Most people I know are extremely scared of showing their teeth to the dentist. As a dentist, I motivate them to come for regular consultations and not be afraid of minor surgical procedures to correct their oral function and form. But, I do understand where this fear comes from.

This first basis of this fear is the fear of the noise or vibrations of the dental drill. Well, your dentist works with this drill on a daily basis and has spent years and years of practising his craft. He holds it with the precision ofan artist and is miffed by even a small unnecessary dent. It is highly unlikely that such a person could, even unintentionally, harm you with the machine. Have faith in your doctor and stay calm. It isn't a complicated procedure and the control for the machine is right under his foot in most cases. In case the fear deters you from going to the dentist, you may opt for a clinic that practises laser dentistry. There, they use lasers to cut the tooth and the whole procedure has no vibrations or noise.

Another basis is the fear of pain. The patient may have heard a horror story of a difficult or painful extraction. He may himself have undergone a painful procedure. Well, the good news is, most clinics now practise pain-free dentistry. First, a numbing spray is used to numb the injection site and then the needle is used to inject anesthesia to your nerve endings. This renders the area numb for the duration of the procedure. In case you need more anesthesia you may always raise your hand and let the dentist know that you are in pain. He must stop and take necessary precautions. It is not required for you to power through any sort of pain.

There are some people who just fear the embarrassment of showing their oral cavities to a stranger. Well, please understand that this stranger is a thorough professional and in his college years, he has seen much worse that your stains or cavity-ridden teeth. His job is to alleviate those conditions and he would happily do it. A doctor is also supposed to maintain the confidentiality of your situation so, don't worry about your pictures being used as an example to deter people. In case he does need to write a scientific report or presentation, he would do so only after your permission and would also hide your face and other identifiers before presenting the case to his community.

As you can see, all your fears can be dealt with and they should not stop you from getting that perfect smile. So, go ahead and book an appointment with your family dentist and let your teeth shine brighter and last longer.

Author is Owner and General Dentist at Vyom Dental Clinic and Implant Center, F-14, Kailash Colony, NewDelhi. Call 8802774703 for appointments or find him on Practo