If you or your children are fearful of visiting the dentist, rest assured, you are not alone. Many people have anxiety about visiting their dentist – even if they have only had good experiences. That is because anxiety is usually about fear of future events, specifically about something that might happen. These are some of the most common concerns people have about their visit to the dentist:
A fear of needles is not only restricted to dental patients. Almost 20% of people have fear needles of some sort when seeking medical attention. You should acknowledge your fears by talking to your dentist before your appointment. They are familiar with these anxieties and have methods that help. It might be reassuring to know that dentists use beneficial numbing gels before giving you any injections.
Some people might fear pain from a drill, which can be triggered by the sound of it. Patients are numbed before using the drill so that you won’t feel a thing. You will just be aware of light pressure and vibration. If the sound troubles you, wear earphones and listen to some music to calm and distract you.
If you have had a bad experience with dental pain before, you may be afraid of a repeat experience. Anesthetics and numbing gels are now readily available for most treatments. That means it is no longer likely to be anything like the pain experienced before. Also, when you are more fearful, you tend to tense up, which may make you more sensitive to pain. Learning to find ways to relax such as through deep breathing techniques, numbing gels and a great dentist you are comfortable with.
Embarrassment About Bad Teeth
Your dentist deals with flawed teeth and gums daily. There is a good chance they have seen many people with worse dental problems than yours. You can tell your dentist you are embarrassed about the state of your teeth – but would like their help in fixing them. Doing this can help break the ice and lets them know you have anxieties about it.
People fear they will be too awake, while others fear losing control under sedation. It can lead to fears that they will suffocate or be unable to swallow. You should note that only a single tooth will be numbed for top teeth and sometimes your cheeks or tongue may feel swollen when a bottom tooth is numbed. You will lose sensation in these areas but not function so, rest assured, you will not choke or be unable to swallow.
Overcoming Dental Phobias
Here are some tips to help you overcome your dental phobias:
- Identify your concerns – Once you know exactly what you are fearful about, you can start working towards a solution.
- Choose a dentist who listens and cares – Your fears will only worsen if you choose a dentist who is not right for you.
- Bring someone with you – Some patients find it comforting to have someone they are close with near them.
- Ask for a prescription to help you deal with the pain – You may find emotional relief from knowing what to expect with treatment.
- Learn about meditation, mindfulness and breathing techniques – These are excellent ways to reduce anxiety.
These fears and anxieties may affect your quality of life if they are left untreated. They may prevent you from having the necessary treatment or visiting the dentist at all. At Slipacoff Dental, we do everything we can to ensure all of our patients feel calm and comfortable. Don’t put off your dental checkup any longer; call us today to book an appointment.