As perhaps one of the most common phobias, visiting the dentist tops the charts for many people’s list of fears. Studies show that fear of dental work stops 5-8% of people, and another 20% will only seek dental services when they are overwhelmingly necessary. Overcoming your fear of the dentist is an endeavor you should strive for; the health of your mouth can have an impact on your entire body.
Types Of Fears
While each person’s fears and concerns are unique, there are a few overarching concerns that come up again and again. Recognizing and addressing your fear can help you begin to overcome it. Loss of control is one of the first fears that many people share. When you are in a dentist’s chair, it can be easy to feel like you have no control over what’s going on and can feel trapped. Others may fear pain, as there are times when you might feel pain and discomfort when at the dentist; this is often coupled with negative past experiences. Last but not least, some people avoid the dentist out of fear of embarrassment. With all of these concerns, there are plenty of ways to overcome.
Find A Dentist You Trust
One of the first steps to ensuring that you don’t continue the fear cycle is to find a dental practice that works to help keep you feeling at ease. Start by looking at reviews from your dental insurance company and online. Most practices should have a wide range of reviews that can help you narrow down your choices. If your fear is extreme, you may ask to schedule a meet and greet before scheduling any services at all. Getting to know your dentist without a service can help you feel more at ease heading into the office for the first time. When you start improving your familiarity, it can help build trust and ease discomfort significantly. It also helps your dentist understand your fears and concerns so that they can be more aware of how to keep you comfortable during treatments. It’s important to remember that keeping you feeling safe and secure is just as important to your dentist as it is to you. Happy patients will return, and when you feel safe, you’ll be able to have your treatments run faster and smoother.
Once you’ve scheduled your appointment, the next step is to make use of tricks to keep you relaxed once you get there. Start by asking a friend or family member (one who isn’t afraid of the dentist) to come with you to your appointment and potentially sit with you for the duration. Having a friendly face in the room can help make you feel much more confident. In some cases, you may need to ask your dentist or doctor about using a sedative. For more intensive procedures, you may be able to use oral or IV sedation or nitrous oxide. For less intense procedures, making use of an anti-anxiety rescue medication may be possible. Last but not least, you can try to keep distracted and practice relaxation techniques. Listening to music or a podcast, having a stress ball, or practicing meditative breathing can all help.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook and Twitter.