Fear of The Dentist: A Survival Guide
Fear of the dentist is incredibly common in adults, which may come as a surprise to most people. Predominantly, being afraid of a visit to the dentist is thought to be a problem that occurs in childhood but is then resolved in adulthood— the statistics, however, disagree with this. Estimates by experts vary in number, but it is thought that between 5 and 8% of the population are genuinely terrified of the dentist, to the point they will forgo their dental health in an effort to avoid the issue. Dental health checks are incredibly important, but thousands of people choose to go without due to their phobia.
If you’re afraid of the dentist, then you may find it comforting to know you are not alone in your fears— but it’s also an issue you’re going to have to eventually confront. Your dental health is a vital part of your overall health, and you deserve to live without a perpetual fear of something that is so routine. Below are a few ideas and strategies that can help to resolve dentophobia once and for all.
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Sedation dentistry is the same in practice as standard dentistry; you’ll receive the same treatment and clinical rigor as you would expect from any dentist. However, by choosing sedation dentistry, you can be assured of a more peaceful experience with the help of medication. This will allow you to feel at ease throughout the procedure, safe in the hands of the expert clinical staff who will monitor you throughout your treatment. Sedation dentistry is a life-changer for those who have previously been too afraid to visit the dentist at all, so finding a dentist that offers this service is definitely a benefit for patients with dentophobia.
#2 – Overcome bad experiences
Some people are afraid of the dentist for no particular reason, but many cases of dentophobia have their roots in prior bad experiences. If you have been through a trying dental care experience, then it’s natural to be hesitant about getting in the chair again. It’s important to treat what you experienced with the adequate respect; you may even be suffering a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to previous mistreatment. If this is the case, counselling may help you come to terms with your past experience, and allow you to move on to a more productive dental care experience in the future.
#3 – Demystify the dentist
One of the main contributors to all phobias is a fear of the unknown— that’s why a fear of the dark is such a common thing. If you don’t truly understand what is going to happen during a dental procedure, you are likely to catastrophize the situation in your mind, which is just going to stoke fear and concern. Ask to speak to your dentist prior to your visit; this gives you a chance to fully understand what’s going to happen in detail. After all, to be forewarned is to be prepared.
Hopefully, the above strategies may be able to allow you to move past your dentophobia and obtain the dental care that you need. Good luck!
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