Nothing To Fear

Advanced technology allows for pain-free dentistry.

If the mere thought of visiting a dentist causes you to become anxious, lose sleep or even worse, makes you physically ill, you’re not alone. Nearly 20 percent of all Americans avoid visiting a dentist solely out of fear.

Dr. Katrine Farag

Fear of pain is the most common reason people with dental anxiety or dental phobia avoid the dentist, but fear of needles and even fear of the unknown can cause someone to avoid visiting a dentist as well.

But Dr. Katrine Farag says hesitant patients have nothing to fear. Thanks to advances in technology and training, all dentists can practice pain-free dentistry, and for patients who fear the unknown, she offers a virtual tour to help ease their anxiety.

“Just knowing what to expect during your first visit to a dentist can go a long way toward easing fears,” Dr. Farag assures. “For most patients, we’ll spend a good part of that first visit just getting to know you.

“We’ll certainly ask you about what it is that brought you in, because we want to take care of that problem, but we’ll also ask you about your medical history, if you’ve had any surgeries or if you are taking medications we should be aware of. We do that because some conditions, such as gum disease, need to be treated with antibiotics. But we’re not going to prescribe an antibiotic unless we know it’s something you can take safely.”

During a patient’s initial visit, x-rays will usually be taken to learn the physical health of the patient’s teeth. X-rays can reveal issues before they become a painful problem and are therefore a critical part of the exam.

At Advanced Dentistry of Fort Myers, Dr. Farag’s staff takes digital x-rays that expose the patient to far less radiation than traditional x-rays. Digital x-rays also allow the dentist and patient to review the results immediately on a computer monitor.

During the first visit, patients can also expect to undergo an oral cancer screening using a tool that detects abnormalities not visible to the naked eye.

“We have the VELscope, a noninvasive device that looks a little like a flashlight,” Dr. Farag explains. “It uses fluorescence to detect any changes or abnormalities in the soft tissue areas such as the roof of the mouth and the tongue.

“An oral cancer screening is extremely important because you can have great oral hygiene and still get oral cancer. That’s something the dentist needs to catch because one of the most common places we find oral cancers is underneath the tongue.”

A first visit will also include an examination of the gums. This is done in part by measuring the gap between the teeth and gums. The results will determine how often the dentist may want to see the patient for treatment.

“If someone comes in and their gums are super healthy, we’ll probably tell them to come see us for cleanings twice a year,” Dr. Farag notes. “But if you have a lot of recession or bleeding in your gums, I’ll probably ask you to visit us three or four times a year.”

Finally, there is a thorough examination of the teeth to see if any fractures or cavities are present. Should any issues be detected during any of these exams, the dentist will meet with the patient to discuss a possible treatment plan.

“I’ll have that discussion with the patient personally, and I’ll never rush the patient through it,” Dr. Farag says. “Whatever worries or concerns someone has will be discussed thoroughly because the patient’s health is our greatest concern.”

Print This Article
    • Advanced Dentistry of Fort Myers

      Dr. Farag looks forward to hearing from readers of Florida Health Care News. Their office is conveniently located  at 16601 San Carlos Blvd. in Fort Myers. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call (239) 466-3131.... Read More

    • Katrine A. Farag, DMD

      Katrine A. Farag, DMD, earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Nova Southeastern University after completing her undergraduate studies in neuroscience at Vanderbilt University. She is a member of the Florida Academy of Cosmetic D... Read More

    • Joseph H. Farag, DMD

      Joseph H. Farag, DMD, earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry, Gainesville, FL after completing his undergraduate degree at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL. Dr. Farag served an... Read More