It might feel silly as a grown adult to fear visiting the dentist. But dental anxiety is a real thing, with between 9% and 20% of Americans experiencing it. Dental anxiety is a real problem. Both psychologists and the dental industry are looking to change the way dentists are viewed and to make visiting the dentist a manageable experience for all. If you suffer from a fear of going to the dentist, here are some techniques you should consider trying.
Why are People Scared of Going to the Dentist?
Before we get into some of the techniques you should try, it’s important to understand why so many people are terrified of visiting the dentist:
- Fear of pain.
- Fear of injections not working.
- Invasions of personal space.
- Feelings of helplessness.
Of course, some of these things are just a natural part of going to the dentist. Some of them even point to deeper problems that may even require professional help to overcome. The majority of those who have dental anxiety, though, merely feel uncomfortable rather than terrified. Remember, dental anxiety is an irrational fear. You are in no danger and the entire mindset is just that, a mindset.
Choose the Right Dentist
Sometimes overcoming dental anxiety can be as simple as changing dentists. You need a dentist who understands your fears and concerns. That’s why it makes sense to shop around. Speak to any potential new dentist about your anxiety and see how they react to it. Dentists like GMDG are well-equipped to dealing with patients who have dental anxiety. Others may not give it much consideration. A friendly face can make a big difference to your experience of going to the dentist.
Remember the Alternatives to Needles
Fear of needles is perhaps the most common fear about going to the dentist. Around 20-30% of adults are scared of needles, so they often put off medical treatment entirely. Before going to the dentist, do some research. The dental industry is making great strides in progressing towards non-needle-based alternatives. For example, now there are a range of numbing gels that can act as anesthetic. No needles required. The dentist will just rub it on your gums. The dental industry is not the same one you remember.
Listen to Music During Your Visit
For many people, music has a calming effect. During a major procedure you may want to consider popping some headphones in. Your favorite dance track might be all that it takes to keep your mind away from your fears. Most dentists are accommodating to different techniques like this and it won’t interfere with their work.
Take a Friend with You
If forced to visit the dentist alone, many people will simply skip out on their appointments. Consider taking a close friend with you. Most dentists won’t have any problems with a close friend or family member joining you on your next dental appointment. Even random conversation can help to take your mind away from your fears. Remember, dental anxiety is entirely a mental issue.
Last Word – Dental Anxiety Can Be Overcome
It’s hazardous to your oral health to skip out on a visit to the dentist. In most cases, these simple techniques can help you overcome your fears. However, if you suffer from severe dental anxiety it may be worth seeking out the help of a professional. With the help of a professional you can get the dedicated help you need to better enable you to cope with your fears. Whatever you do, the answer is not in burying your head in the sand. Do you suffer from dental anxiety?