It is true that 80% of the population stays away from the dentist on a regular basis. Although most would rather be somewhere else than at the dentist, there are those who only seek dental care when their pain level exceeds that of their fear. Most often fear starts from negative past dental experiences involving lack of compassion, lack of adequate time to inform, pain during treatment or a combination of the above. Many of my “dental converts” have told me that they would actually become nauseous or undergo a panic attack even while picking up the phone to call the dentist. Although we can use relaxation medications or nitrous oxide/oxygen (“laughing gas“) to “get the work done”, most of these patients indicate that the most important thing that helped with their fear was the time given to be truly heard & understood, which is crucial in the development of a trusting, therapeutic relationship. True wellness involves allowing enough time to listen, because people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. A dentist who cares will be compassionate and have the stage set to listen to his patients and understand the nature of their fears, possible misgivings or skepticism. It is only through this that the mistrust barrier can be broken. Although I believe that it is extremely important to deliver high quality dental treatment, it is equally important to have an atmosphere of mutual trust. This is necessary to create magic through proper diagnostic, preventive and restorative care that can change and extend people’s lives!