I decided to write this letter to help anyone that dreads going to the dentist as much as I did.

For a quick background on me, I spent the better part of my life trying to avoid the dentist as much as humanly possible. Simply put, unless my teeth were practically falling out, you wouldn’t catch me dead in a waiting room. For me it all traces back to a few bad memories that were powerful enough to keep me away, despite my less than perfect smile.

Fast forward to a few years ago and I can happily say that all of my opinions about the dentist have changed, ultimately inspiring me to share my story with those of you who may be going through something similar. If that sounds like you, I encourage you to read on to learn how Inland Family Dentistry changed the way I feel about going to the dentist and how they can do the same for you.

My negative memories and associations about the dentist stemmed from a dentist appointment I went to in my youth. The dentist that my parents took me to see wasn’t friendly and had fingers like sausage links. He wasn’t careful when examining my mouth making me dread every appointment. After a few visits I refused to keep going and my parents never pushed me on why, and they certainly never forced me go.

Fast forward to college, and I was still harboring my reluctance about the dentist which had only become worse after so many years. To supplement my lack of regular checkups, I adopted an aggressive dental hygiene routine that I figured would prevent any problems from occurring. I was wrong. I started to experience some mild dental discomfort and the longer it went the more I realized it was going to require treatment. I scheduled an appointment with a doctor that my parents knew and figured everything would be just fine.

Already skeptical of the appointment and dentists in general I wasn’t relaxed entering the office. After the hygienist did her cleaning the dentist came in to do his exam. After his inspection he looked at my teeth and the first comment out of his mouth was to ask if I’d ever considered braces. Not knowing where the conversation was going, I responded that I hadn’t considered braces and asked if my orthodontic issues were going to cause dental issues down the road. His flippant remark was that no it wouldn’t cause dental issues but my teeth weren’t very attractive. In that split second he lost me. I was already self-conscious about my teeth and his unwanted commentary wasn’t appreciated. I left the office and once again found myself with another reason to avoid the dentist.

With another terrible dental experience behind me, I was convinced I would never go back again and would simply focus harder on making sure my dental hygiene was perfect all the time. For years, everything seemed to be smooth sailing after I graduated college and began working full time. My teeth still weren’t perfect but that didn’t bother me. When I got married my wife insisted that I go to see a dentist. I’d had some minor dental issues, and she wasn’t taking no for an answer. When I approached friends for a recommendation, there was a consensus that Inland Family Dentistry was the place to go. My online search showed me what I needed to see. Everything from the pictures of the office to the positive things people were saying helped to ease some of my hesitation and ultimately urged me to set the appointment.

My first visit to Inland Family Dentistry was a pleasant surprise as I was immediately greeted by friendly staff members upon entering the waiting area. Their genuine interest in the reason for my visit and even just the atmosphere of the office as a whole was very welcoming and comforting. Before I knew it, I was sitting in the exam chair with Dr. Goyer and going over my dental history like I was talking to an old friend.

Dr. Goyer’s willingness to listen and evident passion for what she did allowed her to identify that my negative feelings were actually what’s commonly known as dental fear. I realized how common it can be for individual, and was frankly relieved to be in an office that approaches it carefully. From there, Dr. Goyer further explained that the first appointment is a “meet and greet” of sorts where they really just take the time to learn about each patient and develop a plan of action together. This whole experience was new to me and made me realize that I didn’t need to fear the dentist anymore.

On the next visit, I had my regular cleaning, w-rays, and exam. They identified a cavity that needed to be treated, and I didn’t even hesitate to schedule the filling. With my dental fear long gone (thanks Dr. G!), I’m now happy to visit Inland Family Dentistry every six months for a routine checkup.

Moral of the story, don’t let dental fear rule your life like I did. If you’re like me, know that there is a team who understands your fear and approaches your dental treatment in the manner that best fits you – no cookie cutter stuff from this staff. If it wasn’t for the wonderful, caring team at Inland Family Dentistry, I don’t think I ever would have overcome my fear, let alone be visiting the dentist twice a year!