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Top Dental Fears

By Susan Braden

It is common for people to have a fear of dentists. Most people do not have fond memories from their childhood experiences at the dentist office. However, as adults, many people also carry fears about going to the dentist. These adult fears include making sure the correct procedure is performed, the total cost of the procedure, and the pain involved in the procedure. These are legitimate fears, but dentists actually do an excellent job of setting these fears to to rest.

Fear of Receiving an Incorrect Procedure at the Dentist

Dentists are also concerned with this, since they do not want to have to perform the same operation multiple times. When a patient first walks into the dentist office, the first thing the dentist will do is take a complete set of x-rays and perform an oral evaluation. Through these diagnostics, a dentist will be able to tell exactly what is wrong with any teeth and what options are available to address any tooth problems. Often, there are multiple options available for getting a particular problem fixed. After diagnosing the problem, the dentist will sit down with the patient and discuss what options are available and which options would be best for the patient's particular situation.

Fear of Dental Pain

While dentistry can be very painful, a dentist has a number of options available which can reduce felt pain. The first option dentists have is local anesthesia. During local anesthesia, after quick shot in the gums, the patient's gums and teeth are numb for the rest of the procedure. Anesthesia is a cost-effective way to reduce the felt pain of dental work.

A second option is a gas referred to as “laughing gas.” This gas calms a patient's nerves and, in high doses, makes the person numb enough to not feel much at all. However, during the most major surgical procedures, laughing gas may not be enough.

A final option for reducing pain is for the dentist to put the patient completely to sleep. This process is usually reserved for oral surgery or other extreme cases. Many times, a general dentist will not have this capability at their office. However, an oral surgeon’s office usually does have this option.

Fear of the Cost of Dental Work

This is a legitimate fear because dental work can be very costly. However, there are some ways to cut down the costs of dental work. Many corporations offer insurance to their employees for reduced prices. Dental insurance will often cover most of the basic maintenance and greatly reduce the cost of major work as well.

Another possibility for reducing the cost of dentistry is low-cost dentist clinics. These are not available in every city and are typically set up for low-income patients, but they can effectively reduce the cost of dental work.

Another option which can cut down the cost of dentistry is a dental discount plan. Discount plans risen to popularity in the last few years and can often reduce dentist bills 20-60% off normal rates.

These are truly real fears associated with going to the dentist office – a visit will typically involve some pain, both physically to the tooth as well as to the wallet. However, there are some very helpful options available that can reduce both the pain and the cost of dental work. An individual can purchase a dental insurance or dental plan to help lower the cost of the work, and a dentist office has multiple options to reduce the pain of the work. Which plan is best for you? Every patient's situation is different, and a general dentist would be happy to go over all of the options with you.

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