us as your provider. The anxiety creates a difficult situation because in many instances we are on duty and on deck to operate right then and there, on the fly.
Between 5% and 8% of Americans avoid dentists out of fear, estimates Peter Milgrom, DDS, director of the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle and author of Treating Fearful Dental Patients. A higher percentage, perhaps 20%, experiences enough anxiety that they will go to the dentist only when absolutely necessary, Milgrom tells WebMD.
Fear of dentists stems not so much from the experience of pain as from the lack of control that patients experience in the dentist’s chair, says Ellen Rodino, PhD, a psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif., who has studied dental fear. “You’re lying prone, a dentist is hovering above you, and he’s putting you in a situation where you can hardly talk or respond. That creates a lot of anxiety for some people because they don’t feel in control.”
Fortunately, we are specially trained in handling fearful patients; a variety of methods and treatments are available to reduce pain and alleviate fear in our dentist chairs. Work with our dental team to develop a plan that not only gets you in the door, but keeps you coming back for visits on a regular basis.
Novy Scheinfeld, DDS, PC
ZoAnna Scheinfeld, MS, DMD
Hanna Orland, DMD
3781 Chamblee Dunwoody Road
Chamblee, GA 30341
290 Carpenter Drive, 200A
Atlanta (Sandy Springs), GA 30328