Some of the worst dental fears are based on dental myths that distort, exaggerate or simply make false claims about the reality of dentistry. Raising awareness of the most common dental myths promotes a healthier, calmer perspective on visiting the dentist.
1) My dentist will make harsh judgments about my mouth
One of the most common dental myths that spread among the socially anxious is that dentists are constantly making judgmental and negative evaluations of the mouths they see. While it is true that your dentist will be looking for problems that need treating, this is motivated by a desire to improve your oral health. Further, no matter how many dental problems you have, your dentist will certainly have seen cases that are more serious.
2) Getting a shot from the dentist will be agonizingly painful
Like many common dental myths, the idea that the numbing shot will be very painful probably originates in fear (and then promotes further fear). If you take painkillers before you have the shot, this will make it less painful. In addition, the dental wand can be used to administer a shot in a slow and steady way that may be almost painless. Some dentists will also apply highly effective numbing gel before shots are given. These dental myths about shots will probably diminish as shot technology continues to advance.
3) Undergoing a procedure means losing control
Many people who worry about dental myths are deeply afraid of the lack of control that they feel in the dentist’s chair. However, dental myths about lack of control do not take into account the fact that dentists want their patients to be comfortable. There are many things that can be done to increase your control, including asking detailed questions before a procedure, agreeing on a hand signal that means the procedure will be stopped, and going to see a dentist who offers a patient-held button that can stop dental equipment (such as the drill).
Whenever you find yourself worrying about dental myths, try discussing them with your dentist. All dentists are well aware of common dental myths, and are eager to dispel them!