3 Tips For People Who Fear The Dentist

While a lot of people visit the dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and check-ups, there are many individuals that avoid visiting a dentist due to fear or a memory of dental work that may have gone wrong. Dental care is essential for good oral health, and there are options to help patients with dental phobias face their fears in a way that will not cause further anxiety or problems. If you have been avoiding the dentist out of fear, consider the following tips:

Be Open With Your Dentist

It is estimated that 5-10% of the population have a true phobia of going to see a dentist and 75% of U.S. adults have a mild to intense aversion. One of the best things that you can do if you have dental anxiety is tell your dentist. Most dentists realize that dental visits can be very uncomfortable for some patients, so expressing your fears and any source of anxiety (such as bad dental work in the past) can help your dentist make you more comfortable and know what dental procedures incite uncomfortable feelings. For instance, if you fear dental drills, your dentist may encourage you to wear earplugs to muffle the whirring sounds. Ask your dentist if they can play soothing sounds or music over the radio during your appointment.

Consider Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is available for patients who feel stress or extreme anxiety about having dental procedures done. This type of dentistry involves giving a patient a prescription oral sedative that allows him or her to relax during dental treatment. In many cases, oral sedatives will help reduce any pain involved with a procedure, while also helping a person feel more calm and less anxious.

While medication for sedative dentistry is typically administered orally, there may be situations where I.V. sedatives are used to make a dental patient comfortable. I.V. sedation is beneficial for those with the most extreme anxieties since it works more quickly than oral sedatives and puts the patient asleep. Check out www.hcdentistry.com for more information.

Look Into Behavioral Therapy

In some cases, behavioral therapy may be very useful; working with a professional that you trust will help you discover why you hate the dentist and why you find appointments so horrible. In fact, one study at sciencedaily.com showed that four out of five patients who underwent behavioral therapy were able to go to their dentist visits and didn't need sedation. If therapy helps you get to a dentist, it is well worth the time and effort!