If you are afraid of the dentist, you are definitely not alone. An estimated 80% have some sort of fear of the dentist and according to WebMD, between 5% and 8% of Americans completely avoid necessary dental care due to fear. Approximate 20%, experiences enough anxiety that they will go to the dentist only when absolutely necessary.
So why are people so afraid of the dentist? Fear of the dentist can be due to a bad experience in the dentist office, an unpleasant side effect or a mood or anxiety disorder. Fear of dentists stems not so much from the experience of pain as from the lack of control that patients experience in the dental office’s chair. Unfortunately, many dentists create unnecessary anxiety in patients because they assume that all patients have similar pain thresholds and will handle dental procedures in the same way.
Overcoming your fear of the dentist can be a lifelong process and a fear that is never truly gone. However, there are a variety of ways to minimize your fear and anxiety for your next dental appointment.
- Visit with someone you trust
Bring a friend or family member to your next appointment and have them sit with you during treatment. By having someone who you know and are comfortable with sit with you during your appointment, they can help you remain calm and remind you that you have nothing to fear.
- Seek Distraction
Whether it’s music from your iPod or listening to the television, try and distract yourself while in the dentist chair. When you think about something other than your treatment, time will seem to go by faster and you’ll experience less anxiety.
- Try Relaxation Techniques
Try different breathing exercises at home to try during your next appointment in order to relax. This will help with muscle relaxation and slow your heartbeat down, therefore reducing anxiety.
- Talk to Your Dentist
It’s important that your dentist knows of your fear so that they can accommodate you and make your experience as pleasant as possible. Let them know about what exactly makes you afraid and you can talk about how to make your treatment work.
Cosmetic Dental Associates have been around for over 30 years and have performed tens of thousands of cosmetic restorations. We are dedicated to taking the time to make sure you are comfortable, that you understand the dental procedure steps, and that you are confident and relaxed.