It can start in early childhood, and while fearing the dentist is a common feeling around the world, it certainly does not have to be a feeling that controls your life- or your dental habits. Between 7% and 10% of American adults say they do not go to the dentist solely out of fear. Many never even had a traumatic experience, but the dread has been ingrained in them since childhood. So, how can you conquer this anxiety and teach your children that the dentist is not a place of fear? Here are 5 tips we hope will help.
Bring a Friend
Situations never seem as bad when you ask someone you trust to come with you. This is especially true at the dentist’s office. If you suffer from dental phobia, ask a friend or family member to tag along if your dental office allows (check Covid-19 protocols). They can help by providing good conversation and keeping your mind off of the worse-case-dental-scenario.
When we are in a rush or running late for appointments, we can often feel more frantic, stressed, angry, and on edge. As someone who suffers from a fear of the dentist, it is important to plan to arrive a bit early. This will help you get to your appointment in a calm, cool, and collected manner. This will also give you an opportunity to get comfortable in the waiting area, read a magazine, use the restroom, and ground yourself before being called back for the exam.
Keep in mind that you are ultimately in control of your medical and dental care. If you are unsure about treatments or procedures, make sure to ask questions. At Mountain Shadows Dental, our team of dental experts loves to answer questions and educate patients. The saying, “knowledge is power” is absolutely true. Not only does knowledge bring power, but it brings comfort to those suffering from intense anxiety.
In addition to answering questions, make sure to request comfort items. Most dental offices will now offer varying levels of sedation. Make it known to the dental hygienist, assistant, and dentist that you suffer from dental fear. They can then recommend comfort options to you.
Some offices are equipped with ceiling-mounted televisions. Request your favorite show or movie, ask for a weighted blanket, or bring headphones from home. Make the experience as relaxing as you can and choose a dental team that supports you.
Trust the Provider
We saved the most important tip for last. When scheduling an appointment with a dentist, do your research! Find a dentist that has top-notch reviews on Google, Yelp, or Facebook. Or, get recommendations from trusted friends and family. The more research you do about a dentist prior to scheduling, the more comfortable you will be when it comes time for your appointment.
Once you narrow down a dentist, walk through their website. Make sure they offer options like sedation, take a peek at their photos and get a feel for how comforting their office might be. When you call, you can also ask the receptionist questions about their dental practice.
We would be honored to earn you as a patient at Mountain Shadows. We are proud to offer options for comfort and we are committed to making your exam as pain-free and relaxing as we can. New patients can now schedule for their initial exam, set of x-rays, and cleaning for just $59. We look forward to caring for your teeth! Schedule online with us anytime.