Many people, both young and old, experience anxiety about seeing the dentist even if they have only had good experiences. It is estimated that over 50% of all adults in the United States experience fear of visiting the dentist. In order to overcome dental fear it is important to understand what it is and its causes.
Causes of Dental Anxiety
Dental anxiety or fear can be described as the fear of visiting the dentist to seek dental care. Dental fear can be triggered by a number of events or experiences including;
- Negative past experience – the top reason why most people develop dental fear is if they had a bad experience in the past. If they underwent a treatment that was either painful or they developed complications, they might be hesitant to visit the dentist in future.
- Pain – many adults are afraid of visiting the dentist because of a painful experience they encountered before there were advancements in “pain-free” dentistry. Those with a low threshold for pain are often afraid of visiting the dentist.
- Embarrassment – Some people are self-conscious about how their teeth look and they feel embarrassed when the dentist has to look inside their mouths.
- Pre-Existing Anxiety Disorder – Some patients have a pre-existing anxiety disorder and their dental fear has nothing to do with the dentist. They fear the unknown and they have concerns about pain control.
How to Overcome Your Fear of The Dentist
There are ways to overcome your fear of going to the dentist. Below are some ways to help you do so.
- Find the right dentist – The first step before booking an appointment is finding a dentist who cares and listens. Find a couple of dentists in your area and visit their offices. Observe the staff to find out if they are accommodating or dismissive. A visit to the dentist not only helps you meet the staff but also gives you a chance to evaluate the atmosphere and surrounding.
- Be honest about your fears – Before you can address your fears, you need to come into terms with your fears of going to the dentist. Listing your fears makes it easier for you to talk about them with the dentist. If you have a dentist who cares and listens without judgement, they can help you overcome your fears.
- Bring a family member with you during your appointments – having a person you trust with you during the appointment offers an extra layer of support and assurance. You should look for a person who has no fears about going to the dentist.
- Talk about your pain management options – most people are afraid of visiting the dentist because they are afraid of pain. However, today there are several pain management options that you can consider including local anesthetic, laughing gas, oral sedatives and intravenous sedation. Knowing the available options will help you relax during your visit.
A visit to the dentist does not have to be scary ordeal. At River Street Family Dental, we ensure our patients are comfortable and relaxed. Our staff is friendly and they are always willing to listen to your patients. Book an appointment today and get the best dental care.