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Nasser Antonious, DDS, MAGD, FICOI
Master of the Academy of General Dentistry
Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists

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Sunnyvale Dentistry Home >> Dental Patient Resources >> Conquer Your Dental Fears    
   
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Conquer Your Dental Fears

Dr Antonious Can Help You Wake Up To A Comfortable Beautiful Smile

 

Many people dislike going to the dentist, but for those who suffer dental phobias a trip to the dentist's office is more than just unpleasant, it is a dreaded intolerable appointment. Some patients are so terrified that they can't even come into the building.

Although some patients' phobias are rooted in deep trauma, most dental phobics can trace their fears to bad experiences in the dentist's chair, usually during childhood. For people who were held into a dentist's chair as children, or ignored when they were experiencing pain, every visit to the dentist is a return to that sense of helplessness and fear.

Here at Sunnyvale Dental Care we focus on treating the whole patient, not just their teeth. Our staff is focused on listening and communicating with our patients, building trust and respect. As a patient you should always feel in control. You should feel that the dentist will listen when you say you are uncomfortable and will do everything he/she can to make your experience a pleasant one. An anxious patient should discuss their fears with his/her dentist well before sitting down in the chair.

If your primary concern is pain, find out what forms of anesthesia the dentist can offer. Local anesthesia isn't 100 % effective on all patients. It's important to see someone who can provide options. Here at Sunnyvale Dental Care we provide many different options for anesthesia designed around comfort and function. For example, one relatively simple technique for reducing anxiety is to use a local anesthetic that does not contain epinephrine, which can make the heart race and escalate a patient's sense of panic. Other options include nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or pre-medication with anxiety-reducing drugs. Be forthright about your previous experiences and fears, and don't settle for anything less than a comprehensive, caring response. Here at Sunnyvale Dental Care we are proud of our pleasant, caring and comforting staff.

Dental phobia is a severe fear of the dentist that over time causes loss of teeth because of the patient's inability to go to the dentist and receive regular care. The heart of the matter is that dental phobia can rob patients of their self-esteem as they become embarrassed about the appearance of their teeth and withdraw from friends, coworkers and loved ones.

Why do some people hate and fear the dentist so?
Fear of the dentist is most commonly something that patients learn from traumatic personal dental experiences. If these experiences occur as a child and are accompanied by a real sense of panic, the resulting reaction to the dentist may become deep-seated, visceral and lifelong. Such patients just don't feel safe in the dental chair. Patients' recall of their traumatic childhood experiences often include being held down against their will, being yelled at, pain and terror. A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that people who suffer abuse as children may have lifelong alterations in their response to stress. If a patient suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, the dental office may be just one of many situations where such patients feel unsafe. Patients who suffer from panic attacks associated with dental care will do anything not to have that awful feeling again. Sedation, which can block the panic response, can be particularly helpful for dental patients with anxiety attacks.

Other patients may simply have difficulty getting numb after the dentist gives them an injection. If the patient is extremely anxious the patient may be sensitive to the slightest sensation because of the emotional component of their pain. Many patients may not be particularly anxious but still may feel pain during dental care because of anatomical reasons: the presence of infection or hypersensitivity of the tooth. Local anesthetics (A.K.A. Novocain), used by dentists to numb the tooth or jaw may rarely cause patients to become excitable or anxious in large doses, especially in combination with epinephrine, a common additive. Newly developed injection techniques may help in these situations.

Some patients suffer from a severe fear of needles, also known as needle phobia. As a result people have trouble going to the dentist, medical doctors or even getting a marriage license. A wide variety of techniques to help at the dentist are available, such as anesthetic gels administered without piercing the skin. Patients can also be sedated with an elixir or pill before any injection.

 

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Nasser Antonious DDS is licensed as a general dentist in California. Sunnyvale Dental Care established since 1995
Sunnyvale dentist, Nasser Antonious DDS welcomes new patients from all areas including Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Cupertino, Campbell, San Jose, Saratoga, Los Altos, and Los Gatos
General dentist, Preventive dentist, Cosmetic dentist, Invisalign dentist, Implant dentist, Children dentist, Sedation dentist

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