When some of us think of the dentist, we get frightened, get scared—so how do we conqueror such a fear? We need the dentist: they help us make our smiles healthy and beautiful, so we can’t simply avoid them forever! Here is a look into dental anxiety, how it is caused, and how to overcome it.
The main fear of going to a dental visit is the uncertainty of what exactly will happen there. Did you know that up to “15% of Americans avoid the dentist” because of fear? This is especially common with the older crowd, who have unfortunately experienced dental care before modern technologies. The good news is that our children, however, are not burdened by negative experiences due to the newer tools and improvements in techniques implemented in each visit from a young age. With the fear being present for many though, what can be done to overcome this?
One of the main things that can lower a patient’s dental anxiety is being able to openly communicate with his or her dentist. This allows them to break down the process of what exactly you will be experiencing and allow you time to process it and feel safe. Next, when there are multiple tools and hands present in your mouth it may be hard for the dentist to hear what you’re saying, so talk with your hands to express how you feel, or if something is uncomfortable. Don’t think you have to undergo a painful procedure—there are ways, like sedation dentistry, to ensure you have a pain-free experience every time.
Nowadays there are also televisions, music players, and other distractions your dentist can provide chair-side to lower your anxiety and get your mind off of getting treated. Lastly, consider talking with your dentist about certain medications that could help to lower your anxiety, or about sedation dentistry, which can put one in a state of partial or full unconsciousness. It is also important to remember to take a break if need be. If dental anxiety is something you have been experiencing, your dentist will understand and try his or her best to turn those negative experiences into positives ones.