If you are afraid of the dentist, you’re far from alone. Fear of going to the dentist is not uncommon. After all, it’s often an invasive experience and hardly ever a pleasant one. But there are some things you can to make your visit to the dentist less fear-ridden. After all, the dentist is an essential part of your healthcare routine. The teeth and gums are among the more vulnerable and most-used parts of the body so you need to keep them in good order. What can you do to alleviate your anxiety? Let’s talk a little about what the common fears associated with the dentist are, and then we’ll give you some further tips.
What Are You Afraid Of?
To understand how best to lessen the worry and concern you have on attending the dentist. It helps to look at what it is that you fear. These are the most common fears that patients mention when asked:
- The drill: an essential part of the dentist’s tool kit, and which makes a noise that does heighten anxiety in many patients.
- Needles: a very common fear among people, and not solely with regard to the dentist, needles may be used to administer injections.
- Pain: everybody is worried about pain, and rest assured your dentist is trained and suitably experienced to keep any pain to the minimum.
- Being Sedated: once again, this is a very common fear, and it should be no surprise as we naturally do not like things being taken out of our control.
- Embarrassment: if you have not been to the dentist for some time, you may be embarrassed at the state of your teeth. The dentist is there to help, so you should have no concern here.
All of the above are understandable fears. Most are perfectly natural, so let’s move on and talk about what you can do to get over your dental anxiety problem.
Removing the Fear
Before we go on to give you some suggestions, there is one step you should take in order to get the best out of your dentist. This is to choose the right one! It may sound obvious, but how many people actually visit and talk to a dentist before registering?
One factor that can help alleviate fear is the surroundings you find yourself in. By nature, a dentist’s surgery is a clean, plain and generally medical feeling place, and this can be off-putting in many ways.
If you visit a few dentists you will find that there are some that help you feel more comfortable and at ease. They tend to be those with a modern, welcoming dental surgery design. Find an atmosphere that makes you feel relaxed and at ease. Finding the right surgery, and the right people, will help you approach any fears you may have.
Make sure you talk to the dentist in advance about the factors you are afraid of. He or she – and the attending staff – will be able to ensure you are settled and ready as you can be.
The Drill, Needles and Pain
These are the two most prevalent fears, and it may surprise you to find that 1 in 5 people has a fear of needles. We’ll talk about needles in a moment. But first, that most dreaded of implements, the dentist drill! The drill makes a noise that is not at all pleasant. You could start by perhaps putting your headphones on and listening to music. Make sure you ask your dentist in advance if this is OK and masking out the noise.
If it is pain you fear, be assured your dentist will numb you sufficiently before using the drill. This may, of course, involve a needle. However, the modern dentist has access to very effective gels that they will apply before using a needle. Use of these means you will not feel the needle at all.
The best approach is to talk to the dentist about your fear of drills and needles. So they can advise you as to the best methods they can use to help with your concerns. Where fear of pain is concerned it is often associated with a bad experience during a prior dental or medical routine.
Your dentist will be trained in treating people with a fear of pain. In using the right gels as mentioned above to reduce and remove such. Once again, have a chat in advance, and make sure your dentist is aware of your anxiety.
As for the concerns about having embarrassing teeth, remember that a dentist deals with teeth every day, and will see teeth that are both in a better and worse state than yours. If you keep to your regular daily teeth cleaning routine, and see the dentist on a regular basis. You will find that this part of your anxiety is soon resolved.
More Tips for Overcoming Fear
We mentioned visiting dentists and talking to them. We cannot stress how important this is. Finding a dentist who understands, listens and attends to your problems. Also, many people find that they are less nervous and afraid if they are accompanied to the dentists surgery.
Take someone with you, and let them take some of the worry off you! Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist what will happen – and what you will feel – during the routine. They may be able to pre-warn you about the feelings and sensations that you will undergo, and this helps a great deal in many cases.
If you are very worried about visiting a dentist then it can become a problem, so we suggest perhaps seeing a therapist. A dentist may be able to recommend one to talk about your fears.
The final word is this: the modern dentist does all they can to make sure you are as comfortable as possible and feel no pain during the procedure. Follow our tips above and find a good, reliable dentist, and you will find that you have less to worry about.
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