Throughout her adult life, Michelle has suffered from dental anxiety. While she still feels those fears whenever she sits in a dental chair, she’s found a dental practice where she feels safe, because she knows that she is heard and communicated with at every step of the way.
Michelle shares her experience with dental anxiety, and how communication has helped her feel more safe about visiting a dentist she can trust.
When did you start experiencing dental anxiety, and what contributes to your fears?
I’ve experienced dental anxiety throughout my adult life. I didn’t have those issues when I was younger, but now sitting in a dental chair makes me tense up. Part of it are the sounds, like the scraping. Because you feel it, as well as hear it. It’s like what some people would describe as fingernails on a chalkboard for me. It’s never painful. It just for some reason raises a bit of anxiety for me, even though I know I’m safe. It’s all the way back here in my head, as far as what causes that.
Do you worry about your scheduled appointments? And do Dr. Gilbert and his team help keep you comfortable?
I don’t worry about it, because I know that they will do everything possible to make me comfortable. It’s not something I worry about ahead of time. It’s literally when I get in that chair. Something about that chair.
What do you find comforting about Dr. Gilbert?
He’s a good communicator. A good dentist is someone that explains what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and makes sure that you understand it, and agree with it. If you don’t, what can he do to resolve that? Dr. Gilbert is like that. He will tell you what needs to be done and why, and explain it so that you can understand it. I like him. I like his staff, and I liked his dog. He’s just a very pleasant person.
Is there anything else that provides comfort for you?
Familiarity provides comfort. I find comfort in doctors and staff who are familiar with you. I like to be a memorable person. That’s the kind of person I am. I like to think that people remember me and think of me remarkably enough to remember me. Just getting the personal interaction with him might make him remember me more, versus a doctor who only knows your name because it’s on the chart. You’re a person to him and he makes that very clear.
What about the environment do you find comforting?
Probably the nice, quiet environment. I’m not hearing a lot of other stuff that goes on, and it is very open. I’ve been in a dentist’s office before where you hear a lot of noise, like other patients or staff talking, or loud machines. I don’t hear that here, and I think that’s because they’re not shoving patients in one on top of another. I hardly ever see anyone in the waiting room when I go in there, yet I know that they’re busy. They do a good job of scheduling, even pre COVID.
What do you like about the staff?
They’re just friendly personalities. They talk to you, have good interactions with you, provide good communication, but they’re also not overly chatty, like when the dental hygienist is cleaning your teeth and your mouth is wide open. She’s not asking you constant questions, which I’ve had that in the past.
When you visited the office during this period of COVID, did you have any concerns regarding safety?
Not at all. I knew that they were a clean environment before, and I only expected it to be better during the time now. I had no concern whatsoever. They always wore face masks when they were working on me, pre COVID, but now everybody has them on all the time.
What would you tell someone with dental fears, who was considering Dr. Gilbert as their dentist? I trust 100% what Dr. Gilbert does. I would say he’s got a great chairside manner, a great staff, and he’ll treat you right.
If you suffer from dental fears or anxiety, you can rely on us for a more comforting, and pain-free dental experience. And when you schedule a consultation with us, please let us know about your any dental related fears or anxiety you might have. We’re here for you – just call us at (425) 957-4700 or request an appointment online!