When you think of going to the dentist, are you like countless other folks who are suddenly overcome with fear at the mere thought of stepping inside a dental surgery. Worse still, does that fear of dentists turn into dread. If so, ask yourself why you are feeling this way. What is it about going to the dentist that fills an otherwise calm and rational person with something equivalent to having phobia.
When folks put off going to the dentist because they are, so afraid of what may or may not happen, their teeth are at significantly increased risk of developing decay. Left untreated, tooth decay can damage not only healthy teeth but also the underlying roots and gums. If gingivitis develops and is not treated, it can develop into periodontis, gum disease that can become so bad that the gums and underlying bone structure are no longer capable of holding teeth in place.
If you feel stressed or tense before your dental appointment, worrying excessively and even losing sleep, or if you become sick to your stomach while waiting in the dentist’s office or while looking at the assortment of instruments or the staff in their white lab coats, you might benefit from knowing how to cope with this type of stress
Fear is a common emotion and almost everyone fears something whether it is spiders or flying or standing before a large crowd. Therefore, understand that fear is not something to hide or feel embarrassed about. Instead, admit you are afraid because there are tools that can help alleviate this fear.
Communication is one of the best tools there is for overcoming your fear of dentists. Modern dentistry has advanced to the point where many of the procedures are performed without pain. This is important to know and your dentist can explain what is going to happen inside your mouth in precise detail, if your dentist realizes that such communication will help alleviate your fears.
Knowing what is happening may make you feel more in control of the situation. Another way to feel more in control is to agree upon a hand signal that you can give the moment you want the dentist to stop. Communicating with somebody else’s hands inside your mouth is difficult so a hand signal can definitely help.
Also available at the dentist’s office are different pain medications and numbing creams that you can be given. The options range from localized topical numbing creams to anesthesia to sedation. If you cannot relax because you are worried about feeling pain, then let the dentist do something so that you will not feel it. From a personal standpoint, that is my main fear of the dentist. I have a dislike of needles and vaccinations and really do not like the thought of the anaesthetic injection when I have to have a tooth filled. Therefore, in my case, the fear is not so much of the dentist but rather the needle and a fear of vaccination, no doubt emanating from my childhood.
There are also various techniques to help you relax that you can employ. You can distract yourself by listening to music, watching television or daydreaming. A technique called guided imagery helps you create in detail an image of a more pleasant environment. A dental assistant can help you create this image by suggesting situations, which you then visualize. You will be so busy creating the perfect mental image that you might even forget that your teeth are being worked on!
For intense dental phobia, consider finding a dentist that practices hypnosis or acupuncture. Moreover, if your fear of dentists is so bad that you cannot even make a dental appointment, you might benefit from therapy or participation in a support group.