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Fear of the Unknown

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Do you recall the stress involved in air travel? You don’t know whether something will delay the flight. What about that connecting flight? You don’t know what your seat neighbors will do to annoy you. That’s because you have no control of the situation. My experiences with flying have made me a conscientious dentist. I try to eliminate the fear of the unknown for patients like Monica. I also insist that my dental assistants, front desk, and hygienists are highly trained to listen and understand patient concerns, not just dismiss their comments.

First, I never just walk in, greet the patient, and recline the dental chair. I talk a bit, but mostly I LISTEN to people. That’s how I learn their emotional issues or objections. I don’t start a procedure until I’ve explained it to their level of satisfaction and answered their questions. After this, I ask them to summarize what they’ve heard, and often just watch their fears disappear. If they remain fearful, I suggest I.V. sedation or a similar alternative.

Monica was concerned about experiencing pain and the shrill sounds when we had to fill her deep cavity. She was convinced that she needed I.V. sedation to get through it. Her friend had told her that our practice assures pain-free dentistry and that patients listen to music of their choice to muffle the noises. We also asked her to wear our dark glasses to diffuse the bright lights necessary for me and my staff to accurately work inside the mouth. She remained calm, cool, and collected.

My experience has been that about 90% of the patients who appear really scared, like Monica, rarely end up needing sedation because we listen, answer their questions in advance, and care about their physical and emotional comfort from start to finish.

Contact Winterset Dental today to find out which treatment is right for you.