Did you know that more than ten percent of people avoid going to the dentist out of fear? Also known as dental anxiety or dental phobia, fear of the dentist prevents many people from getting the regular care and treatment that they need. If you’re ready to overcome your fear of the dentist, here are some ideas that can help:
Identify Root Cause
If you want to overcome your fear of the dentist, it helps to identify a root cause. Did you have a negative experience with a dentist in the past? Are you influenced by scary dental visits in pop culture? Are you self-conscious about someone poking around in your mouth? If you understand what causes your fear, you can work on addressing that particular issue.
Choose Patient & Caring Dentist
You deserve a dentist who is understanding of your apprehension and willing to work with you as you overcome your fear. Choose a dentist who works gently and makes an effort to minimize your discomfort or pain during the procedure. Opt for a dentist who cares about you and puts you at ease during treatment. Finally, it can help if your dentist talks you through each procedure and explains the function of each instrument. This can help to remove some of the mystery surrounding dentistry and calm you down.
Bring a Companion
Some people fear the dentist because they feel alone and helpless during the procedure. For this reason, it can be helpful to bring along a parent, partner, or friend to your dental appointment. Their presence might be enough to calm you, or you can squeeze their hand if you’re feeling particularly ill-at-ease.
Consider practicing some relaxation techniques before your appointment to get you in the right mind set. Breathe deeply, listen to calming music, and do whatever works to put you in a relaxed mindset. If you feel anxiety about your dental appointment building up throughout the day, consider scheduling an appointment for early in the morning so you can get it out of the way without the same stress.
IV sedation can be very helpful for patients with dental phobia. IV sedation works quickly and puts you into a state of deep relaxation. You are still conscious and can communicate with your dentist, but you feel the fear about the procedure melt away as the sedative kicks in.
To maintain good oral health, regular dental appointments are crucial. If you have a fear of the dentist, these tips should help you overcome your phobia.