You’ve probably heard of phobias, whether it’s spiders, heights, or public speaking. But did you know that fear of the dentist also affects almost 36% of the population?
And if you are a victim, then don’t worry. You aren’t alone. Fear of going to the dentist, aka dentophobia, is common for most Americans. Intense, unreasonable fear can keep you from seeing the dentist and getting the treatment you need for ages.
Getting to the dentist, receiving preventative care, and addressing your dental issues are vital to your dental and overall health. And letting your dental phobia from holding you back can lead to a plethora of negative outcomes, including gum disease, gum recession, tooth decay, and worse, oral cancer.
So, why do people fear dentists, and how can you overcome it. That’s what we’re here to discuss.
Why Do People Fear Dentists?
Bad Childhood Experiences
People usually fear dentists due to a previous negative experience, especially during childhood. And it takes only one bad dental procedure to cause fear for years.
And you’ll be glad to know that there have been considerable advances in the industry, including laser dentistry. Dental procedures use safer and less nosy instruments to reduce this fear. And the use of high-quality anaesthesia makes all procedures virtually painless.
All dentists are advised to be extra careful with children because it could potentially scar them for life.
Negative Media Impact
We cannot overlook the role of the media where dentophobia is concerned. Scary Images of dentists as portrayed in the eighteen-century cartoons of the tooth surgeon or the movie Marathon Man is enough to make any grown man fear dentists, let alone children.
While local anaesthesia is widely utilized today, your imagination can still exaggerate the smallest of discomforts. And this makes you fear dentists for ages.
Fear of Injections
The majority of the people are afraid to go to the dentist for a very specific reason fear of injections. Unfortunately, needles are unavoidable since they are a vital aspect of any dental procedure.
The fear of needles, aka trypanophobia, can make you dread even the sight of injection. But whether you go for a root canal treatment, getting a tooth removed, or getting a cavity filled, you’ll likely receive at least one injection.
Lack of Control
Perhaps the biggest reason some people fear dentists is lack of control. And there is no greater lack of control than lying back in the dental chair and being completely at the mercy of a stranger.
You can easily overcome this fear by simply asking your dentist to adjust your chair or provide extra support for more comfort.
The high cost of dental treatments is a significant factor that makes people fear dentists.
However, the truth of the matter is if you take good care of your oral hygiene and visit a dentist annually, it doesn’t cost a ton of money. But if you don’t add simple oral hygiene habits into your routine flossing, using a mouthwash, and procrastinating your yearly dental visits, you’ll end up paying a great deal more.
How To Overcome Your Dental Fears?
Acknowledge Your Fear
Recognizing your fear and deciding to do something about it is the first step to overcoming dentophobia.
Because as it turns out, the greatest dental hurdle you face is your fear of dentistry itself. Not only will it stop you from seeking early dental care, but it could also lead to fatal diseases. And doing nothing means that you’ll ultimately need more dental work and money to save your teeth. You should always communicate your concerns to your dentist.
Find the Right Dentist
Finding the right dentist can make all the difference in alleviating your fears because you’ll feel more comfortable and confident about the care you’re receiving.
Find a dental clinic that offers the following;
- A friendly, relaxed, and non-frightening environment
- Supportive and encouraging staff
- Preventative care and quality treatment
- Great reviews from current patients
- High-tech dental treatments
Try Relaxation Techniques & Medications
Before entering your dentist’s office, take some time to get into the right mindset. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, or stretches are all great ways to alleviate your fears.
But, if you suffer from extreme anxiety, you can contact your dentist ahead of the appointment and ask him about the different types of sedation techniques that may help you relax further.
There are many helpful techniques, including nitrous oxide(laughing gas). And you can be sure that it’s safe since it is used for women in labor. Plus, it’s instantly reversible. You can come back to normal within minutes and return to work immediately. A few other useful techniques can be hypnosis and acupuncture.
Be Involved in Your Dental Treatment
It’s always a good idea to make yourself more involved in decision-making.
Ask your dentist to show you the problem and explain the procedure in detail. The more you know about your problem and what’s being done about it, the more in control you’ll feel.
Also, try to project your thoughts towards having healthier teeth to help you feel less vulnerable.
Lastly, you can only banish your fears via a conscious building process. Allow the dentist to reassure you with a gentle and caring approach. And becoming more involved in your dental treatment will increase your confidence level.
Rushing to your appointment will do you no good. It will only get you worked up and add to your anxiety. You shouldn’t put any unnecessary stress on the experience.
Always plan to arrive extra early to all your dental appointments. This will allow you enough time to settle in and get comfortable.
You can enjoy a few extra minutes in the lobby, meditate, talk to the front desk staff, and ask questions.
Book an Appointment
Okay now that you’ve read why you fear dentists and how you can get over it, it’s time to get to work and visit your dentist. Book an appointment at Dental & Implant Centers of Colorado by dialing (720) 740-0696.