Compassionate dentist in Willoughby Hills shares tips for overcoming dental fear

Female patient talking to female hygienist

Has apprehension of dental treatment left you with a dingy smile, bad breath, toothache, or potentially serious gum and teeth issues? You have a lot of company. Dental anxiety affects the lives of about three in every 20 people. The good news is that you can start enjoying the benefits of a healthy, more attractive smile right away. With more than three decades of experience in caring for nervous patients in the Willoughby Hills area, Dr. Michael Stern shares these tips for overcoming dental fear.

Patients in Willoughby Hills are overcoming dental fear with these tips

Three stressors are most commonly cited by anxious patients. Here are some ideas to get past them, to receive the dental care you need:

  • A previous bad experience – Most dental professionals enter the field because they genuinely care about helping others. Some, though, may not approach the chair with adequate training in gentle techniques, or experience in certain procedures. In a corporately-owned dental clinic setting, there could be a rush to move patients through as quickly as possible.

If you have had the misfortune of rough treatment in the past, you owe it to yourself to think about it rationally and realize that future care can be quite different. Have you ever had a bad meal or poor service at a restaurant? While you may never go to that establishment again, you are probably willing to try another eatery.

Please find the courage to give Smile Brighter Willoughby Hills a try. You are assured of a friendly voice and helpful assistance. Let us know, at the outset, what troubled you about dental care in the past. Voicing specific concerns often puts them into better perspective and knowing about them lets our team take an exceptionally soothing approach.

  • Embarrassment – Even with great home oral hygiene, lack of dental treatment eventually affects the appearance of your smile and the condition of your mouth. Once it becomes undeniable, people are sometimes ashamed to let a hygienist or dentist see how bad the situation has gotten.

Understand that seasoned dental professionals have seen it all – certainly cases worse than yours. They will not be offended but rather enthused about the challenge of getting your oral health into great shape.

At Smile Brighter Willoughby Hills, we don’t care how long it has been since you last saw a dentist. We just want to help. You will never get a lecture about personal habits or lifestyle. You will not be shamed for having anxiety or avoiding dental treatment. You will, however, get calming, personalized attention with true concern for your wellbeing.

  • Physical anxieties – Fear of pain and needles are very common – and usually exaggerated. Most modern dental procedures are minimally traumatic. For example, with Dr. Stern’s NO DRILLING FILLINGS™, there is no vibration, noise, or frictional heat from a dental drill.

Distraction is also a big help in conquering this worry.  Some people silently repeat a comforting mantra such as, “this too shall pass” or “all is well.” Treatment rooms at Smile Brighter Willoughby Hills are equipped with television, and we can provide noise-canceling headphones to take your mind off treatment.

Do you feel a claustrophobic sensation or vulnerability in the chair? There is a simple method to overcome it, without saying a word. When you feel that anxiety start to build in your chest, just raise your hand. We know this signal means, “I need a moment’s break.” The dentist or hygienist stops work briefly so you can take a deep breath or two. Patients usually only need to use this trick a few times before they realize they can trust us completely.

Additional help from Dr. Stern and his team

Dr. Stern takes pain management seriously – he is Board-certified in that area! Every aspect of the practice is designed to facilitate comfortable, pleasant experiences for patients while maintaining the highest levels of safety and sterility.
Nitrous oxide is an inhaled sedative. It helps nervous patients feel relaxed and unconcerned about the sights, sounds, and sensations of a dental procedure. Dr. Stern is trained in the administration of this mild sedative. It is provided at no additional charge to help apprehensive patients feel good about getting dental treatment.
Perhaps the most important factor in overcoming dental anxiety is finding the right match – a dentist and team who proficiently care for your mouth, and genuinely care about you as a person. Call Smile Brighter Willoughby Hills at (440) 210-0999 to schedule an appointment. We welcome new patients.

Success Stories

I have been going to Dr Stern for at least 10 years and have to say he treats his patients like royalty! It has always been a pleasurable experience and he has the latest and greatest technology for various procedures. Going to the dentist needs to be a great experience and I’d consider going here a must! It’s always a bonus when you get a perfect report on your teeth too:)

~ Dawn Semancik