You do not have to see the dentist from “Little Shop of Horrors” to be scared of dental visits. The fear of going to the dentist office is not uncommon. Many people avoid going to their family dentist for this very reason. Most people do not go into see their dentist for check ups and cleanings every six months as is recommended. A lot of this is because of their fears about the experience.
8 Tips to Help You Get Over Your Fear of Going to the Dentist Office:
- Talk to your dentist about how you feel. Dentists know that people are scared of them and of going in for dental cleanings. They have a lot of experience helping people get over their fears. If you talk to your dentist about how and why you think you are scared by the idea of going into the dentist office. They can and will work with you to make the experience less painful and scary.
- Learn more about the procedures you need. Dental procedures are advancing all of the time. Even dental cleanings can be made less stressful. Dental experts are working all of the time to create new tools and develop new methods to do procedures that are much less uncomfortable than they used to be. If you have a root canal done years ago, you may find that today’s methods are a lot different than they once were.
- Ask as many questions as possible. The people at the dentist office are there to answer your questions. If you need dental procedures to be done, get all of the information on what will be done and how it will be done. If you have your dentist or the other staff in the office walk you though what they are going to do exactly, it might put your mind at ease and make the process a lot less stressful or scary.
- Ask about medications. There are a lot of medications that are used at the dentist office to make patients more relaxed and less anxious. From nitrous oxide to anti-anxiety drugs to other forms of sedation, there are a lot of options to make patients more comfortable during their dental procedures. For some procedures, oral surgeons and dentists prefer their patients be asleep as it is often hard to stay in one position for the length of time required for some procedures.
- Go to a dentist you like. When you are looking to find a dentist, talk to your friends and family about who they see for their dental care. They may have some good suggestions. Go to a few dentists before you settle on one. If you have any issues communicating your fears or other concerns with your dentist than you will not and you may make your fears worse.
- Go to the dentist as recommended. The more you go, the better the chances are that you will become less afraid. Also, when people do not go, small problems are able to grow into big ones and they cause people a lot of pain so when they go back to the dentist, they need a lot of work, which is scary and the cycle of fear just gets worse.
- Learn some breathing exercises. Practice relaxation techniques before your appointments at your dentist office. Practice breathing techniques before and during your dental visit. If the dentist office does not offer the option to listen to music, you can bring some with you to listen to during your dental procedures. Many people report that it is the noise from the different dental equipment that is used bothers them more than the fears of pain. The music can really help with this.
- Ask your dentist to stop if you need it. You can do all of the above and then find the procedure is too much. Some dental procedures take a long time. Do not feel rushed or let them push you past the point where you are comfortable.
Going to the dentist can be scary but it does not have to be. Work with your dentist and the experience can be made much better.