It’s normal to feel a little nervous about a visit to the dentist – particularly if you are visiting an office for the first time, about to undergo a new treatment, or concerned about a particular symptom you’ve been experiencing. However, your apprehension should never keep you from visiting your dentist’s chair. If it does, it could be affecting your oral health for the worse.
Scared of the Dentist?
In this post, we’ll tackle one of the most frequent reasons for delayed oral care and treatment – dental anxiety.<
Why are You Scared of Visiting the Dentist?
What causes your dental fear? Is it a story you heard from someone else? Was it a bad experience you had as a child? Are you embarrassed to let a dentist or hygienist examine the condition or appearance of your teeth? Maybe it’s just the idea of feeling trapped or out-of-control that triggers your nerves. Whatever it is, pinpointing the cause of your anxiety could be the first step to getting past your hang-up.
Don’t Keep It a Secret
If you are struggling with nervousness about visiting the dentist, you should not deal with it alone. Instead, we recommend writing down your concerns and then voicing them to your dentist. By simply talking about the things you are worried about, you may discover there is a solution that is much easier than you may have expected. In some cases, you may find out the thing you were most worried about is nothing to be afraid of at all thanks to advances in dental techniques and technology.
Here at Briter Dental, we never judge you for your dental fears. Whether you are struggling with anxiety or coping with an all-out phobia, our team understands that there may be apprehensions about visiting the dentist. We can partner with you to get past your worries, one step at a time. That could mean a visit to consult with the staff and view the office prior to your first visit. It could also mean cooperating with the dentist to create a plan that allows you to take breaks as necessary or if you feel uncomfortable during your exam or treatment.
Schedule Smart Treatment Times
Consider making your appointments first thing in the morning to get it over with early in the day. Otherwise, you give yourself more time to dwell on your fears and perhaps even back out of your visit. Also, baby steps can go a long way in getting you through a complex treatment that you are feeling apprehensive about. If you need fillings for multiple cavities and a root canal, for example, perhaps you can address the issues one at a time, spreading out your treatment over several shorter and more manageable visits instead of one or two.
Distract Yourself and Practice Relaxation Techniques
Why come empty-handed to your dental visit? Instead, try arming yourself with tools that will help you get through your visit. That could mean bringing a pair of headphones and your favorite podcast to listen to during your appointment. It could also mean learning and practicing deep breathing exercises that can help you minimize your anxiety during your visit.
Give Yourself a Reason to Succeed
Your long-term oral health is more than enough of a reason to visit a dentist regularly, even if you are nervous about the experience. If you need more of an immediate incentive, however, consider promising yourself a particular reward if you follow through with your dental visits and complete your recommended treatments.
Get Professional Help
At the end of the day, it may be necessary to seek professional help for a dental phobia – especially if your other efforts to calm your fears are unsuccessful. Your dentist may be of service, or you may need to consult with a psychologist who is trained and experienced in addressing dental anxiety and fear.
Ultimately, we here at Briter Dental never want to see someone go without the care they need and deserve due to an issue for which there may be functional solutions. To find out more about how your dentists at Briter Dental can help patients with dental apprehension, contact our office today.