Fear-free Dentistry: Creating Positive Experiences for Life

Our experiences transform our perception of many of the things we encounter in life. Positive experiences at the dentist’s office in our youth shape our perception of going to the dentist as an adult. Dental anxiety or dental phobia is prevalent, estimated to affect 13%-24% of people around the world. While some people have anxiety about going to the dentist, others have a fear that is so disabling they avoid going altogether.

At Mill Point Dental, it is our mission to make going to the dentist fun. This may sound like an oxymoron, but it truly is possible. We’ve had countless patients with dental anxiety say that their appointment was “comfortable” or “pleasant,” which tells us we are doing some things right. 

Some of the things we offer in our office to make dental experiences positive include:

  • Customizable in-room music. You can pick the music you want to hear while you are in the chair.
  • Sedation dentistry. Designed to help patients relax, we offer several types of sedation.
  • Same day treatments. To help minimize the number of appointments for specific procedures, we use Cerec technology, which allows us to create dental crowns in our office in a single day. 
  • Rest breaks. If you feel overwhelmed during your treatment, we are happy to stop for a few minutes so you can take a quick break and breathe. 
  • Alternative treatments. Being a dental technology leader allows us to offer alternative treatments that may be more appealing to you.
  • Views aplenty. We are blessed to have beautiful nature outside our treatment room windows. Whether you are enjoying a view of the Deschutes and Farewell Bend Park or a squirrel and birds eating from our many feeders, our scenery will keep you entertained and distracted.
  • Communication. Our dentists will share as little information or as much as you’d like to know. Knowing what will happen eases anxiety for some patients, and we are happy to walk you through your treatment so there aren’t any surprises. 

But we want everyone to have a positive experience at the dentist’s office. We are a family dentist practice and treat both adults and kids. And if the experiences we have as a youth shape our perceptions as an adult, it is imperative we do the work to ensure our younger patients are as happy as our older patients. 

Some tips for parents include taking kids to the dentist when their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. Get kids used to brushing their teeth twice a day, every day, by making it a part of their daily wake-up and bedtime routine. Make a visit to the dentist a fun appointment. Play a game like “I Spy” in the waiting room and take them out for a treat or go do something fun together after the appointment. It is also imperative that you keep your feelings in check. Kids can pick up on your energy, and if you are nervous about the dentist, they may become anxious too. Avoid sharing concerns about what might happen at their appointment. Lastly, having dental sealants placed on your child’s teeth to help minimize the risk of cavities. 

Your family’s success at the dentist is of the utmost importance to us. If you have dental anxiety or have concerns you’d like to discuss, we are happy to talk with you. Our goal is to maximize your comfort so you can enjoy fear-free dentistry for life.