Do You Fear The Dentist?
For some people, going to the dentist is a piece of cake; an experience that is no different than visiting any other health care provider for routine care. Yet for many others, preparing for an upcoming trip to the dentist causes an immense amount of anxiety and fear. While having some misgivings about dental care is normal, avoiding the dentist altogether can have serious repercussions, including tooth pain, infections, tooth loss and overall poor oral health.
At Natomas Crossing Dental Care, we understand the fears and concerns surrounding dental care. If you or someone you know is afraid of the dentist, keep reading to learn more about easing your dental anxiety.
Top Reasons People Fear the Dentist
If you are among the thousands of Americans who dread going to the dentist, then you probably share one of these five common fears:
- You have a fear of needles and injections used in the mouth for local anesthetics and other procedures.
- You fear the pain that comes from tooth extractions, fillings and other dental procedures. This often stems from an unpleasant dental experience in the past.
- You have anxiety about visiting the dentist and undergoing treatment. This may include sleeping poorly the night before an appointment or experiencing physical illness at the thought of going to the dentist.
- You are intimidated by the sounds made by drills and other dental devices.
- The invasiveness of having a stranger’s hands in your mouth makes you feel uneasy and out of control.
How to Overcome Your Dental Fears
The good news is that overcoming fear of the dentist is possible. The following tips can help:
- Find a dentist who you trust and feel comfortable with. Schedule a time to meet your dentist and staff, and look around the office to familiarize yourself with the practice. When you know your dentist on a personal level, you will feel more confident and comfortable sitting in the dentist’s chair.
- Always ask your dentist to explain a procedure in detail. Understanding each stage of your appointment in advance can help ease anxiety. By discussing fears about a procedure with your dentist, he or she can also modify and adapt treatment for your unique needs in order to make the process as pain-free and relaxed as possible.
- If sitting through a dental procedure makes you feel helpless and out of control, establish a signal with your dentist, such as raising your hand, when you want the dentist to stop what he or she is doing. Use this special sign whenever you feel scared or simply need a break.
- Talk to your dentist about other options to help calm your nerves. This may include listening to music or watching a movie during treatment. For severe cases of dental anxiety, sedation dentistry, such as nitrous oxide or oral sedation, is also a safe and effective way to help patients reach a relaxed, calm state during a procedure.
Don’t let your fears of the dentist prevent you from getting the treatment and care that you need for optimal dental health. You’re not alone, and Natomas Crossing Dental Care is here to help. We will listen to your concerns and help you determine the best ways for beating dental anxiety so that you can achieve the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve.