Dental anxiety is very common- and for some people, can be extremely difficult to overcome. Every rational person understands that in order to maintain the health of your teeth and prevent any issues from escalating, it’s important to visit the dentist. However, even rational people suffer from dental anxiety- which is why so many people avoid going to the dentist in the first place. This ultimately results in major dental issues.
In some cases, dental anxiety stems from a bad experience you may have had with a dentist in the past. Any negative experience will cause emotional scarring and may last for many years. This almost always leads to you feeling negatively towards the dental profession as a whole. However, it’s important to keep in mind that one bad dentist doesn’t mean the whole bunch is bad.
Tips for Overcoming Dental Anxiety
When someone with dental anxiety finally admits they need to go to the dentist and schedules an appointment, they discover that what they thought was a small issue has escalated and requires major intervention from the dentist. Therefore, it’s important to understand that regular cleanings and check-ups are the best way to prevent issues, including cavities, gum disease, and more. Below are a few ways to help you overcome your dental anxiety.
Consider Sedation Dentistry
There are several ways that you can overcome your dental anxiety. Some of these include sedation dentistry, which can be through nitrous oxide, oral medication, or IV. Many dental offices offer conscious sedation, which allows you to relax so that they can work on your teeth but also be awake so that you can ask questions or bring up any concerns you might have.
Ask for Recommendations
When you are looking for a dentist, make sure to ask your family and friends who they would recommend. Also, when you do visit the dentist, always bring up any questions or concerns that you may have. This can help you feel more relaxed. After all, YOU are the customer- it is up to the dentist to make you feel relaxed. A good dentist will never make you feel intimidated. The best dentists will do anything and everything they can to gain your trust.
Discuss Your Dental Anxiety
After all, when it comes to the patient/dentist relationship, trust is critical. You will be visiting the office on a regular basis for cleanings, check-ups, and other issues, so you need to be sure you can trust him or her. When you go in for your initial visit, make sure that you bring up your dental anxiety. If he or she is unwilling to discuss your anxiety and give you options to help you relax, you should move on and find one that will.
Check Out the Website & Tour the Facility
One way that you can tell the quality of a dentist is by their facility and website. Before you go in, check out their website. Find out what they are all about. You should be able to see pictures of the office so that you know what to expect.
Check Out the Reviews
In addition to checking out their website and touring the facility, check online reviews to find out what others think about the dentist. The dentists that have a lot of satisfied patients or nice offices have proven themselves to be the best. If they do have a lot of satisfied patients, you can be sure there is a reason because those who are not satisfied with their care won’t return and those who are satisfied with the care they received will return again and again.
Once again, if you do have dental anxiety, make sure that you discuss this with your dentist in the beginning. This way, they will have the opportunity to help you overcome your fears. Eventually, you’ll find that you can overcome your fear and establish a wonderful relationship with the entire dental team.
No matter how severe your dental anxiety is, it’s possible to overcome it. Yes, it’s going to take some time- but as long as the dentist is willing to work with you, you’ll eventually be more comfortable in the dental chair- which means you’ll be more than willing to schedule your regular cleanings and visit for any dental issues that come up in between.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Krista Mounsey