Answer this question to find out if you have dental fear or dental phobia:
You hear your phone ring and see a reminder from Killeen Dental about your upcoming dental appointment. Do you…
A.) Hurry and confirm your appointment, excited to use your benefits and to have a clean, healthy smile?
B.) Get a slight feeling of nervousness, then ignore the reminder because you aren’t sure if you will make the appointment. You have so many more important thing going on right now!
C.) Get a little sick to your stomach, start remembering past bad experiences, come up with every possible scenario that could go wrong in the dental chair and then possibly lose some sleep over it.
D.) What reminder? I would never, under any circumstance, make a dental appointment!
Guess What? 1 in 4 people can answer A to that question. 3 out of 4 people have dental fear or phobia. It is so prevalent that Wikipedia has a whole page dedicated to dental fear! So, what is the difference between fear and phobia? “A phobia is an intense, unreasonable fear. People can fear a specific activity, object or situation. People with dental phobia often put off routine care for years or even decades. To avoid it, they’ll put up with gum infections (periodontal disease), pain, or even broken and unsightly teeth.”* Dental Phobia is fear that creates action or a lack of action in your oral health. Dental fear is being nervous for the dental visit but not letting it affect the health of their mouth or the action of going to the dental office. Here is the cycle that we see way too much.
Dental visits are EXPENSIVE when you put off treatment!!!
Ask yourself these questions…. Am I nervous about the Pain? Am I nervous about the feelings of loss of control? Am I embarrassed? Or do I have negative past experiences? Some can answer yes to all of those questions. But there are so many options now to fight your fears and we have made sure to have all of these options available to our patients.
We want you to stay knowledgable about your options and consequences! Killeen Dental has SO MANY OPTIONS for our patients to help them feel comfortable, eliminate fears from past experiences and to make you excited to come see us! Here are some options you have at Killeen Dental that we have seen help our patients become excited to visit us again:
- Bring a friend or family member to your appointment. It helps to have someone to talk to and to help discuss options with, for your visit.
- Communicate with our staff about your fears and goals during your visit. You ARE in control. We will give you your options for your decision. During a procedure, let us know how you are feeling and when you would like to apply relaxation or sedation options. We want you to feel in control and comfortable! Embarrassment is normal and fixing teeth cosmetically is our specialty, so ask us about your options!
- Explore distractions and relaxations techniques that can help comfort and soothe you during your visit. We offer NuCalm relaxation techniques for pregnant or natural seeking patients. You can read more about our NuCalm system here. Our office offers TVs, headphones and blankets in every operatory.
- When the previous options aren’t working then, Killeen Dental offers sedation options as well. Our doctors are extensively trained in local anesthetic, nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) and oral sedatives. Our oral sedation option is by far our crowd pleaser. It is preformed daily in our office for many patients like you, who have dental fear, need a lot of dental work done in one quick visit and would like to experience a positive and pain-free dental appointment. For oral sedation, before your scheduled procedure, you take a pill that will leave you awake but feeling relaxed and carefree. You can read more about Killeen Dental’s sedation here.
It is our goal to provide a positive experience for our patients! Here is what our patients are saying about overcoming their fears at Killeen Dental with a basic cleaning to implant surgery:
“I do not like to have my teeth cleaned, but Kalyn did an amazing job! She is very gentle and patient with me. Dr. Gneiting was amazing as well. It was my first time meeting him and he was gentle and patient as well. It is so wonderful knowing that these people care enough about my insecurities to make me feel as comfortable as possible!” Kari S.
“Killeen Dental has been my preferred dentist for years. Dr. Gneiting and staff provide a family friendly atmosphere that is sure to minimize any anxiety you may have about going to the dentist. Dr. Gneiting spoke about dental implants as an option to replace missing teeth. I have to say this was the best information I received. As of today, I have two implants. Both were actually painless and only minimal discomfort was experienced. No pain meds were needed during post op. I would recommend Killeen Dental to anyone still looking for a family dentist.” Michael L.
So first, call and make an appointment. While you are at it, choose two of the above options that you would like to try to make your experience more comfortable. Next, let our front desk girls on the phone know why you have fear and the options you would like to take to help you feel more comfortable. Finally, know YOU AREN’T ALONE! We are helping patients everyday overcome their fears and gain the healthy smile they need! Have a fear of dental offices? Killeen Dental can offer the latest in technology and relaxation options. Call us today to discuss your options, don’t put it off any longer!
*University of Columbia College of Dental Medicine