Fear of the dentist/hygienist (dental phobia) is a global problem that affects up to 20 percent of Americans. Thousands of people avoid dental visits due to dental anxiety, and in this article, we will help you overcome this fear.
People suffering from dental anxiety are aware that the fear is irrational, but there isn’t much they can do about it. Such people only visit the dentist if they are forced to by extreme pain or infections. In some cases, dental phobia may require psychiatric intervention.
Signs of Dental Anxiety
Dental phobia is characterized by several signs which include:
Causes of Dental Anxiety
There are various reasons why different people fear dentists and common ones include:
Fear of Pain
Most people associate dental visits with pain and agony. However, that rarely happens as most dental procedures are almost painless, thanks to sedation. Fear of pain is usually a result of earlier experiences with a dentist.
Fear of Injections
Needles can be terrifying to some people, and the thought of being injected makes some fail to visit the dentist. During checkups, needles are not used, and during dental procedures, you can opt for oral sedation instead of getting injected.
Fear of Sedation Side Effects
Some people have a problem with the numbness caused by anesthesia, while others don’t like its side effects such as nausea and dizziness.
Some people don’t like the thought of sitting on a dental chair with their mouth wide open and someone else doing what he wants with it.
Loss of Personal Space
Some individuals don’t like the closeness of a hygienist or dentist to their faces. Other people feel embarrassed about the appearance of their teeth, and others don’t like their odor. Such reasons can make one fail to visit even a general dentist, even for checkups.
How to Ease Dental Phobia/Anxiety
Before your situation escalates to the point that you have to visit a psychiatrist, start working on your fears as early as now. These tips can help you stay relaxed during the procedure.
Share Your Fears with the Dentist
Be transparent with the dentist about your fears. By doing so, the dentist will walk you through all your options and conducts the procedure in a way that can help reduce your anxiety. If you don’t talk, your dentist will not know, and he will treat you like other patients even though you require special treatment.
Plan your dental visit on a day that you will be free. That way, you won’t be in a hurry to rush anywhere after the procedure, and this allows your body to relax. You won’t be in any pressure.
Listen to Your Favorite Songs
If it is the drills’ sound that causes your anxiety, you can come along with earphones and play your favorite tunes as the dentist conducts the procedure.
Communicate with the Dentist during the Procedure
Empower yourself during the procedure by giving some commands to the dentist when necessary. Talk to your dentist prior to the procedure and discuss signals you can use. For example, raising your hand can mean stop and shaking your leg can mean ease off.
Choose a Trustworthy Dentist
Getting recommendations from a partner, friend, or family relative can help ease anxiety. Knowing that the dentist is good gives you confidence that he will do the right thing at the right time, and the treatment will be painless. If you can’t get recommendations from friends, check on the internet for a dentist with exceptional reviews.
Watch Your Intake before and on the Appointment Day
Avoid foods with high levels of caffeine or sugars on the appointment day. Such foods make you more jittery. If you have to take something, take caffeine and sugar-free foods and drinks.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
If you visit your dentist frequently, you will get used to him, and you will realize that there is actually nothing to fear. You will also set an exemplary example for your kids.
Cupertino Family Dental
Modern technology has ensured that dental procedures are conducted faster and that they are painless. That said, if you require excellent dental care in Cupertino, CA, you are in the right place. Our family dentist can help you with all the dental problems.Book an appointment today, and let us ease your anxiety.