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  • P (250) 390-3392
  • F (250) 390-3359
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  • Clinic Hours
  • 8:30am–5:00pm
  • Monday–Thursday
  • & Some Fridays
  • Our Location
  • 6441 Applecross Road
  • Nanaimo, BC V9V 1K8
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Ask Dr. ProtzerWhat if I am afraid?

Being scared of going to the dentist is a common fear.

Avoiding a Check Up?

For many people, regular dental check ups are not high on their list of priorities.

And the reason usually isn’t a lack of money or insurance. Or that they forgot to make an appointment. The main reason for avoiding a check up is fear.

Keep reading to understand why you might be afraid, and for tips on overcoming that fear.

Fear Not!

Here are some common fears we encounter from people who haven’t had a dental exam for a while:

  • Afraid of the unknown. The longer you avoid a dental appointment, the scarier the thought gets. But have you watched Jurassic Park for the fifth time? It’s not so scary.
  • Frightened by stories of negative dental experiences from family and friends. But if we listened to every scary story, we wouldn’t get anything done!
  • Associating the dental exam with a feeling of helplessness and a loss of control. But we are able to listen to your fears, and work with you to ensure you are comfortable. And our tools are the quietest in the industry!
  • Bad childhood experiences causing fears and anxieties. Again we can work together to understand your anxieties. And the dental profession has come a long way!

We are here to help you! Keep reading for tips on how to take you first step. We also encourage you to contact us with your questions or concerns so we can help with your own unique circumstance.

Are there risks involved with avoiding the dentist?
Yes, there are various risks associated with neglecting oral health. Learn more about why avoiding the dentist is simply not worth it by reading Dr. Protzer’s Why go to the dentist? article.


Don’t wait until there is a problem to seek treatment.
Start developing a relationship with your dentist before you are an emergency patient. It is less expensive and less stressful.

Ask for a consultation appointment only.
This gives you an idea of what is wrong with your teeth (hopefully not too much) without any obligation for further treatment. Get a second opinion, if you feel that you want one.

Book your appointment for a time of day when there is little or no stress.
Do not book it for when you know you have to be somewhere else shortly afterward.

Talk with your dentist and ask questions.
Discuss various treatment options. Understand these options. If you don’t understand them, ask again. You as the patient have the right to ask any questions regarding your dental health, and then make the decisions that are right for you. Any choice of treatment is only right for you if your informed consent is present. Anxiety often comes from not knowing what could happen to you. If you want to know more details, just ask. If you do not want to hear details, just say so.

Distract yourself.
Listening to music often helps our patients to take their mind off the dental work by minimizing the noises around you. With that said, our hand-piece engines are the quietest available because of ceramic bearings and micro-motors. We offer wireless headphones as well plug-in over-the ear headphones so you can bring along your own choice of music (CD, mp3 etc), and we also offer our own eclectic array of music, from classical to jazz.

Start slowly.
Build your confidence level one step at a time. For example, begin treatment by simply getting your mouth and teeth examined. Then come back later for a cleaning. You don’t have to do everything at once. Your comfort level determines the treatment. You are the patient. You should be in control of the situation.

And remember – we will be nice to you!
Tell us what the problem is and we will work around it.

Stop hiding - it's safe!

Contact us to schedule your appointment – you’ll be glad you did!

  Ask Dr. Protzer Contact Us