Worrying is a normal part of life and something that may happen to us every day, but when it gets to the point when it actually disrupts your life and prevents you from doing important things such as going to the dentist, that’s when it can become a problem. Refusing to go to the dentist can cause long term health effects such rotten or infected teeth, gum disease, and many more.
There are many reasons why someone may choose not to visit the dentist and identifying the specific factor is the first step into getting over your dental phobia. Some of the most common reasons for dental phobia include:
- A traumatizing or painful experience
- The feeling of helplessness
- Not being able to communicate properly during the procedure
- Fear of the unknown or what could happen during the procedure
Some dentists offer various services to help calm and relax you during your trip to the dentist, but not everyone is comfortable with sedation or taking medication to solve this problem. These things will always be available as a last resort, but before you skip straight to sedation, try a few of these methods first:
- Be upfront about your fears so your dentist can best accommodate your needs and make adjustments based on the information that you give them.
- Ask your dentist to explain in detail what is going to happen during the procedure so you know exactly what is going on. It may also be useful to have your dentist talk to you throughout the procedure and explain each step as they go along.
- Plan your dentist’s visit at a time that works best for you, particularly on a day when you don’t have much going on. That way, you won’t feel rushed or panicked. You’re also more likely to hold yourself accountable for going to your appointment, rather than rescheduling at the last minute.
- Ask if you’re allowed to have someone in the room with you. A comforting person’s presence can make all the difference.
- The sound of the drill can be a trigger for most people, so ask your dentist if headphones are available or if you can bring your own.
- Agree on non-verbal communication signals to let your dentist know if you’re in pain, need a break, or are feeling any other type of discomfort.
- If all else fails, switch your dentist! Your dentist should be caring and sympathetic to your situation and if they treat you as more of a burden, it’s time to part ways.
Here at Newbury Smiles, we take pride in making sure our patients are comfortable and their needs are met. Give us a try by phoning our office and scheduling an appointment today.