Debunking Common Myths & Fears

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Dr. Landeros Breaks Down Dental Anxiety

For some people, anxiety sets in the moment they walk into any medical facility—an antiseptic, clinical waiting room, bright fluorescent lights, the smell of latex gloves, the sound of cold, metal instruments—all senses engaged and hyperaware, the fear feels real.

Dr. Landeros and her team at Valley Family Dentistry are here to completely change that perception.

With our state-of-the-art technology, warm, relaxing environment, and friendly, caring staff, you won’t even remember you’re at the dentist. Whether your concern is caused by a past occurrence, stories you’ve heard, or just a fear of the unknown, we are here to put a spotlight on truth, and cut down common fears behind dental anxiety.

“Is it going to hurt?”

No, it’s not! This is the number one misconception behind all dental phobia. Dental procedures are never meant to be painful. What many people don’t know, is that we have a very finely tuned sense, related to the sense of touch, known as dental proprioception. Our teeth can feel the difference of 1 100,000th of an inch! Dental proprioception allows us the ability to know if anything comes in contact with our teeth. “Even though we numb the mouth before beginning certain procedures, the patient will still feel the sensation that someone is working in their mouth, but it won’t actually hurt,” explains Dr. Landeros. So, it’s important to us to take the time and help you distinguish and understand that you will have physical awareness, but feel no discomfort. “A lot of it is mind over matter,” adds Dr. Landeros. If you aren’t aware of this fact, you might believe you are about to experience pain. Dr. Landeros explains to each patient that if for some reason something doesn’t feel right, just raise your hand and we will stop. At Valley Family Dentistry, you, the patient, are in total control.

“I’m going to get bad news.”

Fear of the unknown can be powerful. Some people avoid going to the dentist altogether because they think the cause of their oral discomfort is a sign of something more severe than it really is, and it’s easier to just not deal with it. However, after coming in for a check-up, patients usually find that it isn’t as serious as they imagined. Sometimes patients believe their teeth are doomed because of something that has happened to a relative. Which leads us to our next myth:

“I’m going to lose teeth because my relative has.”

All too often patients come in with the fear that they will lose teeth because a parent or grandparent has. “Anytime I see a person with gum disease, almost always they think it’s genetic and that they’re going to lose their teeth because it’s happened in their family,” says Dr. Landeros. But it doesn’t have to be that way—it’s preventable. We don’t want to resort to tooth pulling because there is so much more that can be done proactively to recover. “Even if they are at that stage with disease, it’s maintainable to prevent further damage and premature tooth loss,” she explains. Regular cleanings are a great way to stay ahead of the game.

At Valley Family Dentistry, we take pride in educating our patients, fostering good communication, and giving them the time to ask questions and give input. We believe that quality dental care is never rushed, and that the patients’ comfort comes first. 

If you experience dental anxiety and have any questions about your oral health, we are happy to answer them—just give us a call at (956) 423-0191 or e-mail us at dentistry@valleyfamilydds.com.

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