If you are afraid of the dentist, you are not alone. The good news is that experts in dentistry understand how scared people are and are willing and eager to help people get over that fear. Here are some things you can do to make going to the dentist easier for you.
- Be honest with yourself about your fear. In order to deal with your fear of going to the dentist, the first thing you have to do is recognize what it is and how you got to feeling this way. One thing that some people find to be helpful is to take some time to think about your fear and write it down in a journal. When you really understand your phobia, you can talk more intelligently wth your family dentist about it. If there are certain experiences that led you to be afraid of going to the dentist, working through them may help you deal with the fear.
- Be picky about getting the right dentist. When it comes to general dentistry, you have a lot of options. Start by asking your friends and family for their recommendations of dentists in your area who they like and trust. Ask them if they think the dental experts they see are sensitive to patients who are scared to do in for treatment.
- Talk to the dentists in your area. You should make it a point to go and talk to the dental offices in your area. You should be able to find a dentist with whom you can talk about your fears and work something out. Just going into a dental office and getting feedback can do a lot to help you feel better about getting your treatment there. There are some dental offices who specialize in people who suffer from anxiety when they do to the dentist. Knowing how you feel can help the dental office staff and the dentist to work on a plan that will help you deal with it.
- Work on stress relieving techniques. If you need to go in for a dental procedure — anything from a simple cleaning and exam to a more complex root canal — work on reducing your stress level early in the day. There are some things you can do to help you relax before you go in. The dentist can prescribe you medications that will help you will your fears. If you are having complicated procedures done, you may be a good candidate for IV sedation.
- Start with simple dental procedures. If you have been avoiding anything to do with dentistry, you may need to have a number of procedures done to help your oral health. When you are planning your treatment, start with the smaller procedures. The more you go to your dentist and have a good experience vs. a bad one, you can start to get more comfortable going to the offie and getting things done.
- Bring a friend. When we are scared, it is often helpful to have a supportive friend or relative help us. When you go to the dentist, it is no different. If you have a friend of family member, who is not afraid of going to the dentist, having them go with you to provide some moral support can help you a lot.
- Take it slow. If you have a lot of work that needs to be done on your mouth, there is no reason in the world to rush it and go too much in one visit. See if you can schedule your work in a series of appointments. It can be done easier when it is not done all at once. It may seem like you want to get it all done in one afternoon but when you take it slower, you will have a less uncomfortable experience.
Over the past few decades, a lot has changed in the world of painless dentistry. If you have not been able to get yourself to the dentist in a long time, you may be surprised to learn of all the new techniques that are available to help people just like you deal with their fear. Go and get back to smiling.