Easing Dental Anxiety & Phobia
For a lot of people, going to the dentist is nothing more than personal maintenance, making and showing up to the appointment. However, a percentage of the population suffers from a phobia of the dentist, dental instruments, and, in extreme cases, anything in or around their mouth. This dental phobia can stem from previous memories in which the person suffered some type of trauma or painful experience causing them to form negative associations of the dentist. This is a very real fear that should be taken seriously. If left untreated, people will continue to avoid the dentist and suffer with ongoing problems, causing damage to their dental and physical health.
Modern medicine and improved practices have advanced dentistry so far as to be able to say dentistry is now pain-free. Children and young adults nowadays will have little to no experience with pain associated with the dentist. This is due in part to the understanding of dental fears and improvements in dental technology and practice. However, there is still a large population of people who have a fear of going to the dentist. As our understanding of dental fear has improved, so has our development of assisting those who suffer from dental phobias.
One of the reasons why we develop a fear of the dentist is the anticipation of unknown pain. Our expectations for the procedures, or even regular cleanings, can be hyped up if we have had previous painful experiences. One way to dispel these fears is to discuss your feelings of uneasiness with your dental professional. He or she will be able to develop a plan with your comfort in mind. For children who have never been to the dentist before, making the experience as fun and educational as possible will help to form positive connections with their dental experience.
Another rational fear is the lack of control and close physical contact that the dental appointment entails. In order to lessen these feelings, patients should express their feelings with their dentist in order to explore ways to help them relax. Dentists will explain their actions and let patients know what will happen before it happens. For kids, dental professionals will educate children about what each tool is and what it does for dental health, to help them feel comfortable.
Having a phobia of the dentist is not a silly or irrational fear. Recognizing and accepting it along with communicating your feelings to your dentist and dental office will help you to feel more in control of the situation. Choose a dental office carefully by researching the technology available at the office. Make sure the office you select has the most up-to-date treatment options and equipment. Offices that offer comfort amenities are in-tune with making patients feel relaxed and comfortable. Be sure to read online reviews from other patients. Find out which offices are rated highly in your area. The key to overcoming dental phobias is partnering with a dental office that has helped other patients with these fears in the past, and are dedicated to making patients feel as relaxed and comfortable as possible.