Any number of things can trigger an unwarranted fear of the dentist. A previous bad experience, a scary movie or a friend’s horror story could plant a seed of anxiety that impedes patients from seeking routine maintenance. More serious dental issues worsen until pain forces a patient to seek immediate assistance. It is important to overcome this nervousness as an individual’s oral condition can be an early indicator of other health problems. Therefore, it is crucial that one maintain awareness of new or ongoing dental issues for purposes of comprehensive health.
The first step to getting rid of dental phobia is to select a personable dentist. An easy-going doctor will be much more proficient at keeping an anxiety-prone patient calm. If possible, locate one that is flexible and ask his or her guidance on who to contact if you are experiencing pain or difficulty after leaving the office.
Secondly, get information on your procedure so you know what to expect. Is it routine? Will it involve sedatives or recovery time? Helplessness is a strong catalyst for fear. If you are aware of the details of your procedure, you are less likely to be alarmed by it. Even if your appointment is routine, there is no harm in asking about the steps involved in basic procedures like tartar removal.
Additionally, identify any direct causes of apprehension that you are aware of and discuss them with the dentist. Perhaps the last hygienist you went to made you choke on mouthwash or didn’t listen to you when you told her that she was being too rough with the dental floss. Your new dentist and hygienist can proceed with the knowledge of your triggers and compassionately proceed accordingly. Consider that your ability to talk may be inhibited while the doctor is working on your mouth. Think about establishing a signal or gesture that will alert the dentist if you are having an issue.
When visiting a dentist, you may find it helpful to bring something familiar with you to reduce nervousness. Ask someone trustworthy to accompany you who does not share your phobia. You may also ask your dentist or hygienist if it’s acceptable for you to use headphones. If permissible, music could be a good tool for relaxation during an appropriate procedure. Familiarity is a useful tool in curbing anxiety.
Lastly, breathing exercises are great devices to employ when dealing with dental procedures. Slow and deliberate breaths can help to normalize the rhythm of an anxiously beating heart. Click here to find a family dentist clinic in Durham who can service your dental needs and help you work through your fears related to the profession.