If you ever get nervous just thinking about going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Perhaps you’re scared the visit might hurt or you haven’t been in a while and not sure what the dentist will find.
According to the American Dental Association, the more you delay – or just don’t go – to the dentist, the higher your risk of developing dental problems that will make gearing up for future dental visits more difficult. In fact, seeing professional dentist regularly can actually make the entire process – from making an appointment to sailing through it – much easier on many levels.
A phobia is an intense, unreasonable fear. People can fear a specific activity, object or situation. People with dental phobia often put off routine care for years or even decades. To avoid it, they'll put up with gum infections (periodontal disease), pain, or even broken and unsightly teeth.
Dental anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It has been estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear. People with dental phobia have a higher risk of gum disease and early tooth loss.
There isn't a clear boundary that separates "normal" anxiety from phobia. Everyone has fears and concerns and copes with them in different ways. However, the prospect of dental work does not need to fill you with terror. If it does, then you may need some help overcoming the fears. Here are some tips to ease the fear:
Visit the surgery to have a look around, meet the receptionist and dentist and see the environment. Tell the dentist that you're anxious and what your fears are, so they know beforehand.
Pick an appointment time early in the morning so you have less time to dwell on it. The first appointment will simply be a check-up so don't worry about having any treatment.
Agree a sign with the dentist to signal that you need a break and want them to stop. It can be as simple as pointing your finger, and will help you feel more in control.
If you think it will help, start gradually with a clean and polish then work up to other treatments, such as fillings, once you've built up trust and rapport with professional dentist.
Talk to the dentist about using a numbing gel if you have a fear of needles.
You might also be given sedative tablets to take by mouth before your appointment.
If you're extremely nervous you may prefer sedation through an injection into your hand or arm (intravenously) during treatment.
Anyway, you need to tell the dentist about your feelings, concerns and fears. The professional dental team at Advanced Dental Center, PC will help you overcome these feelings by changing the way you are treated, feel free to contact us.