If you suffer from a fear of going to the dentist, you aren’t alone – it has been estimated that as much as 75% of the American population has some degree of odontophobia, with some cases so severe that the patient will flat out refuse to go to the dentist. We all know that not maintaining proper oral hygiene can have damaging effects on our teeth, but it can also be bad for our hearts (gum disease has been linked to higher rates of heart disease). Therefore, it is truly imperative that we keep our dental health top notch. If you are one of the many people who have reservations about visiting your friendly neighborhood dentist, here are some tips to help you through:
- Bring an mp3 player and listen to relaxing music or even a funny book. This can be a great distraction, and can drown out any sounds (such as the dreaded drill) that may trigger your anxiety.
- Ask a lot of questions. Most people feel some relief when they know exactly what to expect, and your dentist should be more than happy to fill you in. If he or she isn’t, then you may want to switch practices!
- Feel free to break it up. If you need several procedures, or one procedure with several parts, ask if you can come in a few times and receive your care incrementally. This can feel more approachable and less overwhelming to a patient who doesn’t like going to the dentist at all, let alone staying for hours on end.
- Bring something or someone with you to keep you calm. This could be a stress ball to squeeze, or your totally chill friend who can keep you grounded and distract you.
- If your fear is truly paralyzing, you could consider sedation. Many practices will offer this service in the form of pills or general anesthesia. Or, if you’d rather not be completely asleep, some offices will even try hypnosis!
Some people may be anxious to go to the dentist if they or their children have special needs. Fortunately, there is a field of oral practice called Special Dentistry that serves this population with the utmost care and respect. If you’re looking for a great Dentist Glendale AZ, consider checking out Feldhake & Associates. With great fear management options like these, there’s no reason to let your dental health decline!