A routine evening for iSmyle Dental Centre at Kalyani Nagar would be a list of scheduled appointments every hour. There would be patients with their friend or relative sitting in our reception area, ready for their dental treatment to begin.

Today was different. At around 5 o’clock in the evening, our receptionist came in and informed us, “Our 6 pm patient has already arrived and looks very worried. He is simply walking around in the reception area and is looking at the wall clock every now and then. He even requested to make the reception area’s air conditioner cooler to make him feel better. Our other patients  looked  at him puzzled and concerned .”

Our appointment list shows that this patient, Mr. Rajeev Patil (named changed to protect identity) has an appointment for his wisdom tooth removal. The treatment, which has not even started, was already making him feel uneasy, sweaty and restless.

In simple words, Rajeev had dento-phobia, which is fear of dental treatment. Rajeev’s behavior is not unusual or unique. Today more than 75% of our population fear dental treatment, and out of these, 5% have such extreme fear that they avoid dental treatment at all costs, causing complications such as swelling, severe infection and extreme tooth pain.

In today’s article, we have mentioned the reason behind Rajeev’s fear for dental treatment, how we made things better for him, how we eventually removed his tooth and calmed him down; thus  we will throw light on dental fear, the reason why most of us avoid going to the dentist, and how each one of us can overcome such a fear.   

Reason no. 1(given by Rajeev): “My uncle had a bad dental experience.”

A many of us fear dentists and dental treatment because our best friend, spouse, uncle or aunt had a swelling and a lot of pain after a root canal treatment.  We should know the fact that every tooth is different, and infection in different people have different results, not to forget the fact that different people have different reactions to pain. So, if your friend or relative had pain or swelling with their tooth, you may not experience anything and will be fit and fine the next day!

Reason no. 2: “Fear of the needle prick.”

The most common reason for dental treatment in people is the fact that needles will be inserted inside the mouth and the prick will hurt. This was Rajeev’s main fear. and it took no more than ten minutes for us to make him feel comfortable and give him the dental injection. How did we do this?

We simply gave him the Injection Delivery system in his hand to feel it. This made him feel better because he was no longer seeing an unknown object enter his mouth. We also assured him that he will definitely not feel the prick of our injection. We applied an anesthetic gel on his gums to make it numb which made sure that he would not feel like the prick at all! This was followed by our ‘Controlled Local Anesthesia Delivery system’ which ensures the injection is slowly and smoothly administered. We lived up to Rajeev’s expectation of a Painless Injection treatment and this made him instantly relax in our dental chair.

Reason 3: “Fear of the unknown”

Another fear Rajeev had in his mind was that he did not know what was going on in his mouth. This is surprisingly a very common reason for fear amongst many of us. If we have a bruise/cut on our hand, we see it and we know how the bandage is put over it. This is not the case in our mouth. If we don’t know whether there is a cavity in our mouth and how it is being treated by the dentist, we would naturally fear it.

It is important for your dentist to inform you about every dental treatment that you require. This can be through various means. We made it a point to show Rajeev an animated video of the wisdom tooth removal, which gave him a better understanding of the procedure. Apart from this, we clicked pictures of his wisdom tooth with our Intra oral Camera. This showed him exactly where the problem area was, and how damaged his tooth was. Hence, it is important to be completely aware of the situation inside your mouth.

The above are major reasons why people avoid visiting to the dentist. Below are some other reasons that might be troubling you:

1. Fear of cost: Many people feel that they are being overcharged for a particular dental treatment or been handed with an exorbitant bill after their dental treatment.

You must make sure that everything regarding the dental treatment including the costs is thoroughly discussed and sorted out with your dental care provider.

2. Gag: are you scared of the gag feeling when you undergo a treatment of a back tooth? is yes, then don’t be! Thanks to the advanced dental materials and techniques, this problem can well be taken care of!

3. Some people have had painful encounters with the dental “drill” because they weren't properly numbed (or perhaps not numbed at all). Not surprisingly, if this has happened you are likely to feel terrified of the “drill”.

With this article, we only wanted to tell you that you are NOT alone when it comes to fearing dental treatments. We all have fear of something. Overcoming it is what makes you a stronger and a better person mentally and physically!

As for Rajeev, he came back with his uncle, assuring him that his tooth won’t hurt and the previous experience was just a bad one.