Does the thought sitting in the dentist’s chair make you break out in cold sweats? Would you rather suffer through months of dental pain and headaches than take an hour to fix your teeth? Does the idea of breathing laughing gas terrify you as much as the dental work itself?
If so, you’re not alone: It’s really common for people to put off dental work, even our patients.
For many, going to the dentist is a mild chore. For others, however, dental anxiety keeps them out of the patient's chair for years at a time. So let’s dive in to dealing with dental fear and discover some ways to help you find your calm and get the work done!
DO YOU HAVE DENTAL ANXIETY OR DENTAL PHOBIA?
As with all feelings, psychologists have tried to classify dental fear into anxieties and phobias, which are two fancy words to describe negative feelings. If you feel uneasy about sitting in the patient’s chair or apprehensive about treatments, you might say that you have dental anxiety.
If you impulsively dart down side streets to bypass the dentist’s office, or routinely avoid appointment reminders, you could say you have a dental phobia.
Anxieties and phobias are usually linked to previous negative experiences such as the unpleasant childhood memory of getting a tooth pulled, or the discomfort of having someone’s hands working in your mouth.
Whether you think you have a phobia, or your just don’t want to bother with your routine visit, one fact remains the same: dental problems don’t go away if you ignore them.
WAITING TO VISIT YOUR DENTIST NEVER MAKES ANYTHING BETTER
Avoiding the dentist will only make your situation worse. People who are afraid of the dentist often put off fixing their teeth. This means that they call us only when they’re at the end of their rope.
Some people have put off dental work for so long that they have compound problems, including poor self confidence because of a situation that became embarrassing -- not to mention gum disease, chipped teeth, or no teeth!
This means that when they do finally get work done -- and everyone will have to relent at some point -- it’s more invasive, takes longer, and costs more than it would have if done on time.
WE CAN HELP YOU FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE BEFORE AND DURING YOUR VISIT
From root canals to dental implants, we’ve seen a lot of situations that could have been avoided with regular visits. So if fear is what’s holding you back, let’s talk about some ways that we can help you manage your anxieties and get the treatment that you need.
Here are several ways to get through a dental visit (and even have some fun)!
- Get to know our friendly staff before your big work has to be done
- Pick appointment times early in the morning so you get it over with and don’t have a whole day of dread
- Bring a friend or family member with you so you feel better
- Start gradually. Come in for checkups, do cleaning in stages, and only do the big work when you’re more at ease
- Create a special signal where you can stop us at any point during a procedure
- Take breaks during a procedure if you feel you need to
- Ask about NuCalm therapy
LET’S GET PAST YOUR FEARS
Many patients find that their dental anxiety is worse than the treatment. After coming in to Dream Smile Dental, they’re soon out of pain and their health and confidence improve. They even go away smiling.
So if you feel anxious about getting some important work done, please call us and tell us about your feelings. Let us know that you’re nervous about getting treatment. We’ll do our best to figure out how to make you more comfortable.