Dental fear is a common problem that can keep people from getting dental care. Many people feel anxious or even terrified about going to the dentist. This fear can lead to avoidance of dental care, which can lead to more serious dental problems.
Possible reasons for dental fear
1. Previous bad experience
Some people may have had a bad experience at the dentist. Perhaps they had a painful procedure or felt uncomfortable and anxious during their appointment, making them fearful of future dental appointments.
2. Fear of needles and injections
Many people are afraid of needles and injections commonly used in dental procedures. The fear of needles is called trypanophobia.
3. Fear of the unknown
For some people, the fear of the dentist may be simply due to the fear of the unknown. They may not know what to expect at the dentist and may be afraid of the unfamiliar procedures. Some people may even be scared of the dentist themselves!
4. Fear of pain
Of course, no one likes to feel pain, and some people may be afraid of experiencing pain during dental procedures. They try to avoid the dentist because they fear the pain that dental procedures can cause.
5. Fear of embarrassment
Some people may feel embarrassed about their teeth or mouth and may be afraid to see the dentist because they are afraid of being judged.
6. Avoiding dental costs
Lastly, some people may avoid the dentist because they are worried about the cost of dental care. Dental procedures can be expensive, and some people may not have dental insurance to cover the expenses.
Ways to overcome dental fear
1. Talk to your dentist
The first step is to talk to your dentist about your fears. Let them know what makes you anxious and ask them to explain the procedures you are worried about.
For example, if you are afraid of needles, ask them to use a numbing gel before injecting you. If you are worried about what will happen during a wisdom teeth extraction, ask them to show you a video of the procedure beforehand. If you are concerned about the cost of dental care, ask your dentist about payment options or see if they offer a discount for cash payments.
2. Visit the dentist regularly
One of the best ways to overcome dental fear is to visit the dentist regularly. The more you go, the more comfortable you will feel. And, if you have a good relationship with your dentist, you will be more likely to feel comfortable and relaxed during your appointments. If you don’t have a regular dentist, you can search for one online or ask your friends and family for recommendations.
3. Distract yourself during dental procedures
If you feel anxious during a dental procedure, try to distract yourself. Listen to music, bring a book to read, or focus on your breathing. Taking your mind off of the procedure can help you feel more relaxed. Some people benefit from watching a video during their appointment or even taking anxiety medication before treatment.
4. Use relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques can be beneficial for reducing anxiety. You can try many different methods, such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and visualization. These techniques can help you feel more calm and relaxed during dental procedures.
5. Find a supportive dentist
It’s essential to find a supportive dentist who understands your fears. They should be willing to work with you to make sure you are comfortable during your appointments. You should never feel like you are being judged or pressured by your dentist. If you don’t feel comfortable with your current dentist, you may want to find a new one. You can search for a supportive dentist online or ask your friends and family for recommendations.
6. Talk to a therapist
If you find that you have an irrational fear of going to the dentist or your anxiety is impacting your quality of life, you may want to talk to a therapist. A therapist can help you understand your fear and work with you to develop a treatment plan. They can also offer coping and relaxation techniques to help you deal with your anxiety. If you don’t know where to start, you can search for a therapist online or ask your doctor for a referral.
Dental fear is widespread, but there are many ways to overcome it. If you are afraid of the dentist, talk to your dentist about your worries and ask them to help you. You can also visit the dentist regularly, use relaxation techniques, and find a supportive dentist. If your fear impacts your quality of life, you may want to talk to a therapist. You can overcome your dental anxiety and get the care you need with the proper treatment.