Wadas Dental of Munster
417 East Ridge Road, Suite A, Munster, IN 46321

Facing dental fears is healthier than avoiding trips to the dentist

Facing-dental-fears-is-healthier-than-avoiding-trips-to-the-dentist

 

It’s not uncommon for people to avoid the dentist for a common reason – fear. An estimated five to eight percent of Americans do it all the time, according to the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington. And as many as 20 percent are so anxious about stepping inside a dentist office that they delay it until they have a significant dental problem that drives them there.

Dr. Peter Milgrom, D.D.S., who directs the Washington university’s program, specializes in treating patients whose fear of seeing a dentist is particularly severe. He’s written a book about them entitled Treating Fearful Dental Patients. If there’s one thing they have in common, he told WebMD.com, it’s that as many as two-thirds blame their intense fear of dentistry on a previous bad experience they had visiting a dentist.

The center treats children as well as adults, because many people who are afraid of the dentist have been fearful of having dental work done since they were youngsters.

Whatever their experience, patients who are afraid to go to the dentist office are often apprehensive about similar things. They see ominous-looking machinery hovering over them while they are stretched back and tense in an uncomfortable position with no easy way to get away. Someone they may not know every well is sticking sharp instruments into their mouths.

But these descriptions, while true, don’t have to be negative. Patients can talk out their fears with their dentist ahead of time. They can ask to have a dental assistant explain what the overhanging machinery does. By raising their hands when they are particularly uncomfortable or scared, they can get a short break from the dental work that’s under way.

Coping strategies
Staying away from the dentist is probably the worst way to deal with such fears. Not having regular check-ups increases the chance of tooth decay and other dental problems that will only require more time in the dentist chair, more expense and possibly more discomfort.

There are a number of coping strategies that can be tried by someone to push their fears away during dental work. Light meditation techniques include breathing deeply and slowly to ease tension while focusing on something completely outside the immediate environment. Some people relax by listening to music on an iPod. Others may distract themselves by constructing a scenario in their minds, such as redesigning a room at home.

Allaying children’s fears
Parents should be careful not to pass on their fear of dental work to their children. Shielding them from this anxiety will help them accept visits to their pediatric dentist as a regular part of taking care of themselves.

It’s also important to be honest with youngsters. They may experience some discomfort, so it’s best not to promise them that nothing will hurt. But stressing the good health and cleanliness that comes from a visit to the dentist will help them see it as a positive experience.

The best dentist for a child is one who addresses the youngster in a friendly tone, possibly telling them a story or starting a conversation on their level to ease their anxiousness, states WebMD. That helps to draw attention away from the procedure and develop trust in the practitioner. Praising the child’s patience and good behavior also helps to make them comfortable with their surroundings.

There are also many children’s books available that are about a trip to the dentist, making the experience sound like it should be part of a child’s normal routine. Such books describe dentistry in ways that children will understand and can prepare them for all aspects of an upcoming visit.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Amber the dental hygienist was very polite and informed me of every step before giving care, she even discuss the next thing I could do in prevention and protecting the teeth that I have left. All […]
LYDIA E.
Superb people working at the same time. The Dentist Gal–dental service industry can take some pointers from her and the remaining staff. It was a pleasure!
Aurora M.
Everyone makes be feel comfortable. I. Had the same dentist my whole life and had to change because he retired. I’m definitely happy with my dentist now.
Erika P.
Genuine care
Edgar G.
Everyone is very professional and friendly. It is a peaceful atmosphere. Everyone has a smile.
Dianne A.
The staff here is incredible! Very friendly and helpful! They put up with and understand my sense of humor, which is greatly appreciated when my mouth is being poked a lot.
Justin M.
Professional and excellent care
Norman J.
Tasha is an amazing assistant. She is helpful, kind and really cares about the well-being of her patients. Top notch! Wadas is fortunate to have her assisting in the office.
Heidi C.
Really love the environment, lovely front desk staff and very gentle hygienists as well as doctors in this facility ! Shoutout to amber!
Amber P.
Friendly, Professional.
Efran R.
Excellent service from staff. The dentist and staff. explained the service in detail. I will recommend this dentist to family and friends.
Wendy D.
My trips to Wadas have been nothing short of pleasant, quick, and easy. The hours are very convenient and the staff is always so friendly! I’ve been here twice and I’ve always been taken […]
Desiree
Because of some medical conditions, I’m very careful about where I go to have dental work done. That said, when I moved to the area and needed a dentist I did lots of research and decided on […]
Jennifer K.
Everyone was so pleasant from start to finish. It really felt like I had been there before. The Dentist showed real concern with preventative precautionaries and information to help with any future […]
Rhanetra L.
As always, courteous and professional.
James J.
Painless, fast, easy, and friendly. I love coming here!
Arion C.
I highly Recommend this Dental office . A Super Friendly , Professional and always very helpful staff .
Ed B.
Always get great service with great results.
William C.
I feel like they go above and beyond what’s required
Richard D.
All personnel were kind, friendly and professional.
Sherman S.
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here

Office Hours
  • Monday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (219) 552-7674
Our Location