If you are one of the thousands of individuals who have a fear of visiting the dentist, you are not alone. Whether it be from negative past experiences, a fear of needles, or even from feeling like you’re not in control, dental phobias keep you away from vital checkups and can end up being more detrimental to your health than you know. Not visiting your dentist can lead to instances of cavities, tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease — all of which can stall your confidence. On the more serious side treatment omission can spur poor digestion, heart disease and can even change your speech patterns! It’s just not worth it. Thankfully, there are ways to cope with, and even overcome, dental phobias. Let’s take a look at some of the time proven methods below.
Educate yourself on Procedures
The overly invasive and super scary dental procedures that we have all heard of at one time or another are largely a thing of the past. Modern dental advances and medical innovations have streamlined much of the dental practice and added comfort, accuracy and a high quotient of precision to the equation. Before you scare yourself with visions of what a procedure might or might not be like, take a moment to check facts, and you may just find your fears to be unfounded.
Let your dentist know how you feel
One of the worst parts about experiencing any type of fear is going it alone. In the dental office, you don’t have to. Letting your dentist know that you have common office visit or procedural phobias can go a long way towards assuaging fears. It provides an excellent opportunity for dentist patient bonding, and also allows your dentist to explain things carefully and allows them give you useful information that can go a long way toward setting you at ease.
Ask if medication can help
A very useful extension of communicating with your dentist is asking them if there is any form of medication that can help to ease any fears of potential pain. For a majority of procedures there are multiple options including local anesthesia, IV sedation, and nitrous oxide. Sometimes we all need a little help getting through a procedure. Your dentist can let you know which if any are appropriate.
Keep your visits regular
This may seem like the least likely suggestion for reducing fear of dental visits, but in reality it is the most powerful one. Keeping visits regular encourages excellent dental health, which will drastically minimize the chances that you will need to have majorly invasive procedures. Find a way to keep a dental visit on your annual calendar, and you really won’t have anything more to fear!
Getting over dental fears is far from impossible. With a few quick tips and some dedicated effort you’ll be comfortable in the dentist’s chair in no time.