Miami Dentist and Dental Anxiety Update: The Waiting Game
Perhaps you sometimes find yourself feeling uneasy about the prospect of sitting in my chair. (Don’t worry, I don’t take it personally!) Well, the next time you’re feeling that way, remind yourself of this interesting tidbit:
U.S. researchers have located the human brain’s “dread center,” an area of the brain responsible for feelings of foreboding. Brain scans show that neurons that generate the feeling of anxiety lie within the same areas of the brain activated by pain.
How did they figure this out? Here comes the fun part! Researchers shocked the feet of more than thirty courageous volunteers while simultaneously scanning their brains. (Ouch!) Just be thankful you weren’t asked to participate.
The study found that about a quarter of the group were “extreme dreaders” who were more than willing to take a stronger jolt just to be done with the whole thing. It seems that the dread of an experience can be more overwhelming than any pain or discomfort actually associated with it.
Most dental procedures don’t hurt, but the anxiety associated with them can be
extremely unpleasant. The anxiety could stem from a bad experience, a phobia, or even
from watching Little Shop of Horrors one too many times. No matter its cause, the
anticipation of things going wrong can be far worse than the actual experience.
So try to remember this the next time you grimace at the sight of an appointment
reminder, a waiting room or a drill. The dread you’re feeling is not proportional to the
experience you’re facing. Just take a deep breath and remember that science agrees —
it really is all in your head. If you’d like to learn more about cosmetic dentistry and what your options may be, call us. Dr. Papiernik truly enjoys seeing the effect that a healthy smile has on his patient’s lives. He believes that a healthy smile begins with knowledge. That is why one of his goals is to help elevate each patient’s dental awareness and to provide them with the best tools to maintain their dental health at its optimum. Please call (305) 670 5100 to schedule an appointment.