Dental Tips – Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist

Are you afraid of the dentist? Do you consider cancelling your appointment days before, or not showing up at all? Do you feel helpless and uncomfortable in the cleaning chair? If you are, you aren’t alone. Over 75% of Americans experience dental phobia to some degree, 10% are extremely terrified and reluctant to get a dental checkup. That’s a lot of people! In this article, we want to go over why people fear the dentist, and steps you can take to make your visit to the dentist a lot easier on your mind.

Why Do People Fear the Dentist?

There are quite a lot of reasons why people develop a bad taste for dentist in their mouths. From harsh dentist personalities, to injury, to terrible experiences, all of these can affect someone starting at a really young age. Most anxieties start at childhood, when as young kids we are learning about the world. Our body and mind are learning about the dangers in the world. Accidents such as a pick scraping against the gum accidentally or an immense pain when getting a cavity filled at an early age will reinforce the fear of the dentist. Dig into the worst feelings you have personally. They feel terrible don’t they? So why would you go to the dentist when you can just avoid it entirely?

Others don’t go to the dentist because they feel like they’re not in control. Having someone you just met and don’t really know too much about be in full control of what’s going on in your mouth is a terrifying ordeal. Feelings of anxiety are often why people reschedule their dentist appointment or skip out on it entirely.

Interesting Fact: Humans have an uncanny desire to protect open air passages. We are naturally self-conscious to open up our mouths and exposed to vulnerabilities.

We conducted a study, and examined a couple interesting facts about those who have dental phobia. There are some people that choose to eat only soft foods instead of harder foods to avoid chipping a tooth and have to go to the dentist. Others reported dreaming about dentist experiences, and dread sleeping for fear of having these nightmares again.

People who have bad cases of dental phobia suffer years on end from toothaches, gum disease, and poor dental hygiene. Avoiding the dentist is much more than what is sounds like. It’s something that can affect your entire identity, who you are, what you value.

A dentist visit is a lot like going on a rollercoaster. Lots of people that go to amusement parks find out they have acrophobia, and can’t go on the same rides as their family and friends. They wonder, “Why can’t I just get on and have fun like everyone else?” Rollercoasters have their dangers, but those dangers are minimal, they’re put into consideration when its drawn out and constructed. It’s built to maximize the safety of everyone. Dentist are just like rollercoasters. We look scary at first, but in the end you’ll walk out with a smile on your face and feeling better about your wellbeing.

Dentist are not bad people. We aren’t here to rip out your teeth and laugh hysterically. We are here to give you the best oral care and treatment available. If you have a fear of the dentist, check out our tips below you can use to feel more comfortable during your dentist visits.

5 Tips to Overcome Your Fear of the Dentist

Talk to your dentist! A universal rule to follow is to always express your concerns and needs. Your dentist isn’t a telepathic, he cannot read your thoughts. By expressing your worries, your dentist will be able to adjust his practice and his approach to your appointment, so you feel more comfortable and in control of the situation while being treated.

Establish a ‘stop’ signal. Pushing yourself is one thing, but sometimes you will not be able to make it through an entire appointment without feeling a wave of nausea or discomfort envelop you. It’s a great idea to work with your dentist and create a stop signal. Doing so gives you the luxury to stop the procedure if you feel uncomfortable or just need a break and fresh air.

Ask Questions! In order to get comfortable with your dentist, you got to be able to trust them. Your dentist should be able to answer all the questions that you have from them, from simple tasks to taking care of your teeth, to explaining in detail every step of a more complicated procedure.

Visit the dentist regularly. This is the complete opposite tip you want to read, but it’s a great one. In order to counter any bad thoughts or experiences about the dentist, you got to have a positive outlook on the visit, and just have a good time. You’ll see your dental phobia progressively fade away with each positive reinforced dental visit. It’s a tall task to go in regularly, but doing so will benefit you the most.

Relax! It’s important that you take the time to relax and clear your mind before a dental visit. If you are looking to reduce your fear of the dentist, this is the right approach. When you are scheduling a dentist appointment, set it for morning hours. It’s best to schedule for the morning, that way the stress that accrues during the rest of the day doesn’t scare you away from coming into your dental appointment.

By practicing and utilizing these tips when going to the dentist, you’ll find going to the dentist much more approachable than ever before. You want to leave the dentist feeling awesome, not frightened half to death.

The Fear of Dentists

Are you someone who has dental anxiety? Do you fear to face a dentist? Don’t worry there are many who can accompany you in this list of fearing the dentist. But what is the reason that you fear to visit a dentist so much. I know that we are not so comfortable in visiting our dentist. It is one of the most common phobia and a difficult one to overcome.

Everyone wants their teeth to be clean and healthy. But if you don’t visit your dentist on a regular basis, how do you expect your teeth to be clean and healthy and free from germs and cavities. If you avoid going to your dentist you will face some serious problems in regards to your oral health. If your fear to visit your dentist and you avoid visiting your dentist for a longer period of time, a time will come when you will have to finally see your dentist. At that point of time when it is mandatory to visit your dentist, you notice that even a smallest problem can demand serious attention and require a lot of intervention and work from the dentist to keep your teeth healthy.

I know some past experiences from the dentist and some perceptions of heard stories about the dentist may cause fear in your heart and you would avoid visiting a dentist. But let me tell you that not all dentists cause their patient a bad experience. If you are facing a similar problem I would recommend you to ask your friends and neighbors or anyone whom you can trust about a dentist whom they visit and have some good experiences. If someone you trust recommends you a dentist who is reliable, then you should visit that dentist.

Some of the things that can help you trust your dentist are environment of the clinic, the way that dentist handles his client, recommendation from your trusted ones. If you use experience a healthy environment in the clinic of your dentist than it is quite possible that he takes care of his clinic and his patients.

Talk to your dentist about your dental anxiety and some bad experiences of yours. Let them know that you are phobic to dentists and dental procedures. Always remember that you are the one who is paying and it is not the dentist who should treat you like no one. Your dentist should listen to you and should help you overcome your anxiety problem. If your dentist does not listen to you or is not interested in what you want to share about your dental anxiety, you should look for another dentist. It is the duty of your dentist that he should help you relax and trust him.

Sometimes you may have to treat your self with sedation. Sedition is a kind of drug that is permitted by the government to ease anxiety and to calm down. With the help of sedation, dentist carries out many of the complex and easy operations. If you fear the pain that an extraction can cause, you should get yourself treated with local anesthesia or IV sedation.

You do not need to worry about your dentist and bad experiences you get from them. Instead, you should look for a dentist who is more reliable and friendlier than others so that you can keep your mouth healthy.

Three Tips to Help You Choose a Great Family Dentist

Your dentist is more than just the person the person who cleans your teeth. Your dentist is an important partner in your family’s healthcare team. A good dentist can help you prevent dental problems, spot oral cancers, and help improve your overall health by keeping your teeth and gums healthy. That’s why it’s important to find a good family dentist.

While it’s true that the term “good” can be subjective, there are objective measures by which one can assess a potential family dentist. Use these three tips, along with your own personal criteria for a good family dentist, to find your family’s next healthcare partner.

Three Tips for Assessing a Family Dentist

1. What are the dentist’s credentials and experience?

Dentists in the United States must graduate from an accredited dental school and pass both written and practical exams. Ask what credentials the dentist has or look on his website to examine his credentials. Also note whether or not all the dentists in the practice, if it’s an office with multiple dentists, have the same level of experience and credentials. It’s also important for dentists to continue their education after graduation. Like any healthcare field, new discoveries are being made all the time. Your family dentist should be keeping up with them.

Ask questions when you call the office. Do you need a dentist who treats children and teens as well as adults? Make sure you ask, because there are some family dentists who prefer not to work with very young children; they may only accept school age children and older as patients, and refer younger children to a pediatric dentist.

Do your children need braces as well as routine care? Some family dental offices offer braces as well as cleanings, fillings, and other routine services. This can be a great time saver for a busy family.

What about people who suffer from dental phobias and fears? There are some dentists who welcome patients with phobias and fears and offer special services such as sedation dentistry, movie or music to distract patients, nitrous oxide and other services to help them feel relaxed. If you need these services, don’t be afraid to ask before you make your appointment! A good dentist wants you to feel comfortable during your visit, and his office staff should welcome your questions.

2. What’s the office like?

When you call the office, is the receptionist rude and rushed or pleasant and helpful? Is he patient when answering questions or curt? Can he or she answer all your questions regarding appointment times, services, insurance and payments?

You can tell a lot about an office by the person staffing the front desk. That person plays an important role in any professional setting, but most of all in a medical or dental office. If the front office person is rude or condescending, you may be too intimidated to ask for what you need — not a good situation if you have a dental emergency.

Some family dentists offer a free initial appointment, and such an appointment can help you assess the office. Does the dentist use the latest equipment? A state of the art office means a dentist who cares about learning and using the latest techniques, tools and equipment for his patients’ comfort and convenience.

Lastly, is the office conveniently located? You’re going to be more likely to keep appointments if the office is convenient to your home, school or workplace.

3. How does the dentist’s office fit your family’s needs?

Each family is different. You may have very young children at home, or perhaps children plus an aging parent living with you. It may be helpful to create a checklist of your needs such as:

  • Pediatric dentistry – for my baby and preschooler
  • Orthodontics for my young teenager
  • General dental care for myself, my spouse
  • Dentures and a handicapped accessible office for my mom who lives with us

Another point you may wish to check is the availability of multiple appointments during one time slot. An office with several dentists may be able to accommodate a request for all of your family’s appointments during on time slot. That can be a great convenience.

Finding a Great Family Dentist

You can find a great family dentist by asking friends, family or neighbors for recommendations. An online search for local dentists can lead you to some great potential dentists to research, and provide you with an easy and convenient way to find out more information about their practices by visiting their websites.

Whatever you do, though, take your time, and choose your family dentist carefully. A good dentist is a pleasure to visit, a professional who will take care of your family’s dental needs with confidence and skill. A great family dentist becomes an integral member of your healthcare team, a trusted resource to keep everyone smiling and healthy.