Having extreme fear of the dentist is referred to as a dental phobia. You are required to have regular dental checkups at least once a year. However, if you are among the estimated 9% or 15% of Americans with dental phobia, you may be stretching out the yearly requirement or avoiding it. So what can you to deal with this situation?
How to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist
Oral health plays a vital role in our overall health. Hence, fear of the dentist shouldn’t prevent you from having dental checkups and cleanings. At Innovo Dental and Implant Studio, we understand that not everybody can visit the dentist. Know that you aren’t alone; we have used various techniques to help many before you—the following are several self-help tips on overcoming dental fear.
Finding the Right Dentist
Having the right dentist can have a difference. The dentist sets the tone for your entire dental visit. If the dental staff isn’t friendly and inviting but more clinical, it can worsen your fears. Ask friends and family members for recommendations when looking for the right dentist. People aren’t likely to recommend doctors they are not comfortable with. The right dentist is also friendly and caring and answers all your simple questions. Also, do they provide personalized treatment in a relaxing and comfortable environment?
Understand Your Dental Fears
The best way of fixing the problem is by admitting there is a problem. Instead of making excuses about why you don’t like the dentist, try to pinpoint why you fear the dental office. Are there any specific experiences that may have contributed? Dental horror stories from friends or family? Write these causes of dental phobia and take them to a dentist for phobic patients near you. They will be able to offer solutions and explanations for your dental phobia.
Communicate with Your Dentist
Communication is the foundation of a good dentist-patient relationship. Speak out your concerns to your dentist about the procedure. For example, if you fear the unknown, you can ask the dentist to explain the process using simple terms.
Taking a Friendly Face to the Appointment
Having a friend or relative at the dental clinic can help you calm down. A loved one can distract you from your fears and act as your ears and eyes to advocate for your care.
The Top Ten Reasons Why People Fear Going to the Dentist
There are a lot of reasons why one can develop dental phobia. Some of them include:
- Pain. We are very quick to assume that dental procedures are inherently painful. However, dentists have adapted modern-day treatment methods that are gentle and comfortable.
- Embarrassment. Although your teeth appear to be in good health. One may be worried about getting in trouble for not having regular dental checkups or lack of proper dental maintenance.
- Fear of dental equipment. Dental equipment can cause anxiety, especially when they are sharp-looking and noisy. You can always ask the dentist to look at them and explain what each piece of equipment does.
- Gag reflexes. Some people have sensitive gag reflexes, and when objects are placed in their mouths, they feel like throwing up.
- Fear of the unknown. For some individuals, it’s not the dentist’s chair or office that triggers their anxiety. Instead, it is the fear of the unknown. They don’t know what will be discovered or what professional cleaning will feel.
- Bad experience from the past. It is sad to say that there are dentists who don’t make an effort or time to provide possibly the best experience to their patients. Lack of patience or poor ethical skills can be scarring for a patient who is already nervous.
- The dental office smells. The chemical odor in a dental office can be uninviting. However, dentists are now taking measures to make their offices more inviting.
- Expenses. Oral care can be pricey, especially when one doesn’t have dental insurance coverage. As a result, people will avoid visiting the dental office, fearing they might be unable to afford the service.
- Lack of control. The thought of having no power when lying on the dentist’s chair and their hand on your mouth is enough to instill fear.
- The whirring sound of machines. The sound of dental equipment in the office can be intimidating. However, the modern equipment is quieter and less frightening.
Why You Should Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist
At our dental clinic in Tracy, we treat all our patients as family. We are ready to give you time and attention and listen to your concerns. Overcoming dental phobia comes with many benefits, such as enjoying improved dental and overall health, having a brighter smile, gaining more confidence, and being able to experience the best in dental care comfortably