Many people not only dread trips to the dentist, they even fear their teeth-cleaning appointments.Unfortunately this can lead to dental avoidance. Delaying a visit to the dentist can make minor dental problems much more severe, resulting in greater cost and a poorer outcome. Ironically, the fear of attending for a check-up with the dentist and hygienist can lead to even more invasive treatment later and a worsening of the overall dental anxiety level. Consider some of the techniques and treatment options available to finally get you through the door and into your hygienist’s chair.
OVERCOMING FEAR OF THE DENTIST:
Ending Your Fear of The Dentist Once And For All
There is no denying that many patients have legitimate phobias when it comes to going in for a check-up. For these individuals, the mere thought of having their teeth cleaned is unnerving. If you are so anxious that you aren’t even sure you can get in a dental chair it may be worth visiting the office first for a non-dental visit. Become familiar with the environment, talk to the administrative staff and find out more about the options available to help you when you do make it back to a dental chair. If possible, having a few minutes to chat to the dentist or hygienist can remove more of the unknowns and help allay your fears. When you are finally ready to sit down in the chair consider some of the following tips to help you through:
Tried and True Fear-Reducing Techniques
- You are not the only one – some patients believe their situation is one-of-a-kind, that they are the first person to have had a specific procedure performed. When you stop to think of the number of patients dentists help every year, it kind of helps put things into perspective. Doctors undergo extensive training and experience to become qualified, so rest assured knowing your mouth is in good hands (literally)!
- Listen to music during your appointment – dentists are not ignorant of the fear factor many of their patients face, so yours will likely have no problem letting you listen to your MP3 player as they clean your teeth. All you have to do is ask.
- Request a sedative – when all else fails, your dentist will have laughing gas on standby. Nitrous oxide is very safe, and is used to calm the nerves of millions of patients every year. Your dentist will determine the amount you need based on your comfort level; patients with severe anxiety are often put fully under, so don’t think you have to be awake for the operation if you don’t want to be.
- Request the same hygienist – At Pearl Dental we take great care to match each patient with the same dental hygienist at each visit. Knowing the person who will be cleaning your teeth in advance can greatly reduce the anxiety about a dental visit. Fear of the unknown is easier to manage if you saw the same hygienist at your previous visit and had a good experience.
- Use freezing – While everyone expects to be frozen with local anaesthetic for treatment with the dentist, not everyone is aware that you can also have freezing for your tooth cleaning. Many patients have sensitive teeth, which can make a visit to the dental hygienist uncomfortable. If having your teeth cleaned is an uncomfortable experience, ask about local anaesthetic; knowing that your visit will be free from pain can greatly reduce anxiety.
At Pearl Dental, we want your experience to be as comfortable, accommodating, and stress-free as possible. Let us know if there is anything we can do to make your appointment more enjoyable!