Alleviating Fear of the Dentist

Fear of the dentist is a very common occurrence, especially for children, but one Naples dentist is working to alleviate that.

For children, and even some adults, fear of the dentist is very real. But with the expertise of one Naples dentist, children are able to overcome that fear.

Dr. Tamara Robison is a Marco Island pediatric dentist who was trained by Dr. Peter Milgrom, a pioneer in the field of dental fear. He founded the Northwest Center and Dental Fears Research Clinic and authored "Treating Fearful Dental Patients."

Because of her experience working with Milgrom, Robison is better able to understand how to handle the fearful patient. And she says that begins by understanding where the fear comes from.

"A previous experience might have resulted in pain," says Robison, who specializes in special needs dental care. "That would make anyone not want to go back. But other issues, such as their parents' attitudes toward the dentist, increased tendency for fear and behavioral or mood disorders can also lead to dental fear."

Before a dentist begins work, it can help to sit down with the patient and parents to understand the child's background. At this point, the dentist can discover any underlying issues that might lead to fear once in the dental chair. A dentist for kids must be especially careful to cater their treatment to the needs of each patient to ensure their comfort.

"It helps to spend a little extra time in the beginning to explain everything thoroughly," says Robison. "That way, the child knows what I'm going to do before I do it. Then, it's also important that the patient knows he or she can speak up at any time during the procedure to voice concerns or discomfort. I tell my patients to raise their left hand if they want me to stop at any point during the procedure, even if it's just a routine cleaning."

Giving the patient a say in this way helps them feel mutually in control of the situation. Letting them know they can take a break at any point during the procedure can be a very effective tool in gaining their trust and easing their fears.

Learn More
To learn more about Cosmic Smiles for Kids, call the Naples office at 239-263-4517or the Marco Island office at 239-394-2270

About Us
Cosmic Smiles for Kids and Dr. Tamara Robison treat patients from infant through teen with an extensive list of services in a calming environment.