During my dental career I have noticed that upon meeting a new patient I am often greeted with the same remark: “This has nothing to do with you… but I hate going to the dentist.”Dental visit I have long since learned that in reality it’s not in fact an offensive remark, but more or less a clearing of the air and really just addressing the elephant in the room. It is common knowledge that the majority of the population dislikes going to the dentist, and the main reasons are not because of the actual dentist and their performance. Read on for the top 5 reasons why people hate the dentist.

  1. Small space with too many people in it.  Dental work is completed in close quarters and commonly your dentist or hygienist is sitting quite close to you. Their face is mere inches from yours and often accompanied by an assistant. Needless to say, some simply cannot feel comfortable with someone in their personal space. Especially someone with pointy instruments! If you find that you feel a little claustrophobic in the dental office let your dentist or hygienist know. The best way to ease anxiety is to be honest about what makes you most uncomfortable, this gives you and your dentist the opportunity to address it and find a solution to make you more comfortable.
  2. Everything smells and tastes weird there.  Well, this category really is self explanatory. The dental office has an odd aseptically clean smell and feel to everything in it. Some people love it, some people hate it, and some people may never have noticed it before. But, when entering a dental office it is a good thing to be greeted with a fresh aseptic smell with clean dressings and fresh instruments.
  3. What if it hurts? The fear of the unexpected, this is one of the top reasons some find dentistry uncomfortable. Even though 99% of their appointments are quick  and pain free, that 1% can set the precedent for future dental experiences spent simply waiting for something to occur. By finding a dentist you trust and feel comfortable with this dental fear can be minimized. Although, most people who have a slight dental anxiety will feel uncomfortable in the dental office, the right dentist can put you at ease. And, if needed offer solutions to ease your anxiety during treatment if necessary.
  4. They’re going to tell me I have a cavity.  For some, the simple possibility of being told you aren’t doing a good enough job with your home care, or that you’ll have some need for more dental work, can cause people to come in with soured expectations. Although this is a tough situation to avoid it is best to keep up with your regular hygiene appointments so that your dentist and hygienist can give you helpful advice in order to avoid more complex and invasive dental treatment. Also, it is much better to have a small cavity filled rather than wait until it becomes a large cavity or something more complicated such as a root canal treatment.
  5. I don’t like being numb.    There really is no confusion as to why this one is on the list. It can be nerve wracking getting an injection and then dealing with the resulting numbness of your lip, tongue and cheek afterwards. But, that being said there is nothing like having pain free dentistry completed!

Are dental amalgams dangerous? Recently, it was brought to my attention that a popular preventativedaytime television show, Dr. Oz, brought up the safety of dental amalgams in the mouth. This is a topic that has been under speculation by the general public for many years and is the source of many questions from our patient family.

Many studies have been done over the years by many sources whether it be the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or the Alzheimer’s Association. Throughout all the research performed, there has been insufficient evidence found to support claims that dental amalgams are dangerous. Dental amalgam restorations are still an option recommended by the American Dental Association. So is there any truth to the speculation? Are dental amalgams dangerous?

  • The best dental restoration is no restoration! By following proper home care and maintaining a good hygiene schedule you may avoid the need for future fillings altogether.
  • If you do have to have a filling place, be aware of your options. There are many choices of dental materials based on the size of the cavity, location of the tooth in the mouth, and the patient’s at home habits. Your dentist will recommend to you the best restorative material for your particular situation.
  • I normally will recommend that a patient replace an amalgam filling only if the filling begins to show signs of breakdown and is no longer properly sealed. Other reasons for replacement are if there is recurrent decay present or it is unable to be cleansed properly, causing inflammation or further decay.
  • Always remember if you have any questions or concerns regarding your dental care it is always best to go directly to the source. Ask your dentist why they recommend a particular type of filling or restoration. Ask what alternatives are and what the risks or benefits of those alternatives are if you are unsure of the treatment presented.