Dentist and pain: how to debunk a myth

Interview with Dr. Neri Pinzuti, specialist in Aesthetic Dentistry.

Many people are afraid to go to the dentist because it is commonplace to relate the dentist to painful experiences. But is it really always like this?

“RATHER THAN GO TO THE DENTIST’S I PREFER NOT GETTING RID OF CAVITIES”. IS IT ONLY HUMOR OR IS IT TRUE?

Unfortunately there is some truth to it; the general belief that going to the dentist must necessarily be a traumatic and painful experience is very common, so much so that many people do not treat their problems or diseases promptly.

WHAT CAUSES THIS FEAR?
From old beliefs that should no longer affect us. Unfortunately, not all the specialists in dentistry use the painless techniques that science has made available today.

Furthermore, these preconceptions often originate from the lack of correct information; when I say, for example, that putting an implant in the bone under anesthesia is a totally painless treatment, my patients always look at me like I’m crazy. In reality it is really a painless operation, as the bone is a much less innervated and sensitive tissue than the tooth nerve. Therefore there is no reason to fear strong pains in facing this operation if the right techniques are used.

SO, WHEN DOES SOMEONE FEEL THE PAIN AT THE DENTIST’S?
Obviously there are situations where pain is inevitable.

The cases in which there is the risk of feeling pain, although always controlled, are essentially when a patient needs an emergency treatment, e.g. teeth and/or nerves inflammation, tooth extraction with strong inflammation or ongoing infection.

Having that said, in my dental practice I use techniques of local anesthesia or state-of-the-art conscious sedation to eliminate all kinds of pain during all types of operations.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE TRYING TO TACKLE STRESS WHEN GOING TO THE DENTIST’S?
Surely the first thing I recommend is getting good information about the sedation techniques used by the doctor. Secondly, prevention remains the fundamental aspect so as to avoid the final stage of pain, the unbearable one that makes you “hate” the dentist. Through periodic and constant check-ups it is possible to identify every problem in time and intervene with minimal invasiveness.