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What If I Have A Fear Of The Dentist?
A certain amount of apprehension is normal when going to the dentist. However, if the dental anxiety is keeping you from taking good care of your oral health; it might be a sign of dental phobia or fear of the dentist. About 8% of Americans are said to have dental phobia. 20% are anxious, and they only seek dental treatment when it is necessary.
We at Vita Dental Spring see dental phobia in kids and adults all the time. The fright is usually due to various factors. For one, some patients feel they are losing control when they lie on a dental chair. Others have a fear of pain. These are the people with a low pain threshold.
For some of our patients at Vita Dental Spring, it is all about embarrassment. They do not like someone looking into their mouth. Besides that, they may feel uncomfortable about how close to them the dentist is.
Whatever may be causing your dental phobia, we at Vita Dental Spring have a few tips on how to get over it:
Recognize the Fear
For you to understand your anxiety, you will first need to acknowledge that you have it. Write the specific concerns you have about visiting your dentist. This way, we at Vita Dental Spring can talk about them with you when you come in for a dental visit.
Pick the Right Dental Office
An essential part of getting over your dental fears is to pick a dental office such as Vita Dental Spring that is committed to your oral health. Ask family members for recommendations if you want to find the right one. Focus on dentists that have an interest in helping you deal with dental anxiety.
Once you narrow down your list, call them, and listen to how they respond. You could even visit the practice and observe the atmosphere. If you find that you feel relaxed in a dental office, you should start using them. Besides that, ensure they know you have dental phobia.
Talk About Your Fears
Early on, even before your first appointment, it is essential that you are vocal about your worries. This way, the dentist might know how to help you in the situation. In most cases, dentists will come up with signals that you can use to indicate you need a break when you feel uncomfortable.
Find Ways to Erode Your Fears
For those with dental phobia, the visits should be about creating a great experience. This way the anxiety can be reduced with time. The right dentist does not push the treatment if you feel uncomfortable.
When you visit the dental office, you can start with mild and short treatments. This way, you can ease into sitting on the dental chair and have the dentist look into your mouth. Once you are ready, you can move to advanced treatments.
Bring a Companion
Having someone with you at the appointment can help. It might be a family member or your friend. They can offer support and assurance. If possible, see if a loved one can keep you company during the procedure.
However, ensure that the person you pick has no dental anxiety of his or her own. Besides that, schedule your appointment in the morning. This way, you can get back to your work and not have to overthink about your fears.
Sedation can be used to help keep you calm. Some tranquilizers such as nitrous oxide, oral, or IV sedation can ease your anxiety. Discuss the options with your dentist. This way, you can find one that works for you.
Try Relaxation Techniques
You can go to yoga classes or try learning relaxation online. The relaxation techniques will help you to remain calm during the treatment. One way to relax is by controlling your breathing. By taking deep breaths and letting the air out slowly, it will help lower your heartbeat and relax your muscles.
Distractions are another great option to keep you calm during a dental visit. Just wear some earphones and listen to music. You can also fiddle a stress ball. Additionally, you could watch a funny video or clip to help you relax.
Seek Professional Help
Try visiting a psychologist for help if your fear doesn’t subside and none of the above tips helps. These mental health experts can help you get over your phobia.
Once you successfully get over your dental fear or achieve a new milestone, reward yourself. Buy something unusual, or you can do something fun such as going on a weekend getaway. The self-reward will help you relate a dental visit to a fun activity. In the future, it will help you overcome any dental phobia that plagues you.
A dental visit is not as dreadful as you think. The goal is to keep your oral health in great shape. Besides that, advances in technology mean most procedures are minimally invasive with little pain.
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- Dental Care