Top 5 Ways to Combat Dental Phobia
Let’s face it; we have all been scared to go to the dentist at one time or another. However, for some of us, going for our dental check-up every six months is downright terrifying. Whether it is because of a bad experience as a child, fear of the unknown, or what we call “white-coat syndrome”, we want to help our patients to move past this fear and make their experience at our office the most pleasant and comfortable that it can be.
The best things that you can do to overcome your dental phobia are as follows:
Make sure you are comfortable with your dentist. This may seem like a simple request; however it is of the utmost importance. If you are not comfortable with your provider you may feel that you cannot ask him or her questions or express your thoughts and concerns which can lead to problems in the future.
2. Inform yourself! Before having any procedure done, do some research on your own and make sure you understand exactly what is going on. Also be sure to ask your dentist ANY and ALL questions that you may have. Good communication is key!
3. For many of our patients, the noises of the instruments are scarier than the work that is actually being done in their mouth. We have added sound proof headphones and music in our office, which has been a great comfort to our patients as a way to take their mind off of what is being done around them. Many of our patients also bring their own headphones in order to block out the noises from the instruments and focus on their favorite music or audio book.
4. Don’t wait to bring your children to the dentist! The best time to bring a child to the dentist for their first check-up is when their first tooth erupts. These appointments are mostly to get them used to being in the “dental atmosphere”, get them acquainted with the surroundings, and to let them know that they are in a safe and comfortable place.
5. As a last resort, most offices offer Nitrous gas as a means of relaxing patients. Commonly referred to as “laughing gas”, the Nitrous is used to “take the edge off” which makes the dental appointment more bearable for the patient. In addition, for extreme cases of dental phobia, medication can be prescribed before even coming to the office in order for the patient to feel the most comfortable.
Remember, dentist visits may seem scary but we are only trying to get you and your mouth in the best health as possible!