One of the most common yet unnecessary fears people hold is that of the dentist. Often times this fear stems from a bad previous experience, but this doesn’t need to define your future with dental work. The consequences of avoiding the dentist are far greater than you may realize. Make the necessary changes to prevent dental anxiety, ensuring a positive experience.
The Root of the Problem
There are different levels of dental anxiety with some so bad that they often lose sleep over the very thought of the dentist. This fear is most common in older people who have lived through some of the less advanced methods of oral care. It is important to recognize that much has changed in the past few decades, making dental care safer, more comfortable, and all around better. If you have had a previous bad experience with the dentist, don’t let that define your future oral care.
Any good relationship requires communication to be successful, and the dentist is no different. To better understand and defeat your dental anxiety, have an open conversation with your dentist, letting them know your fears. This will help your dentist understand why you are nervous, and provide solutions to these fears. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed if you are fearful, you are definitely not alone, and not even in the minority.
The stress can be just too much for some people. In these cases, sedation dentistry may be the best or only option. This gives you a medicated escape while the procedure is going on, helping to rid your experience of discomfort and anxiety. While most people won’t need their dental appointments to go this far, it is a possible option to discuss with your dentist.
Most dentist offices will offer entertainment to their patients to help take their minds away from the treatment. Don’t reject this service, instead use the headphones and television programs to distract yourself from the procedures happening in your mouth. Even just letting yourself daydream can be a welcomed distraction from the dental procedures.
Bring Someone You Trust
If you are still dreading your visit to the dentist, bring a trusted friend or family member with you for the first appointment. This familiar face can be a great comfort while you are in the dental chair, and can even work as a distraction to keep your mind off the work at hand. Talk with someone you feel close to and ask them to fill this role.
Don’t let your past dental anxieties have an impact on your future oral health. There are things you can do to make visiting the dentist a better experience. Make an effort, and understand that some of the fears you are experiencing may not even be relevant anymore.