Almost everyone has had a moment in their life where something has caused irrational (or rational) fear. Patients have been to seen bad dentists and doctors that didn’t give them proper care. The result usually causes a lifelong fear of healthcare professionals. The problem with this is patients end up putting a stop to visiting their dentists entirely.
Perhaps you’ve had a painful experience where your dentist failed to properly numb a back molar and pushed against a nerve. But, this serious anxiety can prevent you from seeking the proper dental care that you need routinely to lead a healthy life.
Consider these helpful tips before you ever consider skipping out on visiting your dentist.
The ‘Root’ of the Cause
An interesting study found that between 5-9% of Americans avoid visiting their dentist out of fear caused by previous experience. Around 20-25% actually experience enough anxiety that they only go to the dentist when something is already seriously wrong and causing them pain.
Having a previous bad experience at their dental office isn’t the only reason for fearing a visit. Sometimes, patients are already struggling with preexisting conditions like mood and anxiety disorders, substance abuse, PTSD, and types of domestic abuse or violence.
All of these reasons are completely valid. Even if your fear doesn’t stem from a previous painful dentist visit, you need to be more assertive with your dentist about your anxiety needs. Patients need to alert their dentist when they’re feeling uncomfortable and can even talk things over before their visit to make sure proper care is administered to them.
Treating the Fear
Most dentists try to create a non-threatening atmosphere for their patients. Some have offices with comfortable waiting couches, hot tea machines, and soothing music. The best dentists will use simple methods to ease the feeling of anxiety in their patients.
These steps include:
- Explain the procedure gently to the patient so they know exactly what to expect and how long it will take
- Frequently ask for permission to start doing things so they aren’t surprised
- Give patients a safe word during longer procedures for when the patient needs a break to relax
Notice & Take Charge
Chances are your procedures aren’t as painful as you believe them to be. In fact, surveys have proven the most dreaded visits like root canals and tooth extractions cause fear due to anticipation and not actual discomfort.
With that being said, here are a few tips on how to take charge at your dental office to help you overcome your dental anxiety:
- Take someone you trust with you. Friends and relatives can even sit in with you during treatment if it will help with anxiety.
- Allow yourself some distraction during the procedure. Listening to your own music tends to help while in the treatment room.
- Review sedative options with your dentist before your appointment date. Some options include anesthetic, laughing gas, and oral sedatives.
Don’t be Afraid: Overcome Dental Anxiety
Find a dentist that understands you and your anxiety. Talk with them before you visit the office to see what options are best sutible for your needs. Once you become comfortable with your new dentist, fears of visiting will gradually become a thing of the past.
If you experience any type of anxiety when visiting the dentist, it’s still important for you to keep in touch with your dentist regularly.
If you’re looking for an understanding dentist, then please contact North View Dental for getting setup with our friendly staff and comfortable atmosphere. We look forward to helping you and your teeth today!