A dentist is a doctor who specialises, treats, maintains and manages the conditions and ailments of the teeth, gum, tongue, jaws and other tissues in the mouth. There are general practitioner dentists and dentists that specialized in a particular area of dentistry, examples are orthodontists – arrangement of teeth, periodontists – management of gum and supporting tissues of the teeth, endodontists – who treat the pulp of the teeth etc.

However, a date with the dentist sounds very scary to many people though it ought not to. Adequate knowledge of what the dentist does and the reason he utilizes some instruments will ameliorate your fears and anxiety.


The first thing that happens when you visit a dental clinic is the collection of personal information for the sake of identification, recording, analysis, study and research. The information required among others are;

  • Your full name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth


This is where you get to speak with the dentist. The dentist would want to know your reason for visiting the clinic. After presenting your complaint the dentist would ask you a few questions about your complaint to pinpoint what the issue might be.

However, you also have an opportunity at this point to ask any questions you might have.


The equipment and instruments used by dentists might look scary but they are harmless and are designed for comfort. For instance, the dental chair might look like a theatre chair but it is designed so you can lie down comfortably with your head and extremities well rested.

Moreover, the sharp pointed instrument on the tray is a dental explorer, it is not meant to inflict pain but to locate hidden holes in the tooth


These are some of the tests the dentist will recommend or perform;

  • Tooth vitality test
  • Tooth percussion
  • Radiograph
  • Study model
  • Photograph


This will hinge on your presenting complaint, however, the diagnosis will centre around the following;

  • Toothache
  • Gum issues like bleeding gum and gum pain
  • Routine cleaning
  • Bad breath
  • Crooked teeth
  • Stained teeth
  • Broken tooth
  • Broken bone
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth mobility


The treatment plan is based on the diagnosis which will be centred around the following;

  • Scaling and polishing
  • Gum treatment
  • Filling
  • Root canal treatment
  • Tooth extraction
  • Whitening
  • Teeth arrangement
  • Crowning
  • Medications

How to handle dental fear

Some procedures in dentistry are indeed painful, however, anaesthetics and painkillers are available for relief. The following can help to curtail your phobia;

  • Present your complaint on time
  • Have a dentist you are familiar with
  • Do routine dental check-ups
  • Seek dental advice only from expert
  • Go to your dental appointment with a friend or relative

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